Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I Talk to Skateboarders

    Whenever I get an opportunity to talk to skateboarders I take advantage of it. I know some people will say , " What does he think he's doing?" 

     I think most people think skateboarders have extreme attitude so stay away from them. Skateboarders are sometimes intimidating as they can be loud, rough and unruly. It's easy to see that an out of control skater or board may hit you. 

    By ignoring skaters we tend to isolate them
. Two groups of people ignore each other and do not know what the other is about. Without communication, misunderstandings can develop and then it's downhill from there.

   So anytime I have an opportunity to talk to skaters I jump at it. You can't just barge into a group of skaters. The opportunity has to be there. Not an invitation, but an opportunity.

   Last night I had an opportunity and used it. Three skaters were stopped on a small footbridge. A couple of little skaters cut me off and I had to stop. There I was with the three boarders. I made some comment about an awkward move and that got things going. Skaters love to talk if you show that you are the least bit interested in their activity. These three were very late teens and one maybe early twenties. They were well spoken and knew about their equipment and activity. 

    These three skaters had long boards and used them for travelling. In other words they went from place to place on skate boards. They think that skate boards would be great for commuting to work. They told me about the structure of the boards and how they were laminated with special glues to make them strong. Two of these guys weighed over 200 lbs. They talked about the smaller skateboards used for tricks. 

   Ages of skaters were talked about and what each age was interested in. Some of the long boards are used for going downhill at the highest speed you can get. These skaters continually look for different hills. 

   After 10 - 15 minutes these guys were ready to continue their trip and politely took their leave. 

   I've also talked to individuals who try various tricks. I met a young guy numerous times last year when I was riding. He explained some of his moves. Just by watching I couldn't tell how he did things. I met this kid a half dozen times when we would stop and talk.

   I think it pays dividends all around to talk to skaters. I'm passionate about not creating exclusive groups. Make people feel as if they belong in this world and they will contribute positively to life.

The old cyclist from 2009

Saturday, July 23, 2016

I Love Lightning and Thunder.

     I love a good old thunderstorm.  Now I know some people are terrified of lightning and thunder. They have a good reason to be afraid. I know that lightning is dangerous and causes many deaths, injuries and damage.

     Last night I was wakened shortly after midnight by thunder. The thunder was distant but it rolled on forever. Well, not forever, but for 20 - 30 seconds. Lightning lit up my room. Then I would wait for the thunder. Would the thunder be closer or further away? This storm was gentle. It moved slowly toward me. so there was lots of lightning and thunder. A little breeze picked up and helped to make my room cooler. After 20 - 25 minutes rain began falling. Not hard driving rain, but steady rain. Now the disappointing thing is that I went to sleep before the show ended. The Micro Manager never woke up until morning.

   There's something about the power and energy contained in a lightning event that fascinates me. I know it's static electricity. I'm amazed that so much electrical energy can be formed by wind and cloud. When you think that the lightning travels for miles, that's a lot of energy. When it' rapid fire lightning that's a lot of energy forming in a very short time.

   I was terrified by one lightning storm. I was on a mountain peak. We were watching a small thunder cell move through the valley below. It's cool to look down on a thunderstorm and see the lightning in the cell. All of a sudden there was static electricity all around us. We could hear the crackle. We left the mountain top at mach 1. The thunder cell was 1000 ft below us. There must have been enough energy that it spread far and wide from the cell.

   Hiking in the mountains, it was common to see trees that were damaged by lightning. The tree sticks up and the lightning follows the tree into the ground.

  In the  old days in the country, it was quite common to see a telephone pole that had been damaged by lightning.

  Now there are quite a few songs about thunder. I like Eddie Rabbit's Rainy Night.

    How about you? do you like thunderstorms? Have you got music about thunder and lightning?

    There's also a CD called Natural Blues that has some good thunder in it.

    This panorama taken from the internet shows lightning ove Bucharest.



Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I Wish You Wouldn't Share Some Things on Facebook

     Some Facebook people find it easy to share things with you that you would rather not have. Most of it's just junk but some of it leaves me with smoke coming out of my ears. Most inappropriate things I can ignore but some leave me fuming for days.

    So somebody shared this graphic with me the other day. The heading is "Problem not guns". There are three very prominent pistols pointing at you. Then it goes on to say(1) hearts without God, (2) Homes without discipline, (3)Schools without prayer, (4) courts without justice.There's a very small bible on the left and very small Jesus figure on the right. It concludes and asks you to say "Amen" if you agree with this.

    Now the reasoning is faulty. They are making some statements that are opinions not facts. They present an all or nothing choice! 

   Now for starters with me guns are a problem. I know some people will disagree with me and leave. However, people can have their opinions. So I cannot say Amen to guns. On (2) I wonder who says what's discipline and what's not? After 37 years of teaching , schools are no place for public and compulsory prayer. And (4) Our courts do a good job. It's not perfect but day in and day out they do what they are supposed to. They dispense the law as it's written.

   Now what really gets me is that they have put all five things in one and ask you to agree. If you don't agree with all things then you are  a dirty rotten fink. 

    This is a poorly disguised
 visual that is promoting guns and that guns are somehow or other related to issues that have nothing to do with guns. 

   So now I've got this off my chest and I feel better.

   Have any of you received this share?

Monday, July 18, 2016

National Sour Candy Day

    Can you believe it? Today is national sour candy day! Yes there must be national days for almost anything.

    A little bit is explained about sour candy. We are told how it's made and why it's enjoyable.

   We are also told how to enjoy national sour candy day. Yes, go out and buy some sour candy and eat it!

   Now at one time I liked candy as well as the next guy. Today I rarely eat any candy. I may eat the odd mint. I can even pass up on chocolates.

   Now when it comes to sour candy, I've never liked it so national sour candy day is a nonstarter with me.

   July 18 is also claimed by a few other ideas. (1) national caviar day, (2) national get out of the doghouse day, (3) National Hamilton day. I could pass on these three and not bother with any celebrations. Yes they tell you how to celebrate these days too.

    So once in awhile I check to see what national day it is. It's usually like July 18 where some   pretty dull things are celebrated.

    How about you? Do you make a habit of celebrating some of these odd
ball days?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Yes, It Is! No, It Isn't

     Silly little disagreements, like in the title, can arise from very innocent situations.

     The micro Manager and I have been in one of these little disagreements for three days.

     The origin of this little bicker was simple. The micro Manager said that her laundry tub hot tap was dripping. Could I replace the washer and fix it. Well , of course. That's an easy job.

     So with close supervision by the micro manager I replaced the washer. Okay , now check! Guess what? it's still dripping like before. We let it sit for a couple of hours to see if the drip stops . No way.

    What now? Well, replace the washer. It might have been faulty! Second washer, same as the first. Now our puzzlers were in overdrive. Well the washers were old so maybe buy some new washers and that will do the trick.

     At the beginning I asked the Micro Manager if she was sure it was the hot side.

     So a quick trip to Crappy Tire and a nice fresh package of washers. This should fix things. Dang! It still drips like before.

    More puzzling. Maybe it's the seat? Yes that's it . It's gotta be the seat.

     We're now on the third day and I'm still saying we've gotta check the cold side. More reasoning from the Micro Manager that it couldn't be the cold side. More reasoning about water runs downhill!!! Sure, but what's that go to do about this situation.

     Well finally, the micro manager agreed to check the cold  even though she said it will never work.

     Well, you guessed it. When I turned off the water supply from the hot, the drip kept dripping.

     Okay, now change the washer on the cold!

    So silly little arguments can start from very simple misunderstandings.  Am
I the only one who gets into yes, no, disagreements?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Decision Time

     I have not been taking very many photos this summer and it worries me. I like to be able to take many photos come home and look at them and throw most of them away. There's also the issue of being outdoors.

    Now a couple of years ago I got a reasonable point and shoot. I wanted a nice grip for the elderly fingers which sometimes get stiff and clumsy. I also wanted some zoom so this had an astounding 34 x. I like the camera and it can do more than I can do. It tells me what I've done and tells me what to do if I would only observe the monitor.

    I also like to bike every spare minute I can get. My plan was to put the camera in my bike bag, but the bike bag proved to be too small and there was the possibility of damage. I have got a good scratch on my monitor and I don't want any more of that nonsense.

    So I thought I'll use my old point and shoot as it has a case and fits in the bike bag nicely. This should really work.

    The first night with the old camera I saw a blue heron at my favorite beaver pond. Now herons make it easy. They pose for you. They pose a long time for you. So I shot a few photos. The heron was down in the gully a bit and it was in an area of shadow.

Okay I'll give you a nickel if you find the blue heron!

I think there's a blue heron in this photo.
     Well , when I got home and looked at the photos, I was disappointed. Really disappointed. Disappointed enough to not use the old point and shoot again.

   So back to my original problem. I need to fix something so that I can take the larger camera on my bike.

I do have a nice beaver pond to visit

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Challenges of a Good Walk

       Yesterday was a cool cloudy drizzly day. Since I couldn't do much else I decided to go for a walk. I like walking in miserable weather as there aren't many bugs and other walkers and cyclists tend to stay home so you have the place to yourself.

     Now I wanted to see some brown eyed susans and tiger lilies. I have to see these two flowers to make my summer complete.

     Usually I go alone as I'm a bit of a loner. However , the micro manager said she'd like to get out of the house and wanted to go with me. This was strange but it was fine with me. The Micro Manager usually stays in if there's the threat of a breeze or heaven forbid, a little cloud. 

     So off we went. I had my camera and she was just concentrating on walking. So with this situation we don't walk together much. I'm off the trail taking photos. When I walk, I walk too fast for her. 

I like this photo of the Micro Manager walking through the forest by herself.

     Now I really had problems taking photos. I couldn't get any sharp focus and sometimes just plain nothing. I got lucky a couple of times.

     There were lot of brown eyed susans ,but I was too late for the tiger lilies. I found bog orchids , blue eyed grass, bluebells, daisies and as many more that I couldn't name.

    Now we enjoyed the walk and didn't get wet even though there was some drizzle. We also stopped to look at the horses at the end of the walk.

    Once I got home I had to find out what I was doing wrong. . I was worried that there was something wrong with the camera. It only took a second to discover I was pushing the focus lever the opposite way. I guess I haven't used the camera for a while.

    I'm going to have to get out of the house more often.

    And then there was a baddie...lots of toad flax which is an invasive species.