Daily Archives: October 3, 2020

A Personal Grooming Day . . .

For Jan, at least.

At 1pm she got her hair done at her favorite TGF down here in League City. Then after that it was lunch at the nearby Black Bear Diner.

I  got the 3 egg Meat Lover’s Omelet,

Black Bear Meat Lover's Omelet

while Jan got her turkey fix with the Roasted Turkey Dinner.

Black Bear Roasted Turkey Dinner

All great as usual.

Then it was on up to Webster to get her toesies done. And while she was doing that, I made a Harbor Freight visit for a few things. One of my favorite places.

Jan and I have watching several of our old favorite TV shows and a few new ones, streaming them off Amazon Prime Video, Acorn, and several others.

As far a new shows,we just recently finished up all three seasons of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime and really looking forward to Season 4, whenever it comes out.

Right now we’re into the 3rd season of Grimm and the 1st season of Warehouse 13.

And we recently finished up the 13th and last season so far of Murdoch Mysteries on Acorn TV. And a 14th season is supposedly in the works. But in the meantime we’ve gone back and started over with season 1, which we had never seen, since we started watching the show at about season 5

It’s really interesting to see how the characters have changed over the years, and learning things about them that we didn’t know. For instance, a year before the series starts in 1895, Murdoch had a fiancé, Liza Milner, who died of consumption (TB).

Other old shows we watch area Forever, Moonlight, Pushing Daises, and Primeval, all these on CWSeed, another free streaming site. And they keep adding new (old) series, that we’re interested in, like Time After Time. And we’ve got other shows coming up on the menu, like Fringe, Eureka, and U.F.O.

If you notice a pattern here, we both like fantasy, supernatural, and science fiction shows. Lucky for me.

We watch all these, plus our regular TV shows, on our Amazon Fire Stick add-on to our Samsung TV. And we like it so much, I immediately ordered the upgraded one when it came out. And it was $10 cheaper than our original one.

It was supposed to be here this past Friday, the 2nd, but it seems that UPS had other ideas. Looking at Amazon’s tracking, it was supposed to be delivered by 8pm, but as the day moved on, it was never shown as being out for delivery. So I took the UPS tracking # from the Amazon order and plugged it directly into the UPS tracking site.

And it showed the order had been shipped from Atlanta, leaving at 5:18am Wednesday morning and arriving in Houston at 2:21pm the same day.

Perfect for delivery the next morning, right?  Well, no.

Because by 10:12pm that night it was up in Bedford Park, IL for some reason. And since then, it’s been bouncing back and forth between Bedford Park and Addison, IL.

It’s now scheduled to be delivered Tuesday,  the 6th, but we’ll see. I’m not getting my hopes up.



October 3, 2009

At home in Elkhart, IN…

Today was our first full day in our new home…at least for the next 3 weeks or so.

After being on the road pretty much constantly since March 1st, we are looking forward to some downtime.  We want to get some things fixed/upgraded around the coach and just take it easy.

There are a number of RV Surplus / Salvage places around here that we want to check out, too.

But today was an errand/shopping day.

First we decided to have lunch at Das Dutchman Essenhaus, a place about 15 miles away that serves Amish-style cooking. You have your choice of ordering from the menu, or being served family style. The food was very good, and a lot of it.

After lunch we drove over to Mishawaka, about 10 miles west of here.  Mishawaka is a suburb of South Bend, which is a little further to the west.

Here we hit Home Depot, Walmart, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and a Halloween store.

After that, it was home from the night.



October 3, 2013

Jan’s No Longer An Illegal . . .

an unlicensed security guard, that is. After 18 months of waiting she finally got her license.

We both applied when we started gate guarding in April 2012, and mine came back in about 5 weeks. But hers never did. I told her that it was probably due to her very shady past, and she couldn’t pass the background check. She threw something at me. So now I’m thinking it was probably a felony assault conviction.

But as it turned out, it was probably a problem with her fingerprint card. Maybe.  And possibly some government incompetence in there as well.

I kept checking back with Gate Guard Services after we left here in August 2012, and finally in January 2013, the Texas Department of Public Safety told GGS there was a problem with her fingerprint card. So before we left Houston for our travels, we submitted a new one. And waited.

And waited.

And when we started gate guarding again this past August and it still hadn’t shown up, I decided to just forget about it. After all I wasn’t the one that was guarding without a license. But maybe that did the trick.

I got a call from the GGS Corpus office about a week ago and was told that it had finally come in. And unlike my license that was just printed on piece of paper, she got a nifty drivers license-type of plastic card. So I guess good things do come to those who wait. I’m jealous.

The licenses are good for two years from the issue date, so mine expires in May of 2014 and Jan’s expires in September of 2015, so we’ll have to keep track of when to renew them.

Blog readers and our new friends Margaret and Rich Bergen showed up at the gate again Wednesday afternoon. And they brought food!

Margaret and Rich Bergen

After they left here Tuesday after their visit to our gate, they drove on down to Corpus Christi and spent the night. Then coming back to San Antonio Wednesday afternoon they stopped off at the BBQ place out on the Interstate and brought us sandwiches.

Jan’s anniversary present finally showed up today. I had ordered her one of the new Kindle Paperwhite models, but being brand-new, they didn’t ship until September 30th.

Kindle Paperwhite

Kindle Paperwhite

Jan was really surprised and happy to get one. She said she’d thought about asking for one because she reads a lot when she’s out on the gate and has to use her old Kindle in the daytime and then switch to the Kindle Fire at night. But with the Paperwhite she can do both.

This is because the Paperwhite has a built-in backlight so it can be read in the daylight or at night in complete darkness. Even in daylight the screen is much brighter and clearer than our old Kindles. And because it uses a faster processor, the page turns are much smoother too.

Being cheap, I decided to save $20 and get the Paperwhite with “Special Offers”. This is Amazon’s polite way of saying “Ads”. But they’re pretty unobtrusive. Where our old Kindle has a rotating set of blockprint-looking pictures when it’s turned off, “Special Offers” shows you ads for other books. And there’s also a half inch high banner ad at the bottom of the home page. There are NO ads shown within the books themselves. I also like the fact that you can get the Paperwhite with ads to try it out, and if you think they’re still too annoying, you can pay the $20 difference and they go away.

Personally I don’t find them a problem, and in fact bought one of the books that was advertised on the off screen. So I guess they work.

Kindle Paperwhite Cover

Kindle Paperwhite Cover

Once Jan had seen the Paperwhite, I ordered her a cover for it. They come in 15 different colors, and she wanted red. So red she gets.

Another neat thing about this cover is that it utilizes the Paperwhite’s Auto Wake/Sleep mode. Closing the cover turns off the Kindle, and opening the cover turns it back on. All automagically. Neat!


More Student Errors:

The inhabitants of ancient Egypt were called mummies. They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot. The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants had to live elsewhere, so certain areas of the dessert are cultivated by irritation. The Egyptians built the pyramids in the shape of a huge triangular cube. The Pyramids are a range of mountains between France and Spain



October 3, 2014

Back in Business . . .

Well, we seem to be back in business, at least canopy-wise. After starting the night like this,

Crushed Canopy

I cut way the shredded canopy fabric and ended up with this.

Bare Canopy Frame

Looking over the bare frame, I was really surprised to see that nothing was actually broken, or even bent, just kind of sprung out of shape. So I redid the tiedowns, and crossing my fingers, pulled on one of the poles.

And everything just popped back into place, just like it does when I set up it up normally. It looks like the elbow joints on the arms that support the raised roof are spring-loaded to some extent, and this protected the frame from any real damage.

Next I got out my 10’ x 20’ tarp that I used last year as a windbreak when it got cold since we didn’t have the rig behind us to block the cold north winds.

Gate Guard Tarp

And after about an hour of fussing and cussing, I had the tarp tie-wrapped to the frame in a usable fashion. At 10’ x 20’ it’s a little too short in one direction and a little long in the other for my 13’ x 13’ canopy frame, but it works. And actually seems pretty sturdy. Later in the afternoon we had some fairly stiff gusting winds from the west, and the canopy handled it just fine.

