Thursday, December 5, 2013
Monday, September 16, 2013
I just saw a program about Voyager 1 on the Science Channel earlier this week. Considering the technology of the day (1977) it was amazing that NASA scientists were able to build a probe that has done what Voyager has accomplished! It had 68KB of memory aboard – far less than one of today’s smartphones! It made fly-bys of all the large outer planets, using each to provide a slingshot effect to speed it on to the next planet, and it is estimated that it will be another 145 years before the alignment of the planets would again allow a similar trip to occur! Just think; today Voyager 1 is nearly 12 billion miles from earth and traveling at a speed of 38,000 miles per hour! If it can hold together for another 40,000 years, it will fly by a star. Remember, Voyager 1 was the subject of a Star Trek film because it was found by a alien race – this could happen, for the probe has pictures, languages, mathematics and other things that would/could inform another civilization of our existence.
Live long and prosper!
Tuesday, July 30, 2013
Most of you have read or heard about the effects of depriving humans of sufficient light; especially sunlight. This deprivation is known to negatively affect the personality and behavior of people. They become moody and withdrawn.
Well, the Norway town of Rjukan is doing something about it! Described as a “dark city” (they receive no sunlight for about 7 months), Rjukan is going to pierce that darkness with reflected sunlight. Three computer controlled mirrors situated on the tops of surrounding mountains will light up a central part of the town. The area to receive the reflected sunlight will only be around 2,150 square feet, but I bet it will be a very popular area! Can you get a suntan from reflected sunlight?
The Bible states that “Jesus is the light, and in Him is no darkness.” And, we are to reflect that light into the dark world!
Monday, July 22, 2013
What can you learn? Well, consider this:
- We become like those we associate with. Our personalities, habits and activities are shaped by those who we spend a lot of time with.
- Love for others has no boundaries; not color, race, age, sex or any other criteria that we use to judge or pigeon-hole (stereotype) others. If we came upon an alien from another world, we could even love them!
- It’s easy to change for the worse, but hard to change for the better. But regardless of which route we take, we WILL change!
- A vast majority of man’s ills and problems are self-inflicted, and we are the only ones that can change the outcome! There’s that word CHANGE again!
- Time is weird! Will man every really understand it? Read THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON and maybe you can find out!
Monday, June 17, 2013
I’ve been thinking about time again! Of course, whether we think about it or not, our whole lives revolve around time. Our mother’s pregnancy is timed (months), and then after we are born the process begins of celebrating our birthday every 365 days. Nearly everything that we do is tied to our wristwatch, phone, clock or however we track time.
Within the last week, there have been two statements about time that really caught my attention. The first was at a funeral where the minister said, “The shortest part of our existence (time) is the one here on earth”! I don’t know what this means to you, but it certainly has spiritual implications to me. If we are made in God’s image, then we have a soul and it is the eternal part of us that will live on....hopefully in heaven with Him who created us. The second statement came from the television program, “Through The Wormhole” that is emceed by Morgan Freeman. I certainly do not agree with his spiritual ideas (he says that we are god), but he presents many interesting and fascinating ideas about our universe. This particular program was about time, and a scientist made the statement that “Time is the thing that keeps everything from happening all at once”! Now that’s pretty profound, and if you think about it, there are also spiritual connotations expressed in this statement. The Bible tells us that God is the Alpha and the Omega (the beginning and the end), and that He is omnipresent...not restricted by time.....so he experiences EVERYTHING NOW! So He created time for us, because we are not (cannot be) like Him----thank Goodness!
If you don’t know by now, my book THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON has several storylines, but the most exciting one involves time travel!! Check it out.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
When browsing books on Amazon, have you ever noticed that you can read samples of the books? It’s a great way to see if the book might be something that your really interested in putting your money on. For THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON, you can go to The Wisdom of Solomon (affiliate link) product page and “Click to LOOK INSIDE!”
We’ve also got a new book review from J. Kettinger! Five stars and he is eagerly awaiting the sequel! I’m diligently working on that sequel and will post next week about my progress. In the meantime, you can read Mr. Kettinger’s review along with others on THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON customer reviews.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I think you probably had one of these: well, the smaller version. Nothing like a Radio Flyer Little Red Wagon to bring back memories even if this is the larger version. Built upon a Toyota pick-up chassis, it is very detailed. Would love to go for a ride in it.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Even though we had a freeze last night (March 26th), I declare that SPRING HAS SPRUNG! Being a practicing horticulturist, I would like to offer a few tips for your landscape....including some things that you might not know:
- FERTILIZATION – Now is a real good time to fertilize most of your plant materials, including lawn, shrubs, groundcovers and trees. Don’t worry about having to deep-root fertilize your trees. A good program of topical applications of nitrogen-bearing fertilizer does just as good a job of fertilizing your trees as the deep root feeding method; which incidentally is much more expensive. Research has shown that nitrogen is the main element needed for healthy, sustained growth, so just purchase a product that is high in nitrogen, such as a 25-5-5 analysis; or something similar. The first number in the analysis is the percentage of nitrogen in the bag; the second the percentage of phosphorus and the third is the percentage of potash. Follow the label recommendations, as several light applications are better than one heavy one. Let me give you an example----a 50 pound bag that is 25 percent nitrogen, contains 12.5 pounds of this element, and a good application rate would be 1.5 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn/beds. A typical home landscape is approximately 4,000 square feet, so a 50 pound bag would provide approximately two complete applications. The best spreader is a cyclone (rotary) unit, not a drop spreader that tends to produce skips in the application pattern. If possible, apply half your fertilizer in one direction, and the other half at a 90 degree angle to the first. This ensures against those dreaded skips that really show up later!
- WATERING – I know that many of you are under some stage of watering restrictions, so PLAN your watering schedule. Planning involves watering as deeply as possible when your municipality allows. The secret to watering is to water as deeply as possible, as seldom as possible. This encourages a deep root system, which in turn produces plants that require less water. I have large trees in my home landscape and during the summer heat, they each may be pulling as much as 500-600 gallons of water out of the soil each day, so the grass and beds under my trees require supplemental hand watering. Most cities will allow unlimited hand watering. So remember, your plan should include figuring out which plants require more water, and those that require less.
- PRUNING – If you are going to give your Liriope (monkey grass) a haircut, or trim your Asian Jasmine or other groundcovers, don’t wait too much longer. DON’T prune spring-flowering shrubs, such as Azaleas---wait until after the bloom period is finished. Remember, don’t perform “Crape Murder” by cutting your Crape myrtles back hard. All this does is destroy their natural form, and force the plant to work hard to reestablish vegetative growth, rather than using it’s energy to produce the flowers. Just remove old seed pods and maybe thin the canopy lightly to improve air circulation (which helps reduce the incidence of the fungal disease, powdery mildew). A good rule of thumb to follow when pruning Crape myrtles, is to never remove a stem/branch larger than the diameter of a pencil.
- WEED CONTROL – Right now, the primary weed that you are probably battling, is the broadleaf variety. The broadleaf is one of the easiest to eradicate, as there are a number of good products on the market. I advise you to use a pump-up type sprayer, rather than a hose-end unit, as it does a poor job of metering the herbicide that you are applying. Most of the broadleaf weeds have a waxy leaf covering, so it is important to use a spreader-sticker to get the chemical to adhere to the leaf. a capful of dishwashing soap, per gallon of mixture, will do the job. Follow the label recommendations, as more is not better! Make sure to apply your herbicide when there is little or no wind....you don’t want to kill your neighbor’s plants!
- ANNUAL COLOR – I love this time of year, when we have such a large selection of flowers to plant – Petunias, Impatiens, Geraniums, and many other species. Remember, the best way to ensure success for your annuals, is to properly prepare the soil by incorporating enough organic matter to produce a light, well-drained medium. Don’t over-water and use a good water-soluble fertilizer every 3-4 weeks. Some plants, such as the tropical Hibiscus are heavy feeders and require more frequent fertilization.
- PLANTING – The ideal time to plant most trees and shrubs is from October through February, but it’s not too late! As with the flowers, do a good job of preparing the soil, and mulch the root ball of your new plants (to conserve water, retard weeds and reduce soil temperatures during the summer). I prefer the fine-shredded hardwood mulch.
Enjoy your landscape! Remember, all those plants are good for us – they take all the carbon dioxide we generate and convert it into the oxygen we breathe!
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Over the years I have worked with several congregations and several church schools and I have come to accept one thing. I do not know anyone whose life was messed up by living by God’s instructions and standards. Yet today we seem to have a country where God’s standards are an infringement on our lives. But in this world of desiring our personal freedom, we find that we are not getting better, but worse. Do we need to be reminded that the Psalmist says that the man who is blessed is the man who finds that “his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night”. You see, God’s boundaries are not meant to hinder, but to guide, protect, and to make life good. You might want to find time today to “meditate on His law”.
This was received from my minister, R. Wayne White of Web Chapel Church of Christ in Farmers Branch, Texas.
Monday, March 18, 2013
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the fraud division of American Express to ask about certain charges that were being made. I found out that somebody was making a number of high-dollar purchases. Subsequently, they were removed from my account, and a new card was issued. I received a new statement today, which showed more bogus charges! I contacted AmEx and was told that these charges were against an OLD card; one even before the one that had just been replaced! I asked the evident questions---why is a card not invalidated (taken out of their system) when a new one is issued? How can someone get a merchant to accept OLD card numbers, when they certainly do not have this card? Their reply was startling.....there are bogus cards out their, but the way this scam often goes down is, the perpetrator asks a clerk to slide a card, which doesn’t work. The perp then states that something must be wrong with the magnetic strip, and verbally gives them the numbers to type in! WATCH OUT!!!!
Photo Attribution: By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class LaTunya Howard [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons