Daily Archives: November 1, 2020

How Did Landon Go From This –


Landon in Halloween Monkey Suit

And This.

Landon Trick Or Treating Giraffe


Through This,


Officer Morrison and Prisoner


And this one, a contest winner designed and built by his Uncle Chris.


Landon Halloween 2018 Robot Costume

To Mr. Pug last Halloween.

Landon Halloween Pug Costume 2019

Only to end up here in 2020.

Landon Halloween 2020

Brandi had this to say –

Landon created his own costume. Pic doesn’t do it justice. He googled the hand trick. Looks like he’s holding a bloody hand that is still moving when he wiggles his fingers. He said “one of these days mine will be as cool as my Uncle Chris'”. He was so excited to create his own and refused to buy a cheap plastic costume.

And even Jack the Dog gets a taste.

Halloween 2020 Jack

Well, it is 2020 after all.

And he’s not even a teenager yet.


Thought For The Day:

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”  ~ Marcus Tullius Cicero 106 BC – 43 BC




November 1, 2009

The Fourth Time’s the Charm…

Today we finally leave Elkhart, but it’s going to be a short trip…just up north into Michigan. We have some things to do up there before we head south.

Around 10 am I fixed coffee and we had some Pumpkin Cheese Bread to go with it. 

Coming back in, I puttered around the coach, getting things ready to travel.  Next I took down the satellite dish and dumped the waste tanks.  Lastly I stowed everything away and close all the bays. Everything was ready to go, except for disconnecting the shore power.  I always save that for the very last.

Coming back inside, I finished up by vacuuming the carpet.  Then about 3:15 Jan pulled in the slide and locked down all the doors.

I fired up the diesel and went outside to disconnect the power, while waiting for the air pressure to build up.

And then about 3:30 pm we headed out up north to Michigan. Since we weren’t going far, we didn’t hook up the toad. Jan just followed me.

We had a great dinner at Lunkers and then drove the toad over to the Tractor Supply Store in Niles, MI

Tomorrow we’ll drive about 330 miles southwest to Vernon, IL to visit Jan’s sister Debbie for a few days.

After that we may head toward Branson, or we may not.

We’ll see…

Thought For The Day:

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




November 1, 2012

Rut Roh . . .

That’s what you say when you turn the key to crank the RV and absolutely nothing happens. All the lights came on just like normal, but,

No clicking, no cranky, no nothing.


We were getting ready to head out on our 150 mile trip up to north Alabama, so this was a kink in our plans.

Although my Silverleaf display showed my battery voltage was fine, I next tried the AUX Start, again with no luck.

Nada, not a peep.

I had a similar problem three years ago when we stopped for lunch in Jacksonville, FL. We came out to find that the engine wouldn’t crank. After a little troubleshooting I discovered that the Start wire had broken off the starter solenoid. Replacing the wire and the connector got us back on the road in about an hour.

But I doubted I had the same problem again. So my next idea was to call American Coach Customer Support. And it was a really good idea.

After thinking a minute, Jim, the tech guy, led me to a connector next to the Battery Control Center at the rear of the coach beside the engine. He said to pull apart the 2 wire connector and plug in the dummy connector that should be hanging on the cable. He said a Start Signal is routed through the box and using the dummy plug bypasses it.

And that did the trick. It cranked right up. Jim said there is a relay and a 5 amp fuse in the box that might be causing the problem. Since I wanted to go ahead and get on the road I asked what would not work with the BCC bypassed. He said that the house batteries would not charge.

Since we didn’t plan on running anything off the batteries, I decided to hit the road and worry about the fix later.

We pulled out of the Cane 9 Creek RV Park just 18 minutes later than I had planned and got on I-20W. But I got off about 10 miles down the road and got on US-431, a nice 4 lane highway heading for Huntsville, AL, about 100 miles away.

Taking I-20 all the way into Birmingham and then I-65 north to Athens, AL would have been faster, but US-431 was certainly more scenic.

Getting into Huntsville, we got on US-72W for the last 20 mile leg into Athens, and Northgate RV Park, which is owned by my cousin. It’s always convenient to have an RV park in the family.

After checking in with the family and resting up for a while, we headed out for dinner at a local favorite of ours, Catfish Cabin. Luckily for us, it was as delicious as always.

Tomorrow we’ll try to catch up with some more relatives.

Thought for the Day:

Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue.




November 1, 2013

WhooHoo! Two Blogs in Two Days . . .

I was bored. What can I say.

