Monthly Archives: September 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?

Wandering In The Wilderness . . .

Well, after wandering in the FedEx wilderness for the last week, my oil filter adapter  gaskets finally showed up this afternoon. So now if the weather will just cooperate, I might get this project done over the next few days. At least the sun did come out for a while this afternoon, which hopefully will start to dry up the puddle at the rear of the rig.

Research Shows Cardiac Safety of Hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 Patients – Not Associated With Dangerous Heart Rhythms

Short-term hydroxychloroquine treatment is not associated with lethal heart rhythms in patients with COVID-19 who are risk assessed prior to receiving the drug. That’s the finding of research published today (September 25, 2020) in EP Europace, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).[1]

“This was the largest study to assess the risk of dangerous heart rhythms (arrhythmias) in COVID-19 patients treated with hydroxychloroquine,” said study author Dr. Alessio Gasperetti of Monzino Cardiology Centre, Milan, Italy and University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland. “In our cohort, there was a low rate of arrhythmias and none were associated with hydroxychloroquine.”

So despite what Fauci and others have said, HCQ does not cause heart problems.
And then there’s this.
Coronavirus deaths 75% lower in nations using hydroxychloroquine!

Check out this chart and the link below.

HCQ Plot Chart

A Country by Country Analysis for HCQ use vs. CoVid-19


Thought For The Day:

Me: It’s not about how many times you fall, but how many times you get back up.

Cop: That’s not how the Field Sobriety Test works.



Near Buffalo, NY

September 25, 2009

Wings and more Wings…

As I said, today was pretty much just an errand day.

We’re at the Sleepy Hollow Lake Campground in Corfu, NY, a little east of Buffalo.

Sleepy Hollow Lake

It’s the only park we’ve ever stayed at that has a petting zoo!  They have alpacas, goats, sheep, pigs, and emus.  Not bad.

Petting Zoo 1

Petting Zoo 2

Petting Zoo 3

Petting Zoo 4

And for some strange reason, it also has its own firetruck!


Not sure that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

After sitting outside with Mister a while, we headed out looking a good place to have lunch.

While looking for, what turned out to be an out-of-business Mexican place, we stumbled on Quaker Steak and Lube,  a restaurant with, not surprisingly, an automobile theme.

And really good food.

Besides a full menu, they also specialized in Buffalo Wings.  I noticed that besides the normal ones, they had  ‘Atomic Wings, so Jan and I decided to try a sampler plate of 5 wings.

Wing Chart


According to the SHU (Scoville Heat Units) chart on their menu,  regular Buffalo wings rate a 3000 of the chart.  Really, really hot wings rate a 30,000.

Their Atomic Wings come in at 150,000 SHU!

Jan ate two wings and I ate 3.  They were hot, very hot.  But I’m not sure they’re any hotter than the hottest ones that Hooters has.

But for the rest of the day, our lips did tingle and feel like they had been sunburned.

After lunch, with our tongues still tingling and our eyes still watering, we drove over to Sam’s Club for some ‘stuff’.

Heading back toward home we stopped off at a Walgreens that had flu shots available.  Jan wanted to get one.  This is just for the normal flu.  The Swine (H1N1) Flu shots won’t be available until sometime next month.

As usual,  I didn’t get one.  As I tell Jan,  “I depend on the kindness of strangers”.  I figure if everyone else gets a shot, then I won’t need one.

I haven’t gotten a flu shot for years and I haven’t had the flu for years.  And pretty much every time I got a shot in the past, I’ve gotten the flu.

So there.

We also stopped off at a NAPA Auto Parts so I could buy a new battery for the truck.  We’ve had a couple of instances, most recently when our truck wouldn’t start when we were leaving the Newfoundland Ferry, so I wanted to take care of the problem.

I installed the new battery in the NAPA parking lot so I wouldn’t have to bring the old one back later.

Later that evening, we decided to have more chicken wings.  This time from the place that created the first Buffalo Wings in 1964 and started the whole thing.

It’s called ‘The Original Anchor Bar” and is located in Buffalo, of all places.  The place is really a family Italian restaurant and has been around since 1934.

The wings came about when some friends of the owner’s son showed up right before closing one night, and the son asked his mother to fix something for them.  She took a bunch of chicken wings that she was planning to use for soup, deep fried them, and then dunked them in a sauce she had been working on for another recipe.

And a legend was born!

This being an Italian restaurant, besides an order of Spicy BBQ Wings, we got a cheese and pepperoni pizza, and an order of Pizza Logs, kind of like Italian Egg Rolls.  All very good.  And we had leftovers.

Then it was back home to get ready to head out tomorrow.

Thought For The Day:

If you aren’t part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.

September 25, 2010

Cellphone Crashes and Car Seats. . .

Not much bloggable went on today.

Went to bed kind of late – About 3 am

Got up kind of late – About 11 am

Left the rig about noon to see a computer client in Pearland.

Got back about 3:45 pm

Left the rig about 4 pm to head over to Cafe Adobe to meet some friends for dinner.

This is our first time to eat at this new location since it opened while we were gone this year, and we were really looking forward to it.

However Jan and I were both kind of disappointed, since it wasn’t as good as we remembered from another location. It wasn’t bad, just not great.

And it wasn’t as good as Chuy’s, where we ate our first night back in Houston about two weeks ago,

We’re going to eat there again on Monday night with Debbie and Jim, Jan’s sister and brother-in-law, and all the rest of the family. So we’ll give in another chance.

After dinner we went over to our friend’s Connie and Herman’s house to look at a computer problem Connie’s having.

We got back to the rig about 10:30. For not doing much, it sure seemed like a long day.

And now for something completely different…

If you’ve read either Freakonomics or SuperFreakonomics, you know that the conventional wisdom about something doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. (If you haven’t read these books, you should.)

For example, I found this chart the other day in an article about the so-called dangers of using a cellphone while driving.

Note that in the last 10 years the number of cellphones has almost tripled, but the number of car crashes has been dropping pretty steadily during the same period.

If cellphones were so dangerous, wouldn’t you think that the number of crashes would be rising, at least noticeably?  I mean, I’ve read some articles that say that using a cellphone while driving is the equivalent of driving drunk.

Cellphones v Car Crashes

As it turns out, analysts think that the reason this is happening is that cellphone usage is replacing even more dangerous driving habits, like driving with your knees while you’ve got a burger in one hand and a drink in the other. Like, reading a newspaper propped on the steering wheel in front of you, putting on makeup and plucking your eyebrows in the mirror, shaving, and my personal favorite, conducting the music on radio with a conductor’s baton in one hand.

(Note that they’re not talking about texting, which requires far more time looking away from the road)

Personally, I think that airbags have caused a lot of crashes all by themselves.

Anyone remember how we got airbags?

The government didn’t think people were using their seatbelts enough so they make the car manufacturers install switches in the seats, so that if someone was sitting there, and if the seatbelt wasn’t fastened, then the car wouldn’t start.

But this caused such a revolt from the public that the government decided that, if people weren’t using their seatbelts, then they would give us airbags instead, since those were automatic.

But then it turned out that airbags were very dangerous without seatbelts. (Don’t believe me, try Googling “airbag decapitations”) So now we got both airbags and seatbelts.

Oh, Goody!

Next, they discovered that, even with airbags AND seatbelts, it was very dangerous to have a baby in a carrier in the front seat.

So now babies in their carriers are supposed to be in the back seat.

So, ever watch a mother with a new baby in the back seat. They can’t keep their eyes off that baby. They’re either constantly checking it out in the mirror, or actually turning around to look

Then, BAMMM! Someone stops in front of them.

And for what it’s worth, I think that rear car seats are also responsible for at least some of the cases where parents accidently leave a baby in a car. That is hard to do when the baby is in the front seat, and it sure seems like we hear about this happening more in the last few years.

Well, that’s it for today. Discuss among yourselves.

Thought for the Day:

“…An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it.” Col. Jeff Cooper

September 25, 2013

R. I . P. Emma

Jan’s cat, Emma, died this morning, sometime between midnight and 6:30am. Jan came out and found her curled up in her favorite spot. It looked liked she’d just went to sleep and never woke up.

