Chipotle Bowls . . .

First up,  to answer several questions about last night’s Alvin Opry performance and any China Virus precautions.

It was pretty much restaurant rules here in Texas. Masks on unless you’re seated at your table. The only difference is that you don’t have to wear a mask when you’re dancing. Of course, you’re pretty much social distancing except for your partner.

About 2pm Jan and I headed out, first for lunch at the new Chipotle that just opened in our area. Unfortunately it’s a mixed blessing because it opened in the old location of our long-time favorite El Pollo Loco.

We both got a bowl, Jan’s with Chicken and  mine with Carne Asada, along with Cilantro-Lime Rice, Black Beans, 3 or 4 different types of Salsas, and Cheese, and well as Guacamole on Jan’s.

Chipotle Bowl

Really good, and close by. We’ll go back soon.

Then is on to the nearby WalMart for a few things, and then on across the street to the car wash to give our new baby a wash, wax, and a thorough vacuuming. She looks really spiffy now.

I spent an hour or so last Friday on the phone with DakotaPost up in Sioux Falls, going over all the paperwork and money I need to send off to them to get our new (to us) Jeep registered and tagged. I’ll send it off via Priority Mail tomorrow and hopefully I’ll get it back in a week or so.

Hopefully.


Thought For The Day:

At some point the #1 item on your bucket list becomes – Just Keep Breathing.

So far, so good.

 

 

 


November 15, 2010

Monkey Butt . . .

The rain was still holding off so we were able to get our walk in without getting damp. I started coffee before we left so it was nice to come back to the coach and have a hot drink waiting for us.

Starting a little before 1 pm I spent about 30 minutes on the phone with AT&T trying to get my email problems straightened out. For the last several days incoming email has been intermittent and outgoing has been impossible. I knew the problem was on their end because I also could not login to my WebMail thru the browser. But sometimes convincing them that the problem is on their end and getting them to look for it, is a problem in itself. But finally I got them to go in and do a complete reset of my email account and that fixed the problem.

At least so far.

While I was on the phone, a gentlemen showed up at our door to say hi. Either Jan didn’t get his name, or didn’t remember it, but he knew us.

He’s staying down the road at Green Caye RV Park in Dickinson and found our blog and recognized where we were. Since I was on the phone, Jan did most of the talking to him. Hopefully if he reads this he will leave us a comment with his name.

About 2 pm I drove up to Kemah to pick up some wine for dinner from Spec’s Liquor. They have a great selection and seem to be the only place that carries our favorite. It’s a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc called ‘Monkey Bay’, but after a few glasses, it ends up as Monkey Butt.

About 5:45 pm we headed up to Pasadena, wine in hand, to have dinner with our good friend, Barbara Cutsinger. It seems like I’ve known her forever, but it’s only been about 5 years. She even visited us in Alaska in the summer of 2008 when we were workkamping up there, and she was on a cruise.

I met her when I was doing IT support for the organization she works for, Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership (BAHEP).

Barbara is a fantastic cook and we always have a good time. She got a new laptop and wanted me to get it set up for her.

In return we got a great meal of Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Roasted Vegetables, Green Beans, Salad, and for dessert, Ice Cream with Kahlua on it. HMMMMMM!

We had a really great time, and didn’t get home until about 11:30.

 

 

 


November 15, 2011

Tuesday in Gulf Shores . . .

Today consisted mostly of just taking it easy. The weather forecast said to expect a lot of rain, but we lucked out with a beautiful sunny day.

So Jan, Mister, and I spent a good while sitting outside enjoying this fantastic view and listening to the ocean waves about 1/4 mile away. Jan was reading her Kindle and I was doing it the old-fashioned way, with paper and ink.

Gulf State Park 5

Gulf State Park Duck

 

Mister mostly laid in the grass waiting for a passing wildebeest, or maybe a gator.

Mister in the Grass 2

 

About 3:30 Jan and I headed up to Foley to have ‘lupper’ at Lambert’s Throwed Rolls, another of our favorite restaurants in this area. And they really do throw the rolls at you, and they’re huge, bigger than a softball.