First off, I’m not sure why we suddenly got so popular just yesterday, but I want to welcome the six new followers who signed up yesterday to receive these blog posts via email. If you would like to do the same, just check out the Email Subscription area on the left sidebar, enter your email address, and then click the “Sign Me Up” button.

If you don’t start getting the blogs within a couple of days, check your SPAM or JUNK mail folder. If you find the blog email there, right-click on it and under the Junk Mail menu, select “Add to Safe Sender List”. This will ensure future blogs go right into your Inbox. If you also select “Mark as not junk”, this will move the email back to your Inbox. This, of course, will work for any email that gets misdirected, not just this blog.

Well, it looks like the winter temps may have finally arrived. After today’s 92, Saturday’s high should be in the upper 70’s/lower 80’s with night temps in the mid 50’s, and it’s forecasted to stay that way for the next 10 days or so. Mid 70’s/mid 50’s are supposedly the November averages for this area so we’ll see how that works out.

Although a supervisor stopped off to look at the gate damage today, no one showed to start working on it yet.

Gate Damage 2

That round barrel-looking thing is the remains of the group locking system. It’s a device that holds up to ten separate padlocks, anyone of which can open the gate. That way everyone that needs access to a site can supply their own lock, and not have to worry about syncing up with everyone having the same key or combination. A simpler way of doing this is to have everyone’s locks in a daisy-chain loop so that opening any lock will allow the gate to open.

The truck drivers are really enjoying the missing gate section. In fact they’ve been driving over it all day. There may not be a lot left to work with if the repair guys don’t get here soon.


Thought for the Day:

Physicist Ernest Rutherford once described a public official as being “like a Euclidean point: he has position without magnitude.”

(Hey, how many blogs give you a physics joke? Sheldon would appreciate it.)




November 1, 2014

A Three Heater Night . . .

Because I couldn’t find 3 dogs, just one large extra-fluffy cat. And he wouldn’t leave the warm rig.

It went down to about 41 degrees here last night, but with the three heaters I stayed pretty comfortable. One thing I noticed is that these Wrangler FRC jeans are warmer than the cargo pants I usually wear.

It finally got up to about 62 degrees in the afternoon, but it was still only 58 when I came out to relieve Jan at 1pm. But the fact that it was bright and sunny all day helped out.

Of course tonight we’re scheduled for 39°, but tomorrow’s supposed to be 72 and sunny with a low of 52. Much better.

Finally after all my complaining, they sent a guy with a front loader over to fill in the pothole along the edge of the road running in front of our pad. I say pothole, but it was more like a canyon or a crevasse. I measured it the other day and part of it was almost a foot deep. But because it usually stayed full of water from the road being watered daily, it looked like it was only an inch or so deep. So it was a real surprise when two vehicles tried to squeeze by each other and one of them bottomed out in the hole with a big clunk.

Our next frack job is set to start up early tomorrow morning (Sunday). They’ve been prepping for the last couple of days, so they’ll get an early start. And since it’s at the next pad right down the road from us, we’ll be right in the middle of it this time.

I’m not sure how busy we’ll be exactly. Last time we had two fracks going on at the same time and were doing over 14 pages a day. That’s over 330 vehicles. That’s busy.

But on the plus side, there’s Frack Food.

We hope.


Thought for the Day:

Marriage is grand.  Divorce is about 50 grand!




November 1, 2015

Three Weeks and Counting . . .

Jan has shifted into high giddy, as today marks three weeks and counting until we leave the gate for this year, heading back to the Lake Conroe Thousand Trails and the Houston area for the winter.

Assuming our gate lasts until then, and it sure looks like it will, it will be only the second time in four years that we’ve stayed at the same gate for the entire three months. The first time was in 2013 when we were at a multi-well frack gate down in south Texas near Whitsett. They also had a number of production wells, so a lot of trucks were in and out taking out crude, while they were also constructing a pipeline into the area. So, along with miscellaneous workover rigs, it was a pretty busy gate.

But the thing I really remember about that gate was how bitterly cold it was during the month of November. There were several days when it barely got into the 30’s, and because of the way we were set up, our canopy was open to the north. And by north, I mean the north wind that comes sweeping down the plains. Yeah, I know that’s Oklahoma, but it fits so I’m using it.

There was a light tower right behind us so I finally draped a tarp around the back of the canopy using the light tower as an anchor.

Gate Guard Tarp

Without the tower taking the wind load, the canopy wouldn’t have stayed up.

I vividly remember one day, about a week before we left, where the high was 25 degrees, and it was sleeting. In fact ice was forming on the canopy struts. I didn’t own enough clothes to put on to keep me warm, and we didn’t have enough heaters either.

Good times.

But this year our low temps has been in the 40’s, and we’ve got the rig directly behind the canopy to the north, so that cuts out the cold wind.

We also have two of these Sunbeam heaters. I bought one last year and then a second this year because they work so well.

Sunbeam Heater

Sunbeam Dual Comfort Heater+ Fan

And as a backup, we have this Lasko heater that usually stays inside, but we have brought it out a couple of times

Lasko Tower Heater

Lasko Digital Ceramic Tower Heater with Remote

You can really hear the generator groan when I turn on all three heaters at the same time. But so far it’s held up. In fact I think this is the first year we haven’t had a generator problem, knock on wood.

Today was a little busier, with 60 vehicles through the gate, and of course, back out. Six of those were the crew, and the rest were the water trucks cycling in and out, taking out the flowback water. Three or four come in every couple of hours, stay about 30 minutes filling up, and then head back out to offload. Rinse, Repeat.

I don’t know what Jan did with it, but I left her with a perfectly good day this morning, and she broke it.

When I went in to go to bed at 7am, it was a little foggy, but nice. But when I came back out around 1pm, it had been raining for a good while, then rained all day, and was still raining when I went in at 6pm. But tomorrow’s supposed to be better.

Yeah, right.

Of course we’ve certainly had it better then many other people. Our DIL Linda emailed to say that they had a lot of rain and bad weather in the Friendswood area on Saturday, including six tornados running around.

Because of all this they lost power for 29 hours!, from 10:20 Saturday morning until 2:15 Sunday afternoon. Luckily they had a portable generator to keep the refrigerator and other stuff going, so they didn’t lose any food.

Hopefully all this bad weather will be over for a while.


Thought for the Day:


She was probably going to Wal-Mart.




November 1, 2016

Four Days Down . . .

And Three Days to Go.

After a very quiet night, I.e., one truck left that come in on day shift and nothing else, I was home and in bed by 5:30am. So no cows, no excitement.

Getting up about 11:30 the first thing I did was to call the Karnes County National Band to see if our VISA check cards had come in. And they hadn’t.

Well, actually, based on the reaction, which was Huh?, I suspect they never got ordered. I had ask for them to be sent to the bank here, rather than the account address, our house in Friendswood, so we would get them quicker. They said they would call me when they come in. We’ll see how that works out.

I did use the bank’s Telephone Banking to confirm that our 1st SiteWatch pay check had in fact been direct deposited into our account, so that was nice.

Hoping our absentee ballots had finally come in, we headed for lunch, once again at Barth’s Restaurant. We’ve gotten hooked on their daily Lunch Buffet and are working our way through their menu.


Every day is different, with two meats, two or three veggies, soup, salad bar, and homemade bread.

Today was Fried Chicken, Roast Beef with Gravy, Creamed Red Potatoes, Corn, and Broccoli-Cheese Soup. Delicious, and with our $3 Senior Discount, it was only $6.50.

A really great deal.

So all we have left are Monday with Chicken Fried Steak and Chicken Fried Chicken, Wednesday with Chicken and Dumplings and Hamburger Steak, and Thursday with Fried Pork Chops and Meat Loaf.

Sounds like a plan. Only three days to go.

Leaving Barth’s, we next stopped off at the Lone Star Real Estate office to see if our ballots had come, but the office was closed for lunch, saying they would be back at 1:30. So we decided this would be a good time to check out the H.E.B. right down the road. Turns out to be a nice store, with maybe a little better selection than the local Wal-Mart.

Back at the office, we had about a 10 minute wait until they showed up, and our ballots were there so we’ll get them filled out and off with Priority Mail tomorrow.

Getting back to the rig I took a nap before heading off to the gate for the night. As it stands right now this is my last scheduled shift until I hear from Todd again. I’ve already been extended here for one night. A  few more would be nice.

Yesterday I cleaned the filters on both our Coleman AC units. The older, bedroom unit uses the old school foam filter that I hose off in the shower and re-install. And about once a year I replace the foam sheet with a new piece because it does deteriorate over time.

But the new Coleman Mach XV model that I installed last year uses a couple of these electrostatic filters.

Coleman Mach 15 filter

They’re made of a metallized plastic mesh that attracts dust by electrostatic action caused by the airflow through the filter. This allows the filter to attract dust without restricting the airflow. And just a quick spray in the shower cleans them off.

