1,000 Foot Ore Freighter, Soo Locks, MI

1,000 Foot Ore Freighter, Soo Locks, MI

Near Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia

Near Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia

Colorful Truck Sales, Weed, CA

Colorful Truck Sales, Weed, CA

Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign

Mackinac Bridge, MI

Mackinac Bridge, MI

Pelicans, Grays Harbor, WA

Pelicans, Grays Harbor, WA

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

Don’t Throw This Away . . .

I mentioned the other day about our $600 Stimulus checks finally showing up. Though a lot of people got a direct deposit right into their bank account, both this one and the one back in May came by mail.’

But it turns out that a lot of people are getting theirs in the mail another way. And they’re throwing them away, thinking it was a scam.

Some people are inadvertently throwing away stimulus check debit cards, th

They look like this –

IRS Stimulus Debit Card

If you accidentally threw yours away, you can request a new one by calling the IRS, if you can get through.

FWIW:

A new peer reviewed study out of Stanford is questioning the effectiveness of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders (which it calls NPIs, or non-pharmaceutical interventions) to combat Covid-19. The study’s lead author is an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at Stanford.

The study, co-authored by Dr. Eran Bendavid, Professor John P.A. Ioannidis, Christopher Oh, and Jay Bhattacharya, studied the effects of NPIs in 10 different countries, including England, France, Germany and Italy.

And, when all was said and done, it concluded that: “In summary, we fail to find strong evidence supporting a role for more restrictive NPIs in the control of COVID in early 2020.”

In fact, the study found  “no clear, significant beneficial effect of more restrictive NPIs on case growth in any country.”

This possibly explains the many graphs I’ve posted showing that places with the strictest lockdowns, like NYC, LA, and Chicago, have just as many, or even more cases per capita as areas with little or no restrictions.

See, sometimes the numbers do add up.


Thought For The Day:

The freedom of Speech may be taken away, and, dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.” — US President George Washington, 1783

 

 

 


January 20, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup and Dessert Wine . . .

Today started out very, very early, at least for me.

I left the rig about 7:15 heading for my doctor’s office up in Friendswood. I’ve got my annual physical next Tuesday, and I wanted to get my blood work out of the way so it would already be done on Tuesday.

I got out of the doctor’s about 8:45 and headed straight for the nearest Starbuck’s. I had been fasting since last night, so I hadn’t had my coffee this morning.

Greg Need Coffee Now!

Next it was over to Brandi’s to pick up our mail, before stopping off at O’Reilly’s Auto Parts. I wanted to get some different air connectors so I can interface my new Sears Air Compressor with the hoses and nozzles that connect to our coach’s air system.

My next stop was Chase Bank to go over some things with their finance person.

I finally got home about 12:30, to find Jan ready to go to lunch, so we headed over to Dickinson to Monterey’s Little Mexico. As usual, great Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Getting back about 1:45 we had just settled in when we got a call from Jan’s dentist saying they have a cancellation for tomorrow at 1pm. That moves her 2nd appointment from the 21st to the 16th, which means we will be able to leave by the 17th at the latest. Maybe even earlier with another cancellation.

A few minutes later we heard from our friends Al and Adrianne, who are presently out in Tucson. We were trying to see when we could meet up. At first we hoped to cross paths on our way out to Yuma, but they’re leading this Saturday on a RV caravan trip down to Baja, Mexico, and won’t be back in the states until the 24th of February, when we’ll be on our way to Yuma. So if not then, maybe we can meet up later this summer when they’ll be in Cody, WY. Anyway, it was good to talk to them again.

A little later, I went outside to work on the check valve in our water pump, seeing as how it was supposed to be “Partly Cloudy and Windy”. This is what it looked like at 2:15 in the afternoon.

More Bad Weather

At least they got the “Windy” right.

When it started raining about 5 minutes after I got outside, I decided that it was a good time for a nap instead.

Then, after a very nice nap, Jan and I headed out for Pearland about 4pm to meet our good friends Bonnie and Richard at Spring Creek BBQ.. Jan and Bonnie were co-workers a while back and we always get together when we’re in Houston. Along with Bonnie and Richard were Richard’s brother and his wife, who we were meeting for the first time. Nice people and we had a good time getting to know them.

We finished up the evening back at Bonnie’s with some of her great coffee and two great homemade pies, a Banana Cream and a Sour Cream Raisin, and topped it off with a delicious white dessert wine.

After a great evening, we got home about 9:45pm, closing out a very long day.

More tomorrow…


Thought for the Day:

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” – Plato

 

 


January 20, 2014

Another Oldie, But Goodie . . .

I was up a little early this morning since I had clients to see, but I still had time for coffee, muffins, and sitting outside with Jan and Mister for a while. Then it was off to work.

My first stop was up in Pasadena for another one of my yearly client visits. She has 2 laptops, and another one of my oldie, but goodies. Like another client earlier this month, she has a desktop computer that I built and delivered in July of 2005. I always try to build them to last, but this is really pushing it.

So much so, that I recommended that it was probably about time to consider upgrading, especially since she’s still running XP on this machine and support is falling off fast. I cleaned up her two laptops and fixed a couple of problems But I didn’t really do anything with the old desktop, since I’m going to give her a quote on a new machine in the next day or two.

Before I left I also checked to be sure that her Epson Workforce 520 printer and her HP 4850 Scanner both have Win8 drivers available so they won’t have to be replaced with the new machine.

One thing about working on Jean’s computers is that she always sends me home with fresh baked treats, in this case, warm Oatmeal-Applesauce Muffins..Jean Cahn Muffins

They’re going to be great for breakfast the next several mornings. Yummm!

Then I was off to another client in the Pasadena area to drop off the laptop that I had finally removed the Conduit Search malware. I’m sure Tricia was glad to have it back, and I was glad to see it go.