After we placed our orders, we got ready for the pass-arounds.

Pass-arounds are delivered by servers in big bowls as they walk around the tables. My favorite is some of the best Fried Okra you’ve ever put in your mouth. Hot, crispy, and crunchy on the outside, and melt in your mouth on the inside.

Other pass-arounds include Fried Potatoes & Onions, Macaroni & Tomatoes, Black-Eyed Peas, and Apple Butter & Sorghum. And they’re all delicious. The big problem is filling up before your food even gets here.

Lamberts 2

I ordered the BBQ Pork Steak with White Beans, Turnip Greens, and Baby Carrots.

Lamberts 3

Jan ordered her favorite Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans.

Lamberts 4

Lambert’s is one of those places where you can eat your fill and still have plenty to take home. Our kind of place.

On our way home we stopped off at Books-A-Million to stock up on magazines. Jan and I both like BAM because they have probably the best selection around. Always better than Barnes and Noble.

On another note, I was very surprised to find that we have Verizon 4G here, still very fast.

Neat.


Thought for the Day:

“People think it must be fun to be a super genius, but they don’t realize how hard it is to put up with all the idiots in the world.” – Calvin.

 

 

 


November 15, 2012

Big Daddy’s Grill . . .

We got another photo of our new Great-Niece Annisten, along with her sisters, Avery Jane, and Ella. Three beautiful young ladies!

Avery Jane-Ella-Annisten

 

Thought I’d post some more pics of growing up in Gulf Shores.

This one is my father and I right after we moved to Gulf Shores in January 1951. I had turned 2 the previous October.

3d504c51ab3

 

This is me and my best friend David Duddy. Note that I’m still wearing my favorite cowboy outfit.

3d505599ab3

 

I didn’t realize that I got dressed up to play outside.

3d517a4ca3

 

About 1:30 Jan and I headed up to the Escapees Park in Summerdale about 25 miles north. We were meeting our friends Lu and Larry Tillotson for linner (lupper?), but on the way we made a detour to the Camping World a few miles further up the road.

I wanted to get a new step cover to replace our old one. We got the first one 5 years ago and it’s finally worn out, so it’s about that time.

RV Step Mat

RV Step Mat

I like these because they’re made from heavy-duty Astro-Turf and do a good job of cleaning off your shoes, and last a long time (or at least 5 years).

Then it was on to the Escapees Park to meet up with Lu and Larry. When we got there, we also met Paul and Margery Zeller, who were parked right next door to Lu and Larry. We were all interested in Paul’s recent refrigerator upgrade where he replaced his RV unit with a residential one. This is what we will probably do if(when?) our Dometic finally dies. Paul and Margery are readers of our blog, and it’s always nice to them in person.

Then it was on to Big Daddy’s Grill, about 5 miles away. Big Daddy’s was highly recommended, and boy, were they right.Big Daddy's 1

We all had the Fried Shrimp Dinner, and Lu, Jan, and I started off with a bowl of gumbo. Because we got before 4pm we got the lunch prices. $9 for a Fried Shrimp Dinner, with hushpuppies, Cole slaw, fries and onion rings. Really good, and even better for the price.

Susan, our waitress, was a hoot, and also the baker of the delicious pies they have for dessert.  But after the big meal, everyone was too full, so we all got pie to go, with Jan and I picking the Turtle Pumpkin Pie.

And along with the great food, we had these beautiful views of the Fish River. Lucky for us it was warm enough to eat outside on the deck.

Big Daddy's 2

Big Daddy's 3

 

And here’s Lu and Larry, our dinner companions for the evening. One of the great things about RV’ing is running into friends over and over as we travel around the country. We first met them in Cody, WY, and have kept in touch. No telling where we’ll meet up next time.

Lu And Larry

 

We saw this sign on the wall at Big Daddy’s. For some reason Jan thought it was a lot funnier than I did.