Canopy with Tarp

The reason it looks so lumpy from this side is that is where the extra length is folded back over the top and tied down.

I going to check and see what a new fabric top would cost. Since that comes from Coleman, the manufacturer, I’ve heard that a new top costs as much as an entire brand new canopy from Amazon. We’ll see.

When Scotty, our GGS support tech, was here a couple of weeks ago, I told him I lose a water pump every year, and if he wanted to save himself an extra service call, he might just want to leave me a spare. But he didn’t have one.

And today he paid for that. He was just here this past Monday for our regular two week service, but was back out today to repair our water pump. As usual it was the pressure switch that turns the pump on when you open the faucet, and luckily he had a spare switch so he just replaced that. So I guess that’s my pump repair for the year.

While he was here I asked him to replace one of our bell hoses that had been severely shorten by a bulldozer running over it, and also add some extra length to both ends. And he not only did that, but left me some extra hose and a couple of joiners if I wanted them longer.

It always helps if you feed your support guy a couple of the delicious home-made brownies that Brandi brought up this past weekend.

Well, we have a supposed date for the fracking to start: October 17th. And even more supposedly, they may be doing two fracs at the same time. But not on the same pad. There are two different pads with two different companies.

As I mentioned the other day, on our frac gate last year, with just one frac job, we were doing 300+ vehicles coming in a day, and a large number going out. Let’s call it 500 vehicles coming in and out through the gate a day, so 1000 for two.

I have a very bad feeling about this.

Thought for the Day:

“Everything is impossible until someone does it.” – Robert Heinlein



October 3, 2015

Odds and Ends . . .

Once again, thank you all for your kind thoughts about Mister. Jan and I really appreciate your understanding words.

Today’s another blog about a lot of little things going on, or that I’m working on.

First off, when I started to print off some more gate guard log sheets a couple of days ago, I found I was out of black ink. But Aha!, I remembered I had bought an extra cartridge when I bought the printer. And even more Aha!, I was able to find it.

So I tore the package open, installed the cartridge in the printer and . . . it didn’t work. Or at least it didn’t work very well. It actually didn’t look a lot better than the old cartridge that was running out of ink. Then I got  to thinking.

I bought this printer, and the extra cartridge in the fall of 2013, when we were gate guarding down in south Texas. So this ‘new’ cartridge was 2 years old. Which explained the problem.

Even in the sealed foil packages, these things dry out. So, needing logs, I decided to try an old trick. I got a small plastic bowl and put a little bit of water in it, just enough to cover the bottom. I then set the cartridge in the water, print head side down.

You can see what I’m talking about in this photo.

Ink Cartridge

Be sure you put the print head in the water and not the contact side.

Checking back in about 30 minutes, I saw that ink was spreading out into the water from the cartridge. So I took the cartridge out, set it on a piece of paper towel, print head down, and left it for about 10 minutes. Then I popped it back in the printer and it worked fine.

Ink cartridge ink is water soluble and it will dry out, clogging the print head if it’s not used for a while, even if it’s in the printer. Running the printer’s clean cycle will sometimes fix the problem, but if it won’t, try this trick. It might save an expensive cartridge.

I’ve got a heavy-duty 6 amp 13.6 volt power supply that I use for a lot of things around the rig. Right now it’s being used to supply 12v to the LED light so we can see our clock at night while we’re on the gate.

But I’ve found several times recently when I want to use it to power something that used a 12v plug. So while I was at Wal-Mart yesterday I picked up a 12v socket in the auto department and mounted it on the power supply case.

Power Supply Mod

Right now I’ve just got the leads hanging loose so I can hook it up when needed. But later when I get a chance I’ll take the case off and wire them in directly so it’s always hot.

Tonight, supposedly being even colder than last night, and not having any dogs, I have bumped things up to a three heater night. We’ll see how that works.

Finishing up, either WordPress still doubts my humanity, or my math skills, or the robot hacking scripts have gotten smarter, but now instead of single digit math problems on my WordPress blog login, I’m getting double digit addition problems.

I didn’t know there’d be math on the test.

