Family Memories . . .

Well, it doesn’t look like the new gaskets and bolts for my oil filter adapter will come in until Monday, but I’m thinking that I might go ahead and install the Helicoils this weekend, and then finish up later in the week when the other stuff comes in.

I will need to pick up a spray can of cutting oil tomorrow for drilling out the old threads and cutting the new ones.

Jan has been going through some old photos and came across this photo taken at my parent’s wedding May 20, 1946.

Mother and Daddy Wedding Photo 470

Really brought back a lot of memories.

And she also found this newspaper clipping from 1966 concerning my nomination to the US Air Force Academy.

Greg USAF Clipping

I was accepted, but my mother’s handwriting relates how I turned it down because my eyes would not let me fly. But then 3 years later I was working for a DOD contractor on military aircraft.

And as usual, they added an extra ‘G’ to my name. ‘Gregg’  is just that, but ‘Greg’ is short for ‘Gregory’, which is actually my name.

And now some more memories.

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Finger-Licking PFK


September 18, 2009

Quebec

Today was our day to see the city of Quebec.

We started out with breakfast at our new favorite breakfast/lunch place, Cora.  Hopefully these will show up in the US soon.

We drove around Quebec, finally ending up in Vieux Quebec, or Old Quebec where we found a Tourist Information Center.

Info Building

We found that there was going to be a 2 hour bus tour at 2:30 pm and signed up for it.  Luckily for us, today was the last day for this tour, and, even luckier, it was all in English.

We’ve noticed a lot of touristy things are starting to shut down, or reduce their hours, due to winter coming on, and the tourist trade is dropping off.

We had some time to kill before the tour started so we drove to a Glass Shop on St. Jean street that Jan wanted to visit.

St Jean St

Finally we headed back to rendezvous with our tour bus.  Our driver, a Quebec City native named Francois, spoke very good English, luckily for us. But Jan said he sounded like Inspector Clouseau of Pink Panther fame.

Our tour gave us a look at the major sites in Quebec, in both the old and new sections.

Quebec Tour 1

Here is the Simons fountain in front of the Provincial Capitol of Quebec.

Simons Fountain

Here is the view from the Plains of Abraham battlefield site overlooking the St. Lawrence river.

Plains 1

The battle of Plains of Abraham, also known as the Battle of Quebec, took place during the French and Indian War in September 1759, and the British victory over the French led to France relinquishing all claims to Canada.

Here’s Jan with another view from the battlefield.

Plains 2

And here is the Chateau Frontenac Hotel, one of the most magnificent sites in Quebec.  Built in 1893, the Frontenac is one of the premiere hotels in North America.

Hotel Frontenac

Here’s one of the many pedestrian-only streets in Vieux (Old) Quebec.

Quebec Tour 3

This church, the L Eglise Notre Dame Des Victoires (The Church of Our Lady of Victories) , is the oldest stone church in North America.

Quebec Church

Another view.

Quebec Tour 5

And this building, built in 1675, is the oldest one in Quebec City.

Quebec Oldest House

After our tour was over, we drove over to Tomas Tam’s, a Chinese buffet restaurant we’d seen advertised.  And it was very good.

On our way back to the rig, we drove pass everyone’s favorite chicken place, PFK.

PFK

PFK???

Leave it to Quebec to put their own stamp on things.

PFK in French stands for ‘Poulet Frit Kentucky’, or Kentucky Fried Chicken to us.

Getting back to the rig, we got ready to head out early tomorrow on a long travel day.


Thought For The Day:

Some things are best left unsaid. Unfortunately I usually don’t realize this until after I’ve said them.

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More Landon Time


September 18, 2010

“Lupper” or “Linner”

Today started off with a cool, rainy, overcast morning, and some great pecan praline coffee. We just sat around and enjoyed the view out the front window, watching this heron trying to dry his wings, even while it was raining.

Heron

And even Emma sought refuge from the dreary day in a warm, fuzzy blanket.

Emma 3

About 1:30 we left for Brandi’s. Lowell and Brandi were going out for their own private celebration of Brandi’s birthday, while Jan and I Landon sat. But since we weren’t supposed to be there until 3 pm we first stopped off at our favorite Chinese restaurant, King Food for “Linner” or ‘Lupper”, take your pick. (Hey, if you can have Brunch, we can have Lupper.) We’ve been eating there for over 30 years and are on our 4th owner.

We both had the same thing. Hot & Sour Soup, and Chicken with Hot Garlic Sauce. Of course, that’s not hot enough for us, so I add a big spoonful of the roasted chili flakes to my soup, and we both order the Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce, Extra, Extra, Extra, Extra Spicy, and then add Jalapenos. Hey, this is Texas. We put Jalapenos in everything. And what we don’t put Jalapenos in, we add some Habanero peppers to.

The way I tell if it’s hot enough is that if my bald head starts sweating and my nose starts running, then it’s just about perfect.

Leaving King Food, we still had some time left so we stopped off at Half Price Books, a great chain of used book stores. Most of their locations are in Texas, but they have stores in 15 other states as far west as California and Washington, and as far east as Pennsylvania.

Getting to Brandi’s, she and Lowell headed out for their date, and Jan and I Landon sat. Or, at least, Jan Landon sat and I napped. Once she has Landon in her arms, she doesn’t like to give him up.

Landon Being Feed

Landon in Bouncy Chair

About 5 pm I drove over to Fry’s Electronics to look for a 1.5 TB backup drive they had on sale, but I was too late, and they were sold out. So I came home with a new LED keychain flashlight instead. Bummer!

Getting home a little after 7 pm, I made some coffee and we settled in to watch some TV.


Thought For The Day:

I chose to be a sheepdog once I saw what happens to the sheep.

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More Moose Stuff


September 18, 2012

Julia Child and a Ceramic Moose . . .

Despite the overcast, spitting rain, weather today was another day trip day. We headed at about 11am, first over to Batesville to check out Weberding’s Carving Shop.

Weberding 1

Celebrating their 70th anniversary, they’re one of the largest suppliers of custom church furniture in the US. They even have a display of miniature versions of some of their offerings.

Weberding 3

  

Need a finely detailed camel? This one is only $6500.00!

Weberding 2

 

They even have a line of all-wood furniture made with a tree limb frame.

Weberding 4

Our next stop was a few miles up the road at Metamora, IN. Metamora is the home of one of the last visible sections of the Whitewater Canal. Built between 1836 and 1847, the seventy-six mile canal, ran between Lawrenceburg, IN on the Ohio River and Hagerstown, IN.

Developed after the opening and immediate financial success of the Erie Canal, the State of Indiana financed the building of the Whitewater. But the steep route, twice as steep as the Erie Canal, required 56 locks, seven dams, and even 4 aqueducts to carry it over other rivers.

The high cost of this route, plus the damages caused by heavy rains, delayed construction several times, and even led to the State of Indiana going bankrupt in 1839.

The canal was only open along its entire length for a few months before severe flooding took parts out of commission. It never was completely open after 1847.

Whitewater 1

 

The Benjamin Franklin III is a replica of the boats that actually plied the canal, and you can take a ride on it today.

Canal Boat

 

This grist mill opened in 1845 and is still in operation grinding corn and wheat.

Whitewater 2

 

This 12 foot waterwheel powers the mill through an underground shaft.

Whitewater 3

 

After getting to Metamora we found that most of the many shops were closed on Monday and Tuesdays, but the Canal House was open.

Home to over 2600 cookie jars and a thousand salt and pepper shakers, the jars range from Darth Vader and Batman to Hopalong Cassidy and Dilbert.

Whitewater 4

Whitewater 5

Whitewater 6

 

But now they have one less cookie jar since I brought home this moose jar for Jan.

Moose Cookie Jar

 

Leaving Metamora, we headed up the road about 50 miles to Greenville, OH, home of the KitchenAid appliance company, where Jan was looking for a new hand mixer.

And while we were there we saw this KitchenAid mixer that used to belong to Julia Child.

Julia Child's Mixer

It’s late and I’m tired, so I’ll finish up our trip tomorrow.

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Thought for the Day:

“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” – P.J. O’Rourke

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More Gate Time


September 18, 2014

It’s The Cow’s Fault . . .

Yesterday, (Wednesday) was grocery shopping/prescription day, so about 11am I headed over to the Bryan/College Station area, about 30 miles away. My first stop was the Home Depot to pick up a few things. I’m going to replace the lavatory faucet in the next few days and I needed a can of plumber’s putty for the base. I had some, but found it had dried out.

The handle broke on the old faucet and, although I tried to repair it, the fix just wouldn’t hold. So a new one it is. I picked one up last week so I’ll try and get it done in the next couple of days. Right now the handle is a pair of Vicegrips.

Whatever works.

My next stop was the Sam’s Club to pick up the prescriptions that didn’t go through last week. When we filled some prescriptions at the Sam’s in Mishawaka, IN this past June, for some reason, after filling them, they cancelled them. So the pharmacist here had to get things straightened out. Turns out that nobody at the Mishawaka store had any idea what had happened. They said it was probably a ‘computer error.’

Yeah, right. Somebody had to press that key. The computer didn’t do it by itself.

One thing at Sam’s took me by surprise though.

Christmas at Sam's

This is just ridiculous. They actually have Halloween stuff, Thanksgiving stuff, and Christmas stuff all there together. And there’s probably some New Year’s hats and horns in there somewhere.

After stopping at Wal-Mart for groceries, and to return the ‘Octopus’ shower hose from last week, I headed over by Texas A&M to pick up lunch.

Yelp had really good things to say about Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, so we thought we’d give it a try. Turns out it’s right across the street from the A&M campus and it’s a pretty big place.

With a very small menu.

Chicken Fingers. That’s pretty much it.

They have a 3 piece box, a 4 piece box, a 6 piece family box, and a Chicken Finger Sandwich. That’s it, except for Tailgater boxes of 50 or 100 pieces.

For drinks, they’ve got the usually soft drinks, sweet tea, unsweet tea, and their fresh-squeezed lemonade.

Their sweet and unsweet teas are in those dispensers with the big clear domes on top. One of them is labeled ‘UnSweet Tea’, one of them is labeled ‘Sweet Tea’, and the 3rd one is labeled ‘Sweetness’. ‘Sweetness’ was a light brown liquid that looked like very weak tea, and after a few seconds, I realized what it was.

Real sweet tea is not sweetened with sugar, but with simple syrup. Simple syrup is made by boiling one part water and one part sugar until it’s clear and then letting it cool.

You might not think that tea sweetened with simple syrup would taste different than tea sweetened directly with sugar, but it does. It probably has something to do with the slight caramelization that occurs with the boiling. Or maybe not. But it does taste different. And better.

So what was in the ‘Sweetness’ dispenser was tea-flavored simple syrup, for those who like a little extra ‘sugar rush’ with their sweet tea.

Looking over the menu, I ordered two of the Caniac Combo’s, the 6 piece dinners, since we always like to have leftovers for another meal. And for our drinks that were included, I got their fresh-squeezed lemonade for both of us.

Caniac Combo

Getting back to the gate, we found the chicken fingers and sides really, really good. But for what it’s worth, the pieces we got weren’t quite as big as the ones in the picture, but they were delicious. And 3 pieces was plenty, leaving us another meal for later.

Back to today. When I got up this morning about 11:30, I noticed DirecTV was down, saying it had lost the signal. But it was raining a little and the radar showed a lot of thunderstorms to our south, so I figured that was the problem.

But later in the afternoon after I was outside and Jan had gone in, it still wasn’t working. So I went around the front of the rig to check out our Winegard dome, and the first thing I saw was the empty stand that the dome sits on.

“Crap, somebody stole my dome,” was my first thought. But getting closer, this is what I found.

CowSat

Now I knew it hadn’t been windy enough to do this, but what the heck? And then getting closer explained it all.

The power and signal cables were all dragged back toward the rig, pulling the dome with it. Looking at the prints in the mud told me a cow had walked through on his way to the small pond behind us and had gotten tangled in the wires laying on the ground.

I was a little worried about the dome still working after all that, but apparently it’s pretty tough. I put it back on the stand, rebooted it, and a few minutes later we had pictures again.

Later, Jan said that a cow had come around the the front of the rig earlier in the morning, stopped and then, looking at Jan, mooed and walked off. I guess the moo meant “I think I just broke something.”

Tomorrow it looks like more rain is in the forecast. Oh Boy!

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Thought for the Day:

In grade school it’s called bullying, but later in life it’s referred to as upper level management.   (thanks, Aunt Sherwee)

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Another Test Drive


September 18, 2018

Dry As A Bone . . .

With our upcoming test drive this morning, Jan and I were up a little after 7am, and pulling out of our site about 9:30.

Since we still don’t have our generator working, I had switched the fridge over to propane, and was happy to see that the gas level was still showing  full, so we hadn’t leaked any since we filled it up back in June.

Heading east on FM 646, we got on I-45S and then got back off 3 miles south on Exit 17 for our diesel top-off at the La Marque Buc-ee’s.

We got about 93 gallons at $2.799. We did about 805 miles since our last fill-up, for an average 8.6 MPG. Not bad.

I did learn something about using a credit card to get a large amount of diesel. Like many places, Buc-ee’s pumps shut off at $100. But unlike some places, Buc-ee’s doesn’t let you go inside and have them turn the pumps on. They have no control over them.

The problem is that when you’re doing this, you can normally only run a credit card through twice, before it’s refused. Normally I just use another card for the 3rd (or 4th) time. But this time I tried something different just to see if it would work, and it did.

The first two times I ran it through, I did it as a debit card. Then the next time, when it ask if this was a debit or credit card, I selected credit, and it went through. Nice to know.

Finishing up at Buc-ee’s, we drove right next door to the Tanger Outlets so Jan could check out the Vera Bradley factory store looking for a shoulder bag she had her eye.on. Turns out they didn’t stock that one, but she found another one she liked even better.

Actually, she found 3 bags and two lanyards. Yikes!

Jan's Vera Bradley Bags

But it turned out to be not as I bad as I feared. Every thing in the store was 50% off, with most things another 20% off. Very Nice!

So the 3 bags and 2 lanyards totaled more than $10 LESS than the retail price of the one bag.

I can live with that. And even better, it made Jan happy.

When we came out of the Outlet Mall, I checked under the rig for any sign of my recent engine oil leak. And it was dry as a bone. Not a drop.

We completed our test drive by continuing on down I-45 and then coming back up on Hwy 6, and back to the park.

Everything else also worked fine on the test drive, so we’re good to go on our upcoming Florida trip in a couple of weeks.


Thought for the Day:

If a man has enough horse sense to treat his wife like a thoroughbred, she will never turn into an old nag. ~ Author Unknown

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One Response to Family Memories . . .

  1. sandi billingsley says:

    I’ve never written to you but have enjoyed your blog for ages. Found this from another blogger, an article about the Covid math. Thought you might enjoy it.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/covid-why-terminology-really-really-matters

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