Thursday, February 27, 2020

John Deere and Those Who Love Them

In my stomping ground

My father once told me that I was a farm girl, that is all I would ever be.  My intelligence told me that this would not be.

Now, with a farm girl's genes, I smile whenever I see a John Deere tractor. Given that, seeing the following videos makes my smiles bigger. Yes, I know. These little boys were too young to be doing this, that riding these is amazingly dangerous.

It is a farming thing. 

Grandpas teach the Dads, and then the Dads teach their offspring. The level of safety has increased tremendously. Their parents are next to them, filming them, watching them. But the biggest things are that the parents are teaching them, instilling in them a respect for life and work. And even more important, they are learning to understand safety and how to avoid injury.

Below are videos of children learning that and more. Each is about 3 minutes, except the last one which is 6 minutes.

These are 4 brothers moving hay to feed cows. The youngest
brother (little blond sweetie) is riding with an older brother.

My brothers were on tractors by the time they were 10-12 yrs. old.  In fact, every farm boy was licensed to drive farm vehicles on public roads by the time they were 14. I even had to drive an old Ford to help dump corn for the hogs. I was 9 and I was terrified.

Farm kids are outside working with their parents. Electronics are in the house. Which would you choose?

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Illustrated Man

Source of Inspiration

This is the era of tattoos, from what I have seen. No, these tattooed people are not rough ready motorcyclists, but many are normal everyday people.  Dads pushing strollers and Grandmas with a walker are not uncommon.

Many with beautiful tattoos will gladly talk about them with others/me who ask about them. Those are exquisite and well-chosen designs.

Ray Bradbury is a master of short stories, which is my joy (I will never write a book.) The list of books holding these delights is long holding treasures. Each of these short stories are something unexpected. “The Ray Bradbury Theater” television show presented adapted versions of some of his short stories. 

But, The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury is astounding.  It was adapted for a movie in 1969 with the same title.  Summary:

William Philippus Phelps is the protagonist who seeks help from an old blind woman. These are not the ordinary tattoos as might expect, but ones telling The Future. Phelps finds himself covered with the tattoos, each one a story that comes to pass.

Oh boy howdy. 

about 9 minutes long, worth watching

about 2 minutes

About 2 minutes

Each segment of this book presents the question: Is such creative imagination dangerous? Is it about destiny? Do the tattoos predict the future? Or, does man's imagination create it?

A short story, all can handle a short story, time wise. Could you?

***Side note:  Why did I chose to write this post about Ray Bradbury and this short story about tattoos?

Well, I will tell you.  When my mother was 80, we were at a gas station that actually had a guy who filled the tank.  His arms were covered in meaningful tattoos. Mom said that she wanted a tattoo. The guy blinked a few times and asked what tattoo would she get.  She replied that she would like to get a snake just above her knee. The guy blinked some more. She then said that boys would try to reach under her skirt and the tattoo would scare them.  Yup. He blinked some more and then I paid him. Great memory.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

In the Bleak of Winter

cover photo, Image may contain: bird and tree
Winter and  Cardinal
One the most beautiful birds ever
Depending where you are, it is winter. In Australia, a fire is still being fought in its their roasting heat winter.  In stretches across the U.S., Midwest, East and Northern states are having a cold winter, with snow in parts and bitter wind for all.

Not too much to say about winter, except it gets cold and snowy and windy in many places.  Here is performance of the Boys Choir in Kings College Cambridge. The poem is written by Christine Rossetti, a renown poet.

YouTube about 4 minutes long

Beautifully sung. A little on the slow side, so I would fast forward.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

The Attack of the.......

More photos available that are truly worthwhile to see
at Peterson's Donut Corner in Escondido, CA
I drove by this corner nearly every day on my way to teaching; I did not stop.
 In a July 2018 post, Who comes up with this stuff, my husband will watch any movie that has a bad plot, weak writing, unknown actors, poor filming, and some sort of monster.  In one of a previous posts, it was mutant alligators
But that word could be substituted with MUTANT anacondas, dinosaurs, spiders, worms (Tremors..the first one was good; others not so much), ants, or any other species that could be creepy.

Yesterday, another bad movie appeared: 
The Attack of the Killer Donuts.

Donuts/doughnuts should never have this moniker. Yes, donuts are bad for us.*  Fried and covered with some sort of sweet stuff, donuts are bad for us and technically could be blamed as a part of a diet that could really add to health problems.  But, oh yes, they are good.

This has everything a bad movie should have, including a scantily clad  girl scampering to get away from the donuts.  It has experienced actor C. Thomas Howell as the "name" that is supposed to give the movie some credit.

In the past history of "Attack of the....." movies, here are some titles:

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, 

Attack of the Clones (Star Wars), 

Attack of the Dead Men (which is a serious accounting of WW1 German poisonous gases), 

Attack of the 50 ft. woman, and

Attack of the Titans, an anime, a Japanese animation which is actually pretty good). 

There are others that I cannot find, but this title is too good to waste. It could be argued that "Godzilla Attacks" could qualify.

These movies appeal to my husband and surely other men who like to ridicule them but continue to watch them. As my husband watches these works of art, I write; head phones are a marvelous invention.

*Okay, they are bad for us, but once now and then? I leave that up to you.

# Scantily clad girl. Does she survive?  Hmm.

AotKD 4
I hope this photo can be seen.

This was as large as my head. My gr-daughters shared this with me.
I don't like apple fritters--heartburn.
View the costs
Photo of Peterson's Donut Corner - Escondido, CA, United States. Yessss. The glazed twist! Super fluffy. And so very large.
Someone, not me, will eat all of this.
Now, I am certain that you will go on line to find this classic movie. Enjoy.

This is a repost of Sept. 2018, with edits.

Monday, February 17, 2020

A Town Lost in Time

Stones are silent, with homes built up on the side of the mountain

One afternoon seemed much like the other as markets opened their shops, as wives and mothers swept out the dust and mud that had built up from the day before. A normal day for Aemilia and her two sons, she waited for the next shaking of the earth.

Aemilia's husband had shrugged off her worries. Calvus held no concerns at all for the shaking. Vulcan and Hephaestus were at work in the holy mountain, Calvus reassured her.  Just make an offering to Vulcan, pour dark red wine on the rocks by the temples, and all will be just fine.

The ground shook all through the day and into the night. There, Calvus stated, see the smoke rising from his forge. 

The sky exploded and smoke became a billowing monster of gray and black. Before Aemilia could gather her sons to her side and Calvus could run back home, fire and ash rained down on them. She had no time to even cry out as she clutched the boys to shield them with her body. 

In brief moments the ash settled on them, cloaking them in gray death. Her home in Pompeii was now lost in time.  

video we took  from across the Bay of Naples
I hope this video plays, but if not, oh well.

We were looking down on the bay of Naples. Having just come from Pompeii where some of the town had been excavated, we could only start to imagine what true horror had happened. 

Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum.jpg
Destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum, John Martin 1821

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Free Frank McWorter, New Philadelphia, Illinois

African American Patriots: Unsung Heroes (2014) by Wishum Gregory
Unsung heroes
February is National Black History Month. While most people do not think about this, this history has a lot of meaning to all, black and white. Each of the people below changed the lives of black slaves and their descendants for all.

Many can or should recall Martin Luther King, jr and his world changing moral stance on past and current saga of African Americans.  

Many can or should remember Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave who created "The underground railroad".  A movie "Harriet" presented history of this incredible woman.

Tuskegee Airmen from World War 2? History on these brave pilots should be researched by all who find interest in fighter pilots. 

Dorie Miller, a cook on a destroyer in the Pearl Harbor attack, manned an anti-aircraft gun and defended his ship. Then he tended to the injured.  He was the first Black American awarded the Navy Cross. He died in action in 1943.  

We did not and will not get to meet these heroes. But in my home area, another hero made changes in lives.  Free Frank McWorter, a freed black slave, created a town called New Philadelphia, in Pike County, Illinois. I have driven by this monument to him many times over my years at home.