I Got A Dog


Thought for the Day:

Small men tend to respond angrily when asked uncomfortable questions.

 

 

 


November 15, 2014

Saturday Update From The Gate . . .

Well, with our last full day on the gate, we’re all packed up and ready to go. We’ve actually been gate guarding out of the truck for the last several days and it’s worked out pretty well.

Last Day on Gate

I’ve already disconnected water and sewer, so all I have to do is take down the satellite later tonight after all our shows have recorded, and then disconnect from power tomorrow morning right before we leave. I’m going to go ahead and pull out of the way and into the pad so the new guards can pull right in.

Then, once we go over some specifics about the gate, we’ll have the official “Passing of the Logs” ceremony and then we can be on our way. And to Jan’s delight, it’s probably going to be closer to 10am when we leave rather than noon.

Our first stop will be the Buc-ee’s over in Madisonville, for diesel and breakfast kolaches. Then it’s on down to Huntsville to the Two Texans Truck Wash to hopefully get all the drilling mud washed off before we arrive at the Lake Conroe Thousand Trails later in the afternoon.

Jan’s already got supper planned at the El Bosque Mexican Restaurant in Conroe, our favorite local place.

_________________________________________________________________

Thought for the Day:

Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps. – David Lloyd George

 

 

 


November 15, 2015

Seven More Days . . .

Jan says giddily.

And More Chores, I say kind of giddily.

Jan had a hankering for Chicken Express chicken today, and I always had hankering for their catfish, so a little after 11, I drove into Carthage to pick up lunch.

I also made a stop to pick up some more of the Hot Hands foot warmers, since I only bought two packs the other day to try out, and now I wanted more. But I discovered last night that after I stuck the foot warmers further toward my toes, that my toes were what was really getting cold and needing warming. So instead of the full foot warmers, I got their toe warmers, which were a good bit cheaper.

$5 for a pack of 7 vs. $2 a set for the full foot warmers.

I’ll see how they work tonight.

This afternoon the first thing up on my chore list was to fix my Brake Buddy toad braking system.

Brake Buddy Classic

We’ve had this one since our very first day of RV’ing almost 8 years ago and it’s been a real workhorse. The only problem I’ve had with it was that the cigarette light power plug started falling apart about 3 years ago. When I called Brake Buddy they sent me a new one for free. In fact they sent me a whole new power cable, which is what makes today’s job easier, since I had to open up the Brake Buddy then too.

The problem today was that the large plastic nut/ring that holds the pressure regulator adjustment knob in place had come off, which let the regulator fall down into the case.

Brake Buddy Problem

It still worked just fine, but I didn’t want to take a chance on it getting in the way of the pneumatic piston that pushes the brake pedal.

Getting the case open is not difficult, but hey, do they really need 9 screws with 3 different TORX sizes?

Inside it looks like this.

Brake Buddy Inside 1

On the right is little air compressor that runs everything, and the big black tank is the air tank that supplies the pressure to the piston. And the black/silver at the bottom left is the pressure regulator that came loose.

Behind that, the green circuit board is the brains of the thing, including the accelerometer that senses that the rig is braking and applies the brakes on the toad.

And on this side,

Brake Buddy Inside 2

the big silver tube at the bottom is the pneumatic piston or ram that physically presses the brake pedal on the toad.

Not really complex when you break it down, but a nice clean design anyway.

Once I had the case apart it only took me a couple of minutes to put the regulator back in place and lock it down. Then it was the 9 screws again, with the 3 different sizes.

When I’ve got a job to do that requires several different bits, this is my goto case.

BlackandDeckerSet2

It’s got just about every different type of  drill bit and screwdriver bit that you could want, so I had no problem with T10, T15, and T20 sizes that I needed for the Brake Buddy.

Before I stowed it away until next Sunday, I plugged it into the power socket on the truck, and after it aired up, rocked it back and forth to be sure the piston was still operating.