Then I was off to the client’s office where I worked Saturday night, to see if my fixes and updates were still doing OK. No problems so far.

I headed back to the rig about 4:30 and then Jan and I drove up to Seabrook to have dinner at Hooter’s.

Jan had the Chicken Strips with 911 sauce, which used to be one of their hottest before they added a number of new ones. She also got an order of their new Mega Fries that we shared. I had my usual 10 wings, all drums, naked, with the new Triple Dog Dare sauce (now their hottest) with a side of  their also-new Chipotle Honey sauce.

Hooter's Wings

BTW  “naked’ wings means they don’t have any breading on them. Get your minds out of the gutter.


Under the heading of  “Yeah, that sounds right to me”, I think my problem is that my brain has gotten so full that stuff has started falling out the other side.


Thought for the Day:

“The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.”  — Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873

 


January 20, 2015

Well, the salad bar was good . . .

After working on some web stuff, I went outside to work on a couple of projects, one of which was to re-attach my tailpipe to my muffler. I had knocked it loose a while ago when I backed into an embankment behind our site while trying to not hit the overhanging limbs. I put a metal strap on it to keep it from falling completely off while I tried to come up with a way to re-attach it.

Finally came up with this: Two large stainless steel circle clamps holding four angle brackets around the base of the tailpipe (you can only see the top two). I’ve still got to put a screw the top left one, but I need to dig out my right-angle drill chuck so I can get a drill bit in there.

Tailpipe Repair

Then I pre-drilled holes through the brackets into the end of the muffler and screwed in large sheet metal screws. So actually it’s now more stable than it was to start with.

Then I went over to Randy’s Monaco to help with a leveler jack problem. He got stuck in the mud a couple of weeks ago when we were all at the Lake Conroe TT, as it pretty much rained the whole time we were there.

Since he was kind of sunk in, as he was being towed out, one of his leveler pads had the base pulled off of it.

Monaco Levelers

His looks like this except his has four springs, not two. As it turns out, the pad is only held on to the hydraulic piston by the force on the springs. So the base pad was now just hanging off to the side.

It took a while but by using a pry bar and several large wrenches we were able to lever the pad down and over so that it popped back in place. Glad I could help.

About 4pm Jan and I drove into Columbus to have dinner at Nancy’s Steakhouse. We’d heard good things about the place ever since we started coming out here, but it was our first time. It was a plus for us that Nancy’s is owned by the same people that own Los Cabos Mexican Restaurant right across the street. But unfortunately, for us, that’s about as far as it went. Like I said, the salad bar was really good, but it was pretty much downhill after that.

Jan’s Sirloin Strip was definitely not the Medium-Well she ordered. More like just over the other side of Well, and tough and chewy with a lot of fat.

My 12oz Ribeye was done Medium-Rare as I ordered, but was not very tender and had a lot of gristle in it.  All in all, a pretty poor example of a $24 steak. Not anywhere near as good as our steaks a couple of weeks ago at Saltgrass, or Jan’s steak this past weekend at Longhorn Steakhouse.

In fact when we were at the Golden Corral in Conroe three weeks ago or so, they had 5oz Sirloin Ends that were delicious, some of the best steak I’ve had anywhere in a long time. Jan wondered why they would have steak that good on a $12 buffet. I figured that there’s not a big market for 5oz. Sirloin Ends in a restaurant.

If this was a cheaper place, we’d probably give them a second chance, but at over $60 for the meal (with tip), it’s not worth another try. Between Los Cabos, Sealand Seafood, Peter’s BBQ, and Schobel’s, there’s enough good places around here to make up for it.

And speaking of Schobel’s, Jan and I, along with Randy, are going to go have breakfast there tomorrow morning about 9am, before we head back to Conroe later in the day.

Coming home, I got gas in the truck for $1.71, and saw diesel for $2.39. Nice.

_______________________________________________________________

Thought for the Day:

“I’m not questioning your honor…I’m denying its existence.” – Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones

 

 


January 20, 2016

Lego my Lego . . .

Even though it rained heavily overnight, and it was still cloudy this morning, we still wanted to get our walk in, so we headed out, wearing long sleeves. But about half way around our 1 mile loop, the sun came out . . . and it got HOT.

So after our mid-walk break for coffee and breakfast, we both changed into short sleeves for the rest of our walk. And at 1.65 miles, the same as yesterday, and 25:47 min/miles, only two seconds slower than yesterday, it was a good walk. But that may be it until Friday since we’re looking at thunderstorms tonight and all day tomorrow.

But it is weather after all, so who knows.

Right before we left on our walk, Janice and Dave Evans dropped by to say ‘Hi’ on their way home from getting groceries. We made plans to get together for dinner sometime soon. Looking forward to it.

Later, back at the rig, I put in a call to a local glass place to see about them coming out to the park and remounting the passenger side windshield of the rig. Back last year during our blow-out repair in Prescott, AZ, the repair shop managed to crack the windshield during the repairs. And now it had started coming loose.

Windshield made it all the way through the blow-out itself, the very rough ride as I brought the rig to a stop on the shoulder, and the rocky ride on the trailer on the way to the repair shop.

BlowOut TowTruck 2_thumb[4]

15,000 Pound Jack_thumb[13]But the repair place used a 15,000 pound jack like this one to lift the front of the rig about 4 feet off the ground to work underneath. And somehow along the way they torqued the front end enough to crack the glass.

Ironically, this same windshield had been replaced just a year earlier while we were up in Elkhart, IN in 2014, after it was cracked when the rig was tilted over during a rear axle inner wheel seal replacement.

And then in 2008, the driver side was cracked when we leveled the rig in 10° weather while up in Whitehouse, YT.

The glass shop guy had me text him some photos of the separation. The main one looks like this.

Windshield Repair 1_thumb[2]

This is the top right corner of the windshield where the glass and the gasket have pulled away from the frame. So now I’ll just wait to hear from the glass guy.

Later I changed out my EVO canister filter for the first time since last August, right before we left to gate guard. It seemed like our water pressure was down a little, so I dug out my spare cartridge and headed outside.

And this is what I found.

Water Filter New and Used_thumb[2]

This is a 5 micron filter and it seems to do a good job cleaning up the shore water. And the color change shows that. And the fact that the old one is about twice as heavy as the new one. This is the second filter I’ve replaced, with the first one lasting a little over 4 months and this one lasting 5 months. Not bad, I guess.

For dinner Jan heated up our leftovers from last night’s Vernon’s Kuntry Katfish visit, with catfish, hushpuppies, fried okra, and some of her loaded baked potato, it was plenty.

Vernon's Leftovers_thumb[8]

Jan also heated up a can of BUSH’S Bourbon and Brown Sugar Grillin’ Beans to round out a really good meal.

Wrapping up for today, here’s something really neat. It’s a tear-drop style camper built from 215,158 Lego blocks.

lego-brick-camping-trailer-1-1050x700_thumb[1]

It has working lights, running water and Lego food on the stove.

lego-brick-camping-trailer-3_thumb[1]

lego-brick-camping-trailer-5_thumb[1]

 
Here’s a short video about the construction of the camper.

And you can read the whole story here: Lego Camper

Tomorrow we plan on having dinner and a movie at the Star Cinema Grill here in Conroe. We’ve been at the one in Webster, TX a number of times, but this will be a first for the Conroe one.

The Star Cinema Grill is the perfect combo for a evening out, with no rushing from dinner to make the movie on time, because it’s all in the same place.

The menu is on the same scale as an Applebee’s or Chili’s, and at least at the one in Webster, it’s always been good.

I’ll have more tomorrow.


Thought for the Day:

“The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” – The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180)

 

 


January 20, 2017

Moving Day . . .

Things started moving fast this morning, and so did we.

I had just gotten to sleep after  my 12 hour shift when I started getting texts from Todd, our SiteWatch supervisor, pretty much upending everything.

Rather than close the pad gate where I’ve worked for the last few days, the CM reopened it for days only until the frack starts. But the big change is that Todd wanted us to turn around from night shift to day shift. Which means that today’s turn-around day  is maybe the only chance we’ll have to move over to Westhoff.

So after about 4 hours of sleep I was up a little after 11 so we could have one last meal at Barth’s. Then it was back to the rig by 12:30, and we were on our way by 2pm.

I had called ahead to the Westhoff RV Park and was told to just pick a site when we got there. So we did.

But it was all down hill from there. The park owner, Jan says he was creepy, was upset that we were in a ‘big, heavy’ motorcoach and were making deep ruts in his grass sites. Of course this was because the ground was soaked due to all the rain we’ve had in the last week.

Finally he asked us to move to another site where, not surprisingly, we also left deep ruts. At this point he continued to fuss and complain about how much trouble it was going to be to fill those ruts. At this point Jan got fed up and said, “Would you like us to leave?” He thought for a couple of seconds and said, “I think that would be best.” and then gave us our $240 check back. So we left, making more ruts getting out of the park.

So he ended up with the same ruts, but now he had no money. I’m not sure he thought this through.

But we later found a very nice RV near Cuero, for $250/ month with free Wi-Fi. It’s only about 20 minutes from the gate. But even better it’s only 3 minutes from Whataburger.


Thought for the Day:

“A society that loses its sense of outrage is doomed to extinction.”

 

 


January 20, 2018

They’re Always Watching . . .

I saw an article recently that Texas set all-time electricity usage records during the recent cold snap. But unlike other areas of the country that suffered blackouts due to an overloaded grid, Texas had no such problems.

And at least part of that is due to the fact that Texas is not part of  the nationwide grid, but maintains its own network called ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas). This lets them operate without worrying about those pesky Federal regulations and much more reliably.

This record usage showed here at the RV park as well. Normally our park voltage runs between 123 and 125 volts. But during the coldest period, when we had all three of our heaters running, the voltage was running around 110 – 112 volts.

We met Chris and Linda up at the Webster Cheddar’s at 12:30, luckily getting there right ahead of the crowd, so we got right in. Miss Piper had decided that she’d rather spend the day in Galveston with friends.

Her loss.

Chris got the Cornmeal Catfish Fillets, while Linda got her favorite Chicken Pot Pie. Jan of course got her usual favorite Key West Chicken with Shrimp,

Cheddar's Key West Chicken and Shrimp

and I again got the 4 Vegetable Plate with the House Salad.

Cheddar's Veggies

Really good. Cheddar’s does veggies as good or better than Cracker Barrel.

After a nice, leisurely meal Jan and I  had planned to go by Wal-Mart for some things, but when we came out of the restaurant, it was pouring down rain so we just headed home.

There’s always tomorrow.

Chris brought our mail with him so after we got home we gingerly sorted through it, looking for hospital/doctor bills for Jan’s recent  stay. But so far, nothing.

Keeping our fingers crossed.

Yesterday at work I was watching a two hour YouTube video concerning some new software I’m thinking about purchasing for my client, and I was about 45 minutes in when I stopped to head home.

Then this afternoon I thought I’d pick up where I left off, but thinking I’d have to start and stop until I found the right starting point. But to my surprise, when I called it up here at home, it started up at the exact point where I stopped it at work.

Remember, they’re always watching.



The Headline of the Day:
People are four times as likely to order dessert when their waiter is overweight.

So I need to find skinnier waiters?


Thought for the Day:

Officer: “Why did you shoot this man 6 times as he broke into your home?”

Home Owner: “’Cause the seventh time I pulled the trigger it went click.”

 

 


January 20, 2019

At Least He Still Has All His Teeth . . .

After a somewhat cold night, officially 33° but we still had ice in the puddles when we went outside, we left for Landon’s hockey practice at 11:15am.

Originally Miss Piper was going to ride up with us, but she became otherwise engaged, so we were on our own.

We met Brandi, Lowell, and Landon about 12:30 at the Sugarland Ice Rink for the 1 hour practice. This is Landon’s 3rd year of the sport and his improvement is really noticeable. The only thing he still has a little trouble with is the whole ‘skating backward’ thing.

But I’ve always thought that the big attraction for kids playing hockey is for the same reason that we played roller skate street hockey when I was a kid.

It’s a good excuse to hit other kids with sticks. Of course, then they hit you back. I think our version was a lot rougher too, because we weren’t bundled up like the Michelin Man, with all the padding. Just skates, shorts, T-shirts, and a big stick.

You know what they say, “There’s no crying in hockey”. Well, actually there was some.

There are no pictures of Landon’s hockey prowess because I forgot to take my phone. And my backup camera (you just knew that I would have a backup camera, didn’t you.)that I keep in the truck, one like this, a 5 megapixel one with a 4X  optical zoom,

Emprex 5.0 MegaPixel Backup Camera

wasn’t quite up to the task.

Well, the camera was fine, but the two AA batteries had died. I leave them out of the camera because even Off, it draws enough current to run them down after a while. So at least they corroded in the Ziploc bag and not in the camera.

When the practice was over at 1:30 we headed over to the nearby Floyd’s Cajun Seafood for lunch, the same one we ate at a couple of weeks ago before the Mannheim Steamroller concert.

Today, as then, we got the same thing, a dozen Raw Oysters,

Floyd's Raw Oysters 2

with Jan’s Grilled Catfish Filets and Grilled Veggies,

Floyd's Grilled Catfish and Veggies

and my favorite, the Shrimp Gumbo, also with the Grilled Veggies.

Floyd's Shrimp Gumbo and Grilled Veggies

But since we didn’t really have any breakfast before we left this morning, Jan started off with a Side Salad.

Floyd's Side Salad

We’ve never had a bad meal at any of the Floyd’s we’ve eaten at. It’s well worth a visit.

And no, Floyd doesn’t pay me to post this. I wish he did.

And unfortunately, we just missed seeing him. The hostess said he was by last week, checking things out. He normally hangs out at his original Beaumont location where we’ve stopped off a couple of times to see him.

For new readers, Floyd is Floyd Landry, who we’ve known since the 1990’s. He and his brothers started the Landry Seafood restaurants before they sold out to Tilman Fertitta over 20 years ago, where it became the founding restaurant of his large entertainment corporation.

Landry’s now consists of about 65 different restaurant chains, like Saltgrass, Claim Jumpers, Bubba Gump’s, the Rainforest Café, Willie G’s, Joe’s Crab Shack, and the list goes on.

And if that’s not enough, Tilman owns a Rolls-Royce dealership, the Golden Nugget Casino chain, the Houston Rockets, two amusement parks, a Houston skyscraper (under construction), and the Tower of The Americas

Tower_of_the_americas_2013

in San Antonio.

I’m actually surprised the Alamo isn’t on this list. And since Landry’s is a privately-held corporation, he owns it all.

And he got his start peeling shrimp in his father’s Galveston seafood restaurant.

I wonder if he’ll adopt me?


Thought for the Day:

Wooly Mammoths were still alive when the pyramids were being built. So maybe that’s what the Egyptians were using to haul those big blocks of stone around.

 

 

“These Things Are Amazing!”

After a delicious lunch at Dickinson Seafood of their Blackened Catfish and Grilled Shrimp,

Dickinson Seafood Catfish 20201020

Jan and I headed on up I-45 for a prescription and a few other things at WalMart, and then right across the street to Sam’s Club for another prescription.

Then it was back down to Santa Fe for lottery tickets and Cold Sugar-Free Pumpkin Praline Blended Coffees at Cowboy Coffee.

Cowboy Coffee 2

It’s really great to find out that they’re doing so well that they’re trying to hire more people so they can stay open longer everyday.

Getting home we had a little time to sit outside of the patio a bit and listen to the wind chimes while we finished our coffees.

Very nice!

“These Things Are Amazing!”

That was Jan’s verdict about the Mask Turtles.after our visit to WalMart this afternoon. After her good results at the HEB on Sunday, she was anxious to see how they work at her mask-nemesis, WalMart. Normally, she’s almost completely out of breath after a foray around the store. And as soon as she’s out the door, she would rip her mask off.

But today, as a test, she was able to walk all the way out to the Jeep in the parking lot.without taking it off.

On the subject of Mask Turtles, after my blog a few days ago when I first talked about the turtles, a blog reader questioned why I needed a mask turtle since I don’t think that CoVid is a real thing.

Well, just for the record, I have never said any such thing. In fact, as some of you may remember, my doctor thinks I probably had it back around the end of February 2020.

What I have done is to question some/most/all of the information we’re being given. Information that’s contradictory, confusing, or outright wrong, only to be corrected, changed, or ignored a week later.

How can you ‘follow the science’, when the ‘science’ can’t seem to make up its mind, or keeps changing it?

Like when the states with strictest lockdowns seem to have the most cases? Or CDC statistics that say that a person only has a 33% chance of catching CoVid from a spouse, but 18 family members get it after a holiday get-together in Pennsylvania?

As I’ve said before, the numbers just don’t add up. Either there’s a lot they don’t know about this virus, or we’re being lied too.

Or both.


Thought For The Day:

Without Freedom of Speech we will never know who the idiots are.




January 19, 2011

Welcome To Texas . . .

Well, guess what?

This is what the Weather Channel calls ‘Mostly Sunny”.

Told you they lie.

Dark Sky

But at least it was dry enough to finish installing the three wheel well flanges.

This is what I started with —

Wheel Well 4

And this is how they looked when I was finished.

