Daily Archives: December 7, 2020

More 2019 NYC . . .


Here’s a recap of the 3rd day of our New York City visit in December 2019

December 21, 2019

Frigid Fingers . . .

On our Saturday, December 7th, in New York, we spent the day riding buses. Gray Line buses like this one.

Gray Line Bus

Thursday afternoon when first visited Times Square, we purchased a pair of 24 hour Gray Line bus passes from one of the many vendors on every corner.

They listed four Hop-On Hop-Off tour routes: Uptown, Downtown, Brooklyn, and a Night Tour. They also offered a Boat Tour, but since we had already visited Ellis Island  and the Statue of Liberty in 2009, and we were doing a East River/Hudson River Night Time Dinner Cruise the next day, we didn’t plan on doing it.

We planned on taking all four trips, starting with the Downtown one that first left out at 9am, with buses every 30 minutes afterwards. And luckily the starting point was diagonally across the corner from our hotel, so very convenient. So after another run at hotel’s breakfast buffet, we were on the corner at 9am for the first bus, along with a lot of other people.

We actually didn’t plan on doing any hopping-on hopping-off. We just wanted to see the city, as much of it as we could. Unfortunately, we managed to chose the coldest day of our trip . . . to ride in an open-air double-decker bus.

The Downtown Tour was a pretty good overview of the city landmarks, taking in Times Square. Empire State Building, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown, Financial District, Battery Park, and South Street Seaport.

In the low 30’s, plus of course the wind chill factor, I could only take a few photos before I lost feeling in my fingers, so all you get are these four.

One of our first stops was in, obviously, the Garment District.

NYC Garment District

We were kind of surprised to see Christmas trees being sold on the sidewalks, but they seem to sell everything else there, so why not?

NYC Christmas Tree Lot

I did get to play with the really nice zoom on my Panasonic FZ80 while we were passing the Empire State Building.

NYC Empire State Building

NYC Empire State Building 1

NYC Empire State Building 2

And that’s all the photos I got that day. With my gloves on I just couldn’t operate the camera.

Finishing up our first tour in about 2 hours, and ending up back in the Times Square area, Jan had been wanting some New York Clam Chowder, and Google said there was a place on the next block. But when we got there, they not longer served it. So we didn’t stay.

What we did do was to backtrack a block and have Soup, Salad, and Breadsticks at the Olive Garden we’d passed. Really good on a 35° day.

Back at the hotel we napped a little and then were back out at the bus stop for our Uptown Tour. It covered Central Park, American Museum of Natural History, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Harlem, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim and a lot more on the famous Museum Mile.

The Uptown Tour pretty much just segued into the Brooklyn Tour, which covered the Botanic Garden, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Antique Furniture District, Fulton Mall, The Brooklyn Museum, Grand Army Plaza, Cadman Plaza, The Brooklyn Public Library and much more.

Back at the hotel in the late afternoon, we crashed a bit, and then had a little supper at the dinner buffet, since we’d also had lunch. Then we just goofed off for a while until our 8pm Night Tour. It included a subset of the other 3 tours, like the Empire State Building, Greenwich Village, SoHo, Chinatown, the Lower East Side, Rockefeller Center, Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn, but at night.

Then it was back to the room, tired and happy, with Jan’s Fitbit saying we’d done over 5 miles today.

Thought for the Day:

Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing plaids with stripes comes easy.




December 7, 2011

Spoonbills and Armadillo Balls . . .

I patiently waited (well, maybe not patiently, but I did wait) to hear back from AT&T Level II Tech Support this morning telling me they had fixed the problem with my client’s Internet service.

But the phone had been strangely quiet.

I guess it’s a good thing that my client’s left for San Diego for ten days this morning. I’ll start back tomorrow working on this.

About 1:30 I headed to another client’s house up near Beltway 8. He had two laptops that he wanted me to look at, but the first one was so messed up that I spent almost 3 hours just getting it straightened out. I had to fix a bad wireless mouse driver that was making it hard to do anything on the machine, and then a bad Java update that kept throwing up error messages every time you tried to pull up a webpage.

By the time I got that machine done, it was time to head home, so I’ll come back on Friday and finish up the other one.

Getting back to the rig, and as I pulled in, I saw this Great Egret and a Roseate Spoonbill in the shallows out in front of our site. The Spoonbill was just following along behind the Egret, stirring up the bottom with her wide bill and snacking on what she found.

Egret and Spoonbill

Egret 1


Close up I was able to tell that this Spoonbill was not the one we had seen the other day. It was not near as pink.

Spoonbill 3

That became obvious a little later as we were leaving the rig, and saw both Spoonbills out in front. Together, it was easy to tell them apart. The second one (the male?) was the much pinker one we saw the other day.

Heading out to dinner, Ken and Eileen, owners of the Rexhall Aerbus parked next door were with us. They own a goat/sheep ranch about 60 miles east of Cody, WY, and have been on the road for a month.

Real newbies!

We went to T-Bone Tom’s up in Kemah for dinner. Featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, this place is known for their steaks, BBQ, and of course, their Armadillo Eggs.

Armadillo Eggs 2

Armadillo Eggs are jalapenos, stuffed with BBQ, and then battered and fried. They end up the size of tennis balls, and are really delicious.

We really had a great time hearing all about their ranching experiences and how they decided to start RV’ing.


Thought for the Day:

I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Light than Kay.




December 7, 2012

“Shark, Daddy. Shark!”

A little before 5 pm Jan and I headed over to Dickinson to have dinner at Monterey’s Little Mexico. Love their Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Then it was on down to Galveston to meet Brandi, Lowell, and Landon at Moody Gardens to take Landon through The Festival of Lights.

But since we had to go to the Aquarium building to pickup our tickets, we did a quick run-thru for Landon.

One of his favorites was the seals and sea lions, but the lighting was just too dark for any photos. But my favorite were these baby seahorses. This photo is a real close-up since in reality they’re only about a half inch long. Just amazing.

Baby Seahorses

Landon also really enjoyed the tunnel through the shark tank. His head was just spinning around as he watched the big sharks swim overhead, as he pointed and said, “Shark, Daddy. Shark”.

Moody Fish Tunnel

Moody Garden’s Festival of Lights contains over one million lights and 100 animated scenes, complete with sound effects, and takes about an hour to walk through.

Moody Gardens = Overall

A lot of the fun was watching Landon as he ohh’ed and ahh’ed at everything. His head would keep moving back and forth like a bobblehead doll.

Festival of Lights 1

Festival of Lights 2

Festival of Lights 3

Festival of Lights 4

Landon - Festival of Lights 5

Festival of Lights 6

Festival of Lights 7

The big Christmas tree out over the lake was really something. A perfect end to the night.

Festival of Lights 8

Thought for the Day:

“In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these.” — Paul Harvey




December 7, 2013

Foot Stomping and Doing Nothing . . .

Friday was basically a errand/client day with stops at Fry’s and several other places checking out laptops for a client, Then it was off to Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. I also checked what they had in the way of laptops, but didn’t see anything in my price range.

My next stop was a client’s office to take a look at a printer problem he was having, The culprit was a Canon Copier/Printer similar to this one.

This is a network printer that the client uses to print out 1000’s of pages for the catalogs he sends out to customers. The computer said the printer wasn’t online, but the printer said it was too online. So I went back to the computer and tried to set up another printer driver, but was not able to see the printer at the static IP address it was set to (192.168.1. 10).

Next up I checked the CAT5 cables connecting the printer and computer to the router. I knew the computer line was OK since it was able to the see the Internet.  And the connection lights on both the printer and router ends were flashing away, a pretty good indication that that line was also good.

So it was back to the client to get some more info about when the problem occurred. After repeatedly pressing him on when/how it had quit working. He finally said “Oh, yeah. I switched our Internet service from the phone company to Comcast and they mentioned that they made some changes to the router.

Well, doh!

At this point, I was almost certain I knew what had happened. Comcast had probably changed the local private IP address from 192.168.X.X to the other main one 10.0.X.X. (There is a 3rd one, 172.16.X.X, but it’s not used very often).

And as it turns out, I was right. So rather than trying to change everything back on Comcast’s end, I just change the printer’s static IP address to, and then changed the IP address in the printer driver , and now everything worked.

So after fixing his problem I felt a little less guilty about picking up my check while I was there. My next stop, (after the bank to deposit the check) was our storeroom to drop off some stuff and pick up some stuff, mainly Jan’s bird feeder to put out in front of the rig.

Finally getting back to the rig about 4:30, I turned right around and Jan and I headed out about 5 to meet a couple of friends, Maria and Connie, at the Joe’s BBQ over in Alvin, TX for dinner. Then all of us headed over to the Alvin Opry for the Friday night show.

As usual, Gene Hofford, the owner (along with his wife, Sue) of the Alvin Opry opened the show with a rousing number.

Gene Hofford

Like many of the band and performers here, Gene had a number of  hits back in the 60’s, including ‘Better Hang On Girl’ and ‘Surf Bunny’. Then after a number of local favorites, it was time for the feature, and who we especially came for, John Mark Davis.

John Mark Davis

John Mark is the full-blooded son of a chief of the Adai Caddo Indians of Louisiana, and has performed all over the country. He has opened for Mark Chestnutt and Tracy Byrd, and was offered a slot opening for Dwight Yoakum, but due to a prior obligation was unable to accept.

He was also twice an award winner in the Nashville’s Music City Song Fest, and really knows how to work a crowd and keep you entertained. He’s also know for his hilarious versions of Kaw-Liga, Running Bear, and Please Mr. Custer.

You can go here and download for free, or listen to one of John Mark’s songs oh his website.

So you can blame John Mark for us getting home late and you not getting a blog yesterday.

Today, Saturday, was pretty much a hang-around-the-rig day. I did spend some time pulling our winter coats out from the back of the truck, since it looks like we’re going to need them for a while. But other than that, we just goofed off all day.

BTW right now at 11:55pm Saturday night, it’s 29 degrees in Whitsett at our old gate. Really glad it’s our OLD gate, and not our present one. Feel sorry for Jim and Linda.

Thought for the Day:

To me, old age is always 15 years older than I am. – Bernard M. Baruch