Emma 3

Emma and Moose

Emma was around 17, another stray that, as usual, found us rather than the other way around. The whole family was eating at King Food, our favorite Chinese restaurant one night and she showed up. Our big round table was in the front corner, surrounded on two sides by windows. Sometime during the meal we looked up to see a small black kitten, about six months old, sitting on the narrow ledge looking at us through the glass and meowing, and every now and then she would rub her head against the window and then just look at us with those big eyes.

Of course this lasted about 30 seconds until Brandi went outside and smuggled her back in. In fact, Brandi was the one who named her, I think after the literary character. So suddenly we had another cat (I think we already had two at the time). And by the time Mister came along in 2006, (another stray that found me this time), Emma was the last cat standing.

Emma and Mister never really got along. Mister tried, but Emma would have nothing to do with him. In fact she would attack him whenever she thought she could get away with it. It was always funny to see this 9 pound cat with no claws taking on a 25 pound cat with his claws. But Mister never fought back. He’d just stare at her until she panicked and ran off. But when it was necessary, like a travel day, they would tolerate each other, but that was about it.

Mister And Emma

Mister and Emma 2

Mister and Emma 4

R.I.P Emma. You will be missed.

Thought For The Day:

Always trust your gut. Your brain can be fooled and your heart is an idiot, but your gut doesn’t know how to lie.

September 25, 2014

I Don’t Know . . .

Today was Grocery Day so I headed over to Bryan/College Station (or BCS as it’s known around here) to the Wal-Mart SuperCenter there to top off the larder. After my 3rd visit I’m finally starting to know where everything is, so that helps speed things up.

For lunch we decided to try the other chicken finger place here, Layne’s of College Station. Like last week’s Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, Layne’s is right across the street from the Texas A&M campus. In fact they’re almost next door to each other.

But, unlike Raising Cane’s, Layne’s is not really a chain. Well, they do have two stores. But two stores does not really a chain make. Raising Cane’s has over 150 stores just within a 500 mile radius of Houston.

Like Raising Cane’s, Layne’s has a very limited menu. But where Raising Cane’s has a 3 piece, a 4 piece, and a 6 piece dinner box, and a sandwich, Layne’s only has a 5 piece dinner and 3 different sandwiches (Fried, Grilled, and a Club with Cheese and Bacon. Hmmm, Bacon.)

Other differences are that RC has Cole Slaw while Layne’s has Potato Salad. RC has Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade while Layne’s just has regular drinks.

Our Opinion:

We liked RC’s chicken fingers a little better. They’re bigger and moister. But Layne’s gave me 6 fingers instead of 5. Nice!

RC’s Cole Slaw vs. Layne’s Potato Salad. It’s a tie. They’re both good.

We both agreed that we liked Layne’s Fries better than RC’s They just tasted better.

So, if we go back to one, it will probably be Raising Cane’s, but it’s close.

Next week it’ll probably Sonic for Foot Long Cheese Chili Dogs.

Landon had his first T-Ball game the other night and Brandi sent over some photos.

Landon T-Ball - Who's on First

“OK. Once again. Who’s on first.”

“I don’t know.”

“No, I Don’t Know’s on third.”


Landon T-Ball - Worm

“Hey. There’s a worm in here!”

“Ya have to eat it. That’s the rule.”


Landon T-Ball - Tag

“No, No. Don’t tag me. Tag the guy over there. I’m on your team.”

Well, it looks like they were all having fun, anyway. And that’s what counts.

Apparently the word has come down from on high that we gate guards are going to have to wear GGS shirts to make ourselves ‘more visible’. Someone commented on one of the Facebook Gate Guard blogs that “Isn’t that what the bright orange vests that we wear are supposed to do.”

Anyway, thanks to Debbie Branson on the Gate Guards United blog, here’s what they look like.

GGS Shirts

Comments (complaints?) include:

With our vests on, no one will see the logo.

With a jacket on in the winter, no one will see the shirt.

They’re 65% polyester, not too good in the Texas summer time.

I don’t want to. (Well, that one’s mine.)

For people who don’t have a washer/dryer in their rig and go to town to do laundry, they’re going to have to buy a bunch of them.

My solution is that I’m going to have my Company Man tell me we don’t have to wear them. The Company Man is God.


Thought for the Day:

Don’t steal — the government hates the competition.

September 25, 2015

Two Down, One to Go . . .

After my Wal-Mart run this morning, and filling up with gas ($1.96/gallon) to be ready for our Anniversary trip to Shreveport  on Sunday, I headed into downtown Carthage to the NAPA Auto Parts store.

This past summer as we were heading east from our two month long blowout repair in Prescott, AZ, I noticed I needed to add some coolant to our rig’s Cummins 350 ISC engine. But when I checked my bay, the jug was almost empty. Well, I’ll just stop at the next truck stop and pick up a couple of gallons. But easier said than done.

Along the way, I checked Pilot/Flying J, TA, Love’s, etc., all with no luck. No one carried the old style green diesel antifreeze any longer. Just the new red type, and various shades of red, i.e pink and magenta. Magenta?

But since you’re not supposed to mix the two colors, I kept looking.

While we were staying in Amarillo for a couple of days, I noticed a Cummins dealership right across the road, so I stopped and picked up a couple of gallons of this.


Zerex Nitrate Free Extended Life Antifreeze

Not having used this brand before for the rig, I double-checked the label for Cummins diesel compatibility, but was really surprised to read that it’s also gasoline engine compatible as well.

Well, that’s a first. In the past there’s been diesel engine antifreeze and gasoline engine antifreeze, and never the twain shall meet. But hey, that just means I’ll only have to keep one type of antifreeze on hand for both our vehicles. Neat.

But the two gallons I bought in Amarillo didn’t last very long. In fact I never got to put any in the rig engine, because I ended up using it when we were having the leaking radiator problem on the truck. So now I needed more.

But when I checked AutoZone and O’Reilly’s, the two places along my usual route here in Carthage, I was again out of luck. They didn’t stock it and couldn’t order it. But after checking online and making some phone calls, I found that the local NAPA store could order what I needed. So I went by there today to pick up a couple of gallons of the concentrated stuff, not the 50/50. The concentrated is only about a 1/3 more for twice as much. You just have to mixed it first, yourself.

I’ve already decided that when RV Mobile Lube comes out to do my service this winter, I’m going to have them flush my system and change me over to the newer red type. That way I won’t have this problem any more.

Then on the way home I made the obligatory Whataburger stop for lunch.

Things were awfully quiet here at the frack this afternoon, and after checking with one of the company guys coming through, I confirmed that they had finished the second well and were reconfiguring to get started on the third one. And this one has 35 stages, so it’s going to be a long one.

We hope.


Thought for the Day:

“Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates.  There’s plenty of movement, but you never know if it’s going to be forward, backward, or sideways” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

September 25, 2016

It Wasn’t Me, I Swear . . .

So it must have been one of you.

I warned you yesterday about getting what you wish for. And one of you out there decided to ‘help’ and wished for us to have enough rain to settle the dust around here. And we did.

And wishes can be funny, tricky things. Like wishing for immortality, but forgetting to add that you also want to stay eternally young. So you end up just decaying away into a pile of rotting ooze. But you’re still alive.

But then if you wish for eternal youth, you have to remember to specify ‘at the age of 25 years old’, otherwise you spend eternity as a 6 month old.

No, wishes can really backfire on you, and that’s what happened today. When one of you wished for us to have a dust-settling rain, you forgot to say, ‘and then STOP.’

So it didn’t stop, but went on and on, all afternoon, without letting up. Several vehicles went in and out, without even looking over to see if I was crazy enough to be out in this. But I was.

The fact that they didn’t stop really didn’t make any difference because I couldn’t have seen their tags anyway unless I walked out in the road and stood about a foot away.

And the rains came

And this was before it really started coming down , , , in wind-driven sheets. And the spray was wetting down everything that wasn’t already soaked. I would have let down the sides, but that wouldn’t have helped much since most of the water was coming in the front of the canopy, and not the sides.

About 5 it tapered off to a heavy drizzle, and by 6pm when Jan came out it had pretty much stopped. Now to clean up and dry out.

Earlier today (before the rains) I couldn’t procrastinate any longer and finally had buckle down and do something I always hate.

I had to fill out all the paperwork for our new Samsung TV’s extended warranty and get it ready to mail off. I mentioned how I had broken one of my cardinal rules, and bought a 3 year extension, giving me a total of 4 years. And now it was time to pay the price.

In the past, the few times I’ve done this, it’s been a real pain in the rear. There are always several forms to fill out, as well as making a copy of the receipt, writing down the 20 digit serial number off the set, finding an envelope and a stamp, etc.

But this time it was different. Leave it to Wal-Mal to make things fast and easy. And it only took about 15 seconds and I was done.

All I had to do was take a photo of the QR barcode at the bottom of the receipt (the same one I scan for their Savings Catcher a program) and text it to 40303, and I was done. I’m supposed to get a text back within 24 hours as a confirmation.

Really neat.

Supposedly we’ve seen the last of the rains for the next 10 days to 2 weeks, but then again, it was only  a 30% chance today.

So I’m not getting my hopes up.

Thought for the Day:

“And the end and the beginning were always there, before the beginning and after the end. And all is always now.” – T.S. Eliot



September 25, 2018

Another Day, Another Kludge . . .

As I mentioned last week, after I got Jan’s Viking #1 sewing machine out of storage in one of our bays, I found an intermittent problem that I finally traced down to a broken wire in the connector where it plugs into the machine.

Old Footpedal Plug 1

So my first thought was to find a replacement plug, but that proved harder than I thought.

Sewing Machine Connectors

The plug on the left is the power cord for the sewing machine and the one of the left is the one for the foot pedal. First off, the foot pedal plug pins are closer together than the standard power cord.and shaped differently.

I spent a couple of days trying to track down this connector with no luck, even though a couple came close. I guess it might be that these are custom made for Viking to prevent anyone from accidently plugging a power cord in and blowing it up.

So my kludge was to get a standard power cord and then use my Dremel tool to eat away all the plastic, leaving only the bare pins.

New Footpedal Plug 1I then found that I could squeeze the pins together so that it plugged into the receptacle perfectly.

So, to finish it up, I put heat shrink tubing on the exposed pins and tried it out

New Footpedal Plug 2

A perfect fit, and a kludge well done. And before anyone comments, there is no power on this. It’s merely a varying resistance coming from the potentiometer in the foot pedal, that governs the speed of the machine.

New Footpedal Plug 3

Later, about 1pm, Jan and I headed up to Webster for an afternoon of fun and frolic . . . well, lunch and errands, anyway.

For lunch, it was once again our favorite King Food. We wanted something light so we each had a big bowl of Hot & Sour Soup,

King Food Big Bowl Hot & Sour 3

and an order of their Honey Glazed Garlic Chicken Wings.

King Food Garlic Honey Crusted Wings 3

Really delicious and crunchy.

Out first local Costco is opening Oct. 19th and I had noticed yesterday that they had a kiosk set up on Bay Area Blvd. advertising memberships. So we stopped off for some info.

We did join back in 2010 while we were out in Tucson, but weren’t really impressed so we let our membership lapse at the end of the year. It didn’t help that there wasn’t a location anywhere near us in Houston.

Looking over the info, a basic membership is $60, so with one now nearby, we may give it a try again. We’ll see.

Then it was off to WalMart for a few things, and then a drive-by of our old house to see if anything had changed. There was work going on, but nothing stood out.

Then I dropped Jan off at the Friendswood SuperCuts while I doubled back to Estrella’s, nee Lou’s, Barbershop to get my hair cut. And I pretty much mean ‘hair’, as in singular.

Then we zigged over to Kemah so Jan could pick up an order of her Neuropathy mixture at Bodhi’s Essential Oils.

Finished there, we zagged back over to the HEB on FM646, mostly to pick up another bag of the Lola Savannah Texas Pecan coffee that we first tried about 3 weeks ago and wanted more. But they were out.

Bummer! But online says they have it in stock at the Friendswood HEB, so we’ll have to try there.

This is the only Texas Pecan coffee I’ve found that actually has pecans in it.

HEB Lola Savannah Texas Pecan Coffee

Really good and tastes great.

Thought for the Day:

Dunkin Donuts

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