Daily Archives: September 24, 2020

And So It Begins . . .

Well, after FedEx first said that the new gaskets would be delivered this past Monday, and then yesterday. But when that fell through, they were supposedly out on the FedEx truck for delivery today. But that was not to be. And now it’s scheduled for delivery tomorrow. But I’m not holding my breath.

I’m was hoping that the sun would come out today to help dry out the ground behind the rig so I could get under there this weekend. But no luck with that either,

However things are looking up for tomorrow, We’ll see.

CDC test finds Oregon’s youngest reported COVID-19 victim didn’t have the virus

Turns out that Oregon’s youngest virus death, a 26 year old, who was seemingly highly publicized to show that the WuFlu was a threat to everyone, didn’t actually die of the virus.

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – State health leaders listed him as the youngest Oregonian to die from COVID-19, but it turns out 26-year-old Matthew Irvin of Yamhill County didn’t have the virus when he died in July.

And So It Begins!

And So It Begins

And it’s not even Halloween yet.

Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas.

Just pick a holiday and stick with it until it’s over.

Thought For The Day:

You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.


September 24, 2009

Niagara Falls – For Trudy…

Today we drove about 30 miles from our park to visit Niagara Falls.

The title of today’s blog says ‘For Trudy’. Trudy was Jan’s Mother who died in 2007. She always wanted to visit Niagara Falls, but never got the chance.

So Jan said “This visit is for Mom”.

After following the signs coming into the city of Niagara Falls we ended up on Goat Island, the home of the American side of Niagara Falls.

Goat Island and the Falls make up the Niagara Falls State Park. Established in 1885, it’s the oldest State Park in the United States.

Even before we got to the Island, Jan saw the mist rising from Horseshoe Falls, named because it’s shaped like a big horseshoe, of course.

But before we could see the Falls, Jan had to feed the a squirrel a Kashi bar.

Squirrel 2

Squirrel 1

The 2nd squirrel had this deal where he would lay flat on his belly and then slowly crawl toward you begging for food.

Walking over the small and looking down on the Falls was amazing.  BTW Most of these pictures can be seen larger.  Just click the picture. If there is a larger version, it will come up. Click the Back Arrow to get back to the blog.

Niagara Falls 1s

Click to Enlarge

You can walk right to the edge of the falls and look right out at the water going over.

Niagara Falls 3s

And then looking straight down thru the spray and the rainbow you can see the Maid of the Mist heading into the base of Horseshoe Falls. Looks like fun!

Niagara Falls 4s

After spending time at the Horseshoe, we walked over to the other falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls.

Niagara Falls 5s

Niagara Falls 6s

Niagara Falls 7s

Niagara Falls 8s

Niagara Falls 9s

After stopping to look at the many flower beds, we got in line to tour the Cave of the Winds.

Niagara Flowers 1

Niagara Flowers 2

Cave of the Winds is now kind of a misnomer.  The actual cave, named because the sound the wind made blowing off the falls, disappeared when the ceiling collapsed in the 1920’s.

What you have now is an elevator that takes you 180 feet down to the base of the American and Bridal Veil Falls and lets you walk on a wooden walkway thru part of the falls themselves. They give you plastic ponchos and sandals to wear, but they don’t really keep you dry.

You will get wet!

Cave of the Winds 1s

Cave of the Winds 2s

Cave of the Winds 3s

Cave of the Winds 4s

Here’s Jan standing where part of the falls comes over the walkway. Jan said she looks like a banana. I think she looks cute.

Cave of the Winds 5s

This is the Hurricane Deck where you’re actually standing in the Falls. I went up there while stayed kind of dry on a lower level. It’s impossible to get pics up there. My camera’s not that waterproof.

Hurricane Deck 1s

Here’s what the walkway looks like from the Maid of the Mist.

Cave of the Winds 6s

One amazing thing about this is that workers disassemble the walkway every fall and rebuild it every spring, otherwise the winter ice would destroy it.

Here’s what the area looks like in February.

Niagara Ice 1s

After drying out we rode the trolley over to the Maid of Mist dock. These boat tours have been running since 1846, almost 40 years before the place was even a state park.

The boats take you right into the whirlpool at the bottom of Horseshoe Falls, fighting the current all the way. It’s like being in the middle of a hurricane.

Niagara Falls 10s

Maid of the Mist 1s

Maid of the Mist 2s

Maid of the Mist 3s

Maid of the Mist 4s

Maid of the Mist 5s

One thing I found interesting on the boat trip was the remains of Nikola Tesla’s Niagara Falls power plant, built in 1896.

Tesla Power Plant 1s

This plant was the first to harness water flow to generate electricity, and demonstrated the superiority of Tesla’s AC electrical system over Edison’s DC system. Many people don’t realize we owe our entire electrical to Tesla. But back in the late 1800’s, there was a big legal war going on between Tesla and Edison over whose system was better.

By the early 1900’s Niagara Falls was lighting New York City.

Leaving the Maid we walked out on the observation tower

Niagara Tower 2s

to a fantastic view of the entire Falls area.

Niagara Tower 1s

A fitting end to our great day at Niagara Falls.

Walking back to the toad, we saw something I’d never seen before.

Black squirrels.

Black Squirrel 1

Black Squirrel 2

And they were very aggressive. When I turned and walked away, and then looked back, they were following me, stalking me.

Leaving the Falls area, we drove down to near Buffalo to eat dinner at one of our favorite BBQ restaurants, Famous Dave’s. We always have great leftovers.

Then it was home for the night.

Tomorrow is an errand day.

Thought For The Day:

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is stoned to death. – Joan D. Vinge



September 24, 2010

Outrigger’s. . .

Today, as usual, we start with the requisite Landon photo.

Landon Frowning 1

He looks like he’s not too sure what’s going on, but whatever it is, he doesn’t like it.

Forgot to mention this yesterday, but when were in Ryan’s last evening, Jan looked around and said she kept waiting for the Amish to come in.

When we would visit Ryan’s in Elkhart IN, we always saw a large number of Amish eating there. Apparently, Ryan’s is very popular with the Amish for some reason.

About 3 pm we drove up the road to Outriggers, our favorite local on-the-water seafood place.

A Note Here: Our favorite Outrigger’s is no more, a casualty of the road construction in the widening of SR146. Supposedly they’re going to reopen in another location, but I haven’t seen any sign of it.

In this case, on-the-water means on the Clear Lake Channel, connecting Clear Lake with Galveston Bay, and under the Kemah Bridge.

Outriggers 1 Outriggers 2

They have a great open-air deck overlooking the Channel.

Outriggers 3

And the view is great, too.

Outriggers 4 Outriggers 5

Clear Lake

Of course, the food was great, too…as usual. We started off with a dozen raw oysters. Our waitress said we were lucky as the season had just started, otherwise they wouldn’t have been available.

Kemah Oysters

For our entrees, Jan had a Shrimp and Oyster Po-boy, and I had a cup of Red Beans and Rice, and a dozen Boiled Shrimp.

Kemah Shrimp

While we were eating we saw a shrimp boat come in to dock, followed by a large flock of seagulls. Deckhands usually are washing the trash fish off the deck thru the scuppers, and into the water. And the seagulls are always looking for a handout.

Kemah Shrimpboat

Also nearby, we saw several of Jan’s favorite birds, pelicans.

Kemah Pelicans 1 Kemah Pelicans 2

We’ll probably try to bring Jan’s sister, Debbie and her husband, Jim, here next week.

Thought of the Day:

The Bill of Rights: Another bill members of Congress haven’t read.



September 24, 2014

Skidding . . .

First off, a Miss Piper update.

After keeping her in the hospital overnight, they’ve decided to keep her there until Friday to be sure that they’ve got this infection in her wrist knocked down. Hopefully this will take care of the problem once and for all.

Well, they finally skidded the rig this morning and I missed it.  When I went in to bed at 7am after Jan relieved me, the cranes weren’t even in position. But when I came out with coffee for Jan at noon, they were done. Darn, I was hoping to get some pictures.

We were working a gate in 2012 where they skidded the rig to another hole, but we weren’t there. Our rig was the only thing happening at that gate so we got some time off, but here we’ve got another rig and a bunch of pad sites with stuff going on, so no time off. Oh, well.

I had a hummingbird visit me today. He flew right under the canopy, darting around, checking out everything. Then he came over and hovered about a foot from my face, just hanging there. And after about 15 seconds, ZIP and he was gone. He was so close I could feel the air moving from his wings. Neat!

Last night was a hoodie, gloves, and heater night. It got down to 56° here. But with no wind, it wasn’t too bad.  What I’m really looking forward to is November and the 30° and sleeting like I had last year in Whitsett. NOT!

Of course last year, the canopy was off to the side and we didn’t have the coach as a windbreak. Plus we’ve got the big, high wall of dirt to shield us to the north.

We finally got to meet our local Gate Guard Services Sale Rep, Chelsie. today. She came to see how we were doing, and also to talk to the Company Man at each rig to see if they had any more business, or gates opening up.

Even more important, she was also able to give us a lead on a relief gate guard so we can get an afternoon and evening off next week for our anniversary. Hope it works out.


Thought for the Day:

Guns are like parachutes. If you need one and don’t have one, you’ll probably never need one again.



September 24, 2016

On The Ozark Trail . . .

It was another nice, slow day today. The temps have moderated, staying in the 90-91 degree range with even cooler weather in the next few days.

And the vehicle count was only 28, which is kind of typical for a weekend. Later in the afternoon the Rainy Days Radar app showed the rain that was heading our way, split apart and pass to either side of us, though we could have used a 30 minute or so shower to settle the dust on the roads.

And we may get that chance in the next couple of days, with rain chances in the 40 to 60 percent range. But be careful what you wish for. As far as we’re concerned, we’d rather have too little rain than too much, though I’m not sure that Tony, our farmer/landowner would agree.

Yesterday, giving up on hearing anything back from Colaw RV Salvage about my screen door catch, I drew one up and this evening emailed it off to our son Chris so he can whip one up for me. This is what I need.

Screen Door Catch Drawing2

I figure anyone who can cast the metal parts and then mill and build his own lathe, will have no problem with a little bracket.

Miss Piper had her cast changed out the other day, I think from a soft cast to a hard one, after they checked the results of her recent surgery to set the pins as you can see here.

Piper's Pins 1

Piper's Pins 2

This arm/wrist, which she broke in a recent fall, is the same one she broke in a ATV accident two years ago, so hopefully this will be the last time for this body part.

Thursday when I was at Wal-Mart I came across a sales display for their Ozark Trails 30oz Insulated Mug and picked one up. They were marked $7.74, which is a $2 markdown from the normal $9.74, and is the same price that they charge for the 20oz version. In fact at a nearby display they still had the 20oz ones marked $7.74 too.

Ozark Trail Mug

I figured that when I got to the checkout it would probably show up as $9.74, but it didn’t, so I got it for the lower price. One thing I found funny just now is that when I went to Google to a photo, it showed that Wal-Mart had them for $9.74, but you could get one on eBay for the rock bottom price of only $19.95. What a deal!

I’ve heard of people doing this before, buying and selling retail stuff, I guess for people too lazy to go to WM, or maybe people in other countries, I dunno.

Anyway, I’d seen some of the comparisons between the Ozark Trail version  and the $40-50 competitors like the Yeti and others. And all the ones I saw showed that WM’s version was as good or better than the higher price ones. But I had to do some checking for myself.

So I put the mug on the counter and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then I used my infrared thermometer to measure the outside temperature, checking several places around the surface.

Next I dumped in my ice-filled Chick-fil-a lemonade and again let it set there for 30 minutes. And when I measured it again, the outside temp had not changed, still exactly the same to the tenth of a degree.

Really good.

And in real life trials, it will hold a small amount of ice for over 24 hours, with almost no melt. My only nitpick is that I wish it had some sort of plug or stopper to close off the drinking/straw opening and make it spill proof.

Still a great product, especially at 1/5 the cost of its competitors.

Well, just as I was finishing up my shower tonight we ran out of Gate Guard Services water. No problem. I just turned our coach pump on. I’m always careful to keep a full rig tank just for this possibility/eventuality.

Jamie, our Gate Guard Services supervisor/support guy was out when he came by last Saturday to service our generator, but he said we had about 250 gallons left and he would be back by later in the week to top us off.

But in the meantime he ended up out in west Texas near Ft. Stockton, where he was when I called him about 6pm tonight. He said he’d try to get back by tomorrow, either before or after he takes care of our fellow gate guards and friends, Lynette and Gregg McHenry. I told him no hurry, and that we were fine for a few days with no problems.

Finally, on a water note, I keep meaning to ask Jamie where he’s getting our water this year. It’s very good, but most surprisingly, it’s very soft, leaving your body with that slightly slick feel after your shower. And it makes good coffee too.

Last year at our Carthage gate we were getting our water from a 400 foot well right next to the coach, part of the water supply for the frack ponds. And it was really good too.

Thought for the Day:

Actual statements by Scientists and others over the last 44 years.

Global Warming Statements



September 24, 2019

I Really Liked It !

I talked to our travel agent, Chantelle Nugent, this morning, want to get some ideas about tours, dinner cruises, and sightseeing opportunities for our upcoming NYC visit the first part of December.

As I mentioned before, we saw most of the basic stuff in 2009 so we find some new stuff. I did look to see if they had a Duck Boat Tour. We taken these all over the country, from Seattle, to San Francisco, Lake Tahoe, Washington, D.C., and even the Wisconsin Dells.

And they do have one in NYC, but unfortunately for us, it stops for the year on September 30th.


Chantelle also said she’ll be in NYC in November and will be staying at the Hotel Riu Plaza, the same one we’ll be staying at a few weeks later, and she said she’ll be checking it out for us.

Jan and I went to the 2pm showing of Downton Abbey this afternoon, and I must say, I really liked it. Although, unlike Jan, who’s watched every episode of TV series two or three times, I had just picked up enough of the show as Jan watched, so that I had no problem following the movie, There’s a lot of drama, comedy, intrigue, and upper-class snarkiness.

Maggie Smith, as the grande dame of Downton, is hilarious, with many quips that are laugh-out-loud funny.

Since Nick’s new book hasn’t come out yet, I thought I’d recommend another favorite book of mine. Or maybe favorites, since there are four books in the series so far.

Bob's Saucer Repair

Bob’s Saucer Repair

Basically, a guy comes home and finds a beautiful alien girl trying to repair her flying saucer in his garage. With a lot of interesting ideas and funny situations, it’s a really fun read. Just gloss over the fact that alien flying saucers use antifreeze for coolant as well as hydraulic fluid.

But a lot of twists and turns keeps it very interesting. Even Jan loves them.

A Great Deal at $2.99, or free under Kindle Unlimited.

When our office manager came into work on Monday she found a furry refugee trapped in her office.


It had fallen through the ceiling, and since the door was closed, he/she/it was trapped. So it proceeded to ransack her office, knocking things off of shelves, tearing down blinds, pulling wires of the baseboard and walls, and of course, peeing/crapping everywhere.

When my client asked me why I didn’t come help him catch the opossum in a cardboard box. I told him I charged extra for Possum Wrangling.

He had no comeback for that.

For The Guy Who Has Everything:


Your very own DIY Vasectomy Kit.

It even has testimonials to the efficacy of the product.

Our company switched to one of those cut rate health insurance and they told me they would either pay the expense of the vasectomy or the anesthesia, but not both.

But this one was my favorite.

I went and received one of those high-priced “hospital” vasectomies and after all the expense and trouble, all it did was change the color of our next baby.

Actually it’s an empty box to give someone as a prank gift. They have an entire line of these.

Thought For The Day:

‘Do not go where the path might lead, but instead go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson