Daily Archives: October 30, 2020

Counting Down . . .

A couple of weeks ago I posted this article from the CDC.

A recent CDC study was released under the radar that questions how effective masks really are in preventing China Virus infections.

Buried in the text is the following information.

The study shows that 70.6 percent of symptomatic COVID-19 sufferers reported that they “always” wore a mask, but were infected anyway. An additional 14.4 percent of COVID+ respondents stated that they wore the face mask often” but it did not protect them from catching the China Virus.

So 85% of people infected with the China Virus wore a mask all of the time, or most of the time. Which is reflected in these recent worldwide and US charts.

First on an individual country basis:

Italy Masks

Or the EU as a whole.

EU Masks


Or US states.

Texas V Georgia Masks


Masks Don't Work Hawaii


Or even individual US counties.

LA County Mask Cases

So why don’t masks seem to do anything? Or even seem to make things worse?

Well, are you washing and sterilizing that cloth mask EVERY single day?

Are you changing out that cloth mask, or discarding that paper mask every time you touch it or adjust it with your hands?

Or maybe this is the problem, as I posted the other day.

Virus Suits




Where Our ‘Beauty’ Was Born

October 30, 2009

It’s a Duesy!

Today was an early day…a VERY early day.

We got up at 5:30 AM and left the rig in our toad about 6 am on a 130 mile trip south to Decatur, IN.  We wanted to be there by 9 am to take the American Coach factory tour at their plant.  We left early because the weather was pretty bad, with a lot of rain and wind. With all the wind, I was glad we weren’t in the rig.

But before we hit the Interstate, we stopped off at McDonalds for a quick breakfast sandwich.

We got to the American Coach plant in Decatur about 8:45 am, right on time.

We were really surprised to see how full the parking lot was, considering the condition of the RV industry.

American Coach Factory

After filling out a form, a gentleman named Tom came by to be our tour guide.  Unfortunately we were not able to take pictures inside the facility, but it’s really amazing how the RV’s are put together.

In this case American Coach starts out with a pre-built chassis/engine combination from Spartan Chassis that looks like this.

Spartan Chassis

These are complete ready to run units just waiting for an RV to be built on top of them.

The floor and the walls are built up from welded aluminum tubing that form a single unit. Then the carpet / tile / wood flooring is added and the cabinets / furniture are installed. Finally, the roof is put on and the rig is moved into the paint area to be painted and striped.

It takes about a week from start to finish to build a rig and roll it out the door.  They are presently building about 30 rigs a week, around 1500 a year, and at this point business is increasing by about 5 more rigs a month.  Good news for the RV industry.

Our tour took a little over an hour, and after it was over, we drove over to American Coach Service to buy some parts for my coach.

Leaving there, we headed about 30 mile south back to Celina, OH where we were a month ago.  We wanted to eat lunch at  La Carreta, a Mexican restaurant that we really enjoyed while we were there.

After lunch we started back toward Elkhart, stopping in Auburn, IN to visit the Auburn – Cord – Duesenberg Museum.

Founded in 1874, the Eckhart Carriage Company was a successful manufacturer of horse-drawn carriages. Frank Eckhart had not only the foresight but also the engineering ability to steer the buggy company into the “Age of the Automobile.” His Auburn Automobile Company prospered, particularly after E.L. Cord was brought in to run the business. Cord was both inventive and astute, and in 1929 created his own company, which, among other things, bought out the Duesenberg Automobile Co.

Despite the enthusiastic public response, sales were disappointing. The estimated production figure of 500 cars per year was never matched and eventually only 481 Model Js were constructed. Being extremely expensive, the Model J was popular with the rich and famous. Among the owners were many greats from the showbiz industry like Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, James Cagney and Greta Garbo. Various kings and queens were Model J owners as well. Part of the Duesenberg legend is based on the many famous owners.

Styling and engineering failed to overcome the fact that Cord’s vehicles were too expensive for the Depression-era market and that Cord’s stock manipulations would force him to give up control of his car companies. Under injunction from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to refrain from further violations, Cord sold his shares in his automobile holding company. In 1937, production of Auburns, Cords and Duesenbergs ended.