Heading in to work this afternoon, I dropped off the rent check at the park office, so I guess we’re here for another month.

Thought for the Day:

There are three ingredients in the good life: learning, earning and yearning.




November 1, 2018

Stopping Auto Stop . . .

Before we left this afternoon Jan and I walked a couple of bags of garbage down to the dumpster. Then coming back I stopped off at the laundry room to drop off the November rent check.

And that’s when I saw it.

The new Change Machine

Excepts Bills

Oh, the horror!

So I couldn’t let this affront to grammatical correctness pass by unremediated.

Accepts Bills

This is what comes of being the son of an English teacher.

Jan and I left the rig about 2:45 for our get-together with Miss Piper for dinner and then to pick up her bike after its flat tire repair / tune-up at the Bike Barn. But first we stopped off at Sam’s Club and WalMart for a couple of prescriptions.

We also checked both places to see if they had the Shingrix Shingles Vaccine in stock. There’s a real shortage of it, and no more is expected until the end of November . . . they hope.

And while we were at WalMart, Jan did go ahead and get her Flu shot. As for me, I think I’ve mentioned before, I don’t get flu shots any more. In fact the last one I got was my senior year in high school in 1966.

I got my first flu shot the previous year and was very sick for about 4 days. Then the next year I was in the hospital for two  weeks after that one. My doctor at the time told me that another flu shot might kill me.

So, would YOU get another one? Would YOU take the chance?

I tell people that I just depend on the kindness of strangers. I figure that if everyone else gets their shot like they’re supposed to, then I don’t have to worry, since there will be no one to catch it from.

At least that’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

Turns out that Miss Piper had a lot of homework to do, so she bowed out of dinner tonight, so we just dropped her bike off at her apartment. Then coming home we stopped off at the local Denny’s to once again have breakfast.

Good as always.

As I figured, and echoed by several of our readers, it is possible to turn off the Auto Stop ‘feature’ on our rental Malibu. But not having an owner’s manual, I had to do some Googling before I found the correct method for our model. Apparently it differs depending on the version. The only problem is that it has to be redone every time you start the engine.

On our model, you start out by putting the transmission in ‘L’, not ‘D’

Malibu L 1

Note the ‘1’ to the right of the ‘L’.

Then, using the + and –  on the top of the gearshift knob,

Malibu Shifter

you increase the ‘1’ to a ‘6’.

Malibu L 6

I’d been wondering what these + and – buttons were for, and now I know.

Apparently you can also use this method to lock the transmission in any gear you want so it won’t upshift.

It’s just a bonus, I guess, that it also disables the Auto Stop.

Thought for the Day:

The stone age didn’t end because we ran out of stones.




November 1, 2019

Oompa-Loompas . . .

I fooled around with the blog last night, and I’m not sure what I actually did, but apparently readers are getting the blog via email again. Hope it holds.

This morning I put in a call to Snooze to see if anyone had found Jan’s Opal Ring and turned it in. But no luck. I also checked out the parking lot at work but no luck there either.

I spent pretty much all day at work retro-fitting all our inventory of Red and Black Electrode Cords to use the new banana plugs that came in yesterday.

New Banana Plugs 2

They’re really easy to install, and because they have setscrews locking down both the wire and the insulation in place, meaning it won’t be easy to pull it apart. I was also happy to discover that though the barrel looks like metal, it’s non-conductive plastic.

Brandi’s office always dresses up in theme costumes for Halloween, and this year it was Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Brandi Oompa-Loompas

That’s Brandi the second in line as one of the Oompa-Loompas.

When we were at WalMart yesterday, I came across this great example of a Chevy Nomad.

Chevy Nomad 1

Chevy Nomad 2

Based on Internet photos, I think it’s a 1955 model. In later years, the tailfins became more pronounced.

One thing interesting was the paint finish. It’s a completely flat finish with no shine. At first I thought it might have been a primer undercoat, but getting closer, it’s a very nice smooth finish, just no gloss. I guess it saves on waxing.

Now that Halloween is over, Jan’s started putting together her Christmas wardrobe with this shirt that came in today.

Long Sleeve Cat Christmas Shirt

Too bad it doesn’t light up. I did tell Jan that I could make it light up for her, but I think she’s afraid she’ll get electrocuted.

Tomorrow looks to be nice enough to try and install my new oil filter adapter on the rig. If everything goes OK, then it should only take an hour or so.

Of course, seldom does everything go OK.

Thought For The Day:

Remember the Good Ole Days when you could mail-order your own Nazi 20mm Anti-Tank Gun?