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Linda Garren

Just Interesting Things about This and That

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Not really funny as concerns the situation......but hard not to smile (with a wince) when the interpretation of his sign language is shown at the bottom of the screen.


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Edited by Linda Garren
Sorry I couldn't delete the poster's comment at top of screen... Also, I've programmed with a loop the selected video I wanted you to see. If a screen comes up with multi videos, just go to the bottom left of the screen and click on the loop arrow.

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Back Story

Clocks fall back an hour in most of the U.S. and Canada on Sunday — after having done so last week in Europe — with the end of daylight saving time.

Clocks in parts of Australia have moved, too, in the opposite direction.
The reason for the shift is contentious and confusing. (It isn’t for farmers, as you may have learned in school.)

Get ready to enjoy that extra hour in bed.

Historians have traced the notion for daylight saving time to Benjamin Franklin, who realized he was sleeping through some daylight hours while visiting Paris in the 18th century.

But the first plan to actually move the clock hands came from William Willett, who unsuccessfully proposed daylight saving time to the British Parliament in 1908. Germany, seeking cost savings during World War I, heard the idea and enacted it in 1915. Three weeks later, the British followed, and other world powers were close behind, including the U.S. in 1918.

Despite the common belief that American farmers supported the change, they were actually the strongest lobby against it because it disrupted their schedules, said David Prerau, the author of “Seize the Daylight.”

“I don’t know how that ever became a myth, but it is the exact opposite,” he said.

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This is such a fun, fun video to watch.  Hey Ginger/LAD/Muffet--You and your DH, Fred, are in it. (Did you two time travel?)  :-)



Edited by Linda Garren
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Through the rawness of this story there is a sweetness at the end that is very touching.




A short story lesson on respect for the aged
John R. Erickson is not only the prolific author of 70 beloved Hank the Cowdog books
but short stories as well. WORLD Digital offers the world premiere of one he wrote 25 years ago but never published.

Warning:  Get your kleenx out.  :-)   Linda



He comes, the old man. I hear the sound of his pickup breaking the silence of morning. He stops in front of the saddle shed and turns off the motor. The door opens. He steps out and starts this way.

He stops, frowns, brushes a hand over the top of his head. He goes back to the pickup for his hat. He forgets things.

He comes through the gate, closes it, hooks the chain back on the nail. He coughs and looks up at the elm tree whose limbs grow out across the corral. The leaves are beginning to turn.

While he’s looking up, his right hand strays down to his knee and rubs it. It’s an unconscious gesture, an old hand talking to an old knee.

It’s the dampness. My bones hurt too. Nothing terrible, just a lot of small complaints. There was a time when I didn’t know the meaning of pain, but we learn.

He opens the saddle shed door and turns on the light, sets one boot on the floor, and pulls himself up, making a grunting sound. It’s a long step that gets longer every year. Inside, he squints at the east wall, pulls a pair of glasses out of his jacket pocket, and looks again.

There is a line of sixteen penny nails across the east wall. From each nail hangs a bridle and above each bridle is a name. He picks the one marked “Rusty.”

He slips the headstall into the crook of his arm, grunts down the long step, opens the gate that leads into the east pen, and comes toward me. My ears go up and I begin edging away. He stops and I stop, and for moment we glare at each other. In his pale blue eyes, there’s a little of the old fire.

I look back at him, and maybe there’s a little of the old fire left in me. He comes to me and I move away. His voice cracks the silence. “Whoa, you knothead!”

I trot around the pen. Oh, I know he’ll catch me. He always does. Why play the game if we know the outcome? I don’t know. That’s just the way we’ve always done it. You lose track of why after a while.

That’s just the way we’ve always done it. You lose track of why after a while.

He shouts. I run, but not as far or as hard as I once did. He gets me in a corner and levels a finger at me. “Now whoa!” I stop, my head frozen in the air, and he comes, limping a bit on that right leg.

I remember the day he got that limp. When was it, Charlie? Could it have been …  sixteen years ago? Eighteen? The years slip by.

I was a three‑year old colt, just broke, knew everything about everything, tough as a tree and about as smart. You had been training me to rope, remember? We’d worked on it for a couple of weeks. I thought I knew it all, Charlie, and so did you. We took chances.

We had started roping small calves and had worked up to yearling stuff. I was a little frightened the first time the slack went out of the rope and I felt that jerk on the cinches. But I saw what I could do to a big steer and … I liked it!

Together, Charlie, we could do just about anything and get away with it. We were kings! I could outrun anything on four legs and you could stick a loop on it. I could hold it down and you could tie three legs with a pigging string. Weren’t we a pair?

She was a big straight‑barreled cow that probably hadn’t raised a calf in two years. She was as fat as mud and outweighed me by two hundred pounds, but we didn’t care. When she wouldn’t drive to the house, you unlatched your rope.

You gave me the reins and spurs and whispered, “Get ’er!” That’s all it took. You stood up in the stirrups and pitched a loop on her horns. But she was too much for me, Charlie. You were tied solid to the horn with a nylon rope. I was young and stupid, but you should have known better.

She jerked me down. My right hip struck a rock and I rolled over your knee. That’s where these aches came from.

So here we are again, you and I. You slip the headstall over my ears and fasten the throatlatch. You lead me through the gate and drop my reins in front of the saddle shed door. I suppose you think I’ll stand here, ground tied, so that you won’t have to carry the saddle so far.

There was a time when you wouldn’t have tried that, because I would have walked off. There was nothing personal about it. Sometimes I just don’t want to be bothered.

Today I’ll stand and be nice. Tomorrow? No promises. I might be feeling naughty.

Charlie, you’ve been saddling horses for seventy years and you still jerk the front cinch down to the last hole. First thing in the morning, you try to cut a horse in half.

“Whoa, stand still!”

When you learn to give a little slack in the morning, I’ll learn to stand still.

Now you’re coming out of the shed with hoof nippers. Are you kidding? You are seventy‑five years old! It’ll take you half an hour to trim one hoof, and in the meantime I’m supposed to stand on three legs?

“Come on, horse, give me a hoof.”

Okay, take it. Make a fool of yourself, what do I care?

You whittle and trim. You drop the hoof. You’re slow to straighten up, and when you do, your face is gray. You slump against my neck.


You catch your breath and lick your lips and pitch the nippers back into the saddle shed. “Trim your own danged feet.” You lead me out the gate.

The sun is up now, sparkling on the heavy dew that covers everything. Walking through the grass, you get your boots wet up to the cuff of your jeans.

Did you know that you bend forward at the waist when you walk?

You lead me over to a little rise in the ground, and pause a moment, looking me over. “You ain’t holding your flesh.”

Neither are you, Charlie.

You step up on the little rise, guide your boot into the stirrup, grab the horn with both hands, take a deep breath, press your lips together, grunt and pull and fall into the saddle.

You used to laugh at a man who mounted a horse that way, “like an old washer woman.”

Charlie, you dropped one rein when you were climbing on. Ten years ago … 

You used to laugh at a man who mounted a horse that way, “like an old washer woman.”

We go down the hill and wade across the creek. I try to stop for a drink but you jerk my head up and give me a poke with the spurs. You never know until you try.

We cross the creek and climb the hill on the other side. The warm sun is meeting the damp ground, causing little clouds of steam to rise. The trees along the creek are taking on their fall colors. Autumn sunlight and autumn shadows. Autumn colors and autumn smells. I hear you whisper, “Lord, what a morning!”

We hit a jog‑trot across the pasture. I’m feeling saucy. There’s something about that crisp morning air. I toss my head and hump up a few times.

“Son, if you dump me  … ”

Don’t worry, Charlie. It just crossed my mind, that’s all.

We find some cattle near the place where the creek bends around to the west. We ride around them, then through them several times. I can’t see your face but I know what it looks like. Your eyes are drawn down to a squint and you’ve pulled your lips tight over to one side.

Checking those cattle. You never get tired of it, do you?

Charlie, do you remember … what are you doing? The bald‑faced heifer? I’m not sure, Charlie. My hip …

She’s a troublemaker. Look at the way she holds her head. She has that look in her eyes. We used to eat her kind for breakfast. If it took speed, we gave them speed. If it took quick feet, we gave them quick feet. If it took brute strength, we had plenty of it. But Charlie …

See? I told you. She cut back on me. I can’t make those sharp turns.

Charlie, no! Not the rope! Has you brain gone to mush? Look at yourself, look at what you’re riding. This is crazy, Charlie. Do you hear me? THIS IS CRAZY!

Okay, Charlie. One more time. I’ll do it for you, but remember what I said. You’re an old fool.

She runs. The wind is in my face. I hear the blood roaring through my ears and see the ground flying beneath my hooves and feel my muscles reaching deep inside. I can’t resist.

We were something special, weren’t we, Charlie? You and I, knocking a hole in the breeze. No, I can’t give it up, any more than you can. Two old fools, Charlie, two old fools.

I can’t catch her. I’m sorry. My lungs are on fire. I can’t feel my legs any more. My hip … Charlie, something … it’s all a blur, my legs and the sky and flashes of yellow and orange leaves, all spinning.

I lie on the ground and blink my eyes against the sun. The spinning has stopped. I hear my lungs fighting for air. I lift my head and fold my front legs under me and push up. Everything hurts. I stand up and shake myself and hear the jingle of fence staples in the saddle bags. I take a couple of steps and oh! Same old hip.


I see him there, lying face‑down in the grass. There are still a few green sprigs close to the ground, but mostly it’s dead and brown and ready for winter. His hat lies off to the right and a soft north wind plays with the long wisps of hair that he combs over his bald spot.

I go to him, holding my head up to keep from stepping on the reins. I look down at him, a set of clothes lying in the grass.

It wasn’t my fault, Charlie. I gave you my best. I always gave you my best, even when we fought and had our bad times. But you asked for too much. You should have known better. Now look what you’ve done.

I bend my head down and nuzzle his shirt, and for a moment his smells send me spiraling back. There were times when I hated you, Charlie, I hated your smell of bacon and tobacco and sweat. You were always pushing, making me give more than I wanted to give.

Did his hand move? He pushes himself up on his elbows. He groans and climbs up to a sitting position. He rubs his knee with both hands and his eyes rise to meet mine. He touches me on the nose.

“I lost my hat.”

He looks around, crawls to his hat, and sets it on his head. It looks silly, all cockeyed and bent. He pushes himself up and tests his leg. He reaches for the saddle horn to hold himself up.

There was a time, Charlie, when I wouldn’t have stood around waiting for you. I would have gone back to the barn. Today, I’ll wait. Tomorrow? No promises.

Well, climb on. I’ll take us home.

We take it slow and easy. Down along the creek, the gold and yellow leaves clatter in a sharp north wind. It’s getting cold. Winter is coming.

He comes, the old man. He comes for both of us, Charlie, but not today.

John R. Erickson

John is the author of the Hank the Cowdog book series. He and his wife, Kris, live on their cattle ranch near Perryton, Texas.

Read More from this Writer
Edited by Linda Garren
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On ‎4‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 4:46 AM, Linda Garren said:

parrots talking photo  Photo: enlewof / cc

Across parts of Australia, reports have been pouring in of strange voices chattering high in the treetops -- mysterious, non-sensical conversations in English. But while this phenomenon is certainly quite odd, its explanation isn't paranormal. It turns out that escaped pet birds, namely parrots and cockatoos, have begun teaching their wild bird counterparts a bit of the language they picked up from their time in captivity -- and, according to witnesses, that includes more than a few expletives.Jaynia Sladek, an ornithologist from the Australian Museum, says that some birds are just natural mimickers, able to acquire new sounds based on things they hear around them. For birds kept as pets, these sounds tend to mirror human language -- but that influence doesn't cease even after said birds escape or are released back into the wild.

Once back in their natural environments, these chatty ex-pets eventually join with wild birds who, in turn, start picking up the new words and sounds. The remnants of that language also eventually gets passed along to the escaped birds' offspring, much like it does for humans.

"There's no reason why, if one comes into the flock with words, [then] another member of the flock wouldn't pick it up as well," Sladek said in an interview with Australian Geographic.

According to the report, 'Hello cockie' is one of the most commonly heard phrases feral birds are teaching in the wild, along with a host of expletives -- perhaps the last words those escapees heard after their frantic owners realized they were making a break for freedom.

One of my interests is raptors, eagles, owls etc.   I'm a veterinarian.   An elderly man died leaving two Macaws in a cage.   The animal control office brought them here to be euthanized.   I dawdled while trying to find other solutions.   My daughter volunteered at Tracy Aviary.  One of their directors said he'd take the birds.   The guy drove 3 hours to see and collect the two birds.   I didn't hear anything more til he left a message for me.   He said when he got the birds home his dog went ape-shit crazy barking.  One of the birds screamed, "SHUT THE INAPPROPRIATE UP!"   And the dog did, instantly.   He wanted to tell me he couldn't be happier.   He built them an indoor enclosure.   And if the dog acts up the birds put him in his place by calling,  "SHUT..."


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"We all have the drum major instinct. We all want to
be important, to surpass others, to achieve distinction,
to lead the parade. And the great issue of life is to
harness the drum major instinct. It is a good instinct
if you don't distort it and pervert it. Don't give it up.
Keep feeling the need for being important. Keep feeling
the need for being first. But I want you to be the first
in love. I want you to be the first in moral excellence.
I want you to be the first in generosity."
(--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

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My interpretation:  The two guys on the left are vying for the attention of the pretty little blond girl on the right.  Linda



Edited by Linda Garren

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Very humorous photo!  I also liked the picture of the three airborne children ---  though I had to try to focus on their exuberance instead of their imminent landing!


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“Progress in America does not usually begin at the top and among the few, but from the bottom and among the many. It comes when the whispered hopes of those outside the mainstream rise in volume to reach the ears and hearts and minds of the powerful.” (Pro. 31:8-9)

(From Jon Meacham's The Soul of America as reported in Daily Briefing by Nick Pitts, PhD, Executive Director of the Institute for Global Engagement at DBU


Edited by Linda Garren

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Precious, thin little mommy cat with three kittens of her own willingly takes on 5 more who were orphaned.  And she looks so calm and casual and serene about it as if it's nothing special that she is doing...


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Thought for today:

Whether you give a man a fish or teach him how to fish, your job hasn’t changed.

Your job is fish.

It is not to make value judgments about whether the person is deserving of fish. It is not to criticize the person for not knowing how to fish already. And it is certainly not your job to stand around and debate the relative efficacy of fish charity vs. fish education while the person in front of you goes hungry. This person is your fellow human.

Your job is fish. 

—author unknown. 

Edited by Superdecooper
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Hi Linda, I just read the story about the old cowboy and his horse Rusty.   That is a good story.  Thanks. jb


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