Lighting Up . . .

Jan and I had a busy afternoon, first with lunch at the Cheddar’s up in Webster, and then by the office to pick up my Amazon order that had come in while we were having lunch.

Then it was on to the nearby Wal-Mart, and then the Sam’s right next door for some more ‘stuff’. Apparently we can never have enough stuff.

Then on the way home, we made an HEB stop for some of their stuff that Jan likes better than Wal-Mart and Sam’s stuff.

After all the new ‘stuff’ was put away back at the rig, I went outside to install the new taillight/brake light LED bulbs that came in from Amazon today.

1157 LED Bulbs

Although they look white, they glow bright red, and the brake light function flashes like the newer cars do. But they don’t flash on the rig.

The taillights work fine, but the brake lights don’t. So far.

Part of the problem is that I don’t know if the brake lights will work without the engine running and the air up to pressure for the air brakes.

I did turn the key on and had Jan pump the brake pedal while I checked outside, but no brake lights.

So I’ll call Spartan/Fleetwood tomorrow to see if I really have a problem or not. And then I’ll get back on the turn signals.

Jan and I really hope everyone is enjoying our RV travel retrospectives that we’ve been reposting every day. It’s neat to relive all these memories, and watch our grandkid’s Piper and Landon grow up over the last 13 years.

 


Thought for the Day:

Maybe people would  be more likely to evacuate from hurricanes if we didn’t give them wussy, non-scary names, like Harvey or Irma. I’ll bet if you called a hurricane Megatron Death 2000, they’d get the hell out of town as fast as they could.

And of course the next one up in 2020 is Nana. Who can be scared of ‘Nana’?


Back in Nova Scotia


September 10, 2009

Still no moose…

After a late night arrival from our debacle of a ferry ride,  we needed to get an early start this morning for our long 300 mile day.

But we had a problem.  We had called the park from Newfoundland to extend our stay an extra day when we decided to stay over.  But we had not paid for that day yet.

I had planned to pay yesterday afternoon when we got back,  but since our ferry was 5 hours late,  the park office was closed when we got home last night.  So I had to wait for the office to open this morning.  There was no office hours listed on the door,  but I was hoping they opened at 8 am,  but no luck.

So a little after 8,  Jan and I decided to go to breakfast while we waited.  We got back about 9 and still no luck.  Finally, about 9:30 the lady showed up and we paid.

Because of this,  it was 10 am before we finally pulled out.

Because we were getting a late start and had a long trip,  we decided not to stop for lunch as we had planned,  but just eat on the road.  So a little after noon,  we pulled over at the side of the road and Jan fixed peanut butter crackers.  Ten minutes later we were on our way.

About 5 pm we arrived at Wayside RV Park in Glen Margaret,  Nova Scotia,  which is just southwest of Halifax.

Wayside Park

After getting set up,  we went out to admire the view out our front window.

Wayside 1

And then a little while later,  a great sunset.

Wayside 2

At the RV park’s recommendation,  we visited the Finer Diner for supper.  Jan had the Seafood Platter and I had Lasagna.  Both very good.

And for dessert,  Jan had Coconut Cream pie, and I had the Rhubarb Caramel pie.

MMMMM!

Getting back home I got the satellite dish up and going and then we settled in.

Tomorrow,  we plan on touring the area and especially visiting the Titanic museum and memorial here.

Then on Saturday,  we’ll head back to Moncton for a couple of days to visit the Bay of Fundy area.

So by Monday evening we should be back in Houlton, ME.  Good old USA!

Later…

More BBQ in Memphis


September 10, 2010

Ducks and Tri-Motors . . .

This morning started off about 10:30 with coffee, and pumpkin bread from Bob Evans.

Mister started out with a nap in a handy sunbeam. The only problem was his sunbeam kept moving. He’d wake up, look around, realize his sunbeam had moved, and then move over to the new spot.

He didn’t like it when it disappeared completely.

Mister in Sunbeam

After a morning of pleasantly doing nothing, we headed out about 2:45 pm to eat Memphis BBQ.

We had originally planned to eat at Neely’s BBQ. This couple has a show on the Food Network called Down Home with the Neelys. We enjoy the show and hoped to enjoy their BBQ, but the online reviews changed our minds.

Inside we headed for The BBQ Shop, a place that showed up on pretty much every “Best BBQ in Memphis” list I found.

And they were right !

Like most good BBQ places, it looks pretty nondescript on the outside, but the food inside was another story.

TheBBQShop

TheBBQShop Inside

Jan had pulled pork sandwich piled high with meat and coleslaw. Once again, I had the Combo Platter with ribs and pulled pork. It was smaller than the one last night, but not by much. At least it only had two sides instead of tour.

TheBBQShop Platter

The ribs are what they refer to as “half & half”. Memphis BBQ is usually cooked with just a dry rub, and not with sauce. You can add the sauce later if you want.

The BBQ was delicious, but what really set it apart was their sauce, or at least their hot sauce. We never even tried the regular one.

Their hot sauce was very, very, hot. But along with being very, very hot, it was very tasty and flavorful, maybe one of the best sauces I’ve ever had.

All in all, it was a great meal !

Then leaving The BBQ Shop we drove back toward downtown and The Peabody Hotel. The Peabody is/was the ritziest hotel in Memphis and i stayed here several times between 1964 and 1966 when I went to CMA (Columbia Military Academy). I was in the band, and we marched in several parades here, including the Cotton Carnival.

The Peabody

The other thing the Peabody is known for is their Duck March.  Their ducks live in a rooftop enclosure, and every morning five ducks ride the elevator down to the lobby and then march out to the pond/fountain in the middle of the lobby to the sounds of the King Cotton March. And then every night they march back to the roof. They’ve been doing this since 1932, though I assume it’s not the same five ducks. Hundreds of people show up to watch the parade.

We also used to drop water balloons from our rooms and the roof.

Did you know that if you manage to hit one of the ventilation fans on a city bus roof, you can soak everyone inside?

Good times !

Next we drove along the Mississippi River on Riverside Dr.

Mississippi River 1

Mississippi River 2

While taking these pictures of the Mississippi, I saw a familiar-looking plane flying over the river.

I could have sworn it was a Ford Tri-Motor. I quickly took a photo using my camera’s telephoto lens, and I was right.

So the next question was, what in the world was 1930’s Ford Tri-Motor doing flying over Memphis?

Ford Trimotor

A little Googling gave me the answer. The EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) has a Tri-Motor touring the country selling rides. They also have a B-17 Flying Fortress that we saw in Elkhart, IN last month doing the same thing. This is their plane below.

EAA_Ford_Trimotor

I got to fly a Tri-Motor a number of times when we lived in Colombia, South America in the early 60’s. It was either take a 6 hour plane ride over the Andes, or a 27 hour car ride. And strangely enough I helped deliver a baby on one of these flights. I was fourteen at the time. But that’s another story.

And here’s a Tri-Motor we saw last year at the Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Ford Tri-Motors were built from 1929 to 1933. 199 were built, and at the time the Ford Aircraft Division was considered the largest commercial aircraft builder in the world.

As of 2008, there were 18 still known in existence.

And yes, it was part of Ford Motor Company.

Ford Tri-Motor

And of course, what’s Memphis without the obligatory Graceland drive-by.

Graceland

Crossing the Mississippi, and getting back to West Memphis, we stopped by Ray’s BBQ where we ate last night. He had mentioned that he was on the Web, but I couldn’t find his website. A little investigation told me that his domain name, RaysBBQWorld.com had expired back in June and had not been renewed, so his website was no longer on the Web. I told him he needed to contact the person who did his site to get it fixed.

Leaving Ray’s we stopped off and got some vanilla ice cream to have with the wonderful chocolate cake Jan’s sister Debbie made for us.

We got back about 5:30 and just enjoyed the view of the Mississippi out the front of the coach.

Tomorrow we’ll head south to Jackson MS to spend the night at the Moose Lodge.

More tomorrow…


Thought For The Day:

“It is not MY fault that I never learned to accept responsibility!”

    

More Gate Guarding in North Zulch, TX


September 10, 2014

Slower, but still Steady . . .

We had a very nice slowdown today, with only 148 vehicles through the gate, compared to yesterday’s 233. As I said, very nice.

Our rig still hasn’t ‘spudded in’ yet. Don’t know what the problem is, or if there really is a problem. They’ve got drill pipe hanging in the derrick, so that part’s ready, but no drilling.

I made our first supply run over to the Wal-Mart in Bryan this morning, and all I can say is, “I hate breaking in a new Wal-Mart.” Not only are the different departments in different places in the store, but, especially in the Grocery department, different items are in different areas. For instance, some Wal-Marts stock the vinegar in the Baking section, others put it in the can goods aisle. Some put the drinking water with the soft drinks, while others put it in the booze area. You never know.

But it took a while to find everything on Jan’s long list, long because this is the first time in two weeks since we stocked up on stuff.

On the way home I stopped off at Rudy’s BBQ to stock up on this too. A jumbo baked potato with lean brisket and a 1/2 pound of lean brisket for Jan, and a jalapeno sausage link and a 1/2 pound of moist brisket for me, and a quart of creamed corn for both of us. We’ll get several meals out of this.

Jan doesn’t normally like corn, but she likes Rudy’s. Now if they would just crumble bacon in it as they made it, it would be just like my grandmother’s, cooked up in her big cast-iron skillet. MMMMM, good.

Looks like Fall and cooler weather are right around the corner. Friday night’s low is supposed to be in the high 60’s with Saturday’s high in the 70’s. Then it’s in the 80’s as far as the eye can see, or at least, as far Weather.com can forecast.

We’ll see.

___________________________________________________________________

Thought for the Day:

“Whenever we can, we follow the law.” – IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, when testifying before Congress 9/10/2014

Wonder if I can use this line during my next audit?

Our Gate in Carthage, TX


September 10, 2015

It’s Frack Eve . . .

Or so we’re told.

They said they’ll start tomorrow, but we’ll see. They’ve already prepositioned 20 loads of sand, so when the next sand trucks start coming in, we’ll know they’re off and running.

And on a good note, we’ve been told that they will only be bringing in 20 sand trucks a day, ten at a time. Last year it was not unusual to get 20 an HOUR. And not for just one hour either. But hour after hour. So this is really good news.

From yesterday’s 64 vehicles coming in, today it jumped to 135. But a lot of that was fracking equipment coming in to stay, so it may settle down a bit once they actually get started. One of the things that will tend to keep the count up is that there’s no housing here, so the crews all come and go at the shift changes.

We saw a familiar face today when our Gate Guard Services guy came by to top us off with diesel and change the oil and filter in the generator. It was Todd, who’s just come back to work with GGS a few days ago. Todd has been one of our services guys several times over the last few years, and in fact he was the one that brought in our replacements when we left our gate in North Zulch last November.

Good to have him back.

This is what I have on the thermostat back in the bedroom.

Thermostat Wiring

The switch I added let’s me manually change the fan speed from high to low. Normally this is down automatically, with the fan running on high on AC, and low when you’re set to heat.

But right after we bought the coach, I replaced the old round analog thermostats with these digital ones, which have worked great for the last 8 years. I put in the switch because Jan was worried about how loud the AC fan would be since it was located right over our bed. But as it turns out, it wasn’t a problem, and it just stays on high.

But I now want to add the same mod to the front thermostat. Our new Coleman 15K AC unit has a much stronger (and louder) fan so I would like decrease the noise a bit when we’re both watching TV. Plus with the increased BTU’s of the new unit, coupled with the better fan, the unit really doesn’t run as long as it should.

You’ve probably heard that having too big an AC unit in a house not a good idea. The reason for this is that in high humidity areas, like Texas, cooling is only part of what makes you comfortable. You also need to remove the moisture from the air. This is why you see water running down the side of your rig in humid areas.

Earlier this summer when we were in Prescott, AZ, the AC would run, but there was no water coming off the roof, because we only had about 10% humidity. But in Texas it’s a different story.

So when your AC system is too big, it cools down the air so fast, that it doesn’t run long enough to take the necessary moisture out. This means that you can end up with that cold. clammy feeling. So by being able to manually adjust the fan speed, I can reduce the cooling and increase the moisture removal.

Tomorrow’s grocery day for me, and then Jan’s once again talking about going into Carthage to get her hair done. But we’ll see.