YouTube, about 5 minutes long  

YouTube about 50 seconds long

Only those people outside Pike County Illinois may not have heard of, or even thought about these men. All I can say is that Free Frank McWorter was a hero in every sense of the word. Those from Pike County, Illinois, know and recognize him as important to all around him.

This changed Pike County and its view of slavery.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

True or False?

Evil Kermit Meme | IS IT TRUE OR FALSE? CORRECT | image tagged in memes,evil kermit | made w/ Imgflip meme maker
With all the media available in our modern era, it is difficult to know what is actually being seen.  What can one believe as true, false, or something in between? Who said what, was it complete or was it edited? 

Truth is truth, pure and unfiltered. False is deliberately made to deceive. Truth never changes, no matter how many want to change it.  False always is a lie, meant to seduce.

Given that build-up, here are some videos from Demotivateur cakes  (FaceBook site) They are about 4 minutes long, although one may be longer. Take the time to enjoy them. There will be some demos showing how some are created.

Therein lies the rub:  Are you being deceived? Do you perceive what is real or what is not?

I don't know about you, but I am pulling the Kitchen Aide and recipes. Or maybe we will go to some great cake bakery. I think I saw one off Murrieta Hot Springs or Winchester Avenue.  Money is no object.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A Falling I Will Go

Cheezburger Image 2549623808
Gotta respect the cat
Take a fall, I will,
Up or down,
Stairs or flat path,
Fall, I will.

Some say it is a talent,
Some say it is a curse,
And I just say
Fall, I will.

Not a tumble, no.
Not a trip, no.
But a full on down you go,
Fall, I will.

You ask why I claim
That I will fall.
You may wonder
Why I will fall.

God only knows.
I wish it were not so.
But this I can tell you:
Fall, I will.

You Tube: stunt man shows how to be safe when falling

My children and grandchildren have commented about my falling (which has been near disastrous) many time. I shrug my shoulders and say the above.

Monday, February 10, 2020

No tickling, Elmo


Christmas toys have evolved over the decades.

  In different magazines (Reminisce, for example), readers share how difficult it was for parents to manage to save enough money to buy or make one toy for Christmas.

Not the case now.  Visit Wal-Mart and discover toy heaven.  Toys-R-Us was dedicated to floor-to -ceiling toys. There is now a retro-toy boom, which is just fine with me.  I like Roy Rogers lunch boxes.

Husband has refused to watch Rudolph or the Island of Mis-Fit toys.  Five decades is enough, he announced.  In fact, no more animated/clay motion shows will be watched.  It’s a Wonderful Life and White Christmas are acceptable and enjoyed.

Our own memories provide enough entertainment. Until...

Do you remember Tickle Me Elmo™?  How it seemed that the little orange red monster would giggle, talk, and roll around seemingly without stopping?  We never found it appealing or amusing, but the other set of grandparents did and gave it to itty-bit.  Our just-then two year old gr-daughter did not enjoy it at all.
In fact, it scared the daylights out of her.
Her daddy switched it on, and little girl hid around the corner, peering at it with wide eyes.  Then he turned it on again and she ran away completely.

Before we left, sweet girl had boxed up silent Elmer in its original box.  “Take it, Gawpie! Take away!”  Chuckles from the parents, she put the box down on the floor.

Kisses and hugs, and then little girl carried the box and set it on the sidewalk.  “Take away! You take away!”

Her eyes were tearing up and Daddy held her.  It’ll be fine.  She’ll get used to it. We left, no Elmo in hand.

Elmo sat hidden in a closet for a year before little girl-turned-three would let it roll around the carpet.

Commonsense, where art thou?

This is a re-post from 2015, when our gr-daughter was about 11 yrs. at that time. Her battle with Elmo when she was just that: itty-bitty. 

Now, she is 15.5 years old. Earrings are perfect.

Saturday, February 8, 2020

And the Award Goes

attendees in 1939

Here they are again: Hollywood Self-Aggrandizement Award Ceremony Fests. Oh, how I hate them.  

There will be some great nominations this year, much to my surprise. These movies I rate by my accurate system: How many times do I have to go to the bathroom?

My bladder is almost always correct. What measures the excellence of the movie is how and what I experience throughout the movie and its conclusion. 

Was I emotionally engaged? Did the plot have me traveling with it? Were the characters actors portraying some other person other than themselves? The ending does not have to be fairy tale happily ever after, but it does have to be make some kind of sense. 

The movie must, absolutely must keep me enthralled. Go to the toilet during the previews, yes. But stay to catch every other scene.

Movies that have a clear "And then... where the sequel is in your face" will lead me to question Why? Is a sequel needed? Or does the film holds it own without further travel?

We had no expectations about any movies at any point. The following two movies surprised us. 

Go see this entertaining movie which received excellent reviews. "Uplifting, refreshing" are the reviewer comments: Knives Out. Top notch actors and script appeared. Very much on the lines of Agatha Christie, this movie kept us both in our seats.

Knives Out movie review
4.5 stars out of 5

Another worthwhile movie is "1917". History of WW1 and WW2 always catches and amazes me. The How and Why of those time periods and of the young soldiers fills me with both anger and sorrow. In this movie, two young men have to carry orders to the front, telling to postpone a large offensive. 

No bathroom breaks with these two, I can tell you. None whatsoever.
Why do we go to movies? Why do you go to movies, if you do go? 

YouTube 1970
True Grit Oscar Award

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

To be seen, but not to be heard

What the Deaf Man Heard - Hallmark DVD
1997 What the Deaf Man Heard

When my father finally admitted that he needed a hearing aid, we sighed with relief. Decades of handling farm equipment had damaged his hearing as it had to all the other farmers his age.  We tired of repeating and dealing with his frustration, and I am guessing other families did as well.

We made some assumptions just how much he could hear with his new hearing aids. They weren’t 100% and has a tired old acronym: to assume makes an ass of you and me.

That is what we did, thinking we could talk in the kitchen and he would not hear what we said from the living room. We discovered this early on, which was fortunate.

 YouTube: 10 min. "Making of Deaf Man

In a 1997 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, What the Deaf Man Heard**, Sammy (played by Matthew Modine) is left on a bus when his mother is murdered. She had always and repeatedly warned him to “keep quiet”, which Sammy took to the extreme. The bus station manager and wife informally adopt him, believing him to be deaf and mute.

As Sammy feigns being deaf and mute, the small community grows to accept it and he becomes invisible to them. He shows talent as a gardener, leading him to be involved in the lives of the elite. Over 20 years, Sammy uses this as a shield and learns a heck of a lot of secrets.

Therein lies the whole purpose of this blog: 

What would you do? Could you be like 

Sammy for 20 years? Could you be invisible? Do you know people who fit in this category?

**Cast: Matthew Modine, Claire Bloom, Judith Ivey, James Earl Jones,  Tom Skerritt, Frankie Muniz, Bernadette Peters

The above YouTube clip is about the making of the movie. It is 10 minutes long, but shows much about the challenges of the south in post WW2, discrimination, treatment of people with disabilities, class structures, etc.

  Worth watching in parts

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Demon Children on a Plane

Funny Travel Memes 8
How sweet!
No earphones in the world could silence the sound a screaming five-year old girl on an airplane. All thirty jovial family members  were on board heading to Utah. They all were wearing expensive sound-silencing headphones, $300 a pop.

 Beverly glared at them, at their demon child. 

How could they abide demon child? Couldn't they douse the kid with water, yet don't they know splashing cold water in the face of a crazy kid might just shut her up? Did they care?

Of course, there were other methods, but that would be frowned upon.

Let me do it, Just. Let. Me. Do. It! Beverly thought.

Before the plane could zoom to sanity, Beverly was ready to cram her favorite fudge brownies into the devil girl's mouth. Spray whipped cream?

Someone will wreak revenge on you, little devil. Someday.

During our last eleven hour flight from Switzerland, that demon child was one aisle over and about 5 seats away. I discussed this with her mother who said, "But, she's playing with her games!" No duh. For eight stinkin' hours? And the girl fell asleep with 2 hours left.  Words failed me then and still.