Daily Archives: October 6, 2020

Shrimp, Grits, and Spiders . . .

Jan and I headed out about 1pm, first heading up to Webster to have brunch at our favorite SnoozeAM.

Jan got her usual Bravocado Toast, their version of Avocado Toast.

Snooze Bravocado Toast 4

She’s also showing off one of her new Halloween Shirts, and well as sporting her new Spider Earrings.

Spider Earrings

Looking over the menu, I went back with an old favorite that I haven’t had for a while, their version of Shrimp & Grits with a Sunny Side Up Egg on top, as well as a side of fruit.

Snooze Shrimp and Grits and Fruit 2

Really good, and my new favorite.

After brunch we drove by my client’s to pick several packages that came in, including my wandering Amazon Fire TV Stick that came from Atlanta to Houston by way of a 5 day detour through Illinois. Thanks, UPS.

Then it was back down to this area to get a new tire to replace the one that blew out on me last week, and then home for the night.

Later I started setting up my new Fire Stick by plugging into our Samsung TV in place of our DirecTV DVR. So for a while I’ll have two Fire Sticks hooked up at the same time where I can just switch between them using the INPUT function on the TV.

This way we can still watch our regular stuff on the old Fire Stick while I’m setting up the new one. This takes time because I have to download and log in to each streaming service we want. So, no hurry now.

I’ll be back on my oil leak problem on Thursday. I had to cut about 6” off my drill bit extension, because I found that with it chucked into the drill, it was too long.

So I used my handy-dandy Harbor Freight 3” Cut-Off Tool to slice about 6” off the end.

Harbor Freight Cut-Off Tool 2

I was impressed how quickly it cut though the high-strength steel shaft.

One thing I just learned that might interest all you Harbor Freight fans, is that all of their Pittsburgh brand tools now have a full Lifetime Warranty. If it ever breaks or fails for any reason, just bring it back and they will replace it on the spot. No questions asked.

Shades of the good ole Craftsman days.

 

 


October 6, 2010

Crab Cakes and Birthday Cakes . . .

Today was the laziest day we’ve had in a long while. Jan read, napped, and watched TV, and I worked on my son Chris’ laptop.

Our daughter Brandi sent over some more Landon pics. He looks like he’s thinking real hard about something.

Landon Staring

We actually didn’t even leave the coach today until about 6 pm when we headed over to our son Chris’ house for a belated birthday celebration…mine. It was actually yesterday, but today was the first time everyone in the family could get together.

Our daughter-in-law Linda fixed a great meal of homemade crab cakes, fried potatoes, rolls, and fantastic salad of greens, strawberries, and coconut with a vinaigrette dressing. Really, really good.

After the table was clear, they brought a birthday cake.

First off, I was glad they didn’t put the correct number of candles. Some things are just a fire hazard.

Oh, well, it was a great cake, anyhow.

Here’s Uncle Chris giving Landon his first fingernail trimming. Brandi said he’d scratched his face today, but she was afraid to clip his nails, so Chris gave it a try. I guess it was OK since Landon still has all 10 fingers.

Landon First Nail Trimming

About 8:30 we packed up and headed back to the rig. It was a great party and I really appreciated it.

More tomorrow…


Thought for the Day:

A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any other invention in human history, with the possible exception of handguns and tequila.

 

 


October 6, 2011

It was “Magical” . . .

That’s what Jan said about today’s Ohio countryside tour.

But the day started a little slower at 9:30 with coffee and our great view of the Mohican River in front of our coach here at Smith’s Campground in Loudonville, OH.

Smiths Campground 7

Smiths Campground 8

  

About 11, Amy Smith picked us at our coaches and we were off on our version of the Magical Mystery Tour. ‘Magical’ as I said, ‘Mystery’ because we had no ides where we were going.

Amy Van

 

Our first stop was at the Country Furniture Store who makes, among other things, these colorful Adirondack chairs.

Big Chairs 5

 

They even make them in XXXL size.

Big Chairs 6

Now that’s a BIG chair. And sturdy too.

 

Our next stop was a nearby covered bridge.

Ohio Covered Bridge 1

Known as the ‘Bridge of Dreams’, it’s the largest non-motorized covered bridge in Ohio.

Ohio Covered Bridge 2

And we got to really see the ‘non-motorized’ part when an Amish buggy came thru while we were there.

Ohio Covered Bridge 3

 

A ways down the road was Hashberger’s Farm and Bakery where they keep goats on the roof of the barn.

Why, I have no idea, but they do.

Goats on the Roof

There’s a ramp on the side that lets them go up and down on their own.

Goats on the Roof 1

And you can feed them for a $1. Your $1 buys you an ice cream cone (??) full of Purina Goat Chow, and you send it up to them on the hand-cranked conveyor belt. (And no, I have no idea why the big black goat has no ears)

Goats on the Roof 2

What seems to usually happen is that the big goats fight over the cone knocking all the Goat Chow to the ground where the baby goats get most of it.

And while we were there, Jan had her chance to try out a big chair too. But it just didn’t measure up.

Jan Big Chair

 

I was really impressed by all the pumpkins and gourds they had here. Quite a layout and very colorful.

Hashbergers 1

hashbergers 2

hashbergers 3

hashbergers 4

hashbergers 5

hashbergers 6

  

And when they say ‘Homemade Ice Cream’ here they really mean it.

Homemade Ice Cream 1

But how many places have a gasoline-powered crank freezer? This is really neat. I could have used this all those times making ice cream at my grandparent’s house.

Homemade Ice Cream 2

 

As we headed back out into the country side, we came across more signs of fall.

Red Tree

We also came across this sign.

Is this some strange Ohio version of ‘Surf and Turf’?

Llama and Fish Farm

And, of course, there were more scenic vistas around every curve,

Coblentz Choc 1

including this Amish farmer plowing his field.

We were surprised to learn from Amy that this area of Ohio has the largest concentration of Amish in the country.

Amish Plowing

As the final treat of the day, Amy took us to a gas station for dinner.

Spearmans 1

And although Spearman’s in Danville really is a gas station on the outside, we didn’t have to eat out of vending machines, or any of those week-old hot dogs rolling on that grill thingie.

No, inside was a very nice restaurant with delicious food, and fantastic desserts.

Spearmans 2

And it was the perfect end to a ‘Magical’ day, to again quote Jan.

By the time we got back to the park, it was almost 8 pm, and everyone was glad to get home.

Amy really outdid herself today, showing us a great time and some beautiful scenery. It was a really special day.

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Thought for the Day:

There’s a pill for just about everything … except stupid!

 

 


October 6, 2012

Chocolate World and Tomato Soup . . .

We had planned to make a trip over to the Harrisburg today, but this time it was Jan’s turn to feel under the weather, so we just hung around the rig today.

The weather reports say that yesterday’s 80 degree day is pretty much it for the year. Today the high was 63, and tomorrow is supposed to be only 51 with 39 for the low.

Even the trees think winter is here.

Hershey Tree Color

Yesterday, Jan and I did some running around on our own. Our first stop was at Isaac’s Deli for lunch.

We both had the same delicious Pepperjack Tomato soup that we had last week at the Isaac’s in Strasburg. Then we split a Cranberry-Chicken Sandwich for our meal. Great food.

Our next stop was for some shopping at Sam’s Club, one of the few times we didn’t also go to the Wal-Mart next door. So I came home with a little more money than normal.

After that we drove over to Chocolate World, the Visitor Center for the Hershey Candy Company.

Chocolate World 1

We wanted to check out the gift shop, and also take the Chocolate World Tour, an amusement park type ride simulating a tour through a chocolate factory.

But we first walked around the beautiful landscaped grounds taking in all the flowers and shrubs. It was a really neat area.

Chocolate World 2

Once inside and on the tour, we found it not quite what we’d hoped. It was more singing cows and less interesting info.

Chocolate World 3

Chocolate World 4

I think the only interesting fact I gleaned from the tour was the fact that Hershey makes 60 million Kisses a day. Now that’s a lot of candy.

And that 60 million figure doesn’t include all the different candy bars, like Reese’s, Kit-Kat bars, and York Peppermint Patties.

Later we headed out to eat dinner at Funck’s Family Restaurant again. Can’t get enough of that Baked Tomato Soup that comes in a crock like French Onion Soup. So, yes, that means we had two different versions of tomato soup that day. All good.

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Thought for the Day:

A simple rule of life: if you can be blamed, you’ll be responsible.

 

 

East Texas Gate Guarding


October 6, 2014

Big Bits and Pieces . . .

412 DayTime

We’ll today turned out to be our busiest day in almost a month, with about 170 vehicles coming in. A large part of this was the big trucks cycling through, hauling the bits and pieces of the rig located in the back that’s being moved a few miles down the road.

And by ‘bits and pieces’, I mean really BIG bits and really ENORMOUS pieces. Many of them substantially bigger than our 40 foot RV, and almost as wide as our cattle gate. In some cases they had less than a foot of clearance on either side as they went through. At least they didn’t break our new cattle guard this time like they broke the old one the last time they moved a rig through.

Broken Cattle Guard 1

The weather turned out to be really nice again today, with only a mid-morning rain to dampen things down, literally and figuratively. And of course, with the rain watering down the dust on the road, the road-watering guy showed up TWICE to ‘muddy up’ the situation even more. Where was he yesterday?

Although our temporary tarp canopy roof weathered the rain with no problems, I’m probably going to look for a bigger one when I get groceries this week. Our original canopy cover was 13’ x 13’, but the replacement tarp is 10’ x 20’ so we lost our 3’ overhang, and it turns out we miss it. So I’ll see if I can’t find a bigger one.

As far as we know, they’re supposed to skid the rig in front of us over to a new well site tomorrow. At least that’s what they said last week, but it’s already been rescheduled twice, so who knows. We’ll just have to wait and see.

We’ve been told that this 3rd well will involve a lot of ‘sampling’, which slows down the whole process, since they usually have pull the drill pipe string back out every time they take one. At least that’s the way they’ve done it on other rigs we’ve worked. And it takes a while to pull 10,000+ feet of drill pipe out of the hole, and then put it back and start drilling again.

It seems like the only big piece(s) of the rig left to take out tomorrow is the derrick itself. Then, after that our vehicle count should really slack off for a while

At least until the fracking starts.

__________________________________________________________________

Thought for the Day:

“When you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Sir Winston Churchill

 

 

Still Gate Guarding in East Texas


October 6, 2015

Turtle Rabbits . . .

I drove into Carthage about 11:30 this morning on a couple of errands. First off, I wanted to drop off Mister’s leftover canned and dry food at some place that could use it.

I had tried to contact the local Humane Society, but had no luck. I found two different addresses and two different phone numbers for them, none of which worked. The first address didn’t seem to exist, at least to Google or Garmin, and the phone message was a lady saying, “You know me, I don’t do voicemail so don’t leave a message.”

The second one was way on the other side of town, admittedly not really that far, since Carthage’s not that big, but their phone just answered with the robot voice saying, “Leave A Message.” Also not very encouraging.

So I called the vet’s office where we had Mister treated to see what they recommended, and they told me about the City Pound that’s run out of another vet’s office, just north of the Wal-Mart, and they actually answered the phone. So that was where I was headed.

They were very glad to get the food, and especially the remaining insulin needles that I also took with me, so Jan and I were happy to see everything go to good use.

Coming back toward home, I fulfilled my other task which was to stop at Whataburger to pick up lunch. For not having liked Whataburger for over 30 years, we’re sure hooked now. And after all this time, I’m don’t remember why I didn’t like it.

When we moved to Houston from Montgomery, AL in December 1978, it was one of the first places I ate at after I started work at Johnson Space Center on the Space Shuttle program.

Being a new hire, I was put on the night shift (11pm-7am), which for me was like throwing Br’er Rabbit in the Briar Patch. I love night shift, but most of the guy’s almost considered it punishment. But for me it was great.

First off, I’m a night person anyway, if I have druthers. And I made more money due to the shift differential we got. Plus in the summer time it was cooler, and there was less traffic coming to work, it was easier to park onsite, and there were no managers so you could actually get some work done.

The management style at the contractor I worked for varied between Management By Walking Around and Management By Lurking. Many of our supervisors had no electronics background so . . .

Right about here in writing this (a little before 1am) we had our first nocturnal visitor here at the gate.

Armadillo 1

He didn’t seem to have a problem with me and the flashlight and camera, but just went about his business, snuffling in the grass for bugs and stuff.

Found only in the Americas, it’s hard to believe they’ve been around for over 60 million years. And looking at one it’s easy to see why the Aztecs called them ‘turtle rabbits’.

. . . since they didn’t understand what you’re doing, they were sure you’re goofing off and not really working.

I’m sorry, but if I’ve got a scope probe in one hand and a hot soldering iron in the other, and my head stuck in a piece of gear left over from the Mercury program, (no, really. It had tubes.) I’m working. And I don’t have time to explain to you what I’m doing, because the test director wants this running in an hour, and right now I still have no idea what’s wrong with it. (except that it has tubes.)

“Any one got a 6SN7 I can borrow”.

Anyway, circling back around to my original thought, at the time Whataburger was the only place open at 4 in the morning when we went to ‘lunch’. And I don’t know what it was, but I ate there 3 or 4 times and never liked it. And I never ate at one again until just recently here in Carthage, over 35 years later.

But after seeing all the frack workers come in with Whataburger bags, and our friend Chris Yust always raving about the place, we had to give it a try. And we really liked it.

Just think of all the delicious burgers I’ve missed over the last 35+ years or so.

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Thought for the Day:

“The only thing that is really free in this world is the cheese in the mousetrap.” – Old Armenian saying

 

   


October 6, 2016

Clamps and Cruises . . .

Today was another all-website all-day long day. I’m probably about 98% done, with just a few nagging things to finish up.

Plus I tend to keep picking at it, changing this and moving that, never quite satisfied with how it looks. But at some point I just have to lock it down and step away from the keyboard.

I’ve still got one more thing, actually two, I guess, to finish up the washer repair. The dryer vent tube is held on to the outside deflector by a 4” stainless steel circle clamp.

Dryer Vent Deflector 1

But it’s always hard to get reinstalled because there is not quite enough room to get the screw part of the clamp back inside the hole so that it seals up weather tight.

Dryer Vent Deflector 2

So I’m going to use the saw blade on my Victorinox Swiss Army Tool to cut out a notch in the round opening so the clamp will fit tighter.

Dryer Vent Deflector 3

And then I’m going to reinstalled the cabinet doors, and the retaining strip.

And if that wasn’t enough I also need to take a look at the microwave again. Back in June I replaced a broken door latch that kept the MW door from opening. But after working fine for several months, it developed a different, but I think, related problem in that the MW seems to turn on, i.e. the fan runs and the timer counts down, but the light in the oven doesn’t come on, and it doesn’t heat.

Usually, but no always, a light tap of the fist on the edge of the door will fix the problem, at least until next time. And if you’re cooking several things in succession, the MW will shut down with the same symptoms.

Since that latch also triggers a safety microswitch, I suspect it’s just slightly out of adjustment, and when it gets hot after extended usage, something expands and no longer makes contact with the switch.


Thought for the Day:

“He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know.” — Abraham Lincoln

 

 


October 6, 2017

Power Problems and Red Bags . . .

Getting down to Clear Lake, I installed the new power supply, pushed the button, and the computer powered up. However I never heard the ‘beep’ during the boot up.

And I had no video coming out either. Now I know the old power supply was bad, since it wouldn’t even power up. But it looks like the motherboard is bad too. So I guess I’ll have to pull out the hard drives, hook them up to another computer, and see what’s on them.

Jan called about 2:30 to tell me that the power had been off for about 30 minutes and still hadn’t come back on yet. I told her to go outside and cycle the big breaker, but it didn’t help., So next I called Ed Hurlburt who’s only 3 spaces down from us, and found he had power.

My next call was to the Ranger office, and as soon as I said, “This is Greg White and we’re in G23 . . . “. she said they were working on the power, but it might be 3 or 4 hours.

About 4pm, with still no power, Jan called and said it was getting a little toasty in the rig, so I led her through starting up the rig’s generator. Had her first turn off both AC’s and then hold down the Gen Start button, while pulling the Start trigger on the Remote Switch I installed last June in Rapid City, SD.

Bosch Remote Starter Switch

And it started right up, with power coming on about 15 seconds later. About an hour later Jan called to say someone had stopped by and told her that the power probably would not be repaired until Monday, and that we could either move to another site, or run our generator all weekend.

So as I came through the front gate, I ask about where we could move. She said that we could move to any other site that was not red-bagged. When I got back to the rig, our pedestal was now red-bagged, but I noticed that the site just to the left of us was not.

Grabbing up my yellow outlet tester I first tested our pedestal, since with the generator running, we wouldn’t know if the power came back on. But it was still dead.

But the unbagged pedestal next door had power,. Lucky us. So I quickly pulled the truck into the site to save it for us. Jan said the couple in the Class A that had been in that site had left earlier.

Since Jan had already packed away a lot of stuff, I only had to disconnect the utilities and satellite, pull in the slide, crank up and pull out. I didn’t even let the awnings in.

So in about 10 minutes we were parked and hooked up to shore power, so then I turned the generator off and we were home. Then I called Ranger office and told them we had moved one site to the left, and they said fine, we’ll change you over.

For dinner tonight Jan had slow-cookered a big batch of her world-famous chili, and we had just settled down with our steaming bowls when there was a knock at the door.

Turned out to be an angry gentleman(?) and his wife, who said this was his site, and he paid for it , and he wanted us out now. I said that he left the site, and we were told that we could move to any site that wasn’t red-bagged. He said that the site was red-bagged when he left and accused me to taking the bag off and stealing his site.

I told him that the bagged sites would not have power until Monday, so why would I pull the bag off so I could park in a site that wasn’t going to have power. I also told him that maintenance had come through and bagged every site in ‘G’, until they knew exactly which sites would still have power. So if he had stayed a little longer he would have had power too.

He sputtered a bit, and said he would call the Rangers and they would kick me out of his site..

We never heard from anyone the rest of the night.

The latest Landonism: Brandi ask Landon to switch spots with her on the sofa. Landon shook his head NO, and said, “Sometimes you just need to get out of your comfort zone.”

Don’t know whether to laugh or strangle him.

The Word of the Day is:  Enervate


Thought for the Day:

On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

 

 

Back Home in Gulf Shores, AL


October 6, 2018

Our “You Can’t Go Home Again” Tour . . .

After a nice morning of coffee and conversation, we left the rig about 2:30, heading for the Gulf Beach.

We had planned to stop in Foley to take in the Train Museum and their Model Train Layout, but I misread the time, and they were already closed. Maybe next year.

Our first stop was for lunch at De Soto’s Seafood Kitchen, another of our favorite local seafood places, and another one we’ve been eating at for years.

We both had the same thing, the Broiled Seafood Platter, differing only in our sides.

Jan got hers with the Steamed Veggies and the Fried Green Tomatoes,

DeSoto's - Jan

while I got it with Steamed Veggies and their delicious Sweet Potato Casserole with candied pecans.

DeSoto's - Greg

In a trade out, Jan gave me some of her Tomatoes while I gave her some of my Sweet Potatoes, which we both saved for our dessert.

It’s that good.

Although we got seated immediately, by the time we left around 4, the place was filling up. The young lady cashier said they were on a wait until 9pm last night.

It’s that good.

Finishing up, we drove down the beach road toward Orange Beach to check out some of our old haunts. Our first stop was a  long-time favorite of Jan’s, Tallulah’s Treasures, a really neat gift shop. We’ve been coming here for years, even before we started RV’ing, and even before when it was called Tootie Green’s Yellow Broom.

After driving around for a while, we headed back up the beach road and stopped off a the local Ron Jon’s Surf Shop. I was looking for a new Hawaiian shirt and I found just what I wanted.

While we were there we talked about visiting the original Cocoa Beach Ron Jon’s, back in 1967 when we were dating.

Ron Jon's Cocoa Beach

It was located in a small building in a strip center, and was pretty much just a long aisle with surf boards propped up on each side.

Now it’s pretty much a mall all by itself.

Ron Jon's Cocoa Beach Now

Finally about 6pm we parked down by the beach and set out to watch the sun go down and people watch.

There were a lot of people leaving for the day, but a whole new group of people walking out on the beach just as it was getting dark.

Gulf Shores 2018 -  Ocean

Jan even got to see some of her favorite pelicans make one last pass up the beach.

Gulf Shores 2018 -  Pelicans

We waited until the sun had finally disappeared before we were back in the truck and heading home.

Gulf Shores 2018 -  Ocean 2

Most of our blog readers know that I grew up here in Gulf Shores, from when I was about 2-1/2 until I was 13 and we moved to South America.

Daddy and Me 1951

This is me with my father in January 1951, right after we moved down here from Birmingham where my father was a Detective on the Birmingham Police Department, and my mother was a Public Health nurse.

Over the next months they built a large motel here called White’s By The Sea.

White's By The Sea Sign

And yes, that’s me in my favorite cowboy suit.

If you know anything about Gulf Shores, and know where the Sea N Suds beach restaurant is located, that’s where our motel was. And the Sea N Suds itself is built around what was once the pier house store on the motel’s fishing pier.

With my history in this area, it’s kind of hard to come back every time and see more and more of my memories being erased, torn down, paved over, and built over, But then on the other hand, I see places that have survived, seemingly unchanged, since the 50’s.

Family cottages that have made it through the many hurricanes that have ravaged the area, small buildings and offices that have seem multiple iterations of tenants, once a grocery store, now a tattoo & piercing parlor, once a gas station, now a restaurant. It all changes,and it all stays the same.

What it all boils down to, I guess, is that you can go home again. But it just won’t really feel like home anymore.


Thought for the Day:

Even when a man listens to his wife, you just know he is gonna get it wrong.

 

 


October 6, 2019

They’re Creepy And They’re Kooky . . .

I was up at 7am this morning so we could me our friends, Barb and Tom, at the IHOP over in Kemah for breakfast. Now Jan’s usually always up at this time, so no big thing for her. But for me it really shows how much I like these people.

Jan and I both had omelets, with Jan’s Garden Omelet,

IHOP Garden Omelet

and I had the Gomez’ Green Chile Omelet.

IHOP Green Chile Omelet

IHOP is doing a cross-promotion with the Addams Family cartoon movie that’s coming out momentarily, so Gomez is Gomez Addams, and apparently he like’s Green Chile Omelets.

Afterwards, we all headed over to their nearby home so I could take a look at a problem they were having with their TV system. They recently had their DirecTV DVR wired into their Sony Receiver/Amplifier to feed the Surround Sound speaker mounted in the ceiling corners. But after the guy left, they later discovered that they no longer had any audio when they accessed Netflix.

After spending some time looking over the system, I figured out that their DirecTV DVR was feeding into the Sony Amp which then fed audio/video into their Samsung TV via an HDMI cable.

So I went into the TV’s settings and switched the sound output from the Sony amp to the internal speakers, and then checked Netflix. And now I had audio on both DirecTV  and Netflix. So the problem was that since the Netflix signal only comes into the TV via the WiFi connection, it wasn’t getting passed on to the Sony so it could be fed to the external speakers.

So I needed an output from the TV to the amp, but the only output this model has is a Digital Optical Audio Cable, so I ordered one from Amazon right then which should be in tomorrow.

So we’ll come back over Tuesday night to hook up the cable and see if I can get everything configured to work correctly.

I going to be back on the phone tomorrow with Cummins trying to nail down which Oil Filter Adapter I have on our rig. Plus Thursday I’m going to check out under the bed to see what I can see.

Whatever I find out, we’ve already got our next RV trip scheduled for November 14 – 17 up to Kingsland again. Everyone’s meeting up there for a pre-Thanksgiving get-together since Brandi and her family will be traveling on the holiday itself.

I’ve already got reservations at the same RV park we stayed last time, and we’re really looking forward to getting together with everyone.


Thought For The Day:

Watch Out For This

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