Hot & Spicy . . .

We’re now in what passes for Fall in Houston, with sunny days in the low 70’s and nights in the high 40’s. Really nice, but unfortunately it never seems to last as long as we want.

Back the first part of October Jan ordered another Halloween shirt to add to her holiday repertoire.

Halloween Last Jan Shirt

The Facebook order page said it would be shipped within 3 days, and should arrive about 7 days.

Well, No.

It finally showed up yesterday, October 30th. But at least she got to wear it on one day, today, on Halloween.

Jan and I headed up to Webster about 1:30pm to have brunch at Snooze once again. It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve been there. and since then, they’ve installed large self-standing glass partitions between the booths which now allows them to bump up to 100% seating capacity.

Jan got her usual Bravocado Toast,

Snooze Bravocado Toast 3

while I got the Shrimp & Grits, with a side of fruit.

Snooze Shrimp & Grits

Really good as always..

Then it was on down the road to the nearby Dunkin Donuts for something hot & spicy.

So what’s ‘hot & spicy’ at Dunkin Donuts?

How about a yeast cake donut with Strawberry Icing infused with Cayenne Pepper and Ghost Chili Pepper spices, and coated with Red Sanding Sugar.

If you know me, you know they had me at “Ghost Chili Pepper’.

Dunkin Donuts Ghost Pepper Donut

But it was not to be.

They had already sold out for today. So we came away with a Pumpkin donut for each of us. So I may stop off Monday morning on the way to work to grab one.

Next up was a Harbor Freight stop, a WalMart stop, and a Costco stop for gas at $1.51/gallon, before finally heading toward home. But we made another stop getting back into Santa Fe.

The Cowboy Coffee shop had opened at last.

Cowbody Coffee

We’ve been watching this place slowly come together over the last few months. And it often seemed to be just sitting here with nothing happening for long periods of time.

But they were open today, and already with a line. So we had to stop and get a couple of coffee drinks to go with our Pumpkin donuts, with Jan getting, what else, a Pumpkin Spice coffee, while I tried the Gingerbread version. Both really good.

And talking with the owner who took our order at the window, I found my suspicions confirmed. They were always waiting for the many various building inspectors to show up, sometimes waiting for weeks, a problem I’ve heard about repeatedly.

Santa Fe is just not that large, so what were the inspectors always doing? Or as I told her, she just didn’t find the right palm to grease.

But at least it’s open now.

Finally back home about 5pm, it was a very nice day!

 

 

 


October 31, 2010

Rocky Horror and the Monkey . . .

Brandi sent this photo over of Landon in his first Halloween costume. He seems pretty happy with it, although Brand said he didn’t seem to really like the hood.

Landon in Monkey Suit

Jan and I have finally started walking again. Last year we were up to about 3 miles a day, but since we started back this past Wednesday we can tell it’s going to take a while to get back there again.

A little before 11 am we headed up the road a few miles to La Brisa Mexican restaurant for their great breakfast buffet. We met our longtime friend’s Bob and Maria Sutton, and we ended up spending almost two hours just talking.

Then, after breakfast, it was off to Walmart for some groceries before heading home.

By the time we got home it was after 2 and it seemed like a good time for a nap.

And I was right. It was!

At 5 pm we started watching that perennial Halloween favorite, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. At least it’s a favorite if you’re weird and a little twisted, like Jan and I.

Or, in my case, a lot twisted.

Tonight is Jan’s big TV night, with Amazing Race and Desperate Housewives, two of Jan’s favorites. Not being a big fan, I usually just go into the bedroom and read.

Tomorrow I have to meet with several clients so it should be a busy day.

More later…


Thought for the Day:

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

 

 

 


October 31, 2013

Boo!

Pumpkin

Well, it’s Halloween tonight, including here at the gate. Actually I started giving out candy right after midnight. Jan said it was funny to watch the big, burly truck drivers squealing over free candy just like little kids.

And we even decorated.

Halloween on the Gate

Mister just stares at the spider and growls real low, but he’s not afraid of the pumpkin. In fact, he decided he could take it out, and he did. After sitting on the table and looking at it for a few minutes, he made a flying leap about three feet up and three feet out, sunk his claws into it and rode it down.

The pumpkin is made of corduroy and stuffed with foam and he had no trouble breaking the string. It’s hard to imagine a cat this big can jump that high and that far, but he did. Then he just sat on the ground with it between his front paws and looked at it like he was expecting the pumpkin to make a run for it so he could chase it. But after a while he just left it laying there and jumped up on the table and went back to sleep. Mission Accomplished.

Today was grocery shopping day at the Wal-Mart in Pleasanton. As you probably remember from a couple of blogs ago, there was a computer screw-up with Jan’s prescriptions and I ended up not actually paying for them when I checked out. I told the pharmacist that I would settle up with them when I came in today. I offered to give them a credit card number right then, but she said when I came in would be fine.

Well, after paying for my prescription today I went over to the pharmacist’s window to take care of Jan’s bill, only to find out there was no longer a bill to take care of. He laughed and said the computer at the home office was yelling at them twice a day wanting to know why the prescriptions were gone from inventory, but not showing as paid in the system. The pharmacist said he took care of it and don’t worry about it. I mentioned that I had offered them a credit card number over the phone, and he said there was no way to enter that into the system. He said consider it an early Christmas present. So Merry Christmas to me.

The McDonald’s in Pleasanton needs to be burnt to the ground so they can just start from scratch with a whole new building and crew. And it’s not just once, it’s every time I go there.

Whenever I get groceries in Pleasanton, I always bring back lunch, either from McDonald’s or from Sonic, or sometimes a split order like today. Stopping first at McD’s, I ordered a Iced Caramel Latte for Jan, 4 Pumpkin Pies as desserts later in the week, and three of the Apple Slice Packets for me. And it took 26 minutes! from the time I placed my order until I walked out the door. I saw two groups walk out because they couldn’t get waited on.

In contrast, at the Sonic down the road, I ordered a Chili Cheese Dog and an order of Ched’r Poppers for Jan, and two Corn Dogs and a 44oz Coke Zero for me. And it took 6 minutes! ’til the girl had the order at my truck. Now that’s service.

This evening (Thursday) one of the big tanker trucks didn’t turn wide enough and broke our gate.

Broken Gate

He ran up over it and smashed the side of it flat and also tore down some of the fencing. He talked with his company and said they’ll have someone out Friday morning to see about fixing it.

Wrapping up, it now looks like we may not be here quite as long as we thought. Yesterday the new company man told Jan he thought we would only be needed for another week and a half to two weeks, when they’ll be finished up at the frack site. The only question is how this will work for the other two pads that have tankers coming in all day and night carrying out crude. Supposedly they will lock the gate (well, not now until they fix it) and every truck will have to unlock it and then lock it behind them, going and coming. Don’t know how that’s going to go over.

Anyway, it’s possible we’ll be off this gate as much as two weeks before we planned to leave, and it’s probably not worth it to move to another gate for just two weeks. And I’m not sure if Jamie at GGS would want to anyway. So if we do leave early we’ll probably head up to either the Lake Medina or the Colorado River Thousand Trails park until we’re supposed to be back at Galveston Bay RV Resort on the 24th of November.

But, as always, we’ll see how it goes.


Thought for the Day:

In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria. — Benjamin Franklin.

 

 

 


October 31, 2014

Could Be Worse . . .

Could Be Raining!

But 38° will be bad enough. At least the wind has pretty much died off. But unfortunately, according to the Weather Channel, it’s supposed to be the coldest at about 7am tomorrow, just when my Sweetie comes out to relieve me. And even by noon it’s still supposed to be in the mid-50’s.

BRRRRR!

The wind today was pretty bad, enough that it kept pulling out the big nails that stake the canopy legs to the ground. The problem is that the caliche that the pad is made from is so hard I can’t drive the nails in very far before they actually start to bend.

