Saturday, August 31, 2013

Is GMO Farming Poisoning the World's Drinking Water? Glyphosate Found in Human Urine. Fall of Atlanta. Sunmobile. Princess Diana.


For”Summary Saturday”, News, Some New, Some Old.

Pinterest:  REALITY

onsanto's Herbicide Linked To Groundwater Contamination

Is GMO Farming Poisoning The World's Water Supply?

“In a groundbreaking study published in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, evidence surfaced that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the Monsanto's patented herbicide Roundup, is flowing freely into the groundwater in areas where it is being applied. The researchers found that 41% of the 140 groundwater samples taken from Catalonia Spain, had levels beyond the limit of quantification - indicating that, despite the manufacturer's claims, glyphosate herbicide does not break down rapidly in the environment, and is accumulating there in concerning quantities.

Why Is Groundwater Contamination An Important Finding?

Groundwater is water located beneath the ground surface, that supplies aquifers, wells and springs. If a chemical like glyphosate is mobile enough to get into the groundwater and is intrinsically resistant to being biodegraded (after all, it is being used to kill/degrade living things - not the other way around), significant environmental exposures to humans using the water are inevitable. After all, according to the USGS, 88,000 tons were used in the US in 2007 alone.

Keep in mind that glyphosate is considered by the EPA as a Class III toxic substance, fatal to an adult at 30 grams, and has been linked to over 20 adverse health effects in the peer-reviewed, biomedical literature.

images[7] This groundwater contamination study adds to another highly concerning finding from March, 2011, published in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, where researchers found the chemical in 60-100% of all air and rain samples tested, indicating that glyphosate pollution and exposure is now omnipresent in the US. When simply breathing makes you susceptible to glyphosate exposure, we know we are dealing with a problem of unprecedented scale.

In fact, glyphosate's broad spectrum toxicity has been identified to be one potential cause for the disturbing loss of indispensable food-starter bacteria from soils and cultured foods within certain regions of the world, indicating that GMO farming may be depleting the microbial biodiversity of the soil, and ultimately its ability to remain fertile.”    From: 

"... you could say that what you're doing with glyphosate is you're giving the plant a bad case of AIDS. You've shut down the immune system or the defense system." Professor Ron Huber

More at: 


The Cornucopia Institute logo and header

Weed Killer Glyphosate Found in Human Urine

“Friends of the Earth Europe (FoE) commissioned a series of urine tests on people in 18 countries across Europe. The results were released on Thursday and FoE is asking, “Why is there weed killer in our bodies?”

imagesCABVM5NI On average, 44% of the samples contained glyphosate. The proportion of glyphosate found in the samples varied between countries, with Malta, Germany, the UK and Poland having the most positive tests, and lower levels detected in Macedonia and Switzerland.

The volunteers who were tested and provided samples all live in cities. None of them had handled or used glyphosate products in the run-up to the tests.

Monsanto is the largest producer of glyphosate, and the corporation sells it under the brand name “Roundup.”  More at:


On This Day:

Battle of Jonesboro leads to fall of Atlanta, Aug 31, 1864:

“On this day in 1864, at the Battle of Jonesboro, Georgia, General William T. Sherman launches the attack that finally secures Atlanta, Georgia, for the Union, and seals the fate of Confederate General John Bell Hood's army, which is forced to evacuate the area.

Sherman swung his army south of Atlanta to cut the main rail line supplying the Rebel army. Confederate General William Hardee's corps moved to block Sherman at Jonesboro, and attacked the Union troops on August 31, but the Rebels were thrown back with staggering losses. The entrenched Yankees lost just 178 men, while the Confederates lost nearly 2,000.

On September 1, Sherman attacked Hardee. Though the Confederates held, Sherman successfully cut the rail line and effectively trapped the Rebels. Hardee had to abandon his position, and Hood had no choice but to withdraw from Atlanta. The fall of Atlanta was instrumental in securing the reelection of Abraham Lincoln in the fall.”


William Cobb demonstrates first solar-powered car, Aug 31, 1955:

“On this day in 1955, William G. Cobb of the General Motors Corp. (GM) demonstrates his 15-inch-long "Sunmobile," the world's first solar-powered automobile, at the General Motors Powerama auto show held in Chicago, Illinois.

Today, more than a half-century after Cobb debuted the Sunmobile, a mass-produced solar car has yet to hit the market anywhere in the world. Solar-car competitions are held worldwide, however, in which design teams pit their sun-powered creations (also known as photovoltaic or PV cars) against each other in road races such as the 2008 North American Solar Challenge, a 2,400-mile drive from Dallas, Texas, to Calgary, Alberta, Canada.”


Lady Diana Spencer:

“On August 31, 1997, the former wife of Prince Charles, was killed with her companion Dodi Fayed in a car accident in Paris. 

She was taken to the Pitie-Salpetiere Hospital, where she suffered cardiac arrest minutes after her arrival. Surgeons failed to revive her, and at 3 a.m. she was pronounced dead. She was 36.”



Misty and I went to get Jay, as he wanted me to take him into our town to cash his check, and pay some bills.   He also wanted me to take him all the way to the south end of the next town, but I refused.  We didn’t really have time for that.  I knew what he wanted to do…pay a month’s interest, $41, on his stupid $250 pay-day loan.  If he didn’t pay it, they take the whole amount out of his checking account today.  Maybe he can get by without renewing it this month. The more money he has, the more he spends on beer.

In the afternoon, I became involved in looking for a park model trailer and an All-In-One computer to replace my laptop. I don’t like the laptop keyboards, I’d rather use my own. 

Then, when I went to let Misty out, at first glance, I thought that someone had sprayed water on the back window of my van.  Closer inspection showed that the whole window was broken and crazed, with a big hole in the middle.  Ray was outside weed-eating, so he came over and taped up the whole window.  It took over one new roll of tape.  I know not to leave a vehicle closed up in the TX sun, and that is why I had window vents installed over my front windows so I leave them open a bit, without rain getting in.   But the heat of the direct sun must have been too much.  My new metal carport, if it had already been here, would have saved it. 

Jay, his mother, and neighbor have gone to Coushatta to gamble, so I am babysitting Muffie and Maddie today.

Friday, August 30, 2013

We Were Wrong: L-Carnitine. Unsavory Aspects of Farmed Shrimp. Cleanup Crew. Eat local, Eat fresh, Eat healthy, Save money. Cleopatra. Thurgood Marshall. Charles Bronson.


For “Foodie Friday”:

Why We Were Wrong: L-Carnitine

Raw beef on cutting board

“All this time, we physicians have warned you about the risks of eating too much red meat. We worried that the high saturated fat and cholesterol content was damaging to your heart; however, we got it wrong. Red meat is still linked to an increased risk of heart disease, but it’s not just from the fat. New research points to a substance found in red meat called L-carnitine. This new research suggests that L-carnitine, either from red meat or taken in supplement form, poses a threat to your heart. Prior to the latest research, we’ve promoted this supplement on this show. Researchers claimed that it could increase energy, speed up weight loss, and improve athletic performance. Some energy drinks add L-carnitine for this reason.

Now, I’m saying DON’T take it!

Here’s how it works: After you ingest L-carnitine, it travels to your gut, and intestinal bacteria converts the L-carnitine into a substance called TMA, which then gets processed by the liver. The liver converts TMA into a compound that has been linked to plaque build-up in the arteries and heart disease. This conversion was most apparent in those who regularly ate red meat. Remarkably, vegans and vegetarians, even after consuming a large amount of carnitine, did not produce significant levels of TMA. It may be because they have different gut bacteria.

Red meat is one of the highest sources of L-carnitine, at about 56-162 mg per serving. L-carnitine can also be found in foods like pork, seafood, and chicken, but at much lower levels, between 3 and 7 mg per serving. Dairy, like ice cream, milk and cheese, has between 3 and 8 mg per serving. However, the main source of L-carnitine for many people is supplements – with some people taking up to 500-1000 mg per day. The more L-carnitine you get, the more TMA you may make, which can damage your blood vessels even faster.

Because the greatest source of L-carnitine in our diet comes from red meat, I think we should avoid it as much as possible. I don’t eat much red meat myself (I think lean chicken tastes better anyway); however, I know that’s not an option for everyone. If you must eat red meat, try to eat 4 ounces or less per week. For those carnivores who love their steak, here are three simple things everyone can do to create a healthy environment in their gut, which can lessen the impact of L-carnitine:

  • Build an alkaline environment in your gut by eating leafy greens or using lemon/lime on salads and in water. (Yes, lemons are alkaline. Even though it has citric acid, its overall nutrients are alkaline.)
  • Choose plant protein sources, like hemp seeds or black beans, which help to remove toxins because of high fiber content.
  • Take a probiotic. As mentioned before, regular meat eaters converted more L-carnitine into TMA than vegetarians or vegans. This suggests that the type of bacteria in your gut makes a difference.” 

From:  by Mehmet Oz, MD


The Unsavory Aspects of Farmed Shrimp

Shrimp“For the past several years, I’ve increasingly recommended avoiding most seafood due to widespread contamination, primarily by mercury, PCBs and other environmental pollutants.

Shrimp, however, due to their small size, have generally been considered to be one of the safer kinds of seafood. But a recent article may make you think twice about eating shrimp, unless you know it’s wild-caught from a clean source.

Farmed shrimp tends to be far more contaminated than wild-caught shrimp. Despite that fact, less than two percent of shrimp imported into the US gets inspected by US regulatory agencies

Farmed shrimp can contain a wide variety of contaminants, including hazardous drugs, chemical residues from cleaning agents, pathogens like Salmonella and E.coli, along with other contaminants like mouse and rat hair

Imported shrimp accounts for 26 to 35 percent of all shipments that get rejected due to filth

The joint NOAA/FDA Gulf seafood testing program claims majority of seafood samples have no detectable residues of oil or Corexit. But other scientists have raised concerns that the residue limits established are too high

When farmed in non-native waters, shrimp are raised in underwater pens built along the coastlines, where native mangrove forests are frequently sacrificed to make room for them.”     Complete article at:


Really, You Shouldn't Eat the Cleanup Crew

Unsavory Aspects of ALL Shrimp:

“Why did God prohibit eating certain foods? Was the Creator being capricious? Why should He be concerned? Is there a rational, logical basis for the Scriptures dealing with which foods are fit for human consumption?

Shellfish, lacking both fins and scales, are clearly excluded by the biblical dietary laws. But why would lobsters, crabs, crayfish and shrimp, which are considered delicacies in many parts of the world, be prohibited? The answer lies in understanding the role they were designed to play in nature.


Shrimp eating dead fish

Common shrimp, a small, delicate relative of crabs and lobsters, live by day in the mud or sandy bottoms of bays and estuaries all over the world. However, they become active at night as predatory scavengers and are "bottom dwelling detritus feeders [eating dead and decaying matter" (Encyclopedia of Aquatic Life).

These organisms were all created for a very important ecological purpose. They are, in essence, the "garbage collectors" or the "cleanup crew" for the bottoms of lakes, rivers, beaches, bays and oceans.  They were not intended to be food for human beings.”   More at:


Eat local, Eat fresh, Eat healthy, Save money.

“It takes energy to make energy, and 10% of all the energy consumed in the US—about 100 billion gallons of oil each year–is used just growing our food. Processing and transporting all those rutabagas, feedlot steaks, and artisan breads to our table raises the figure to 17%. The Chicago Produce Terminal reports that food in America travels about 1,500 miles before you stick your fork into it. And that figure is rising as grapes arrive from Chile and apples from China.

The United Nations says that the average American is responsible for about 22 tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year, compared to six tons per person throughout the rest of the world. You can trim some of this CO2 usage by eating as many fresh, whole, unprocessed foods as possible, and buying locally produced food from local area farmers and ranchers.

As RVers, we travel to many exciting places, and the preparation and enjoyment of local foods can become a highlight of our travels. The best local foods in season will be found at farmer’s markets, farm stands, and U-Pick farms. You may find your meals getting more interesting as you try foods you’ve never tasted before. Check local chambers of commerce or tourism bureaus for a list of markets and farmers and ranchers that sell directly to the public, or go online and do a Google search for “farmers market” with your location.

Ask the supermarket produce manager which of their fruits and vegetables come from local growers and buy those. Supermarket buyers have responded to the demand for local foods. You will be pleasantly surprised at the taste of right-off-the-farm fresh fruits and vegetables. And the bonus is that a local diet of fresh produce and meals made in your RV, eliminating a lot of processed foods containing fats, additives, and sugar, will do wonders for your waistline.

But also, if you believe in frugality, and like to stretch your travel budget, buying your food as direct to the producer as possible can make a huge difference in how many $$ you have left over at the end of the month–and can do something exciting or charitable with them. You will find also that these local, fresh-picked foods, taste better with the least amount of preparation, saving you cooking time and tasting awesome.

Eat local. Eat fresh. Eat healthy. Not only will you be helping to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, but also your taste buds will thank you for it–but your wallet, unlike your waistline, will be a little fatter. And that’s good too.”  From:  Click here: Eat local. Eat fresh. Eat healthy. Save money.  Posted August 19, 2013 by Bob Difley


On This Day:

Cleopatra commits suicide, Aug 30, 30 B.C.:

“Cleopatra, queen of Egypt and lover of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, takes her life following the defeat of her forces against Octavian, the future first emperor of Rome.

Cleopatra, born in 69 B.C., was made Cleopatra VII, queen of Egypt, upon the death of her father, Ptolemy XII, in 51 B.C. Her brother was made King Ptolemy XIII at the same time, and the siblings ruled Egypt under the formal title of husband and wife. Cleopatra and Ptolemy were members of the Macedonian dynasty that governed Egypt since the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C. Although Cleopatra had no Egyptian blood, she alone in her ruling house learned Egyptian. To further her influence over the Egyptian people, she was also proclaimed the daughter of Re, the Egyptian sun god.”