The building that now houses the Museum was the original Art Deco headquarters / showroom of the Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg automobiles, and it’s beautiful in its own right.

ACD Building

And the inside is even more outstanding.

ACD Building 2 ACD Building 3 ACD Building 4 ACD Building 5 ACD Building 6 ACD Building 7

I won’t bore you with all the details. I’ll just show you pictures of these beautiful automobiles.


ACD 19 ACD 10 ACD 11 ACD 12 ACD 13 ACD 14 ACD 15 ACD 16 ACD 17 ACD 18

Leaving the museum we drove back to Elkhart through more heavy wind and rain.

And arriving back about 5 pm, we immediately headed out to dinner at Ryan’s.

Tomorrow we start getting ready to leave here on Sunday afternoon.

Thought For The Day:

I will no longer accept the things I cannot change. it’s time to change the things I cannot accept.



Home In Houston

October 30, 2010

Alvin Opry and BBQ . . .

As I said in last night’s post ( actually, this morning) we didn’t get home from the Alvin Opry until about 1:30 am. We usually go out for something to eat at IHOP afterwards, and it’s always a great time.

Last night the theme was Halloween, of course, and all the performers were dressed in costume. And, as usual, everyone was great.

One of the things that makes the Alvin Opry stand out over most other oprys is the house band. Several of them have been studio/stage musicians for big name bands, but they’re all great.

This picture is another example of the caliber of the band. This photo shows 3 generations of music excellence.

On the left is Louis, the grandfather, in the middle is Matt, the grandson, and on the right is Tommy, the son and father.

3 Generations

We plan on going back to the Opry on Nov. 12th. It’s another of our favorite shows, called Legends. Performers dress up as famous singers and sing their songs. Many of them are dead-ringers for their idols.

In this photo Mister couldn’t find a box to curl up in yesterday, so he found somewhere else.

Mister in Ladder

As far as today, about 12:30 pm we headed up to our storage unit to work with our son Chris to clean out some stuff so we can put more stuff back in it. He’s moving soon and needs to store some more things.

After making some headway, about 4:15 pm we met Chris, our granddaughter Piper, Brandi, Lowell, and Landon at Spring Creek BBQ down in Victory Lakes. Our daughter-in-law Linda had to work so she missed out on the fun.

This meant both Piper and Jan got in some Landon time.

Piper gets upset when I take so many pictures so she wouldn’t smile for this one, even after I threatened to Photoshop a moustache on her.

Landon and Piper

Landon has recently started smiling and giggling, and here’s a good shot. I tell everyone he looks like me because we both have the same hairline.

Landon Smiling with Jan

After a great meal, we got home about 6 pm and settled in after a long day.

More tomorrow…

Thought for the Day:

I keep some folks’ numbers in my ‘phone just so I know NOT to answer when they call.




October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween . . .

I stayed up real late reading last night (this morning, actually) so I didn’t get up until almost 11. It went down to 27 here last night so sleeping late in a warm bed was definitely not a problem.

Lowell sent over some more pictures of Landon trick or treating at their church. He didn’t quite know what to make of the giant banana.

Landon Trick or Treat Banana


The reason the doorways looked like this is that they’re fake, set up in a wall so the little tykes can go trick or treating without all the walking.

Landon Trick or Treat


Even with that, ‘some’ trick or treaters pooped out early.

Giraffe is down


We tried Skyping a little after 3 with only some success. We lost the connection several times, and even when it worked we didn’t have very good bandwidth so we only got a few good snapshots.

Video call snapshot 404

Video call snapshot 414


One unexpected treat was when our son Chris,

Video call snapshot 412


his wife, Linda,

Video call snapshot 409


and our beautiful granddaughter, Piper, showed up.

Video call snapshot 410


So we got to talk to the whole family. We’re really looking forward to seeing everyone in about 3 weeks when we get back to Houston.

Video call snapshot 413

About 4 Jan and I put Mister out on his lease and walked the garbage over to the dumpster. We tried to sit out for a while, but with the sun getting low it got to be too cold, so we came in for the night.

Thought for the Day:

“A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicity.” – Thomas Jefferson


Good Eating In Savannah

October 30, 2012

Lady & Sons . . .

A little before 11 I called Paula Deen’s restaurant “The Lady and Sons” to get a reservation for this afternoon. Jan wanted it to be our last meal here in Savannah. About 11 Jan fixed us a light lunch of cheese toast. We didn’t want to be too full for Paula Deen’s.

Finally about 3:15 we headed into Savannah for our 4pm reservation at Paula Deen’s. I figured we would need some extra time to find a parking place, and I was right.

But after two trips around the block, I actually found one right across the street from the restaurant.

Lady and Sons

As with our visit here in 2009, we had the buffet once again, with the same delicious results.

Fried Chicken, Basted Short Ribs, Beef Pot, and 10 different southern style veggies, all wonderfully delicious. I would swear they don’t have a can opener in that kitchen. The green beans, collard greens, corn, black-eyed peas, etc., all seemed to be fresh, not frozen or canned.

And then there was dessert.

After a great meal, we checked out the gift shop and I found the perfect shirt for Nick and I.

Paula Deen's Eating Shirt

Note that if you look carefully, you’ll see it comes ‘pre-stained’. Our kind of shirt.

Leaving Paula Deen’s we made a Wal-Mart stopover before heading home. As soon as we got back I went ahead and hooked up the toad to the rig and then put away some things to get ready to travel tomorrow.

We’ll have a 325 mile run to Heflin, AL tomorrow, before we end up in Athens, AL on Thursday, where we’ll stay for 3 or 4 days visiting relatives.

Thought for the Day:

“Humor is chaos remembered in tranquility.” — James Thurber


Time Off From The Gate

October 30, 2014

I Can Fly!

At least that’s what it feels like.

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, but forgot to in yesterday’s blog, we had a relief guard come in today so we could have some time off to celebrate Jan’s recent birthday. We had planned to do it last Saturday while we were off the gate and parked at the Buffalo GGS yard, but then all of a sudden we had a new gate and the day on the town had to be put off.

We had scheduled our relief to be here for 10 hours, from 9am to 7pm. Since Jan relieved me from my overnight shift at 7, I grabbed a quick nap for about 90 minutes to be ready to go at 9. Unfortunately the relief guard didn’t show up until a little after noon. If I had known, I could have gotten my usual 4 hours. I think I’ve mentioned that on my gate sleep schedule, I sleep 4 hours twice a day, from about 7:30am to 11:30am, and from 6:30pm to 10:30pm. This works for me and I have no problem staying on it indefinitely.

But by 12:30 we were on our way with our usual first stop at IHOP for breakfast, except by now it was lunch, so Jan and I both had sandwiches, hers with fries, and mine with their new Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup. But the soup was apparently so new they were completely out of it, so I opted for a salad.

And I was very pleasantly surprised. Although I ordered it with Thousand Island, and it came with Ranch (no biggie), there was not a shred of iceberg lettuce to be seen. Just 4 different kinds of greens, diced tomatoes, and sweet purple onions. Really good. Along with my Double BLT sandwich I had 4 cups of coffee to keep me awake. Either the caffeine or running to the bathroom will do the trick, one way or the other. Or both.

After a nice relaxing meal together without one of us having to jump up at the sound of the bell and log a truck in or out, we drove over to the local Cavender’s to see if I could exchange one of my FRC shirts.

When we did the rush purchase of our FRC clothes last Saturday at the Cavender’s in Huntsville I was happy to see that they had FRC T-shirts. They were soft and felt just like my regular T-shirts at home, unlike the button-up shirts that were much heavier, much stiffer, and almost felt like they were made of light canvas. Unfortunately they only had one T-shirt in my size, so I had to also get one of button-up shirts too.

So while we were in BCS today I thought I see if the local Cavender’s had T-shirts in my size. I had never worn the button-up one, or even taken the tags off, but I not longer had the receipt since we had to turn that in to the company to be reimbursed  the almost $600 we spent.

But since the shirts were Cavender’s house brand I figured I might have a shot, and indeed, they said no problem. But problem. They also had no T-shirt FRC’s in my size. Now I normally wear a XL or a XXL depending on how it’s cut across the shoulders, but they had none. They had boo-coos of M and L’s, but no XL or XXL’s. They did have one XXXXL that I tried on in desperation. But I wasn’t that desperate. It hung down below my knees, and was so big I could have worn it as an off-shoulder party dress, or as a Hoosier Honey.

Have they seen the guys that work in the oil patch? There just aren’t that many M and L guys out here. At least they didn’t have a bunch of S’s. There aren’t many of them guys out here either. Smarten up, order more XL and XXL’s. There’s a reason you’re out of stock.

So, giving up, I was starting for the front of the store when I saw a dark blue shirt stuck in among check-patterned button-ups. And pulling it out, I had found the fabled XXL FRC T-shirt. Success! And I only had to pay a difference of $5.41. Nice.

Leaving Cavender’s and checking Google, I drove over to a nearby AutoZone store to get a new flasher unit for our toad. I noticed a couple of days ago that my turn signals were completely dead, as well as the emergency flashers. So after checking the OK fuse, a new flasher was in order.

And order it, I did. And it wasn’t a $5 flasher unit either. No, Dodge, in their infinite wisdom said ‘why use a simple flasher when we can use a $70 ‘flasher control module’. Ouch.

And, as I said, it had to be ordered. So now I’m driving around waving my arm out the window, signaling turns. Does anybody even learn these anymore? I mean, they either look at me funny, or just wave back. With my luck some guy will think I’m flashing gang signs. And not from his gang.

There was a Tractor Supply Store next door so we stopped in for a copy of Countryside and Small Stock Journal, one of Jan’s favorite magazines. And No, I’m not sure why either. Of course, I read Model Railroader magazine, so I can’t say much.

Well, I can, but it usually just gets me in trouble. Doesn’t seem to stop me though.

Then it was on to Home Depot for a Husky Faucet Nut Wrench, needed in my continuing quest to replace the lavatory faucet in our bathroom. It looks like this,

Husky Faucet Nut Wrench

and is used to remove a plastic nut like this,

Faucet Nut

that holds the faucet to the countertop.

Now, why these nuts are so tight, I have no idea. I replaced this faucet 5 or 6 years ago, and I know I only hand-tightened them, but hand-untightening them is not working. And nether is using a regular basin wrench. I can grab the nut, but there’s not enough room to get any leverage to turn it, or use it any kind of breaker bar to get it loose.

But this should do it. What the photo doesn’t show is that at the bottom there’s a 3/8 socket so you can use a ratchet handle to break it loose.

Our next stop was Sam’s Club for a couple of prescriptions, and while we were there I picked up a 32GB microSD Card for our new Galaxy Tab 4. I had ordered one from Amazon when I ordered the Tab, but didn’t realized the Tab used the micro card instead of the standard one.

Then after gas at $2.65 a gallon, and a stop at Wal-Mart for supplies, we headed over to Outback Steakhouse for Jan’s Birthday dinner. And of course, when we think Outback Steakhouse, we think . . . chicken and pork?

Well, we do. Jan’s favorite dish there is their Alice Springs Chicken, with mushrooms, cheese, and bacon. She might have ordered a steak there a few times, but in the 20+ years we’ve been eating at Outback, she almost always gets the Alice Springs Chicken.

And I’m just as strange. I usually get their inch thick pork steak, really good with their orange marmalade-horseradish sauce. And since we had a late lunch, we had leftovers to take home for another meal.

As far as flying, I’ve been wondering why I’ve been so tired the last few days. Sometimes it’s hard to even lift my feet. I mean, the gate’s busy, but no busier than usual, so why am I pooped?

Well, walking past the shoe department in Wal-Mart today clued me in. When I got my new boots the other day, I got the steel-toed version. These suckers are almost 1-1/2 pound heavier than my other boots. And that’s 1-1/2 boots each, for a total of 3 pounds. There’s a big hunk of steel in here. Doesn’t sound like much, but put it on your ankles and you’ll see.

So when I put on my other boots tonight, it felt like I was walking on air, with a hop, skip, and a jump thrown in for good measure. I guess that’s why athletes train this way.

Finally, from the ‘just when you think it couldn’t get any worse’ department, the forecast temperatures here on the gate for the next two nights have been revised . . . downwards.

Instead of the 41 and 39 degrees they said yesterday, now they’re saying 38 and 37 degrees.

