Monthly Archives: December 2020

Toast And Yolks . . .

Heading out this afternoon, our first stop was the new Toasted Yolk brunch place that just opened out on the Interstate. Another restaurant in the Snooze, The Egg and I, First Watch genre, we were looking forward to trying it, specially since it’s so much closer than Snooze up in Webster.

Jan got her usual, their version of Avocado Toast,

Toasted Yolk Avocado Toast 20201229

Yes, there is Avocado Toast under that egg.

She said it was really good, but not quite as good as Snooze’s version.

I had the Double Decker Omelet, with ham, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, and jalapenos.

Toasted Yolk Double Decker Omelet 20201229

Along with Cheese Grits, Fruit, and an English Muffin. Really good.

And because it was their Grand Opening, we got free Cranberry Mimosas.


Then it was on up to WalMart/Sam’s/Kroger’s for a few things before finally getting home a little before 5pm.

A Question for our Readers. Does anyone know what this decal on the rear window of an SUV. Just curious because we couldn’t figure it out.

Jack's DriveThru Decal

Thought For The Day:

Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.



December 29, 2011

Ribs and Haircuts . . .

After yesterday’s kind of laidback day of just reinstalling the washer, today was much busier with a long list of client stops and errands.

My first two stops were with client’s.  At the first one I wanted to get AT&T to change them from a legacy static IP account to a regular dynamic IP account, and also save them $40 a month.

But as it turned out I didn’t have all the account info so I’ll have to come back tomorrow and try again. It would be nice if I didn’t have to go to their home to do this, but I’ve found it goes a lot easier if I’m calling from the phone number on the account when I’m trying to make changes.

My next client stop was a quick visit to talk over the two new computers I’m getting for his office.

And now it was errand time.  My first stop was Lowe’s to return some extra duct pieces that I had on hand in case I needed them for the washer install. Then It was across I-45 to Sam’s Club for a few things.

After that, it was time for my semi-annual haircut (no jokes, please.) I’ve been using this same barber for about 15 years, and it’s nice just to walk in, sit down, and not even have to tell him how I want it cut.

Next, after stopping at Kroger’s to pick up some coffee creamer, I went next door to Chase Bank to deposit a check, and also order two new Visa Debit Cards for Jan and I. Our old ones, mine especially, are so worn that they won’t scan reliably anymore. Unfortunately we can’t keep our old numbers so I will have to update a number of online accounts with the next number.

My last stop was our storeroom to drop off the furniture dolly I had used for the washer repair and pick up the Christmas ornament storage boxes so we can take down the Christmas tree.

Finally about 4:15 I was headed back to the rig. On my way down I-45 I passed by Spring Creek BBQ and decided I had a hankering for ribs for dinner, so getting back to the rig, we turned right back around and headed out to Spring Creek. And as usual, really good ribs, and the veggie sides are excellent too.

Heading home we stopped off at a nearby PetSmart to pick up a new kitty litter scoop. Then it was back to the rig for the night.

Tomorrow we’re meeting Brandi and Lowell at Texas Tea Room for lunch and then a few more errands, with a side trip back to my client’s home to try AT&T again.


Thought for the Day:

Behind every successful rancher is a wife who works in town.



December 29, 2012

In The Outback . . .

We woke up to a clear, but cold morning so it just seemed to be a good idea to sit around, enjoy the day, and do pretty much nothing.

Jan read, watch TV, and napped, and I played on the computer and napped. Like I said, pretty much nothing.

A little after 4pm Jan and I headed up to Webster to have dinner at Outback Steakhouse. We were supposed to meet Brandi there, but she called a little earlier to say she wasn’t feeling well so she wouldn’t be getting together with us.

I had an 12 oz. Outback Special Steak, while Jan had her usual Alice Springs Chicken. Yes, she goes to a steak place and has chicken.

After a really good meal, but so-so service, Jan and I stopped off at King Food to get Brandi some of her favorite Won Ton Soup, kind of like Chinese chicken soup, I guess.

After dropping off her soup, we left Brandi’s and headed over to Sam’s and then Wal-Mart for a few things before we got back to the rig a little before 8 pm.

Tomorrow we plan on doing pretty much nothing again. We’ll see how it goes.


Thought for the Day:

“God made man but Sam Colt made them equal.”



December 29, 2013

Kindles, New and Old . . .

Today started out as sunny and beautiful, but we didn’t have a chance to sit outside with Mister and our coffee because Jan was waiting for our granddaughter Piper to come and pick her up for their Girl’s Day Out with a movie, lunch, and Mani-Pedi’s.

Piper showed up about 11 AM and she and Jan headed up to Webster to see “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, starring Ben Stiller. Later at dinner, they both said that they really enjoyed the movie, although neither Jan or Piper had ever read the original Thurber short story, so they couldn’t say how closely the movie followed the original story. The 1947 movie version staring Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, and Boris Karloff. didn’t either. The reason is that many (most) of occurrences in the story are very dated, and probably wouldn’t make sense to today’s moviegoers.

Back at the rig, Mister did get to spend most of the day outside in the sun while I caught up on a bunch of small jobs and cleanup chores around here.

Since Jan already has her Kindle Paperwhite, and mine is on order, we really don’t need our original Kindles anymore, so I spent some time deregistering and resetting them to the factory defaults. This brings them back to new out of the box condition so they can be re-registered under a new account.

I did this because we’re going to give them to Chris and Linda for their use. They have their iPods for Kindle books, but these are lighter and work better in bright sunlight. Hope they enjoy them as much as we have.

About 4:30 I headed up to Webster to meet up with Chris, Linda, Piper, and Jan at the Buffalo Wild Wings. Love their Mango Habanero sauce. Sweet and very hot.  But BWW was not to be. Getting there about 5, I was told that there would be about an hour wait.


What’s up with that? The place looked pretty full but there was only about 6 people waiting for a table. Then I realized that there were football playoff games today, and since BWW is primarily a sports bar, people had been camped out all afternoon there, watching football, eating wings, and drinking beer, emphasis on beer.

So after a short conference in the parking lot, we all headed right down the street to eat dinner at Zio’s Italian Restaurant. We used to eat here all the time, but for some reason we haven’t been in a good while. Dinner was good, and it’s always fun to spend time with family.

The only downside is that Jan seems to be coming down with something. She woke this morning kind of congested, and by evening was starting to feel kind of ‘iffy’ with a bad sore throat.

We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

Lowell sent over this photo of Landon playing in the park, telling his daddy how to climb from swing to swing. Seems to be pretty insistent about it.

Landon at Park 2

Not sure what’s going to be in store for tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes with Jan.

Thought for the Day:

If You Want Mine


December 29, 2014

I Lost 80 pounds!

or 79.2 pounds, anyway.

Once again today started way too early, as I was up about 6:15 so we could leave for Brandi’s at 7. Jan’s going to be Landon-sitting today through Wednesday, since Brandi and Lowell are working this week while Landon’s out of school.

We didn’t have time for coffee, but we had picked up Supreme Croissants from Jack in the Box last night on the way home, so we just had those on the way.

I had allowed an extra 45 minutes for the normal hour and 15 minutes trip, assuming we would hit a lot of morning rush hour traffic, but we saw absolutely  none. The traffic moved along with no slowdowns whatsoever. Which meant we got there early enough to stop for coffees before we got to Brandi’s

Since I went to bed late and got up early, I decided to take a nap for a couple of hours at Brandi’s before heading back to the rig, getting back home a little after 1pm. Then it was time to get to work.

First up I wanted to install my new transfer switch and power converter under the bed. But first I had to get the Source Manager Inverter/Converter/Transfer Switch out. Which turned out to be a lot more trouble than I figured.

The first thing I did was to disconnect shore power outside at the pedestal. Then I started looking for how the Source Manager was fastened down. The only two bolts I could find were just inside the air vent. But when I removed them I still couldn’t pull it out.

Transfer Switch Install 1

Pulling the cover off the unit, I could see the problem. It was being held down by the wiring coming up from the bottom. In this case, the heavy duty 12 volt cables running to  the house batteries. But before I disconnected them, I went out to the battery bay and pulled the 300 amp fuse that’s in the line.

This let me safely unhook the cables without worrying about shorting something.

Transfer Switch Install 2

Next I removed the end panel to allow me better access to the shore power and generator cables coming into the unit.

Transfer Switch Install 3

So now all the power cables were disconnected and I should have been able to lift it out. But something was still holding it down. It would come up about six inches but that was it.

Reaching all around underneath, I discovered a bare ground wire about the thickness of a pencil that was the culprit.  And after a lot of struggling I was able to get a pair of lineman pliers under there to cut the wire.

Transfer Switch Install 4

So now it should be easy to lift out, right?


It was like trying to lift a box of boat anchors. Part of the problem was that there was no good way to grab hold of it, but the real problem was that it was just heavy as hell. And taking the screws out and lifting up the relay panel showed me the reason.

This thing had a big, hulking transformer in the size of my head that must weigh 40 pounds all by itself.

But finally as I listened to my back scream for mercy, I manhandled the thing out and on to the bathroom floor.

Transfer Switch Install 5

I had to know how much this thing weighs, so I set it on the bathroom scale. This blankety-blank thing is 24 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 14 inches high, and weighs 79.2 pounds.

No wonder I had trouble lifting it. Well, that’s 79 pounds gone, at least it will be when I figured out how to get it out the door and into the truck. And I have no idea how I’m going to get it into the dumpster.

Transfer Switch Install 8

And it’s all going to be replaced by three boxes this size or smaller.

This one is the new transfer switch, all wired up and ready to soon as I put the cover back on. I was running out of daylight so I wanted to get it up and going. I’ll get it mounted tomorrow when I install the power converter. I’ll also fire up the generator to be sure it’s switching over like it’s supposed to.

Transfer Switch Install 7

Tomorrow I’ll finish up with the power stuff, and then install the new bathroom faucet and the kitchen sink hose.



Thought for the Day:

The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible. – Arthur C. Clarke



December 29, 2016

The Good and the Bad . . .

Ah, the mischievousness of Texas winter weather.

Yesterday it was 82° with a low last night of 65. Today was a high of 64° with a low forecast for tonight of 46.

It is nice to have winter back, though.

Thought first I’d finish up yesterday’s hit or miss dinner plans in San Antonio. Since we ate at Magic Time Machine last time we were there, the obvious choice was our other favorite, La Fonda on Main. But we had said we would get together there with our friend’s Jim and Peri Dean next time. Turns out they wouldn’t have been able to get together with us where ever we went because they were at an RV rally over in Sealy.

We both decided steak sounded good, but none, neither Saltgrass, Outback, nor Texas Roadhouse, were close enough to be attractive. Finally I said, “Magic Time Machine” and got a resounding, “YES” from Jan. And then a “How far is it?”

“5 minutes!”

And off we went.

Checking in at the desk, we ask if Lady GaGa was working and said we wanted her. Even though it was 8:30 and they supposedly closed at 9, we still had to wait 15 minutes to get seated, along with a number of other groups.

Lady GaGa remembered us which was nice since it had been almost a month since we were there before.

Lady was a lot of fun, and we enjoyed watching her perform for the kids at the other tables.

Magic Time Machine Lady GaGa 2

Magic Time Machine Lady GaGa 1

Magic Time Machine Lady GaGa 3

And the food was as delicious as always.

My Ribeye was cooked perfectly, Medium-Rare, with char around the edges.

Magic Time Machine Ribeye2

Along with the soup and salad from the ‘Salad Car,

Magic Time Machine Salad Car

a 1952 MG TD Roadster, and of course, the hot fresh bread, it’s a $25 meal that’s hard to match. And since there’s enough food to eat half and take half home, it’s actually a $12 meal. Neat!

One thing that’s always impressed me about MTM is the fact that it DOES have such good food. The reason I say this is that MTM is essentially an entertainment venue, especially for the kids, not just a restaurant. And those kind of places don’t have a reputation for good food. Think Chuck E. Cheese.

The only exceptions I can really think of are Tilman Fertitta’s Rainforest Café and Aquarium restaurants. But he insists on top quality in all his locations, and is known for showing up unannounced at locations all over the country to check things out.

I mentioned in last night’s blog that I had finally gotten a chance to check out Sam’s Club’s new Scan & Go app. First up you link your Sam’s Club card number and the credit card(s) you want to use. You can link more than one credit card.

In my case it already knew my Sam’s Club card number from my email address

Then as you shop the store, you use the app to scan the bar code of each item. The app identifies the item and the price, and puts it in your app shopping cart, giving you a running total as it goes.

When you’re done shopping, you just hit the Check Out button. The app gives you the Total with tax, and then you hit the Pay Now button. If you have more than one credit card on the account, it asks which one you want to use. Then a bar code shows up on your phone.

As you’re going out the door, you show your phone to the checkout person there. She scans your bar code and then a receipt shows up on your phone. All fine and dandy.

Except . . . there’s always an Except.

Except the bar code scanner function doesn’t work with this app on my phone. The square box that shows your phone’s camera view that you center on the bar code just stays black. So every item that I buy I have to manually type in the bar code. But even with this, it’s still better than standing in line, taking every thing out of your basket, and then putting it all back in again.

Now my camera works fine by itself, and on other apps like the QR Code Reader. But strangely enough, the one other app it doesn’t work on, at least now, is the scanner on the Wal-Mart app that you use to scan your receipts for the Savings Catcher Rebate Program.

The Wal-Mart app used to work, and then it quit for awhile, and then it came back. And then it died, never to return. I always thought maybe that this was due to getting a new WM app update. But with Sam’s app doing the same thing, I’m rethinking that.

Googling the problem shows I’m not alone on this. But I’ve got some ideas and I’ll get back to you on it.

The Good is that gas prices are up and things seem to be booming in the Oil ‘Bidness’. The Bad is that gas prices are up and it hurts more to fill the tank in the truck.

Yesterday morning coming home from the gate at 5 am, the gas price at Wal-Mart was $1.99. Then when we stopped to fill up there on our way to San Antonio about 1:30 pm, the price was $2.05. Then this afternoon it had jumped to $2.09. Ouch.

And back in November it got down as low as $1.74. That’s 35 cents a gallon in just a couple of months. Ouch, again.

Finishing up, one thing I forgot to mention yesterday, was that as we were coming out of the Rogue One movie last night, Jan called our son Chris to tell him how much we had enjoyed it.

And in one of those strange coincidences that’s when he told us that Debbie Reynolds had died.

Thought for the Day:

“One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.” ― Lewis Carroll

Bundle Up!

I mentioned the other day that Jack in the Box was out of the Antenna Ball business.

Well, No.

Last week I stopped by the Santa Fe JITB for a couple of Cold Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and I was  going through the Drive-Thru, I saw a sign saying I could get a free Ball with a Large Combo, or I could buy them for 99¢ each. So I got two.

The last two they had in stock, as it turned out. And rather than the usual  holiday theme, they looked like this.

Jack in the Box Masked Ball

It will be interesting to see how long it last up there.

Jan and I are heading up to the Texas Hill Country on Thursday, first for an overnight stay in Fredericksburg, and then on over to Chris and Linda’s in Kingsland on Friday.

Brandi, Lowell, and Landon will also coming up then, and Miss Piper will be coming over from Austin, so we’ll all be together for once. Unfortunately the weather doesn’t look to be cooperating.

Thursday in Fredericksburg we’re looking at a HIGH of 39° and a LOW of 28. And even better, there’s a 60% chance of rain. COLD rain.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday over in Kingsland are a little bit better. Or at least there’s no rain in forecast. But we’re looking at temps in the low 50’s and high 20’s-low 30’s.

At least it’s supposed to be sunny!

From the Out of the Mouth of Babes Department:

While we were up at Brandi’s on Friday, I was showing Landon some photos of his mother when she was even younger than Landon is now.

And a couple of these had Jan in them also. Landon, looking back between the photos and Jan over on the sofa, said, “But Nana looks just the same now.”

So I whispered to him, “I think she has a picture in an attic somewhere.”

Thought For The Day:

Stalin's Chicken

December 28, 2010

Burnt Eagles and Tortilla Soup . . .

Since we’re just a little over month before we plan to leave here, it’s time to start going thru my to-do list for the RV.

One of the things I started today was removing the three damage wheel well flanges and replacing them with new ones, or at least new to me.

Here’s what one of the damaged ones looked like. Note the broken off white section to the right of the tire.

Wheel Well 1

The flanges are held on by 9 steel rivets, and because they’re steel they’re pretty tough to drill out. In fact, I was only able to do two of them today because I ran both batteries down on my drill. I’ll have to finish the 3rd one tomorrow after I recharge.

