Daily Archives: October 20, 2020

Drip, Drip, Drip . . .

But At Least The Brake Lights Work.

First up, I put in a call this morning to the Minnehaha County Auditor in Sioux Falls, SD this morning to arrange to have new Absentee Ballots sent out. The lady I talked to on the phone didn’t seem really surprised that we hadn’t yet received ours, and said new ballots would go out today.

So maybe we’re not the only ones that had a problem.

Next I was on the phone to Cummins to double-check the part number of the coolant filter for our rig’s 350 ISC diesel engine.

I guess that means I’m really confident that I’m going to get my oil leak fixed, since my next job will be to drain my old green antifreeze, flush out the system with distilled water, replace the coolant filter, and then refill with the newer red coolant.

And as I figured, the part number of the filter had changed, from WF2123 to WF2074. This also happened with my oil filter which went from LF3000 to LF9009. I guess things change in 21 years.

Going outside about 1pm, I dumped the oil out of the filter into a jug, and when I got under the rig and tried to install it, it went on with no problem in about 30 seconds.


So refilling the filter with oil, I tried it again, and once again it went right on with absolutely no problem.

Again, WTH!

Why did I have so much problem yesterday? I didn’t do anything different.

But, not to look a gift horse in the mouth, I hand-tightened the filter and then used my strap wrench to tighten it down another 3/4 turn.

So our high-idle 60 minute test run was next, but since it was about 2pm, I decided that we’d do lunch first, so after I cleaned up, we headed over to Dickinson to once again to eat at Dickinson Seafood.

We each had the Blacken Catfish and Shrimp with Grilled Veggies.

Dickinson Seafood Catfish 20201020

Delicious, and at only $8.59 on the lunch menu, a really great deal.

Back at the rig about 4pm, I was out underneath the rig on the phone with Jan while she cranked up the rig. I was very happy to hear that it only turn over for about a second before it caught and started idling.

I was underneath the rig in case something back went wrong and I could yell at Jan to shut it down. But a few drops of oil came down, it all seemed to be good.

So I then told Jan to hit the brakes to check the rear lights and they work perfectly. So that means that the lights don’t work unless the engine is running.]

Since things were looking good, I told Jan to bump it up to high-idle (about 1050 rpm) by pressing the speed control toggle switch. Then I sat outside to keep an eye on things.

And then checking underneath about 30 minutes later, I found a slow drip of oil, about 1 drop every 5 seconds or so, coming off the filter.

Not a lot, but there should be none.

So Thursday, I’ll pull the filter off and try to figure out what’s leaking and where.


Thought for the Day:

Government is greedy. Taxpayers who want their own money are not greedy.



October 20, 2010

Landon and the Big Monkey. . .

Brandi sent over some more Landon pics. Here he is trying his new sit-up chair.

Landon in Pink Chair 4

And here he is trying out his first Halloween jammies.

Landon in Halloween Jammies  4

Jan went out about 11 this morning to get a pedicure, and then we left the rig about 3:15 to head up to Pasadena to meet a friend at Office Depot. She’s been having trouble with a Toshiba laptop ever since she bought it in July, and she’s trying to get them it either fix it or replace it.

They keep saying it’s a malware problem, but I think it’s a hardware problem. We really didn’t get anything settled this time. We’ll have to check it out further.

Leaving Office Depot we drove back to Barbara’s house, and then she drove us over to Border Grill & Cantina on Spencer in Pasadena. It was our first time there, and it was so good that Jan ask during the meal if we could come back there for her birthday next week. I had the Chicken Tortilla Soup, and again, really good.

After dinner, we went back by Barbara’s to talk for a while. We finally headed home about 8:30 after having a great evening.

Since this is another short post day, I thought you might want to check out our last day visiting New York City last year.

Where’s the Big Monkey?

Originally posted on July 28, 2009

Jan and I spent our last day in New York visiting the Empire State Building, having lunch, cappuccino, and cheesecake at Junior’s in Times Square, and fulfilling a major item on Jan’s bucket list.

We caught the 8:45 am train into the city to Penn Station/Madison Square Garden and then walked the 3 long blocks (New York’s blocks in Manhattan are rectangles, not square. They’re about 1000 ft. x 250 ft.) over to the Empire State Building at 5th Ave. and 33rd St.