Wonderful, just wonderful.(Sorry, I don’t know how to punctuate sarcasm)


Thought for the Day:

Government is bad at simple solutions. However it is good at spending lots of money to make problems worse.



October 30, 2015

Here Comes . . .

Well today, which was supposed to be Sunny and 80 two days ago, turned out to be Cloudy, Rainy, and 65°. But overall, not really too bad.

We did have a fairly heavy drizzle for several hours later in the afternoon, but with no wind to speak off, it actually was kind of nice. Then about 4 the rain tapered off, finally coming back for a couple of hours later this evening. And tomorrow looks to be about the same.

Apparently when we weren’t outside a lot last week, we had several bovine visitors to our canopy area.

Cow Visit

I found hoofprints in the dirt actually under the canopy. Last year Jan had one come right under the canopy while she was sitting there. So I guess they’re just curious. At least they’re not being made into cheap shoe laces.

Besides the cow pic, Jan also got a great shot of the sunrise through the trees.

Gate Sunrise

I think she really likes the new Panasonic FZ70 Camera we got.

*  *  *  *  *

Jan and I were happy to see that we’re getting both a Grimaldi’s Pizzeria and a Torchy’s Tacos in the Webster area, two of our favorite places.

Today was Wal-Mart/Whataburger day, so it was off to Carthage about 11am or so. While at Wally World, I was looking for hose washers and made the mistake of stepping out into the garden department. And stepping through the automatic doors was like stepping into a seasonal Twilight Zone.

All of a sudden I was in the middle of Winter Wonderland Hell. There was Christmas music blaring over the speakers, trees rotating and flashing, Santas inflating and collapsing, helium-filled snow globes floating overhead, and fake snow stuck to everything.

It was hell, I tell you.

I made a U-turn right back through the door. I didn’t need hose washers bad enough to brave that.

Can’t they at least wait until after Halloween?

Next up was Whataburger for our lunch, and it was déjà vu all over again. I got the same young lady as last week. But this time I’m prepared. I’ve printed out exactly what I want, and what I want on it.

She looks at the paper, starts punching keys, and then asked, “Do you want Pickles and Lettuce on this?”. In my head I’m screaming, “Do you see Pickles and Lettuce ANYWHERE on that piece of paper, but my mouth calmly says, “No.”

“What about Mayo?”

Mouth, calmly, “No.”

Head, screaming, “NNOOOOOOOO!”

Then after another 15 or 20 seconds of keypunching, she asks, “Do you want anything else?”. I calmly point her to the bottom of the paper where my sandwich is listed. She looks it over, starts punching keys, and then asks, “Do you want Mustard, Ketchup, Pickles and Lettuce on this?”

Again, mouth, CALMLY, “No.”

I won’t repeat what was screaming in my head.

Finally we’re finished, I pay, get my receipt and cups, and walk toward the drink dispenser, checking over the items on the receipt.

She put Mayo on Jan’s burger.


Then I noticed people staring at me.

I think that one slipped out.



Thought for the Day:

“The lesser of two evils is still evil.”

“Yes, but it’s also LESS.”



October 30, 2016

I Would Have Ask For More Money . . .

If I’d Known I Was Going to Have to Chase Cows and Dodge a Brahma Bull.

This is Sunday nights blog for 10/30/16. I couldn’t get it posted last night from the gate, so here it is now.

The gate I’m on now is slow, very slow, with only two trucks coming in yesterday to drop off one of them, and then other truck leaving with both drivers. And tonight two trucks left about 6pm that had come in on the day shift. And that will probably be it for tonight.

But what I do have is lots and lots of cows. And one VERY big Brahma bull. This gate, which is right off the highway, is in the middle of a cow pasture, a well-populated cow pasture. And yesterday evening about 6:15 I saw movement out my right window. Suddenly I realized I was in the middle of a large herd. And right about then is when the earthquake hit.

At least that’s what I thought it was until I looked back over my left shoulder and out that window. The VERY large Brahma bull had walked between the guard shack and the potty trailer and then decided that this would be the perfect place to scratch his itch.

But finally the bull wandered off just in time for one of the motion sensor alarms to start going off intermittently . Looking out the door I could see the reason why. There were several cows down by the sensor setting it off. Apparently unlike my Mighty Mule alarms that only sense metal, these also sense beef.

Our sensors are kind of kludged together, being a large orange traffic cone with 3 foot stake jammed in the top. The sensor itself is zip-tied to the top of the stake. Crude, but effective.

Unless of course a cow decides it’s her favorite new play toy. This became apparent when the alarm started up again with a constant beeping. Sticking my head out the door, I saw this.


One of the cows was kicking and head-butting the sensor cone, knocking it around the roadway. After listening to the beeping, I decided to just walk down the road, run the cow off, and get the cone back.

But as I passed the the generator trailer and then my truck, I heard a loud ‘SNORT’ off to my right. And there about twenty feet away, stood Mr. Bull, who again snorted and then pawed the ground a couple of times while looking right at me.

Now having come out on the losing end of bull-me interaction when I was a vet assistant back in high school, I decided the cow could play with the cone all she wanted.

A while later I saw the bull mosey pass the shack and head off in the other direction out across the field. Thinking this might be a good time to retrieve the cone, I walked out of the shack only to see there were now 3 cows fighting over the cone. So figuring the bull was now off in the other direction doing . . . well, bull stuff, I headed down to get the cone back. But it didn’t work this time either.

As I got within about 50 feet of the cows, one of them, like a dog with a big bone, grabbed the stick in its mouth and took off down the road, being chased by the other 2 cows. Or maybe they were running interference and blocking for her.

At this point I don’t know any more.

At first I was thinking I would just follow the cow down the road until she got tired and dropped the cone. But realizing this would put me out in the open, with Mr. Bull somewhere back behind me, I jumped in the truck and took off after the cow, who was now several hundred yards away.

But the cow didn’t seem to want to relinquish her new toy, so I ended up driving back and forth across the road and out into the pasture, trying to herd her back toward the shack. Finally she gave up, dropped the cone, and took off across the field. Probably to tell Mr. Bull how mean I’d been to her.

But when I got back to the shack, I found more havoc had been wreaked. Both the Sign-In boards had been knocked over along the marking cones.


Well, at least they LEFT the cones this time.

In last Tuesday’s blog, Extra Fluffy, I commented how standards have changed in how women’s weight is perceived. Referring to both a 1959 Perry Mason, with bikini models, and the early 60’s Beach Party movies, I noted how today these women would be considered at least ‘chubby’, if not plain overweight, according to today’s standards.

And it’s still happening today.

This is Miss Iceland, Arna Ýr Jónsdóttir.



She was competing in the Miss Grand International pageant in Las Vegas when she was told by the pageant staff that she had no chance of winning because she was too fat, and her shoulders were too broad.

So saying, “Miss Grand International doesn’t deserve my face, body, personality or heart.”, she quit in disgust.

Good for her.

Wrapping up, we had a lot of nice comments, both on the blog and on Facebook, about the neat robot Halloween costume that his Uncle Chris made for Landon.


What Brandi didn’t realize until later was that the big yellow button in the middle of suit is actually a ‘Fart’ button. When you press it, it lights up and makes a ‘fart’ noise.

Who knew robots could fart?

I guess it’s a guy thing.

Thought for the Day:

The easy way is usually mined.



Get ‘Em While They’re Hot

October 30, 2017

Lending A Hand . . .

Work today consisted mostly of making up and printing out labels for the many products that my client sells.

All my new Avery labels came in on Saturday so I was able to print out all the rest of them.

As I mentioned before, if you  want to do anything printing labels or cards, then you need to download a free copy of the Avery Design & Print program. Very powerful and easy to use.

Tonight after I got home I fixed us hot dogs made with Nolan Ryan’s Angus Beef dogs. And they’re big enough to hang over the end of the buns.

Hot Dogs

I like mine with mayo, spicy mustard, and relish. I first line the bottom of the buns with cheese and then toast them in the toaster oven until the cheese is melted and the buns are a light brown.

Jan likes hers with ketchup, spicy mustard, and relish. The other way I like mine is New York Style, with sauerkraut, spicy mustard, and grilled or raw onions. Both ways good.

We still don’t have our Facebook emoticons back, although several of our friends say they do. Where under a post we used to be able to hover the mouse over the Like button and then see a range of different emoticons, laughing, crying, etc., but a while now our only choice has been to ‘Like’ a post or not.

So how about ya’ll? Do you have the emoticons or not?

In the past I’ve done several blogs talking about the rise of 3D printing. In the beginning the printers used high-density polyethylene, also known as HDPE. Or as you know it, milk jug plastic. So not very strong. But led to some really fun looking toys.

3D Toy Sub

But things are changing fast.

One advance was 3D printing in molten glass, leading to these art pieces. From this beautiful vase,

3D Molten Glass Vase

to this massive glass chandelier.

3D Molten Glass Chihuly-Chandelier

The other advance is now to be able to print in actual metal, specifically guns. The first ones were essentially ‘one-shot wonders’, looking more like a toy, and only able to fire a couple of shots before they came apart.

3D-printed-gun-Liberator-006 -2

But now guns can be printed in real metal, leading to this Colt 1911 .45 caliber replica. Certainly not a ‘one shot wonder, it’s been fired over 5000 times with no problems.

3D Printed Metal Gun

But on a better note, this is 7 year old Hailey Dawson.

Hailey Dawson

And this is her 3D printed hand.

Hailey Dawson Hand

And this 3D printed hand allowed her to throw out the first pitch of Game 4 of this year’s World Series.

Born with Poland Syndrome, Hailey is missing 3 fingers on her right hand, and has an underdeveloped thumb and pinky. This means she can not really grip anything with that hand. So a prosthesis was in order.

But there was a problem. A prosthetic hand cost about $20,000, and someone of Hailey’s age would need a new one ever six months or so. Probably too expensive in the long run. But 3D printing is changing all that.

Right now Hailey is on her eighth hand, with each one costing about $5,000, and the price is dropping fast. Even better, at this point, when Hailey outgrows her old one and needs a new, larger one, the design software can resize the models and a new hand can be printed overnight.

You can read more about Hailey’s story here.


And here:


I think we’re going to be amazed at what’s coming down the pike with 3D printing in the next few years.

The Word of the Day is:  Descry

Thought for the Day:

The sinking of the Titanic must have been a miracle to the lobsters in the kitchen.



Friends In The Forest

October 30, 2018

Decisions, Decisions . . .

Really looking forward to our El Bosque get-together with RV friends, we were out the door about 11 am, a little earlier than needed because I wanted to make a quick stopover at my client’s in Webster to go over some things.

Then it was back on I-45 for the ~70 mile run up to Conroe and El Bosque. And believe me, our 2018 Chevy Malibu rental car makes the trip a LOT more fun. I’ve been really impressed by the handling and acceleration of this car. Especially in the mid-range.

When you punch it at 40mph to accelerate up to 70 to merge into traffic, it’s really startling. I’m assuming it has the standard engine, which means it’s a 1.5 liter, 163hp turbo 4 cylinder with 184 lb-ft of torque, and a six speed automatic.

But whatever it has, it really moves out. I even made Jan squeal a couple of times.

There are only a couple of things I don’t like about it though, both small. First, the Cruise Control buttons are just not very well placed. Unlike our Dodge Dakota, I have to move my hands on the steering wheel to either Set or Resume the wanted speed.

The other one is the Auto Stop feature. It’s supposed to shut the engine off while you are sitting at a stop light, and then seamlessly start up again when you take your foot off the brake and go for the accelerator.

But it doesn’t. It stumbles, stutters, and hesitates, making you think it’s going to stall. It never does, but it’s annoying. Of course it could just be out of adjustment. You can slip it into Neutral and it won’t Auto Stop, but then remembering to put it back in Drive doesn’t always happen.

After a fun trip, we got there about 12:45 to find Ed and Debi Hurlburt waiting for us. Among other things, Ed runs the RV Tips Facebook group, now with over 134,000 members. If you’re not a member, why not?

And Debi, not to be outdone, runs Debi’s RV Cooking on FB, with over 13,000 members.

We were still getting our hugs in when Wil and Cyndy Olsen showed up. After getting getting everyone acquainted, we asked the hostess to seat us in a back corner since we were prone to get rowdy. Luckily she listened to us.

