i A Time and a Place...: October 2005

Monday, October 31, 2005

Old Time Gas Pump...

Here's a shot of an old time gas pump. You pumped the handle on the side to get gas into the top then drained it into the gas tank.

Tumbleweed Christmas...

I was over on Echotigs' place today and saw a picture of a tumbleweed that brought back fond memories about the Xmas of 1946 (I think that was the year, +/- a year).

Mom and Pop, my step-dad,and I went to Chowchilla to pick cotton and were still there on Xmas day. We drove there from Modesto in a 1935 Ford that had a top speed of 55 miles an hour. Pop drove 45 mph.We started early in the morning and stopped at the south edge of Modesto at a Richfield Golden Eagle service station for gas.

Most gas stations of that day had gas pumps that had glass top halves that let you see the gas which had to be hand pumped in until it got up to the mark of however much gas you wanted.
One gallon, five gallon and ten gallon, etc, marks were etched onto the glass tank so you could see how much gas was in the top glass tank for filling the car.
Then the gas pump nozzle was put into the car gas tank and opened and the gas flowed down out of the pump and into the cars' gas tank.

Gas was .17 cents a gallon and when Mom paid for it, the attendant gave me a small comic book about some super-hero; The Green Hornet or Captain Marvel or someone else like that.

It was about 60 miles to where we were going (a ways past Chowchilla) to pick cotton and it took us a couple of hours to find the place. It was a tent village and we found the man who ran it and he told us which tent to use.

We found the tent all right and moved our things into it. It was daylight now but dark inside the tent. We didn't have a light bulb but had passed a general store a few miles back. The man didn't say whether or not the electricity was turned on so, Mother, the fearless one, stuck her finger in the socket and pulled the chain. 'ooops'...Yep! The electricity was on so Pop went back to the store and got a bulb.

The cotton patch looked very good. It looked like Pima cotton which is the best to pick. Almost all the cotton boles were open and full and it wasn't too leafy.We would start picking cotton later in the morning after the dew had melted.
Pop and Mom had 12 foot sacks and I had an eight footer. The cotton paid three bucks a hundred and there were two men to climb the ladders to the top of the trailers and dump the sacks. That was great for us. Many places had you dump the sacks yourself and it was pretty hard to climb those ladders with a full cotton sack. Some bosses, like this one did, hired men to dump the sacks so people couldn't put the heavier green boles in their sacks to get more weight.

Three dollars was about top wages for picking. With the three of us working, we picked between five and six hundred pounds a day. We got paid each time a sack was emptied into the trailer.

We weren't fast by any means. My brother-in-law picked nine hundred pounds one day. He was the fastest picker I ever saw. He always took two rows up and two rows back. (To pick cotton, you start at the end of the cotton patch and pick a row all the way to the end then find an empty row and pick all the way back to where the trailers are parked)

To make a long story shorter, I'll get to the gist of this one.

We got to the cotton patch two days before Xmas and worked both days. My Mother was always one for Xmas trees with all the trimmings but this was the cotton patch and there were no trees available. So, Mom being one who readily adapts, went across the road from the tent and found a medium sized tumbleweed. It was very dry and very light. She brought it into the tent and we tore pieces of a newspaper and some colored paper she'd brought and Mom made a big pan of popcorn and we strung popcorn with a needle and thread and put the popcorn and paper angels and pieces of paper on the tumbleweed. She put her prettiest hair clip barrette on top for an angel. It wasn't like the usual Xmas tree but we thought it was beautiful.

Mom made cocoa and we had hot cocoa and ginger snap cookies and sang Xmas carols. Mom and I did most of the singing. Pop wasn't much for singing carols.
"Oh. Little Town of Bethlehem, How still we see Thee lie"...That was my favorite carol.

Then we opened our gifts. Pop got a nice pair of argyle style socks and a set of handkerchiefs and Mom got some colored scarves and a set of handkerchiefs. I got a detective set. It was a small pistol, a billy club and a pair of real handcuffs. They were all on a card, sealed on with clear plastic;- Oh, and a set of handkerchiefs with my initial on them.
We all 'ooohed' and 'aaahed' over our gifts. They weren't much by todays' standards but we loved them.

That was a typical Christmas for most folks in those days. Times were hard sometimes in those days but we always made do with what we had.
I didn't even know I was poor until I was thirteen years old but that's another story.

We picked for another week or so. When that field was picked, we went to another and finished our picking there.
We got back not long after Xmas holiday was over so I started right back in school. Shortly after that, both Mom and Pop went to work for the Tri-Valley Cannery. Pop worked there until he died in the early fifties and Mom worked there until she retired many years later. (We still sometimes went to the cotton patch when we could)

Well, that is the story of our Tumbleweed Christmas Tree. At age 69, I find that more and more often things I see or hear take me back to my earlier years. It's becoming easier and easier to spend time in the past and I've had such an exciting and varied existance that there is always somewhere to go when I am bored with the 'Here and Now'.

But that, too, is another story!


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Just Another Soldier...

I was perusing a web site this morning of a unique organization that finds and returns lost dog tags to ex- GIs and I ran across a letter written by the family of a soldier who died before his dogtag could be returned.

The letter quoted a poem I haven't heard before. I was was so impressed with the sentiment and simplicity of the poem, I decided to post it.
It's Called, "Just Another Soldier," by Lawrence Vaincourt.

He was just a common soldier and his ranks are growing thin.
But his presence should remind us we may need his like again.

For when countries are in conflict then we find the soldier's part
Is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

If we cannot give him honor while he's here to hear the praise,
Then at least let's give him homage at the ending of his days.

Perhaps a simple headline in the paper that might say,


God Bless our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen(and women) and Marines for keeping us free.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Asking For An Explanation From God...

I have a problem understanding the opinions of different sides of the Iraq issue and, since no human being can explain either side to me to my satisfaction, I'm asking God to give me the understanding to arrive at the right conclusion. I'll pass it on to you.

First, why do some people want us to just pull our troops out of Iraq and be done with. They know that would constitute a surrender on our part. It would open the door for someone just like Saddam Hussein to come in and take the place over. In a couple of months Iraq would be just like it was when we went in so all that we have done and the deaths of our brave soldiers would be for nothing.

Second, why does the president not put enough troops in Iraq to do a thorough job? He, as well as everyone with at least a half ounce of sense, knows that we really need to completely defeat and dominate Iraq, including replacing the state officials with our people, (president, VP, senators, police force, etc.-on and on) and actually run the country as if it were part of the U S of A. Otherwise, we will wind up doing what the people of the first part want.

OK, God, there it is in a nutshell. A lot of people attempt to give answers to this problem but they only wind up giving opinions and opinions are meaningless in the big picture. I know you can answer this for me and I'll wait to hear from you.

Thanks in advance, Jim.


Monday, October 24, 2005

Sheehan Waiting For The 2,000th...

Cindy Sheehan will be waiting, chained to the White House fence for the 2,000th fatality of the Iraq war since it started in March of 2003, a year and seven months ago.

On September the Eleventh, Two Thousand and One Years, AD, over three thousand innocent people died in thirty minutes.

Cindy, where will you be chained, waiting for them? They'll be back when your son and all the rest come back.
Stay home and thank God and the two thousand and your son you still have a home!


'From the Mouths of Dogs'...

Chico the Wonder Dog came over to where I was sitting and scratched my leg then walked to the sliding door. It meant he needed to go outside so, naturally, I got up and opened the door for him.

He went outside and immediately began barking and running toward the rear of the house where his lawn is. I stuck my head outside to see what he was barking about just in time so see a large yellow cat run from the yard. Chico the Wonder Dog ran after him until he reached the edge of our property then he stopped. He knew he was not allowed to cross his property line, even to chase a cat.

By then I was outside on the porch and he came up to me and looked at me, "I think he left a suspicious looking package on my lawn." (Chico has to "look at" me because dogs can't talk)
I walked back to the lawn and, sure enough, there was a 'package' on the lawn. I got the shovel and a baggie and cleaned it up before it had a chance to explode or do whatever cat packages do.

Chico the Wonder Dog walked over to the place where the 'package' had been and, after I left, washed down the offending spot.

I went back to the porch and waited for him so I could close the door after he went into the house.

He finally came up onto the porch and walked over to where I was waiting. I looked at him, "I guess we won't have to worry about that cat anymore or any of his friends after he tells them about you chasing him off the place!"

Chico the Wonder Dog eyed me with a look of disdain. "I can't believe you said that," he looked at me. "You should know by now that as long as there are cats alive they will always be a threat. They will never stop sneaking around, leaving terrorist packages on our lawns! When will you people learn that as long as there are cats alive, this danger will exist! That's what cats do; that's what cats are for! There are no 'good' cats. Only a few that put on an act for gullible people like you!"

With a crimson face, I walked back into the house with my tail between my legs. Of course, he was right. How could I have forgotten? If you want to know the real story about cats, ask a dog; they're the ones who know the truth! I'll never make that mistake again!

How about you?


Sunday, October 23, 2005

An Actual Black American...Worth a Look...

I was so impressed with the article by Reverend Peterson, I am posting a link on both my blogs.

While perusing blogs this a m, I chanced upon an article in one that I feel deserves a closer look. It's an honest observation by a man (Reverend Peterson) who obviously doesn't realize he is an "African-American."

He doesn't say so himself but reading his article and observations of the victims of the Katrina hurricane, it becomes obvious he doesn't consider himself to be one of the "African-American" victims, instead (like the rest of us) just a concerned American. How refreshing!


BTW: I sent him a 'thank you' note for the article.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Abdullah!...Fire When Ready!...

Asked For It Again...

You Are Romans
You are Romans.

Which book of the Bible are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

OK, You Asked For It...

Dominant Personality: Grace

Good Traits: You're very dancer-like in your
step. You're light-hearted, and smile often.
You probably have a lot of distant friends.

Bad Traits: You don't take anyone or
anything seriously. It's not all fun and games.

People see you as: Happy, unaware, and
unnerved. You try and hide your emotions
because you think you always have to be
cheerful. There's appropriate times to show
emotion, and people may think you're uncaring.

You're Most Like: Innocence. You both have a
childlike purity. The difference is that you
aren't as bubbly, and tend to be more
artistically inclined.

You Need More: Protected. Don't open up so
easily to people. Not everyone can be trusted.

What's your dominant trait? (10 unique results)
brought to you by Quizilla

I know!...I Know...I didn't believe it either!


Monday, October 10, 2005

I Need Some Advice...

I would like to know how I can substitute one font style; ie, Courier, for Lucida Calligraphy within a single sentence. I haven't been able to find out how to do that in the usual html how-to sites, such as Web Monkey, for instance.

I did learn how to change the entire font style of the template (or parts of it) but not how to do it on a word to word and sentence to sentence basis.

Any suggestions?


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Skeeters Rose...

This is a picture of a Rose that grew up from the grave of a beloved little girl, Skeeter. She was a yellow eyed Burmese and I always believed she was a real little girl as well as a cat.

When she died, Donna and I buried her in our back yard, near a fence so her grave would never be disturbed. I planted a rose bush on her grave and, for a year, no rose came. The second year this rose and several more graced her resting place. All the roses were large and beautiful.

From that year on, the roses were small and mostly buds. Could it be this rose was the spirit of Skeeter being released? Maybe that is why it was so large and beautiful.


Saturday, October 08, 2005

It Has To Be In The Genes...

"How does this look? Where should I put this? What do you want near the door? Does this lamp look good on this table? This wall needs more pictures. No, No! Right under the window so it'll get the light".

Sounds like someone's moving in, eh? Not necessarily. It could be any day in the life of some people. You could take a room that is 4X8 with only one door and no windows, put a sofa and an end table in it with a lamp on the end table, with no room to turn around and a week later the sofa would be on the other side of the room and the end table would be at the other end with 1/8 of an inch between it and the far wall. Don't look for the lamp!

It's in the genes; it has to be! Some people just have to move things around...change things occassionaly to stay sane. Or, at least, to stay satisfied...for a moment.

I once owned a house in Orland. It was about 1300 square feet. Not too big but big enough for the two of us. It had three bedrooms and two baths. Our bedroom, the Master Bedroom, was quite large compared with the other two.I immediately removed the two sliding closet doors from one of the extra rooms and converted that room into a study.

It contained a full stereo on a large cabinet set into the doorless closet. The stereo was a seven component (Receiver, dual cassette deck, vcr, turntable, 8 track player/recorder, karioke cd/ld player and a Nintendo player) set with a tv added.

On one wall was my pc desk with the pc, monitor and printer; on another wall was a bookcase for about a hundred of my most cherished books and on the part of a wall by the closet door was a place for my cds, records and vhs tapes. In front of the bookcase was my keyboard. It was a Yamaha 500.

By the door, along a short wall, was a leather love seat sofa Donnas' Dad made. It was very comfortable. In short, the room was perfect.

Now for the rest of the house, ie, Donnas' Domain.

She walked into the house for the first time and right away started arranging things in her mind. This was before we even moved in.

We got moved in and she told me where she wanted things as we carried them in.

The living area and dining area is one long room with the kitchen at the dining area end, separated by a long counter. It is a very nice setup.

The only drawback is the lack of wall space in the living area. That didn't faze Donna.

When we finished moving all the furniture in, the house/furniture layout was perfect. Donna has the eye of an expert decorator.

I was glad about that because we didn't spend much time moving things around. She did it all right the first time.

At that time, I was driving a truck from Orland to Medford, Oregon and back every day and was home each night. Our new home was a nice place to come back to. It was very comfortable and homey.

A week later I went to work as usual and made the trip to Medford and back with no trouble. When I got back, I parked the truck at the motel where the turn driver from LA stayed while I was gone and turned the truck over to him.
I hopped into my pickup and drove home. I walked up to the door and went inside.

I immediately did an about face and hurried back out the door, thinking I had stopped at the wrong house.
"Nope" I nope-ed, "this's the right place," I opined in my mind. I walked back in just in time to see the very large grin on the face of my betrothed.

"How do you like it," she questioned liltingly. I calmly perused the living room and then the dining area.
Being the intellectual giant I am, I told her I loved it unmeasureably. She retained her smile and we, as we would many more times, again got used to our new home.

I was reluctant to go into our bedroom but finally forced my self to do it. Luckily, there was only one way our huge solid pine bedroom set with an amoire and triple dresser (and a treadmill and rowing machine) could possibly fit into the room.

Well, that was the first of many times our home was re-invented. I could never count on exactly when the place would be re-arranged but I was always confident it would be.

When we sold the house in 2002 to move into an adult park, my study on Canella Drive was exactly as I had made it in 1989 when we moved in. Even the piece of a toothpick I accidently dropped by the stereo that first day was still in the same place. It, as well as everything else in that room, hadn't moved an inch!

Like I say,"It's all in the genes!"


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

To Whom It May Concern...

Just in Case.

1. A literary or artistic work that imitates the characteristic style of an author or work for comic effect or ridicule.


Politics Test...

Surprise, Surprise!!!

You are a

Social Conservative
(31% permissive)

and an...

Economic Moderate
(41% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also: The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

I Guess the Jig Is Up...

"FEMA wants to recoup $30.3 million from Floridians"

You know, I went to Florida last year to help out after one of those hurricanes. It was a messs there and I got sick. Well, I went by a building where people were lined up and I thought they were lined up waiting to use the bathroom so I got in line. I was thinking about earlier when I had thrown up. It was into the gutter and I needed a place where I could wash my face and hands.

Finally I got to the door and entered. Boy, was I surprised! Instead of the toilet I thought it was (because of the way it smelled) it was a room with a desk and chairs. A man in a suit was sitting at the desk and he motioned me to sit down, which I did. He asked me if I had lost anything and I said, yes, I had lost it all. I was thinking of when I threw up earlier.

He handed me a check for 17,000 dollars and asked it that would be enough to replace it and I told it would, just barely. I had eaten quite a lot before I threw up.

Anyhow, during the rest of the day, I came across several more lines that day and, by the time I finally found a toilet, I had so much money I could have bought my own!

Well, I knew it was too good to be true. Now it looks like I'll have to give all that money back. I don't think it's fair though, since I didn't even ask for it in the first place. Now it's like a black cloud has come over me.

One good thing came out of it though; now whenever I have to throw up I get this pleasant feeling of impending wealth. I guess that is the silver lining.

Yes, I guess I'll have to give all that money back but I just hope no one finds out I've been to Louisiana and Houston. I don't want to have to return my new computer.

Boy, sometimes life just isn't fair.


Monday, October 03, 2005

Think About It...

You're only as good as someone else thinks you are.

Scary, ain't it!

Everything's Bigger in Texas"...

This rattlesnake was killed in Borger, Texas.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Jesus or Allah...You Decide...

Jesus tells us, love your neighbor , as you love yourself;
Allah says, kill infidels and I will give you wealth. (72 virgins- worth a buck apiece)

Jesus says, do good to man, give aid to everyone;
Allah says, don't be their friend, Dinner Table 5:51: (Koran)

Jesus says, if you get slapped, just turn the other cheek;
Allah says, blow all them up or they will think you weak.

Jesus says, when you need me, I always will be near;
Allah says, if you love me, fill all my foes with fear.

Jesus says, if they won't hear, from your feet shake their dust;
Allah says, if they're not Muslims, don't give them your trust.

Jesus says, in Me are Hope and Joy and Faith and Love;
Allah says, your death of infidels comes from above.

Jesus says, if you will call on me you'll see the Father;
Allah says, if you won't kill for me, don't even bother.

Jesus says, lead all your children and they'll know the way;
Allah says, strap on a bomb and martyr them today.

Jesus says, repent today and you all will be saved;
Allah says,...well, it just depends on which imam you talk to on which day...it's mostly convert to islam or die. Always has been...always will be!

Always remember September 11th, 2001! Always remember all our loved ones who died for no reason!
Always remember it was Muslims who who killed them; for no reason; Period!


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Sun's Changes to Blame for Part of Global Warming...Al Gore Says Sun Has To Go...

Al Gore turned loose of a tree he was hugging long enough to say he believes the article and so, for the sake of our world, the sun has to go.

Both Barbara Streisand and Sean Penn agree. Bush has three days to respond to their request the sun must be turned down some now and gradually eliminated over the next three months.