Daily Archives: October 16, 2020

Long Sleeve Weather . . .

This morning it was 62° when we got up this morning, and didn’t get any warmer during the day. So today was my first long-sleeve shirt day of the season.

But, remember, this is Texas, so tomorrow is back in the low 80’s.

Oh, well.

But whatever the temps, I’ll be back under the rig tomorrow afternoon to try and get things finished up. First I’m going to run the tap back through the one bad hole and then try to install a new Heilcoil.

Then if that goes OK, I’m going to use a 120 grit nylon end brush like this,

Nylon End Brush

to burnish the flange before I’ll be ready to install the adapter head. Since it worked before, for at least for 150 miles, 100 miles longer than any other time, I going to again use Permatex Ultra Black sealer on the gasket. But a wiped-thin coat this time, rather than a thick bead like last time.

After I get it all tightened down, I’ll reinstall the oil filter and then I’ll be ready to try a high-idle test for about an hour. Then we’ll be ready to schedule our test drive.

According to the CDC, seasonal flu cases are down 95%, not only in the U.S, but around the world. So did the the WuFlu kill it too?

Or, perhaps, seasonal flu cases are suddenly ‘becoming’ CoVid cases?


A Tennessee man was surprised to receive a letter from the Shelby County Health Department saying that his mother had tested positive for CoVid-19 on June 20th and should isolate for two weeks.

He said his mother died back in February from long-term COPD. And they couldn’t even claim to have dug her up to test her. She was cremated.

So what do think her death was blamed on in the ‘official’ stats?


I’ve mentioned before about the ineffectiveness of the seasonal flu ‘vaccine’ (or shot), ranging as low as 25-30% in 2018. But it turns out to be even worse than I thought.

The effectiveness over the last 15 flu seasons had only even reached 40% 9 TIMES, and often has been as low as 5% – 10%.

So why should we think that the China Virus ‘vaccine’ is going to do any better?


Thought For The Day:

I don’t mean to interrupt people. I just randomly remember things and get really excited.



Still In Elkhart, IN

October 16, 2009


Today started about 12:30 pm when, heading out for lunch, we stopped by the park laundry room and dropped off a bunch of magazines that I was finished with.

For lunch we drove over to Mishawaka to eat at Famous Dave’s BBQ again.  Except that Jan ordered a cheeseburger.

What’s up with that?

Leaving Famous Dave’s we stopped off a nearby Home Depot to pick up a new bathroom faucet. The one we have has a small drip that’s slowly getting worse, and it’s one of those ‘washerless’ faucets that can’t be repaired.  We also picked up a Christmas tree storage bag that I plan on using to store the satellite dish while we’re traveling.  The box it came in is slowly coming apart after almost two years on the road.

Then it was across the street to Walmart for more ‘stuff’.

Heading home, we stopped off a Goodwill store near the park to drop off some games and kitchen stuff that Jan decided we didn’t need anymore.

We’re still looking for a food bank or someplace we can drop off some food stuff, as Goodwill doesn’t take food.

After that it was back to the rig.

It’s supposed to get down to 30 degrees tonight, so I disconnected our water line and drained it, just in case.  We just turn on our water pump and run on our internal 100 gallon tank.

Brrrr !!!!

Thought For The Day:

Sometimes, someone unexpected comes into your life out of nowhere, makes your heart race, and changes you forever. We call those people cops.



Back Home in Houston, TX For The Year

October 16, 2010

Dams and Taxes, or Dam Taxes . . .

After getting home so late after the Alvin Opry, Jan and I both slept late, really late. We were lucky to be up before noon.

It’s not really the Opry that goes so late – it’s over by about 10:15 or so – but after it’s over, a bunch of us drive about 20 minutes away to an IHOP and grab a late bite to eat. Then from there it’s about 40 miles back to the rig.

Friday for me was Tax Day, since I always file for an extension. I never like to give the government my money any earlier than I have to.  And because of the way I have things laid out, I only had to send them an extra $82 this year. The reason I always file for an extension is that I have read from several former IRS agents that by filing later you are less likely to be audited. So far, it’s worked for me.

Here’s the latest Landon pic. Brandi said he was sleeping soundly until Kitty, the 105 pound Black Lab, came over and woke him up. Probably with a big, sloppy kiss.

Landon on Sofa 5

Saw in the news a couple of days ago that they’ve finally finished the new Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge. After next week when it formally opens, you will no longer be able to drive over the dam itself. Glad we got to do it several times in the last few years.


This photo shows it under construction. Note that, at this point they haven’t even started  on the actual bridge roadway.

Based on what I saw I always thought it was a type of suspension bridge, like the Fred Hartman Bridge here in Houston.


But it turns out it’s not. The towers and cables were just to hold up the arch and roadway until everything was finished.

This is what the bridge looks like now.


It looks like it’ll be fun to drive over when we’re out there next year. Though, I don’t think my wife Jan will be too happy.

I mean, what can I say. She doesn’t even like roller coasters.


And at Busch Gardens, this is considered the ‘kitty coaster’.

About 4:30 we headed up to Kemah to have dinner at Chili’s, and then after a quick stop at a client’s in Clear Lake, we did the weekly WalMart thing, and stocked up on stuff. Somehow, we keep buying stuff, using stuff, running out of stuff, and buying more stuff. It’s a viscous cycle, and personally I think ‘Big Stuff’ is behind it all. You know, like ‘Big Oil’, or ‘Big Tobacco’.

‘Big Stuff’, it makes sense, right? I mean, somebody got to be to blame.

Well, the guy didn’t move out off our old site today, so I guess he re-upped for another month. I told Jan she might as well resign herself that Site 73 is going to be our home for the next 3-4 months, and not site 80.

Here’s our old site 80.

Site 80 Big

And here’s site 73 where we are now.

Galveston Bay RV

Jan likes the the island out there in front of 80 because she see more birds.

We’ll have to see what happens.

More tomorrow…

Thought for the Day:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free” — Ronald Reagan



Working Up In Elkhart, IN

October 16, 2011

He be’s Busy . . .

Well, we’re now in our 4th day of rain and wind, and we finally got a small leak coming in under the slide. I suspect all the high wind has blown some water past the slide seals. Not enough to worry about though.

The RV/MH Hall of Fame is closed on Sunday, so since I couldn’t work there, I mostly goofed off on the Internet.

Today was a Landon-Skyping Sunday, but since he had a late nap, we didn’t get started until almost 5:30, but of course, better late than never in Landon-Skyping.

Our son-in-law Lowell got a new iPhone4S with the front and back cameras and is now using it to Skype. And the difference in picture quality is amazing.

Video call snapshot 378

Video call snapshot 379

Video call snapshot 381

Video call snapshot 382

Video call snapshot 388

Video call snapshot 395

Video call snapshot 397

Video call snapshot 399

Video call snapshot 398

One thing we can really see better is how much hair he actually has now, but it’s so blond it’s hard to see. Hopefully he inherited his father’s hair, and not his grandpa’s.

The other thing we noticed is how he never stops. He just runs everywhere. And this looks like something he did inherit from his grandpa.

When I was just a little older than Landon is now, my parents owned a motel on the beach at Gulf Shores, AL. One day my mother asked Annie May, one of the maids who helped her clean the cottages if she had seen me.

Annie May replied, “No, Mam, but where ever he be’s, he be’s busy!”

And so is Landon.

A little while after we finished Skyping, we all headed over to the North China Buffet to meet Al Hesselbart for dinner. With the addition of King Wha, we now have two favorite Chinese places here in Elkhart.

And now for another installment of . . .

Things Every RV’er should have:

You’ve probably all seen one of these, but may not have know what it’s for. It’s a AC Receptacle Tester, and should be used any time you plug your rig into a 20 or 30 amp AC receptacle.

AC Receptacle Tester

Of course if you plug it into 30 amp, you’ll need to use a 30 to 20 amp adapter like one of these.

30 to 20 amp adapter

But however you plug it in, it will tell you if your outlet is wired correctly and safe to use. Depending on the age of your rig, and how the outlet is wired or mis-wired, it can be dangerous to plug into an outlet that has the hot and neutral wires reversed. There can also be a similar problem if your outlet has a open ground.

Either of these conditions can possibly cause the metal in your rig to become hot and give you a shock if you touch it while grounded.

The tester is very simple to use. Just plug it in and check the 3 lights on the end.. If you have 2 yellow lights, you’re good to go. Any other pattern of lights indicates a problem. And the light code is printed on the side of the tester so It’s easy to know what’s going on.

If no lights are visible, then the outlet is dead. Used this way inside your rig, it makes it easy to find the popped GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) or circuit breaker controlling the dead outlet,

While we were workcamping in Fairbanks, AK in 2008, I used one to check the outlets in the park. I found 3 outlets that were wired incorrectly and repaired them.

You can get a tester from Amazon for less than $8.  AC Receptacle Tester

And you can also find them at your local hardware store.

If you don’ t have 30 to 20 Amp Adapter, you can get one from Amazon also.


Thought for the Day:

If you can’t take the heat, don’t tickle the dragon. ~ Caroline Schoeder



Our Time In Virginia

October 16, 2012

A Mini-C

The other day when we were visiting the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitors Center, we saw this little mini CruiseAmerica Class C. I didn’t realize they even made them this small.

Mini Cruise America

The one we rented back in 2007 for our first RV trip was a good bit bigger. And it was small enough to ensure that we wanted a 40ft coach.



Our Internet access has been slow here so I decided to put up my Wilson db Pro 65 Amplifier & Antenna system to see if it would help.

Wilson Outside Antenna

After getting it set up, it does seem to have sped things up.

Tomorrow I’ll spend some time trying to aim it toward a different cell tower. I think the one we’re connecting to is overloaded, thus slowing down our speed.

Hopefully I can speed things up even more tomorrow.

Around 2pm the park guy came by to tell us that the park water would be off this evening and tomorrow due to a pump problem, and that we needed to fill our fresh water tanks to get us by.

Low water pressure has been a continuing problem since we’ve been here. Hopefully this repair will help things.

Around 5pm we all headed out for dinner, along with Janis and Lenny Thomas, on our way to Dockside Grill for some more good seafood. However when we got there we found them closed on Tuesdays. So it was back to Hunan Chinese for some more great Chinese food.


Thought for the Day:

“If voting could actually change anything, it would be illegal.” – Noam Chomsky



Still Gate Guarding in East Texas

October 16, 2014

Nice, but Busy . . .

Very, Very, Busy.

Once the rain passed through the other day, we’ve had a string of very nice days, with more to come on the horizon. With temps in the mid-70’s to low 80’s, and low humidity, it makes ideal gate weather. And the nighttime temps in the 50’s still aren’t bad either.

But the gate traffic has been . . . well, let’s just say, HEAVY. But the end is in sight.

After a couple of days in the 320+ range, yesterday and today tapered off a little to around 290. But it looks like one frack job is finishing up, and they’ve already started to pull equipment out, so we should see a sharp drop-off in the next day or two. At least the sand trucks have stopped coming in for that frack. But the other frack has about another week to go, or so we’ve been told. We’ll see.

I was feeling a little under the weather this morning so no grocery run today, but I’m pretty sure I’ll go tomorrow. We’ve gotten so much delicious catered food from Ama’s that we haven’t used much of our own, so we don’t need a lot.

And according to our logs, Ama’s has been going to the frack that’s got a week to go, so hopefully our food drop-offs have a week to go also. We can only hope.

With the nicer weather, Mister is spending more time outside with me in the afternoons. Of course this is how he spends it.

Mister Asleep on the Gate

Not really great company, though.

We had another cattle stampede this afternoon. A herd of them came down the road, milled around for a while, and then headed along the berm beside the rig.

Gate Cows 1

Gate Cows 2

Then they headed back along the fence line and out of sight.


Thought for the Day:

Guns don’t kill people. Bullets kill people.

Guns just make them go really, really fast.



More Gate Guarding In East Texas

October 16, 2015

A Last Minute Change of Heart . . .

When I got up about 10:30 am, I found that ‘Billy’ Claus had delivered my packages from Amazon. So, resisting the temptation to open the box that contained my new Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ70 camera (easy to tell which one it was because it had a big ‘Lithium-Ion Battery’ warning label on it), I opened the one with my replacement Mighty Mule Driveway Alarm in it first. Then it was off down the road to get it installed.

It only took about 5 minutes to change out the sensor and the transmitter, but I just reused the mounting poles. Getting it all squared away, I came back to the rig and plugged in the new receiver and power supply. But then in hurry up and wait mode, it was almost 15 minutes before a vehicle came past that showed it was now working. Hopefully that’ll be it for a while.

Today being Friday, it was another Wal-Mart/Lunch day. Before I went in to sleep at 7am, Jan had said she wanted a Sonic Chili Cheese Coney and an order of Ched’R Peppers for lunch, but by the time I was ready to head into Carthage about 11:15, the call of the burger was just too strong, so it was off to Whataburger instead.

The Wal-Mart here in Carthage is one of those ‘mini’ SuperCenters, so it’s laid out kind of weird, but now that I’ve finally got the hang of the place I can get in and out pretty quickly now. So I was at Whataburger by a little after noon.

But this time, for the first time, they completely screwed up our order. Jan and I each order a #6 Double Meat Whataburger Jr. w/Cheese, and I add Bacon to mine. But what we got wasn’t that.

Jan got a big Whataburger (Sr.??), but a single meat, and with no cheese. I got my Whataburger Jr., but also a single with no cheese. So, a disappointment, but still delicious.

Later in the afternoon, I finally had a chance to open the new camera box. As I mentioned before, it’s a Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ70 like this.

Lumix DMC FZ70 camera

The first thing I did was to get the battery charging while I threaded the strap and the lens cap onto the camera. Then I perused the manual for a while, waiting to get enough charge on the battery to try it out.

And I found a lot of neat, new features, like a built-in Panorama function with a guide line to help you keep the camera level as you pan it. And I’m sure you’ve seen those ‘artsy’ shots where the subject is in sharp focus in front of a blurred background. Well without getting into a bunch technical stuff about aperture and depth of field, the FZ70 has a quick and simple way to do this on the fly. Neat.

One thing I hope they’ve improved is a better (easier) manual focus. Manual focus is usually needed when you’re trying to take picture of an animal behind cage bars or a chain link fence. The camera generally tries focus on the fence, and not on the animal. But with manual focus you can almost make the bars or fence fade out.

But the one on my old FZ28 was kind of clumsy to use. So hopefully this FZ70 will be better.

By now I had enough charge on the battery to check things out, so inserting my new 128GB memory card and the battery, I gave it a try. And I was VERY impressed.

The lens on here is really good, and the image stabilization is fantastic. I’ll have some shots in the next few days showing the difference between my old Lumix and my new one.

One thing I noticed was that the camera says that my 128GB card will hold 19,803 pictures. WOW! This is almost as many photos as we took in the entire seven years we had the FZ28 Lumix.

With that one we’ve taken 23,629 photos in that time, averaging a little more than 9 per day. Of course that’s more like 150 one day, and then none for the next week.

But it’s still a lot.

Jan had been taking a few pictures recently, some with the old camera, and some with the new one.

Here’s a sunset  she took with the old camera about a week ago.

Jan's Sunset on the Gate

And here’s a few she took with the new one this evening when some visitors passed by. The landowner had released some cows and donkeys out into our pasture area, and Jan got a few shots as they came by the canopy. One thing to note is that it was after 7pm when these were taken with the new camera.

Cow's on the Gate2

Cow's on the Gate

And a couple of donkey’s wandered by too.

Donkey's on the Gate

The landowner’s son said the gray one is almost 45 years old. He said they bought it when he was 15, and the donkey was 21 years old. Now Billy’s in his late 30’s, and the donkey’s still going strong, although he had lost all his teeth. He looks like he’s still eating pretty good, though.

I didn’t realize donkey’s could live that long, but Google says 30 to 50 years. Who knew.


Thought for the Day:

If you kill enough of them, they stop fighting. – General Curtis LeMay



Waiting For A New Gate

October 16, 2016

On Pins and Needles . . .

We’re still hoping to hear from the SiteWatch guy tomorrow morning, and I guess it’s possible that we could be on our way down to the Karnes City / Kenedy area tomorrow afternoon.

So I spent some time this afternoon looking over RV parks in that area in case we have move in a hurry,

Debbie Clark did post a photo of one of Gate Guard Services guard shacks (I didn’t even know that GGS had guard shacks)

GGS Guard Shack

Seems a little small. I really hope ours is a little larger. Someone  else who works for Guard 1 says theirs is 10 x 12. Now that’s more like it.

I wonder if we’ll get a flag too.

Speaking of possibly traveling tomorrow, Miss Karma has finally gotten used to traveling in the rig. This last trip over from Lake Conroe she spent a large part of the trip sleeping on the floor between Jan and I.

Much different than her first trip from Colorado River back over to Lake Conroe right after we adopted her back in February. Then she spent the entire trip hiding under the dining table, yowling most of the time.

About 4pm Jan and I headed into Columbus to have dinner at Los Cabos, a really good local Mexican place. Earlier in the afternoon, knowing he was ‘batching’ it this week, I walked over to Dick and Judy Mott’s to see if Dick wanted to go with us, but he was otherwise occupied, but we did spend a good while before I headed back home.

Jan got her favorite Fajita Beef Stuffed Avocado, with rice and a cup of tortilla soup.

Los Cabos Stuffed Avocado 2

For my part, I got the Beef Fajita Poblanos, a dish I haven’t had for a while, but always really enjoy.

Los Cabos Fajitas Poblanos2

And of course, Los Cabos more than meets my minimum Mexican restaurant requirements.

They’ve got to have good iced tea with no off-flavors or taste.

And they’ve got to have good chips and salsa.

If they cover these, I can forgive a lot.

 Thought for the Day:

“I like women. I don’t understand them, but I like them.” – Sean Connery



Down in Florida Visiting Friends

October 16, 2018

Starry, Starry Night . . .

About 1pm we headed out for Mt. Dora, FL, about 75 miles away. Jan wanted to check off another item on her bucket list.

Jan’s been wanting to see the Starry Night house, i.e. The Van Gogh house, there. (Hey, what can I say? She’s checked off so many things over the years, it’s getting to be a short list).

Starry Night House 1

Initially the owners painted just the wall in front of the house with a replica of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” to please and ‘soothe’ their 25 year old autistic son. The city of Mt. Dora immediately tried to force them to paint over the wall, fining them $100 a day until it was done.

Told that the wall had to match the rest of the house, the owner’s took them at their word . . .  and painted the rest of the house to match the wall.

At various times the city tried to label the house a ‘sign’ and then also ‘graffiti’. After winning a couple of initial court tussles, the Pacific Legal Foundation stepped in on the side of the owner’s, citing Free Speech rights, and the dominos started falling.

And by the time the last one ‘plopped’ the city was out almost $60,000 in legal fees, and paid the owner’s $15,000.

Oh, and also cancelled the $10,000 of $100 daily fees, too.

So now the house is all Van Gogh all the time.

Starry Night House 2

Starry Night House 3

Starry Night House 4

Jan and I, both Van Gogh fans, think it’s really neat.

I wonder how our RV would look painted like that?

After hitting a couple of antique mall/stores, where Jan added to her cloud of octopuses with a couple of new additions, it was on back over to Sanford where we had dinner at the Longhorn Steakhouse there.

I had the 12 oz. Ribeye, with Broccoli,

Longhorn Sanford Ribeye

while Jan had her fav New York Strip.

Tomorrow will be mostly a stay-at-home day.

Thought for the Day:

When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers. – Socrates



October 16, 2019

One More Time . . . Again

Because I lost two days finishing up my taxes, I’m behind in some client projects so you get a repost for one more night.

April 29, 2010

Oh WOW !!!!

We left the rig about 9:15 am heading out to see Yosemite National Park. As we got closer to Oakhurst, the 2nd town over, we started to see a lot of snow on the mountains that wasn’t there yesterday.

After stopping for gas in Oakhurst, we headed north about 5 miles and entered the Sierra National Forest, which borders Yosemite. Along the way we encountered more and more snow, which gave us some incredible views. Click to enlarge the pictures.

SnowDrive 2 SnowDrive 1

Another 10 miles later we entered Yosemite National Park at the Ranger Station. Because of the heavy snow last night (between 6 and 12 inches) we were told we that we needed either chains or a 4 wheel drive vehicle with snow tires to enter the Park.  We had the 4 wheel drive, but no snow tires, but lucky for us they didn’t really check, so we got in. As it turned out, the roads were pretty clear and we never needed it.

SnowDrive 4

SnowDrive 3

We did see several snow plows during our drive so I guess they did a good job. But the higher we climbed the more snow we saw. We finally topped out about 6500 feet, with snow covering everything but the road. And the views were spectacular.

SnowDrive 6

SnowDrive 5

SnowDrive 7

After a lot of hairpin turns we came to the area known as Tunnel View, which of course involves a tunnel.


Coming out of the tunnel there was a large viewing area looking out over the valley, including BridalVeil Fall. Yes, for some reason it’s called Fall, not Falls.


As we got closer, the Fall got more and more impressive.



We stopped at the Fall viewing area and walked up the 1000 foot trail to the base of the fall. With all the spray in the air, it was almost like it was raining.


SnowPeak 2

Then it was on to Yosemite Village, which is the turnaround point for the trip, with more great scenery along the way.


SnowPeak 3

As we got close to the Village, we saw the other big waterfall in the park, Yosemite Falls. Yes, this one is called Falls, not Fall. Don’t ask me why.

Yosemite Falls 2

Yosemite Falls 3

After buying some souvenirs at the Yosemite Store, we stopped and had a bad lunch at the Lodge. The best part was the cookie we had for dessert.

We also saw a lot of Sequoias in the Park. For some reason I always thought that Sequoias and Redwoods were the same tree, but they’re not. It turns out that Redwoods are only found in northern coastal California up near the Oregon border.


Coming home, we started seeing first rain, then sleet, and finally, sleet, hail,and snow, all mixed together.

We got home about 3:30 pm, glad to be back where it was warm and dry.

Thought For The Day:

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence,—it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant, and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” – George Washington??

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