Monday, November 30, 2015

Grand Canyon, Huge does not describe it.

You can hear about it and see pictures, but it is like most everything you must see to understand the enormity of it. To be honest, I did not expect to be impressed, but it is impossible not to be.
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(Me (with hair) Sherry and her sister Colette.)
One of NC's tallest mountains  is Grandfather’s Mountain.  It is 5,946’ from sea level, so it only projects 2,444’ there are mountains in the grand canyon over twice that high.  It always amazes me to look DOWN on soaring hawks and Eagles.
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(That projection is about a mile high and in the canyon)
We went to the South Rim where the RV park is located. From the South rim, there is only one path down into the canyon. We walked down a piece.
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Mama and Colette weren't happy when it became narrow, so we turned around. We did not meet any donkeys, You can rent a donkey ride down to the Ghost Ranch. Friends, Vondale and Rose, did that.
You can also take a raft ride thru the canyon or Helicopter ride.

We did not go there, but the latest addition to the tourists attraction is the Sky Walk. built and managed by the Hualapai Tribe.
A Glass walkway 4,000 feet above the canyon base.
I took these pictures off their web site.  I do not know the cost, and I think it is a long way from the South Rim.
To give you an idea how big the canyon is, it stretches 277 miles, up to 18 miles wide and over 6,000 ft. deep. (A mile is 5,280 ft)
When the sun hits the walls ‘right’ the color jumps out at you. Sunsets are spectacular.
We were only here once, there are restriction now on RV’s so we probably won’t make it back.
But it is a fantastic place to visit.
Nite Shipslog
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Sherry and Colette in Elvis’s Pink Jeep! (at Graceland)
Custmized Merc, from Elvis’s time.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Remembering, helpful hints

Age brings on memory problems. I think back to school how I learned the months of the year and their days with:

Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November;
All the rest have thirty-one
Excepting February alone:
Which has twenty-eight, that's fine,
Till leap year gives it twenty-nine.

The Military was great with pneumonic’s. The last place I worked was NIPSTRAFAC, Naval Intelligence Processing Systems Training Facility. We were called Nips for short.

Naval weather forecast:


Red sky at night, sailor's delight,
Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.

If you are navigating a ship/boat it is good to know:

RRR: Red Right Returning (Keep the red buoys on your right when entering a port.)


Then common sense…Red on the left when leaving port.


I had never heard this one until son-Jack came home from school in GITMO with a home work assignment, and in it was a saying I had not heard:

A pint is a pound the World around. (16 oz)

 What brought this subject up I asked Sherry to put some drops in my eyes.  At that time I remember  a  doctor’s statement: I tell my patients to put the drops toward the outer part of the eye, because: “IF IT IS CLOSE TO THE NOSE, THAT IS WHERE IT GOES!”

I am always looking for an interesting subject for a blog entry, so I asked my wife could she remember any, memory rhymes. She looked at me sweetly and said:


(Horshack of  the sweat-hogs)


So we both got our belly laugh for the day!

Mnemonic for remembering the notes in the treble clef (I played the trumpet as a kid):


The lines of the clef:
Every Good Boy Does Fine (E, G, B, D, F)

The spaces of the clef:

What year did Alaska and Hawaii become states:

'59 was the date,
When Alaska and Hawaii became new states


And in English, one I remember is:

I before E except after C,
and when sounding like "ay" as in Neighbor or Weigh
(unfortunately there are a bunch of exceptions including 'weird' and names like 'Sheila' and 'Freidman')


In closing: my Commanding Officer told me as an instructor always use the KISS method:


I am sure everyone has heard or used a lot of memory shortcuts or aids. Do you have a favorite?

Nite Shipslog

PS: This one is very good to know,  I used it on one of our hikes recently to ID a Coral from a King:

Red on yellow hurt a fellow, Red on Black is a friend of Jack.




Above is listed as Simple…….. (but not)

This Model A is simple……


This below is simply stupid or just simply RICH!

neat snow plow

A Rolls Royce snow plow…

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Parched Peanuts


When we picked up the Pecans Sherry’s cousin gave us a couple gallons of whole pecans, small size.  He also gave us 5 gallons of peanuts.


I love pecans, but the peanut has a big history in my family. The first job daddy had after he and mama were married was that of a share-cropper with a p-nut farmer. One of dad’s best stories was that the man didn’t put much faith in him to grow peanuts on that particular farm, he didn’t care if he was a ‘praying man’, but they would give it a try. Dad said that year he raised a boxcar full of peanuts.  Everyone was amazed that he and mama could raise and harvest all those nuts. He had proven himself a young farmer, and a praying man.


As a little shaver when visiting great Grandpa Hilly, Dad’s maternal grandpa, most evenings we would gather around to hear stories by the old folk and eat peanuts parched in the fireplace. There ain’t nothing that makes a bigger ‘looking’ mess than 8-10 people eating parched peanuts and throwing the shells back in the fire.  It always looks worse than it is. Grandpa  said, the shell scraps help hold the dust down when you are sweeping up.


I like peanuts when they are green just out of the ground, I like them dry and raw.  Of course I like them parched, and I like them salted. Growing up  at our house, very many days there was the smell of parched peanuts. Oh yeah, and peanut butter.


Son Mark likes peanuts, he always gets a lion’s share when Ralph give us the Georgia peanuts.

I like boiled peanuts, we never had boiled nuts at our house, so I looked on the net for a recipe.  You can forget me fixing them. BUT I will now appreciate the guys along the road selling them. The recipe  said throw some sea salt in and  boil them for 3 hours, if they  aren’t to your liking, boil them 3 more hours. WOW!


AS I type this, Sherry is cracking pecans.  She has already parched us some peanuts.


(Sherry misread it, thought it was baby butter!)

Thanks for reading this nutty entry.

Nite Shipslog

PS: One thing I never knew about peanuts growing up. I NEVER knew that there are some folk with a serious ‘deadly’ allergy to peanuts. I am glad that is not me.


Not everything revolves around vehicles, but many do!



Friday, November 27, 2015

Little House on the Prairie

I remember Michael Landon on the Ponderosa. I thought he had lost it when he starred in ‘The little House on the Prairie’. But bringing Laura Ingles Wilder’s stories of Prairie life alive was a hit.

Mellissa Gilbert was wonderful playing Laura.  One of the problems of being portrayed, the actress actually becomes the other person in ‘The eyes of the audience, us.’

We learned this when we stopped by DeSmit, South Dakota.  In DeSmit the focus is on the real Laura Ingles Wilder not the Laura of the TV Series. But to me some one is missing the boat for PR,  Like it or not,  The rest of the world knows this family as Laura Ingles Family:

the Ingles TV

This is the real Charles and Caroline ingles.


And below, this is the Real Laura Ingals Wilder the famous writer:

Laura Ingles Wilder

But to us who watched TV, This is Laura Ingles. with very good casting I think.


We enjoyed our (2) stops at DeSmit, SD.  I learned a lot and it is very interesting to learn more of the real life of Laura and her family.


This was a house that Pa built.


This was the Surveyors house. He let the Ingles live in it over the BAD winter. Laura recorded that this had saved their lives, the old cabin on the hill could not have been heated thru that tough winter.


These trees still stand that Pa planted. the monument on the hill (and below) is where the little house on the Prairie stood.


I love history, and I enjoyed the TV series.  It is hard for us who did not know Laura as the famous writer, to picture anyone other than Melissa Gilbert when we hear “Half Pint”.

If you would ever get to South Dakota, DeSmit is a nice respite.  You can go a little further and take in the Corn Palace and the Badlands.

Nite Shipslog



1940 Ford Convertable

1941 Graham hollywood

1941 Graham

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving,THANKFUL, YOU BET!

Thanksgiving is a great time. It is usually a family time.  We have enjoyed Many great Thanksgivings in our lives. When the boys were young, we usually had a pretty big meal. Sherry had some favorites she always produced.
When the Boys married with families of their own there was a responsibility to their mate’s family, things sorta slacked off some.  My experience has been that the men sort of migrate to their wives families.  I understood that because I actually spent more holidays with Sherry’s family than mine.
Pictures are from our last family Thanksgiving Dinner @ Mark’s house.  Mark and Sherry cooked, Grandkids brought stuff in.  WE had two tables.
After the meal!
I loved it, we have always gotten along great.  It was NEVER just the family get together, it was the idea of counting your blessings. They are so many I  cannot list them all.

But I will list some:
There is first, the family itself. Thankful.
Health of the entire family.  Thankful.
WE have never even come close to being hungry. Thankful.
Good Jobs, fair pay. Very Thankful
Friends?  Wow. I am confident we have friends who would come to our aid, in time of need. NO QUESTIONS ASKED. Thankful
Friends? Some we have never met, who have and will, give moral support and prayers, just for the asking.
INTERNET, Motorhome, publishing companies, readers, cars, houses, good roads, grandkids, great grandkids and even grand-dogs.
(Janie at our last Thanksgiving together she got the ham bone)
For me? It would be impossible to explain how thankful I am for my wife. We went around the world to get here, and she stayed. We finally have everything and more that a 17 year old  skinny high school drop out promised.
But she stayed thru some thin times.
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I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. We will not have a home cooked meal, we will eat @ the Farm House Restaurant, But I will have memories as I look across the table at my beautiful lady. We will say a prayer for our extended family, and be THANKFUL FOR ANOTHER YEAR TOGETHER.
I also am very thankful for everyone who follows or reads my drivel, you are the best.

Nite Shipslog