Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

Near Peggy\'s Cove, Nova Scotia

Soon? We Hope . . .

After coffee and muffins this morning, we just took it easy, enjoying the quiet before the gate, so to speak.

About 2pm I head over to the Wal-Mart in Pleasanton to go ahead and stock us up with groceries so we won’t have to worry about that for a while if we get a gate in the next couple of days. Was kind of surprised to see that the place wasn’t very busy at all.

But I think that was because everyone was out on I-37 heading back to San Antonio from Corpus and the Valley. When I got on the Interstate heading for Pleasanton, I was in the middle of a solid two lanes of traffic heading north. But then coming home, the road was pretty empty.

For dinner about 6pm we had some of the Wacky Mac tuna pasta salad that had been marinating in the fridge since she made it yesterday. And as I had thought, the tomato, spinach, and beet powders listed on the package are just there to color the pasta naturally. They certainly didn’t change the taste. But it was really delicious and we each had two bowls.

I’ve been going through our bins a little more, pulling out the big items we’ll need on the gate. Or may need.

This first one we didn’t need at all last year since we stayed at one gate the entire 3 months, and we were only about two miles off the Interstate.

But in 2012 we were at four different gates, and used this Wilson Booster on two of them. And on one of them I was hitting a cellphone tower 21 miles away.

Wilson Electronics DB Pro Cellular Signal Booster

 Wilson Cell Phone Booser


I had the directional antenna mounted on a 20 pole made up of 4 – 5 foot antenna sections from Radio Shack. When I bought ours in April of 2012 it was about $350, but now it runs about $400. But since we get our Internet access as well as cell service this way, when we need it, we need it.

I’ve got a few more items, but I’ll save those for tomorrow.

We’ll be up early tomorrow to check in at the office to see if there’s anything on the schedule for us.


Thought for the Day:

2 + 2 = 5 for very large values of 2 – Fermat’s Next-to-Last Theorem


Magic Liquid . . .

No, not booze

Still no gate news, but as I said yesterday, I don’t really expect any until tomorrow, or even Tuesday. The entire facility has been locked up all weekend with no one around except us and our neighbors.

Later in the afternoon, Jan fixed up a cold tuna pasta salad for us to have over the next few days. For the pasta, she tried something different – Wacky Mac pasta.


All different colors, the pasta is colored and flavored with tomato, spinach, and beet powders, so it will be interesting to try it out. Along with the pasta, Jan mixed tuna, chopped-up bread and butter pickles, mayo, and Provence Spice. Then stored it in the fridge for a couple of days to let the flavors merge. Really looking forward to it.

One thing Jan wanted me to pass on to those of you who have bought the Microwave Pasta Boat. that I mentioned earlier. Pasta Boat

She loves this for doing pasta, any type of pasta, in the microwave, but she has found that if you use the normal cooking time for your pasta, in the Pasta Boat it will probably be overcooked.

For example, if your cooking directions say 18-20 minutes, Jan suggests starting with 15 minutes instead.

Brandi, Lowell and Landon are spending the long weekend at the Woodlands Resort, north of Houston.

Landon - Spiderman 1

They have a two story waterslide, a river for tubing, and a dancing water fountain for the kids to play in.  And of course, face painting and balloon animals (superheroes?)

Landon’s having a ball.


The magic liquid I’m referring to is Strike-Hold. Here’s what I said about it back in June.

What I saw when I walked up to the booth was a guy holding an extension cord with a small lit light bulb screwed into a socket on the end.

And his hand, and the lit bulb looked something like this.

Strike-Hold Electric Bulb


Now that got my attention.

Turns out it’s done with a product called Strike-Hold being sold at the rally by Ken Murphy and his wife Marilyn.

Strike-Hold CLP is marketed as a cleaner, lubricant, protector, and demoisturizer.

Strike-Hold Bottles

It was originally developed for use by the military to protect weapons from sand. When the parts are sprayed with Strike-Hold and allowed to dry, it functions as an excellent dry lubricant that repels the sand.

As far as the underwater light bulb, the spray has a dielectric insulation value of over 38,000 volts. Thoroughly spraying the socket and the bulb base is all that’s needed. Ken would even unscrew the bulb while it was underwater and then screw it back in again.

And on the website is another incredible demo where an electric drill is sprayed internally, and then while running, it is immersed in a bowl of water, and keeps running.

Both Nick and I came home with several bottles.

If you would like to order some, you can contact Ken Murphy at 214-850-4677 or

I’ve been using Strike-Hold since then on anything electrical, from my 50 amp power plug to my toad taillight plugs. And it works great.

Jan and I have been going through stuff getting ready for our gate. And one of the things I was checking out was our Kindle Fire. The last time we really used it was last November when we finished gate guarding.

Jan used it at night on the gate to surf the web and read Kindle books. But I remembered that toward the end, I was having a problem charging the Fire. So I was not surprised to find that it would not charge now either.

I tried 3 different chargers with no luck. Whatever the problem was, it seemed to be in the Fire itself. And a little Googling told me there was a known problem with the charger socket itself. Since we’d had the Fire for over two years, there was no warranty, so I was about ready to think about chucking it.

But Jan, bless her heart, suggested I try the Strike-Hold. Turning the Fire upside down, I sprayed some into the socket and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

And plugging it in, the Fire went right into charge mode until it was fully charged.

I love this stuff.

Thought for the Day:

“There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs-partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs. ~ Booker T. Washington (1856-1915.) ~ Educator, Author, Civil Rights Leader