Daily Archives: October 21, 2020

If You Think You’re Tired Of Reading . . .

about the Trials & Tribulations on our rig’s Oil Leak Repair, think how it looks from my side of the equation.

When I come up against a stubborn problem, my first inclination is to out-stubborn it. Sometimes to my detriment.

But “It’s in my nature”, as the scorpion said to the frog, while they both were drowning.

Tomorrow I’m going to drop the filter again and see what I can see. Yesterday I could see that the oil drip was running down the side of the filter, pooling on the bottom, and then dripping down from there.

Then what I will probably do is to loosen the 4 oil adapter head bolts and then retorque them down a little tighter, maybe up to 25#.

And then another high-idle test.

Finally, on the China Virus front:

Two new peer-reviewed studies are showing a sharp drop in mortality among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The drop is seen in all groups, including older patients and those with underlying conditions, suggesting that physicians are getting better at helping patients survive their illness.

And then this:

A range of common household items – including mouthwash, nasal rinses, and even diluted baby shampoo – have been found to inactivate a form of human coronavirus in new research, highlighting another potential avenue to reduce transmission rates amid the ongoing COVID–19 pandemic.

Finishing up:

Dr. Deborah Birx, Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, also known as the ‘Scarf Queen’ for her many colorful scarves, said back in March 2020, the projections by Dr. Anthony Fauci that U.S. deaths could range from 1.6 million to 2.2 million is a worst case scenario if the country did “nothing” to contain the outbreak, but said even “if we do things almost perfectly,” she still predicts up to 200,000 U.S. deaths.

Sounds like she was right on target.

Thought For The Day:

I’d rather be anecdotally alive than scientifically dead.



Still Up In Elkhart

October 21, 2009

Yellow Trees and Red Bushes…

Today was another road trip day.

Once again we headed up into Michigan, or really Michiana, as it’s called around here.

We headed off in a different direction than last time, toward Niles, MI.  We were looking for a place to have breakfast / lunch and then take a drive through the country, checking out the fall foliage.

Coming in to Niles, we saw the Blueberry Hill House of Pancakes and decided to stop. It’s a breakfast and lunch only type of place and was really good.

Jan had the blueberry pancakes, and I had something I’ve never had before, a Hawaiian Omelet.  It had pineapple, bananas, and pecans drizzled with honey inside, and topped with strawberry topping.  And, strange as it sounds, it was really good.

After breakfast, we came across a Tractor Supply Store and stopped in.  Jan was looking for a magazine that she only finds there, and I needed to restock on some glues that had leaked and I had thrown away.

Leaving there, we headed out into the countryside and saw some great foliage displays with red, orange, and yellow trees…

Tree 1

Tree 2

Tree 3

Tree 4

Tree 5

Tree 6

Tree 7

And these beautiful red bushes.

RedBush 1 RedBush 2 RedBush 3

Coming back home, I did some outside cleaning and repair work, while Jan sat out and keep an eye on Mister as he wandered around, checking out the park.

Thought For The Day:

Common sense is not a gift. It’s a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn’t have it.



Still More Up In Elkhart

October 21, 2011

Doves and Deeres . . .

Well it looks like the doves have come back with the olive branch and the sun is trying to peek through the clouds. It’s actually supposed to be pretty nice until Tuesday. Hopefully things will be able to dry out by them.

After the usual coffee and lunch I headed over once again to the RV/MH Hall of Fame. I’m hoping to finish up tomorrow, or Monday at the latest. But then I’ve said that before.

Brandi, Lowell, and Landon are visiting Lowell’s parents in Oklahoma, and they sent us these photos.

Here’s Landon and his daddy.

Landon and Daddy


And Landon with his other Grannie and Papa.

Landon with Grannie and Papa


And here’s Landon showing off his John Deere cowboy boots.

Landon with his John Deere Boots

Landon with his John Deere Boots2

And now for another installment of . . .

Things Every RV’er should have:

Today’s topic is Aerospace 303 Protectant. As I mentioned above, our friends, Dave and Jean Damon, are vendors for 303, and they turned me on to this stuff a couple of years ago. It’s been used in the aircraft and marine industry for years, but has only recently become widely known in the RV world.

303 is a UV protectant for any type of canvas, rubber, vinyl, latex, leather, fiberglass, or Neoprene. It is especially good on tires to help prevent the cracking and deterioration that shortens the life of your RV tires.

And applied to your awnings, it will increase their life and water repellency, while greatly reducing the fading.

If you can’t catch up with Dave and Jean at a rally, you can get it here on Amazon for Aerospace 303.

Thought for the Day:

“If this be Treason, then make the most of it.” – Patrick Henry, May 1765



October 21, 2014

Sometimes you shake the Jell-O,

And sometimes the Jell-O shakes you.

As of 6pm this afternoon we are off our gate and parked in the Gate Guard Services yard near Buffalo, TX.

Chelsie, our Gate Guard Services sales rep, showed about noon today with some new clothes for us. We had been expecting her to show up with our new GGS shirts that we would be wearing along with the new work pants we recently brought. But what we got was something completely different.

As it turns out, MD America, the oil company we were working for, has decided that all workers must wear the complete FRC outfit, including coveralls, steel-toed boots, and hard hats.

Including us.

And not just us, who work right across the road from the rig, but the gate guards up the road from us, almost a mile away, also have to wear the outfit.

These coveralls were heavily padded, and zipped all the way up to your neck. It was actually kind of hard to walk in them, and good luck getting them off enough to go to the bathroom back in the rig in the minute or so you have between vehicles coming it. And if it had been 100° in July, rather than October, you’d be looking at heat stroke.

So at about 1:30pm I called Jamie and told him this wouldn’t work for us. He said he understood, and there was a couple here at the yard that would take over for us. So Jan and I started tearing down, And about 4:30, after briefing the new guards, Jan and I headed out for Buffalo, TX, about 55 miles away. By 6pm we were parked, hooked up, and settled in.

After the busy afternoon, we were too tired to go anywhere for dinner, so we had one of Frack Food meals, Chicken and Beef Fajitas. Very good, especially considering there’s no more where that came from.

Tomorrow we’ll probably do our shopping trip that we had planned for this Saturday, just a few days early. It’s about the same distance to Waco or Bryan/College Station, so I imagine we’ll go back to B/CS since we kind of know the place.

But that remains to be seen.

You know, Jell-O, and all that.


Thought for the Day:

“I wondered why the baseball was getting bigger, then it hit me.”

Still Gate Guarding in East Texas Near Carthage

October 21, 2015

In For The Long Haul . . .

Jan talked to one of the Company Men this morning, and right now it looks like we’ll be here until our optimum leave date of November 22nd. Rather than the workover rig up next as we’d been told before, flowback is coming in the next day or so, with the workover scheduled for a couple of weeks from now.

And we’re back on the gate starting tomorrow morning at 7am, so our brief respite is officially over. But in one last gasp of fun, we decided on another dinner out tonight.

After our morning coffee I started in on replacing the charger port on my ASUS laptop. As I figured it took me a little over an hour to get down to the base circuit board where the port was located.

Next up was to get the old port unsoldered from the board, and that proved to be much easier said than done.

The tip of my soldering iron is only 1/32” in width, but I still had trouble getting the tip and the solder wick in between the port and the parts on either side. I finally ended up using a pair of sharp cutter to clip the legs off so I could get the port case out of the way and get to the circuit board traces to clean off the old solder.

This should have been easy, but it seems they used some sort of high-temp solder on this board because my 100 watt iron had a hard time melting the solder joints to clean out the holes. My iron had no problem melting the rosin core solder I was using, so I know it was working OK.

By melting my solder on top of the circuit board joints, I was able to gradually dilute the high-temp stuff and get it off and the holes cleaned out so I could mount the new port. But because I had to take my time with this so I didn’t overheat the board, it took me several hours to finish this up.

By now it was getting close to dinner time, and finding I didn’t have rubbing alcohol to clean the sticky rosin gunk off the board, I put it aside until after supper.

And as far as dinner, where else but the Longhorn Grill for another great steak. And afterwards we were going to split a piece of their delicious Strawberry Cheesecake, but apparently it was so delicious that they were sold out. So instead we split an order of their Hot Peach Cobbler with Ice Cream. Also very good.

Coming home we made a quick stop at the HEB for a few things, including rubbing alcohol. Back at the rig I got back on the laptop project, cleaning off the rosin with the alcohol and preparing the board for the new part. Then the real problem started.

Although the Amazon listing said this port was OEM for the X53E (and several other similar models), it did not fit my board. The lead spacing was slightly wrong, and the leads themselves were too big for the holes in the board.

So for right now, I’m stuck with my laptop in pieces until I can come up with a solution. I could try another Amazon listing from a different vendor, or I might be able to come up with a kluge using pieces of wire to make new legs, or maybe using sharp cutters to trim the leads down to fit the circuit board holes

But I’ll have to think on it overnight.

Thought for the Day:

Knowledge is knowing how, Wisdom is knowing when.



Getting Ready To Gate Guard Down in Kenedy, TX

October 21, 2016

Sunday Night?

After coffee and our Buc-ee’s Cranberry Nut muffins from our Wednesday trip down here, we were out the door to the Karnes County National Bank to get our business checking account under our DBA name.

Our first stop was the branch (1 of 2) here in Kenedy, but we found that the one person who could open this type of account had left for an early lunch. So we were off to the remaining branch over in Karnes City.

With this lost time we were starting to worry about being done before we needed to be at the Marathon Orientation Class about 10 miles away. But when we finally finished up al the paperwork almost two hours later, we made it to the class with 15 minutes to spare.

This was good because they lock the doors right at 1pm and won’t let anyone end. Then we’d have to wait until next Friday.

The class last for about two hours, and was actually pretty entertaining due to the skill of the instructors. Todd had told us to text him when we were done, and when we did, he said to meet him at the same McDonald’s where we met yesterday. Lucky for us it was only about 5 minutes away.

Todd was already waiting for us, and we quickly got right down to business. We went over all our paperwork, double-checking everything we’d done so far, and listing what we still needed to do. And now we have two new events on our calendar

We’re supposed to meet Todd and his wife Tam at a gate Tam is working just north of Kenedy on the way to Karnes City. We’ll spend a couple of hours going over the operation of the gate, working with the iPad and logging in some vehicles.

We’ll also get to check out the guard shack and how it operates, which Jan is really looking forward to.

And even better, we have our first gate scheduled. It’s a new gate, and Jan and I will work the 6pm to 6am shift together, and then we’ll where we go from there.

Jan and I both think this is kind of a test gate by Todd to see how we’ll do, and if we’ll even show up. He’s been burned a lot of times, including today. For example he was supposed to have about 8 potential guards at the class today, but it was only us and one other lady. And she didn’t text him after the class like she was supposed to do.

It’s easy to see that Todd doesn’t like people who can’t following directions.

Since this might be our last chance for a night out in San Antonio, Jan and I headed back to the rig so could feed Miss Karma, and then headed into town to have dinner at one of our favorites, La Fonda on Main

We’ve eaten here a number of times and it’s one of 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.

Today to celebrate, we started out with a Margarita, or half a Margarita, anyway. We split a Sangria Swirl ‘Rita, and unlike the one we had recently at Saltgrass, this one actually had some alcohol in it. Very good.

La Fonda Sangria Swirl Margarita

Jan’s favorite dish here is their Chile Relleno platter.

La Fonda Chile Relleno 2

The egg-battered poblano chile is stuffed with beef tenderloin, salsa and pecans, and an Enchilada Verde de Queso.

I tried something completely different this time with their Filete Regio, which is an Allen Bros. Oak-grilled choice beef tenderloin, papas rancheras, Oaxaca cheese, on a crisp chalupa, topped with Ajillo Gulf shrimp, peppers, and avocado slices.

La Fonda Filete Regio

Very spicy and very good.

Both our portions were big enough that we were able to bring half of it home for later, and that also gave us enough room to split a piece of their delicious Tres Leches cake.

La Fonda Tres Leches

Really good.

Looks like it’s back to work in the next couple of days. We’re actually looking forward to it.

Thought for the Day:

“The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly 
surprised.” — George Will



Still Up In Conroe north of Houston For a Few More Days

October 21, 2017

Running and Spiffing . . .

Although still not quite up to snuff, Jan was getting rig fever, so about 5pm she and I headed out to have dinner at Jason’s Deli right down in Conroe.

Jan just wanted soup and sandwich, in this case a cup of Broccoli Cheese and a quarter Turkey Muffuletta.

Jason's Deli Jan

I got my usual, a bowl of Southwest Chicken Chili and a small Reuben sandwich.

Jason's Deli Greg

For a non-beef chili, this one is pretty much the best.

Coming home I stopped off at the Kroger’s for a Powerball lottery ticket. It’s up to $173 million, so I’ll spend a few bucks. I don’t smoke or drink, so I’ve got to waste my money on something. And there’s not a chance that smoking or drinking will make me a millionaire.

Unfortunately I always have to stand in line at the service desk because the machines don’t offer you a choice of cash payout or annual payments, just cash payout.

So if I want annual payments, and I do, I have to get it at the desk. And the reason I want annual payments is that with cash payout I’m giving up $64 million. That’s the difference between the annual payment total of $173 million and the cash payout of $109 million.

And it gets worse as the jackpot rises. In January 2016 there was a Powerball Jackpot of $1.6 BILLION. If you took the cash payout you would only get about $1 billion, giving up 600 million just to get the cash up front.

In the case of tonight’s jackpot, if you won in Texas (no state income tax) and took the 30 annual payments, you would get almost $3.5 million a year after taxes.

While if you took the cash, you would get a one time payout of a little over $65 million after taxes. Now honestly, what can I really do with $65 million that I can’t do with the $3.5 million. Yeah, I could invest it, but then I’d have to worry about it. And more than likely I’d be investing a large part of the 3.5 anyway. I mean, what can I actually spend it on, anyway. Jan and I’ve already said we wouldn’t get a new rig, but just get Beauty a new paint job and spiff her up a bit. Including those new blue window awnings.

On the Mega-Millions front, it looks like they’re finally increasing the cost of a ticket to $2 to keep up with Powerball’s pot sizes. Powerball went to $2 in Oct. 2015 which, along with decreasing the odds of winning, greatly increased pot sizes, leading to the $1.6 billion one I mentioned earlier.

As I always say, “Let’s run the numbers”.

The Word of the Day is:  Kafkaesque

Thought for the Day:

“Political Correctness is Tyranny .. with manners.” – Charlton Heston



On Our Way Back From Florida

October 21, 2018

Not Much Happened Today . . .

So Not Much Blog.

I had a headache a good part of the day so a short blog tonight.

We left the Riverside RV Park in Robertsdale, AL about 10am, and except for some unusually heavy Sunday traffic through Baton Rouge, it was smooth sailing all the way.

And not only was it smooth, it was also cool …almost cold, actually. The temps just barely made it into the 70’s, and we never even turn on the dash fans. In fact we hadn’t been on the road very long when Jan went back to get a long sleeve shirt.

We got in to Poche’s RV Park here in Breaux Bridge about 2:30, and parked in our usual pull-thru site.

Later we had dinner at Crazy ‘Bout Crawfish and then made a WalMart stop.

Tomorrow we’ve got a 245 mile run back to our site at the Petticoat Junction RV Park in Santa Fe, TX.

Looking forward to getting home.

Thought for the Day:

Why be difficult, when with just a little more work, you can be impossible.



Home in Santa Fe, TX

October 21, 2019

Extra Perks . . .

This weekend we booked our 13 day Alaskan cruise for next September 1 – 13. I also separately booked our 7 day pre-cruise stay that Best Western – Pioneer Park for about half of what we would have paid if we had stayed at the Holland America Westmark Hotel. In fact, what we saved between the two hotels was enough to cover our airfare up and back.

Normally I probably wouldn’t booked this early, 10 months out, but the cruise on our same ship, right before ours, is already completely sold out. So we didn’t want to lose out. Plus by booking this early we get a bunch of extra perks like $600 ship credit that can be used for extra excursions, gift shop, etc.

We’re still looking at our air flights, trying to figure out the best deals. Kind of surprised that HL doesn’t have something in place, but apparently not.

When we did our Alaskan cruise in 1998, our first night in Alaska, we stayed at the Alyeska Resort down in Girdwood about 30 miles from Anchorage.

Alyeska Resort

Early in the morning we took the ski lift up to the top of the mountain to check it out, and also make reservations for the 4 Star restaurant at the top. It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day, and the workers were putting out tables, chairs, and umbrellas for the guests.

I guess no one thought to check the weather, since when we came back up about 6 hours later, it looked like this.

Alyeska Hilltop

And this was the middle of May.

Thought For The Day:

Your secrets are safe with me. I’m usually not listening.




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