Next up was to top off the antifreeze in the rig. The green diesel type is getting harder to find since everyone is using the red now. But I had the NAPA Auto Parts here in Carthage order me a couple of gallons.

I had bought some at the Cummins dealership back in Amarillo earlier this year, but ending up using it in the leaky radiator in the truck before I could put any in the rig.

Getting the engine compartment open I was glad to see that my coolant tank repair was still going strong after 6 years.

Coolant Tank Enterabond Repair

It had cracked down the side back in 2009 when we were doing the east coast. I checked with Cummins and found a new one costs $275.

IT’S A DARN PLASTIC JUG!

Made out of the same polypropylene that they make milk jugs from. My next thought was to glue it, but I found that pretty much only a special industrial glue made by 3M would stick to it. And a tube of that was almost as expensive as a new tank.

I had heard however that Eternabond Tape would stick to just about anything, and once you put it on, it wasn’t coming off.

Checking out the RV department at a Wal-Mart before we first hit the road, I had seen a package of this and picked up a couple.

Eternabond Tape

Eternabond Microsealant Tape

So I decided to give it a try. After cleaning the tank with alcohol and letting it dry, I peeled the backing off a piece and stuck it on.

Six years later and it’s still stuck. As the package says, “Peel – Stick – Stuck!”

And I saved $275. Neat!

FYI Wal-Mart doesn’t seen to carry this anymore, at least I haven’t seen it in a long time, but it is available at Amazon above.

Around 3:30 this afternoon I went back around to the generator trailer to check to see if we have enough diesel to last us until Sunday when we leave, and our service guy, Todd, will be here to hook up our replacements. Turns out we don’t, so Todd will come by earlier this week to top us off.

But in check the level, I found we had another diesel leak, this time from the diesel-water separator attached to the side of the diesel tank. Kinda look like this.

Biodiesel-bio-diesel-water-separator

At first I thought the petcock drain at the bottom was loose, since that was where it was leaking from, but tightening it didn’t help. Next I tried to tighten the nut that locks the petcock in, but that didn’t help either.

About then I touched the plastic bowl and discovered it was wet with diesel all the way around. Due to the coloring of the plastic it was hard to see, but easy to feel.

I got some paper shop rags, and after drying the bowl off, tried to tighten it down. And it did snug up a good bit. Hoping this was the fix, I dried the bowl off again and left a clean piece of paper rag underneath to check for any more drips.

Coming back about 10 minutes later, I found not a single drop of diesel on the paper. Since it had been dripping about one drop every ten seconds or so before, I decided this problem was fixed.

Wrapping up, although we’ve got Scattered Thunderstorms forecast for Monday, and Heavy Thunderstorms for Tuesday, the weekend still looks good for us packing up and getting on the road to Lake Conroe.

Hope it holds.


Thought for the Day:

Tilting at windmills hurts you more than the windmills.

 

 

 


November 15, 2016

A Whole ‘Nother Ball Game . . .

Last night’s short 11 hour turnaround shift was nice, but not really necessary.

I think I would have appreciated it more if it had been a really busy gate, but I only had two vehicles come in, both before 9pm, and about 10 vehicles left, all before 10pm. Then nothing the rest of the night.  Nice.

There is a cat who lives in this area, I think it’s a barn cat at the farmhouse about 100 yards away,  And once a night, like clockwork, she(he?) comes trotting up the road past the guard shack heading back toward the landowner’s farmhouse, and always with a mouthful of some squirming rodent. I’ve called to her a couple of times, and she’ll look over at me, but never even slows down. Must have kittens in the barn.

I noticed a couple of days ago that the passenger side high beam on our truck had gone out. So I ordered new ones from Amazon last night and they should be here Thursday.

For the last 10 years or so, before we started RV’ing in 2008, I’ve been using the Sylvania SilverStar Ultra halogen bulbs in the truck. They’re very bright, and they usually last a long time. In this case the last time I replaced one was almost 5 years ago. So I get my money’s worth.

Even though only one bulb is bad, these should always be replaced in pairs, mainly because of the way these bulbs age. If one goes, another one is probably not far behind. Although at $31 for the pair, they’re not cheap, but parsed out over 5 years, they’re a real bargain.

And really bright.

About 1:30 Jan and I headed out for lunch, and also to pick up our VISA bank cards that had finally come in. We needed to be at the bank in Karnes City before they closed at 3pm, but we still had time for lunch, so we decided to try TK’s Pizza and Burgers. With 5 Stars on 11 reviews on Yelp, we figured it was definitely worth a shot.

But we actually drove past the place, because there isn’t a big sign out front, only on the building, and the place really looks like a somewhat run-down bar from the outside.

But inside it’s very nice. And the food is very good.

Driving up, they were advertising a Lunch Buffet. My kind of place

At 1:30 we were toward the end of the buffet time, but everything was still hot and delicious. With two kinds of pizza, chicken fried steak, meatloaf, fried okra, pinto beans, and fried cabbage, it looked good. Oh, and cinnamon rolls for dessert.

TK's Buffet

I think this was the first time I’ve ever had fried cabbage, but I’ll have it again. It was really good.

The pizza was very good too, with a tasty crust. A lot of pizza crust is not very good by itself but needs sauce and cheese. TK’s crust stands on its own, almost like a chewy bread. Every thing was very well-seasoned, especially the meatloaf. The cook certainly knows his way around a spice rack.

Jan, on the other hand, was in a burger mood, so she went with their Cheddar Burger with Onion Rings.

TK's Jan's Burger

After one bite, she said, “This burger’s delicious and there’s something different about it.” Turns out there was something different. The waiter said all the burgers are done outside on a grill/smoker. And it certainly shows.

And tastes.

We’ll go back.

Next we drove over to Karnes City to pick up our bank cards. Glad to finally be able to get some money out of our SiteWatch account.

On the way home we drove a detour out into the country to show Jan where my last gate was. Finally coming home we made a quick HEB stop for a few things.

Todd texted me about 6:30 with another gate job. Or actually the same gate I was at a week a while back at the end of October. The gate where the cow ran off with the sensor cone. But this time I’m on Day shift.

Semi-Bummer.


Thought for the Day:

“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” ― Mark Twain

 

 

 


November 15, 2018

It’s Bacccckkkk!

Today I reluctantly had to give up the 2018 Malibu that we’d rented for the last three weeks. Really sorry to see it go.

Jan and I headed out a little before 11, first down to the Capital One Bank by the Interstate to get the cash for the truck repair. When I asked the other day about a ‘cash’ discount, they made the extra trip worth my while.

Then it was back down to Snider Transmission in Santa Fe to retrieve our Dakota. And since I didn’t have Jan on the rental agreement, she got to follow me over the Enterprise office in Dickinson to give back the Malibu. Sob!

It took a little longer than normal because the girl checking me in was in training, plus they do all this on iPad’s and they were giving them problems. As usual, it seems.

We saw the same type of issues with them when we HAD to use them while gate guarding last year. Seems like we fought them all the time, when paper and pencil were so much quicker.

Back in the Dakota we headed north on I-45 to the next exit to again have lunch at Slim Chickens, our new favorite chicken place. Jan likes it better that Cane’s because she says the batter is lighter, and we both like it better because they have a lot of other sides, rather than the just fries and Cole slaw like Cane’s.

Jan got the 7 piece dinner with a side salad and her fav mushrooms,

Slim Chickens 7 piece with Mushrooms and Salad

while I got the Cayenne Chicken Sandwich with a side salad.  She said to tell you that she got 7 piece because she was sharing some with me, not because she was that hungry.

Slim Cayenne Sandwich with salad

I got the ‘spicy’ cayenne sandwich because it was free. When we were there last time, on opening day, I signed up for their mobile app which came with a free sandwich. Plus we earn points for every visit.

Their ‘spicy’ cayenne sandwich needs a lot more cayenne, believe me.

Driving the Dakota again after the Malibu is kind of like running in lead boots. It just feels heavy. But it’s running, and shifting great, and it’s really nice to have 3, 4, and 5 gears again.

When I ask Kenny if the new transmission would last another 282,000 miles like the first one did, he laughed and said it would probably last longer than the rest of the truck.

He’s probably right.

I’m really disappointed in my recent 16:40 (not 16:39 and not 16:41) experience in the Devil’s Easy Bake Oven. Based on how much it hurt to start with, I kind of expected more obvious results. but so far, pretty much nothing.

After 48 hours, there’s no pain, no peeling, no scabbing, no ‘my scalp sliding down over my eyes’, and I don’t even glow in the dark.

I mean, what was the point? And it cost me $120.

And then I get to do it all again next month.

Oh boy!

I know all of you out there are desperate to know what you can get me for Christmas. Well, Costco has just the thing, and it’s on sale.

Costco Jet Sale

And it’s only $15,999!

Even better, it comes with a $3500 Costco Gift Card, as well as $5000 in flight time credit. Of course, that $5000 only buys you 2/3 of an hour of Citation Jet time.

But it’s a steal at $7,495 an hour.

Of course, if everyone gets me the same thing I’ll have plenty of hours to use.


Thought for the Day:

Some people are about as useful as decaf coffee, or non-alcoholic beer.

 

 

 


November 15, 2019

Just #$@#$#@# . . .

We pulled out of our site at the Petticoat Junction RV Park at about 8:10 yesterday, 20 minutes ahead of schedule, so the day was starting off on a good note.

Heading up on I-45 and then west on the SH Tollway, the only slowdown was at the US59/I-69 interchange, and then it was on out on to I-10W with our first stop at the Katy Buc-ee’s for breakfast kolaches and coffee about 70 miles along.

But the first thing we did was to check the truck for any oil leakage. We were very happy to see any sign of oil on the truck, unlike last April when we after ready had oil showing when we stopped here.

So it looked like our long-term oil leak problem was finally fixed. In fact the oil pressure was actually showing a couple of pounds higher at 63-64#, rather than the previous 61-62#.

But then about another 70 miles, the other side of Columbus, the oil pressure started dropping, and dropping much quicker than it ever had before. In fact, within about 20 minutes it was down in the high 40’s, so I quickly pulled over to check things out.

And now I had oil all over the tarp covering the truck’s windshield and streaking down the sides.

DAMN!

I went ahead and added the gallon and a half of Shell Rotella 15W-40 I had with me, and we headed out again. Getting off I-10 at Luling, I stopped off at the Love’s Truck Stop there and bought 4 gallons, all they had in stock.

And then got my second big shock of the day when the price for the 4 gallons was $112 including $8 sales tax. That made it about $26 a gallon, slightly more than double the $12.99 I normally pay at WalMart or Tractor Supply.

OUCH!

Trying to gauge how much oil I was going to need to get to Kingsland, I made another stop at a Valero in Lockhart and got two more gallons. This time it was a little better, at $22 a gallon.

But as it turns out, I didn’t need the last 2 gallons.

We got into the Granite Rock RV Park in Kingsland about 5pm and got set up. Chris, Linda, and Miss Piper showed up about 5:30 and drove us over to Alfredo’s, a really good Mexican place.

Probably tomorrow I’m going to crawl back under the rig to see If I can find any problems. Obviously something came loose or gave way.

Odds are that I won’t be able to do anything about until we get home, but you never know. I sure would like to find a tiny hole punched in the oil filter from road debris, but I’m not holding my breath.

On a better note, we have really enjoyed spending time over at Chris and Linda’s lovely place, including just sitting out in the yard that Chris has worked so hard on.

Chris' Backyard 2

Chris' Backyard 3

Brandi, Lowell, and Landon got up here tonight and we’ll all be getting together for breakfast tomorrow morning.

Really looking forward to it.


Thought For The Day:

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

 

 









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