Jan ordered the Shrimp, with Chicken and Beef Fajitas, kind of unusual for her.

El Bosque Shrimp Chicken Beef Platter

Although these were listed as Jumbo Gulf Shrimp, they looked more like the Rock Shrimp we saw so much recently in Florida. But whatever, Jan said they were delicious.

I thought I’d try out their version of the Beef Fajita Taco Salad.

El Bosque Beef Fajita Taco Salad

And although it was pretty good, it didn’t compare to the ones I’ve been getting recently at Los Ramirez Mexican Restaurant

Los Ramirez Beef Fajita Taco Salad 2

And at $11.95 it was over twice as expensive as the Los Ramirez version.

But the food was more than outdone by the friends.

El Bosque Group 2

That’s Wil and Cyndy closest to the camera, and then Ed and Debi. And then, of course, my Jan.

Finally, we said our goodbyes to everyone, and Jan and I headed south for home, getting back a little after 5pm.

Decisions, Decisions . . .

Snider Transmission called me this morning with an update on our Dodge Dakota problems. And as I thought, after 282,000+ miles, the transmission is just plain worn out and will need a complete rebuild. But he said the rest of the truck seems to be in pretty good shape.

Told him I’d call him back and Jan and I talked it over.

First off, if we don’t do the rebuild, we’ve got a dead truck. There’s no way to get it back the way it was, i.e. able to drive it around at 40mph, unless it’s rebuilt. So then we’ve got to find something new to drive, something towable.

When we started looking for a possible toad in 2007, we spent about 2 months before we found the Dakota. So we’d be looking at 2 MONTHS of car rental, which would total a large percentage of what the transmission rebuild is going to cost.

The problem with finding a replacement is three-fold. Finding something we want/like, finding something we want/like that’s towable, and finding something we want/like that’s towable, and that Blue Ox has a base plate available for.

So there’s a lot of back and forth between CarGurus.com and Truecar.com, the Motorhome Magazine Dinghy Towing Guides, and the Blue Ox website. All in all, very time consuming.

I think we’ve pretty much resigned ourselves that we’ll be replacing the Dakota in the near term, but getting the transmission fixed will give us some breathing room while we’re looking, and we can take our time finding something, without rushing into it.

If we later use the Dakota as a trade-in, we probably won’t get all the money out of it that we put in on the rebuild, but I think the total equation balances out in our favor in the long run.

So I called Snider back and gave him the go-ahead. He said it might be ready by Friday, but probably Monday. So I’ll get the Malibu for another week. More fun!

Thought for the Day:

Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate Halloween. I guess they don’t appreciate random people coming up to their doors and ringing the bell.



The Moosey Ones

October 30, 2019

Back At It . . .

I spent most of the day at work playing catch-up since I was out on Monday.

Part of the time I was looking on the web for some new banana plugs for the Electrode Cords I make and we sell.

TES Electrode Cord RED

We’ve had a few cords sent back where the plugs came off. It looks like they’re just pulling on the cord rather than the plug and actually breaking the 18 gauge wire, and not my solder joint.

So I found these that use two set screws.

New Banana Plugs

One screws locks down the wire and the other one locks the insulation in place, for extra strength. They should be in tomorrow so I’ll pull all the ones in inventory and refit them to the new plugs.

And then we’ll see.

I was happy to see that my new oil filter adapter was shipped out this morning  via FedEx and should be delivered tomorrow. So I know what I’ll be doing this weekend, I guess.

Since winter is coming on, (it’s supposed to be a high of 50 tomorrow and a low in the 30’s – 40’s tomorrow night) Jan’s in the mood for new leggings, and her first batch cam in today.

She got these Nightmare Before Christmas ones,

Nightmare Leggings

these Starry, Starry Night, Dr. Who ones,

Tardis Leggings

and these Mixed Paisley ones.

Paisley Leggings

But the ones she’s really forward to coming in are these Moosey ones.

Moose Leggings

Really neat.

Our South Dakota tags expire in November, so I ordered them online and they’re coming in the next few days. Wanted to be sure I have them on the rig before we head up to Kingsland next month.

Thought For The Day:

Some people don’t just have a screw loose. They’re missing the entire hardware section.

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