Dragons and Spitfires . . .

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog about our family get-together up in Kingsland starting Thursday, Jan 1st. But today, Jan and I upped the ante on that trip, booking a night at a Fredericksburg hotel the day before, on the 31st.

So Jan and I will go up to Fredericksburg a day earlier to spend some time checking out some of our old haunts, before making the 90 minute drive over to Kingsland on Saturday morning.

Really looking forward to all of it.



November 30, 2013

Elephants and Llamas and Camels, Oh My!

Today was our trip up to the Texas Renaissance Festival about 70 miles north of here. The last time Jan and I came up was in 2007 right before we started RV’ing. But we first started coming here in the early 80’s when the kids were little. Then in the 90’s we brought Miss Piper up here several time too. So now it was Master Landon’s turn.

Jan and I left the rig about 8am heading for Chris’ with a stop at the bank for money, and Jack in the Box for breakfast sandwiches for everyone. And then a little after 9am we were back on the road with Chris driving.

Brandi’s group was going to meet us there. And by group, I mean a bunch. It included Brandi, Lowell, Landon, Lowell’s parents Lendel and Sonja, and Lowell’s sister Sherry. With our car-full that makes a total of 11.

It’s going to be like herding cats.

We made a quick trip up to the area, but hit bumper-to-bumper traffic as we got within 10 miles and that took us a while to get parked. But finally we were through the gate and  into the park.

And it’s like entering a whole different world.

One inhabited by dragons,

TexRenFest 22

 

and even fairy queens.

TexRenFest 4

TexRenFest 16

 

You’ve got gypsies,

TexRenFest 6

 

nobles,

TexRenFest 23

TexRenFest 24

 

or even royalty.

TexRenFest 25

 

And of course, commoners.

TexRenFest 5

 

And of course, Landon enjoyed taking it all in.

TexRenFest 3

 

I mean where else can you ride a real Brahma bull,

TexRenFest 7

 

a zorse,

TexRenFest 26

 

or even a dragon’s egg.

TexRenFest 8

 

And, apparently, Landon will ride just about anything with his cousin Piper, including

TexRenFest 9

 

an elephant,

TexRenFest 10

TexRenFest 11

 

a llama, (it was a one person llama, so Piper just watched)

TexRenFest 12

TexRenFest 13

 

and a camel.

TexRenFest 14

 

And even a really big swing.

TexRenFest 18

 

One of our favorite shows is the Birds of Prey demonstration.

TexRenFest 20

 

And yes, that’s a full-grown owl, a Screech Owl.

TexRenFest 19

 

This is an African Augur Buzzard, but more like a hawk or falcon, not a buzzard of the US kind.

TexRenFest 21

 

We finally all staggered out to the cars a little after 4pm, feeling a lot like this camel. And yes, that’s how they rest when they’re pooped.

TexRenFest 15

 

Getting back to Chris and Linda’s about 5:30, we headed back to the rig, stopping only at Buc-ee’s for coffee to help keep me awake to do the blog, and Cranberry muffins for breakfast.

We had a great time, a lot of fun, but boy, are we tired. Maybe even camel-tired.


Thought for the Day:

Inside every “older” person is a younger person wondering what the hell happened?

 

 

 


November 30, 2017

A New Ride . . .

Jan and I headed up to the Clear Lake area about 4pm to meet up with Chris, Linda, and Piper at Cheddar’s for dinner. But we left a little early so we could make a stop at Sam’s to pick up a prescription and 6# of JIF Creamy Peanut Butter.

Then it was on over to Chris’ to wait for Piper to get off and meet us at the restaurant. The first thing we noticed when we pulled up to the house was this.

Piper's New Ride

Turns out that this Mazda Miata is Piper’s new ride. Don’t remember what year it is but it only has about 64,000 miles on it. But there’s a problem.

Piper can’t drive a stick, and a 6-speed stick at that. So it’s back to Driver’s Ed for Piper.

I told Miss Piper that she was taking after her PaPa since this is what I was driving when I met Jan down in Florida. Of course this is an Internet photo.

65 Triumph Spitfire

A 1965 Triumph Spitfire. Of course knowing me, it’s not surprising mine was somewhat souped up. (Well, maybe a lot souped up!)

Dinner was just as good as we’ve come to expect from a Cheddar’s meal, with Jan having the Key West Chicken and Shrimp with Bourbon Glaze, and Green Beans and Broccoli-Cheese Casserole

Cheddar's Key West Chicken and Shrimp

while I had the Chicken Tenders, with Green Beans and Broccoli-Cheese Casserole.

Cheddar's Chicken Tenders 2

All as delicious as usual.

I did this group photo after we finished eating,

Cheddar's Group

with everyone in the Christmas Spirit except Miss Piper.

But after I reminded her that there was still room on the Naughty List, she perked right up.

Cheddar's Piper

After dinner, we drove over to the other ‘new’ thing in Piper’s life. To go along with her new ride, she also has a new job and a new apartment.

Piper's New Apt 1

Her new job is here in the Clear Lake area where she does Medical Coding and Insurance Billing for a company that furnishes Hospice services for both individuals and medical Institutions.

Piper's New Apt 2

Piper's New Apt 3

A really nice place, and as she say’s, ‘Only 4 minutes, 31 seconds from work.”

Nice.

Piper's New Kat

This is little fellow is Kat, a kitten that Piper rescued during Hurricane Harvey.

Jan and I have been going through the slides that we came across while Chris was cleaning out the attic at the house.

I was able to borrow a slide projector from my client so we’ve been going through them one carousel at a time, picking the ones we want to have digitized by Legacy Box. Looks like we have 5 or 6 more carousels to go.

The Word of the Day is: Nostrum



Thought for the Day:

Consequence is what makes our choices real.

 

 

 


November 30, 2018

$1.84 A Gallon . . .

Stopped by the Costco this afternoon on my way home from my client’s to fill up before I pick up Jan on Monday.

And the price has now dropped to $1.84. And then on the way home, the HEB that was $2.12 this morning, is now down to $2.01 to match the WalMart right across the Interstate. But as before, still not any real change in the diesel price.

I did stop at the Denny’s down here to have breakfast, just so I wouldn’t have to fix anything myself. Besides breakfast sounded good.

Looks like things have warmed up down at Disney World.

Brandi et all at Disney 2

Where it was in the 50’s a couple of days ago, it’s shirt sleeve weather now for Brandi, Lowell,and Landon. Looks like they’re still having a blast.

Only two more days until Jan’s back home. Karma and I are both giddy.

And lonely.



Thought for the Day:

Is there anything so permanent as a “temporary” government program?

 

 

 


November 30, 2019

Still Thinking About It . . .

But none of this is going to happen for a couple of weeks, since this coming Thursday we’re leaving on our Christmas In New York trip. So pretty much nothing is getting done until after then.

As I mentioned the other day, when I got back from Kingsland this past Wednesday afternoon, I found a bad 50 amp breaker in our pedestal. And strangely enough this same thing happened to us back in April of 2018, too. That time it was when we got back from one of our local oil leak test drives.

But this time I had my 50 amp Tester all ready to go. And it worked great.

So I thought I’d repost this part of the blog from April 29, 2018.


A couple of weeks ago when we got back from our RV test drive we found that our pedestal was dead.

And as I was sticking my VOM probes into the 50 amp receptacle, wiggling them around to be sure I making a good connection, it galvanized me to build up the tester that I had mentally designed a few years back.

So to refresh my memory, I sketched it out on a pad and started sourcing out some parts. Then it occurred to me that rather than reinvent the wheel, I might ought to check to see if somebody already sold one, saving me the time and effort.

I didn’t find anything commercially-made but I did come across this home-brew effort.

A couple of weeks ago when we got back from our RV test drive we found that our pedestal was dead.

And as I was sticking my VOM probes into the 50 amp receptacle, wiggling them around to be sure I making a good connection, it galvanized me to build up the tester that I had mentally designed a few years back.

So to refresh my memory, I sketched it out on a pad and started sourcing out some parts. Then it occurred to me that rather than reinvent the wheel, I might ought to check to see if somebody already sold one, saving me the time and effort.

I didn’t find anything commercially-made but I did come across this home-brew effort.

http://www.myrv.us/electric/Pg/tester_50amp.htm

Pretty much my same design, but I did like the box and the connector he used so I borrowed that idea, and then went all digital with it. Great minds, etc.

And here’s what I ended up with,

50 Amp Tester Finished

based on this design that I drew up.

50 Amp Tester Schematic

It only took about 30 minutes to wire it up and get it put together. So the first thing I did was to take it outside to the pedestal, disconnect the coach, and hook it up.

50 Amp Tester at Pedestal

And it worked perfectly. But in the bright sun the lights didn’t photograph very well. So I connected it up again after dark.

50 Amp Tester at Night

Much more visible on camera.

The two circuit testers check L1 and L2 for open grounds, open neutrals, reversed grounds and neutrals, etc. All of which I have encountered at campgrounds over the years.

I would have used two voltmeters but couldn’t find one narrow enough to fit two side by side. So I just swap the one back and forth as needed.

The green LED on the top left checks to see if you have real split phase 220VAC coming from the pedestal and not just two 110VAC lines coming into it. Again something I’ve seen several times over the years.

Tomorrow I get my Sweetie back home, after I drive up to Brandi’s to pick her up. It’s kind of lonely here because Karma is just not very good company.


Thought for the Day:

Common sense is a lot like deodorant. The people who need it most never use it.

 

 

 

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