BRING SOME SUNSHINE WITH YOU


Welcome to my humble blog.  Come on in and bring some sunshine with you.  Please don’t go away without saying hello.  It gets lonely here when nobody comes to visit so please stay for just a few minutes.  Even if you don’t find anything that interests you, go to leave a comment at the bottom of this message and tell me that you were here.  It won’t cost you a dime but it will warm an old man’s heart.  Thank you for being so kind.  If you would like me to return your visit, leave the link to your site.

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Gone But Not Forgotten


How can I be so busy
When I have so little to do?
I can build a chest of curly maple,
But not do blogging too.

When we took a holiday,
And went to the golden state.
Genealogy and home repairs
Simply had to wait.

Splitting kindling and shoveling snow
Should never take so long,
That I no longer find the time
To keep things where they belong.

Frequent posting on a blog
Seemed to be going nowhere.
So why should I keep it up
If nobody would notice or care?

So postings got farther apart
Until there were no more.
And nobody really cared,
Like I said before.

But then, to my surprise,
A message came one day
That simply asked the question,
Why have you gone away?

Now my thinking had to change
And turn around a bit.
For someone actually cared
And thought I shouldn’t quit.

So now, G.P., I offer thanks
For giving me a lift,
And putting me back on course
From where I’d been adrift.

But don’t expect too much
Or set your hopes any higher,
For the truth is very simple,
I am no ball of fire!

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THE LEGEND OF BLACKIE WALTER


Roy Nevada (Blackie) Walter was a free spirit who lived life pretty much on his own terms and in his own way. He showed no hesitation when it came to trying new things or going into risky situations. There are many stories of his exploits and an ample number of witnesses to verify their accuracy. Having been born in 1893, he was in his prime in the early years of the twentieth century.
He grew up riding horses and his ability to stay on top of a bucking horse was legendary. In the days before rodeo associations and contest rules there were only a few unwritten rules for making a successful ride. About the only rule regarding style was that pulling leather was a no-no but there was no eight second limit. To be a qualified ride, the rider had to stay in the saddle until the horse quit bucking and a minute on top of a mean bucking horse would be similar to a minute in the ring with a heavyweight boxer. Men have been known to be bleeding from the nose and badly disoriented after staying on a bucking horse until it quit bucking.
In those days before formal rodeos bucking horse contests often developed at community picnics. These picnics were a popular social event, especially on holidays such as the 4th of July. Folks who had a horse with a reputation for bucking would bring it to the picnic and challenge anyone to ride it. Probably a hat would be passed to collect a small reward for anyone who could make a qualifying ride and side bets made too. It was at one of these picnics in 1936 that Blackie took the challenge. A makeshift arena was set up by making a circle with the vehicles that were there. The way it was usually done was to blindfold the horse and hold him by the ears while a saddle was put on and the rider got settled into it. Then the horse was turned loose and the rider was on his own until he was bucked off or made a qualified ride. On this occasion Blackie was making a good ride in the makeshift arena but the horse decided to expand the territory and sailed over the hood of one of the vehicles. Blackie stayed in the saddle and made a clean ride. It was a ride that was talked about for years afterward.
There was a time in the local town when someone had a horse that could readily dump most riders and Blackie was approached with a bet that he couldn’t ride it. Blackie maneuvered the bet to a higher amount and accepted the challenge. There was no arena or other confinement and the horse had wicked bucking ability as well as exceptional stamina. He took a brutal pounding on the back of that horse but he made a clean ride. He finished with his nose bleeding and badly shaken. After collecting the bet he got on his horse and rode home. It was eight miles to his home and it was told that, when he got there, he went to bed. I have no way of knowing if that is true but it is certainly to be expected.
As years went by, rodeos became regular and planned events with arenas and regulations. Like all new ideas, there was a learning process where improvements to facilities and regulations developed slowly. Rules were perhaps just a little lax at our local rodeos and enforced even less. Many spectators would sit on the arena fence and some would even stand along the inside of the fence where they could have a close-up view of the action. And get a generous helping of dust! There was a definite lack of equipment for watering down the arena so it was often very dry and dusty.
We are talking about the days when Blackie had eaten enough birthday cake to take the edge off his ability to ride bucking horses. He still had a keen interest in the sport and attended as many rodeos as he could. At the local rodeos he could always be found among those who were inside the arena eating dust. There was a day when a horse was trying so hard to get out from under the rider that it outdid itself and fell. The crash stirred up such a cloud of dust that the horse and rider couldn’t be seen. Everyone was watching intently to see if the rider was still on board when the horse came out of the cloud. When the horse broke out into view the man in the saddle was Blackie!
Year after year Blackie continued to appear inside the arena fence at every rodeo. Even after he was walking with a cane. There finally came a time when the officials decided it was too risky and told him he had to stay outside of the arena. It wasn’t long until they decided not to let any spectators inside the arena.
Then there was the time when Jack, George and Boss were at an auction sale, standing on the outer perimeter of the crowd. Blackie wandered around to where they were, carrying a bullwhip he had bought. He had stopped to visit with the other three men when an item came up for bid that Boss wanted. Boss tried several times to get the auctioneer’s attention but they were far enough to his side that he didn’t catch Boss’ signals. Blackie asked, “Do you want me to get his attention?” When Boss indicated that he did, Blackie shook out the bullwhip and deftly removed the auctioneer’s hat with it.
For one last story we go back through the years to Blackie’s younger days. He was staying at a cabin in the mountains where he was looking after the cattle that were grazing in the area. With no other people for miles, the isolation made boredom a constant companion. Blackie would sometimes, during a long summer evening, lie on the bed and shoot flies on the ceiling with his 22 pistol. As long as the cabin stood it displayed the evidence for everyone to see.

Roy Nevada (Blackie) Walter

Roy Nevada (Blackie) Walter

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Introverts – Part 3


Introverts – Part 3. Here is a fantastic short story of human nature, resentment and foolhardy courage. I’m sure it would be worth your time to go there and read it.

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THE FRIENDSHIP OF ROY N. WALTER


Roy Nevada Walter, who was known to most people as “Blackie” was always a friend of mine. One of my earliest recollections of Blackie was when I was probably eight or nine years old. There were only three other boys in the neighborhood and I would ride my bicycle to their homes to see them and play with them. Two of those boys lived less than a mile away but Maurice Crabtree lived more like five miles away, as the crow flies but was more than six by the way an automobile had to go. The first time I had undertaken the trip to his house on my bicycle I had traveled about four miles when I met Blackie coming from the Crabtree place on horseback. He stopped to talk to me and told me how I could take a shortcut. He explained to me that the river was low enough that I could cross it by stepping from rock to rock and save myself more than a mile.

After that our paths crossed many times over the years and Blackie was always good to me and always tried to help me in any way he could. Often during those years I was a guest in the house and at the table of Blackie and his wife, Cora, where I was always warmly welcomed. An event that occurred during those years still comes to my mind often, sixty years later. I was working for Ray Compton at Compton Motors and Ray was wanting to retire. He offered the business to me and we had discussed it several times only to reach the conclusion that I didn’t have the necessary capital. As happens in a small community, word got out that I was considering buying the business and Blackie understood that the deal had been made. He came there with his pickup and bought a pair of tires. When it came to paying for the tires he made a comment that told me that he had bought the tires to give my business a boost. I had to tell him that I hadn’t bought the business and he expressed regret that I hadn’t but wished me luck anyhow.

Some years later, in the late 1960′s I had gone into a similar business a hundred miles away and Blackie came there to buy a pair of tires from me. While we were at that same place he made the trip there to spend a few days visiting with us. A point to remember is that he was approximately 75 years old at this time and had spent more of his life on the back of a horse than behind the wheel of a pickup. As he was approaching our place at the edge of town, another vehicle was following him too closely and making him nervous. The situation caused him to be apprehensive about slowing down enough to turn into our place so he continued along the street, looking for a place to turn around. Just past our place the street became four lane and the traffic alongside of him made him even more nervous. It made him so nervous that he was driving too far to the right and clipped a parked pickup. He parked and went into the gas station where the pickup was parked, expecting to be confronted about hitting the pickup. Nobody in the station said anything about it so he got back into his pickup and came back to our place. It was probably a couple of hours before the deputy sheriff came to ask about the person who owned the pickup that was parked outside. I went and talked to the owner of the other pickup who said that the damage to his pickup was so minimal that we could forget it. I found a used front fender for Blackie’s pickup and replaced it, keeping the cost low enough that the incident did not have to be reported but Blackie was still upset and apprehensive about it. We weren’t aware of how worried he was about it until the next morning when Fay asked him how he had slept and he replied, “Not very good.”
Fay asked, “Why not,” and he told her, “Too damn much worrying.” 
Then she asked him, “What do you have to worry about?”
His anguished reply was, “Oh, Chri-i-i-st, Fay!”
We assured him that he wasn’t in any trouble so he could enjoy the rest of his visit.

During the years that I knew Blackie his favorite beverages were coffee and whiskey. Wherever he was he wanted his coffee and, if it was outdoors, he wanted a campfire going and coffee brewing. At one time he had part of his stomach removed because of an ulcer. I think they were limited in the amount of his stomach they could remove because most of it was made of cast iron. The part of his stomach that remained had to be cast iron because he drank the strongest coffee he could find and drank it any hour of the day. In their house, the coffee pot sat on the back of the wood burning stove all day long, getting thicker and stronger. By the end of the day that coffee was so strong that all a person had to do was set a cup beside the pot and the coffee would climb out of the pot and into the cup. More than once I saw him pour a cup of that coffee and add a teaspoon or two of instant coffee to it.
There was a time when we were at the same picnic as Blackie was and I noticed that nobody had made any coffee. Not only had nobody made any coffee but there was nothing there for making coffee. I had a little coffee maker in my vehicle that plugged into the cigarette lighter and made three cups of coffee so I made some coffee for him. I made it quite strong and after he had tasted it I asked him, “How was the coffee?”
“Well, you could have put more coffee in it.” was his reply.
I told him, “I only had a pound.”

“Well, you should have put it in there.” was his instant response.

Photo

Blackie Walter in his senior years

Coming soon; The legend of Blackie Walter

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IS CLIMATE CHANGE FOR REAL? IV


CLIMATE CHANGE PART IV

As recently as September of 2013 the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was released to the public and it turns out to be rather embarrassing to the global warming fanatics. In 2007 IPCC claimed that the world was warming at a rate of 0.2c every ten years but the new report has revised that to a mere 0.12c per decade. The report also says that there has been no discernable increase in temperature since 1997. Furthermore, they are unable to explain why the Antarctic sea ice has increased rather than decreasing as they had predicted. IPCC has also admitted that large parts of the world were as warm as they are now for decades at a time between 950 AD and 1250 AD when there were far fewer people and no industrial pollution.

Those who are trying to sell us on the global warming theory seem to prefer to ignore the effects of the jet stream. When the jet stream followed a fairly straight path from west to east around the globe there was a minimum of mixing between the temperature zones. The result was that, in the winter months, the cold was locked in the arctic and subarctic regions where it increased day by day in the absence of the warming sun. These temperatures would go to minus 60°f. or 70°f. and cover enormous areas. The many months of this super frigid cold created snow and ice packs in the arctic regions that couldn’t be melted in one summer season. There were occasions when the jet stream would waver and permit a surge of one of these masses of super cold air to plunge down across North America, bringing disastrous results such as The Children’s Blizzard of 1888. In David Laskin’s book with that title, one can read the description, “In three minutes the front subtracted eighteen degrees from the air’s temperature. Then evening gathered in and temperatures kept dropping in the northwest gale. By morning on Friday, January 13, 1888, more than a hundred children lay dead on the Dakota-Nebraska prairie.”
In more recent times the jet stream has taken a looping path that dips all the way down into Mexico at times. This has many effects on our weather but one of the most important is the effect on the arctic climate. By repeatedly bringing arctic air down into the temperate and sub-tropic regions it prevents the arctic regions from holding back and intensifying the cold air. Because the arctic air does not have a chance to become so severely cold, the air that rides down on the jet stream is not as cold and the arctic regions do not get as cold. It follows then, that the winter buildup of ice is less and melts more quickly during the summer.
Another effect of this looping jet stream is being felt along the path of its northward sweep after it has been in the warm, southern region. When the warm, moist air that it picked up collides with the colder air in the more northern regions the result is huge amounts of precipitation in the form of rain or snow.
I am going to conclude this series by tossing out a question. What would the effects be on the world climate if the jet stream were to dip so far south that it didn’t come back? Could these deep loops be the first stages of the jet stream changing its path around this ball of earth to a pole-to-pole route rather than a west to east path? It doesn’t take much imagination to get a picture of the profound and devastating effects.
What produces the jet streams and what influences them is an unsolved mystery. Since mankind does not have these answers mankind certainly can’t claim to have any influence or control.

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IS CLIMATE CHANGE FOR REAL? III


CLIMATE CHANGE PART III
The current ice age, the Pliocene-Quaternary glaciation, started about 2.58 million years ago during the late Pliocene, when the spread of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere began. Since then, the world has seen cycles of glaciation with ice sheets advancing and retreating on 40,000- and 100,000-year time scales called glacial periods, glacials or glacial advances, and inter-glacial periods, inter-glacials or glacial retreats. The earth is currently in an inter-glacial, and the last glacial period ended about 10,000 years ago, although technically we are still in the ice age because there are still ice packs or sheets in some parts of the world. All that remains of the continental ice sheets are the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and smaller glaciers such as on Baffin Island.

Another meteor impact that was unnoticed and given little notice for a long time was the Eltanin meteor that slammed-dunked into deep ocean water in the south Pacific.

A team of Australian researchers says that because the Eltanin meteor—which was up to two kilometers across—crashed into deep water, most scientists have not adequately considered either its potential for immediate catastrophic impacts on coastlines around the Pacific rim or its capacity to destabilize the entire planet’s climate system.

“This is the only known deep-ocean impact event on the planet and it’s largely been forgotten because there’s no obvious giant crater to investigate, as there would have been if it had hit a landmass,” says Professor James Goff, lead author of a forthcoming paper in the Journal of Quaternary Science. Goff is co-director of UNSW’s Australia-Pacific Tsunami Research Centre and Natural Hazards Research Laboratory.

“But consider that we’re talking about something the size of a small mountain crashing at very high speed into very deep ocean, between Chile and Antarctica. Unlike a land impact, where the energy of the collision is largely absorbed locally, this would have generated an incredible splash with waves literally hundreds of meters high near the impact site.

“Some modeling suggests that the ensuing mega-tsunami could have been unimaginably large—sweeping across vast areas of the Pacific and engulfing coastlines far inland. But it also would have ejected massive amounts of water vapor, sulphur and dust up into the stratosphere. “The tsunami alone would have been devastating enough in the short term, but all that material shot so high into the atmosphere could have been enough to dim the sun and dramatically reduce surface temperatures. Earth was already in a gradual cooling phase, so this might have been enough to rapidly accelerate and accentuate the process and kick start the Ice Ages.”

In the paper, Goff and colleagues from UNSW and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, note that geologists and climatologists have interpreted geological deposits in Chile, Antarctica, Australia, and elsewhere as evidence of climatic change, marking the start of the Quaternary period. An alternative interpretation is that some or all of these deposits may be the result of mega-tsunami inundation, the study suggests.

“There’s no doubt the world was already cooling through the mid and late Pliocene,” says co-author Professor Mike Archer. “What we’re suggesting is that the Eltanin impact may have rammed this slow-moving change forward in an instant—hurtling the world into the cycle of glaciations that characterized the next 2.5 million years and triggered our own evolution as a species.
The effects of these meteor impacts are real and devastating beyond imagination with their effects lasting for thousands of years. It is quite natural for us to think that it will not happen to us but miniature collisions are happening so an earth-shattering collision could be on the way at any time.
Part four of this series will look at an element of our climate that doesn’t seem to rate any mention even though it has effects that we witness every day.

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IS CLIMATE CHANGE FOR REAL? Part II


CLIMATE CHANGE PART II

In part one I covered the significant effects of volcanic activity on the climate of the earth. In this part I am going to give a very brief summary of the totally devastating effects of objects from outer space colliding with the earth. There have been so many of these, known as asteroids or meteors, that scientists are constantly finding evidence of them in new places. Most of them are small like the one that recently slammed into Russia and the effects are only felt in a local area but some of them in the past have been huge and changed the climate of the entire world so drastically that most living things were wiped out. Recovery from some of these has taken thousands of years.
There have been at least five major ice ages in the Earth’s past. Outside these ages, the Earth seems to have been ice-free even in high latitudes.
Rocks from the earliest well established ice age, called the Huronian, formed around 2.4 to 2.1 billion years ago during the early Proterozoic Eon and can be found 10–100 km north of the north shore of Lake Huron extending from near Sault Ste. Marie to Sudbury, northeast of Lake Huron, with giant layers of now-lithified till beds, dropstones, varves, outwash, and scoured basement rocks.
The next well-documented ice age, and probably the most severe of the last billion years, occurred from 850 to 630 million years ago (the Cryogenian period) and may have produced a Snowball Earth in which glacial ice sheets reached the equator, possibly being ended by the accumulation of greenhouse gases such as CO2 produced by volcanoes. “The presence of ice on the continents and pack ice on the oceans would inhibit both silicate weathering and photosynthesis, which are the two major sinks for CO2
The Andean-Saharan occurred from 460 to 420 million years ago, during the Late Ordovician and the Silurian period.

The evolution of land plants at the onset of the Devonian period caused a long term increase in planetary oxygen levels and reduction of CO2 levels, which resulted in the Karoo Ice Age. It is named after the glacial tills found in the Karoo region of South Africa, where evidence for this ice age was first clearly identified. There were extensive polar ice caps at intervals from 360 to 260 million years ago in South Africa during the Carboniferous and early Permian Periods. Correlatives are known from Argentina, also in the center of the ancient supercontinent Gondwanaland.

65 million years ago, an asteroid, the size of the Isle of Wight, slammed into the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico at 20 times the speed of a bullet causing earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis and wildfires. This was named the Chicxulub crater and is probably the largest impact crater on earth.
At about the same time a chain of volcanic eruptions in India at what is known as the Deccan Traps spewed smoke and ash into the atmosphere for years, adding to the devastating effects of the Chicxulub impact.
The destruction, 65 million years ago, was so great it left most of the world a wasteland, shrouded in dust, perpetually cold and virtually devoid of all life and vegetation.
The dinosaurs, which had ruled for 160 million years, were wiped out in a matter of days. Large marine reptiles, like the mosasaurs and the plesiosaurs, the flying reptiles known as pterosaurs, giant snail-like ammonites and many species of marine plankton, were also obliterated. Bird species also suffered losses but survived.
Some mammals survived, however, ultimately setting the stage for the rise of human beings.
The conclusion by a panel of 41 international scientists, that it was an asteroid that caused the disappearance of the dinosaurs, has come in a bid to end decades of speculation.
This is real and terrifying climate change. It is not speculation built on a few isolated areas of temperature change and it points out the futility and the fallacy of the idea that mankind is going to have any significant influence on the climate of the earth.

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WHEN SHADOWS ARE GETTING LONG


I recently submitted this poem to a local writer’s contest. I am posting it here so visitors will have something to read while they wait for something worthwhile to appear in this blog.

 

WHEN SHADOWS ARE GETTING LONG

BY Jim Fuller

Leaves losing their grip and drifting to the ground.
Crickets tuning up to play their cheerful autumn song.
The honking overhead is geese southward bound.
Oh, so many signs that the shadows are getting long.

There are pumpkins on the vine and fields are full of grain,
Scarecrows are on guard to keep the pests away.
Halloween is coming soon, all the signs are very plain.
And the Frost known as Jack is coming here to stay.

But today the sun is bright, and warm upon his back,
As a man of many seasons recalls his days long gone.
When he thinks of all the years, he sort of loses track,
Tho he knows that, like the season, his shadow is getting long.

In that shadow is a sadness, a feeling of being alone,
For his friends have already gone, so he’ll see them nevermore.
He lives now with memories that are his very own,
And the haunting question of what the future has in store.

As if such thoughts are tiring, his head begins to nod,
And he drifts into his dreams where nothing can go wrong.
Where the ones he loved so dearly still dwell above the sod.
For the man and for the season the shadows are getting long.

A voice is gently calling and there’s a tender touch,
That brings him to reality and all it has in store.
His eyes behold a grandchild that he has missed so much,
And the day now has promise that wasn’t there before.

On his feet and standing tall, a smile upon his face,
They walk together, young and old, and hear the cricket’s song.
The sun beaming down makes the world a happy place,
Where friendships are warm and solid when the shadows are getting long.

 

 

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Government Chaos


➻➻➻ Without government, some declare,
Total chaos would be the way.
But how do you think that would compare,
With the way things are today? ➻➻➻

Mister Marty by Jim Fuller

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IS CLIMATE CHANGE FOR REAL?


Of course we have climate change. The climate has been changing constantly since the beginning of the earth and will continue to change forever regardless of anything that humans do. Sometimes the change is slow and moderate but other times it is sudden and violent. We humans tend to think that the way things are today is normal and that it will always be this way. There are some who think that any changes are unnatural and must be caused by humans. This idea reminds me of the story about the elephant and a mouse crossing a bridge at the same time and the mouse saying, “We sure made that bridge shake, didn’t we?” Similarly, the earth’s climate is influenced by forces far bigger and stronger than anything mere humans are capable of. As recently as 1883 a volcano named Krakatoa erupted in the East Indies, and the cloud of ash caused a year without a summer over much of the earth. If three or four of this type of volcano were to erupt in overlapping time periods the result would a catastrophic change of climate that humankind would be powerless to do anything about.
Krakatoa seemed like a drastic change of climate but it was very minor and brief compared to some events in the more distant past. Scientist have been busy for years probing into the earth, the ocean floor and the ice caps and they have accumulated a wealth of knowledge about the history of the earth going back millions of years. They have found that hits and near misses by asteroids have caused astronomical and violent changes in the climate. Some of those changes were so sudden and so extreme that most of the living things on the earth were wiped out and recovery took thousands of years.

Krakatoa in 1883

Krakatoa in 1883

In 1783 The volcano Laki in Iceland begins an 8-month eruption starting the chain of natural disasters  known as the Móðuharðindin, killing tens of thousands throughout Europe, including up to 33% of Iceland’s population, and causing widespread famine. It has been described as one of “the greatest environmental catastrophes in European history. In the eastern United States the winter temperature fell 4.8c degrees below the 225 year average and took nearly seven years to return to normal.

History indicates a natural tendency for the climate of the earth to be warm but a series of violent events have plunged it into deep frigid eras that lasted for very long periods of time. But still, other events scorched most of the earth, leaving a layer of black residue. Some of these events will be covered in future posts.

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