____________________________________________________

Thought for the Day:

“The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war” – General Norman Schwartzkopf

Another East Texas Gate


September 10, 2016

Blue Moon’s and Sunsets . . .

Today, with a high of 85, tonight’s forecasted low of 67, and Blue Moon BBQ for lunch, just couldn’t get much better. At least for a gate day, anyway. And the fact that the vehicle count was only 33, just made it even better.

The original forecast called for ‘Scattered Thunderstorms’, and lucky for us, that’s what they did. Just scattered all around us, but never over us, so that was nice too.

Back on the subject of mail delivery, our carrier showed up about 12:30 today with our Jet.com package, so I guess that’s all worked out now. At least I hope it is.

I spent some more time this afternoon looking at my Wilson Cell Phone Booster problem. First thing, because it was the quickest and easiest, was to check the cables running from the outside directional antenna to the amplifier box, and the cables running from the amplifier to the ‘inside’ (even though it’s outside too) antenna,

After cleaning the connections and checking them for continuity and no shorts, I then tried the next thing that Patrick, the Wilson Tech Support guy, suggested – bringing the two antennas closer together to see if the amplifier is actually amplifying. If it is, then the lights on the amplifier should turn from green to red. This shows that the amplifier is going into shutdown mode due to the feedback between the two antennas.

This is the same as when you get a microphone too close to the speakers and get that high, piercing shriek, only with radio waves instead of sound waves.

And I was showing an overload condition on the amp, so that meant it was actually ‘amplifying’.

So why isn’t it working. . . at least somewhat?

One thing that was kind of funny is that while I was using the Open Signal app on my phone to find the direction of the nearest tower, I was also watching the signal strength of the signal, shown as   -110 dbm, which is pretty weak. But then suddenly it  jumped up to about  -95 dbm, which is a decent signal.

What the heck?

But then I noticed that my phone had dropped back to 3G instead of 4G. Then after a couple of minutes it popped back into 4G mode. And my signal strength dropped back down to  -110 dbm again.

What the heck?

So I guess Monday morning I’ll be back on the phone with Wilson again.

As I mentioned yesterday, today was a  ‘Blue Moon BBQ for lunch’ day. So about 11:30 I headed over there to pick it up.

Jan did a changeup today and went with the Blue Moon Nachos, which several workers had recommended.

Blue Moon Nachos

And she was really happy  too. Blue Moon’s version is a little different, with muliple layers of chips, chopped beef, beans, and cheese, stacked about 2 inches deep in the container, and coming with sour cream and a Chipotle Jalapeno Dip.

She got the large version, to have leftovers for another meal, as well as an obligatory  ‘Only Available on Saturday’ HotShot, a fresh jalapeno stuffed with 3 cheeses and chopped beef, then wrapped in bacon and tossed on the pit.

She said it was all delicious, and she’s found her new favorite dish.

I got the 3 meat plate, choosing Sliced Brisket, PepperJack Sausage, and Ribs, along with Potato Salad, Beans, and of course, a HotShot.

Blue Moon 3 Meat Plate

And, even better, we both had plenty leftover for dinner tomorrow.

Wrapping up for today, Jan got some really good shots of the rig at sundown today.

Blue Moon Gate Sunset

Blue Moon Gate Sunset 2

This is a first for me, since I’ve never seen the rig at sundown.

I’m already asleep by then.


Thought for the Day:

Nature abhors a vacuum, but not as much as a cat does.

More Landon-Sitting


September 10, 2017

Drop Off and Pick Up . . .

Today was another drop-off day for me, taking Jan back down to our daughter Brandi’s in Katy so she can drop off and pick up our grandson Landon at school until Wednesday when I’ll pick her up on my way back from Clear Lake.

Brandi is at a work conference in San Diego (notice how these ‘work conferences’ are never in Des Moines or Little Rock, but in Miami, Las Vegas or San Diego) and our son-in-law Lowell’s working late at the office this week, so Jan is once again Landon-sitting. Kind of like throwing Brer Rabbit in the Briar Patch.

Leaving about 2pm, our first stop was the Kroger’s over in Willis for gas. No problems and I only had to wait for one car. Unleaded was $2.39 a gallon.

Our next stop was the IHOP about 10 miles south for brunch. before heading on to Katy. Jan got her favorite omelet, cheddar and mushroom, and said it was just stuffed full inside.

IHOP Cheddar and Mushroom Omelet

I decided to try their new Stuffed Donut French Toast, topped with Bacon and Maple Syrup.

IHOP Maple Bacon Donut French Toasted

It’s a donut filled with Bavarian cream, dipped in vanilla French toast batter, grilled, and then topped with crispy bacon pieces and maple glaze. Artery-clogging good.

Jan and I both ordered a side of bacon with our entrees. Unfortunately I got Jan’s bacon.

IHOP Glass Bacon

Well, not Jan’s exactly. It’s just that mine was prepared exactly like Jan’s.

Jan basically likes her bacon ‘burnt’, or as a waitress put it one time, ‘Glass Bacon’. You know, where you just touch it and it shatters into small pieces.

I like mine regular crispy, but more often than not, mine shows burnt just like Jan’s. And today was one of those days.

Taking the 99 Grand Parkway, the trip down to Katy was smooth with little traffic, so nice. But we had a couple of more stops before getting to Brandi’s. First up was the new Buc-ee’s that pretty much opened in the middle of hurricane Harvey.

We wanted to get some kolaches and muffins, but also wanted to check out their new car wash. At 255 feet long, it’s one of the longest ones in the world. Only one in Germany is possibly longer. They also have 120 gas pumps here, and it you choose the $16 wash, you get 20 cents a gallon off.

Bucee's Car Wash

The cost is $9, $12, or $16. Don’t know what you get extra the $16 one, because the $12 version was great.

It got off the residual hydraulic fluid leftover from our recent rig unpleasantness in Louisiana, cleaned the wheels, and left the truck shiny white. Couldn’t have been much better.

After making our pastry stop inside, we drove another exit down to check out the Hamilton Metals rig count sign, which showed 949 rigs, down 5 since last week.

This pretty much reinforces what I’ve seen in the gate guarding field, since the last rig count we saw the middle of July was 952. So things are pretty stagnant.

Our next stop was the nearby Kroger’s for a few things for Jan and a few things for me to bring home. And while we were there we ran into Lowell and Landon doing their shopping too.

Finally heading toward Brandi’s, we made a quick drive-by of Landon’s school to be sure that she knew where it was. And then later this afternoon Lowell going to give her an in-service on Brandi’s Lexus, which is what Jan will be chauffeuring Landon in.

After dropping Jan off, I reversed course back to Conroe, getting home a little before 7pm. Coming back into the park, I noticed that sometime today they reinstalled the entrance gates that they took down for the repaving.

It was nice to be able to just drive through for a while.


 

And Even More Landon-Sitting


September 10, 2018

So Good She Had Two Bowls . . .

I left work a little early today, about 3pm, to get a jump on the traffic and the weather on the way up to Brandi’s in Katy to pick up my missing wife.

It had been pouring down up in that area all morning so I was wary of what the drive was going to be like. But by the time I got up there it had all passed through and all I got was few light sprinkles along the way.

I had gone over to the storage room yesterday afternoon and picked up the stuff we had saved from our house for Brandi, but didn’t want to take it up there until they had moved into their new house. No need to move it twice.

Coming home, with the coolish, dreary weather, we decided that a big bowl of King Food’s Hot & Sour Soup, and maybe an order of their Crispy Garlic Honey Crusted Chicken Wings.

Jan got the small bowl, the same one that comes with their meals,

King Food Hot and Sour with Crunchies

while I usually get the big bowl since it’s sometimes all I get.

King Food Big Hot & Sour

But this time, the soup was so good, that Jan ordered a second bowl while we waited for our wings.

King Food Crispy Chicken Wings

But as usual, they were worth waiting for.

Brandi and Lowell turned us on to these wings a while back, and we’re amazed that we ate there for so long and never got them ourselves.

We had thought about stopping off at WalMart for a few things, but decided to put it off until tomorrow, since Jan just wanted to get back home.

I finally got our new South Dakota address from Dakota Post today. We had lost our original one, from MyDakotaAddress that we’ve had since 2007, when they suddenly went out of business with no notice. In fact, when they publically announced the closure, they also said that they had started to reject our mail the week before.

I guess Dakota Post got swamped with new customers because it took a good while to finally get my box number. Something that I really needed since I need to get our Driver’s License renewals in, especially mine, which expires Oct 5th. We have a little more time with Jan’s since hers doesn’t expire until the 25th. It does make it easier though with both our birthdays in the same month.

Tomorrow I’m going to try to get back on the generator repair, but that may end up called on a rain delay . . . again. Plus it doesn’t look much better for the rest of the week. Or much of next week either, for that matter. If so, I’ll get back on the phone to Onan and pick some more brains on possible solution to the problem.

One positive for all the rain though, is it’s keeping the daytime temps down, with tomorrow’s high forecast for 80°, and staying in the low 80’s for the rest of the week.

Nice!



Thought for the Day:

Truth Matters Little If Others Believe The Lies.

 

Where’s My Droid


September 10, 2019

Best $4.99 I Ever Spent . . .

After a coffee-laced morning, Jan and I headed out about 1pm for lunch at Snooze up in Webster

Now usually I get the 3 Egg Classic breakfast like this.

Snooze 3 Egg Breakfast

But now that we’re doing the Keto thing, mine now looks like this.

Snooze 3 Egg with all Bacon

All Bacon, All The Time.

While we were there, our waiter noticed my jar of Carolina Reaper Powder sitting on the table, and said, “Good stuff!”.

Carolina Reaper Powder

And then asked if I had tried the hot sauce they had there. When I said no, and that I didn’t normally like most hot sauces because all I taste is vinegar. And then he handed me this.

YellowBird Serrano Sauce

And it was delicious! Probably because vinegar is the 5th ingredient rather than the 1st.

And as soon as Jan tasted it, she said, “We have to buy some.” A little Googling said that our local HEB carried it. So it was on our shopping list for today.

Leaving Snooze, we drove over to the local Wal-Mart for a few things. Then it was back over to my client’s to pick up an Amazon order that came in this morning. And then right next door to HEB for some Lola Savannah coffee, that they were out of, and of course, the YellowBird Serrano Sauce, which they did have.

After that we headed over to the Seabrook area so Jan could find some earrings at Burke’s Outlet. And it was while I was waiting there that I discovered a problem.

I had lost my phone.

So we back-tracked. The last time I remembered actually using it was at the Wal-Mart, so we headed back that way, with a quick stop at my client’s to see if I left it there.

With no luck, it was on over to Wal-Mart. But no luck at the Customer Service desk.

Unfortunately Jan didn’t have her phone with her, so I couldn’t check my account on WheresMyDroid.com. So we headed back to the rig and as soon as I went online with the app I was shown this.

WheresMyDroidMap 2

It was still out in the Wal-Mart parking lot.

So the first thing I did was to lock the phone and take a photo with the front camera, and got this.

WheresMyDroidPhoto

So it was lying face up in the parking lot. If that photo had come back showing only black, I could have then take a photo with the rear phone.

If the phone had gotten away, I could have also completely wiped, or even ‘bricked’ the phone. And it wouldn’t have made any difference if they had turned it off or removed the battery. As soon as it was powered up any time later, the lock/wipe/brick would have taken place immediately.

So Jan and I headed back up to the Wal-Mart to scour the parking lot. I know it was near a light pole since it showed up in the photo. And after a few minutes of walking around, I found this. Based on where I found it, I suspect I just didn’t clip it into my belt clip. The Otterbox case I used sometimes keeps it from locking in firmly.

Wheres My Droid Found Phone

Best $4.99 I Ever Spent . . .

Since we always have decaf coffee in the evening, I had set it up in the Mr. Coffee before we left for lunch. So coming home, as we got off I-45 I used the Switchbot remote to start it brewing, and just as we walked in the door, the pot beeped that it was done. And it smelled great as we came in the rig.

I love it when a plan comes together.



Thought For The Day:

“It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” –  Noel Coward



     

One Response to Lighting Up . . .

  1. If your Turn Signals and Brakes use the same Bulb all you need to test the circuit is to try your Signals. If they work so will the Brake Lights and Emergency Flashers.

    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

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