Wanted . . .

I got my Jeep paperwork off to South Dakota via Priority Mail this morning. Since we’re still driving around with no tages, hopefully they’ll get it turned around pretty quickly, but then there’s the blizzard.

When I talked to Katherine at Dakota Post after she had helped me through filling out the necessary forms that I would need to send them, I asked her about the weather up there in Sioux Falls.

“Well, we’re kind of having a blizzard here.”

So then I said, “Well, it’s going to be 79° here today. What’s your high temp going to be?”

She laughed and said, “Just pick either one of those digits and you’ll be pretty close.”


Thought For The Day:

Wanted Dead & Alive




November 16, 2010

Amazon and the Landon Cam . . .

Later this morning our friends Al and Adrienne called. When we called them back, we found they’re still in Fernley, NV which is about 30 or so miles east of Reno, where they’re working for Amazon at one of their distribution centers. Amazon hires about 15,000 people a year to work shipping out orders, and they like to hire RV’ers because they bring their own housing with them. In some cases Amazon pays for their site at the RV park.

They said it’s an interesting experience. Not sure exactly what that means. Hopefully we’ll find out more when we see them back in Tucson next year.

Proud papa Lowell sent this picture of Landon at his first full day of daycare. He looks like he’s not too sure about the whole thing, but there’s no way you’re getting a smile out of him, no way, no how.

Landon Picture Day

Brandi went back to work yesterday after her 3 month maternity leave, but she started putting Landon into half-day daycare last week to help him get used to it.

The daycare does have one neat thing, although it’s debatable how useful it is.

The Landon Cam.

They have two cameras that you can log into on the Internet. Normally Landon is in the middle crib on the right. Don’t know where he is now. You can’t pan or zoom the camera either. So you just have to hope he’ll be there when you look in.


Finally, about 12:45 pm we got to take our walk, and it was a perfect day for it. The sun was shining, the temperature was in the high 60’s and there was a nice breeze. Couldn’t be better for a nice walk.

I set the machine so we had coffee waiting for us when we got back, so that was nice too.

Later in the afternoon I went out and set the ladder up next to the slide to check out why it’s suddenly started leaking. I found a small tear in the inner seal. The heavy black rubber wipers look to be intact on all three sides, but where they join together at the corner, there’s a gap. I plugged it up temporarily with some rubber insulation and taped it over. Will have to see if that fixes the problem during the next rainstorm before doing a more permanent repair.

A little after 5 Jan and I headed over to Dickinson to meet Maria and Bob Sutton for supper at Monterey’s Little Mexico. Then, after dinner I drove Bob back to his house, while Jan and Maria drove down to La Marque to play Bingo at the Knights of Columbus Hall. They did it last Tuesday, and Jan really had fun, so she wanted to do it again.

She didn’t win anything, but she did come within 3 numbers of winning one of the big prizes where you have to fill in the entire card.

I went down to pick her up and we got home about 10:30 and were in for the night.

More tomorrow…

Thought for the Day:

There is no more dangerous animal than a cornered government.




November 16, 2012

Jan said she wanted a Nooner . . .

Here’s my Friday blog that didn’t get posted yesterday due to computer problems,

Since this was our last day in Gulf Shores we wanted to eat at King Neptune’s Seafood Restaurant, another of our favorite restaurants in this area.

King Neptune's 1

We’ve been eating here for years, and although it’s on the main drag and popular with tourists, the lunch specials are very popular with locals. And besides being delicious, the prices are extremely reasonable.  Jan had the Roasted Turkey with Pecan Cornbread Dressing, Giblet Gravy, Cranberry Sauce, Mashed Potatoes, Deviled Eggs and a Biscuit. And Homemade Coconut Pudding for dessert. And all this was $4.95.

King Neptune's 2

I had Seasoned Shrimp with Pimento Cheese Grits, Sweet Potato Soufflé, Turnip Greens, a Biscuit, and dessert. All for $6.95. And these prices also included our iced tea.

Our total bill with tax was only $14.19!

And did I mention it was delicious. All perfectly seasoned.

Leaving King Neptune’s, and after a NAPA Auto Parts stop for some transmission fluid, we made our obligatory tacky gift shop stop at Souvenir City.

Souvenir City

This place started out as 8’ x 10’ hot dog stand in the 1950s, and now is a chain of shops all along the Alabama and Florida Gulf Coasts.

When we got back from lunch, Jan said she wanted a Nooner.

Unfortunately she meant a NAP!

So after she napped and I worked on getting everything ready to travel tomorrow, we headed out about 5pm to finish up our Gulf Shores visit the same way we started – with dinner at Lulu’s at Homeport, and as before, we finished off our meal by splitting an order of their Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding. Hmmm! Good!

On the way home we made a Wal-Mart to pick up the ingredients for Jan’s Heavenly Hash (Ambrosia). We saw on Facebook that the Galveston Bay RV Park where we’ll be staying this winter is having their Thanksgiving Dinner Sunday afternoon. And since we’ll be there earlier in the day, who can pass up another Turkey dinner. So the Heavenly Hash will be our contribution.

Tomorrow morning we’ll begin our two day journey back to Houston.

Here’s hoping the rig starts. Open-mouthed smile

Thought for the Day:

“We don’t seem to be able to stop crime, so why not legalize it and put a heavy tax on it. We have taxed other industries out of business; it might work here.” – Will Rogers




November 16, 2015

Just Do It Yourself . . .

Well, it looks like we dodged a bullet on most of today’s rains, with it never getting very heavy, and pretty much over by 2pm. And even tomorrow’s ‘Heavy Thunderstorms’ have been downgraded to ‘Storms/Wind’. It would be nice to have it ‘downgraded’ to ‘Sunny’ for tomorrow, but that’s probably not going to happen.

But on the upside, this weekend is still looking nice.

Todd, our GGS service guy, came back to top off our diesel tank. I figured he’d wait until he came back on Sunday to service the generator, but he went ahead and did it today. He said he probably won’t be back on Sunday since our replacements, Donna and Joe Shelton, were experienced enough to get themselves hooked up.

Of course when you think about it, with everything already here, and set up and running, it’s no different than pulling into an RV park and getting hooked up.

I  had mentioned a while back that as of right now, we’ll be moving back and forth between the Lake Conroe TT park and the Colorado River TT park in Columbus, TX for the rest of the year, into next, depending on park openings down the League City area.

Since I originally set things up on a Friday for some reason, all of our 10 upcoming two week reservations start out on Friday. But since we’re leaving the gate this Sunday and going into Lake Conroe, I had to lop off two days of our reserved 14 days to make things come out right.

But I was thinking this morning that if I pushed everything back two days that it might make things a little easier in a couple of ways. First off, the traffic looping around the top of Houston on Beltway 8 should be a little lighter on Sunday, not that it’s usually that bad in the middle of the day when we travel. But maybe more importantly, by coming in on Sunday when a lot of weekend campers are leaving, it might give us a better choice of sites.

Anyway, rather than me starting at the last of my ten reservations and backing each one up two days, one after the other, going forward, I thought I’d just call Thousand Trails Reservations and let them do it.

Surely their sophisticated reservation software would be able to move all the reservations forward two days, automagically, all at once. But I quickly found that they would have to do it one at a time, just like me.

Geez!  I’ve seen cheap, badly-written campground software that would do this with no problem. So I ended up doing it myself, since the last time I let them change a bunch of reservations, they screwed it up.

Sometimes the only way to get something done right, is to do it yourself.

Of course sometimes I screw it up too, but at least then I know who to blame.

One chore I forgot to tell you about yesterday was to check the water in our rig’s house batteries

Rig Batteries 1

I was immediately surprised to see how much dust from the trucks going by, had accumulated in the battery compartment. When we get settled in after our move this Sunday, I’ll pressure wash it to clean up. I also noticed a little corrosion on the terminals that I’ll take care of at the same time.

Because of the internal bracing in the bay it can be hard to get distilled water into the back set of batteries, so I made up this water hand pump using a well rinsed out windshield washer fluid jug and this Pennzoil Gallon Fluid Transfer Pump

Rig Battery Pump

This lets me put the hose nozzle in the cell opening and just pump to top it off. No fuss, no mess.

Battery Fluid Pump

I’ve given you a link to one on Amazon, but I think I got mine at Wal-Mart.

My engine batteries are sealed and on a swing-out tray above the house batteries. And since they’re sealed, they need no maintenance, just like the battery in our truck.

One less thing to do.

As far as today was concerned, I didn’t schedule anything major since the weather was supposed to be pretty rainy. But it actually didn’t turn out bad. So I took care of some small stuff that had been pushed down on my list by bigger stuff.

First up, I wanted to install some grommets on the floor mats in the truck. Unlike a lot of vehicles, our Dakota doesn’t have any way to fasten the mats down and they get scrunched up under the pedals after a time.

So I got out my Lord & Hodge Grommet Kit and installed two grommets on each mat like this.

Grommet Kit

When we get back to Conroe I’ll stop off at an auto parts place to pick up some of the screw-in hooks that will hold the mats in place.

I’ve also used the grommet kit to put some additional grommets in our canopy tarp here on the gate to be able to put tie-downs exactly where I want them.

Finishing up, I liked the paracord boot laces I made for my Red Wing boots so much, I made up a set for my steel-toed boots too. I started wearing these boots again a week or so ago when it was so cold and rainy, and my other boots got wet.

I hadn’t worn them since last year’s gate when we had to wear all the Frack gear, and I’d forgotten how comfortable they are. Especially considering they only cost about $30 vs. $175 for the Red Wings.

Boot with Lace Keeper

The only real downside is that they are a good bit heavier than my others, but I certainly feel light on my feet when I take them off.

FYI the little American Flags are called ‘lace keepers’. They keep your laces from gradually getting uneven over time. Most people are stronger in one arm than the other, usually on their ‘handed’ side, i.e. right-handed or left-handed. So they tend to pull harder with that hand than the other one, without even knowing it.. And so the laces gradually get mismatched in length.

But the lace keepers provide enough drag to stop that from happening.

And you can get them in hundreds of different styles, including military branch insignia, sports teams, car manufacturers, and many others.

A few years ago when we were on a drill rig gate, I was waiting to talk to the Company Man, along with another couple of guys. One of these guys was about 6’ 6’ and built like a pro linebacker.

I happened to look down at his boots and couldn’t resist a chuckle. Seeing where I was looking, he smiled at me and said, “My 6 year old daughter gave them to me for my birthday a couple of weeks ago.” And then I understood.

And I must say he did look resplendent in his well-worn boots, complete with large pink Hello Kitty lace keepers.

Hello Kitty

Thought for the Day:

“The best way to teach your kids about taxes is by eating 30% of their ice cream.” – Bill Murray




November 16, 2016

A Beautiful Evening . . .

Several readers have recently asked about a couple of things that we use regularly and recommend.

The one I use most is one I mentioned the other day during my Splendide dryer repair. It’s the WORX Power Screwdriver

Worx Driver

It comes with two different cartridges contain12 bits of various types and sizes. You can also use standard screwdriver bits and well as drill bits. But the thing I really like about it is the torque it can generate. You literally will not be able to hold on to it if the screw stops. So it can power through just about anything.

The next one is our Porter-Cable 150 PSI Air Compressor.

Air Compressor

We bought ours in 2009 when it was being sold under the Sears name. I don’t use it as often as my WORX driver but it’s always worked when I needed it. Even more important it’s capable of airing up our rig tires to 105 psi quickly, and with no strain.

As it stands right now Jan and I plan on making the 160 mile trip back to our daughter Brandi’s for Thanksgiving. And somewhere along that trip over and back we’ll reach a milestone.

Our 2004 Dodge Dakota will reach 250,000 miles, that’s a quarter of a million miles!  We bought the Dakota the end of 2007 specially to tow behind our RV, and at time it had 104,000 miles on it. According to CarFax it had been a T-Mobile supervisor’s truck and already had the bed cover on it. With 4WD, it was towable 4-down and perfect for our needs.

And incredibly, it also has another 75,000+ miles being dragged around behind the rig that doesn’t register on the odometer.

Even better is how reliable it’s been. Over the years, we’ve had to replace the AC compressor, the radiator and a water pump. Right now I need to replace the AC evaporator fan which I’ll do when we get back to Houston.

I’ll also put on a new set of shocks at that time, the second new set since we brought the truck. And that’s about it. ]

A really good truck. But then I’ve always had good luck with Chrysler products.

Around 4pm Jan and I headed out to have dinner once again at Bella Sera, our 3rd visit. We’re gradually working our way through the menu, and so far it’s all good.

We both started with salads dressed with their delicious Ranch, which Jan and I agree is probably the best Ranch dressing we’ve ever had.

Bella Sera Salad

And because we both liked their Chicken Soup last time, so this time we split a bowl as an appetizer, Still very tasty.

Bella Sera Chicken Soup

For our entrees, Jan went with the Bella Sera Chicken, the same dish I had on our first visit.

Bella Sera Bella Ser Chicken 2

With chicken, olives, capers, and sun-dried tomatoes in a white wine sauce over spaghetti, it’s a great treat.

I went with the Chicken Arribiatta, with chicken, red peppers, mushrooms, and onions in a marinara sauce, it was a spicy dish. Very good.

Bella Sera Chicken Arribiata

Then after a quick stop at Wal-Mart for a couple of ingredients for the Pasta e Fagioli soup Jan is making tomorrow, we were home for the night.

Thought for the Day:

“The story so far:

In the beginning the Universe was created.

This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.” ― Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe