It Takes A village

Spring is making every effort to stay and I’m glad to see it. With it come the brave, wild flowers. And I enjoy the color they provide before the county comes around with their mowers.

It was April when my wife had just returned home from a month-long-stay in the hospital. I always remained within earshot. And while doing so I spotted a dragon fly perched on a limb about shirt-pocket level. His large eyes are what caught my attention. After I’d studied him for a short time he took flight, circled me and then returned to his post. That’s when it occurred to me that he was not out for some fresh air. He was on guard duty. Somewhere in that thicket something involving his species was occurring and his job was to keep predators at bay. He was a brave little creature. I could have crushed him.

A couple of decades ago I was at home writing while Barb was working. She was a nurse. A new hatch of crows were in the timber behind where we lived and they sounded like a herd of tree frogs as they found their crow voices. Then everything went silent. I paused to listen and when they didn’t resume their “chatter” I slipped outside to see what had happened.

The timber came out to a point near an old pond and as I scanned the area for anything unusual I noticed a lone crow, an aged crow, perhaps the alpha crow, perched on a limb facing the road. Slowly, I changed locations in order to see what he was watching. There, on the power line sat a hawk. It was a stand off.

Minutes passed. Perhaps two or maybe three. Then as the hawk emitted a high-pitched screech he vaulted from his perch and headed north.

The crow maintained his station for a longer period, Then he flew off the limb, made a one-eighty and headed back into the forest.

An instant later the youngsters resumed their practice at becoming crows.

Hilary, when she was still First Lady, stated that it takes a village to raise a child.

Perhaps it takes a village to raise a crow as well.

Hawking’s New Pill

There was a time when I considered the words uttered by Stephen Hawking worth considering. However, about a year ago he made a bold statement that turned me off.

“Christians are afraid of the dark,” he said.

In my opinion no one is entitled to belittle another person’s faith. Not even, him.

Gabby Hayes

During this weekend – February 25 and 26 – I watched two Roy Rogers movies on YouTube. They both were released during my birth year 1937. I saw them when my mother and I lived in Southern California during 1945 and 1949.

I had a job back then. Being the last one to leave the house, I washed breakfast dishes and put them in the cupboard every morning before leaving for school. The pay was twenty-five cents per week. That wasn’t a lot of money, so I spent it carefully. That allowance bought a pair of trousers, a week’s ration of Double Bubble Chewing Gum, and financed the ten-cent admission fee to the Early Bird movie each Saturday morning – Gene Autry, Tom Mix, Lone Ranger, Red Ryder, and others.

Sometimes the theaters provided perks. About once each month a Wonder Bread wrapper paid my way in. One Saturday morning before the movie a cartoonist illustrated,with an overhead projector, how to draw cartoon faces using number zero through nine. Another time a Duncan YoYo representative demonstrated all the special things that could be done with a YoYo.

We always exited the theater from the balcony and followed a concrete ramp to the street level. It was on this ramp that I heard and then saw my first shoe taps. And then I had one more item to fit into my budget.

Back to the movies:

Nobody but the sheriff and saloon keeper seemed to have jobs. Everyone else was free to play poker or serve on a posse at a moment’s notice. And the poor horses, always tied out front covered every inch of those dusty trails a full gallop.

George “Gabby” Hayes was often Roger’s’ sidekick. I seem to recall he was much younger than the part he played, but like Chester on Gunsmoke, he was a dead eye with a pistol and very capable of manhandling someone half his age. Seventy years later I saw good clean humor in his character.

Where’s They Go?

It’s Saturday morning all is quiet. Everyone who was scheduled to be somewhere is gone. Those who didn’t have a schedule have yet to show their faces.

The trucks out on the highway are not running. The fisherman with boats in tow have yet to appear.

Perhaps Barb and I are the Omega People

Steve Bannon

I’m glad he finally ditched that army field jacket. I’m also glad he borrowed a tie from someone. Now if he would only get a haircut.

In the end, however, I think it’s difficult to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear.

Cool facts about 7 Earth-size planets circling single star.

(022217)  This artist's concept appeared on the Feb. 23, 2017 cover of the journal Nature announcing that the TRAPPIST-1 star, an ultra-cool dwarf, has seven Earth-size planets orbiting it. Any of these planets could have liquid water on them. Planets that are farther from the star are more likely to have significant amounts of ice, especially on the side that faces away from the star. The system has been revealed through observations from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and the ground-based TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) telescope, as well as other ground-based observatories. The system was named for the TRAPPIST telescope. (Photo Courtesy of NASA/JPL - Caltech)

(022217)
This artist’s concept appeared on the Feb. 23, 2017 cover of the journal Nature announcing that the TRAPPIST-1 star, an ultra-cool dwarf, has seven Earth-size planets orbiting it. Any of these planets could have liquid water on them. Planets that are farther from the star are more likely to have significant amounts of ice, especially on the side that faces away from the star.
The system has been revealed through observations from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the ground-based TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) telescope, as well as other ground-based observatories. The system was named for the TRAPPIST telescope.
(Photo Courtesy of NASA/JPL – Caltech)

Yahoo News

This article was featured on Yahoo News today. I find that interesting, almost an answer to a question I’ve harbored most of my life. I wondered about visiting the other planets. But until we began depleting the resources we have here, the notion of moving never crossed my mind. Just during the past few months NASA got on board. If such a thing ever came to pass who would go – the young, the geniuses, the physically fit?

Not everyone would qualify to participate. What about those couldn’t go? Would those left here to live out their years on a burned out hulk?

Who would decide?

Signs of the Anasazi

Trump

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In my years on Earth I don’t recall a more hateful person taking the Office of President than Donald Trump. Is it because while growing up he never had to deal with the word NO? Or is he unable to shed his negative attitude? Whatever the case, he doesn’t seem to play well with others.

During my period of active military service I witnessed many commanding officers taking over squadrons to which I was assigned. Some laid back to witness the situation before they began making changes. Others set about reinventing the wheel on day one. The ones who didn’t wait until they had a feel for their new responsibility seldom occupied the commander’s office for any respectable length of time.

Many years ago someone stated that presidents took the office bringing many different viewpoints. But by the time they had served their term they shared many of their predecessor’s views.

If this statement holds true for Trump he has some distance to travel before he resembles anyone I can recall.

Bonny and Clyde

It was midsummer 1928 in western Missouri. The wheat harvest was in full swing. Weston and Wilfred had thrashed into the night, until the dew had settled on the fields. Moisture had made them wait until late morning, after the sun had dried the wheat bundles before they could continue. Rain was in the forecast, a sure disaster if the harvest wasn’t finished. Wilfred, the older brother lived with his new wife in an aging house near Rucker Siding, about two miles west of the small town of Walnut.

Weston, having visited the field they’d worked the night before found it dry enough to continue and had stopped by the Rucker house to share the news. He would be there only a moment, so he left his new 1928 Ford V8 idling in the driveway with the drivers door open. Little did he know that Bonny and Clyde were doing the Farmer’s Bank in Walnut. Nor did he realize they were in the market for a faster vehicle than the Chevrolet they were driving.

Stepping off the front porch, Weston found his Ford gone. In it’s place stood a Chevrolet with the engine idling and the driver’s door open.

Yep, She’s A Female

 

Frank works in the northeast corner of an automotive shop. Off to the side of his work area is a sump covered with a heavy steel plate. A couple of dozen square holes allow for drainage. Nobody ever complains about his work. That is, until the tune up on a Ford goes sour.

The owner of the Ford returns in a white dress. Her face is red.

Frank gets right on it. While he’s on one side pulling the distributor cap to check the points she’s on the other side bitching across the engine at him. When he goes to the other side they switch places and she resumes her complaints.

After three times of switching sides he’s loosing patients with her and moves a bit too quickly. She’s forced to step back. Of course, she doesn’t know about the sump grate. Her heels snap off in the drain holes. She goes over backward. Her dress goes over her head.

Yep, no doubt about it. She’s a female.