Password Security Questions for the Depressed:

What is the name of your least favorite child?
In what year did you abandon your dreams?
What is the maiden name of your father’s mistress?
At what age did your childhood pet run away?
What is your ex-wife’s newest last name?
On what street did you lose your childlike sense of wonder?
When did you stop trying?



October 3, 2016

Tomorrow for Sure . . .

After finishing my morning coffee, and the delicious Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit that Jan made for breakfast,

Jan's Sausage Biscuit

I started right in on getting the washer out of its hidey-hole. Since I had prepped everything last night, I just moved the floor dolly into place, grabbed the straps and started pulling.

Back in January 2013, after the first time I had to pull the washer out to replace a thermal fuse on the dryer heating coil, I installed these canvas straps down the rear of the dryer and out along the bottom to the front.

Dryer Straps

New Washer Straps

Otherwise you have to open the door and pull on the washer drum, not really a good idea. There is only about a 1/8” clearance along the top and sides of the cabinet, so there’s nothing else to get a hold of. But with the straps I can just grab hold and and start working it out.

And out it came,very quickly in fact. Getting it down on the small dolly, I pushed the washer aside to let me unhook the drain and turn off the water supply valves. Then after unscrewing the water hoses and pulling the metal vent hose out,  I was free to roll it out into the kitchen.

And the new small dolly made it much easier to maneuver around, butt that would come back to haunt me later.

Once it was in the kitchen, I turned the washer on its side and removed the bottom plate to take a quick look at the pump. And my luck was holding. This is what I found.

Washer Loose Wire

One of the wires to the pump had come loose.

Pulling off the spade connector I found that the wire had broken off in the lug, so I must have nicked the wire when I stripped it, and 9 months of vibration broke it off. Just to be on the safe side, I redid both of the connectors this time using strippers that won’t knick.

At this point I was ready to reinstall the washer, a new record after only about 30 minutes, but I decided to hold off. The dryer vent hose looked pretty crushed and beat up so I decided to get another one before I reinstalled the washer.

But that meant going out, so Jan and I headed out about 2pm to Home Depot coupled with another errand, before coming back to have a late lunch at the Culver’s in Conroe. Always delicious.

Getting back to the rig, Jan said that she wanted to take a nap, so that meant that I couldn’t work on the washer right then, and would have to take a nap too.


Post nap, I got ready to get the washer back in its hole, and the new small dolly came back to bite me. It was not only smaller in size, but it was also shorter due to having smaller wheels, which meant it was not up high enough to let me slide it in. Even with the bigger dolly, getting it started in the opening was always the hardest part of the job. But with the smaller one, it was just impossible for one person.

So every thing is on hold until tomorrow when I can get some boards to build up the dolly to the correct height, and then hopefully it will just slide right in.


Unfortunately with everything going on today, I never got a chance to install the new screen door catch that my son Chris made for me.

Tomorrow for sure.

Thought for the Day:

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 
— Alcohol



October 3, 2017

Buffalo Wings and Bluetooth . . .

Today was a nice, cool, rainy morning and afternoon, perfect for just lazing around the rig the whole time.

Especially since Jan was coming off a migraine.

This morning I got something a little different  in my email, a bill from the Lake Conroe Thousand Trails for $15, apparently left over from our recent hurricane-related extended stay here. I have a receipt for a $20 payment about the same time, a payment that doesn’t show on their records, so I’m guessing that will make up the difference. Hopefully.

With Jan feeling a lot better after a shower, we headed out about 3:45 for linner and some shopping. Linner was at Buffalo Wild Wings, one of our favorites. Especially since today is Half Price Wings Tuesday.

Or it used to be.

The last time we ate at Buffalo Wild Wings was back in May in Rapid City, SD, along with new friend’s Dave and Jeanne. And since was a Tuesday, our wings were all half price. But no more.

Apparently we ate so many wings that a month or so later, they discontinued the special. Instead It’s now Half Price Boneless Wings Tuesday. And since I don’t really care for the boneless variety, that doesn’t help me much.

But Jan like the boneless version so she got hers with Asian Zing sauce,

Buffalo Wild Wings Conroe 2

while I got my traditional wings with my usual Mango Habanero sauce, very hot.

Buffalo Wild Wings Conroe 1

We also got an order of Potato Wedges, also really good.

Leaving the restaurant we headed over to the nearby Sam’s Club so I could pick a prescription and a few other things. Walking down the aisle I came across these.

Bluetooth Beanie 1

Bluetooth Beanies

With no wires and built-in earphones, it makes a Bluetooth connection to your phone and lets you answer phone calls and listen to music, controlling the selection and the volume. And for only about $25.

As Sheldon says, “Everything’s better with Bluetooth.”

Bluetooth Beanie 2

Unfortunately I think you just get the beanies for your $25.

Then it was on to the next door Wal-Mart where Jan got her hair cut while I did the shopping. Finally coming home about 7:30, and after dark, we got to use our new remote to turn on both the outside and interior lights. Very nice.

Tomorrow’s another Clear Lake day so it’s on the road about 10am.

The Word of the Day is:  Nugatory

Thought for the Day:

All will become clear when it is too late to matter.



October 3, 2018

Not Bad. Not Bad At All . . .

Wanting to get an early start to beat the heat, we were hitched up and pulling out of our site at the Petticoat Junction RV Park about 7:50am

We hit a couple of slow spots due to breakdowns on I-45, but once we got on the Sam Houston Tollway heading east, it was smooth sailing all the way to I-10  and beyond.

We thought it was funny that the Rest Area coming into Louisiana was STILL under construction, and has been for several years now. Someone’s looking for permanent job security. Or maybe someone’s not getting paid off.

I know that within the last couple of years Buc-ee’s was looking to build a store, their largest yet, just east of Baton Rouge. They had even purchased the land right on I-12.

But after about a year of planning, permits, site surveys, etc., they cancelled the whole thing.

The reason, as stated by the owner of Buc-ee’s?  Too many hands out looking for their payoff.

We pulled into our site at Poche’s RV Park a little before 1pm, making the 245 miles in 4 hours, and averaging 8.4 MPG according to our Silverleaf Computer Interface.

The trip turned out to be very comfortable, more so than we had anticipated. When we did our little test drive a few weeks ago, we noticed that if we had the windows by the driver and passenger chair’s open, we got a very nice cross-breeze without the wind noise we had thought we would have. So, between running the roof vent fans in exhaust mode,  the dash fans, vent air, and the cross-breeze, we were really comfortable. Not bad at all.

So tomorrow we’ll also see how it works opening some more windows in the rear of the coach.

Later, about 3pm Jan and I headed into Breaux Bridge to have dinner at our new local favorite, Crazy ‘Bout Crawfish.

As before, Jan got the Grilled Catfish Fillet with Grilled Mixed Veggies,

Crazy Bout Crawfish Grilled Catfish and Grilled Veggies

while I got a cup of their Seafood Gumbo,

Crazy Bout Crawfish Gumbo

and an order of the Shrimp Boil with Corn and Potatoes.

Crazy Bout Crawfish Spicy Boiled Shrimp

Unlike last time, this time they asked me if I wanted it, Lil’ Crazy, Crazy , and Extreme Crazy, referring to the spice level. Guess which one I ordered.

I don’t know exactly what’s in this seasoning, but I can say that even if you wash your hands three or four times, rubbing your eye is still not a good idea.

And everything was delicious. And like last time, we split an order of their Bread Pudding with Homemade Rum Sauce.

Crazy Bout Crawfish Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce


Coming back into the park we came across these two new arrivals.

Poche's Little Trailer 1

Poche's Little Trailer 2

Really Neat!

We noticed several more small ones like these, but these were the only two decorated. So maybe they’re having a mini-rally.

Tomorrow we’ll wait until about 8:30 before we head for the Escapees RV Park 280 miles away in Summerdale, AL. I want to avoid going through Baton Rouge during morning rush hour, since it’s bad enough at normal times.

And on tomorrow’s menu, Throwed Rolls.


Thought for the Day:

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog. — Mark Twain

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