Canopy Stake Nails

So what I did was use my biggest drill bit and just drilled a 6 inch deep starter hole to get it far enough down to hold. Seems to be working so far. I did also have to cut one side loose of the windbreak at the rear of the canopy. I installed it with tiewraps so all  I had go do was just snip a couple of them and then install new ones when the high winds die down.

I ordered something from Amazon the other day, and once again FedEx came through. Last week they delivered to the Gate Guard Services Yard on the Interstate feeder two miles out of town. It’s completely out in the country, no buildings around, just a gate entrance to a dirt road, and a 3’ x 3’ sign on the fence post.

So today they delivered to:

Greg White
Gate Guard Services Gate
Simpson Road
North Zulch, TX

Jan said the guy drove up, asked if this was the Gate Guard Services Gate, handed her the package, and drove off. Easy Peasy.

Finally got a shot of Landon in his Halloween costume, complete with helmet this time.

Landon in Space

Though for some reason I was expecting one of those old 50’s Space Patrol bubble helmets.

space patrol helmet 6

But this’ll work.

_________________________________________________________________

Thought for the Day:

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

 

 

 


October 31, 2015

Well, that was fun . . .

NOT!

It’s amazing, and scary, how fast the weather can change, going from good to very, very bad in just a few minutes. Like these RV’ers at the River Ranch Campground in New Braunfels, TX.

They went from this,

River_Ranch_CG

to this so quickly they didn’t have a chance to leave.

River_Ranch_CG 2

Notice the 5th wheel that didn’t even get his slide in.

We’ve driven over this campground on I-35 a number of times and always remarked how beautiful it was, located right on the Guadalupe River. But having seen in the past how fast a river can rise, it always made me a little queasy. And it doesn’t even have to be raining where you are. But ten miles upstream it can be a whole ‘nuther story, with the water level rising 6 to 8 feet in just a few minutes and heading downstream to you.

Our hearts and sympathy go out to all affected by this storm.

In comparison, my little adventure this morning doesn’t even rate, but at the time it did keep me busy.

After on-and-off slow, drizzling rain most of last night and early this morning, it finally let up, and when I check the radar about 3am, there was nothing to be seen. But a new, much more powerful storm announced itself a little after 5am, with a big WHUMMP!, as a sudden wind gust tried to pick up the canopy. Within seconds it was pouring down, heavier than any rain we’ve had since we’ve been here. And the wind didn’t let up either, but if anything got worse.

We’ve had storm damage to our canopies before, so my preparations have evolved over the years.

This was at our second gate in 2012, about 2 weeks into our first gate guarding adventure.

We were following a Marathon drill rig, and a tornado was sighted about 5 miles away. The Company Man came and told us to evacuate to the Tool Pusher’s trailer, which was an oversized cargo container tied down to the ground.

Gg 23

So Jan and I crowded in with about 30 of the crew to wait out the storm. Jan had wanted to bring the cats, but I had said No. Mister would have been fine, but Emma would have freaked out.

When the storm passed and we went back to the rig, this is what we found.

GG 22

I was actually able to repair the canopy frame and get it all back together with a little work.

Then last year, in 2014, a downdraft hit us in the middle of a bad storm, leaving us with this.

Canopy Damage 2014

Notice that it’s just crushed in from the top. With the canopy shredded, this is when I started using a tarp instead, much stronger than the thin canopy fabric.

And the fact that a new canopy was $80, and would take 10 days to two weeks to arrive, and I had a tarp in the back of the truck didn’t hurt either.

This year I did things a little different. The canopy frame, which survived last year’s storm, is staked down, and also weighted down with 4 – 50 pound containers of water. Then the tarp is just laid over the frame, and not really tied down to it, but it too is tied off to stakes in the ground.

This lets the tarp give some, and lets the wind blow through without trying to take the frame with it. And based on this morning, it was a pretty good plan.

When the storm first hit, I bundled all the electronics into garbage bags and stowed them in the truck out of the way. Then I just waited it out, keeping an eye on things. We did have a couple of gusts that got under the tarp and billowed it up with a loud SNAP!, but it all held together.

I went inside a little after 6am when it looked like things were dying down, and luckily, by the time Jan went out at 7 it was pretty much over.

We only had 48 vehicles through the gate today, the big majority of them water tankers taking out water from the Flowback. As far as the Flowback itself, we only have a crew of six running things, three on the day shift and three on the night.

During the week, there’s always a bunch of management types passing through, but it seems they don’t work weekends. Much the better for everyone, I’m sure.

Our grandson Landon has apparently decided on a career in Law Enforcement. Here he is walking down to receive his diploma after Academy graduation.

Officer Morrison

And here he is with his first ‘collar’.

Officer Morrison and Prisoner

A recidivist candy-napper if I ever saw one. Kitty does have a kind of wild look in her eyes. Must be high on sugar.

Love those mirror shades.

_________________________________________________

Happy Halloween!

Funny-halloween-graphic


October 31, 2016

A Rogue Plug-in . . .

I didn’t finally get Sunday’s blog posted until about 3:30 this afternoon due to a rogue plug-in in my WordPress setup.

The problem first appeared about 1am this morning when I finished the blog began to upload it. About 5 seconds into the procedure, I would get an error message that said ‘500 Internal Server Error’. Now I didn’t think much of this at time because I see it every now and then. But usually I just wait a little while, try it again, and it goes through with no more problems.

But not this time. I continued to try it about every 30 minutes until I headed back home at 5am, still with no luck.

Thinking maybe it was a laptop problem I tried it again from my desktop machine in the rig with no better results. So I went to bed. And that was it until I got up about 11:30.

At that point, though, the first thing I did was to check with the real estate office (the lady owns also owns the RV park) to see if our absentee ballots had come in. But no luck yet.

I spent the next hour or so trying to figure out what the baseline problem was. Finally, I decided to just use WP’s built-in editor to publish the blog. And after copying and pasting the blog text into the editor, I began to upload the photos into the Media folder so I could then paste them into the blog.

And that’s when the problem became obvious. When I tried to upload the photos, I immediately got a HTTP Error message. And got it over and over again, no matter whether it was GIF, JPG, or PNG, and no matter how large or small, I even tried to upload a 5 byte text file with no luck.

First things first, I logged into my Godaddy account to check the file permissions on the Images folder, It the permissions had somehow gotten changed to Read Only, then no new files, I.e photos could be written to the folder. But the permissions were fine.

So having reached the limit of what I could do from my end, I put in a call to Godaddy Tech Support . . . and was told there was a 37 minute wait. That’s what I get for calling in the middle of the day. Usually I’m calling at 2 in the morning and I get right through. But Godaddy has this neat feature where they take your phone number and then call you back when there’s a tech available.

When he did call back, he was immediately able to recreate the problem on his end, which is always a  relief. I told him nothing had been changed or update in the last week or so. It was just working fine Saturday night and not working Sunday night.

So we went down the list, with Mark the tech guy trying different settings and then I would try to upload an image. He even temporarily changed out the Brava theme for another one. And nothing worked until he turned off all WP plug-ins. And then suddenly it worked. Now to figure out which of the 40 odd plug-ins was causing the problem. Lucky for us, the plug-ins are listed alphabetically and the rogue began with a ‘C’ – CAPTCHA for Login.

As soon as we turned that one off, everything worked again. But why was it causing the problem?  The CAPTCHA is one of those plug-ins that makes you type in the letters from a distorted graphic. Like this.

CAPTCHA

It took some sleuthing, but we finally figured out what happened. Well, kind of.

Turns out the CAPTCHA plug-in pulls its graphics from the company’s website, and it looks like the company went out of business yesterday, and the website is gone. So we know what was causing the problem, but we never figured out why it was keeping photos from being uploaded to the Media folder.

But it’s fixed and I don’t care. But now I need to find a new CAPTCHA program, hopefully one that won’t shut down.

Originally tonight was supposed to be my last scheduled night of gate work, but just as I hung up with Godaddy, Todd texted me to let me know I’ll be working at this gate again tomorrow, Tuesday night. Said he didn’t know yet about Wed, or any further along.

So we’ll see.


Thought for the Day:

There is no government-created problem so large that more government can’t make it worse.

 

 

 


October 31, 2017

Boo! Too!

We were hankering for some Mexican food this afternoon, and normally we would have headed over to Dickinson to Monterey’s Little Mexico. But that location hasn’t reopened since the Harvey flooding.

So our next choice was the location up Hwy. 6 in Alvin, so off we went about 1:30. We were also hoping we might run into some of the other location’s employees, and we did, finding one of the managers working there.

We got our usual Chicken Tortilla Soup and Beef Fajita Nachos, both just as good as the other location. In addition we were told that the Dickinson location will reopen in March. Not sure why it’s taking so long, but at least it will reopen.

After lunch we drove over to Webster so Jan could stop off at Half Price Books and browse for a couple of things she’s looking for.

Then after a quick stop at my client’s to pick up a couple of things and then headed off to look at awnings.

I had found a place on the Web that  looked like they might be able to make the new awnings for our rig. But when we drove by the address we couldn’t find any sign of them. So I’ll give them a call tomorrow to see if they’ve moved. They do carry the Sunbrella fabric that I want to use.

Next, coming down I-45 and heading for home, we decided to check out a few RV parks along the way. First up was Space City RV Park just off the Interstate below League City. The last time we were here was 4 or 5 years ago when I dropped off a bundle of the late, much-lamented, Gypsy Journal RV Newspaper, and although it’s improved since then it’s still not very high on our list for an extended stay.

Then it was on down to Dickinson to check out Bay Colony RV Park. We have friends who used to live there and it seemed nice. And it still is. Very neat, with no trash and junk scattered around.

Last up was where we almost stayed down here, Safari RV Park. But lucky for us, our friend’s Janice and Dave Evans told us about Petticoat Junction. Safari turned to be a mostly rundown mobile home park, with some trashy looking RV sites thrown in for good measure. Definitely not for us.

Coming home I decided we better get some Halloween candy for all the expected Trick or Treater’s. So we pulled into the Victory Lakes HEB to stock up.

And of course when you’re stocking up on Halloween candy, always be sure to buy candy you like too. In our case , Mini Snickers is the candy of choice.

And what do you know, but here it is10:30pm and not a trick or treater in sight.

Can I plan, or what?

Brandi sent over this photo of Landon’s Halloween costume, courtesy of his uncle Chris. It’s hard to tell in the daylight, but all those buttons light up and flash in different colors. Also note the mechanical motors on his legs and knees.

Halloween Landon 2017

Brandi said he won the neighborhood costume contest.

Tomorrow it’s back to work, with El Pollo Loco chicken that I’ll pick up on the way home for dinner.

The Word of the Day is:  Bonce


Thought for the Day:

Google Maps really need to start their directions at #5. I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

 

 

 


October 31, 2018

Boo! Three!

Happy Halloween!

In the Halloween theme, Brandi sent over a couple of photos of her family’s costumes.

Here’s Landon in his school’s winning costume parade.

Landon's Robot Parade

I do like the unicorn right in front of him, though it looks like she’s thrown a shoe.

For her part, Brandi and her friend’s won the ‘Most Entertaining’ prize at her office for her Mariachi Band.

Brandi's Halloween Marachi Band

I was wondering why she wanted me to bring my/our trumpet when we came up to Katy on Sunday. In fact, it’s kind of a family heirloom.

I got this Olds trumpet in 1960 when I join the Junior High Band at Foley High School in Alabama. Then years later, I played it in high school, and a couple of college bands. Normally I played guitar and some keyboards, but some songs like ‘Ring of Fire’ just need a trumpet.

Of course, along with way in high school, I also played French Horn and Baritone.

Then Brandi took up the horn in high school and carried on the tradition.

So, is Landon next?

After putting it on hold Monday and Tuesday, today’s rainy, gloomy weather was perfect for a big batch of Jan’s famous chili.

Jan's Chili 3

Tomorrow we’re getting together with Miss Piper for dinner and then we’ll go by and pick up her Schwinn Mongoose bike from the Bike Barn where I left it Saturday for a flat tire repair and a tune-up.

As expected, I didn’t hear anything from Snider Transmission today, so I called Enterprise Rental and extended the Malibu for another week. Besides I’m having too much fun driving it.

If we didn’t need more room to carry stuff, I might actually consider getting a Malibu for our new toad. Blue Ox does make a baseplate for it and the Dinghy Guide does say the 2018 model is towable. But only the 1.5 L engine without Active Shutters.

I had to Google what Active Shutters are, but now that I know I don’t understand why it would make any difference if the car had them or not.

Active Shutters are a feature that opens and closes ‘shutters’, kind of like blinds behind the grille and in front of the radiator. When the system senses that the outside temps aren’t too hot, or the system is not under heavy AC use, it closes the shutters to make the car more aerodynamically smooth, increasing fuel mileage.

Otherwise, in hot temps, they stay open.

Of course, back in the day, we did this with some cardboard and duct tape.

But as I said, I don’t understand what all this would have to do with towing. Otherwise, all you have to do to tow it is to remove a couple of fuses.

But however this works, it does seem to. So far I’m getting 31.1 mpg, about twice what I get in the Dakota.


Thought for the Day:

If you’re buying ‘Smart Water’ for $4 a bottle, it’s probably not working.

 

 

 


October 31, 2019

The Downside To . . .

Losing Weight.

I’ve had a number of reports from readers that they aren’t receiving the blog via an email link. I’m been looking at the problem but no luck so far.

The Subscriptions are handled by the Jetpack plugin, and I don’t really have a lot of control over it. About all I can do is to turn the service on and off, and view the email addresses of the subscribers. I can not add or delete anyone. Only you can do that to your own entry.

Stay tuned.

Jan and I headed up to Webster about 1pm, first for brunch at Snooze, and then on to my client’s to pick up the new oil filter adapter for our rig.

Rig New Adapter and Gasket

Right now it looks the weather this Saturday or Sunday might be good, so we’ll see how it works out.

Then it was on over to WalMart/Sam’s for some supplies, but getting back to the truck, Jan realized she had lost her opal ring. She had been showing me how loose it was on her finger due to her weight loss, and it didn’t help that it was so cold today. So somewhere between Snooze and WalMart it had come off her finger.

Opal is her birthstone and I had given her this ring for Valentine’s Day 2013, and it was one of her favorites. So we backtracked our route through WalMart and also checked Customer Service, all with no luck. Then it was back over to Snooze to check there.

However all I could check there was the parking lot, since they closed at 2:30. And with no luck there, I’ll call them tomorrow.

Jan was, of course, pretty upset, but I assured her it was OK, and t hat now I had something else to give her for Christmas. That’s because I got it on Amazon.

Jan's Lost Opal Ring

Opal Ring

Made in England, it’s solid sterling silver, and had 3 real Australian Opals, but it can be replaced with no problems. As I told Jan, it’s only money.

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned how I had ordered Jan one of these Foam Tablet Holders to make it easier for her to read her Kindles when she’s sitting or lying down.

Tablet Prop

It has 3 different angles, one better for setting in your lap, and another for reading while lying in bed. And a third one in between.

It comes in 5 different colors, and it’s only $11.99. The only downside is that it actually ships from China and took almost 2 weeks to get here. But it is Free Shipping.

Jan like hers so much, and knowing how much time Landon spends on his iPad, we immediately ordered him one.

Landon Tablet Pillow

And Brandi says it’s a big hit.

Glad he likes it.


Thought For The Day:

America is a country which produces citizens who will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won’t cross the street to vote.

 

 

 

  

%d bloggers like this: