Wondering about wild grapes

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Still Spaced Out.

Yesterday, I posted about stars that exploded.  Since I am on that subject, I thought that I would talk about some other space objects.  Today, I am going to talk about the stuff that created stars, gas.  There are lots of star forming gas clouds out there, but the most famous one is the cloud that created the horse head nebula.  I am sure all of you have heard of it and if you have a telescope, you probably have seen it, too.

The gas cloud that formed it has so much star forming activity and so many embedded stars that it is lit up.  The black and white picture below show the large gas cloud with the Horse Head in the middle:

This next picture is in color and it also shows the multitude of stars around it. 

I will leave you with a picture of another one of my favorite deep space objects, the Eagle Nebula.  This part is called the Pillars of Life.

Now you all have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Stars That Go Bang!!

The universe we live in has a lot of beauty and a lot of violence.  Exploding stars are both beautiful and violent.  I am sure you have seen pictures of some of them and especially the first picture below.  It is Eta Carinae and it shows both the violence and the beauty of a dying star.

This next one is named the Cat's Eye.  The above nebula is seen at an angle, whereas the one below is seen dead on.  The circular shock waves spreading out from the center leaves ring after ring after ring.  The bright white spot in the center is what is left of the star; a cinder, so to speak: 

 This third one is the Hour Glass nebula.  The center of it looks to me like it has a blue eye there just staring, unblinking, at us.  Now, when you go out at night and get that eerie feeling that someone or something is watching you, just look up, it just may be this nebula:

 Now, this last one is my favorite.  I can not understand how any star would explode in this shape.  The astronomers have named it the Red Rectangle:

Go back and look again at that last picture of the Red Rectangle.  Now explain how it could produce this shape.  Yes, I would love to hear how you think it came about and what you think of the other nebulae above.  Now, keep looking upwards, and have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Short Rhyme For You.

I sure hope you had a great Easter Day
And spent it in your own personal way.
And had lots of fun
In rain or in sun,
And that will be all that I have to say.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Wondering About Two Things Today.

I was driving home this morning doing the speed limit of 55mph.  Everything on the road passed me!!  What, don't they know what the speed limit is?  I was going exactly 55, not 50 and not 60, but fifty-five and was passed by an other car, then I was passed by a pick-up, then I was passed by dump truck, then I was passed by an eighteen wheeler, and then I was passed by a guy that looked liked Barney on a bicycle, then I was passed by a girl in running shoes, and finally I was passed by a youngster on a peddle tricycle.  What the heck is this world coming to that everyone would be in such a hurry this Good Friday morning.  I wonder why they were all in such a hurry.

And yes, it is Good Friday, the day most Christian religions say that Jesus was crucified?  That also got to wondering.  The scripture says that he was in the tomb for three days and three nights, if my math is correct, there is a missing night.  If he was buried on Friday and rose on Sunday there is only Friday night and Saturday night, where is the third night?  And another thing, in those days there was always a day or two of preparation before the burial.  So, He may have been crucified way earlier in the week than Friday.  So what does it matter?  It doesn't, what matters is that He rose from the dead so that others could have hope for eternal life.  Make sure all of you have blessed day, you hear?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wondering About Euphemisms.

We all use euphemisms, sometimes a lot more times than we think.  Before I go any further, let me give you a definition of the word "euphemism":
"A mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing"
OK, I suppose you want some examples.  OK.  How about B.O. for "body odor" or B.R. for "bath room" or B.M for . . . what you may do in a bath room.

Yep, euphemisms try to mask impolite or rude expressions but still leave the meaning quite clear.  Want some more examples?  OK.
"Wow, ain't you special."  This implies the same meaning as when "special" is used in "special child" or that you think you are better than everyone else.  Not really meant as a compliment.  Of course, most all euphemisms are not meant to be compliments, except maybe "she is in the family way" instead of saying "pregnant".  And some we older people don't appreciate, like "You are becoming a little thin on top" or "you are knocking on death's door".  And how about when someone suggests that you may be carrying around a little extra weight?  Just love getting comments like that. . . yeah, right.

I am sure you have and use your favorite euphemisms, so let us know what some of them are.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Monday, March 21, 2016

Some Quotes by Texans.

Texas is a huge state with almost any kind of scenery (mountains and sea shore and thick forests and open plains and swamps and deserts and just about anything you want), different climates, a diverse population, and space age technology along with cattle ranches right out of the old cowboy movies.  If you can't find it in Texas, you didn't look in the right area of this great state.  Yes, I live in Texas, not by birth but moved here for a job.  I had watched all the TV cowboy shows and was quite surprised when the plane I was in was making its decent into Houston.  Looking out the window all I could see were forests and lakes and rivers.  Everyone who has never been here has there own idea what Texas is like.  For all you non-Texans, what do you think it is like?

I am going to give you some quotes about Texas by some famous people that you may have heard of.  I will start off with one of our governors, Ann Richards.  Ann was the 45th governor of this state, and although this quote is not about Texas, it was in defense of women in politics; she said: "After all, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did.  She just did it backwards and in high heels."

Being a Texan is more of a state of mind than just living in the state of Texas.  Of course, there are always a few who do not like this state, and of course, then they should not live or visit here.  Back in the civil-war era, Philip Henry Sheridan said, "If I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent out Texas and live in Hell".

I think the best quote and the one that I think fits the best is this one by Mary Lasswell: "I am forced to conclude that God made Texas on his day off, for pure entertainment, just to prove that all that diversity could be crammed into one section of earth by a really top hand."  Now, I am sure all you Texans or want to be Texans out there will have a great day.  All you others, just do the best you can. . .

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spring Has Sprung!!

We have been having warm weather, highs in and around 80 degrees and lots of blue sky and sunshine.  The wild flowers have been blooming for awhile and now all the trees are putting on a new coat of green.  Actually, the leaves of some of the oaks when they first sprout out are red:

I picked up a few more natural objects that had all the different colors.  My Dad always said that springtime was just as pretty as fall.  I tend to agree but I would also include summer and winter, too.  I think nature always has something beautiful to show us.

These four things were just laying in my driveway  They represent some of the different colors of spring.

Get outside and walk around and see what beauty your area has to offer.  God, through nature, has painted this world with all the beautiful colors.  All we have to do is look for them.  Now, you all have a colorful and great day, you hear?

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Yesterday Around Here.

Yesterday was another beautiful warm Spring day.  My son has the soil of his garden worked and ready for planting.  With a garden that size, we should not go hungry this summer, that is if he will share some with us (grin).  His two step children are standing in the upper left of the picture by the tree.  I can't wait to see what he plants and what comes up first.

Then, yesterday, we had a visitor.  I wouldn't care, in fact I like snakes, but this one was stalking the birds at my bird feeder and I couldn't have that.  All I am going to say is that it will not be bothering the birds anymore.

I put feed out to attract the birds, I even have humming bird feeders.  I don't put the feed out to attract the birds for snake food.  So, if any of you see any snakes, tell them to let my birds alone.
That is all for today, so I will just say, "have a great day, you hear?"

Monday, March 14, 2016

Living In The Past.

I am living in the past and whether you know it or not, so are you.  The past I am talking about can be a fraction of a second to many light years of time.  Light travels at a fixed speed, 186,000 miles per second.  We can bend light, reflect it, but can't really slow it down nor speed it up.  There is a way to make it look like it was slowed down, but it wasn't.  What am I talking about?  Here is an article I found at:


"When light enters a material, photons are absorbed by the atoms in that material, increasing the energy of the atom. The atom will then lose energy after some tiny fraction of time, emitting a photon in the process. This photon, which is identical to the first, travels at the speed of light until it is absorbed by another atom and the process repeats. The delay between the time that the atom absorbs the photon and the excited atom releases as photon causes it to appear that light is slowing down."  Answered by: Gary Russell, M.S., Systems Engineer, Reston, VA

You want to look back further in the past?  OK, just look up at night.  When you see those specks of light that we call stars, you are looking back in time.  Some not so far and others quite a ways back.  Here is chart that shows what I am talking about:

So, as you see from the above chart, even the closest stars we see are over 4 light years away and the rest a lot further.  At these distances, human travel to these other stars would not be easy even if it were possible.  Just some things to ponder on.  Now, have a great day, you hear?

Sunday, March 13, 2016

When We Moved to Texas.

It has been many years since I moved here to Texas.  Well, I didn't move "here", I first moved to an apartment in Baytown.  It didn't take me long at all to know I wanted to get back out in the country, so I started looking and found some vacant property.  Moved out on it and stayed in my pop-up tent camper.  It didn't take long for my wife to want to move, especially after she got snake bit.  To make a long story short, we got our first double-wide and put it on that property.  So, as you can see, we were not really very rich or we would have bought a nice house in the Woodlands or some other fancy place.

When I traveled for business or pleasure, people would always ask where I was from.  When I said Texas, they would then ask how many oil wells did I have and how big was my herd of longhorn cattle.  Back then, people who have never been to Texas, thought all Texans' were rich.

Of course, things were different back then.  There were two classes of people, the rich and the not rich.  Around the time I first came here, there was no middle class and therefore very few middle class homes to buy.  That eventually changed with the influx of more non-Texans moving to Texas.  But back then, the easiest thing I could do was to buy a parcel of land and put a double-wide factory built home (trailer) on it.  That first double-wide moved to the Dallas area with me.  It also came back to the Houston area with me, and after I upgraded to a 32x80, it turned into a storage area.  So, as you can see, I don't have a dozen or so oil wells and neither do I have any cattle, but I do wear cowboy boots, blue jeans, western shirts, and a cowboy hats.  So, yes, I have a wonderful wife and family, so I am truly a rich Texan.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

It's a Long Way To....

I got thinking of an old World War One song.  It kept going through my head.  NO!!!  I am not old enough to remember WW1, I wasn't born until near the end of WW2.  So, you may ask, how did I know about that song?  Well, I'll tell you.

When I was a kid, I used to go to a church related summer camp.  It was a great place nestled in the green mountains of Pennsylvania and staffed by young adults who were our counselors and who kept us entertained.  They took us on hikes, watched over us as we went swimming, and took great care of all of us.  But sometimes, they came up with skits to entertain us at supper time.  That was many years ago and I may not get the story just right, but maybe you will get the idea.

Once, they told a long, boring, drawn-out story about a fellow who lived years ago and owned a large, dirty, and loud bird called a "Rary", and it may have been the last of its kind.  The other citizens in his fine community couldn't stand the noise, smell, and sight of it and therefore, they decided to get rid of it.  They waited until the owner of this Rary bird left to visit friends in another town.  The towns people snuck over snatched that bird, dragged it over to the cliff, and tossed it over.  One of the bystanders said, "Dang, that is a long way to tip a Rary".  And that is how this WW1 song got its inspiration.  And you thought it was the town of Tipperary, Ireland, didn't you?
Sheet music to "It's a Long Way to Tipperary"

Instead of a large, ugly bird like this, or

like this:

Just in case you don't think there was such a song, here is a link to it:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tipperary
Or this one, where I got the first picture above:  http://firstworldwar.com/audio/itsalongwaytotipperary.htm

OK, do any of you out there remember that song?  Yes, I know very few of you are that much over a hundred years old, but maybe you heard a parent or grandparent or uncle or some other older family member sing this song.  The tune keeps going through my head and I only got it second or third or fourth hand.  Now, have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Just Browsing.

I was browsing around the internet this morning and stumbled across some pictures that tickled my funny bone.  I am not sure if any of you have the same sense of humor as I do but just maybe you will get a little chuckle out of these pictures.

This first one is quit explicit:

OK, if you already read that sign, you did just what the sign said not to do.  I guess you can't be trusted to do what you are told (grin).

Suspicions confirmed!!
This U.S. Air Force Aircraft Identification Chart tells it like it is, right?  Anything that flies and isn't a conventional type aircraft can only be a weather balloon.  Like I said, my suspicions were just confirmed in this chart below:

Well, once I decided to write the fabulous story of my life and, well, as you can see how that turned out: 

I guess that I will leave you with a prehistoric animal exposing himself to all the kids in the toy shop.  Now that is really bad!! 

I hope I at least put a little smile on your face and hope that most of you got a big laugh out of it.  So I will leave you with the flashing toy etched into your minds. . . have a great day, if you can, you hear?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Try To Make a Personal Rhyme.

I was laying in bed last night and started wondering if I could make a one sentence poem that started with my name.  My name (the first word) had to rhyme with the middle word and the last word.  Now, that sounds pretty simple, doesn't it?  Well let's see. . . I will try a couple right now.

I will start with my nickname, Dizzy.

"Dizzy is so Busy he's in a Tizzy"

Yes, I know "Busy" has an "U" instead of an "I", but it is pronounced the same.

OK, now let's try Dick.

"Dick sure can be "Quick" when doing a "Trick".

Now, using my real first name, Richard.

Richard is a wizard in a blizzard.

Now, it is your turn.  I want you to try it using your own names and post your short rhymes along with your comments.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Bad Weather On The Way.

We sure could use some rain, but would prefer just some nice easy rains, which it is doing right now.  But this IS Texas, and Texas is known for everything being BIG!!!  They are predicting some heavy rain (possibly up to nine inches), hail, and possible tornadoes.  That is what they said on the news last night.  This morning we are getting that badly needed rain, not heavy and not stormy, just steady drizzle.  This morning, there is no mention of severe weather.  Could it be that they got the weather forecast wrong?  NO!!  That could never happen (grin).

We got all our shopping done yesterday.  The sun was hot but the breeze was cool enough that I could open the car windows and sit in Hobby Lobby's and Micheale's parking lots while my wife shopped at those two places.  Then we went and got our groceries.  Glad we got that all done before the bad weather hit.  It may stay rainy here for a few days.  That is OK, because my wife and my pups bring lots of sunshine into my life.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear? 

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Is There Life Out There?

If you were going to search for life somewhere other than on Earth, where would you start?  Think about it for awhile before you read any further.

I couldn't see how there could not be some form of life some where in this humongous universe.  There are billions and billions of stars and I would think that there would be at least a few planets revolving around most of those stars and a percentage of them would be in the "Goldilocks" area.  And where is this area?  It is different for different size stars, but the main thing that describes it is that the Goldilocks area is the area where planets can have liquid water.  Now it doesn't say that they have to have it all the time at the surface, but if the water is frozen on the surface, there can still be liquid water under it.  So, if one was to search for life in some form or another, you must follow the water trail.  Water is essential to all life as we know it.

Some organisms can get the water that they need out of the air, but most need liquid water.  So the possibility of liquid water is what astronomers search for on planets and planetesimals when in search of extra-terrestrial life.  You did notice that I said "life as we know it".  There is speculation that other forms of life may have evolved and live off of methane or something entirely different than what we do.  Now, you all have a great day and watch out for all those other life forms, you hear?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Wondering About George Pullman.

Today is March 3rd.  Yep, you say, so it is.  Well that may not mean anything to you but it affected my life quite a lot.  Well, sort of.  Maybe I should explain.  It was way back on this day in 1831 when a man was born that affected my life.  Who was that man?

It was George Pullman.

And a picture of him in his younger days:

No, I never met the man, he was born a hundred and twelve years before I was born, 1831 and died in 1897.  But he was the one who started the Pullman Company which later evolved into Pullman-Standard.  My first real job was with Pullman-Standard, located in Butler, PA.  Worked there for over seventeen years.  So I salute you, George, for giving me such a good start in adult life.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?