ESB from Penn Station

We got to the ESB about 10:30 am, hoping we were early enough to avoid the large crowds that can be there.  Apparently,  it can take as long as 3-4 hours to get in on some days,  but we lucked up.

ESB Lobby

It was easy to see the 1930’s Art Deco influence in everything from the murals to the floor. 

ESB Floor

After going thru security (just like the airport, except you can keep your shoes on)  we got on the first elevator about 11:00 am.

It takes two elevators to get to the 86th floor observation deck.  The first one takes you to the 80th floor and then another one takes you to the 86th.

ESB Queue LIne

It was easy to see that they were set up to handle really large crowds, so I’m glad we got there early.

The view from the 86th floor is amazing. There’s just a wire fence separating you from thin air.

ESB Observation Deck

All the New York landmarks were visible, like the Chrysler Building,

Chrysler Building

the Flatiron Building,

Flatiron Building

and Central Park.

Central Park

Looking down, it looks like toy buildings on the model railroad layout.

Toy Buildings

I then paid extra to take another elevator up to the 102th floor, but it was a disappointment.  It was small and completely enclosed. You also had to dodge the large metal beams that support the tower on top of the ESB.

102th Floor

Here’s Jan and I on top.

High Atop The ESB

We were out of the ESB by noon, so we made good time.  I tried to take a picture straight up from the street, but this is all you can see, due to the inset of the top floors of the building.

ESB From the Street

From here we took a cab over to 45th St and Times Square to have lunch at Junior’s ,  a place famous for their cheesecake in the Theater district since the  1950’s.  Their carrot cake cheesecake is probably the best pie or cake of any kind I have ever eaten.

Walking back over to Broadway, Jan got her picture taken with a world-famous New York celebrity, The Naked Cowboy.

Naked Cowboy 1

Naked Cowboy 2

Naked Cowboy 3

I think she was enjoying this entirely too much.  And why isn’t there a Naked Cowgirl, anyway?

And the Naked Cowboy is also running for Mayor of New York.

Naked Cowboy for Mayor

He has a bevy of beautiful blondes running around handing out campaign literature, but could I get my picture taken with them?  Nooooo!

A recent article says he makes between 3 and 4 hundred dollars an hour doing this and only works between 11 am and 2 pm each day.  There are pictures of him, dressed just like this, standing in 6 inches of snow.

I think I’d worry about frostbite myself.

We then sat on the lawn chairs on Broadway and watch the world go by for a while.

On Broadway

Looking up, we could see the New Year’s Eve ball resting at the bottom of the column for 2009.

Times Square Ball

It sure seems like the column is taller on TV.

About 3 pm we caught a cab back to Penn Station to start the journey back to Florida, NY where we’re parked.

It’s a two part train ride. First we catch a train from Penn Station to Secaucus Junction, in Secaucus, NJ.

Although not as big as Penn Station, Secaucus Junction is really a very beautiful station.

Secaucus Junction

Then we catch the 4:18 pm Port Jervis train out to Harriman, NY where we left our truck at the Park and Ride, finally getting home about 5:30 pm.

Not bad, but I’d hate to have to do it every day, like many people do.

Thought For The Day:

Liberty is not free. Never has been, never will be.

October 20, 2011

Pizza and Droids . . .

Got up early this morning, a little before 9. Last night we developed a leak in our slide coming out from underneath the sofa. Luckily it’s not hurting the floor since right now it’s still just plywood until I get the new flooring installed. See, sometimes procrastination pays off.

About noon I headed back over to the RV/MH Hall of Fame. I think I might as well put a cot over there and just stay. Every time I think I’m getting close to wrapping things up, they spring something new on me.

I got back to the rig a little after 5, so pretty quickly Jan and I headed over to Mancino’s Pizza for our weekly pizza fix. Love their garlic cheese breadsticks!

Then leaving Mancino’s we drove over to the Verizon Store. Both Jan and I are looking for new phones, so we thought we’d check things out. I really like the new Droid Charge and will probably get one before we leave Elkhart next week.

Then we walked next door to Martin’s to pick up a few things before we headed home.