New Flanges

The last one, on the driver’s rear, went on with no problems whatsoever. However the first two, on the passenger side, were more problematic.

The problem was that the holes in the brackets mounted on the coach didn’t match up with the pre-drilled holes in the flanges. It almost looks like they were hand-fitted and drilled.

It would seem that they would have a jig to mount the brackets so they would match up with the holes already drilled in the flanges, but I guess not.

Flange Bracket 1

Flange Bracket 2

Michele Henry at Phoenix Commercial Paint did a fantastic job on the doors and the flanges last year in Elkhart. So if you’re in Elkhart, IN and need anything from a touch-up to a full body paint job, Michele’s the one. In fact, even if  you need a paint job and you’re not in Elkhart, it’s worth the trip.

The clouds finally went away just in time for the sun to go down. But I did get these photos of the two types of pelicans in the area. This is one of our local brown pelicans.

Pelican and Friends

And these are white pelicans. It’s the first time I’ve seen them this year. They look a little orangey, but that’s from the setting sun.

Now the sun comes out.

White Pelicans

On another note I had been looking for another hose splitter to replace my old one that cracked and started leaking. I like using one so I can keep two hoses hooked up, one to supply the coach and one for a hose and spray nozzle. But I never found one I really liked since they all restricted the water flow, cutting down on the water pressure in the coach.

Then I found this one at Home Depot and I really like it. It’s a Vigoro High Flow Dual On/Off Valve and it was just what I was looking for. If you need one, check it out.

Hose Divider


Thought for the Day:

There are millions of paranoid people in the world…and they are all out to get me.

 

 


January 19, 2012

I Love The Internet . . .

We’ve reached the point where you can find the answer to just about any question, as long as someone, somewhere, knows it.

For example, when Jan and I got our pills refilled recently, we each had one prescription that was filled with a different looking pill than our previous refills. So, wanting to be sure that we got the correct prescriptions, my first thought was to make a trip back to Sam’s Club. My second thought to go to Google and type in “How to ID pills”

Turns out, there’s a App for that, or at least a website right here – Pill Identifier.

You just type in the 2 characters on one side and the 3 characters on the other like “IG 248”, and you have your answer, along with the manufacturer and any warnings.

And as it turns out, both of our prescriptions were correct.


I left the rig about 1pm for an afternoon of client stuff. My first stop was Fry’s Electronics to look for the new computer and LCD monitor we talked about yesterday. They had a nice deal on a Dell that looks pretty good, so my next stop was to my clients to get the OK, and also do some set up work.

Since one of the computers I’ll be replacing runs the UPS shipping software, I’ll have to double check what it will take to move the database over to the new computer.

I also started downloading the 425 MB file for the 2012 version of the UPS software which took about 30 minutes. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll upgrade the old computer to the 2012 version before moving the database to the new computer. I’ll call UPS Tech Support tomorrow and see what they suggest.

As I was finishing up, my client decide he wanted another monitor for one of the new computers I installed last week, so that makes two I’ll need.

Finally leaving the office, I stopped back by Fry’s to pick up about $1100 of computer and monitors before heading back toward the rig.

On my way I checked the Gas Buddy app on my Droid to find the cheapest nearby gas. Found  a place right down the road for $3.15 which was a pretty good price. Then leaving the gas station I called ahead to Monterey’s Little Mexico for a pickup order of Tortilla Soup, Queso, and Chips to take home for supper. Sure does seem like we eat here a lot, doesn’t it.

On another note, while I was walking thru Fry’s I noticed a toy called “Geneactor”, some sort of action figure. That kind of rang a bell, but I just couldn’t place it. But on the way home, it hit me.

It reminded me of my very first computer, the Geniac. A little Googling and I found this. (Did I mention I love the Internet?)

geniac

It was a mechanical analog computer that I got for Christmas 1958 when I was 10 years old. It was made of a Masonite board and 6 Masonite wheels, along with a lot of wires, switches, and lights. I spent hours building and programming it, even writing my own programs, which on the Geniac, meant moving wires around.

But it started me on my career path. A year later  I had my ham radio license, and six years after that I was programming on a building-sized IBM 360 at Vanderbilt University using Fortran II and punch cards. I’m not sure that punch cards were all that big a step up from moving wires around, but the 360 certainly looked a lot cooler anyway.


Thought for the Day:

“I can fix it. But if I can’t fix it, I can fix it so nobody can fix it.”

 

 


January 19, 2013

Cheesecake and Hello Kitty . . .

We didn’t do much this morning, but it sure was nice.

After our morning walk we just sat outside, drank our coffee, and watch the birds in and around the bayou. Mister laid out with us too, where he found a nice sunbeam to stretch out in.

About 1:30 I headed over to a client’s house to drop off a flash drive with the data that I pulled off a HD that I took out of an old computer that had died.

I got back to the rig about 3:30 just in time to turn right back around to take Jan up to the Cheesecake Factory at Baybrook Mall. She was having her yearly get-together with some of her coworkers from the last hospital she worked at before she retired and we hit the road the beginning of 2008.

I dropped her off at about 4, but the dinner wasn’t until 5:30. She got there early so she could get in line for a table for a group of six. They were already on a wait at 4pm so she just had to get in line since they don’t take reservations. But since she had her Kindle with her, she was just fine waiting.

After I dropped her off, I headed over to our storeroom to drop off the floor dolly that I used to work on our washer/dryer, and then picked up Chris’ mechanic’s creeper so I could use it to work under the rig.

My next stop was at the house so I could kill some time while I was waiting for Jan. They were having such a good time that she didn’t call me to pick her up until about 8. I think it was too many Long Island Iced Teas.

Heading home, we gave her friend Barb a ride to her home down in League City. In one of those ‘small world’ moments, Barb said her brother was an RV’er, and she was telling him that she had some friends(us) who were RV’ers too, and that we had a blog where we chronicled our travels.

Barb said her friends had spent last summer oil rig gate guarding in South Texas. He said one of the blogs he read had done that. In comparing notes, they figured out it was us!

Her brother sounded really impressed and told Barb, “I can’t believe you know Greg and Jan”.

Jan didn’t get your name, so if you’re Barb’s brother, leave us a comment and let us know.

Finally, wrapping things up for today, a 5 year old Pennsylvania girl laughingly told a friend at a bus stop she was going to shoot her with her soap bubble gun. Check it below:

Let’s Ban Imaginary Hello Kitty Soap Bubble Guns!

An adult overheard the “threat” and the 5 year old ended up being searched, interrogated by school officials to the point of crying, and all without her parents present. Later a teacher scolded her in front of the class and told her the police might come after her. Afterwards she was suspended from kindergarten for 10 days for making “terroristic threats”

She now had a lawyer to help her.

Don’t you feel safer now?


Thought for the Day:

Never give the devil a ride. He’ll always want to drive.

 

 


January 19, 2014

It’s Alive !!!

Jan and I headed out a little after 10 AM to meet our friend’s Bob and Maria at the IHOP up in Kemah. Getting there at 10:30 we had hoped to avoid the usual Sunday morning rush, but that was not to be. We found a large crowd outside and a 30 minute wait inside. So after a few minutes we decided to adjourn back down TX 146 to the breakfast buffet at La Brisa.

They do a great breakfast buffet with omelets, waffles, tamales,enchiladas, bacon, sausage, barbacoa, biscuits, fresh fruit, fruit juices, coffee, etc., and more. A really good meal. And for only $11, too.

We laughed and talked for almost two hours before we finally said our goodbyes and headed home.

First thing we did was to let Mister out on his leash. He loves this weather and likes to spend the whole day outside. One of his favorite places is this tub that has some old coats in it.

Mister in Tub

Most of the time he follows the sun as it moves over the coach. I think he would stay out all night if we would let him.

The laptop with the Conduit Search problem has now been completely resurrected. After removing the malicious software I was left with a machine that still would not connect to the Internet, at least though Internet Explorer or Google Chrome. Windows Mail however could still send and receive email.

Sometimes fixing these things is just a matter of not giving up, just slogging away and trying one thing after the other. And finally something worked.

Then once I had this problem fixed, I was able to finish cleaning out the gunk and updating everything. I’m sure Tricia will be glad to get her laptop back tomorrow.

And I’ll be glad to see it go.


Thought for the Day:

“Those who are incapable of committing great crimes do not readily suspect them in others.” – Francois De La Rochefoucauld

 

 


January 19, 2015

Well, it’s finally fixed . . . .

After two days, and three hours on the the phone with Godaddy, and 28 emails back and forth to Indonesia, I (we) finally figured out what the website problem was. And as is usual in these things, it was something very simple

One folder full of files, buried inside of a bunch of other folders, did not have the correct permissions set. The folder was apparently ‘glitched’ somehow, so that you could write a file into that folder, but you could not then later delete that file.

Normally if you have write permission in a folder, you also have delete permission. But this folder was broken. So we ended up copying all the files out of it into a new folder, deleting the old one, and then renaming the new one to the correct name. And that fixed it.

After that was done, I called Moen about my continuing kitchen faucet problem. And they once again stepped up and are sending me an entire new spray nozzle. This should fix the problem since there’s nothing left to replace. And according to the tracking number they sent me, the part shipped out today.

I spent the afternoon working on a few other projects, before our friend Randy came by and picked us up about 5:30 and we headed up to La Grange to the Fayette County Country Music Opry. Randy had seen a flyer about it at the park office and was going, so we tagged along.

This Opry is held on the 3rd Monday of every month at the local Knights of Columbus Hall, which from the size of it could fit just about everyone in La Grange.

Fayette County Opry 1
They had chairs set out for about 500, and as you can see, it didn’t come close to filling the place up. And there was even more room behind me.

The show starts at 7:30 but they open the doors at 5:30. One reason for this is that they have hamburgers and drinks available and a lot of tables set up around the sides, so people show up early and sit around to eat and talk. Which is what we did.

And as you can see, the place was pretty full by the time they started.

Fayette County Opry 4

The show kicked off right on time, with a couple of numbers from the band, before they brought out Keith Magel, known as The Texas Piano Man. We seen Keith several times in the past at the Alvin Opry, so it was good to see a familiar face.

Keith Magel

Keith puts on a funny show with a lot of Floyd Cramer, Jerry Lee Lewis, and many others, and with a lot of honky-tonk and boogie-woogie piano thrown in.

The show format is very similar to the Alvin Opry, with the performers doing 3 or 4 songs for the first set and then an intermission. Then on the second set, everyone does 2 or 3 numbers, with everything wrapping up about 10pm.

The second performer up on stage was a real show stopper, 17 year old Sierra Cecil.

Sierra Cecil 3

And man, what a voice. One of her idols is Patsy Cline, who had a 4 octave vocal range. An online article about Sierra said she can match that note for note.

Sierra Cecil 1

And based on one song she sang, Blue Bayou, I can believe it.

When Jan and I hear someone singing Blue Bayou, we always compare them to Linda Ronstadt’s version with the high note at the end.

Sierra Cecil 2

But when Sierra started off, and not knowing then about her range, I thought she was too low to be able to hit it. But after the first verse, she jumped an octave and kept on going up, and then nailed the high note at the end.

WOW!

The next performer was also new to us, Pat Schlesinger.

Pat Schlesinger

Pat, who does Western Swing, also put on a very good show, with a lot of humor, and is another one who can really belt out a tune.

One thing I found interesting is that the sound man sits in the audience and runs the sound board from his iPad. I wish I could have gotten a look at his setup.

The show wrapped up about 10pm, and we got home a little after 10:30, after a very nice time. Hopefully we’ll be able to do it again some time.

Tomorrow is our last day here, and as it stands now, we’ll head back over to Lake Conroe on Wednesday. But maybe we’ll get a last minute reprieve from Galveston Bay RV Resort.

__________________________________________________________________

Thought for the Day:

“I’m so tired of people that can’t drive and talk on the phone at the same time. They just mess it up for those of us that can.”

 

 


January 19, 2016

One Out Of Two . . .

With the beautiful weather this morning, it was perfect to walk, and also perfect to try out my new toy, an armband holder for my Galaxy S5 phone, that I got right before we left Colorado River on Sunday,
Phone Armband_thumb[3]

Armband for OtterBox Galaxy S6, Galaxy S5, Note 3 and others

Since I use the Runkeeper app to track our walks, I normally hold it in my hand, but that gets old after a while. So I got one of these.

One thing to be aware of, besides getting one that fits your phone, is to get one that will fit your phone if you use a case, like the Otterbox that I have. Otherwise, you’ll have to remove it from the case every time you want to use the armband.

I did have to map us a new route here at Conroe, since we’re walking further now, but using Google Maps Satellite View, it was no problem. Like in Colorado River, I found a split route that would allow us to take a break and have our coffee and breakfast bread partway through.

Our first part was the complete outside loop of the park, which covered 1.01 miles, leaving us back at the rig for a 20 minute or so break for breakfast, before heading back out again. This time we walked a new route for us here, a loop down to the marina area and back. Then once there, we sat at the waterside for a few minutes, enjoying the view out over the lake.

Lake Conroe Marina 3_thumb[1]

 
This photo looks back over the new Reserve area, where they’re selling modular homes, starting from $70,000.

Lake Conroe Marina 2_thumb[1]

Finishing our walk, we did 1.65 miles, up from our previous 1.52 miles. And even better we dropped our minutes per mile down to 25:45, a new best.

Getting back to the rig, we sat outside for a while, just enjoying the sun. But once inside it was back to work, with my first task to remove the cracked hinge from the rig screen door that I removed yesterday. Turned out to be a pretty quick job, just loosening six bolts with my socket set, and it was done.

Once I got it off and turned it over, it was easy to see the whole problem. The hinge is cracked in two places.

Rig Screen Door Hinge 1_thumb[1]

But on the plus side, both cracks are on welded edges, which hopefully means that it can be re-welded if necessary.

So my next thing was to call Colaw RV Salvage in Missouri to see if they have any replacement hinges. And after I finally got through to the right person, I was told that they didn’t sell the hinges separately, but only attached to the door.

Well, if it wasn’t too expensive, I guess I could use a new screen door too. But I quickly found out that he wasn’t talking about just the screen door, but the entire RV door assembly, i.e. the outside main door, the screen door, and the complete door jam and frame.

Rut Roh!

Knowing this wasn’t gonna happen, out of curiosity I asked what the cost of an entire door assembly was.

$350 and up!  Yikes!

As I said, not gonna happen.

So now it was on to Plan B, getting the hinge bent back into shape and re-welded. Now to find a welder here in the Conroe area.

And finding one out on west side of Conroe, I decided to combine a visit with dinner at Vernon’s Kuntry Katfish, a favorite local place of ours. We had planned on stopping by the welding place on the way, but it turned out that this welding place was a commercial dealer, specializing in welding pipelines and oilfield equipment. Well, one out of two . . .

So it was on down the road a little bit to Vernon’s. We both ordered the 3 piece Katfish Dinner (FWIW we got 4 pieces each) and sides. Jan got hers with a side salad, and a loaded baked potato, and I got mine with the standard fries, pinto beans and cole slaw.

While you’re waiting on your meal, they bring out a plate of hushpuppies and really good pickled tomatoes as an appetizer.

Vernon's Katfish 1_thumb[1]

 
And when your meal comes out, it’s just as good. The catfish is tender and flakey, with crunchy, flavorful crust.

Vernon's Katfish 2_thumb[1]

Really good, and we’ll go back. Soon, I hope.

One other thing that came in with my phone armband was my new Square reader. You’ve probably seen the Square credit card reader used in many small business, connected to a smartphone or tablet.

I use mine when I’m working with computer clients who wish to pay by credit card. So I always have on in my truck just in case. But this new one is an upgrade.

Square Reader_thumb[2]

It allows me to accept the new, soon-to-be-mandatory ‘Chip’ cards, as well the even newer wireless pay methods, like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and several others.

So now I guess I’m ready until they come out with something new.


Thought for the Day:

ACTUAL COMPLAINTS RECEIVED BY “THOMAS COOK VACATIONS” FROM DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS:

“My fiancée and I requested twin-beds when we booked, but instead we were placed in a room with a king bed. We now hold you responsible and want to be re-reimbursed for the fact that I became pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”

“When we were in Spain, there were too many Spanish people there. The receptionist spoke Spanish, the food was Spanish. No one told us that there would be so many foreigners.”

 

 


January 19, 2017

No Reprieve . . .

from the Governor. (Or Todd, anyway)

So as of right now (1:30pm) we’re still going into tonight’s gate, even now when they’re shutting down.

First up, a couple of corrections.

The photo of the waterbuck on last night’s blog was NOT taken by me. I just grabbed one from the Internet. I did try to get a shot with my phone, but the waterbuck passed me like I was standing still and was gone before I could get a shot. So all I got was a blurry picture with nothing in focus.

Waterbuck can run over 40 mph while vehicles are limited to 15 mph on that road, so it was gone in a flash. The only reason I even knew it was a waterbuck was the distinctive white ring on its rear end.

Second, a few days ago when I was talking about the new Scan & Go app for Wal-Mart, I said the only store it in use now was in Rogers, AZ. Blog reader Cathie Laurent corrected me saying it was probably Rogers, AR, which makes more sense. Thanks, Cathie.

Our lunch meal at Bella Sera was just as delicious as usual. Jan had her favorite Chicken Florentine,

Bella Sera Chicken Florentine

while got mine, the Bella Sera Chicken with ripe olives, capers, and sundried tomatoes.

Bella Sera  Bella Sera Chicken

Plus of course their really great homemade bread knots.

We’ll miss Bella Sera no matter when we leave.

The pad gate where I work has a resident raccoon living in the area. I first saw him walking behind the potty trailers this past weekend. Then a couple of nights ago, he strolled right by my truck at the pad entrance, seeming to not pay any attention to all the bright lights and noise going on around him.

Since my window was down and he was only about 15 feet away, I called out, “Hey Raccoon, where ya going?” He stopped, stood up on his hind legs with his front paws together and just stared at me for about 30 seconds, and then continued on his way out the gate, having no problem with the cattle guard.

As of right now the rain is supposed to be gone for now, so we can only hope.

Muddy Truck Mat

I don’t think my truck floorboard and mat will ever be the same.


Thought for the Day:

What if i can’t trust the voices in my head?

 

 


January 19, 2018

A Dry Day . . .

Not outside. It pretty much rained all day. Not very heavy, but a pretty steady drizzle.

No, the problem was my client’s office was dry. As in no water. Apparently a pipe that was weakened during the freeze waited until early this morning to let go. And  with all the recent pipe problems, they can’t get a plumber out until something this weekend.

As soon as I got home about 4:30 Jan and I turned right back around and headed back up to Clear Lake to once again have dinner at Floyd’s Cajun Seafood,. In fact we think Floyd’s might become our standard Friday night fare.

It’s that good.

Jan again had the Grilled Catfish with the Steamed/Grilled Mix Veggies

Floyd's Grilled Catfish

while I had the Shrimp Gumbo and a side salad.

Floyd's Gumbo

Before heading back to the the rig, we made a run by Sam’s Club to pick up a couple of prescriptions.Although mine was correctly priced at $10, Jan’s should-also-be-$10 one came through at $93.23. Ouch.

Both my prescription and Jan’s on e for Sumatriptan (Jan’s migraine medicine)  are on Sam’s Extra Value Drug List  which with our Plus Card membership gives us access to over 600 prescriptions at either $4 or $10. And these not the same ones that Wal-Mat discounts, but more expensive ones.

Anyway, it seems like about half the time they neglect to price the drugs against the Plus card. So I called them this afternoon so they could get it straightened out before I picked them up this evening.

Not sure what’s on the agenda for the weekend yet, but probably shopping and eating is involved.


Thought for the Day:

Unless we each conform, unless we obey orders, unless we follow our leaders blindly, there is no possible way we can remain free.”  Frank Burns,  M.A.S.H

 

 


January 19, 2019

A Wild and Crazy Night . . .

Or Morning, Actually.

I knew there was a front coming through last night, what with the high on Friday at 72° and 53 forecast for today. But what was strange was that as the night went on, the temp went up, starting at about 64° around 6pm up to 69 when I went to bed around 11.

But by around 3am the temps plummeted and the wind picked up. And by ‘picked up’, my LaCrosse Weather Station showed gusts in excess of 40mph. The rig was rocking and rolling, and the window awning on Jan’s side of the bed came unhooked and rolled up with a loud bang.

Karma got so upset that she abandoned the bottom of the bed and was huddling in the bathroom. The wind gusts meant that the accompanying rain was slashing against the RV, making even more noise. But by about 5am it had all settled down to a dull roar. And temps in the low 40’s.

When I went outside this morning, it was because the DirecTV was down, and this is what I saw first

January 2019 Windstorm 1

And as I suspected, this was the problem with our Winegard Traveler Dome.

January 2019 Windstorm 2

Luckily, after setting it back upright and rebooting it, the system came right back up. The last time this happened was in October 2015 when we were gate guarding, and there was a cow was involved.

CowSat

Tomorrow we’re heading up to the Sugarland area to watch Landon play hockey and then have lunch at the nearby Floyd’s Cajun BBQ.

Landon Hockey 2019

Looking forward to both.


Thought for the Day:

To err is human, to admit it is divine.

 

 


January 19, 2020

A Really, Really Good Movie . . .

Jan and I headed up to Webster about 3:15 for our 3:55 showing of Knives Out, starring Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, and Chris Evans.

We had already reserved our seats online so we were able to just walk in, show the QR code on my phone and go right to our assigned seats. Well, after a stop at the snack bar for popcorn, of  course.

In fact, since we started to smell the popcorn when we were still about 50 feet outside the building, I’m pretty  sure that they have fans blowing the popcorn smell out into the parking lot.

Knives Out is a murder mystery with Daniel Craig, a private detective, trying to discover which family member killed Harlan Thromby, a very rich murder mystery writer and the scion of the Thromby clan. You know from fairly early on who killed Harlan. Or at least you think you do.

There are a lot of twists and turns in this tale, and you don’t really know what’s going on until the very end of the movie, and you’re happy to see the rest of this back-stabbing family get their comeuppance.

But the real standout here is Daniel Craig, just off his last  (so he says) James Bond 007 outing. As Benoit Blanc, he spouts a very authentic sounding Kentucky drawl. And they’re already talking about making another movie with this character. So maybe Craig has his next  movie series.

I won’t tell you any more. Go see it for yourself.

Getting out about 6:30 we drove over to the new Los Ramirez Mexican Restaurant that finally opened up here.

Los Ramirez Webster

We probably won’t eat here very often since we have our local one so much closer, but we wanted to give it a try anyway. And although they were very busy and it took a little longer to get our food than our local one, it was just as good.



Thought For The Day:

Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don’t have to do it for you.

 

 

 

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