This and That – Doors, Ghosts Cats in Boxes (Video)

Does the cat in the middle box, top row, remind you of anyone you know?

Do you have a cat that is always looking for trouble?

For more quotes/jokes with a twist at the end, see my post called Ambused by the Best Paraprosdokians

Do you have a duvet on your bed, or do you use blankets? We have duvets here at the Red House. We use two single duvets on our bed, instead of one big one. No more waking up cold because a shared duvet has migrated to the other person’s side of the bed!

A ‘better’ duvet cover is the kind that has a set of stringy things sewn onto the inside of each corner. The easiest way to insert the duvet in this type of cover, then, is to turn the duvet cover inside out and lay it on the bed. Lay the duvet on top of the cover. Tie the duvet corner strings to the duvet. Then turn the cover right side out.

I don’t have duvet covers with those strings. I have a sewing machine, I have strings, yet it is a sewing task I’ve never got around to doing. Instead, I use the ‘almost crawl inside the cover to try to match the corners’. How does the laundry/bed maker domestic engineer in your house do this task?

I just started a new band called ‘Blankets and Duvets’
We’ve already been called the best cover band of all time.
Author Unknown

Green and Yellow with a Blanket of White

We had 10 inches (25 cm) of early season snow last week. The best thing about this is that it is the wake-up call for what is going to come when winter arrives for good.

Winter Morning Poem – By Ogden Nash

Winter is the king of showmen,
Turning tree stumps into snow men
And houses into birthday cakes
And spreading sugar over lakes.
Smooth and clean and frosty white,
The world looks good enough to bite.
That’s the season to be young,
Catching snowflakes on your tongue!
Snow is snowy when it’s snowing.
I’m sorry it’s slushy when it’s going.

Ten inches of snow looked like this:

Topaz Studio HDR filter
Abstraction filter
Telbarion Filter
Impasto filter

Frederic Ogden Nash (August 19, 1902 – May 19, 1971) was an American poet who wrote over 500 pieces of light verse. He used unconventional rhyming schemes and was declared the country’s best-known producer of humorous poetry!

Do you know any other Ogden Nash poems?

This and That – Straw Craft, Misc

The Lighter Side of Arts, Crafts and Leisure Activities

I’m a ‘jack of all trades’ in the crafts department. I’ve never stuck with anything long enough to get really good at it… except for collecting quotes.

On the Crafts front, I’ve been collecting red Tim’s Iced Capp straws (so I can keep them out of where ever discarded straws go in my prairie province.) I wasn’t sure what to make out of them until I saw this sculpture by the artist David Moreno who makes these out of steel rods. I think I could use my red straws for a project like this – I have just about enough straws for the house on the far left…

In some Future Time or State

I believe in the hereafter.
Every time I walk into a room, I ask, “What am I here after?”
Andrew’s View of the Week

Grapefruit and the Post Office

We have a grapefruit tree at the Arizona house. Sometimes the fruit is oddly shaped, but it is delicious. I am more than optimistic that there will be enough fruit to last me until we go home, in addition to the fruit we will take to the post office every few days. No, we don’t mail it. Our post office simply has a box on a bench near the door where people share their fruit harvest.

Our post office also has an ‘alpha box’. This is a series of ‘pigeon holes’, each with a letter of the alphabet on it. You can ‘mail’ letters to anyone in our community (without buying postage) by putting them in the appropriate alpha box.

A Great Horned Owl on the Fence

It is impossible to not be optimistic about life when a Great Horned Owl sits on your fence.

He respects Owl, because you can’t help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn’t spell it right.
– A. A. Milne –

How to Know When a Politician is Out of Touch

Catherine McKenna is Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change. She was lamenting about the cold. She had apparently not noticed how cold Canada gets every winter.

What examples have you heard where politicians in your community appear to have lost touch with common sense?

One Thing Leads to Another – Telemarketers

We are kind of like this dog when it comes to our home phone. Even though we know that 99% of the time a ringing home phone is a telemarketer, we still go over to the phone to check the call display!

Apparently, the best way to get a telemarketer to stop calling you is to say: “Please put me on your do not call list.” Don’t give them any other information. Don’t engage with them. Don’t get upset.

One of my daughters used to respond to telemarketers by immediately putting her Small Child on the phone. Small Child was always full of questions and observations. Telemarketers with heavy foreign accents were easy prey for a boy without much of a filter between his young brain and his mouth.

Fall Harvest – The Race is On

Alberta has 21 million hectares (52 million acres) of agriculture land that is used for farming and ranching. Wheat, barley, canola, oats, rye, dry peas, lentils, flax, dry beans and potatoes are the primary crops.

An Alberta Harvestpast and present.

Alberta Irricana Pioneer Acres

Irricana’s Pioneer Acres hosts an annual Farm Days which features working demonstrations of  the farm equipment that would have been used by our grandfathers and great grandfathers. This photo shows a wagon, a stationary thresher machine (which separates the grain from the straw and chaff) and a grain truck. The thresher is powered by a tractor (not shown).

Today, harvesting is done by self propelled Combines that cut the crop and threshes it. The combine doesn’t even have to stop moving to transfer the grain to trucks.Alberta Canada

This is one of three combines that harvested the quarter section behind our place yesterday afternoon. It was a dusty day for everyone within a mile of the action (but probably not for the driver!)

Farming has always been a risky business and that is no less true today than it was in the past. In terms of absolute number of fatalities, farming is the most dangerous occupation in Canada.

Safety in his business means getting the word “hurry” out of everyone’s vocabulary. I’ve never seen a crop that didn’t get taken off the field. But I’ve sure seen cases where we had to bury someone when there was still a crop in the field.
– Brent Lee Johnson –

I ran the photo of the combine through Topaz Studio. The first photo is my favourite!

What crops are grown in your part of the world? 

Ghost – Sticks and Car Shows

gHost and sTick

my name is gHosT.    i am this blogger’s grand-doggie.   i’m still a puppy.   a really big puppy.
the two-leggers take me to car shows.   when we aren’t looking at cars.   they tie me to the bumper.   of their mustang.   then they give me a stick.

i chew the stick.   while I think about pulling the bumper.   right off the car.   i think I could do that.   if I really wanted to.

it is one thing to think i could do it.   it is another thing to think what what would happen.   if I did do it… treats and tummy rubs.   might be in short supply.   for a while.

last week I forgot.   i was attached to the smaller of the two-leggers.   i pulled on the leash too hard.   the two-legger tipped turtle.   she scraped her knee.   no treats and tummy rubs.   for the rest of the morning.

when I’m older.   maybe the scent of a rabbit won’t make me forget.   what i’m supposed to do.   maybe i will have control over what my nose.   tells me to do.

I used to look at Smokey and think, “If you were a little smarter you could tell me what you were thinking,” and he’d look at me like he was saying, “If you were a little smarter, I wouldn’t have to.”
– Fred Jungclaus –

Faces in the Car Show Crowd

January and February are the best time of the year for the car buffs in Arizona! This year The Car Guy went to Russo and Steele, Silver Auction at Fort McDowell and the Fountain Hills Concours in the Hills. He would have gone to Barrett-Jackson too, but got tired of trying to find a place to park.

Silver Auctions At Fort McDowell
Chrysler Town and Country
Fountain Hills Car Show
Triumph TR250
Fountain Hills Car Show
Shelby Cobra
Fountain Hills Car Show
Ford Ratrod

This week’s WordPress.com Photo Challenge is A Face in the Crowd.

Transmogrify – The Rat Rods and Transformation

On March 23, 1987, cartoonist Bill Watterson introduced his readers to ‘The Transmogrifier’. In appearance, it looked like a cardboard box, but in the hands of Calvin and Hobbes, it was a miraculous change agent.

Calvin: You step into this chamber, set the appropriate dials, and it turns you into whatever you’d like to be.
Hobbes: It’s amazing what they can do with corrugated cardboard these days.
– Bill Watterson –

‘Transmogrify’ was a new word to me, but the dictionary says it has been with us since the 1650’s. It means ‘to change into something very different, especially in a way that is funny or strange’.

I can’t think of a better world to describe the cars below – the Rat Rods. They are built from salvaged parts and random trinkets. No two would ever be alike!

Above all, rat rods are built to be enjoyed and driven. They are a mechanic’s art form that allow each builder to think outside the box.
– Tara Hurlin –

555-rat-rod-sabotage-ii

555-rat-rod1

555-rat-rod2

I can’t get The Car Guy interested in building one of these cars. His transmogrify box must be broken…

555-henry garden sculpture

We have done our own small transmogrifying project though. A visit to a friends’ farm revealed a wealth of metal scraps. I chose rakes for some wings, a big spring and a length of rebar for the backbone, a hinge for the beak, some nails for a tail, and some bits that I don’t even know what they once were, for the rest of the body. Once our Friendly Farmer Friend welded the bits together for me, I decided  my creation was a chicken. I named her Henrietta. Some time later, The Car Guy and FFF made a slight modification to Henrietta. They added a bolt and a couple of nuts… and that is how my chicken became Henry.

What do you think of when you hear the word Transmogrify?

This weeks WordPress Photo Challenge is Transmogrify.

Vibrant Willys Coupe at Barrett-Jackson

Willys-Overland Motors produced the Willys Americar from 1937 to 1942 – either as sedans, coupes, station wagons or pickup trucks.

The coupe version is very popular with the hot rod set, and this beautiful 1941 Willys Custom Coupe wears vibrant metallic pearl and royal ruby pearl paint. With extensive chroming from front to back, this car sparkled under the lights at Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale in January 2016.

Willys-Overland’s biggest claim to fame is the famous 4×4 “Willys” which was chosen by the War Department as its light utility vehicle of choice. The “Jeep”, as it would become known, was based on the original Bantam design of the Willys company.