On the weather front, it’s supposed to rain through tomorrow evening, then go down into the low 30’s tomorrow night before kind of clearing up to cloudy on Saturday. And then of course, more rain on Sunday. Don’t you just love it.


Thought for the Day:

Never Again! Except for the next time.



October 20, 2013

Nice Days, Cold Nights

or They’re Working On It.

The weather here has been really nice for the last several days, sunny with daytime times in the high 70’s/low 80’s, and nighttime temps in the low 60’s, although last night it got down to a nippy 47 degrees. And weather.com says those ranges should hold for the next week or so. Nice.

As of yesterday (Saturday) we have five weeks left here on the gate, and Jan’s just giddy. But not only because of that, but because this coming Tuesday is our 2nd (and last) day off the gate. Last time it was for our anniversary, but this time it’s a combined birthday celebration. Mine’s on the 5th and hers is the 25th, and right now we’re in that 20 day period when we’re the same age every year.

Last time we had steak at Magic Time Machine, but now we’re jonesin’ for some good Mexican, and our ‘go to’ place here in San Antonio is La Fonda on Main. Opened by two sisters in 1930, it has grown (moved across the street in 1934) to one of the best Mexican restaurants in San Antonio.

Here’s what their website says about their history.

It is fascinating to hear how popular La Fonda has been as a dining spot of history’s most celebrated people. Every famous officer in World War II seems to have eaten here, including Generals Eisenhower, MacArthur and Hill. Even American presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson enjoyed La Fonda’s fare. Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Yul Brenner, Veronica Lake, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, along with many other stars, visited this historic restaurant.

Between the history and the delicious food, it reminds us a lot of La Posta in Las Cruces, NM, and we’re really looking forward to it.

The other thing we’re looking forward to is seeing ‘Gravity’ in IMAX 3D. Like our last day off, we’ll see the movie first in the afternoon, then dinner, and then Wal-Mart, Sam’s, whatever, finishing off with coffee/cappuccino/scones on the way home (at a Pilot/Flying J, of course).

On the Halloween front, Brandi and Landon are in the thick of it. Landon had his Halloween party at his daycare, and this year he’s a Power Ranger.

Landon at Festival 2

Landon at Festival 3

Look at those muscles. Guess he’s been working out.

In past years he’s been a dragon and a giraffe.

Landon Dragon 3

Landon Trick or Treating

Brandi’s been doing pumpkin carvin’ thing and it came out really good, I think. She said it’s the first time she’s done one like this.

Brandi Pumpkin 1

Brandi Pumpkin 2

The other day I mentioned a problem solved (using vinegar to get the caliche crust off our glasses) and a problem found. But I forgot to say what the ‘problem found’ was.

Our PowerGear door step has stopped working. Well, it’s kind of working, I can hear the motor running, but the step doesn’t move. In fact you can push the step in and out by hand, so I guess the linkage has come loose. The strange thing is that it did it since we’ve been parked here on the gate. Seems like I remember a cotter pin on the linkage that may have broken off.

I know some people disable their step so it just stays out when they’re parked for a while, and I did this early on. But I found that after not being used for 2 or 3 months it didn’t want to work right anyway. You just can’t win.

I don’t think I’ll be able to look at it until we at least get back to the yard, and maybe not until we’re back in Houston. Because I had to use the levelers to compensate for the uneven ground here, the door side of the coach is really close to ground and there’s not much room to get under it.

Under the heading of “They’re working on it”, that I always say about problems with Verizon’s cell/data service. Because that’s what I’m always told when I complain to them. But this time it’s a good thing.

When we got here at the gate, we had two bars of 3G service, with about 500 Kbps data rate. Not great, but not bad, considering. Then about two weeks ago, the data signal would just be off all night. Nothing, and then it would come back on about 5am.

Made it real hard to get a blog posted. But then last week I noticed on my phone that I was getting a consistent 3 bars of signal and Speedtest.net says I now getting between 1.1 and 1.2 Mbps, more than double. YAY!

This is the same tower I was hitting last year on one our gates using our Wilson Cell Phone booster, from 19 miles away! When I first set it up, I was disappointed to only be getting 1X speed, but figured it was due to the distance. But a few days later I was driving right by the tower on the Interstate and discovered it really was only 1X.

