Daily Archives: October 2, 2020

More Than Half A Century . . . Yikes!

Don’t say it that way.

That’s what Jan said about our 53rd anniversary this past Monday when I mentioned that we’d been together more than half a century.

For some reason that sounds a lot worse than 53 years.

While we were driving around Galveston this past Monday, we saw a number of their famous dead tree carvings. There’s a whole series of carvings done on trees damaged by past hurricanes and storms.

Everything from geishas,

Galveston Geisha Carving

to mermaids,

Galveston Carving Mermaid

and even SpongeBob.

Galveston Carving SpongeBob

Or even other trees.

Galveston Norfolk Pine Carving

Apparently there are several dozen of these on the island, and an online map to find them all.


Remember We’re At Day 200 of ‘14 Days To Flatten The Curve’



October 2, 2009

Bringing ‘Beauty’ Home…Well, almost…

Today was our last day in Celina, OH.  As I mentioned yesterday we planned on heading northwest about 160 miles to Elkhart, IN for three weeks or so to just rest up for a while.  We’ve found that sometimes retirement is hard work.

But before we left, we had breakfast at ‘Lost in the Fifties’ restaurant down the road in St. Mary’s.  Besides the good food, I wanted to get some pictures of the ‘50’s museum they have there.  I’ll post those in the next day or so.

We had a great time at the RV Rally. There were about 125 RV’s there, of all sizes and types.   There was even a guy there in a 1947 Westwood West Craft Coronado travel trailer that he bought NEW.  He’s been traveling that trailer for 62 years.  He’s now in his 80’s.

Fairgrounds 2

Despite the fact that it rained heavily all last night,  we were able to pull out of our site without getting stuck.

Fairgrounds 3

Thus breaking my Fairground Curse.  The two other times we’ve parked in fairgrounds I (and a lot of other people) got stuck trying to get out.

So now at least, I’m 1 for 3 with fairgrounds.

We headed out about 11:30 am on the road to Elkhart.  And about 35 miles later we passed thru our coach ‘Beauty’s’ hometown.

She was born in March 1999 at the American Coach factory in Decatur, IN, and we’ve owned her since December 29,  2007.

We picked her up from the dealer on January 5th and then parked at an RV park in La Marque, TX, before we hit the road on February 6th, 2008.

Anyway, we’re going to try and drive back down that way while we’re here and take a tour of the plant.

About 2 pm we stopped off in Auburn, IN for some Walmart ‘stuff’ and then walked across the parking lot to have a late lunch at Steak N Shake. a restaurant chain we know mostly from Florida when we visited there.

We arrived at the Elkhart Campground about 4:30 and got settled in for the night.

It’s good to be home, for a while.



October 2, 2010

A Three Hour Tour . . .

After a whirlwind visit with Jan’s sister and brother-in-law, Debbie and Jim, today we rested up by sleeping late and then just goofing off around the coach.

Then about 2:30 pm when we decided to head out for ‘lupper’ at Monterey’s Little Mexico for a bowl of their great Chicken Tortilla Soup and some Beef Fajita Nachos.

Then it was back to the rig for some more resting up.

A really nice day!

The Mysterious Bug-Eaten Blog Post Returns

Our son Chris had volunteered to take Jan, Debbie, and Jim on a boat tour of Clear Lake and a little of Galveston Bay.

I think he just wanted to show off his beautiful classic speedboat.

It’s a 1977 18 ft. Century Arabian that had a tree growing out of the hull when he got it. A friend gave it to him, probably just to get it out of his yard.

It took him two years, but he rebuilt it from the keel up, including rebuilding the 351 Windsor inboard drive engine, boring it out and adding a hotter cam.

Century Arabian 1

Besides repairing the hull and completely repainting it, he also reupholstered the interior.

Century Arabian 2

It’s a great ski-boat, but it’s also nice for just putt-putting around the lake.

Clear Lake Boat Trip 1

Not exactly sure where the name “Little Thunder” came from.  Maybe “Big Thunder” was already taken?

Clear Lake Boat Trip 2

So our intrepid crew set out on a “three-hour-tour” down Clear Creek and out into Clear Lake. I was going to meet them for lunch at Outrigger’s at noon.

Clear Lake Boat Trip 3

And they showed up right on time.

Clear Lake Boat Trip 4

Here’s a view of Outrigger’s from the Clear Lake Channel.

Outriggers Channel

It’s always convenient to be able to dock right at your restaurant.

Clear Lake Boat Trip Dock

Jan loves to watch the pelicans that are all around here.

