Daily Archives: August 7, 2020

Three Cows A Day . . .

On the WuFlu front:

Dr. Anthony Fauci says chance of coronavirus vaccine being highly effective is ‘not great’

White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci that the chances of scientists creating a highly effective vaccine — one that provides 98% or more guaranteed protection — for the virus are slim.

Scientists are hoping for a coronavirus vaccine that is at least 75% effective, but 50% or 60% effective would be acceptable, too, he said.

The FDA has said it would authorize a coronavirus vaccine so long as it is safe and at least 50% effective.

Considering they also hope for 50% effectiveness of the yearly seasonal flu shot, but usually end up in the 25%-35% range, this doesn’t presage the usefulness of the long-awaited ‘vaccine’.

Then a couple of days ago, Ohio governor DeWine was tested for the virus before a scheduled visit from Pres. Trump. And to his surprise, though he had no symptoms, he tested positive. Then a few hours later a retest said he was negative.

So which result do you think got counted in the daily totals?

Asking for a friend. 

ComeTp The Darkside


On this day in 2011 Jan got to check off another item on her Bucket List, the DeYoung Family Zoo up in Michigan.

August 7, 2011

DeYoung Family Zoo . . .

When I went to bed last night I still didn’t know if we were going to make the trip this morning up to Wallace, MI about 100 miles away, to visit the DeYoung Family Zoo.

The weather was showing a 60% chance of thunderstorms last night, but it was supposed to be clear on Monday. So we could wait til then if necessary.

But when I checked it about 5 am, it was down to 50% chance, and by 8 it was 40%. So we decided to give it go since it looked like things were improving. And it turned out to be a beautiful day, lucky for us.

We headed out a little after 9, stopping in Shawano for Egg Muffins and coffee, and then gas. We got to the park about 11:30, and it was all we hoped it would be.

The DeYoung Family Zoo is owned by Bud and Carrie DeYoung, and has been featured for several years on the Nat Geo Wild channel as “My Life is a Zoo”.

Since we love small zoos and animal parks, it has been on our bucket list for a couple of years.

Just this year along we’ve visited places like Bearizona in Williams, AZ, Out of Africa in Camp Verde, AZ, Cat Tales Zoological Park north of Spokane, WA, and the Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch between Tucson and Phoenix, AZ.

One of the first things we encountered was the petting zoo area where Jan tried her hand at feeding the goats.

Jan Feeding Goat

They had a real mix of animals in this area, including alpacas,

Petting Zoo 5

and a zhorse, or zorse, a zebra/horse cross.


First off, you have no idea how hard I resisted saying something about “Lions, and Tigers, and Bears.”

Oh, wait. I just did. Sorry.

They have a little bit of everything here. I’m really just hitting some of the highlights.

One thing we both liked at this zoo was the fact that it wasn’t just all sterile concrete and moats. The animal’s habitats were large and natural-looking, like this grizzly cage.

Grizzlie Bear 1

They have over 400 animals here, and most of them are rescues of one sort or another, including these two beautiful cats.

Two Tigers

White Tiger 2

A little while after we got there it was feeding time for the meat eaters. Here’s Bud flinging a chunk of cow over the fence to the waiting White Tiger below.

Bud Feeding Tiger

Although I could never get a picture of it, when the meat is thrown over the fence, the tigers leap up about 10 feet and catch it in mid-air.

Carrie said they go through three cows a DAY to feed the animals.

Tiger Eating

Tiger Eating 1

Tiger on the Run 1

Lion 1

They have a new baby hippo who’s in a temporary facility,

Baby Hippo

until her new pool is ready. Very nice.

Baby Hippo New Home

Here’s Carrie in the cage and talking about the different breeds of wolves they have.

Carrie 1

Wolves 4

These are Dingos, the Australian wild dogs, of “The Dingo Ate My Baby” fame, although these are like pets, and kids were hand-feeding them dog biscuits from the box.


This mother hyena is taking her cub back to the den after it got too close to the fence and the crowd of people around.

Mommy Hyena

Besides the baby hippo, there were a lot of other, smaller babies that we could pet, hold, or feed.

This is a baby Wallaby, a type of kangaroo.

Baby Wallaby

And here’s a very young monkey being feed by a little girl.

Baby Monkey

And here’s a Stripped Hyena, one of Carrie’s favorites, who really likes to be held and cuddled.

Baby Hyena

Bud came out with these two somewhat older baby monkeys that really entertained the crowd with their antics.

Bud and Baby Monkeys

The last area we visited was the reptile exhibit with this Monitor Lizard just hanging out.

Monitor Lizard

Bud and Carrie have really put a lot of work into this place and it shows.

Carrie and Bud

As I said, I just skimmed the surface of what there is to see here. Check it out if you’re in the area.

We left the park about 2:30 and headed home, stopping for dinner at the Cottage Diner in Cecil, WI, about 25 miles from the rig.

We got back about 5:45 and settled in for the night. Tomorrow we’ll head south about 200 miles to Janesville, WI for one night, then Normal, IL for one night, before ending up in Vandalia, IL at Jan’s sister’s house on Wednesday for our family reunion. Brandi, Lowell, and Landon will be in on Thursday.

We can’t wait.

Unfortunately it looks like Chis, Linda, and Piper won’t be able to come. They will be missed.


Thought for the Day:

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

In 2015 Jan and I were still down in Gulf Shores, AL again checking out some of our favorite eating places.

August 7, 2015

Friday’s Follow-ups and Food . . .

Thought I’d do a follow-up on my new IronMan 601 tires. We now have a little over 2000 miles on them with no problems whatsoever. They feel good on the road, and I haven’t had to add any air in the six weeks they’ve been on the coach.

The only thing new is the sound. As I mentioned right after we hit the road with them, the different tread pattern makes a different sound. Nothing objectionable, and not really obvious. It’s almost subliminal. In fact Jan says she can’t hear it at all.

Hope we get another 60,000 miles out of them like the first set of Sumitomos.

Thanks to a friend and blog reader, Janna Clark, we now have Wi-Fi back in the coach. As I mentioned before, the Cradlepoint router we’ve had for 8 years finally died. Finding Cradlepoint no longer makes small routers like this, I was looking around for a substitute when Janna mentioned she had one she was willing to part with.

It was waiting for me when we got to Athens last Sunday, but it was a couple of days before I had time to set it up. I just configured it with the same SSID and password as my old one and all my devices logged in with no problems or other changes.

So our Kindles and Tab are happy once again. Thanks, Janna.

* * * * *

About 3:30 Jan and I drove up to the Intercoastal Waterway to have linner at Lulu’s at Homeport. Lulu, better known as Lucy Buffett, Jimmy’s older sister, has had a very popular restaurant here for over ten years. And it seems to get bigger and more popular every year. Lulu’s is one of our Don’t Miss places here at Gulf Shores, and today’s visit just reinforced that.

We went early hoping to be able to get a table on the water and lucked out.

Lulu's 1

Lulu's 4

They even have large play areas for the kids, including this climbing area with tightropes and swings. (and safety harnesses.)

Lulu's 3a

The place was crowed as usual, but we got seated right away. During really busy times we have waited as long as two hours. It’s that good.

As usual we went with our favorites. Jan got her Blackened Shrimp Tacos with a side of Guacamole,

Lulu's Blackened Shrimp Tacos

while I started out with a cup of Gumbo

Lulu's Gumbo

and a Half and Half Seafood Platter with Blackened Shrimp and Fried Oysters.

Lulu's Half and Half

Like Desoto’s where we ate last night, everything from the salad dressings to the tartar sauce to the seafood, is prepared in-house. And it certainly shows

Another thing prepared in-house, that we never miss, is their Krispy Kreme Doughnut Bread Pudding.

Lulu's Bread Pudding

No matter how full we are, we always find room to share a piece. In fact I didn’t finish all the fries with my dinner so I’d be sure and have room, and Jan, likewise with her chips.

Since they still had some open tables, we sat around for a while just enjoying the view and our time in Gulf Shores. Even got to see a couple of porpoises in the Canal, though they were too fast for my camera.

Next Thursday, when we leave, is coming too fast.


Thought for the Day:

“Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened” — Winston S. Churchill


And in 2016 we were again down in Gulf Shores, AL, this time just enjoying the beach.

August 7, 2016

I Triple Dog Dare You . . .

And there’s not a frozen flagpole in sight.

Well, we lucked up today with the scheduled rain not showing up. And even with the sun out, it only made it up to 90 degrees. Nice.

After our coffee this morning,  I spent most of the early afternoon looking at a DirecTV problem that started a week or so ago with a couple of symptoms.

The first problem was that sometimes it wouldn’t record two problems at one time. One of them would just be blank. And the other thing was that every few hours we would get an on-screen message saying that the DVR had not received any guide updates for 1, 2, or even 10 hours. I had already tried a power-down reboot with no luck.

My first thought was that one of the twin RG-6 cables running from the satellite dish to the receiver was bad. But replacing the cables with a spare set didn’t fix the problem.

Next I wondered if there was a reason that someone threw away this Winegard CarryOut Dome. Regular blog readers will remember that back in May while we were staying at the Lake Conroe TT, I found a Winegard CarryOut dome on the ground outside one of the dumpsters at the park.

Superficially it looked OK so I grabbed it and threw it in the backseat. Jan just shook her head, since she’s used to my dumpster diving. But as it turned out, when I got around to checking it out it worked perfectly. So since I had swapped it out with my original one, I just started using the new one as a long-term test.

So maybe it was possible that one of the two outputs on the CarryOut was flakey, and that’s why someone threw it away. So I tested each output separately and both were working fine.

Now the only  thing left was the DVR receiver itself. So I pulled both cables off the DVR and then plugged one into the Tuner 1 input . . .  and got nothing. So I plugged it into Tuner 2, and got a good signal. Back to Tuner 1, and nothing.

Next I went into the DVR’s Setup menu to check the actual signal levels, and I was showing 95% on Tuner 2, but nothing on Tuner 1 when I plugged in the that one. So it was definitely a Tuner 1 problem.

But as I was stepping through the menu, I noticed something else. The DVR’s system software had been updated on July 27th. That’s about the time that the problem started.


I guess I could call DirecTV, but I doubt they could get me a new DVR before we leave here on Tuesday morning. So I decided to check the Satellite Dish Setup on the receiver. It was set to 18” LNB, MultiSwitch, and Dual Tuners just as it should be.


I wonder what would happen if I set it to Single Tuner, which should make it only operate on Turner 1. And since Tuner 1 wasn’t working, what would happen? So I changed it to Single, and then rebooted the DVR.

And when I tried plugging into Tuner 1 this time, it now worked. So that means the circuitry itself is working. Of course this leaves me right where I started – with a single Tuner input. So now I reset it back to Dual Tuners and again rebooted.

And this time both Tuner inputs now work fine.

So the only I thing I can figure is that something glitched during the system software update, and setting it to Single Tuner and then back to Dual fixed the problem.

This taken care of, about 4pm Jan and I headed out for dinner. As we talked over where to go, Jan mentioned how much she enjoyed her Chicken Sandwich at Hooter’s the other night, so back we went.

I of course went right back with my 10 wings, naked, all drums, but this time I bumped the sauce up to Triple Dog Dare, their hottest sauce, from last time’s 911. I got the feeling not many people order this, because our waitress looked at me with wide eyes and said, “It’s really hot!” and I said, “I hope so.”

Hooters Triple Dog Dare

The sauce on the plate is a side of their Chipotle Honey, since I like a little sweetness with the heat.

Triple Dog Dare is hotter than 911, but I’ve had hotter, like Buffalo Wild Wings, Blazin’ sauce, or the several places that I had Ghost Pepper wings. But they were good.

And even Jan liked it since she kept rubbing her sandwich in the Triple Dog Dare drippings on my plate.

Later in the evening, about 7pm, Jan and I drove down to the main intersection and walked out on the beach with our chairs to watch the sunset. And it was certainly worth it.

Gulf Shores Beach Sundown 1

Gulf Shores Beach Sundown 2

Gulf Shores Beach Sundown 3

Gulf Shores Beach Sundown 5

Gulf Shores Beach Sundown 6
I’m constantly amazed at the light-gathering capacity of this Panasonic Lumix FZ270. When I took the photo below it was so dark that we could hardly see this kayakers as they paddled in.

Got to talking with them, and they started about a mile west of here and then the wind kicked up and they got blown down the coast. Since they weren’t where they were supposed to be, they borrowed my cell phone to call their wifes to let them know where to pick them up.

Gulf Shores Beach Sundown 7 Gulf Shores Beach Sundown 8
Gulf Shores Beach Sundown 4

Thought for the Day:

“Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” — Thomas Jefferson


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