Thurgood Marshall confirmed as Supreme Court justice, Aug 30, 1967:

“On this day in 1967, Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African American to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. He would remain on the Supreme Court for 24 years before retiring for health reasons, leaving a legacy of upholding the rights of the individual as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.”



Movie tough guy Charles Bronson dies, Aug 30, 2003:

“On this day in 2003, the actor Charles Bronson, best known for his tough-guy roles in such films as The Dirty Dozen and the Death Wish franchise, dies at the age of 81 in Los Angeles.

Bronson was born Charles Buchinsky on November 3, 1921, in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania, to Lithuanian immigrants. The 11th of 15 children, he worked in the Pennsylvania coal mines as a teenager and later served in the Army during World War II. After the war, he worked a series of odd jobs and took acting lessons. He had an uncredited part in the 1951 film You’re in the Navy Now, starring Gary Cooper, and a small part (credited as Charles Buchinsky) in 1952’s Pat and Mike, with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. In the mid-1950s, he changed his name to Bronson because he believed it wasn’t smart for an actor to have a Russian-sounding last name at a time when there was a strong anti-Communist sentiment in America.

The craggy-faced Bronson achieved fame in Europe--in Italy he was known as Il Brutto or “The Ugly One”--before he became a full-fledged Hollywood star in the 1970s. In 1974’s action thriller Death Wish, Bronson played the New York City architect Paul Kersey, who becomes a vigilante and goes after street criminals following attacks on his wife and daughter. Although the film was criticized for its graphic violence, it was a box-office success and spawned four sequels from 1982 to 1994. Bronson’s last starring movie role came in 1994’s Death Wish V: The Face of Death.”



Misty and I went to get Jay and had our little walk down there.

When we got back here, Jay and I worked on the desk that I had intended to put in the guest house, but Shay had commandeered for her use in her son’s place next door.  The back of the top hutch part wasn’t in too good a shape, and Shay had been griping about it.  She knows that the squeaky wheel gets the attention.  We had intended to replace it, anyway, so it was the time to do it.   Jay and I brought some beaded paneling down from my attic, and screwed a new back on it.  Now, things won’t fall out of the back of the cubby holes, and the paneling also keeps it square.

New-porch-roof-2013-08-29 Ray painted inside the posts on the screen porch, and Jay put some more closure strips and screws in the roofing that we had already installed.  We figured out where to put another skylight in the roof that will be over my front porch, but it was too late to do much more yesterday.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

“Other Half” Driving? Hitching a 5er. How To Level RV. RV Shower. Whiten A Sink. Vent Cover. Dometic Power Draw. Bed-lifting Struts. RV Tips. "Pre-owned" Units. Chromecast. Inca Atahuallpa. Katrina.


For “tRaVersing Thursday” or RV Day:

Can your "other half" handle the rig?

“Though becoming more balanced among couples, more men still drive their RVs than women. If you are the female half of a couple, imagine if you were out in the boonies and the driver were to become ill?

You would have to learn how to drive the rig quickly — and at a most difficult time while under extreme stress. Don't wait for that moment to happen. Start learning to drive the rig now, and then share the everyday driving to stay in practice.

Don't limit yourself to learning just how to drive: There are other things the regular "pilot" does to get the rig ready to travel. Do you know how to disconnect the power and water systems? Raise the automatic levelers? Hitch up the rig? All these are important aspects of getting under way with your RV. You and your other half should draw up a checklist together, and thoroughly practice "how-to-dos" before the need arises.

If you are the male driver, start giving your other half driving time — along with constructive and helpful assistance, and encouragement. If you can't provide the support and the temperament to make it work, hire a driving instructor. Do it.” by Bob Difley


Hitching a fifth wheel trailer and weight capacities.

Demonstration on how to properly hitch a fifth wheel trailer to a truck.


How to Level Your RV.

“Step-by-step instructions for leveling a camper. Proper techniques include slideroom out first and then leveling left to right, using an arm's length to gauge enough space for slideout to open, and putting down stabilizer jacks after the camper is successfully leveled.  This video is highly recommended for all RV owners for proper care of their unit.”


Getting your RV shower ready to roll

“An RV shower is different from your shower at home. First of all, it moves. But, equally important, when dry camping your water supply is limited so you need to conserve it. In this video, the RV Geeks show you how to set up your shower to meet your needs on the road. (And here are the two links to the products mentioned in the video: The showerhead. The soap dispensers.)”



How to whiten an RV kitchen sink

“Here's a quick, easy tip from the RV Geeks about how to whiten a Corian or similar solid-surface kitchen or bathroom sink. Whether in your RV or in your house, this simple technique will rejuvenate even the dingiest and most discolored sink.”

From Me:  You don’t have to send off for Oxyclean. It is at the Dollar General and other stores.


How to install an RV roof vent cover

“In this video from Trailer Life, learn how to install an RV roof vent cover. These vents increase ventilation and air flow all year-round. Watch our step-by-step RV vent cover installation guide.”


Reduce unwanted power draw on your Dometic RV refrigerator

“Many of the Dometic refrigerators have a heat strip in the door frame at the top of the refrigerator section. This is intended to reduce the formation of condensation and wetting the seal — but the strips draw 12 watts of battery power when the refrigerator is turned on.

Some Dometic models have a semi-hidden switch to disable this, but many of the models like mine (DM2652LBX) don't. The strip is wired in parallel with the interior light circuit. Others have snipped the wire behind the light. Since I camp fairly often in damp environments, I like to have a functional heater when on shore power.

There's an easy solution to the issue — the heater and interior light are wired to the circuit board in back of the fridge through a single spade lug connector. I just disconnect the connection when I'm going to dry camp for more than two nights. This provides an additional benefit: disabling the interior light, keeping the refrigerator 12-volt power draw to an absolute minimum.

Here's how:
1. Open the exterior refrigerator access cover. Locate the wiring diagram. The diagram on mine is pasted to the burner cover. Disconnect the 120-volt power before proceeding.

2. Find the control board. It is usually under a black cover on the left side of the unit. To remove the cover, loosen the screw on the top and then use a screwdriver in the slots on the side to pop the tabs loose. Be careful not to break any wires or the cover.

3. On the wiring diagram, locate the interior bulb and climate control heating element (not the 120-volt heating element or the fridge won't cool!) Mine was the one connected to terminal #2. (This is where the screwdriver is pointing in the picture.)

4. Disconnect the spade lug and put it somewhere where it won't short anything out.

4.a. Optional: Put an SPST switch in-line between the spade connector and the circuit board.

5. Close up the control board cover and restore 120-volt power to the unit. Turn the refrigerator on and make sure the bulb is dark and the area where the strip is doesn't get warm.

6. Close up the exterior hatch. Make sure the drain hose is routed to the proper place.

Doing this modification reduced the refrigerator draw on my batteries from 1.6 amps to 0.6 amp when the gas valve is open, and 0.2 amp when it is closed. This modification saves 24 amp-hours per day when dry camping!”  By Neal Weber


RV Tips:

Inverter sucks power
“Using an inverter to provide "shore power" from batteries on your RV? Even when not pumping full power, an inverter still uses power, and if things like your TV or other equipment are "off" they may really still be eating power. All that "parasitic" loss can chew up your batteries. If your inverter has an option of a remote switch, spend the money and install it — you'll thank yourself in the future.”

Generator log book
“Keep a log book for your RV generator. Track the time for service intervals like oil and (if applicable) filter changes.”

Trim and molding screw replacement
“Is your exterior trim and molding held on with screws? Are they looking like "rust magnets"? Take samples of that corroded hardware down to the hardware store and replace with new stainless steel. Don't want the stainless look? Stick them in a block of styrofoam and spray the heads with glossy paint to match your trim.”

Fire starter tip
“Need fire starters? Reader Seann Fox sends us a suggestion from The Old Farmer's Almanac: Start with dried pine cones. Melt old candle stubs in a double-boiler. Dip the pine cones into the hot wax. Let dry, perhaps on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Store in a can when dry. The wax helps the pine cones burn long enough to help get your fire going. For special effects, soak the dried pine cones for 24 hours in a solution of 1 pound Epsom salts to 1 gallon water. The treated dried cones produce a myriad of colors in the campfire.”

Learn about current conditions in the USA: stream flows, drought areas and flooding. Water Watch.

Making underutilized space in an RV useful
“RVers don't have the luxury of squandering space as frequently as in a roomy stick house. So, it's important to utilize all the spaces in your RV. Tools, devices and spaces in an RV that can be used in multiple ways are critical. For example, whether a class A,B or C motorhome, the driver position often becomes underutilized space after the day's driving is complete. Here is a way to make it useful.”

Save money on toads, tow bars and accessories by buying them used.
“Prices for towing equipment aren't cheap. The price of a new tow bar, braking system, and especially a tow car itself, can bust the proverbial bank. Wouldn't it be nice if there was a centralized place where you could shop for used tow equipment and toad cars? Ah! But there is! Here's a website for all toad pullers to put in their bookmarks:”

Take a step — or two —  up with a ladder extension
“Getting up on your RV's ladder can be a physical accomplishment, and getting down off the last step can be a jolt — sending an irate message to your back. Why not make life easier — and safer — with a ladder extension. See how.”


Campground "size limits"
“Don't let campground "size limits" scare you away. Check at the registration booth and see just how the size is determined, and if there are longer sites available. Can you unhitch your tow vehicle and park it next to your trailer or in an overflow site? At times, size limitations are based on park roads that may be too tight for longer rigs — best to check before driving in for a look-see.”  Tech Tips from Mark Polk 

Slow down to save tires. “High speed on a really hot day severely stresses tires.  Slow down to reduce the stress, especially if you are fully loaded.”   From: Bill's Hints

Summer days are salad days — Sweetpea Salad
This is a nice change from the same old salads, especially when you’re boondocking and the lettuce is gone. Get the recipe.

The oldest rocks in the USA  “How old are the oldest rocks in America, and where are they? How can I see them?” —Jim Oldman, Houston Read Dr. Rock's answer.

On the last day of an RV trip.  “If you are hooked up to water and sewer, it's a good idea to wash your tables, counters, floor, fridge and other places inside your RV. If you wait until you get home, when you may not be hooked up, your water will likely be limited and you'll end up draining water into a holding tank which you'd probably prefer to stay empty.”


More security for RV bed-lifting gas struts 
“Many RV beds double as storage units: Pull the mattress board up and down inside, under the mattress, is an open space for hiding stuff. Most of these utilize gas struts or "gas springs," as they're sometimes called. Originally popular for keeping hatchbacks open on cars, these clever devices soon found their way into the RV industry.

The problem with gas springs is that if you have just a bit too much weight on the mattress — say a big stack of blankets — or the spring begins to lose it's strength, life can get a bit complicated. We store our canning equipment and jars under our bed, and at times we have to actually climb under the bed to retrieve items. Imagine that old mattress coming down on top of you.

You could replace the gas springs, but if too much weight is a factor, replacing with the original spec springs won't gain you the lift you need. Replace them with springs having greater lift force will work — until springtime rolls around and you lighten the weight on the mattress and those stronger springs may hold the bed up when it should be down. Or maybe the springs work well enough, but you'd like a little extra security when poking around under the bed.

Here's an easy fix — an add-on support rod  that will definitely hold the mattress up. Buy a length of 3/4" PVC pipe from the hardware store. Visualize the pipe as a rod near the open end of the mattress box (opposite the hinges). Using this pipe as a "prop," you can hold the bed box open easily and safely. But what's to keep your prop from slipping out? A set of closet rod flanges — one installed on the inside lid of the bed box, the other screwed to the floor — will serve to hold both ends of your new prop rod and keep it from slipping out at the wrong time. Best to find a closet rod flange set where both pieces are completely closed, like the photo, rather than the type with the opening to slide the closet rod down into.  It's a cheap, quick, and easy fix.”  by Russ and Tiña De Maris

Motorhome shopping?
Check out the "previously a rental" market

“In the market for a motorhome? There are plenty of manufacturers who'd like you to look their way. Problem is, brand-new motorhomes are definitely pricey, and they loose a lot of value the moment you step on the accelerator the very first time and drive them off the lot. For some shoppers this means hitting the used motorhome market. Among the host of sellers who'd have you buy their rigs are "pre-owned" units that lived their first life as rental units. Read more.”


Is Google Chromecast the answer to TV in an RV?

“My wife and I recently bought a Google Chromecast ( for use in our RV. As tech gadgets go, these things are CHEAP – only $35, cheaper than Roku and Apple TV. They are selling so fast, supplies are limited – most people are placing orders to get in line for shipment.

Is Google Chromecast the answer to TV in an RV? (Click the pic for more info.)What is a Chromecast? It’s a tiny device that allows us to stream video content from our phone onto our TV. It’s intended to take Netflix and YouTube video from a phone or tablet onto the big screen.

Chromecast is useful in an RV for several reasons. Since many RV parks these days do not offer cable, we often find ourselves watching Netflix streaming video. Instead of just streaming to a phone or iPad, wouldn’t it be nice to watch it on the TV? That’s the idea behind Chromecast.

Supplies are limited! Chromecasts are selling like hotcakes. (Click the pic for more info.)Setting up a Chromecast is not as easy as we would like. While the box and packaging are very streamlined in an Apple sort of way, the actual setup was not. First we had to install an app onto our iPhones. That part was easy enough, but when we tried to complete the setup the app kept crashing. Hmm, perhaps this was an Apple/Google conflict?

We finally got Chromecast to connect with our phones and the streaming began to work. It’s quite simple – when watching a video on Netflix, for example, clicking a small icon instantly streams the video to the TV.

Due to strong sales, Chromecasts are hard to find in stores. Your best bet in getting one may be to order from Amazon – they ship ‘em out as their supplies are replenished.”  by C.S. (Sean) Michael


On This Day:

Pizarro Executes Last Inca Emperor, Aug 29, 1533:

“Atahuallpa, the 13th and last emperor of the Incas, dies by strangulation at the hands of Francisco Pizarro's Spanish conquistadors. The execution of Atahuallpa, the last free reigning emperor, marked the end of 300 years of Inca civilization.

Buckling under an assault by the terrifying Spanish artillery, guns, and cavalry (all of which were alien to the Incas), thousands of Incas were slaughtered, and the emperor was captured.  Atahuallpa offered to fill a room with treasure as ransom for his release, and Pizarro accepted. Eventually, some 24 tons of gold and silver were brought to the Spanish from throughout the Inca empire.

Although Atahuallpa had provided the richest ransom in the history of the world, Pizarro treacherously put him on trial for plotting to overthrow the Spanish, for having his half-brother Huascar murdered, and for several other lesser charges. A Spanish tribunal convicted Atahuallpa and sentenced him to die. On August 29, 1533, the emperor was tied to a stake and offered the choice of being burned alive or strangled by garrote if he converted to Christianity. In the hope of preserving his body for mummification, Atahuallpa chose the latter, and an iron collar was tightened around his neck until he died.

High in the Andes Mountains of Peru, the Inca built a dazzling empire that governed a population of 12 million people. Although they had no writing system, they had an elaborate government, great public works, and a brilliant agricultural system.”


Hurricane Katrina wreaks havoc on Gulf Coast, Aug 29, 2005: 

“On this day in 2005, Hurricane Katrina, the most destructive hurricane ever to hit the United States, makes landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast, near New Orleans, Louisiana. Katrina, which formed over the Bahamas on August 23, was the third major hurricane of a particularly severe 2005 season.  The storm caused massive devastation in and around the city of New Orleans and major damage elsewhere in Louisiana and along the coasts of Texas, Mississippi and Alabama.  In all, more than 1,800 people died, 1 million more were displaced and 400,000 lost their jobs as a result of the disaster.”



Ray came over and spent the morning painting the posts on the screen porch, now we can install the new screen wire.

Misty and I went to get Jay, as it was shopping day.

First stop was to unload the paper recycling and donations at St. Mark’s thrift shop.  Jay bought some knick-knacks for his house, and some sneakers.  After a couple more stops and a look in a couple more thrift shops, where Jay bought some really nice boots and I bought a like-new purse, we got to Lowe’s.

It seems that they don’t stock many of the comfy padded toilet seats anymore, the only one they had was a cheap white one, and I need a good quality one in ivory.  I couldn’t find some of the other things I needed either.

It was getting hot, humid and late, so we didn’t even get to a grocery store yesterday.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Violet-crowned Hummingbird. Butterfly Decline. Milkweeds And Monarchs. Moths Need Love, Too. Beekeeping 'Doomed'. Don’t Forget Native Bees. Birds of Lake Wobegon. "I Have a Dream." Mahalia Jackson. Charles and Diana Divorce. Roof’s On!


For “Winged Wednesday”:

Violet-crowned Hummingbird

Violet-crowned Hummingbird by Greg Lavaty

“The only North American hummingbird without a colorful gorget, the Violet-crowned Hummingbird is still a handsome and sought-after species, easily distinguished from all other North American hummingbirds by its pure white underparts, iridescent bluish-violet crown, and red bill with black tip.

In the United States, this hummingbird is partially migratory, withdrawing into Mexico each winter.

Although the Violet-crowned Hummingbird is not considered threatened across it’s range in Mexico, it’s U.S. population is vulnerable to human disturbance and habitat loss due to overgrazing and drought.

images[7] One of the few places in the United States where this hummingbird can regularly be seen is Paton's Birder Haven in southwestern Arizona, established in 1974 by Wally and Marion Paton at their home. Now that the couple has passed on, the property is for sale by the family and faces an uncertain future. ABC is working with Tucson Audubon and Victor Emanuel Nature Tours to purchase the property and maintain it for visiting birders.”  

Find out more and make a contribution to help save Paton's Birder Haven!    Photo: Greg Homel, Natural Elements Productions; Range Map by NatureServe


Butterfly decline signals trouble in environment

The male Schaus swallowtail butterfly is an endangered species. (Dr. Thomas C. Emmel/ University of Florida )




    “Butterflies are the essence of cool in the insect world, a favorite muse for poets and songwriters, who hold them up as symbols of love, beauty, transformation and good fortune.

    But providing good fortune apparently goes only one way. As humans rip apart woods and meadows for housing developments and insecticide-soaked lawns, butterflies across the country are disappearing. 

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced that two brown, moth-like butterfly subspecies are probably extinct in South Florida, which some entomologists say is ground zero for the number of butterfly species on the verge of annihilation.

    The same issues plaguing butterflies are also causing populations of frogs, salamanders and toads to plummet, along with bees and other insects. A recent U.S. Geological Survey study estimated that seven species of amphibians will drop by 50 percent if the current rate of decline, fueled by pesticide use and loss of habitat, continues.”  More at:


    Milkweeds, Monarchs and More: The Milkweed Community

    Monarch butterfly, adult female. It nectars on a variety of flowers






    Monarch caterpillar, it feeds only on milkweeds

    “Monarch butterflies capture our hearts with their beauty and intrepid globe trotting. We have learned that the caterpillars need milkweeds to grow into the magnificent winged creatures. As a consequence, many gardeners gladly grow these plants in their yards and welcome the arrival of the travelers. They eagerly follow the appearance of the tiny caterpillars, their growth and final metamorphosis.”  

    More at:


    7 Moths that Make Butterflies Look Boring

    “I still like butterflies, but let’s be honest, moths need some love. They just aren’t as popular as butterflies, and they certainly should be! Both belong to the large order of insects, Lepidoptera, which refers to the tiny scales covering most moth and butterfly wings. I used to freak out when I touched a moth or butterfly wing because there was a powdery residue. Turns out, that’s the scales rubbing off their wings. Although they can usually still fly, their fragile wings are easily damaged and it’s best to handle with extreme care or not at all.

    Moth species dominate the Lepidoptera order almost 10 to 1, with over 11,000 species in the U.S. alone! I chose a few moths to highlight that give butterflies some stiff competition.

    Atlas Moth

    Atlas Moth

    (National Wildlife Photo Contest Entry by Andrea Mosley)

    This species is the largest moth in the world (measured by wing surface area). Female Atlas moths can reach a total wing surface area of over 62 square inches and wingspan of over 12 inches! Imagine those giant flappers headed toward you.

    Cecropia Moth

    Cecropia Moth

    (Photo by Flickr: Paul Huber)

    Female Cecropia moths, like many other species, produce pheromones to attract mates. Following this scent can be dangerous for male Cecropia moths, however. Bolas spiders are able to mimic these pheromones and eat whichever male moths show up!”  More at:


    Beekeeping Industry 'Doomed' -- Might We See Destruction of Food Supply Before the End of This Decade?

    “Bees have been dying off around the world for a decade now from a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD. A third of the U.S. food supply depends on the honeybees

    This year, the US experienced the highest losses of honeybee populations so far, with most of the nation’s beekeepers losing anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of their bee population

    Many of the 6,000 almond orchard owners in California could not find enough bees to pollinate their almond trees, at any price, this year

    The collapse of bee colonies is probably multifactorial, but a major factor is the toxicity of systemic pesticides called nicotinoids, which kills insects by attacking their nervous systems

    In May, beekeepers and environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the agency over its failure to protect bees from toxic pesticides.”  More at:


    In the Buzz About Bees, Don’t Forget the Natives

    “Beyond their honey-making prowess, domestic honeybees are worth tens of billions of dollars to U.S farmers and beekeepers, who truck colonies back and forth across the country to pollinate commercial crops such as almonds, soybeans and watermelon.

    Native bee in pumpkin flower.

    A wild bee pollinates a pumpkin flower in an Ephraim, Utah, garden. Photo by Paul Gardner.

    Yet with all the attention being paid to honeybees, I wonder if we’re overlooking an even more important story: the critical role wild, native bees play pollinating plants both in natural and agricultural systems. And unlike domestic honeybees, these natives do it for free.

    Bumblebee on Coneflower by Josh Mayes

    A bumblebee visits a coneflower in a Dayton, Ohio, backyard. Photo by Josh Mayes.

    Bees are by far the most important pollinators in natural ecosystems, Vaughan told me. The insects also are essential to producing more than a third of all foods and beverages humans consume. “In the United States alone, native bees contribute at least $3 billion a year to the farm economy,” Vaughan said. “We grossly overlook the critical role these animals play.””  More at:



    BirdNote: The Birds of Lake Wobegon

    Upcoming Shows:


    Golden Eagle SUNDAY Birds as Omens - From The Iliad by Bob Sundstrom  LISTEN NOW

    Carolina Wren MONDAY Hurricanes and Birds by Dennis Paulson  LISTEN NOW

    Hawaiian Petrel TUESDAY Hawaiian Petrels Atop Haleakala by Bob Sundstrom  LISTEN NOW ►

    King Penguin WEDNESDAY Happy Birthday, Roger Tory Peterson by Ellen Blackstone  LISTEN NOW

    Orchard Oriole THURSDAY The Birds of Lake Wobegon by Bob Sundstrom  LISTEN NOW

    FRIDAY Children Study Birds At Maxwelton Outdoor School Featuring coordinator Lori O'Brien  LISTEN NOW ►

    Williamson's Sapsucker SATURDAY Woodpeckers Love Ants by Bob Sundstrom   LISTEN NOW


    On This Day:

    King speaks to March on Washington, Aug 28, 1963:

    “On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the African American civil rights movement reaches its high-water mark when Martin Luther King, Jr., speaks to about 250,000 people attending the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The demonstrators--black and white, poor and rich--came together in the nation's capital to demand voting rights and equal opportunity for African Americans and to appeal for an end to racial segregation and discrimination.

    He told the hushed crowd, "Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettoes of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair."

    images[8] Continuing, he began the refrain that made the speech one of the best known in U.S. history, second only to Lincoln's 1863 Gettysburg Address: "I have a dream," he boomed over the crowd stretching from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument, "that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.'

    In the year after the March on Washington, the civil rights movement achieved two of its greatest successes: the ratification of the 24th Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished the poll tax and thus a barrier to poor African American voters in the South; and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited racial discrimination in employment and education and outlawed racial segregation in public facilities. In October 1964, Martin Luther King, Jr., was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. On April 4, 1968, he was shot to death while standing on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee--he was 39 years old. The gunman was escaped convict James Earl Ray.”


    Mahalia Jackson, the Queen of Gospel, puts her stamp on the March on Washington, Aug 28, 1963:

    “If the legendary gospel vocalist Mahalia Jackson had been somewhere other than the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on this day in 1963, her place in history would still have been assured purely on the basis of her musical legacy. But it is almost impossible to imagine Mahalia Jackson having been anywhere other than center stage at the historic March on Washington on August 28, 1963, where she not only performed as the lead-in to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his "I Have a Dream" speech, but she also played a direct role in turning that speech into one of the most memorable and meaningful in American history.

    The story that has been told since that day has Mahalia Jackson intervening at a critical junction when she decided King's speech needed a course-correction. Recalling a theme she had heard him use in earlier speeches, Jackson said out loud to Martin Luther King, Jr., from behind the podium on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, "Tell them about the dream, Martin." And at that moment, as can be seen in films of the speech, Dr. King leaves his prepared notes behind to improvise the entire next section of his speech—the historic section that famously begins "And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream...."”


    Charles and Diana divorce, Aug 28, 1996:

    “After four years of separation, Charles, Prince of Wales and heir to the British throne, and his wife, Princess Diana, formally divorce.   In the year following the divorce, the popular princess seemed well on her way to achieving her dream of becoming "a queen in people's hearts," but on August 31, 1997, she was killed with her companion Dodi Fayed in a car accident in Paris.

    Prince Charles married his longtime mistress, Camilla Parker Bowles, on April 9, 2005.”



    Misty and I went to get Jay, and had our walk down there.

    Jay and I had to make a change in the normal order that the roof panels were put on the screen porch roof.  The clear and opaque panels had to be right over the patio door going into the living room, to let the light in.  And the overlaps needed to be lined up exactly over the roof rafters, so that they wouldn’t show.  The only way to do that precisely was to install them first and then work in each direction.  So that’s what we did.  For the first time since Spring, the screen porch has a permanent roof over it today.

    Tuesday, August 27, 2013

    Lone Star Hiking Trail, TX. Best Place to Walk and Walk. Krakatau. Michael Vick. ‘Vickory’ Dogs.


    For “Travel Tuesday”:  Let’s visit The Lone Star Hiking Trail in the Piney Woods Region of TX:

    #Region.R_Description# “Experience the warmth and Southern hospitality of the Texas Piney Woods Region. This beautiful forest land offers visitors a glimpse of the history of the Republic of Texas and early statehood times. The Texas Piney Woods offers some of the best fishing, down home cooking, championship golf and family activities in the Lone Star State. Discover the Southern Hospitality of the Texas Piney Woods Region.”

    Lone Star Hiking Trail, Texas in the Sam Houston National Forest

    “East Texas’ Lone Star Hiking Trail runs for over 128 miles through the Sam Houston National Forest, but that’s too much hiking for me. I can handle, though, the challenging 27-mile section between Evergreen and Cleveland, which is a designated National Recreation Trail. Tree tags 25 to 50 yards apart mark the narrow path, but I suggest picking up a map from the Sam Houston National Forest district ranger’s office in New Waverly. Pines and magnolias shade the trail, which also blazes through thick brush and swampy areas, and crosses several creeks and the East Fork of the San Jacinto River (twice). You might also see white-tailed deer, turkey, quail, and rabbits. Foxes and bobcats live here, too, though you’re unlikely to see them. Old stumps covered in shades of green moss, strange fungi growing on fallen logs, and a variety of mushrooms lend an otherworldly, untamed feel to the landscape.

    USDA Forest Service, Sam Houston Natl. Forest, 936/344-6205

    “Driving Directions to Richards Trailhead: From Houston, go north on I-45 about 40 miles to Exit 87, Conroe/ Highway 105. Turn left (west) on Highway 105 and go 13 miles to Montgomery. Go north on FM 149 14.3 miles to Forest Service Rd 219. Turn right, go .1 miles and trailhead parking lot is on right.”


    Smooth and easy hiking deep in the heart of Texas.

    “They say everything's bigger in Texas, so a 140-mile trail should come as no surprise. The Lone Star Trail jaunts through the Sam Houston National Forest, deep in the heart of southeast Texas. Here densely packed pines and hardwoods tower overhead, and a rusty-red carpet of pine needles crunches underfoot. The going is smooth and easy, leaving you free to scan the forest for endangered red-cockaded woodpeckers or bald eagles.


    One of the trail's highlights is the Big Creek Scenic Area off FM 2666 in the eastern portion of the forest, where the path is laced with gently flowing streams and sprinkled with springtime flowers. Three developed recreation areas along the way (Double Lake on FM 2025, Huntsville State Park just west of I-45, and Stubblefield on FS 215 near New Waverly) offer convenient access.”  More at:


    “A voice-over introduction to the Lone Star Hiking Trail in the Sam Houston National Forest north of Houston, Texas presented by the Lone Star Hiking Trail Club. Karen Borski Somers Guide to the Lone Star Hiking Trail is available at”



    Best Place to Walk and Walk and Walk and Walk

    “The Lone Star Hiking Trail is more than 120 miles long and runs from the tiny town of Richards at the west end to Montague Church (just east of Cleveland) at the east end. Much of it goes through the Sam Houston National Forest, and very little of the trail is “road walking.” The trail crosses rolling hills of tall pine forest and hardwood bottomlands with magnolias and rare beechnuts. It crosses two rivers, one named bayou, a number of swamps and flowing springs, and some very big creeks. The trail passes through both Huntsville State Park and the Double Lake campground, and is a joint effort of the Sierra Club and the National Forest Service.























    Lone Star Hiking Trail:

    Hikers resting along the Lone Star Hiking Trail

    “The National Recreation Trail meanders the breadth of the Sam Houston National Forest passing through the eastern edge of the forest near Montague Church on FM 1725 close to Cleveland, Texas to the extreme western edge near Richards, Texas.

    Sections of the trail cross private property and public road rights-of-way. Therefore, visitors should show good trail manners, so private property owners will continue to allow foot passage across their land.

    The terrain is relatively flat with some wet areas; and bridges allow for easy creek crossings. The southern portion of the trail follows an old railroad tramway.

    Trailhead parking areas are at the main access points, but because the trail is intended to be primitive, there are no restroom facilities.  View these maps for trailhead locations:

    East side Map    West side Map

    At a Glance

    Fees:  None

    Best Season: Spring and fall

    Busiest Season: Spring and fall

    Closest Towns: Cleveland, Texas; Richards, Texas; Coldspring, Texas; New Waverly, Texas

    Water: Fresh water is not reliable and hikers generally carry their own or obtain it at one of the two campgrounds (Stubblefield or Double Lake) along the trail.

    Water Availability: Carry one bottle and use a purification pump the rest of the way. Plenty of Creek water flowing, untreated of course.

    Recommended Clothing: long pants light jacket

    Suggested Accessories: Need a walking stick to help over all the fallen trees.

    Restroom: None


    Hiking, Day Hiking,  Backpacking

    Camping is permitted anywhere along the trail except September 15 through February 1. Overnight camping is allowed in designated camping areas only during that time period.

    Off-road vehicles and horses not allowed on hiking trails.

    “No trace” backpacking methods are recommended.








    Documented Icon - Location includes a detailed write-up:

    Lone Star Hiking Trail - Big Creek/Double Lake Section
    Lone Star Hiking Trail - Big Woods Section
    Lone Star Hiking Trail - Four Notch Section
    Lone Star Hiking Trail - Huntsville Section
    Lone Star Hiking Trail - Kelly/Caney Creek Section
    Lone Star Hiking Trail - Magnolia Section
    Lone Star Hiking Trail - Phelps Section
    Lone Star Hiking Trail - Stubblefield Section
    Lone Star Hiking Trail - Tarkington Bayou
    Lone Star Hiking Trail - Wilderness Section
    Lone Star Hiking Trail - Winters Bayou Section

    I hope you enjoyed another visit here in the state of TX.


    On This Day:

    Krakatoa erupts, Aug 27, 1883:

    “The volcanic island of Krakatoa, (also called Krakatau), near Indonesia erupts on this day in 1883, killing thousands in one of the worst geologic disasters of modern times.

    The beginning of the amazing events at Krakatoa in 1883 date to May 20 when there were initial rumblings and venting from the volcano, which had been dormant for about 200 years. Over the next three months, there were regular small blasts from Krakatoa out of three vents. On August 11, ash started spewing from the small mountain. Eruptions got progressively stronger until August 26, when the catastrophe began.

    Krakatoa eruption lithograph.jpg

    An 1888 lithograph of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa.

    At noon, the volcano sent an ash cloud 20 miles into the air and tremors triggered several tsunamis. This turned out to be just a small indication, however, of what would follow the next day. For four-and-a-half hours beginning at 5:30 a.m. on August 27, there were four major and incredibly powerful eruptions. The last of these made the loudest sound ever recorded on the planet. It could be heard as far away as central Australia and the island of Rodrigues, 3,000 miles from Krakatoa. The air waves created by the eruption were detected at points all over the earth.

    The eruption had devastating effects on the islands near Krakatoa. It set off tremendous tsunamis that overwhelmed hundreds of villages on the coasts of Java and Sumatra. Water pushed inland several miles in certain places, with coral blocks weighing 600 tons ending up on shore. At least 35,000 people died, though exact numbers were impossible to determine. The tsunamis traveled nearly around the world--unusually high waves were noticed thousands of miles away the next day.

    The volcano threw so much rock, ash and pumice into the atmosphere that, in the immediate area, the sun was virtually blocked out for a couple of days. Within a couple of weeks, the sun appeared in strange colors to people all over the world because of all the fine dust in the stratosphere. Over the ensuing three months, the debris high in the sky produced vivid red sunsets. In one case, fire engines in Poughkeepsie, New York, were dispatched when people watching a sunset were sure that they were seeing a fire in the distance. Further, there is speculation that Edvard Munch's 1893 painting "The Scream" depicting a psychedelic sunset may have actually been a faithful rendering of what Munch saw in Norway in the years following the eruption of Krakatoa. The amount of dust in the atmosphere also filtered enough sun and heat that global temperatures fell significantly for a couple of years.

    Krakatoa was left only a tiny fraction of its former self. However, in the intervening years, a small island, Anak Krakatoa ("Son of Krakatoa") has arisen from the sea. It is growing at an average of five inches every week. This island is receiving a great deal of scientific attention, as it represents a chance to see how island ecosystems are established from scratch.”


    NFL star Michael Vick pleads guilty in dogfighting case, Aug 27, 2007:

    “On this day in 2007, Michael Vick, a star quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons, formally pleads guilty before a Richmond, Virginia, judge to a federal felony charge related to running a dogfighting ring. That December, the 27-year-old Vick, once the highest-paid player in the NFL, was sentenced to 23 months in federal prison.

    In April 2007, law-enforcement officials raided a 15-acre property owned by Vick in rural Surry County, Virginia, and discovered dozens of pit bulls, some of them neglected, along with evidence of illegal dogfighting activities. That July, Vick and three other men, Purnell Peace, Quanis Phillips and Tony Taylor, were charged with engaging in competitive dogfighting, obtaining and training pit bulls for fighting, and carrying out the enterprise across state lines.

    images[8] All four men pled not guilty to the charges. However, Vick’s three co-defendants later changed their pleas to guilty and agreed to testify that the quarterback had participated in the execution of a number of dogs and had bankrolled the gambling and operating funds for the venture, known as Bad Newz Kennels, which had reportedly been in existence for about five years.

    Animal-rights organizations as well as the general public expressed outrage against Vick and the barbaric details of the case—dogs that underperformed in fights were put to death by such means as drowning, electrocution and hanging.”


    Michael Vick Pit Bull Euthanized After Dogfighting Career

    TMZ Sports. Breaking News, 6/20/2013

    0620_mike_vick_dog2“Sad news in the dog world -- the top pit bull from Michael Vick's dogfighting ring has been euthanized.
    The dog -- named Lucas -- was humanely euthanized Wednesday at the Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah because of accumulating health problems. He was around 13 years old.
    Lucas -- who was Vick's grand champion -- was one of nearly 2 dozen dogs that were rehabilitated at BFAS after they were rescued from the ring in 2007. Unfortunately, Lucas was not allowed to be adopted because of his vicious fighting history -- and therefore had to remain a lifetime-care dog at the animal sanctuary.
    We're told Lucas was one of the friendliest dogs at the sanctuary -- and never stopped grinning.
    Best Friends CEO Gregory Castle said, it was "a blessing in every way to be around him and to witness the wonderful effects on everyone he met."   Read more:


    Where the Former Michael Vick Dogs Are Now

    “Since their rescue, they have gone on to find peace in the best ways they could.

    Michael Vick Dogs: Sox and Hector

    Sox and Hector

    “Sox and Hector both received therapy dog certification, and spend their days at hospitals, nursing homes, and schools. Sox, who came into rescue as one of the worst of the low-response cases, has improved dramatically since being adopted by her foster family. Hector, with scars over his chest and legs bearing testament to his past life, was adopted into a home with a pack of six dogs, and has made many friends, canine and otherwise.”


    Michael Vick Dogs: Zippy


    “Zippy, a small, energetic dog, has found peace and companionship
    with the Hernandez
    family, spending her days romping and rolling around the floor with two fellow dogs and three young children under the age of 10.”



    Michael Vick Dogs: Johnny Justice

    Jonny Justice

    “Jonny Justice was adopted by a foster family who discovered his love of children, and he participated in a program called Paws for Tales, where dogs provide a nonjudgmental audience for children struggling with reading. Jonny excelled at it, until the librarian banned Pit Bulls from the program after receiving some complaints from parents. Jonny and his family resigned from the program in protest, and volunteers from BAD RAP looked into state law, finding the breed-based discrimination unlawful. When they brought this to the librarian’s attention, however, the library withdrew from the Paws for Tales program.”


    Michael Vick Dogs: Bonita


    “Bonita, who was used in the dog-fighting ring as a bait dog for others to practice on, came into Best Friends rescue with scars, worn or broken teeth, and an instinct to flee from other dogs. She also had babesia, a blood-borne condition common in fighting dogs, and nerve damage in half of her face, so when she smiled nervously, it was crooked. She learned to crave warm laps to sleep in, and found a little bit of peace there. In 2008, she required dental surgery and never woke up from anesthesia.”

    More about the other ‘Vickory’ dogs at:   and



    Misty and I went to get Jay, and a job that Jay and I thought wouldn’t take long, took almost all morning.

    Ray and Shay live in my guest house, next to my house, and a couple of months ago, Shay’s sister had moved in with Ray and Shay’s son, who lives in the big mobile home on the other side of my house.  The two sisters have never got along, and they have worn a pathway across my grass going backwards and forwards, usually in a huffy gait.  Well, the sister found another place to live, and had a nice dining table and wooden daybed for sale, which I bought. The daybed has a new $380 mattress on it, and is in perfect condition.  The sister wanted me to leave the daybed in there for Shay to use and pay for it ‘later’.  BTDT. The sister still owes me $500 from many years ago!  Shay didn’t want to pay me the $100 that I had paid for it.  Sod her!

    When I turn my Grooming Room into a bedroom, the daybed will be good for ‘staging’ the house.  The table matches my dining chairs and it is a foot longer than my table.  It will show how big my dining area really is.  All Jay and I had to do was move the table and daybed out of the mobile home, and store them in Pugsy, (my vintage motor home) which has a big wide back door.  The table and daybed were both put together with hex screws, and some of them were stripped.  I have a full set of Allen keys, but we also had to get vise-grips on the screws. It took a lot longer than anticipated. 

    Also, I had just got a computer desk with file drawers, and we were supposed to move that into my guest house for Shay’s room.  It was a bit too long to go in the space that Shay had designated. It would have gone on another wall, but she didn’t want to move all that stuff.  So Shay decided that she wanted it in the newly vacated bedroom in the mobile home, and we had the job of moving that heavy thing up the tall steps.  Ray and Shay splitting up again?  I don’t know, but I know Shay’s overbearing ways, dramatics, and drinking get on Ray’s wick, and he might be glad if she moves. They argue all the time.  It was so peaceful when she wasn’t here for a year. 

    By the time we had done all that, it was too late for Jay and I to start working on my screen porch roof.  Then the rains came, soaking the screen porch yesterday.