A Willys Americar would have cost about $630 in the early 1940’s. As a hot rod, this one sold in 2016 for $80,300. In 2015, the same car sold at Barrett Jackson in Las Vegas for $110,000. What goes up, must come down, they say…

Have you ever taken a big ‘hit’ when you sold a car?

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is Vibrant

Oil Field Dodge and Stalking John Dillinger – 1920’s Dodge Brothers (Video)

The Oil Field Dodge was the star of a Dodge Brothers promotional film that was apparently filmed in Texas in the 1920’s. (The piano music in this video is “New Walk” by Dave Hartley, released 2006.)

The vehicle used in this video would probably have been produced after March of 1919 (when a four­ door enclosed sedan was introduced into the Dodge line) and before the 1924 model year when the wheelbase was extended to 116 inches, louvers were placed on the hood, and the entire car was given a lower appearance.

Oil Field Dodge
1919 Dodge
1924 Dodge
1927 Dodge

The Dodge Brothers (John and Horace) began building motor cars in 1910. Initially they manufactured and assembled Model T’s for the Ford Motor Company. In 1913 they began designing their own car, and on November 14, 1914 the first Dodge Brothers vehicle rolled off the assembly line. In just three years Dodge became the fourth largest American automobile manufacturer. By 1919, the company was producing about 106,000 vehicles per year and in 1925 they sold their one millionth car.

The Dodge Brothers both died in 1920. In 1925 the Dodge heirs sold the firm to New York investment bankers Dillon, Read & Company for $146 million. Dillon then sold it to Walter P. Chrysler in 1928 for $170 million.

DH 4 Door Sedan movie ‘Public Enemies’
1931 Dodge

This 1931 Dodge 4 door sedan was owned by Hurley County, Wisconsin, Sheriff Frank J. Erspamer. The original purchase price of the car was $950. In 1934, the Sheriff supposedly accompanied the FBI to the Little Bohemia Lodge where the outlaw John Dillinger was.

The car sold at the 2014 Barrett-Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona for $19,250.

Last, but certainly not least, is The Car Guy’s Dodge Dakota:

While it probably could not navigate the mud like the Oil Field Dodge, and it certainly isn’t used to hunt down famous criminals, last month it started (without being plugged in) when the temperature was -30C (-22F).

I’ll be glad to reply to or dodge your questions, depending on what I think will help our election most.
– George H. W. Bush –

If you can’t Dodge it, Ram it.
– Author Unknown –

PT Cruiser Gets a Short Block Transplant

For the past ten years I have been driving a 2003 PT Cruiser – the Dream Cruiser Series 2. It has a turbo engine, is tangerine in colour and has very low mileage. I call my car Pete. Up until a week ago, PT Cruiser collectors would have said it was one of the more rare and valuable PT Cruisers in existence. According to a guy who has researched these cars, there were only 2200 made.

Several weeks ago ‘Pete’s engine light came on, so we took Pete to the local Chrysler Car Hospital. We expected some minor malfunction, an hour or so of labour, a few small parts and then Pete would be back on the road again.

engine

This is a photo of Pete’s engine compartment. It is only slightly larger than the glove compartment of a big truck – at least, that is how The Car Guy describes the cramped quarters of the place where Pete’s stomach, heart, lungs and circulatory system are. Wedged somewhere under the upper bits is the Short Block.  It contains the pistons, the crank shaft and the connecting rods.

To make a long story short, Pete’s ailment was not minor. Pete was going to need a Short Block transplant. The Car Guy questioned Pete’s surgeon about this diagnosis. Surely the condition could be cured by rebuilding the block. The surgeon looked at The Car Guy, as only a Young Car Guy can look at an Old Car Guy, and said, “No one rebuilds these things anymore.”

When The Car Guy explained the situation to me, I asked him if he could rebuild it. He told me he certainly could, but if I wanted to have Pete back on the road in less than a year or two, then the transplant was probably the best way to go. (The Car Guy and his dad are good mechanics, but they aren’t fast.)

A short block was ordered and Pete was pushed out into the parking lot behind the Car Hospital. On about the sixth day of Pete’s absence from the safety of our garage, large dark clouds rolled into town. They were packing pellets and weren’t afraid to use them. As I watched the hail beat down, I wondered about Pete. What were the chances that the hail was big enough and hard enough to beat holes into Pete’s tangerine skin?

Would the Fickle Finger of Fate (the Insurance Company) then decide that Pete, (with no engine block and a pock marked body), was a complete write off? Fortunately, the hail did no damage and I brought Pete home a few days ago. Pete’s Hospital stay cost about as much as what Pete would be worth if I sold him, which doesn’t make much sense, but that is how things are with used vehicles.

No, no, no. There’s no such thing as cheap and cheerful. It’s cheap and nasty & expensive and cheerful.
– Jeremy Clarkson –

I’d show you a photo of Pete’s engine now, but it really doesn’t look any different than it did before.