Clear Lake Boat Trip Pelicans

Another shot of the motley crew.

Clear Lake Boat Trip Group

The Kemah Boadwalk is a restaurant/amusement park area cornering on the Clear Lake Channel and Galveston Bay. This coaster is the Boardwalk Bullet, the Texas Gulf Coast’s only rollercoaster. 96 feet high, this wooden coaster reaches speeds of over 50 miles per hour with the track crossing over itself 42 times. This means, for its length, 3236 feet, it’s one of the most compact large coasters ever built.

Kemah Coaster

The tower on the left is Drop Zone. It takes you 140 feet and then drops you straight down and stops you right before the ground. The tower on the right is the Boardwalk Tower, a 200 foot observation tower that gives you a great view of the Kemah area.

Kemah Rides

Coming back to the Egret Bay boat ramp after lunch, the boat started taking on some water due to a leaking prop shaft seal. But it only added a little excitement to the trip. The bilge pump to care of it, as seen here.

Century Pump

After everyone cleaned up after the boat trip, we all headed down to Texas City to eat dinner at Ryan’s, our favorite buffet restaurant. We all love their great Fried Chicken.

Then, after dinner, we drove over to Alvin to take Jim and Debbie to the Alvin Opry, a local Country/Western venue. They have a great band, several of who have toured with major name performers.

And as usual, the show was excellent, with a number of new faces on stage,

Alvin Opry Stage

including Leyla Fences, a new visitor to the Opry stage, and she was great!

Leyla Fences

About 10:30 pm we dropped Jim and Debbie off at their motel and said our goodbyes. They leave tomorrow on their two day trip back to Illinois. We had a great time showing them the sights, and we’re already planning a family reunion to get everyone in the family together.

Thought of the Day:

“The great object is, that every man be armed. Everyone who is able may have a gun.” – Patrick Henry



Gate Guarding near North Zulch in East Texas

October 2, 2014

Rut Roh!!!!

Well, today was really nice . . . until about 9:30 pm, when this happened.

Crushed Canopy

A line of thunderstorms was coming through, preceding the cold front that’s going to give us a high of 83 tomorrow, and 75 on Saturday. But I’m not sure the cooler weather was worth this.

It really wasn’t part of the thunderstorm though. If fact it wasn’t even raining yet. But from the looks of the canopy remains, a downburst got it.

It’s just crushed in from the top, with two of the 150# test tie down cords snapped and the 80# buckets of gravel dragged around. Like a big foot just stepped on it.

I’ve cut away the shreds of the fabric canopy and I’m going to see if I can get the framework somewhat bent back into shape, at least enough to be able to throw my 10 x 20 tarp over it for some shelter while I decide what I want to do about another canopy.

Amazon, where I bought this one, is a problem since I don’t really have anyway to receive packages here. Wal-Mart has them, but not in stock, so I couldn’t get one until next Thursday or Friday. But first I’ll have to see how I do with the frame and the tarp.

The ironic thing is that when the rain finally passed through, it really didn’t rain that hard, and only for about 10 or 15 minutes. Go figure.

And now for some good news. We finally have a relief gate guard set for this Saturday, so Jan’s just giddy. She’s going to finally get away from here for the first time in a month. Did I mention she’s giddy?

Of course I did tell the relief guard lady we had this nice big canopy for her to sit under.

Rut Roh!__________________________________________________________________

Thought for the Day:

Again. RUT ROH!

TV Alert



October 2, 2016

Dobies and Dollies . . .

Before we left for Brandi’s this morning, we spent a few minutes playing with Apollo the Dobie next door. He has a big enclosure out under the awning, but he was out with his owner  when we walked over to say Hi.

He and I had a good time playing tug of war with his green furry froggie while Jan talked with his owner. Apollo had this trick where he tugs hard for a few seconds and then stops, just freezing for about 15 seconds and then jerks really hard, trying to lull you into relaxing your grip.

Smart dog.

We were on our way by 11:30 with a Flying J pit stop along the way. Then right before we got to Brandi’s, I made a quick stop at the Tractor Supply to pick up a #2 Phillips extension bit to make it easier to get the washer out of the cabinet.

We had a great time at Brandi’s with Chris, Linda, and Miss Piper, as well as Landon. Landon’s Aunt Sherry was also there, and we got to meet her friend Neil. Lowell was out working this time.

Brandi had fixed a great meal of pulled pork and sliced brisket, along with potato salad, shredded Brussel sprout salad, and mac ‘n cheese. We used Hawaiian Bread rolls to make sliders with the BBQ, and a delicious meal was had by all.

Since we are washerless for the time being, we took all our laundry with us to do at Brandi’s in her nice big machines. So we’re good to go on the laundry front for a few more days. Or at least until I get the washer fixed.

Leaving Brandi’s we got back to the rig about 6:30. Later, while I worked on website stuff, Jan went next door for a last get-together with Janice Evans. Janice and Dave are heading out for other parts tomorrow morning so we won’t see them for a while.

Two things while we were at Brand’s. I’ve shown some of Landon’s artwork before, and here’s something new today..

Landon's Dog with Ballons

I noticed him sketching this with a ball-point pen, and when I asked what it was, he gave me that ‘look’, and said, “PaPa, it’s a dog at a birthday party holding some balloons.”

And he’s right. Note the birthday hat on his head and the birthday cake in front of him.

The second thing is that Chris finished my screen door catch for me.

This is the drawing I gave him.


and this is was what I got.

New Screen Door Catch

Great job, and he even painted it. I’ll install it tomorrow and try it out.

Tonight I went ahead and remove the washer cabinet doors and the retaining bar, and then unplugged the washer. So now I’m all ready to pull it out tomorrow.

In the past I’ve used a full-size 30” x 20” floor dolly to slide the washer out on to work on it. But that’s too big to lug around in the RV so it stays at our son Chris’ house.

Floor Dolly

But then I found this smaller one, 12” x 18”, at Harbor Freight for $10 and got it to have in case we have washer trouble on the road. So that’s the one I’ll use this time. It says it’s good for 1000# so it should work fine.

But, as usual, we’ll see how it goes.

Thought for the Day:

“To lose 
one parent may be 
regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.” —Oscar Wilde




October 2, 2017

The Big Debate Is Over!

The Big Debate Is Over!

Texas Monthly recently had a shootout between Cali-favorite In-N-Out Burger and Texas’ favorite son, Whataburger. And of course, when it comes to shootouts, you’ve just got to know that a Texan is coming out on top.

And that was certainly the case here. Texas Monthly Burger Showdown

It all comes down to the last paragraph.

Catching up on a couple of things about yesterday’s move.

Unlike the trip over to Hillcrest on the 20th of September, this time my new slide remote control work perfectly. So I have no idea what the problem was last time. But hopefully it will keep working.

On the downside, for our last three trips or so, Karma is getting car sick, or maybe rig sick. Don’t know why she’s just started this. We were certainly on curvier roads earlier this year with no problems. Hopefully it won’t last.

Concerning the problem with finding someone to pay our rent to at Hillcrest, and the questions about what the charges should be, friend and blog commenter Brett O’Neal said that maybe he’s losing money because he’s not collecting the money.

Makes sense to me.

Well, I’m now 3 for 3 in non-working WiFi cards in one of the client’s computers. Today I installed this TP-Link PCI Express WiFi Card.

TP-Link WiFi Card

I have one of these myself, and have installed two others on friend’s machines, and all worked great. But as before, this one didn’t work, just as the previous two didn’t. I’ve got a couple of more tricks to try before I give up and just let the machine stayed wired.

The Mystery Machine still is.

I mentioned before about a server up on the top shelf of the closet at my client’s that I didn’t know what it did. And I still don’t know.

It’s dead, Jim. I pulled it out of the closet, set it up on my desk, and powered it up. Or not. It’s completely dead.

I figure it’s probably the power supply, so I’ll have to dig out a replacement and substitute it. The other guy was heavy into gaming, so I figure it’s probably his gaming server. But I’ll have to wait a few more days to see.

Of course it could the almost-mythical porn server. Enquiring minds  want to know.

About 10 minutes before I left the client’s, I used the El Pollo Loco app on my phone to place an order to pick up on my way back to Conroe. And 10 minutes later when I walked in the door, it was ready to go.

We each got an all-white (is that racist?) 4pc Chicken Meal with two sides. I got Charro Beans and Mexican Corn, while Jan got Charro Beans and a Side Salad. In addition, I got Jan a side of Guacamole and Chips, while I got a Chicken Tortilla Soup. And for dessert, a couple of  Churros.

Jan loved her Guac, and my soup was just chocked full of chicken.

El Pollo Loco Soup

And here’s our meal.

El Pollo Loco 4pc Meal

If you’ve never tried El Pollo Loco chicken, you should. It’s marinated overnight in a citrus juice marinate, and then seared on an open-flame grill ‘til it’s perfect.

So we got 4pc of chicken, 2 sides, and 4 tortillas, all for $8.39. A really great deal.

Finishing up, when I talked about our European River Cruise, I forgot to ask for any input our readers have. A few of our readers already have, but anyone else is welcome to chime in.

The Word of the Day is: Sericeous

Thought for the Day:

A fool and their money is soon parted, unless the government can find a way to take a cut.



October 2, 2018

Counting Down . . .

Today consisted mostly of some final errands as we counted down to leaving on our Florida trip.

But before that, I went outside to check out a problem I noticed during our last couple of trips that our radiator temps were running about 10° – 15° hotter than previously. So I thought I checked out the radiator, since I’d checked my coolant level and found it right. I had cleaned the radiator about six months ago, and found it no dirtier than usual. But opening the grille I found today was a different story.

Rig Radiator Before

The radiator was covered in oil with embedded dirt/gunk, and grass.

So after spraying it down with Awesome and letting it soak for about 5 minutes, I washed it down, even spraying it from the inside out from the engine compartment. Then I  repeated it again, until I had this.

Rig Radiator After

Much better, and I bet my engine temps are back to normal.

Heading out about 1:30p, and after lunch at Los Ramirez Mexican Restaurant, we stopped by the storage room to drop off some of our yard stuff that we don’t want/need to take on our trip. Then it was on up I-45 where we dropped off our last two rig batteries at the NTB store.

Next up, we went by my client’s office to pick up our last-minute Amazon delivery, and to once again try to get the strapping machine to work.

As I mentioned yesterday, the instructions were in Taiwanese and something that vaguely resembled English. Or at least the words were English.

However the order in which they were arranged left much to be desired. Here what it said.

Like the chart shows, put packed bandage to circle in the packing case, the right hand holds tightening, presses the tension bar, put packed bandage under the clamp and cutter outer covering, the packed bandage terminal have to surpass (length which the tool chart 2 shows) tool, the pine will be open for business the tight pole.

I think my favorite is “the pine will be open for business the tight pole”.

The funny thing about this is that once I watched the YouTube video on how to do it,


the above jabberwocky actually makes sense. Or at least more than,

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

And this time it only took me about 5 minutes to strap down the box and have it ready to go. Yay YouTube!

Wrapping up with a WalMart stop, a gas/lottery ticket stop, and a PO stop, we were finally home by about 5:30.

After we got settled in, I went outside to pack everything away, disconnecting the water and sewer hoses, let in the awnings, and put away everything else. All I lack now is put away the satellite dish later tonight, and then disconnect the shore power tomorrow morning.

Since we we’ll be traveling without our generator/AC’s, we’re going to leave early, probably between 7:30 and 8am, stopping for the night at Poche’s Fish N Camp in Breaux Bridge, LA.

Finishing up with our countdown theme, here’s the one for our European Cruise Tour.

European Cruise Countdown

Thought for the Day:

If Everybody Likes You, You’re Doing Something Wrong.



October 2, 2019

Tomorrow’s The Big Day . . .

The day that I’m crawling back under the rig and trying to get a handle on my oil leak problem.

First thing I’m going to do is remove the oil filter and see if there is any way to prop myself up and reach the bare adapter. But if not, I’m going to put it all back together so I can crank up the engine and drop the rig all the way down. Then I’ll have to take it all apart again and see if I can reach it then.

Hopefully, but we’ll see.

Jan and I have started to think about our next big trip. Right now we’ve got a long weekend trip up to Kingsland penciled in for November where we’ll do an early Thanksgiving get-together with all the kids and grandkids. We plan on taking the rig up, leak or no leak fixed.

Then of course, we’ve got our long weekend in NYC the first weekend in December. Really looking forward to that one.

2020 starts off with a rig trip back to Alabama to visit friends in Montgomery and Birmingham, and family in Athens Probably a couple of weeks long after the first of the year.

Early June will be a rig trip for a big family (including Jan’s sister Debbie and all her brood down from Illinois) get-together, which will be a week or so in Gulf Shores, AL before Jan and I take the rig on down to Florida.

But now we’re talking about another big trip. This time north to Alaska.

Or maybe north back to Alaska.

We did an Alaskan cruise in 1998, and then spent 5 months workcamping in Fairbanks in 2008. But we’ve always wanted to go back.

So now we’re looking at two different possibilities. First would be 12 day Land/Sea cruise starting in Fairbanks and ending up in Vancouver, BC. But we would fly up to Fairbanks four or five days early to spend some extra time there.

Or we might just forget the cruise all together, fly up to Fairbanks and spend a couple of weeks all on our own. But we’ll still working out the details.

Thought For The Day:

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” – Plato

%d bloggers like this: