Daily Archives: October 7, 2020

All In A Row . . .

Several of our readers wondered about the many different apps available to stream tv shows and movies. There are dozens of them, some completely free, some with tiers (levels) of free with commercials, some with paid levels, and different numbers of available movies.

Here’s a list of 40 streaming apps available for the Fire Stick, and others too.



Hoping I’ve got all my ducks in a row this time, I’ll be back under the rig tomorrow afternoon trying to drill and tap the 4 holes in my oil filter adapter mount, and if I’m lucky, also get the Helicoils installed.

But actually, I’d settle for just getting the drilling and tapping down, and then finishing up this weekend.

But we’ll see how it goes.



October 7, 2009

Where’s the PO?

Today was another cold, wet, rainy day here in northern Indiana.

We decided to try out a Mexican place we had heard about called “El Camino Real”.  It turned out to be pretty good, though not as good as ‘La Carreta” in Celina.

I was disappointed that they don’t have chicken tortilla soup.  The soup at La Carreta was fantastic.

After lunch we used our GPS to find the nearest Post Office.  Unfortunately the PO wasn’t where it was supposed to be.  Apparently the PO had  moved to a newer, bigger building.

We’ll check the PO website and try again tomorrow.

After that it was back to the park.

Elkhart Campground is nice, but very empty this time of the year.  I guess that’s why it closes in less than a month, on Nov. 1st.

Elkhart 1

But Mister enjoys his usual roll in the gravel.

Elkhart 2



October 7, 2010

Not much new today . . .

Not much new today.

Brandi sent over some new Landon photos.

Landon Smiling

Jan and I had coffee at the rig, and then about 1 pm I headed over to Pearland to work on a client’s computers. They’re both pretty infected and it’s taking some time to get them cleaned up.

Heading home about 4:30 I stopped off at Brandi’s to pick up a package from Amazon and get in a few minutes of Landon time.

Getting back to the rig, Jan and I headed up the road to La Brisa for some good Mexican.

Right after we set down we got a call from our friend’s Maria and Bob Sutton. After talking for a few minutes they decided to join us, and did about 20 minutes later. After a great meal and some great conversation, we decided to meet at IHOP Saturday morning for breakfast, and then go over to their house so I can take a look at Maria’s computer problems.

Tomorrow after lunch, I’ll drop Jan off at Brandi’ so she can get some Landon time and Brandi can run some errands or get a nap, or both. I’ll run by a couple of clients to check out some problems.

Then tomorrow night, we’re meeting some friend’s, Bob and Beth Young, at Genghis Grill for dinner. We’re really looking forward to seeing them again so it will be fun.

More tomorrow…

Thought for the day:

A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled.



October 7, 2011

Warther’s Locomotives . . .

Today the first thing on our agenda was to visit The Warther Museum in Dover, OH, famous for the locomotive carvings of Ernest ‘Mooney” Warther.

Getting to the museum, we had a little while to wait for the next tour, so we were directed to a couple of buildings next door.

The first one held part of Ernest’s wife, Frieda’s button collection. On display are over 73,000 buttons of her 100,000 plus collection, some dating from the 1850’s. They are all arranged in patterns of all shapes and sizes.

Warther Buttons 1

Warther Buttons 2

Right next door was the home where Ernest and his wife lived for 63 years. Built in 1912, it was the only home they ever lived in.

Warther House 1

Warther House 2

Finally our tour started and we were led into the first room. This first display case show all of the thousands of little tiny carvings,

Train from parts 1

as illustrated in this close-up, that when put together,

Train from parts 2


end up looking like this.

Train from parts 4


And maybe the most astounding feat of carving is this.

For years Warther had been carving small wooden pliers from one solid piece of wood. With ten quick cuts, and no sanding, he had a operation pair of pliers. His record time for making one is a little over 9 seconds, start to finish.

He said one day he suddenly saw in his mind how he could make a very large, interlocking set of pliers. He had already done smaller interlocking sets, starting with the blank at the bottom of this photo and ending up with what you see below. Each one of those limbs is a tiny working set of pliers.

Warther Pliers

He told his friends that he would have 511 pliers on this one, that it would take exactly 31,000 cuts, and it would take him 64 days. And using a solid wood blank like the one below, he did it.

Warther Pliers Tree 2

He ended up with what is know as the ‘Pliers Tree’ below. Each limb is an operating set of pliers. And several times before skeptical groups of scientists, engineers, and reporters, he showed that it all folded right back into the original shape.

Warther Pliers Tree 1


Next up we saw the first train he ever carved. Done in walnut, even the wheels turn.

Warther Train 1


His next train was carved from ebony wood and ivory. In fact all of the white parts of the locomotives are carved from ivory.

Warther Train 2

When he didn’t use ebony, his wood of choice was always walnut, due to its strength and smooth carving.

Warther Train 3

Warther Train 4

Warther Train 5


This engine, the Commodore Vanderbilt, is notable because of the ivory words on the coal tender.

Warther Train 6

Each word is carved from a solid piece of ivory and inlaid into the walnut. Ivory cannot be bent or shaped without breaking, so this was carved as a single piece.

Warther Train 6a

Warther also carved entire locomotives from ivory.

Warther Train 7

The detail on these is just fantastic.

Warther Train 8


This wall hanging was carved from a single piece of wood, starting at the top and working down.

Warther Wall Hanging7


And even more amazing he did it all in this simple shop with hand tools and carving knives of his own design.

Warther Workshop

If you’re ever in this area of Ohio, this place is a must-see. Check it out.


Thought for the Day:

Better to keep your enemy in your sights than in your camp expecting him to guard your back.



October 7, 2012

You heard it here first . . .

Today as I was ordering her some new Kindle books, Jan said,

“We need to gate guard again so I can catch up on my reading.”

Words I thought I’d never hear.

Jan was feeling better today so about 1pm we all headed over to Harrisburg to look around, and also to visit the Midtown Scholar Bookstore, a place that specializes in hard-to-find and rare books. And it turned out to be kind of a neat place, but you’d really have to spend some time there to be able to find your way around. Upstairs, downstairs, and even the basement are full of books, but it’s like wandering around in a maze. I’m sure the store thinks they have an organization, but it sure wasn’t obvious to us.

So, leaving MidTown, and after driving around through the neighborhoods near downtown Harrisburg admiring the unique architecture of the area, we headed over the Susquehanna River to a nearby Barnes & Noble. At least here we can probably find our way around.

By the time we finished there, it was getting to be suppertime so we headed toward home by way of the Grantville area to check out a BBQ place called Smackdown BBQ.

Smackdown BBQ

It was very well reviewed online, and turned out to be pretty good.

Finally heading home again we made a last stop at the Wal-Mart in Palmyra to pick up some things before we head out for the Harbor View Outdoor World Resort in Colonial Beach, VA for two weeks.


Thought for the Day:

“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” ― Napoleon Bonaparte



October 7, 2013

Who knew Mister had a Fan Club . . .

or Kind of A Techie Blog.

Well, we’ve had our first few pretty chilly nights here on the gate, at least chilly in comparison to our normal nighttime 70’s and 80’s.

Friday night it only went down to about 66, but we had a pretty steady 15 mph north wind all night which gave us a nippy 55 degree wind chill factor. And since I was only wearing jeans and a t-shirt, it got cold fast, until I dug out a hooded long-sleeve sweatshirt.

Then on Saturday night, it went down to 59, not too bad, no wind, but there was a lot of moisture in the air so you ended up damp and cold, not a good combination.

Then last night it got a bit worse, with a temp of 49 along with a little wind. But this time I was a little more prepared, with a long sleeve denim shirt, along with the hooded sweatshirt. But I was still cold.

So tonight, Monday, I’m ready. I’ve got on a t-shirt, the long-sleeve denim shirt, the hooded sweatshirt, and a sleeveless insulated vest, as well as sweat pants under my jeans. I look like a cross between the Pillsbury Doughboy (like I didn’t already) and the Michelin Tire guy, and I’m screwed if I have to use the bathroom, but I’m finally WARM.

I realize that for you folks up in the Midwest and Northwest with the snow and ice storms, this all seems like a bunch of wussy whining, but there’s a reason Jan and I are essentially snowbirds. It’s cold up there.

Of course it doesn’t help that I’m just sitting here, and the only exercise I’m getting is writing on the log sheets, and occasionally getting up to get the name, company, and tag number of a new vehicle. Most of the time we recognize the regulars and already have their info, so we just need to write them in the log along with their time In or Out.

But along with the cold nights, comes the upside. The Fall days here are just great, low to mid 80’s with a lot of sun. It’s actually been cool enough so that Mister pretty much spends all afternoon outside, just sleeping on the table next to me. I usually don’t even bother hooking up his lease since as long as I’m out here, here he stays.

But this has led to Mister having his own fan club. Since with the cooler weather we’re not running the fan and the misting system, he’s more visible and the workers see him as they drive by, and then stop and come over. They take pictures of him, and then I have to take pictures of them holding or petting him. There’s also a lot of pointing out the window as the trucks drive by.

But even with all his notoriety, Mister always insists that I let everyone know that at 30 pounds, he’s not fat. He’s just big-boned and fluffy.

Man, that’s a lot of ‘fluffy’.

Mister Outside in Chair

I wonder if that will work for me? Probably not. .

One thing I’ve been doing with all my free time sitting out here is that I’ve been writing a program on my laptop to computerize the log system here at the gate. At first I thought I’d write it as an Android app and use it on our Kindle Fire, but having to type in all the starting information on everyone would be a pain on the Kindle keyboard, so I decide the laptop was a better idea.

I created two databases, one containing the vehicle tag numbers, driver first and last names, and the company name, and the other database is the actual log information. This one is used to track the vehicle ins and outs, and contains the tag number, driver name, number of riders, whether they’re going in or out, and the date and time. I also have another date field in the format of yyyy/mm/dd, I.e. 2013/10/07. This allows me to easily sort by the date, which the 10/07/2013 format does not, at least not without a lot of extra code. And since program will generate the date in any form, it’s easier this way.

At this point the program lets me enter the tag/company/driver data into the vehicle database, and then search the data by tag, company, or driver. It also lets me log a vehicle in or out quick and easy, by just typing in the first few characters of the tag, selecting the correct one (if more than one) from the screen, and then clicking In or Out. All info is then written to the log database and it’s done. Only takes a few seconds.

Besides saving a lot of handwriting, log sheets blowing away, getting wet, etc., this takes care of a bigger problem. Sometimes workers stay on site for days, a week, or even two weeks before they leave the gate. So we may end up pawing through dozens of pages of log sheets looking when they came in so we can sign them out on the same line. It doesn’t help that they usually don’t remember what day they come in, either.

If a vehicle comes in that we don’t have the info for yet, it still lets us log them in using only the tag number. Then, using the edit feature, we can update the log with the correct info when we have it. It’s still a work in progress, but it keeps me off the streets and out of trouble.

Well, I guess I’m actually sitting out on the street, so that one doesn’t work, and I still seem to get in trouble. So just forget what I said.

Let’s just go with, it’s Fun.



October 7, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy . . .

Once again another fairly busy day today with169 vehicles through the gate, one less than yesterday. And again a lot of the extra traffic was due to the last of the big pieces of one of our rigs leaving.

F13 Moving Day 2

F13 Moving Day 1

This part of the derrick was a tight squeeze and they had a guy on each side walking it through to be sure they didn’t take out our new cattle guard.

Hopefully we’ll now have a couple of days of less traffic before it all hits the fan on Friday. At least that’s what we’ve been told.

It’s now semi-official that they will be starting TWO fracs on Friday. That’s two at the same time on separate pads. And based on our experiences last year at a frac gate, I don’t see how all that traffic is going to fit. But we’ll see.

I talked to Coleman today about a new cover for our canopy. Turns out that they are available, and the cost is not bad. I can get a new one for $71 and change, and that includes shipping. That’s half the cost of a complete new canopy, so that’s a pretty good deal. Now I just have to figure out where to have them ship it to.

We got our first catered meal today. Trend, one of the support companies, put on a big fish and shrimp fry for the rig in front of us, and we got included. And as usual for these things, each box they brought by will feed us both. So we’ll get two meals of it. Nice!

Jan said though, what impressed her most, was that the Company Man delivered to us, making a special trip over here from the rig to drop them off. Normally if we get any thing, the caterer drops it off as he leaves. Again, Nice!



October 7, 2015

All Done . . .

The frack, that is.

Now we just wait and see what we’re going to do. We’ve had a couple of encouraging signs that we might be moving to the new frack site just up the road, but nothing concrete so far.

And if we don’t move, we’ve been told that they will be here at this site doing completion for about a month, which also wouldn’t be bad. And would get us close to our preferred ‘Sunday before Thanksgiving heading back to Houston’ thing. And if things run long as they usually seem to, that might put us right in the money.

But we’ll see. As they say, the only thing constant is change.

Back this past June-July while we were at the Verde Valley Thousand Trails in Arizona, I mentioned the Ready, Camp, Go card here in the blog. We’re going to be doing the East Coast next year, and since our TT membership doesn’t give us any TT parks north of New Jersey, I was looking to use the RCG card to add a number of TT and Encore parks in that area.

I talked it over with the lady at the Verde Valley TT office, and I got a list of all the new parks I would be able to access. And it all looked good. But since the pass was only good for one year, I decided to wait until this fall to purchase it, so I would have more use of it.

At the time the RCG card was open to any RV’er. You did not have to be a TT member. But when I went to the RCG website earlier this week to purchase the card, I found something different. Where in July I found a list of the 4 different RCG membership levels, now I found a page that said it was only for ‘eligible Thousand Trails members’, and a phone number to call.

It turns out now that to be ‘eligible’ for a RCG card, you have to have an Elite or higher Thousand Trails membership, and that I could upgrade my present Alliance TT membership to Elite for only $5000.00 (well, $4995.00 to be exact). Or an Elite Connections upgrade for only $7000.00 (well, $6 . . . you know).

When I ask her what I would get for my extra $5 to $7000, she said I could stay three weeks, and now go park to park. I said the three weeks is OK, but we can already go park to park. Then she said you can book 180 days in advance. I told her that I can already book 210 days in advance. (In August I booked us back and forth between Lake Conroe and Colorado River until the first part of March) At this point she started to run out of steam.

I asked if we got any more free days (we get 50 now) and she said no. She then listed all the new parks that I would get, and it wasn’t as many as I would have gotten with the original RCG card, since it included Encore parks and others.

For us, the only advantage would be the three week stays, but not by much. The only time it would be nice would be when we are going back and forth between Lake Conroe and Colorado River during the winter, and if you crunch the numbers it means that we would move 3 times instead of 5 during the three months. This means we would save about $100 dollars in diesel.

So in 50 years (or 70) we’d break even. I don’t think so.

So, in tomorrow’s blog, I’ll recount the saga of my trying to purchase a Northeast Zone pass to augment our East Coast trip.

It’s not pretty.

Thought for the Day:

There is no greater pain a man can suffer than to have insight into much and control over nothing. – Herodotus

I know how he feels. If everyone listened to me, the world would be a much better place, believe me.

October 7, 2016

Chicken Chili and Broccoli Cheese . . .

I spent the morning finishing up the new website, but I’ll have more about that later.

About 1pm Jan and I went outside (Jan holds the ladder) to cut the notch for the circle clamp screw in the dryer vent hole. I had planned to use the saw blade on my Swiss Army tool, but once I saw how thick the rig wall was I rethought my approach.

Dryer Vent Opening 1

In fact I was very surprised at how thick the wall actually was, especially based on damage to other rigs I’ve seen that revealed their wall structure. Our coach’s wall is 2” thick with the outer fiberglass skin, 3/4” plywood, 1” of insulating board, and the inside wall board.

Based on this, I decided to use my Oscillating Multi Tool and a saw blade to cut the notch.

Oscillating Multi Tool

And with this, it only took a couple of minutes to carve out the opening.

Dryer Vent Opening 2

At this point I was able to quickly remount the deflector and finish things up.

Dryer Vent Deflector 3

Later about 4pm, Jan and I drove into Conroe to have dinner at the new Jason’s Deli. When we were last here this past August, it was still under construction, so we were happy to see it ready to go now.

And although it’s been a good while since we’ve eaten at a Jason’s, we went right back with our usual favorites.

Jan had a cup of Broccoli Cheese Soup, and Quarter Ham Muffuletta.

Jason's Muffuletta

While I got a bowl of their Spicy Southwest Chicken Chili, and the small Rueben Sandwich.

Jason's Rueben and Soup

If that’s the small Rueben, how big is the big one? But it did give me half to take bring home.

After dinner, we headed over to the nearby Sam’s Club to pick up a prescription that I had called in earlier. But the first thing I did was to upgrade my membership to the Plus card.

For a number of y ears, we had gotten our scripts through Sam’s Club, and only used Wal-Mart when there wasn’t a Sam’s nearby. At that time Sam’s honored Wal-Mart’s $4/$10 prescription discounts, and the Plus card itself saved us about $50 per month, so the $55 per year extra cost of the Plus Card was worth it.

But then Sam’s dropped the $4/$10 list so it no longer made sense to keep the Plus card. So when we renewed this past May, I dropped our membership back to the standard $45 version. And as I related in the blog at the time,, we actually got the renewal free because the manager kept screwing up printing out our new card, so he finally just comped the fee.

Well, with this new prescription, I found it was $105.00 at Wal-Mart, and $85 at Sam’s Club. But with the Plus card, the price was $10. Yep, $10. So it sounded like it was time to upgrade back to the Plus card.

And then things got even better. I went up the Customer Service desk expecting them to pro-rate the $55 for about 6 months worth, or around $27.50. But for some reason, the pro-rated amount to upgrade was $7.38. Where they got that from, I don’t know. I did question it, but they said it was correct.

So for $7.38 I save $75 per month. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Finishing up, I’m reposting Brandi’s Travel Agency since the link was bad in yesterday’s blog.

And now, here’s the new site I’ve been working on for a while.

Header Graphic

It’s for Eyes Of Texas Engraved Sun Glasses.

They will engrave and color your desired text, name, or nickname, or one of their standard graphics, with more being added all the time. Or for an extra charge, you can submit your own company logo or drawing for engraving.

And we also have specials for Breast Cancer Awareness and Blue Lives Matter.

Check it out.

Thought for the Day:

“He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others.” — Samuel Johnson, 18th-century author

October 7, 2018

Jan Collects Weird Things . . .

With our last day here in the Gulf Shores area, we didn’t really have any thing special planned. Just sat around, talked, read, computed, and napped.

It just doesn’t get much better.

About 1:30 Jan and I drove over to the Fish River to have lunch at Big Daddy’s Grill. We were last here in November 2012 with friend’s Lu and Larry Tillotson, and new friend’s Paul and Margery Zeller.

Big Daddy's 2018

I started out with a cup of their Seafood Gumbo.

Big Daddy's Gumbo

This is old style gumbo, made with okra and tomatoes, as well as the shrimp and crab. A great roux, and really good.

For our meal we both got the Shrimp and Oyster Platter, mine with Blacken Shrimp and Jan’s with Grilled Shrimp.

Big Daddy's Shrimp and Oyster

And both with Cole Slaw and Sweet Potato Fries.

For dessert we split a piece of their fantastic home-made Key Lime Pie.

Big Daddy's Key Lime Pie

Again, all really, really good. We shouldn’t have waited 6 years to go back.

The view from the deck where we ate was really nice too.

Big Daddy's 2018 View

Big Daddy's 3

Big Daddy's 2018 Jan

Like I said, the view was nice.

And besides being a nice view, she collects weird things.

This is just a smart part of her collection of flamingos, pelicans, jelly fish, and moose.

Jan's Collection

She probably has some more weird things she collects, but the one weird thing that I’m most happy about her collecting is me.

After we got home I went out and disconnected water and sewer, and let in the awnings, pretty much everything I can do tonight for tomorrow’s trip to Quincy FL just west of Tallahassee, and about 204 miles away.

Then tomorrow all I’ll have to do is to stow the satellite dome, disconnect shore power, and hitch up the truck.

Thought for the Day:

The nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master and deserves one. – Alexander Hamilton



October 7, 2019


I was on the phone with Cummins Tech Support again this morning, trying to get some more info on uncertain oil filter adapter. The tech did send me a parts breakdown of the adapter for me to look over.

Cummins Oil Adapter Breakdown

I’m still trying to nail down exactly which one I have, the one with the gasket or the one without.  So either tomorrow or Thursday I’m going to check out out under the bed to see if I can get a better look at things. The problem is that the filter is located pretty much directly under the ‘firewall’ area that separates the bedroom from the engine compartment, so it’s hard to get a good view of it. In fact I may have to actually climb out on the engine to see anything.

In the meantime, if I don’t get any more definitive info, I’m going to do another cleaning oil filter seating ring, this time using a brass rotary brush that our friend Butch Williams gave me a while back.

Rig Oil Filter Mount Tarnishing

Back before I was chasing the whole ‘gasket’ thing, Cummins thought there might be burnt oil filter gasket residue in the ring. When I took a look I did find some and scraped it off. But I was unable to get the last bit off because, since I didn’t know what the filter housing was made of, aluminum or steel. And if it was aluminum, I didn’t want to scratch it. where it would seal even worse.

But now I know it’s steel, I’m to keep at it until I’ve gotten it all off. Then we’re see how it goes on our upcoming trip up to Kingsland in mid-November.

Looks like we’ve finally  got a winter cold front coming in later this week with High’s in the low-70’s and Low’s in the 50’s.

Very, Very Nice. And about time.

Thought For The Day:

Why We Never Visit

%d bloggers like this: