Wondering about wild grapes

Monday, August 31, 2015

Our Son Took a New Job

Our son got a new job and quit his old job.  His new job pays better and he will get to see new things, that is the good part.  The bad part is that it is located on the North Slope of Alaska!!  That is a long ways away from Texas, both in miles and in temperature.  Here is a map of Alaska, look for Deadhorse:

He will be working east of Deadhourse near Point Thomson.  Yes, it is an oilfield job and he will be in north slope training for a few days at the ANS or Alaska North Slope. 

He showed me some of his cold weather gear.  He needs more but you just can't find a lot of that kind of thing down here in Texas.  He had to order it and at least he got one complete suit to start and said when he has a layover in Anchorage, he will look for more.

I am anxiously awaiting photos from him.  I will never get to travel to that area, even if I wanted to (grin).  Well at least he is getting up there in the summer, but even so, there is a big difference from the temperatures up there compared to here.  I think that would be a real shock to a person's system, but then, it may feel very refreshing.  I sure hope all goes well for him and he enjoys his work.  Now you all have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Ten Years Ago Today

Ten years ago today, back in 2005, New Orleans had a really bad day.  Can you imagine that it was that long ago when hurricane Katrina slammed into that city as a Category 4 storm.  It packed 145 mph winds, set off 36 tornadoes in at least five states.  When it visited New Orleans, it came tossing vehicles, knocking down homes, and of course cutting all power to that area.  I remember it well.  Lots of people from that area evacuated to East Texas.  And guess what, some of them never went back home.  Of course most of them didn't have homes to go back to.

We get complacent when there have been a few years without any local major storms.  Anyone living near the coast or in low lying ground, should keep a wary eye on the Gulf at all times.  It is amazing how fast the Gulf can give birth to a damaging storm.  Some packaged and dry food, canned goods, and lots of bottled water should be kept in a safe and accessible place in case of emergencies like hurricanes.  Don't forget to rotate your food stores once in awhile by eating the old and replacing it with new.

Me?  No, I ain't prepared.  I would do the same thing I did last time one hit this area. Then we all jumped in the motorhome and got the heck out of Dodge the Houston area.  That was back on Sept. 13, 2008 when Hurricane Ike came a visiting.  Here is my old blog posting about McKinney Falls State Park:  

That was back when I had the class-C motorhome.  My son stayed home and therefore we had someone to watch the place and report to us.  Of course all power and phone lines were down for miles in all directions from my place and it took weeks to get it all restored.  When you live in paradise, every now and then you have to pay your dues (grin).  Paradise, you ask?  Well, I like it here!!  Now, hope there is only a little breeze at your place and I want you to have a great day, you hear?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Severe Separation Symptoms.

Yes, I had SSS or Severe Separation Symptoms for a few days now.  Today, I am so much better.  You see, I had to be separated from my computer so that it could be fixed.  The plug in the computer where the battery charger plugs in, broke loose and lost contact.  Yes, I took it apart but didn't know where to solder it to and figured that maybe an expert should do it.  As it turned out, the whole plug needed replaced and the part had to be ordered.  That is why it took so long, but the separation is now over and I am happily typing this blog and of course had to play some games, too.

I tried using the tablet, but I can't stand to pick and then punch a key on the keyboard, you know, the Columbus method of typing. . find a key and land on it. (BTW, I do like playing Angry Birds on the tablet)  But now I am back on my 17 inch laptop and very happy to be united with it again.  Now, if I only had something interesting to tell you, everything would be perfect.  But, I guess you will have to wait until tomorrow's blog posting to be awed and amazed, or is that bored, wearied, and uninterested?  Either way, you have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

No Post for Awhile

Computer is broke, so no post for awhile.

have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Giggle For Today

I thought that you all may like to read a joke and get a little giggle today, so of course I went and searched the Internet and after reading and laughing for the last three hours, I just remembered I was suppose to write a blog posting.  Therefore, I decided to copy and paste the last joke I read here in my blog.  I hope you get a little giggle out of it, too.  I did.

A blonde, wanting to earn some money, decided to hire herself out as a handyman-type and started canvassing a wealthy neighborhood. She went to the front door of the first house and asked the owner if he had any jobs for her to do.
"Well, you can paint my porch. How much will you charge?"
The blonde said, "How about 50 dollars?" The man agreed and told her that the paint and ladders that she might need were in the garage. The man's wife, inside the house, heard the conversation and said to her husband, "Does she realize that the porch goes all the way around the house?"
The man replied, "She should. She was standing on the porch."

A short time later, the blonde came to the door to collect her money.
"You're finished already?" he asked. "Yes," the blonde answered, "and I had paint left over, so I gave it two coats. "Impressed, the man reached in his pocket for the $50. "And by the way," the blonde added, "that's not a Porch, it's a Ferrari."

I got this at:

Well, I hope I have you smiling and if I do, I hope you have a great day and can smile and laugh all day long, you hear?

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

When Stars Go Bang!!

Some stars just burn up their fuel and die slowly to a cinder that takes many years to cool off, some violently explode, and others die somewhere in between the two extremes.  Of all these, the most famous is the double star system, Eta Carinae.  There have been many photos of this system published but I never get tired of looking at them.  The first four pictures show the two huge balls of gas being blown off the two stars which will probably go super nova if they haven't already.  This system is 7500 light years away, so it sure could have and we would not know it for a long, long time.  Let's hope we don't get hit with too much gamma ray radiation when these two stars do explode.

This next picture shows the two exploding stars in their home star system.

Another picture (must have been taken at a different light frequency than the one above).

This is the complete star system:

 And this shows where the double stars are located within the system:

There, you all got your dose of astronomy for the day.  The universe is such a huge and grand place, full of many sights and wonders.  Some of which we know about and a lot more that we don't.  I hope I got you all wondering about what all is out there in our universe and if there are more than one universe and if there are more than one, if the laws of nature are the same in them all or different in each one.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Questions for You with Answers.

Today I am going to ask a bunch of trivia questions and at the end of the posting, I will give you the answers.  This is just something you can do for fun.  Some of the questions will have answers that you never knew and others will have obvious answers.  Of course the answers that you know will be the ones that obvious to you. (grin).

OK, here are 10 questions:

1)   Who were the first couple shown in bed together on prime time TV?
2)   When bats exit their cave, which way do they turn?
3)   Who can read smaller print, men or women?
4)   Who can hear better, men or women?
5)   Which animal can go the longest without water, a rat or a camel?
6)   What words rhyme with orange, purple, and silver?
7)   What was the weatherman, Willard Scott, the first of.
8)   Name a food that uses more calories to eat than it contains.
9)   Speaking of foods, what is the only food that doesn't spoil?
10)  What are the only mobile National Monuments?

Answers to the questions:

1)   Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
2)   They turn left.
3)   Men can read smaller Print
4)   Women can hear better.  (I wonder if that is why sometimes I don't hear my wife tell me what to do)
5)   A rat can last longer without water than a camel.
6)   There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with these words.
7)   He was the first Ronald McDonald.
8)   Celery has negative calories.
9)   Honey. . . although I have heard of biscuits that would be a close second.
10)  The San Francisco Cable cars.

How many of got all of the questions correct?  I only knew three for sure.  Let us know how you did and even if you didn't get any correct, you may now know more than you did before you took the test. . . I do.  So now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Monday, August 17, 2015

A Couple of U.S. Spy Planes.

Aerial reconnaissance has been going on for many years.  It has been carried out by many methods, from balloons and kites to planes and satellites.  There are a lot of interesting stories about all of them, but today, I am just going to talk about a couple of planes that have been used in the past and are still being used today when a closer look is needed.

The old standard is the Piper Cub.  It is prime example of a STOL type aircraft for sure and I have flown quite a few times in one and they are a lot of fun, for sure.  They are used by the military for recon and to give coordinates to fighters or artillery.   In case you are wondering what STOL means I will tell you.  It means Short Take Off and Landing.

One of the very high flying planes that were used for gathering information and pictures of places that do not allow unauthorized over flights is the U2.  Their ability to fly at such high altitudes keep them safe from fighter planes and conventional artillery.

The only problem was that some missiles were capable of reaching to the altitude that the U2 operates and Russia was able to shoot one down that was piloted by Gary Powers.  He was able to eject and floated down to the waiting arms of the Russian military where they made him their guest for awhile.  I remember that well.  I will have to look that up and see when that happened.

Now, the best, fastest, and highest flying spy plane of all is the SR-71 Blackbird.

It flies so fast (in excess of 3000 mph) that its titanium skin gets re-heat treated every time it flies.  They even made unmanned drones out of one of those engines.  The drone was nothing more than a motor with two short wings and a camera.

I wrote a similar blog in the past.  In case you missed it, here is a link to it:

OK, maybe I can get up off my chair and do some wonderful things that I can write about on tomorrow's blog. . . and maybe not.  Heck, it is comfy sitting and rocking in this chair.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Music Festival

Can you imagine that 46 years ago today one of the most notorious music festivals was going on.  Yep, I am talking about Woodstock.  No, I didn't attend it, in fact it was held not long after my second son was born, so I had more important things to attend to.

Did any of you attend that festival?  If so, let us know and tell us a little bit about your experiences at it.  I found this picture of the road leading to the area.  It was turned into a huge parking lot for miles and miles:

Please pick on this next picture to enlarge it so that you can read the heading.

Yes, that was a moment in music history.  It really didn't interest me that much because, as you know, country and blue grass has been the music of my choice.  Now, you all listen to what ever music you prefer and have a great day, you hear?

Friday, August 14, 2015

Woke Up With a Song on My Mind.

Do you remember Moe Bandy's hit song "Till I'm Too Old To Die Young"?  Well, I hadn't thought about that song in years but this morning I woke up with it on my mind.  The lyrics were playing over and over in my heard.  That was, in my opinion, a very good song and Moe did it superbly.

I looked the lyrics up on the internet at

Or to be more precise:

For those of you who don't want to take the time to go to the above links, here are the lyrics to that song:

If life is like a candle bright death must be the wind
You can close your window tight and it still comes flowing in
So I will climb the highest hill and watch the rising sun
And I pray that I don't feel the chill till I'm too old to die young

Let me watch my children grow to see what they become
Oh Lord don't let that cold wind blow till I'm too old to die young

Now I have had some dear sweet friends I thought would never die
Now the only thing that's left of them is the teardrops in my eyes
If I could have one wish today and know it would be done
Well I would say everyone could stay till they're too old to die young

Repeat chorus twice

OK, maybe not a very happy song for someone my age, but heck, I am already way too old to die young and my children grew up and my grandson has been a man for a long time.  Maybe tomorrow I will wake up with a happier song going through my heard, but til then, you all have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Comic Strips and Cartoons.

It always interests me to look back and see what all happened "on this date" in history.  So today I am only going to comment on a comic strip and a cartoon.

I like anything that makes me laugh or smile, so naturally I like comic strips and cartoons.  How many of you have ever read the comic strip "Li'l Abner" by Al Capp?  I would take a guess that we all have seen it and gotten a laugh or a smile out of it.  You know, I was really surprised to discover that it has been around for a long, long time.  It made its debut on this day back in 1934, that was 81 years ago.  I would have never guessed that it started that long ago.

How about cartoons?  Walt Disney's "Bambi" (an animated feature) premiered in Radio City Music Hall in New York on this day in 1942.  Dang, I wasn't born until 1943 so that means that Bambi is older than I am.  Double Dang!!  How the heck did Bambi keep looking so young and I am looking so old???  Life just isn't fair is it?

Now, you all take time to laugh and have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Looking Back to Start of Blog.

I spent some time tonight looking back over my very first blogs.  I started blogging back on July 16, 2010 and have been blogging ever since.  I have met a lot of bloggers and have enjoyed blogging, reading blogs, and especially meeting the bloggers in person.  I have told you in previous blogs about those meetings.

That got me a wondering about the ones who do not post any more.  Then my thoughts switched to Billy Bob.  He has been having some medical problems lately and sure hope he gets that all straightened out and back to tip-top shape.  Then I got wondering about his model boat.  Yes, he has still been working on it and upgrading it and motorizing it.  Back when I first met him, he showed me his river boat model.  Here is a picture that I took back then:
In case you want to read that old blog posting, here is a link to it:


Looking back over the first few months of my blogs was enjoyable and brought back a lot of memories.  All bloggers should do that once in awhile.  I should have done it more often and will do so in the future.  Now, you all have a great evening, you hear?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Self Analysis.

I wondered what would happen if I looked my name up on the internet.  Well, that was a mistake.  I got a whole list of words:
Irrelevant, Boring, Bad, Inferior, Awful, Horrible, Unsure, Old, Difficult, Wrong, Weak, Small, Low, etc, etc.  OK, I know I am Old and Boring and I can be Difficult, but not all the others.

Then I noticed I had looked up the wrong thing and it wasn't my name.  Wow, now I feel a lot better.  That is, until I typed in my first name, the one that I go by, "Dick".  That didn't turn out any better at all!!  So, not to be beaten by the dang internet, I typed in my proper first name, "Richard".  Now that is more like it!!

According to Wikipedia, "Richard" is derived from German, French, and English as ruler, leader, king and also strong and brave and when you put that all together it means "powerful leader".  OK, now I feel a lot better.  Maybe I should start going by Dizzy Richard instead of Dizzy Dick, what do you think?  OK, OK, I think I will just go by Dizzy.  Most everyone knows me by that and the last three letters of my amateur radio call is DZY, so Dizzy fits all around.  Now, don't get too dizzy trying to figure my posting out but rather, have a great day, you hear? 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Is He In There?

Had a good lunch and then I stepped outside.  I saw this on the screened in porch.  It was on the outside.  Don't forget, you can always click on a picture to enlarge it.

Then I went on outside off the porch and took a picture of him (or her) from the other side.  Usually you see the outer shell of these critters split open from where they emerged to another life of flight.  I didn't see a split big enough for the bug inside to get out.  I wonder if he is in there or not.  I will check later.  If he can't get out, he will just die there, stuck on the screen.

Then I looked over to the other end of the porch and there was a Green Anole.  Yes, I know it doesn't look green, but they can change colors to fit in better with their background and this one turned brown to blend in with the wood framing.

Here are a couple of pictures that I found on the internet of them in their normal color:

I will keep checking on the bug that is shedding its outer skeleton  to see if it gets the job done or dies trying.  With the high triple digit heat we are having, anything or anyone outside would be trying to shed anything that they can.  Hope all of you are keeping cool and make sure you have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Things That Happened On This Day

If one looks back in time, a lot of history can be seen and you don't have to look very far.  What happened yesterday is history today and all that came before it.  I always find it interesting to see what all happened back in history on every day of the year, and today is no exception.  So here are some things that happened on this day in the past.

Back in 1782, about 4 years before America declared its independence, then a general, George Washington authorizes the award of the Purple Heart for soldiers wounded in combat.  So, the American Purple Heart out dates the United States.  I didn't know that and just figured it got started during the 1st World War.  Guess I was wrong, and no matter what I say to the opposite, it wasn't the first time I was wrong.  If my memory serves me, I believe I was wrong once before back in the 1950's but then later found out I was right all along (grin).  So, I was wrong thinking I was wrong. . .

How many of you have used revolving doors?  When I was a boy, I loved going in circles inside one of those revolving doors, but of course I was nice enough to stop when someone wanted through.  They were a great invention, letting people in and keeping either hot or cold air outside and room temperature inside.  A patent for one was issued in 1888.

In 1942, Gen. A.A. Vandegrift and his 1st Marine Division landed on the islands of Guadalcanal and Tulagi.  I have heard of Guadalcanal but not Tulagi.  But not when it happened, you know, I wasn't born until 1943.

President John F. Kennedy and his wife had a son and today in history would have been the middle day of his life.  The baby's name was Patrick and he only lived for 39 hours, back in 1963.  That is oh so sad.  I really hate to hear things like that.  A mother carries the baby inside her for nine months and then he only lives for three days.

I sure hate to leave you on a sad note, but my lunch is ready.  You know you can call me anything you want but never ever call me late for dinner. . . Now, have a great day, you hear?  

Friday, August 7, 2015

A Hot Time in the Old Town This Week.

The future is going to be a little on the warm side for awhile around here.  The highs will be triple digits for the foreseeable future.  The air-conditioning units will be working full time at maximum capacity and of course, this may cause some "brown outs" if the electric grid can not handle the heavy demand.

Here is our seven day forecast:

Yep, it is going to be a little on the warm side for at least the next seven days.  It looks like we are having a HEAT WAVE:

Now, you all stay cool and have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, August 6, 2015

I Don't Know.

I don't know!!  That's right, I don't know a lot of things.  Then there are a lot of things that I did know but have forgotten by now.  Have you ever said, "I don't know"?  Did that make you feel any smarter or any dumber?  Heck, every time I say "I don't know", it makes feel dumber and dumber and dumber and then I have to go to the internet and look up the stuff that I don't know.  Then too, there are lots of times that I don't know and I don't care.  In those cases, I don't bother looking them up.

If not knowing stops you in your tracks and you try to figure it out, remember the Chinese Proverb:

“He who deliberates fully before taking a step will spend his entire life on one leg.” ~Chinese Proverb

Now don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting that anyone dive off into something without giving it any thought as to the consequences.  You don't dive off a high boulder into water unless you know it is deep enough and you will not split open your head on some jagged rocks.  Or the reverse, you jump off this high boulder into a huge deep pool and only remember half way down that you can't swim!!  That is what happens when you get caught up in the moment without thinking and "I don't know" how deep it is can get you into trouble.  The same holds true when jumping into life's dark pool.

Since I don't know everything that I would like to know, I keep exploring new to me things, ideas, and scientific discoveries (especially in astronomy).  We are never too old to learn.  Although at my age many of my brain cells have died off, I will have to work the ones that are left overtime.  That is, if they haven't joined a union yet.  Now, do something to stimulate your brain today and have a great day, you hear?  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Traffic Signals.

Can you imagine driving in a city without any traffic light signals at all?

Did you know that the world's first electric traffic signal was put into place in Cleveland, Ohio on or near this day back in 1914?   Shucks, everything would come to a complete halt when all the vehicles get jammed up in a real mess.  Signs also control  traffic, like "ONE WAY",



 and of course speed limit signs.

  And how could you find your way in unknown places without road numbers or names and signs saying "Exit Here for ???".

Or what road you are on?

As much as we Americans love freedom, there still has to be controls or havoc will ensue.  This holds true especially for traffic on our streets and highways and byways.  Now if you all go on a road trip or even drive down to the corner store, be sure to obey all the road signs, except maybe the "Eat at Joe's" sign, you may get heartburn, but make sure you all have a great day, you hear?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Does Light Always Travel in a Straight Line?

I got a question.  Does light always travel in a straight line?  Well, let me think about that. . . . I would have to say no.  Doesn't a mirror change the direction of light?  Well, yes, but it is reflected in a straight line, too.  Maybe I ought to re-phrase that question to, "can light travel in a curve?"

It seems to be common knowledge that nothing can move faster than light. . . or can it?  Let me pose another question.  Let us assume that I have a very powerful flash light that can shine a spot on the moon that we can see from here.  Now, if I move this flash light back and forth as fast as I can, does the beam of light curve or does it stay perfectly straight?  OK, you say it stays straight?  By flicking my wrist back and forth just as fast as I can so that the spot of light from it on the moon travels back and forth from on side of the moon to the other in just a very small fraction of second.  The speed of light is 670,616,629 miles per hour.  The moon's width is 2,159.2 miles and the average distance from earth is 238,857 miles (since the moon is in an elliptical orbit, it gets a lot closer and a lot further away than that).

I would have to flick my wrist very, very quickly to see the light beam bend.  The spot on the moon would have to move from one side to the other quicker than .0000032 seconds and I am physically not capable of moving my hand anywhere near that fast.  So, I don't believe anything ever will move faster than light (which makes time travel impossible), what do you think?  

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Our Anniversary

Today is our anniversary.  51 years ago today, my wife and I got married in a little church in Mayville, New York.  No, we didn't live in Mayville, in fact, we didn't live in New York, either.  Maybe I should explain.

My future father-in-law thought that I was plenty good enough to date his daughter but every time I asked his permission to marry his daughter, he set extremely high, unreachable goals that I would have to meet before he would even consider his blessing on our union, so the two of us decided to elope.

Almost everyone from Pennsylvania who eloped, ran off to Maryland.  So, we headed to New York.  Since we had run up to Presque Isle on Lake Erie on Saturdays a couple of times before to enjoy the beach and the water, it was not unusual that my wife to be, my best friend and his date, and I headed up that way.  So it was all set, when we had been up there a few weeks earlier, we made all the arrangements.

It just so happened that my Aunt was visiting my parents and the night before our eloping, we invited them along, too.  I thought my Mom was going to fall off her chair, but they agreed.  We had a very nice wedding and spent our honeymoon in Ohio.  Of course we called my wife's parents . . . that didn't go over too well.

Our start to married life was a little rocky, but things calmed down and we were all a big happy family.  Hard for me to believe that it was 51 years ago.  It just can't be because my wife is only 29 and I am only 31 but accused of being six years old some times.  It has been quite a journey and one I am glad I took.  Now, you all have a great day and feel free to celebrate our anniversary, you hear?