Then about two weeks into our stay at that gate, suddenly it went to 3G. So I guess they really are ‘working on it” sometimes. Come on 4G!

On a final note, we apparently have a new neighbor in the area, a bobcat. One of truck drivers saw it loping along the shoulder of the highway (US281), passing in front of the gate. At first he thought it was a coyote, but with a better look he said it was a small bobcat. By small, he said it was smaller than Mister.

When Mister’s outside with us, he’s on a leash and we never leave him alone, but as the guy said the bobcat kills for a living, so we’ll have to be a little more cautious.


Thought for the Day:

A fool and his money are … standing in front of the Apple store.



October 20, 2014

The Operation Was a Success,

but the Patient’s Still Dead.

Today’s vehicle count was in the mid-180’s, almost identical to the previous two. But that will probably change in the next couple of days as our last remaining frack job is supposed to finish up.

And we’ve been told that we’ve got another couple of weeks to go with our drill rig here before they started fracking it immediately afterwards. Hopefully it will all work out where we can stay here until we head back to Houston toward the end of November. But you never know.

The operation mentioned above was on Jan’s Kindle Paperwhite. Last night she was starting up a Mahjong game she plays when the screen froze and it locked up. So she put it aside until I could look at it.

Now normally, when the Paperwhite locks up, you hold down the power button for 30 seconds and then it will reboot. But not this time. It stayed stuck on the Mahjong startup screen. A little Googling to me to try holding down the power button for 60 seconds, release it, and then press it again. Well this didn’t work either.

At this point I was supposed to call Amazon Tech Support, and since Jan’s Paperwhite was six weeks out of warranty, they would sell me a refurbished one at a slight ($10) discount off a new one. Bummer!

But another post mentioned taking the Kindle apart and removing the battery for a while, before putting it all back together. Several people said this worked for them. So never able to resist tearing into a piece of hardware, I had at it.

Disassembly instructions are on the Internet and it’s really pretty easy. First you insert a small screwdriver (I used one for eyeglasses) in the corner of the front bezel and carefully pry it up enough to get a spudger inserted. A spudger is a small flat piece of plastic or wood similar to a popsicle stick but thinner.

In this photo, the screwdriver is at the top and the white plastic spudger is at the bottom.

KIndle Repair 1

Then you run the spudger around the edge of the bezel, breaking the glue seal that holds it on. This is very similar to how you break the bead between a tire and the wheel when change a car tire. After carefully peeling off the bezel you have this

KIndle Repair 2

Next up, you remove the 11 screws holding the mainboard in the case. Again, I used a Phillips eyeglass screwdriver. After gently prying out the board, you are here.

Kindle Repair 3

When you turn the board over, you find the big blue battery held in by another 3 screws.

Kindle Repair 4

Removing those screws gets you here.

Kindle Repair 5

I left the battery out for about 30 minutes, and then put it all back together in the reverse order.

But when I tried the reset procedure again, it was still frozen with the Mahjong startup screen. Bummer again!

Well, I’ve still got several more things to try before I give up. I’ll let you know how it goes.


Thought for the Day:

From all the news reports it seems like one of the primary symptoms of Ebola is an irresistible urge to travel.



October 20, 2015

Why Did I Put It In There?

They just won’t quit. Over the last three days there have been over 300 attempts to hack into my blog, one every 10 or 15 minutes or so.

Give it up already.

Striking out looking inside for my soldering iron, I finally started going through the bins in the basement outside. And after checking out all the obvious ones, Tools, Electronics, etc., I finally found them, my primary one and my back up one, in the bin labeled Air Tools & Compressor Parts.

Why the hell did I put them in that bin?

This is my main soldering iron.

Weller Soldering Iron

A Weller Soldering Station with adjustable temperature control, the soldering iron itself can be unplugged from the station and plugged directly into the wall socket.

My back up one is this Radio Shack one that I got for $5 at a Store Closing Sale.

RS Soldering Station

Although it ‘s only dual heat, it’s better than nothing when you need one.

But even more importantly for the upcoming job of replacing the power jack on my laptop, I found my ziplock bag of solder wick.

Solder Wick

It’s used to remove the old solder out of the connections so I can get the bad jack out and leave the holes open so I can solder the new jack in.

But by the time I found all this it was too late to start on the laptop today, so that’s on the slate for tomorrow.

Taking advantage of the continuing lull, about 4:45pm we headed out for dinner once again, this time to track down the almost-mythical KJ’s Whistle Stop.

We had tried to find this place once before, back before our frack started, and discovered the restaurant had moved and apparently left no forwarding address. No, really.

Everything on the Internet, both address and phone number, all pointed only to their old address. And when I called 411 for their new number, they didn’t have one.


But our landowner here at the frack told us where it was really located, and said it was his favorite local place. But when we finally tried it a few days later, it was a Saturday. And as it turned out, they’re closed on Saturday and Sunday.


But tonight we thought we’d try again. And it turned out to be a good choice.

We’d heard about their Friday night Seafood Buffet, and their lunch buffet, but we didn’t know that they had regular dinner buffet. So that’s what we had.

After a nice salad bar, we had Chicken Fried Steak, Chicken Spaghetti, Baked Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Field Peas, Corn, Green Beans, Rolls, and Hotwater Cornbread. All delicious.

Our landowner has good taste.

I had heard of Hotwater Cornbread before, but had never actually had it until the night we stayed in Henderson before we started on the gate the next morning back in August.

Hotwater Cornbread

We really liked it then, so we were happy to find it here tonight. The texture reminds me of a cornbread stick, with a slightly tough skin, and a moist center. Again, really good.

Coming back, although we’d locked the gate when we left, it was open when we came back. I told Jan I guess the guy who came through had never lived on a farm, because the rule is that if you pass through a closed (or locked) gate, you leave it closed (or locked) behind you, and if it’s open, you leave it open.

Whoever it was, opened the same lock we used, so it was probably one of the frack water guys since they had a key too.

Before we parked, I went down to check out the new Mighty Mule Alarm that I replaced last week. I noticed yesterday that it had stopped working, so I wanted to check it out. What I found was that someone had driven so far off the road that they’d run over the cord that runs from the sensor at the edge of the road over to the transmitter. This was enough to pull the USB connector out of the bottom of the transmitter. So plugging it back in, I reburied the cable and sensor, hoping the trucks would do a better job of staying on the road from now on.

But this is the second time this has happened, so I wouldn’t count on it.


Thought for the Day:

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


Down in Kenedy Texas to Gate Guard

October 20, 2016

The Best Burgers . . .

After our coffee this morning, we met Todd, the local Sitewatch rep, at the nearby McDonald’s at 11am to go over the job and the requirements. It was also kind of a ‘get to know each together’ for all of us. After about 90 minutes, we parted ways, taking our employment packets with us.

Our first stop was a nearby carwash to try and get some of the mud off the truck. It was a so-so job and got about 90% of it off, but I’ll probably need to redo it with my pressure washer to finish up.

Todd had recommended RJ’s Burgers in downtown Kenedy. It’s often said that the best burgers are found in dumpy-looking places.

For example, here is Stomp’s down in Kemah, TX, with our favorite burgers in the Clear Lake area.

Stomps 5

And then there’s Coyote Bluff in Amarillo, also at the top of our Best Burgers List.

Coyote Bluff

And now there’s a new entry on our list – RJ’s Burgers in Kenedy, TX.

RJ's Burgers

Here’s Jan’s Cheddar Mushroom Burger.

RJ's Jan's Burger

These are large burgers on 5” buns, with hand-formed 8 oz burgers and hand-cut fries. And the scary part is that according to their menu, you can get this as a double, or even a TRIPLE!  That’s a pound and a half of burger meat. WOW!

You’re getting into Heart Attack Grill territory with that one.

I got the Grilled Ribeye Sandwich, with an 8 oz Ribeye, charred around the edges and medium-rare inside. And like the fries, their onion rings are hand-sliced and battered.

RJ's Greg's Ribeye

And for a small place, they’ve got a pretty extensive menu.

RJ's Menu

If there’s a down side to the place, it’s that they’re only open from 10am to 3pm, Monday through Friday. Bummer!

Finishing up we headed over to the Karnes County Courthouse in Karnes City to get our DBA from the County Clerk’s office. But as it turns out, the courthouse is shut down for a complete rebuilding / remodeling and the courthouse offices are scattered all over town. We had to make 4 stops to complete the paperwork.

Finally finishing up and heading toward home, we took a detour out on FM-2102 to check out the location of the Marathon Oil Company facility in this area.

We have to take their Orientation class tomorrow, or wait until next Friday when it’s given again. Everyone has to take the class now before you can work at a Marathon site, another thing that’s changes since we last worked for them in 2012.

Getting back to the rig, I spent the rest of the evening fighting my way through the online Security Guard license stuff. Looks like we won’t have to redo the fingerprints again, so that’s good. I mean, it’s not liked they’ve changed or anything.

Tomorrow we’ll try to wrap the bank account stuff before we do the Marathon class.

Then it’s just wait and see.

Thought for the Day:

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have one idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas. – George B. Shaw



October 20, 2017

Moving On Down . . .

I decided not to make the Clear Lake trip this morning for a couple of reasons. One, I just didn’t feel like it. And two, we were going to meet up with some friends at the Fish Pond Restaurant about 4, which would have meant that I would have had head back toward Conroe by 2pm, not leaving me a lot of time down there anyway.

And now it looks like I won’t have to worry about the long trips much longer, since, at the recommendation of some friends, we found an opening at the Petticoat Junction RV Park down in the Santa Fe area, and we’ll be moving down that way this coming Thursday.

This means that I will only have a 15 mile drive to work instead of a 70 mile one. Very Nice!

And a lot less wear and tear on the truck. It already has 266K+ miles on it, and another 83,000 miles being drug around the RV.

By the time 3pm rolled around, Jan decided she just didn’t feel like getting out and about, so I contacted Debi Hurlburt to let her know we weren’t going to make it.

Then about 5pm I drove over to Raising Cane’s in Conroe to pick up some dinner. We each got the 6 piece Caniac Combo, which will give us two meals each. Really good.

A number of you commented that you took advantage of the La Crosse Technology Weather Station sale I mentioned yesterday. Glad it worked out for you.

The Word of the Day is:  Perlocutionary

Thought for the Day:

“Individuality is fine as long as we all do it together.” – Frank Burns, Maj., 4077th MASH , aka Ferret Face



October 20, 2018

Hauling Shell . . .

With only 188 miles to go this morning, we pulled out of our site at the crack of 10am, heading for the Riverside RV Park in Robertsdale, AL.

Much better than yesterday’s 7:27am sunrise, let me tell you.

I had planned to get diesel at the park’s Marathon station like I did last time, but the place was a madhouse, with trucks parked every which way. At the pumps, in front of the pumps, on the shoulder, etc. And when I did find a pump that looked like I could get in and out of, it was bagged for diesel. But as it turned out, that saved me over $37.

Driving along, we quickly realized that the downed trees we saw yesterday was just a start. It was obvious that we were coming into the worst-hit areas, with solid lines of trees down along the roadsides for miles.

Hurricane MichaelTrees 1

Hurricane MichaelTrees 2

Then you’d come over a hill and there would be a whole forest of what looked like bare telephone poles. But a closer look showed acres of pine trees with the tops and the limbs just gone.

The first three Rest Areas we passed were closed due to the hurricane, but when we did stop and I did a walk-around, I found this sticking out from the passenger side of our rig.

Hurricane Michael Rig Limb

Don’t know how it got there, and don’t remember hitting or running over anything. It was just kind of wedged in between the bay doors with no damage.

Coming up on the Crestview, FL exit, I saw the sign for a BP station that said it had RV access so we turned off. We got 93 gallons at $3.19 vs. the $3.59 at the Marathon this morning, So a $37 savings.

Our Silverleaf Computer Display said we had 58 gallons left on our 150 gallon tank. So 58 gallons + 93 gallons gives us 151 gallons. A 1 gallon difference, so close enough.

Since this system actually counts the fuel injector pulses, it really is that accurate. Thus our MPG readings are also very accurate.

Since we gained an hour getting back into the Central Time Zone, we pulled into the Riverside RV Park a little before 1pm. Since we were given our site number when I called in yesterday, we went straight to our pull-thru and got set up.

Later in the afternoon, we drove over to Big Daddy’s Grill on the Fish River to have an early dinner.

Not having anything else today except coffee, we were hungry, so we started off with an order of their Fried Okra. Really good and crispy.

Big Daddy's Grill Fried Okra

I also had a cup of the Seafood Gumbo,

Big Daddy's Gumbo

then we both got the Shrimp & Oyster Basket with Sweet Potato Fries, with Jan’s shrimp grilled and mine blackened. The oysters were just huge.

Big Daddy's Grill Blackened Shrimp and Oysters

Just as delicious as last time, and well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

Catching up on a few things.

When stopped off at a Shell station to get gas this past Thursday, I saw this Gopher Tortoise hauling shell across the large parking area near the pumps.

Turtle 1

Since he had a long way to go and a two lane road to cross in the direction he was heading, I decided to help him out. Though he was moving along at a pretty good clip, he tucked in as soon as I got near and froze.

Turtle 2

When I picked him up I was kind of surprised how heavy he was, probably around 15#. I hadn’t walked more than a few steps before his head and feet came out and he started ‘dog-paddling’ in the air, I guess trying to help me out.

Turtle 3

I carried him across the parking lot and then across the road, putting him down in the tall grass over there. Without a thank you, or even a look back, he immediately headed out, aiming toward the trees in the background. Hope he stays off the roads now.

While we we passing through Titusville the other day, we turned into the Titusville High School parking lot.

Titusville High School 1

Titusville High School 2

Jan never went here since she had already graduated in Massachusetts before her father retired to Florida, but both of her sisters went here.

Although the place looked really nice, I was wondering if it was still in use, since it was a  weekday and the parking lot was mostly empty. But when we ask someone, she said it was an ‘in-service’ day, so just the teachers were there.

Thought for the Day:

The fact that jellyfish have survived for 650 million years without brains should be great news for some people.



October 20, 2019

Sometimes You Just Need To Get A Bigger Hammer . . .

And Hit It Harder!

Last week when we were at WalMart I bought a bigger hammer, at least a bigger, better rubber hammer. I was determined that I was going to get the oil filter adapter off, even if I had to break it off.

WalMart Rubber Hammer

This one has a harder black end and slightly softer white side. As heavy as this thing is, I’m pretty sure it has a weighted head inside

Previously when I was beating on it, I was using a lighter, solid plastic one like this,

Solid Plastic Hammer

except mine is white. I think it was originally supposed to be used to hammer tent stakes into the ground. But I’ve always used it to just beat on things.

So I got under the rig about 2pm and whaled away at the bottom of the old filter with the soft side. When, after about a dozen whacks, nothing budged, I switched to the harder side. And after another dozen or so smacks, I heard a pop and the filter base seemed to move a little.

So the next time I really slammed into it. Luckily I had enough foresight to move out from under the filter because with the last hit the filter/adapter combo fell to the ground right next to my head.

Oil Adapter Off Rig

But even if it had hit me in the head, I still would have been happy. The damn thing was finally OFF!

And even better, the gasket came off on the adapter piece so it will be easier to clean off the filter base still on the rig. Looks like a good scrubbing with a brass brush should take care of that.

Oil Filter Adapter Base on Rig

Plus the gasket itself is dry, cooked and flakey, making me more confident that this is what the problem is.

I’m going to call Cummins tomorrow to see if/what they recommend using as a sealer on the gasket.

So now it looks like I know what I’m going to be doing on Thursday.

After cleaning up, Jan and I headed out about 3:30 to have dinner at our local favorite, Los Ramirez Mexican. And as usual, we both got our usuals.

Jan’s was the Pechuga Rellana, with a large Grilled Chicken Breast covered in Cheese, and resting on a bed of Grilled Shrimp and Broccoli along with a side of Avocado.

Los Ramirez Pechuga Rellana 5

She also gets the Guacamole that comes with my Beef Fajita Taco Salad.

Los Ramirez Beef Fajita Taco Salad 4

The prices on all this is really amazing, with Jan’s only $7.99 and mine only $5.59. And it’s just full of Beef. Great!

Then after a stop at HEB and the Post Office we got home about 5:30, with a lot accomplished.

Thought For The Day:

“Absolute power does not corrupt absolutely. Absolute power attracts the corruptible.” — Frank Herbert

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