Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

Wishing a
 and Prosperous
 2013 to everyone.

2013 is going to be a great year.

Good Times Ahead!

Lots of new and exciting things to look forward to.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Altamira Oriole

All of these pictures were taken with my iPhone.  I was working in the Visitors Center and took the pictures through a window

Visitors come here looking for this bird and never seem to arrive when the birds are right outside the window. I have been fortunate to see this pair come to the bird bath several times last week and today.

Today, one was in the birdbath and the other was on the log that has peanut butter.

click on pictures to enlarge

The shape of the Altamira Oriole nest is unusual, it it very long. It looks as though it is hanging by a thread on the branch. I'm wondering if this is so that squirrels or other critters can't get to it. 

This nest is near the Refuge Office
which is a short walk from the Visitor Center

The nest is just swinging in the wind.

It looks like a heavy wind would blow it away,
 we had some heavy wind on Monday and the nest is still there.

The Altamira Oriole (Icterus gularis) is a New World oriole. The bird is widespread in subtropical lowlands of the Mexican Gulf Coast and northern Central America, the Pacific coast and inland. It also can be found in the extreme south of Texas, ( the Rio Grande Valley).
At 25 cm and 56 grams, this is the largest oriole of the Icterus genus. This bird nests in open woodlands. The nest is a very long woven pouch, attached to the end of a horizontal tree branch, sometimes to telephone wires.
This bird forages high in trees, sometimes in the undergrowth. They mainly eat insects and berries.
These birds are permanent residents, and unlike the migratory orioles that breed in the US, the species is "sexually monomorphic"—both the males and the females have elaborate coloration and patterning.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jack and Coke

Copyright JGS / email:

If you had invested $10,000 in Coca-Cola 50 years ago, you'd be sitting on a 6200% gain
 without reinvesting your dividends.

~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

When originally created,
Coca-Cola's two key ingredients were cocaine and caffeine.

Coca-Cola now uses a cocaine-free coca leaf extract prepared at a Stepan Company plant in Maywood, New Jersey.

In the United States, the Stepan Company is the only manufacturing plant authorized by the Federal Government to import and process the coca plant, which it obtains mainly from Peru and, to a lesser extent, Bolivia. Besides producing the coca flavoring agent for Coca-Cola, the Stepan Company extracts cocaine from the coca leaves, which it sells to Mallinckrodt, a St. Louis, Missouri, pharmaceutical manufacturer that is the only company in the United States licensed to purify cocaine for medicinal use.

(If you do not drink Coca-Cola on a regular basis, it is still a good headache medicine)

~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

Jack Daniels' signature whiskey is the Old No. 7 brand. There were not 6 previous incarnations, and the secret of the 7's real meaning died with the original Mr. Jack Daniels.

Moore County, Tennessee, where Jack is distilled, is still a dry county. However, the distillery is exempt from the law and sells Gentlemen Jack in its gift shop.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Does anyone use the WiFiRanger?

If you do, what do you think of this product? Does it help you to pick up a stronger signal?

This company also sells the Millenicom router.

I ordered a Millenicom router last week
 directly from Millenicom's website and sent it back.
I could not get online at all with it, at least with
the Sprint iPhone hotspot, I could occasionally get online,
and they have a 24 hour return policy - I would lose about $189.00
 on the initial payment if I didn't make a fast decision.

If I had the correct antenna and booster before I purchased
the Millenicom router, it may have worked.
 I called their customer service,
they were helpful but the limited return policy did not give me
time to order an antenna or other parts.

I am concerned about doing banking and entering passwords when using the wi-fi from an unknown source. The description for the "wifi-ranger" addresses this issue and is why I am thinking of purchasing this product.

from their website:
Connect all of your devices to the WiFiRanger, such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, gaming consoles, printers, etc., then have the WiFiRanger securely connect to available WiFi for internet. You can even have a WiFiRanger connect to your smartphone's WiFi hotspot or your MiFi hotspot for internet. This unifies your own private network and allows for standard LAN applications such as printing and file sharing to happen securely behind the robust WiFiRanger, while simultaneously connecting to public WiFi systems for internet.

I'm still trying to figure out the best solution for the long term.

Although I am reaping the benefits of the repeater that my neighbor purchased, I will still need something to boost wi-fi signals at other locations, including my daughters house.

I use Sprint for my iPhone and the signal is very weak or non-existent around here.

Currently, I am trying to boost the signal of the cell phone and my cell phone is set up as a hotspot that should benefit from any increase in signal that I can obtain.

While browsing @, I came across a phone number for "Wilson Electronics" and called them.  They gave me 3 part numbers to order @ Amazon.  A large outside truckers/RV antenna, a connector and a "sleek cradle".

The antenna mount does not fit on my outside mirror and I do not have a ladder on the back of my RV.  I am looking into setting up something on the bumper of my vehicle, similar to what "RVsue" has recently put on her Casita.

RVSue has a "techno angel" that helps her out
 and we all reap the benefits by reading her blog.

The sleek cradle needs to be plugged into a 12v outlet and luckily I have one next to my bed. Otherwise, the cell phone would need to stay in the cradle mounted in the cup holder in the front of the RV - not very convenient.  The cup holder attachment was an option that I ordered from Amazon because I didn't want to stick the mounting bracket to my dashboard.  

I will put the mounting bracket next to the 12V outlet in the middle of the RV and use the cup holder mount by the dashboard - then I can easily move the iPhone around the RV.

Hmmm, I wonder how difficult it is to add additional 12V outlets to the rig?

First impressions of the "Sleek Cradle": Without hooking up the large outdoor antenna and just setting the iPhone in the cradle and plugging it in, I can already see an increase to the iPhone signal. There is  a small antenna attached to the cradle with a long cord. The small antenna is supposed to be mounted outside, but I have not put it outside yet.

I move the RV every week or so, and I need to have something that is easy to remove and disconnect.

I am frustrated with all of the cords and connections.  What happened to "WIRELESS"???

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cooper's Hawk

Last week, I startled a hawk that was near the path behind the Visitors Center. I was able to get a few pictures with my iPhone.

clutching a rabbit, trying to fly

hiding the rabbit, I was too close, he was not happy with me

trying again to fly away from me, dragging the rabbit

Cooper's Hawk

click on pictures to enlarge

Another attempt to fly with the rabbit
he dropped the rabbit and is in the tree
so I decided to move on and leave him alone.

red dragonfly

Amazing stuff...
being this close to wildlife

earlier the same day
the alligator was out of the water again

today on lunch break
Indigo Snake near the pond

A big thank you to another volunteer here, Henry. He purchased a wi-fi repeater to access the wi-fi from the volunteer outpost. Today he added my computer to the repeater.  Its been a long time since I had access to such fast internet.  I need to talk to him tomorrow and make sure I am not affecting the speed on his computer.

Took just a few minutes to add pictures to this post, normally it would take hours or days.

Drake Tax Software

Overnight stays in these states:

Overnight stays in these states:
It is the sandstorm that shape the stone statues of the Desert. It is the struggles of Life that form a person's character ~ Native American Proverb