Daily Archives: September 26, 2020

They’ve Finally Gone Too Far . . .

Well, it looks like Fall has finally crept in on the heels of T/S Beta. The last couple of days it’s been in the mid to high 60’s when we got up, and this coming Monday and Tuesday the low’s supposed to be in the 50’s.


Right now it’s looks like I’m on schedule to get started on my Helicoil installation tomorrow. The ground behind the rig is pretty dried out so I’m going to give it a go.

First I’ve got to remove the oil filter, remove the 4 bolts (two OK, two stripped out) holding the oil filter adapter head on, then I’ll replace the oil filter so I can use it to lever the adapter head off since it will be stuck on with the gasket.

Then I will drill out the 4 bolt holes with the drill bit supplied with the Helicoil kit. Next I will tap the new threads with the supplied tap. The only problem I possibly anticipate is I will have to operate the tap using a socket wrench extension, rather than the usual tap wrench, since there’s no room to get one up in there.

At that point I should be ready to screw in the Helicoils and then knock the tangs out. If I get this far tomorrow, which based on past performance I doubt, then I’ll be ready to put it all back together and then schedule our test drive.

But as I usually say, we’ll see how it goes.

They’ve Finally Gone Too Far.

First there was the Pumpkin Scented Face Masks.


Then we got Kraft’s Pumpkin Spice Mac N Cheese.

Pumpkin Spice Mac N Cheese

But now, at Sam’s Club, they’ve gone too far.

Pumpkin Tortilla Chips

That’s sacrilege here in Texas

Of course, at Sam’s Club, they apparently also allow parrots as Service Animals.

Sam's Club Parrot

And yes, I heard the guy tell someone that it WAS a Service Animal, though what service the parrot provided wasn’t mentioned.

Jan was impressed that the parrot was so calm and just sitting there quietly. I told her it was frozen with fear because they had just been down the aisle that passed by all the rotisserie chickens cooking on the spits.

That would certainly calm me down.

Thought For The Day:

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” – Mike Tyson

The arrival of Jan’s sister Debbie and her husband Jim for a visit.

September 26, 2010

They’re Here. . .

Today is the day we’re expecting Debbie and Jim, Jan’s sister and brother-in-law, who are driving down from southern IL to spend a week with us, and get acquainted with Landon.

They called about 12:15 saying that they were just getting off I-10 onto SH 146, so I figured they should be here about in about 45 – 60 minutes.

About 90 minutes later they called to say they were lost. After they described where what they could see, I realized they were just 3-4 miles up the road, so Jan and I jumped in the truck and drove up to meet them.

We decided to go ahead and head over to League City and get them settled into their hotel. After that we all came back to the rig and settled in to talk for a while and catch up on things.

About 5 pm we drove over to Dickinson to Monterey’s Little Mexico for supper. Debbie had said she was looking forward to some good Nachos, and Monterey’s are really good. Jan gets them all the time.

I know what Debbie means about finding good Nachos. Some places around the country have some very strange notions about them. The most common weird ingredient is BLACK OLIVES. Yech!

And to compound this blasphemy, NO JALAPENOS!

We’ve also seen lettuce, goat cheese, green peppers, and green olives as toppings.

I’m sorry. That’s just WRONG!

Anyway, after dropping them off at their motel, we got back to the rig about 7 pm. Tonight is the premiere of Amazing Race and Desperate Housewives, so Jan’s in high cotton.

Me, not so much.

But I am really enjoying the cool fall weather Jim and Debbie brought with them from IL. In the last week the temperatures have dropped from the mid 90’s in the day time and the mid 70’s at night, to the low to mid 80’s and the low 60’s and high 50’s.


Tomorrow night we’re all getting together at Cafe Adobe for dinner so Jim and Debbie can see everyone. With all the different work schedules, it’s the only night we can do it while they’re here.

More tomorrow…

Thought for the Day:

“It’s not important that you know all the answers, it’s only important to know where to get all the answers”. Arone Kleamyck



September 26, 2013

Feast or Famine . . .

First off, Jan and I want to thank everyone for your kind words about Jan’s cat, Emma. Your thoughts and condolences were much appreciated.

Well, things have been a good bit busier around here the last few days, ironically I think, because things are winding down. We’ve had a lot of trucks coming in empty and going out loaded with no-longer-needed equipment. But supposedly there’s still a lot of cleanup work to be done, so hopefully we’ll be here for a while. But you never know.

On the home (rig?) front, we’ve run out of food. Or at least free food. After having it delivered almost faster than we could eat it the last couple of weeks, that’s come to a screeching halt. And then tonight we finished off the last of what we had.

I guess that means we’ll have to start buying our own food again. Bummer! I did have a touch of giddiness this afternoon when a truck pulling a big trailer labeled “Coyote Catering Mobile Food Feast” pulled into the gate,. But it turned out they were looking for the drill rig right down the road. Double Bummer!

Speaking of drill rigs, it looks like the rig we followed for 4 months last year, H & P 458, is right down the road. A guy came through the other night kind of lost, and looking for it. After looking over his directions and getting him back on his way, it looks like it’s about 8-9 miles south of here.

Our Gate Guard Services support guy, Austin, came back yesterday afternoon and boy is he fast. He turned off our generator, changed the oil and the filter, and had it back up and running in 6 and a half minutes. A good thing when it’s 95 degrees out.

He also changed out our water pump. The pump on our water system is a standard Shurflo RV type, and I noticed last year they occasionally develop a problem. They don’t want to start up when you open the faucet. And the only way to reset them is to remove the power momentarily and then hook it back up. But this means going out to the water trailer, which is a pain in the rear when you’re just getting ready to take a shower at night.

They start out doing this every now and then, and then it gets more common, so I thought I’d nip it in the bud.

Thought for the Day:

Ernest Hemingway was once bet that he couldn’t write a story in 6 words on a napkin. Here’s what he wrote.

For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Needless to say, he won the bet.

September 26, 2014

She’s Home . . .

Miss Piper got home from the hospital about 5pm this afternoon and is feeling better. Her mother Linda posted this photo on Facebook, but I’ll bet Piper won’t be too happy about that.

Pipe Home From Hospital

Linda said she’s still in some pain, but taking less medication than she was.

One of the sales girls gave Jan a breakfast burrito this morning as she came through the gate. I heated it up and brought it out at noon with our coffee. And it was really good. Though I wouldn’t really call it a ‘breakfast’ burrito, since it was beef fajita meat, pico de gallo, and melted shredded cheese. Not much breakfast stuff in there, but as I said, it was good.

As far as why I’m coming out at noon with coffee, that’s the way our schedule works.  Jan comes out to relieve me at 7am with something light, a English Muffin, an egg sandwich, etc. Then I go in and go to bed, getting up about 11:30, and then start coffee.

After I bring it out at about noon, I go back in and do client computer stuff until I come back out and relieve Jan at 1pm. Then Jan comes out with dinner at 6pm and after that I go in and go to bed, getting up to relieve her at 11pm. Finally I wrap the day up by working from 11pm to 7am.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Several people have commented on how I end up sleeping just 3 or 4 hours twice a day. What can I say? It works for me. I don’t even use an alarm clock of any kind. I just wake up.

On tech front, Polaroid (Yes, Polaroid) is back in the news with their new Polaroid Cube HD Digital Camera .


Available October 1st, the Cube is Polaroid’s answer to the GoPro Action Camera, but in more of a GoPro lite way.

Although there are a wide selection of mounts available for it, including a waterproof case, you may not need it since the Cube itself is magnetized and sticks to most metal surfaces.


The Cube measures only 1.4 x 1.4 x 1.4 inches and will run for 90 minutes on its internal battery. It will record over 200 minutes of 720p or 1080p HD video and audio on a 32GB microSD card (not included), and will also take still photos.

Online reviews compared it very favorable to the the GoPro in video quality, but the best part is the Cube is only $99. Plus of course, $15-20 for the 32GB microSD card

So if you’ve been thinking about a GoPro, but wanted something a little cheaper, check out the Cube.


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 26, 2015

Alexa . . .

Since the frack was down most of the day (we only had 91 vehicles come in) and nothing much else happened, I thought maybe this would be a good time to talk about my new Amazon Echo.

To say it’s my favorite new toy is an understatement. It maybe my favorite new toy ever. Or at least it’s in the top three, along with the Lionel train set I got when I was 10, or my first computer, an Exidy Sorcerer I got in 1978. The first one I bought, that is.

Exidy Sorcerer

My very first one was a SW Technical Products 6500 and my second one was a Altair 8800, both built from parts.

Though when I think about it, my first ‘computer’ was a Geniac I got when I was 10.

Geniac 2

Geniac 1

Anyway, I digress.

I’m sure most of you are familiar with at least one of the voice-activated digital assistants, like Siri, Cortana, or OK Google. Well the Amazon Echo is all that, and more. And even better, it’s hands-free, kind of an OK Google on steroids.

Amazon Echo

You can ask her any question, and get an answer, even if she doesn’t know it.

I say ‘she’ because she is a ‘she’. And her name is ‘Alexa’. Or at least ‘Alexa’ is her wakeup word, like ‘OK Google’, or ‘Siri’. You can also use ‘Amazon’, but that’s no fun.

You can ask her, “What’s the weather today in Dallas?” and she will tell you.

And once you set your location, you can ask her “What’s the weather today?” or “tomorrow”.

You can ask her to set an alarm for 10pm, or set one for 15 minutes.

If you link you Google calendar to Alexa, you can ask her, “What’s on my calendar for Friday?” and she will tell you.

A week or so ago when I was replacing the thermostats in our rig’s water heater, I was down on my knees in the bathroom and wanted to double-check what the temperature rating was. So I said, “Alexa, what is 60 degrees Centigrade in Fahrenheit?” And she came back, “60 degrees Celsius is 140 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Note that she not only gave me the correct answer, but she corrected me with the more modern Celsius, rather than the older Centigrade. And also she was in the living room while I was in the bathroom working and she still heard me.

The Echo has seven microphones spaced around her circumference, so it doesn’t matter which direction the question or request is coming from.

And Alexa even has a sense of humor. You can tell her to “Open the pod bay doors, HAL”, and she say, “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that. I’m not HAL and you’re not in space.”

Or you can ask her to tell you a joke. “What did the zero say to the eight?

“Nice belt.”

Tomorrow I’ll have some more info about Alexa, including what has turned out to be our favorite feature. Stay tuned.

Speaking of tomorrow, Jan of course has gone into giddy overdrive because of our upcoming Anniversary Eve afternoon off. We’ll head over to Shreveport about 1pm for 6 hours of fun and frolic. Or maybe just dinner, shopping, and a movie.


Thought for the Day:

“The work never ends…always another palm to grease…always another weak sister that needs shoring-up”. – J. R. Ewing



September 26, 2016

But I’ll Find It Tomorrow Night . . .

Today was a day of drying out and patching up.

Tonight’s blog will be kind of short, its length determined by how long 28% charge will get me on the battery in this 4 year old ASUS laptop.

It turns out that the one casualty in yesterday’s rainstorm was my laptop’s charger, so after doing last night’s blog I don’t have a lot of power left.

I thought I had a spare one, but diligent searching didn’t uncover it. So I got on Amazon and got a new one on the way, and made the $3.99 Overnight Shipping by 10 minutes. So tomorrow night’s blog shouldn’t be as hectic or hurried.

But of course I’ll find the other one tomorrow night when I’m no longer looking for it.

Of course.

As I said, today was a day of drying out and patching up. Every year’s canopy is a work of art, and it always needs to be fine-tuned. Which way the wind blows, the sun angles, etc., but the big one is making adjustments after the first big rain.

What’s gonna leak? Where’s it gonna leak? What can I do to stop it leaking there next time? All things that I spent a lot of time going over and working out for the next big one.

Jamie, our Gate Guard Services supervisor/service guy, showed about 6 this morning, getting an early start. He filled up our empty water tank and topped off our diesel, and brought me a spare 50amp breaker in case the one on our generator dies again.

He said he’ll be back Saturday or Sunday to do our two week service, and he’ll probably go ahead and replace the breaker then since he’ll already have the generator shut off for the the oil change. Sounds good to me.

A friend of our landowner came through this afternoon and said a rancher right down the road from here measured 4 1/2 inches in 3 1/2 hours on his rain gauge.

I can believe it.

Oops! Gettin’ low. Gotta go.

Thought For The Day:

“Nothing lasts longer than a temporary government program,” President Reagan



September 26, 2017

Mugs and More . . .

Well, I was hoping to sleep in since I didn’t have to go down to Clear Lake this morning.

But then I got a early call from my client needing some help with a problem. Luckily for me, it was something I could fix by going into one of the machines using Teamviewer. But then since I was up, I was up.

A couple of more things concerning my blog last night about the Young Sheldon and Big Bang Theory premieres, one I forgot to mention, and the other I didn’t know.

Lance Barber, who plays Young Sheldon’s father, appeared in the 11th episode of the 5th season of Big Bang Theory as Jimmy Speckerman, Leonard’s high school bully.

Someone said on another site that it was strange that Old Sheldon never noticed that Leonard’s high school bully looked exactly like his father.

The other thing, the one I didn’t know until our friend Donna McCool commented on our blog last night. Zoe Perry, who plays Young Sheldon’s mother, is actually the daughter of Laurie Metcalfe, who plays Old Sheldon’s mother on Big Bang Theory.

Wow. Talk about great casting.

About 2pm our friends, Ed and Debi Hurlburt, showed up here at Hillcrest RV Park after moving over from Lake Conroe this afternoon. After they got parked and we talked for a while, we all caravanned over to Coldspring to have ‘linner’ at El Taquito Mexican Restaurant, a place recommended by other friend’s Chris and Charles Yust, who ate there last week.

Ed and Debi at El Taquito

Ed had the Street Tacos which he thought were good, but a little greasy.

El Taquito Street Tacos

The rest of us had the El Taquito Platter.

El Taquito El Taquito Platter 1

El Taquito El Taquito Platter 2

With two beef enchiladas, a soft beef taco, a hard beef taco, a queso chip, a tostada, rice and charro beans. All for just $9.25,

A great deal for great food.

Finally finishing up, we all ended at the nearby Brookshire Bros. to pick up few things before heading home for the evening. But before splitting up we made a date to get together again Friday night.

Also wanted to plug Debi and Ed’s new website –

D and E Designs In Vinyl

Create your own T-Shirts, vinyl stickers, and more.

Check it out!

This morning I gave Jan a new coffee mug that I found on the Internet and  thought she would like.

It starts out looking like this –

Cat Mug 1

And then when you fill it with hot coffee, in just a couple of minutes it looks like this,

Cat Mug 2

Neat! And Jan really like it.

A number of people commented on my use of ‘recalcitrant’ in yesterday’s blog. That comes from having a mother with Masters Degrees in English, and Guidance and Counseling.

When I was in the 5th grade, I was grading her 8th grade class’ English papers.

So today’s Word of the Day is: portentous

Thought for the Day:

“An appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” – Winston Churchill



September 26, 2018

This Doesn’t Bode Well . . .

This time next week hopefully we’ll be happily ensconced at Poche’s Fish N Camp in Breaux Bridge, LA, having just had dinner at Crazy ‘Bout Crawfish.

At least I hope that’s the way it goes. I guess we’ll see.

With the cooler weather coming in, and the days dwindling down until we leave for Florida, I’ve pretty much put any more work on the rig’s generator on hold. And it raining pretty much every day for the last month hasn’t help things either.

But I still find myself checking out some of my backup plans. If my Onan diesel proves to be impossible or uneconomical to get running again, I’m thinking about replacing it with a portal gasoline generator like this Harbor Freight Predator model for $600.

Predator 8750

Predator 8750 Generator

It’s 8750 starting amps / 7000 running amps with a 90 day warranty.

But I recently came across this Champion model.

Champion Generator

Champion 9375 Generator

It’s 9375 starting amps / 7500 running amps with a 3 year warranty. The only downside is that it costs about $200 more. But that might be offset by the much longer warranty.

I did recently find this Consumer Reports article comparing a Honda EC2000 Inverter Generator and an equivalent Predator model from Harbor Freight. Turns out that CR thought that the Predator compared very favorably to the Honda, and it costs half as much.

My new house batteries that I installed a few days ago, Got’er Done, are perking right along with no problems. I’ve noticed that my house battery voltage runs about 0.5 volt higher than the previous battery set.

Then a day or so later, I turned off my power converter for an hour or so and monitored the voltage. As expected, the voltage dropped to the normal steady-state of 12.6 volts . . and stayed there. Running several rig lights, the fridge, and the AC thermostats, the voltage never even dropped a tenth of a volt.

I guess that’s what 2280 Ah will do for you.

Tomorrow I’ll take two of the old batteries back to Lowe’s tomorrow and get my $20 core charge back. Then I’ll check with NTB to see if they will take the other two.

Also tomorrow I’m going to start working down my list of things that I want to get done before we leave next Wednesday. At least between rain storms.

Thought for the Day:

This Doesn’t Bode Well.

This Doesn't Bode Well

What does it mean when you have no fortune?