Wondering about wild grapes

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Ok, Got a Plan.

OK, here is the plan.  I sure miss my wife and I want her back, so I have sure fired way to get her to come back from heaven.  I have let the dirty dishes, pots, and pans pile up in the double sink.  If anything will bring her back that will.  I now have to wash a pan every time I want to cook something and then usually use plastic spoons and Styrofoam bowls to eat what I cooked.  Hey, it seems to be working for me, just don't look at the kitchen sink.  Now, you all have a great evening, you hear? 

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Christmas at Tammy's.

My daughter-in-law, Tammy, invited me to her home for a Christmas dinner of venison chilly and, yum yum, it sure was goooood.  My son is still on the north slope of Alaska and couldn't make it home for Christmas, but he will be home soon for a few weeks.  I even was given some gifts, an easel and blank canvases.  So, I need to start painting again.  It has been quite awhile since I did any paintings.

Tammy called my son, Rodney, while I was there and I got to talk to him.  He said it was a minus thirtyseven degrees there at the time we were talking.  I can't imagine it being that cold.  Yep, I guess I have been living in Texas too long, grin.  It was a good day and I hope all of you had a great Christmas day, also.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

The pillow on my wife's side of the bed,
still has the imprint where she lay her head.

I just can't bring myself to disturb it,
If anyone does, I will have a fit.

So some of you may think I am crazy.
But others will think I am just lazy.

This house is loaded with the things she made.
A lot of those things she sat and crocheted.

So for now, will leave things the way they are.
Though some of you may think that is bizarre.

But this is my home so don't you forget,
I'll do things my way so don't you dare fret.

Things will never be the same here at home,
So we will jump in the RV and roam.

The two dogs and I will take a long trip.
Will stay on earth cause don't have a spaceship.

Want to visit relatives and old friends,
At least one last time before my life ends.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Planning a Trip

I have been planning a trip for this coming summer.  I know I am getting up in years and can't have too many left, so I would like to take one last trip back to Pennsylvania where I was born, raised, grew up and married, and had two sons.  I still have a lot of cousins and good friends that live there and would like to see them again.  It has been way too long.

My daughter-in-law said that she would love to go with me and help with the driving.  If my son is home at that time, he would go also.  That would make three of us who have a license to drive that heavy of a vehicle.  Sure would make the trip a lot easier and a lot more fun.  If my son is still working on the north shore of Alaska, he said he would fly from up there to Pennsylvania.  I am sure looking forward to that trip.  I would enjoy just riding in the diesel pusher for part of the trip instead of driving it the whole way myself.  Since it is self contained with lots of batteries and also a diesel generator, if we want to stop, we could stop almost anywhere and have all the conveniences of home.

I hope my relatives and friends in Pennsylvania will be as anxious to see me as I am to see them.  I hope it all works out and the round trip will be pleasant and safe.  I am sure looking forward to that trip, it gives me another reason to hang on.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear? 

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Brought My Wife Home Today

My son and I went and picked up my wife's ashes at the undertaker's today.  I brought her home and sat her in front of the fireplace at my eyes' level so I can look right at her.  And oh yes, I am still shedding a lot of tears.  Soon, it will be time for me to get a grip on life.  It isn't fair to my other family members if I don't.  I know that they worry about me.  My dogs are still moping and not eating much.  She is really, really missed.

My plan is to keep her ashes there by the fireplace until I pass away, then I will be cremated and my son will spread both our ashes around the path where we used to walk together.  Sometimes she took extra walks or multiple trips around the place.  She had kept herself in good shape until her surgery.  I can't believe that I outlived her and I never wanted to.  I have to go blow my nose, so you all have a better day than I am having, you hear?

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Oh No, I can't take much more.

Wasn't my wife's passing away enough?  It was actually almost more than I could stand and it hasn't gotten any better.  Then today our dog, (We always consider him her dog, since she picked him out of a litter and he was with her all the time.  Even layed beside her when she was sitting in her chair.)  Cang Le, is having lots of trouble getting around.  He can't seem to stand up and when he tries to walk, he goes in circles.  He is now breathing regulary, although panting hard, as he lays beside me in my rocker/recliner.  I will get him to the Vet's in the morning.  I held him up and he ate most of his dinner. That is a good sign.  I sure didn't need this right now.  I guess trouble and hart break comes in bunches.  Now, you all have a better evening than I am have having.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Evening with Family

My son and his wife built a big bon-fire and my grandson brought his wife and son (my great grandson) to visit.  Had a very enjoyable time, but got tired and came home.  Nothing helps heal a broken heart better than family.

Have a great evening, you hear?

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Thank God for my son and his wife.

Thank God for my son and his wife.  They have just been so wonderful and helpful to me at this time in my mourning and sadness.  I am so blessed.  They and my dogs are now my reason to try and go on.  I hope you all have a blessed day.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Crying My Eyes Out

My wife of over 50 some years just passed away last night with me holding her hand.  I can't seem to quit crying and probably will always have a tear in my eye.  I miss her oh so much.

Don't feel much posting, so I may not make any new posts for a few days.  Got to take some time to heal, if ever.

Hope your week is going better than mine.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Sorry It Has Been So Long

Sorry I haven't posted for awhile, but my wife is in the hospital and I have been trying to spend as much time with her as I can along with taking care off our two house dogs, cooking for them and me.  It has been exhausting, but we will get through this and she should be home soon, I sure hope so.  I hope you all are having a great day.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Elephant Ears are Blooming

Our Elephant Ears are blooming, so took two pictures.

Hope you enjoy them and have a great day, you hear?

Monday, September 30, 2019

Casting a shadow

Hospital stays are not always a lot of fun.  I got needles stuck in me drawing blood or injecting medicines.  In fact they stuck me so many times that I no longer cast a shadow.  I am sure my shadow will return just in time for me to go back in the hospital to have the other artery reamed out.  Sure having lots of fun, yeh, right.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Friday, September 27, 2019

In Case You Missed Me

It has been a few days since I last posted.  In case you are wondering where I have been, I will explain.  I just had my third heart attack (yes, I had a couple of other ones, the first one I didn't tell anyone, the second one I had in Wal-Mart and made it home and the last one (also in Wal-Mart) I went to the doctor's who sent me to the hospital.)

I am now the owner of three stents in one of the arteries to the heart and have to go back in a couple of weeks so they can do the other one.  They operated on my heart by going up through my groin.  I was awake through the whole procedure and could watch what was going on inside me on the monitor.  Quite an experience.  Now, I hope you all are having a great day.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Added More Information.

There seems to be some doubt to the contents of my last blog posting.  I did clarify the info in answers to a comment, but thought I would do so here in today's post.  The black grackle with the one white tail feather that I posted about has a scientific name, which is "leucistic or partial albinism".  Look it up, it explains it and has lots of pictures.  Here is one of them:

I hope that clears up any misunderstanding.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear? 

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Nature Came Up With More surprises

I looked out the kitchen winow at the bird feeder and there was whole flock of grackles out there enjoying their lunch.  They were all black with a tint of purple showing except of one.  One of them had a long white tail feather on the right side of its tail.  It sure did stand out in a crowd, or should I say it stood out in the flock.

They were gone before I could get my camera.  They returned later but without the one with the white feather.  So, you are just going to have to take my word for the white feather in the tail of a Purple Grackle.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

What's Going On In The Briar Patch.

There must be some funny business going on in the briar patch.  I found this five leaf cluster that seemed to be divided into two halves.  Two and a half leaves are yellow and two and a half are green.

Here, see for yourself:

Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me.  Now, you all go out side and see what surprises Mother Nature has cooked up for you and make sure you all have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, June 13, 2019

My Wife Called Me A. . . .

I was having my usual breakfast this morning.  I put plain yogurt in my bowl and then add a few spoonful's of sugar.  I stir this up until it is well mixed.  Then I add both Honey Bunches of Oats and Cheerios and to moisten it, I add cranberry juice.  Hey, don't laugh until you try it, it is really goooood.

As I was adding the Honey Bunches of Oats, I spotted a huge flake.  I had never seen a flake that big, so I pulled it out and took it over and showed my wife.  I asked her if she had ever seen a flake that big and that I had never seen one that large.  Of course she came back with "it takes one to know one".  That was a good comeback which I had never expected and I laughed and laughed.  So, today starts out with "wife one - me zero".  Now eat your breakfast and have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Tools With Multiple Uses.

Some tools can be used for more things than what they were designed for.  You know, like the claw hammer.  The claw part makes a wonderful backscratcher for parts that you can't reach.  There is always an itch that finds that small part in the middle of your back that no matter how hard you try, you just can't seem to reach it.

Other tools and possible options are:

A screw driver.
- it can be used as an icepick.
- it can be used as a chisel.
- it can be used to open paint cans.
- it can be used as a pry bar.
- it can be used as a weapon
- and many, many more.

A hand saw.
- it can cut non-metallic stuff.
- some people can even make music using a bow.
- it is good at cutting straight lines.

A coping saw.

- it can also cut non-metallic stuff.
- it can cut curved lines, etc.

A wrench.
- it can be used to tighten or loosen nuts and bolts.
- an adjustable wrench is a must for plumbing.
- and of course, someone always throws in the monkey wrench to mess things up.

A claw hammer.
- other than a back scratcher, it can be used to pound in or remove nails, etc.
- it also works to put a robber out of commission. (grin)

I could go on and on but I think I will stop here and let you fill in all the missing tools and their uses.  Now, have a great day, you hear?

Friday, May 24, 2019

My Wife Got a Present.

Our daughter-in-law stopped up to see us yesterday and brought my wife a beautiful hanging pot of flowers.  I would try to describe them to you but a picture is worth a thousand words and I sure don't feel like typing a thousand words, so here is the picture:

Now, ain't they purty?  We both thought that it was really nice that she would do that and we both appreciate her kindness.  Now, you all have great day, you hear?

Monday, May 20, 2019

Phew, Got That Done for this Year.

My wife needed to get her driver's license renewed which runs out on her birthday in a few days.  We got up at 06:00 so to be there early before it opened.  Guess what, everybody and their brother and their sister and their mother and their father and their grandparents, etc. were already there.  The line stretched for a long LONG way.  Yep we had some wait time but after it opened, the line started moving in short start and stop movement.

After waiting in line for all that time, I decided to get mine renewed, also.  Since mine will run out on my birthday next February, why not do it now and not have to come back and stand in that long, long line again.  It actually was not all that bad.  Most of the people in line were willing to start up conversations, which helped the time fly by faster.  Glad to have that done and it will be awhile before we have to do it again.  The only test we had to take was an eye test, which we both passed and I did it without any glasses.  You see, since I had my cataracts removed, I have implanted lenses and I chose the type for distance viewing.  Yep, I need reading glasses for close work like writing this blog.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear? 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Wondering About Gandy Dancers.

After my second year of college studying engineering at Penn State, money got tight, so I went looking for a job.  I got a job as chicken cooker at a burger joint and restaurant in town.  My very good friend, Rodney from high school, stopped at our house one night and told me to be at the personnel office at Pullman Standard and I would have a job working for his Uncle.  He said it was only a labor gang job but at least it paid well.

As you may guess, Pullman Standard made railroad cars.  Their specialty at the Butler plant was covered hopper cars and flat cars (trailer train cars).  Here is a picture I found on the web of a trailer train car:

And here is a picture from the web of a covered hopper car:

They made other types of cars, also, but these two were the most produced by Pullman at Butler.

After working almost two year in the Labor Gang, some of the time as a gandy dancer, a fellow worker found out I had a couple years of college and suggested I put in an application at the engineering departments.  So, I did and that put an end to my gandy dancing.  Much later in life after moving to Texas, I became best friends with Jimmy Gandy, and no, he did not know what a gandy dancer was.

A gandy dancer is a person who lays track for railroads.  Since Pullman built lots of railroad cars, it had to have a lot of tracks that needed maintained.  Jacking up the rails and replacing old rotten ties was one of the jobs that needed done.  During my first couple of years, before I moved to the engineering department, I worked as a gandy dancer among a lot of other jobs.

OK, enough about work, it is wearing me out.  So, you all have great evening, you hear?

Monday, May 13, 2019

A Special Day for Texas

Since I live in Texas, if this hadn't taken place on this day in history, I could not live in the state of Texas.  Why?  Because it would be Mexico.

Yep it was on this day back in 1846 that the U.S. Congress voted to declare war on Mexico in a dispute over Texas.  After about two years of fighting, the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (signed on February 2, 1848) which made the Rio Grande the southern border of the U.S. with Mexico, officially made Texas a part of the U.S.  By the way, I am old and I live in Texas, but I am not quite old enough to have been an eye witness to all of this.

Just thought that you would enjoy reading about this little bit of history.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear? 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Backyard Mystery.

This morning I noticed something different in the dogs' fenced in back yard.  It was near our bird feeders.  Since I have no idea what it is, I hope someone can tell me.  Here is the first of two pictures that I took:

There is some of that white stuff spread near the foreground and a concentrated round pile of it in the top center of the photo.  That pole you see is what holds my birdfeeder and the light brown stuff on the ground is birdseed.

Now, here is a closer view of the round pile at the top of the first picture.  It is little white balls a little bigger than the grains of bird feed:

Maybe it is mold growing around each individual grain of bird seed, but why wouldn't the dark sunflower seeds have any growing on them or maybe something ate a bunch of it and threw it all up?  We have had a lot of rain and everything is damp outside and we are supposed to have a lot more coming.  Maybe I should get some water wings, what do you think?  Now I hope you all are having a great day.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Our Bird Feeders.

We have a large bird feeder filled with bird seed which I purchase in 40 pound bags.  It lasts a week or less.  We also have a humming bird feeder and we get a lot of beautiful little humming birds that come to suck out the sweet nectar.  Then there are the squirrels.

The squirrels are the thieves and destroyers.  They spill the bird feed out of the feeder.  Although I also put lots of feed on the ground, they (the squirrels) are never satisfied.  They have to dump more feed out of the feeder.  They leave the suet alone, guess they don't like it or maybe it is because it is in a wire mesh enclosure which holds the suet and keeps the squirrels out, but the birds can still get at it.  Yep, my back yard is quite a busy place, but all the creatures disappear very fast when I let the dogs out.

I guess it doesn't all go to waste.  The wild rabbits come in and eat it, too.  I bring the feeders in after it gets dark.  By morning, all that spilled bird seed is gone.  I guess the rabbits clean it all up by morning.  I love what goes on in my back yard (or at least in the area that I can see from the house) and would not change it if I could.  Now, you all have a great evening, you hear?

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter.

From Dizzy's family to all of you and your families, we wish you all a very blessed Easter.  It is really beautiful here at my place with blue skies and warm weather.  Don't eat too many Easter eggs or candy and have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Took a Walk on the Driveway.

My wife and I took a walk out the driveway to the gate and back around the inside loop to the other side of the gate.  On this short stroll we found a few things that I thought would make good pictures for posting on my blog.

Here is a picture of box turtle.  I don't know where he was heading but he sure did seem to have a destination in mind since he or she was going in a straight line.

Here is closeup of its head.  That eye seemed to look straight through me and it didn't look extremely happy.  I guess it just didn't want to be bothered.

Well, I guess he just got tired of me taking his picture so he slammed his doors shut but left just enough open to see if I had gone yet.

And then, not too far away, I found these small mounds of dirt with holes in the middle.  It seemed that the owner of these dwellings tried to build their entrance holes up high enough in case of rain.  I don't think they would care to have water pouring into their living room.

It is such a beautiful day with deep blue skies from horizon to horizon and a warm temperature of 87 degrees right now.  I have had a great day and I sure hope you all have had a good day, too.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Just Asking a Question.

When you watch shows on TV and somebody gets shot in a Western and as they lay their dying they close their eyes.  I don't think that is the case in real live (or death).  When I was a boy, I saw a fellow die in church.  The people close to him shut his eyes and tied a scarf around his jaw and head to keep his mouth closed.  That way the mortician wouldn't need to break the jaw.  That happened over 60 years ago.  That memory stuck with me.  It isn't every day one sees somebody pass away.  I don't ever want to see that happen again.  I hope I didn't depress anyone and I don't know why I thought of that.  Now, you all keep on breathing and have a great evening, you hear?

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Field Full of Color

Today we took a trip to town to get supplies and I decided to take the back road.  Just as I turned off on that road, there was a field full of color.  Blue Bonnets mixed with a red flower that I am not sure what species they were.  They were really beautiful so I took a picture of them with my little camera.  The picture sure doesn't show just how beautiful they were.  Anyway, here is the picture I took:

Yes, I know this picture spills out of the allotted area provided for text and pictures, but if I shrink it down too much, you could not see the beauty of this field.  If you click on it, maybe it will enlarge for your viewing.  This is a beautiful time of the year, but I see beauty in things every day as should we all.  Now, you all have a great evening.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Where Did Summer Go???

The beautiful warm weather we have been having has spoiled me and then, wham, the temperatures took a nose dive.  Yep went from temps in the seventies pushing eighty down to freezing.  When we first moved to Texas, we were told that there was nothing between us and the north pole except a few strands of barbed wire and I have to believe that.  Back when we lived in Justin, Texas, about half way between Fort Worth and Denton, it was so flat and mostly treeless you could almost see to the north pole (grin).

One thing for sure, summer is coming and it will be hot and humid, so I am going to enjoy this cool weather for as long as it lasts.  You know you can always add layers of clothes for when it gets cold but you can only take off so much when it gets hot.  Once you get down to bare skin, that is far as I will go.  One thing for sure, the closer you get to the equator, the warmer it gets.  I am now living in Texas which is a lot closer to the equator than in Pennsylvania where I was born, raised, and lived the first part of my life.  Now, you all keep warm or cool, which ever you prefer, and have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, March 28, 2019

I Guess It Has Been A While.

I guess that it has been a while since my last blog posting back on March 19th.  Yes, I am still alive and kicking, just got lazy and didn't have anything new to post about.  Guess what?  I still don't have anything to post about, but I do read other blogs and comment on them.  That is about all I have to say, so, you all have a great day, you hear?

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Wow, What a Perfect Day

It was a perfect day today.  Not too hot, just hovered around seventy degrees.  I even sat outside on the deck in the sun with my shirt off.  Felt real good.  It was a good day to be alive.

The wild berry vines are in bloom.  I noticed something today that I have not noticed before.  The thorns on these were all pointing backwards from the direction of growth.  That is the reason that they hurt so much if you grab hold of them with your bare hand and try to pull them out.  Mother Nature always amazes me at her designs and the ways she uses to protect her "garden".  These vines were also in bloom with large white flowers and the bees were working them.  I was glad to see bees.  They seem to be getting sparse around here and they are so very important to  the pollenization of all plants, wild and domestic.  Without bees, a lot of life on this Earth would disappear, a lot of us included.

Friday, March 15, 2019

The Ides of March.

Yep, this is March 15th, the ides of March.  Actually, every month has its own ides.  The ides fall on or very near the middle of each month.  This is the explanation that I found on www.merriam-webster.com :

In the original ten-month Roman calendar, days that marked the position of the moon were named: the calends was the first day of the month, or new moon, and the ides was the middle of the month, or full moon. An extra month was added every few years to ensure that agricultural festivals and holidays remained at the appropriate time of year.

You know, I prefer to be just me and not a ruler or a popular star.  It is much safer that way.  My pups seems to like me but they like my wife better, because she cooks good meals for them.  Yep, they eat like Kings and Queens, as they should.  I read someplace that Shih-Tzu's were the pets of royalties.  I am going to go pet my King and Queen and I want you all to have a great day because as far as I am concerned, you all are royalties.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Clearing Out Brush

My son came up today with his big tractor and brush-hog and pushed over and cut up some really thick brush that kept us from seeing down to the ponds from our house.  He did a lot but guess how he did the finishing touches?  He brought up a couple of his goats and let them much on the "salad bar".  They cleaned it up pretty well and I am real thankful that he did all that work.  The goats worked out well.

Yes, I know I should have gone back in the house and got my camera, but to tell you the truth, I didn't think about it at the time.  I will tell you that those goats sure can make short work of anything they can get into their mouth.  Now, you all have a wonderful evening, you hear?

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Yellow Season is Here Again.

My wife and I decided to head to town so she could get some yarn, etc.  As you can see in my header picture I have a brown/khaki colored Jeep.  When we went out to get into the Jeep, it was yellow.  Yep, the pollen is really bad this time of year and everybody drives yellow vehicles during this season (grin).

It caused me to have a slightly scratchy throat but that passes rather quickly.  Those poor people who suffer from hay fever and other allergies must be having a pretty bad time during this "yellow season".  I am not one who suffers from it, which is a blessing.  I do know that it means the leaves will be budding out very soon and all the floral bouquets that Mother Nature can provide will be beautifying the landscape very soon.  Keep a handkerchief handy if you are one of these people and try to have a great day, you hear?

Friday, March 1, 2019

Lost a Good Friend.

Yesterday, we went to the graveside services of a good friend and hunting and fishing buddy.  I will really, really miss that guy who I have known for around thirty years or so.  Below is what I posted on "https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/conroe-tx/jimmy-gandy-8182514":

When I was manager of engineering at Conroe Forge & Mfg., the vice president had previously interviewed him and said if I approved, hire him. Well, I decided to have a little fun after seeing him a bit nervous coming in for the interview. The first question I asked him was if he had a bass boat. He kind of smiled and said yes. I then asked him if he had a problem taking his boss fishing. He looked at me kind of funny and said no. I then said "You are hired". We have been friends ever since. And yes, he took me fishing many times and we used to go hunting together, also. Will sure miss him.

Yes, it will take me a long time to get over missing him.  I still get tears in my eyes every time I think of him and then I have to smile for all the fun and pleasure he had brought to me and my family.  Now, I hope you are having a better time than I am.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Rabbit Stood At Attention.

I opened the door onto my screened in back porch to let the dogs out into their fenced in yard.  Then I noticed this wild rabbit standing just outside the fenced in yard.  The strange thing about it is that it seemed to be standing at attention.  Maybe he (or she) just wanted to get a better look at me.  I went back in the house and got my camera and to my surprise, the rabbit was still there.  Here are the three pictures that I took of it:

Dang, and here I thought that I was ugly enough to scare almost anything away, so this must have been a very brave bunny.  You can see the wire squares that make up the dog's fenced in yard.  The dogs were out and about but didn't notice the rabbit.  Later, after the rabbit was gone and the dogs went out again, the youngest pup started sniffing all around the fence and refused to give up until she found what made that curious aroma.  Not finding anything, she gave up and came back in.  That was our excitement for today.  Now, I want you all to have a great evening, you hear? 

Sunday, February 24, 2019


I like to watch western movies and shows on TV.  Some of the older ones are in black and white but most now, are in color.  These shows are supposed to depict life as it was in the old west.  But, one thing that bothers me.  Almost everyone in those shows has perfect white teeth.  The one I have been watching has Charles Bronson and Henry Fonda in it.  The movie is "Once Upon a Time in the West.  Did you know, they both had blue eyes but Fonda's seemed the bluest.  Since I have blue eyes, I took notice.

Nice day, today, but I don't believe the temperature will make it to seventy degrees, but stay in the upper sixties.  That is OK with me.  It will be way too soon until it starts bumping the one hundred mark.  Now, whatever the temperature is at you place, please have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Air Brakes, etc.

What do I think about airbrakes?  Well, I love them.  My motorhome (RV) has them and I believe that they are the safest brakes you can have on a vehicle.  Why?  Well, first of all, let me compare them to hydraulic brakes.  Hydraulic brakes work fine, but have their faults compared to air brakes.

The main difference is, with hydraulic brakes you have to supply hydraulic pressure to the brake pads to slow or stop your vehicle.  More than one thing are involved, so there are a lot of things that can go wrong.  With air brakes, the brakes are on when no air is supplied and off when air is supplied to them.  So. if the system fails or gets a leak, the brakes come on.  So, that is why I believe that they are the safest.

Another advantage to air brakes, is that when you park the vehicle and pull the parking brake, the air is vented.  Yep, you can hear the rushing air leaving the system.  Since it takes air pressure to release the brakes, all the brakes would be on when there is no pressure to hold them open.

I also have Jake brakes on my rig.  A Jake brake (or a Jacobs brake) is actually an engine brake.  It is a compression release engine brake which opens exhaust valves in the cylinders after the compression stroke.  This releases the compressed gas in the cylinders, slowing the vehicle.  That process can be quite noisy.  I remember seeing signs in sleepy little towns that read "No Jake Brakes".  Let me tell you, they are a wonderful thing to have when you are coming down off a mountain on a steep, windy road.  Let me know if you have ever driven a vehicle equipped with air brakes and Jake brakes and have a great day, you hear?

Monday, February 18, 2019

We Pronounce Words Different

Everyone in the world whose first language is English doesn't pronounce the same words the same.  I guess you could say that there are different English dialects.  Just here in the US, there are quite a few different dialects.  I am sure that you can tell the difference from a southerner to someone form the northeast or from the Midwest, or from any other different area.

I remember when I was sixteen years old my Uncle took his family and me on a long trip across North America.  Every area where we stopped, I noticed that the locals had their own way of speaking English.  Once, when we were a couple of thousand of miles away from home, one lady asked me if I were from Butler, PA.  I said yes, that I lived about eight miles south of Butler and then I asked her how she knew that.  She said by the way I talk and pronounce words.  Dang, up until then, I thought it was every one else that talked strange.

Even when I grew up and had been working for quite a few years, I took a new job near Detroit, Michigan.  Canada was just across the river and was easy to get to.  Also, it was shorter to drive across Canada to New York than through the US.  I don't remember why my boss and I were going there, but the officials at the border told me, as we crossed the river and entered Canada, that I was from Western Pennsylvania, even though I had Michigan plates on my car.  I told him he was right that western PA was where I was born and raised and lived for over 30 years, but then I asked how he knew that.  He said by the way I talk and the words I use.  Can't fool those border guards.

Since I have lived in Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, and Texas, my dialect must be pretty confusing.  BTW, when I first started to work in Michigan, I couldn't understand my boss.  He told me to go check the ruff or the rough or ???  Luckily, there was a co-worker nearby that translated it to me as "go check the roof".  Yep, language is not my best subject.  Now, don't fall off your ruff and have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, February 16, 2019

I Did Try It.

On my last post I stated that I was planning to count the days backwards to see if I could get any younger.  Well, just for your information, it didn't work.  That was my last resort so I am just going to live with the idea that I am getting old and it just may be better than the alternative (grin).

I have a lot of the signs of aging.  My hair has turned a silvery grey along with my beard, etc.  It seems that all of the hair on my legs has disappeared and then, magically, reappeared on my stomach.  And speaking of my stomach, it must not know that my body has quit growing because it sure hasn't.  I can't say that I am out of shape because I have a lot of different shapes that I didn't used to have.  But, as long as my brain and my typing abilities don't give up, I will keep on blogging whether you like it or not (grin).  Now, you all stay young and have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Dang, I Am Getting Old

Yep, I sure am getting old.  Today is my birthday and I guess that it is time to start counting backwards.  Do you think that would make me younger.  Yes, I was born on Valentine's Day, so now you know where I get all my charm (grin).  I have seen a lot and been through a lot since I was born.  Because I was born in 1943, World War Two was going on and my Dad was an MP in the Army.  I can remember my Mother holding me up and showing me a picture of my Dad a lot so that I would remember him when he got home.

My cousin was born two days before Christmas and I used to have a neighbor when I was kid who was born on Christmas day.  The trouble with being born on or near Christmas is that you are not going to get a lot of gifts for both.  My neighbor used to complain that she would get things that usually come in pairs (like shoes, socks, gloves, etc.) with one wrapped up with a Happy Birthday tag and the other wrapped up with a Merry Christmas tag.  Now, you all have a great day, I sure do plan to.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Street Number Sign - Gone

Back a few years ago, my wife was getting packages delivered by UPS and to make sure they could find my place, she suggested I put our street number on a sign so they could find us.  Our home is not visible from the road, just the long drive way which disappears from sight before it gets to our home.  Therefore, I got a couple of 4x4's and a 1x12.  I made stencils of our street number using Auto Cad to create the type of numbers I wanted on the sign.  The stenciled numbers were just a little bit shorter than width of the board.  I painted the board white and stenciled the numbers in black.  I dug holes with a post hole digger and put the sign up.

That was quite a few years ago and that sign served us well, that is, until yesterday.  Somebody ran into it an broke it off at the ground.  Here is a picture I took of it:

Of course, I could get busy and make a new one, but I don't feel like doing that right now and, if this was a deliberate act, they will just do it again.  My daughter-in-law suggested that, since there is a day-care center across the street from my driveway, a school bus or truck may have backed up out of their parking lot and crossed the road and hit the sign and didn't even know it.  Well, it doesn't matter who or what did it, it is done gone for now.  Now, you all drive safely and have a great day, you hear?

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

My Ponds Are Full

It was a warm afternoon with highs in the low 80's but that will change this coming Friday morning when a front blows through here lowing the high temps of Friday at only 40 degrees.  I decided to take advantage of the warm weather and take a walk around my property.  It has been awhile since I have done so.

I found that all the rain we have had has filled all my ponds and more so.  Yep, some low laying areas have also filled with water.  There is still plenty of dry ground for me to walk around the place and never getting my shoes wet.

 Here are some pictures I took today:

I made a big circle around all that open wet area.  The two ponds have swollen and overflowed but I still had dry land on the perimeters.  Those trees in the background have a trail I use that is behind them.  My daughter-in-law's ducks have been enjoying all the wet areas.  In fact, one followed me for 80 yards before going back to the water.  I feel good having got some exercise today.  Sure beats walking around Wal-Mart. . . .  Now, you all enjoy what is left of this fine day, you hear?

Monday, February 4, 2019

One Less Duck

I was in our dogs' fenced in back yard and noticed something white in the thicket.  It reminded me of ice or snow, but not down here in the warm East Texas.  So, I got a little closer and, dang, it was feathers.  Yes, a whole lot of white feathers.  Here, take a look for yourselves:

Yep, something had duck for dinner.  I don't know what it was, but we have all sorts of wildlife around here that would be glad to feast on a duck walking in the woods after dark.  Or maybe, something caught it down around the chicken and duck coops and dragged it up here to feast in private.  Earlier, I published a blog with pictures from my son's game cameras, and if you remember, there were a lot of pictures of different predators.  Yep, it is a dangerous world out there in the jungle (grin).  But I want you all have a great evening, you hear?

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Are There Extraterristials?

Are the Extraterrestrials (ET for short) out there somewhere.  What are the odds of there being ET's out there?  And if so, what are the odds of communicating with them?

The known universe is extremely large, beyond my apprehension.  Just take a good look at one of Hubble Space Telescope's deep field pictures:

Just look at all the galaxies!!!  All those galaxies have many, many stars and most of those stars have planets.  That means there are so many planets in the universe that there is no number I know of that could express just how many there are.  Now, don't you think that on some of them life of some sort must have gotten a start.  It could be as simple as lichens but you have to admit that the are odds are very favorable for life on other planets in other solar systems and just think, there may be multiple universes, the multi-verse theory.

There is one huge problem.  The distances are so very great, that it would take thousands of years for even radio waves to reach them.  The closest galaxies are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, 160,000 light years to the LMC and 200,000 light years to the SMC.  If there is life somewhere in these two closest galaxies, there would be no way of knowing unless they invented radio back 200,000 years ago or so.

The distances are just so very great that we may never know if there are any planets with life.  Even if there were, the life may be nothing more than lichens or one celled organisms that far back in the history of our universe.  So, are we alone?  I don't know but I would like to think that we are not.  Now go outside tonight and see if you can spot any flying saucers or aliens or. . . just have a good day, you hear?

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Which is the Right Side of the Bed?

OK, I am confused.  I have read different ways to tell which is the right side of the bed and they don't always agree.  I have heard that if you stand at the head of the bed looking down over the bed, that your right hand is on the right side and your left hand is on the left.  OK, but I have also heard the same thing only standing at the foot of the bed looking at the bed and the right hand side would be on your right side.  Trouble is, they are opposite and both can't be right.

Now, if I ask you what side of the bed do you sleep on, what would be your answer and how did you determine which it was?  Sometimes simple things get me confused (grin).

I think I will just go to bed but to be safe, maybe I will sleep in the middle.  That way, if you ask me tomorrow which side of the bed I slept on, I can just answer, neither.  Now I went and did it.  When I go to bed tonight, I will probably just lay awake and wonder which side of the bed is the right or the left.  Hope you all have a good night's sleep and hopefully, will see you all tomorrow.  Have a great evening, you hear?

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Them Bones, Them Bones

My wife went out for a walk around our driveways and of course I decided to sit in my rocker/recliner and watch TV and look at stuff on the internet.  Yes, even at my age I can do two things at once (grin).  Then my cellphone rang and it was my wife saying I should come out and see the strange bones she found.  So, I put on my cowboy boots and headed on out.  She showed me the bones and guess what, I have no idea what they are or from what creature they came from.  I laid them up on the hood of my jeep and put my pen beside it to give you something to compare it to for size:

I have seen a lot of bones, but never have I seen any with such perfect round holes in it.  Sure does have me puzzled.  I wonder if my daughter-in-law is missing any ducks or chickens?


Ok, then I found some white feathers.  That is extra evidence that it was probably a duck or a chicken:

Then a little further along, I spotted a big fungus lunching on a tree stump.

OK, that was the extent of our walk.  I did look up in the sky and saw a lot buzzards flying around, so I hurried into the house before they were able to get me.  Dang, I didn't know I looked THAT bad.  Now, you all take a walk and tell me what all you see and have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, January 19, 2019

A Windy Day

A front came through here in the middle of the night and boy, did it get windy.  I don't mean a pleasant breeze.  It was bowing quite hard and still is now at 4:00 PM.  Well, you might ask, how windy is it?  Well I will tell you.  I just saw some birds that looked like they were flying backwards.  Well, not really, but a lot of them are just walking around.  Of course the high winds do not keep them from stuffing themselves at my bird feeder.

My son and his wife have ducks, chickens, goats, etc. and the wind was so strong that the chickens who were facing away from the wind laid the same egg multiple times.  Yep, there ain't nothing between us and the north pole except a few strands of barbed wire and that type of fence doesn't slow the wind up much at all.

The wind sure does trim the dead limbs and branches out of the trees.  We have a big limb that fell from a tall oak and is being suspended by brush and bushes.  That is dangerous for any person or creature that wanders under it.  After it calms down, I may go out and see if I can pull that large limb down.  It is fairly large, I would say it is about six or seven inches in diameter.

I took this first picture to show the thick brush where it landed.  If you look closely, you can see it in the middle of the picture.

Then I zoomed in on it.  As you can see, it is fairly large and I sure wouldn't want to be under it when it finally falls to the ground.  Of course that may take a long time for it to fall or maybe it will just stay where it is until it rots away.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Why I don't buy Lotto Tickets.

I don't purchase lottery tickets anymore.  Why?  You may ask.  Well, I really don't want to win.  I love the life I am living, I love where I am living, and I am quite comfortable, so why would I want to mess all that up by winning the lottery.  I have enough to eat (sometimes more than enough), a roof over my head, a nice motor home sitting out in the drive way in case we want to take a trip, an old tube type color TV (but I mostly watch the old black and white shows, especially the old westerns), etc.  I have a loving wife, two dogs that keep me smiling, and my son and his family live on the back of my property.  So you see, I can't think of anything that I would want that would make me happier than I am right now.

I definitely feel blessed.  I guess the only problem with us and our dogs is that we are getting old.  I was born back during World War Two, have seen a lot and have done a lot, and don't really want anything more than what we now have.  So, why buy a lottery ticket?  If I won, I would have to put up with a lot of hassle that I really don't need.  So, that is why I no longer purchase lottery tickets. 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Scary Words, Statements, and Questions

What words, statements, and questions scare you or make you feel very uncomfortable?  First, let me say that not much scares an old fart like me, except maybe the death or sickness of a loved one or a pet.  The longer you live the more death you see.

Some death is good for us.  We kill animals, fish, vegetables, grain and fruit so that we may have food and survive.  We kill bacteria to keep us well or to cure us from sickness.  Therefore, we must surmise that killing can be good.  Unexpected death is not good, whether it be a family member, a friend, a pet, or whoever.

For a single girl, the doctors statement that "you are pregnant" can be scary, especially for the father to be.

When you are doing things you shouldn't do and someone walks in and asks "What are you doing?".

When you loved ones tells you not to do something and you don't listen and get hurt or break something or. . .

Taxes, fines, trials, surgery, commitments, illness, and for some, the unknown.  Now tell me, what words or short phrases scare you?  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Took a Little Walk

My wife and I took a little walk out the driveway, and noticed our neighbors standing down along their fence next to our driveway.  We walked down and had a great chat with them.

Our front yard looked like a swamp.  Here is a picture of it, yep it is quite wet.  We have had a lot of rain.

Along side the inner driveway, I noticed all these black colored small round berries.  Since they are still there and the birds have left them alone, I must surmise that they are poisonous, although I do not know for sure.  No, I ain't going to taste any of them.

That was an enjoyable walk with good neighbors and a beautiful day.  Now, you all have a great day, you hear?

Thursday, January 3, 2019

What Is Your Talent?

Everyone has some things that they do better than normal.  Some are athletic and can do physical things that normal people can not.  Some are more intelligent, some are more beautiful, some can understand and solve scientific problems, some are extra strong and lift more weight than others, some can run faster, some can run further, some can give great speeches, and some can sing better.

They say if you don't use your talent you will loose it, like a weight lifter who quite lifting weights looses his muscles.  Since I haven't used my talent in a long time, I have lost it.  So, you may want to know, what my talent is.  Well I will tell you.

When I was in grade school, we had a wonderful music teacher that thought he saw some talent in me.  One year, at the end of the school year, the senior choir put on a big performance.  That music teacher asked me to sing with them, in fact, he wanted me to do a solo.  I stood in the front row of the choir and when my turn came to sing the solo, I was told to step forward.  When I did, most of the audience laughed because I was just a little kid that didn't seem to know what to do.  When I started to sing my solo, everyone became quiet.  They said I did a great job.

As I grew up and after I was grown up, music and singing was a huge part of my life.  I played trumpet in the band, but I sang in the choir and in quartets and also did solos in church and for weddings.  I have to say that my favorite was singing in a barbershop quartet.  Loved that close harmony.  I don't sing any more.  They say if you don't use it you lose it.  I guess I may have lost it.

Is there a moral to this story?  I guess if there was one it would be to use you talents or lose it.  Now I know that each and every one of you have a talent and I want you to tell us what it is and a little bit about it.  Now, use your talent and have a really great day, you hear?