Wheel Well 2

At some point things are loose enough that I can just break off the flanges by hand.

Wheel Well 3

The flanges that I’m installing came off this burnt-out American Eagle that we found at last November at Colaw RV Salvage in Carthage, MO. If I had bought these new from Fleetwood, they would have cost me over $500 each. This was because they would have had to pull the mold out of storage and make them from scratch.

But I got these for $100 each, much, much better. Of course they didn’t match our coach, so I knew I would have to get them repainted.

But that didn’t happen until this past August in Elkhart, IN when I had them painted by Michele Henry of Phoenix Commercial Paint when she did the damaged cargo bay doors. Michele did a great job on the doors and the flanges. If you want any paint work done on your coach, she’s the one to see.

I’ll bring the new ones over from the storeroom tomorrow, and hopefully, by then I will have found the hardware I need to remount them. I want to use stainless steel bolts and not rivets this time.

Burnt Eagle 1

Burnt Eagle 2

Burnt Eagle 3

Burnt Eagle 4

Burnt Eagle 5

Jan said when she saw this burnt hulk that looked so much like our rig, it made her knees go weak. Based on the burn pattern and the hotspot, it looks like this started as a refrigerator fire. That’s one reason that I bought a refrigerator compartment fire extinguisher from Mac McCoy, the Fire Guy, as soon as I could.


We left the rig a little about 5pm to meet Bob and Maria at Monterey’s Little Mexico before Jan and Maria headed out to play bingo. I can’t get enough of their Chicken Tortilla Soup. It’s great and I really miss it when we’re on the road.

After I left the restaurant, Bob and I went by Lowe’s before I dropped him off at his house. I was looking for some screws to mount the wheel well flanges, but they didn’t have what I needed.

Jan is really doing well at bingo and I think she’s getting hooked. She won a $100 a few weeks ago, and then last week she won $750.

But tonight she only won $125. Bummer!

No, not really. Winking smile

She’s worked her way up to playing 24 cards at a time. You can get cards in sheets of 9 or 12. She started out playing two 9’s, then a 12 and a 9, and then two 12’s. I told her she should add another 9, but she’s afraid she’ll lose track of the numbers and miss one.

More tomorrow…


Thought for the Day:

The real reason you’re so jealous is that the voices talk only to me.


December 28, 2011

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together . . .

It was nice to wake up to another sunny day this morning after all the rain we’ve had lately. Especially today’s the day I’m going to reinstall our Splendide washer/dryer after the dryer fan repair.

By the time 1pm rolled around, I couldn’t put it off any longer.  So I started outside by removing the dryer exhaust vent cover.

Washer Install 1

My big problem was how to hook up the exhaust hose to the back of the washer. The other hoses, hot and cold water inlets and water drain, and the power cord, were all long enough to be plugged in with the washer still out in the hallway. But the exhaust hose was not long enough to reach.

When I talked to American Coach Tech Service they suggested that I cut a hold in the bottom of the cabinet above the washer and reach down. But this seemed like a lot of work to me so I came up with another plan.

Washer Install 2


My plan was to tape together two yardsticks lengthwise and then run it in thru the outside vent. I would then insert the yardstick into the dryer vent outlet to keep things aligned as I pushed the washer into the cabinet.

Washer Install 4


Mister decided to help me by supervising from the top of the washer, but his 25 pounds just made it harder to move.

The string taped to the top of the washer is used to hold the drain hose up out of the way so it doesn’t get crimped as I push the washer in.

After getting the washer into position, Jan was able to help me tilt it up and get it started in the opening.

Washer Install 6


If I had it to do over, I would have sprayed lubricant on the base of the cabinet to make it easier to slide the washer into position.

Washer Install 7

But after a lot of pushing and shoving, I finally got it into place.

Then I went outside and, with the yardstick and a flashlight, I moved the end of the exhaust duct into position where it was seated in the dryer exhaust connector. Certainly a lot easier than cutting a hole in the cabinet above.

As Col. Hannibal Smith says, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

But before I put the doors back on and install the retaining strip, I wanted do a few wash loads to check everything out. And Jan immediately took me up on it and ran two loads through with no problems at all. Great!

I rested on my laurels for a few hours, and then a little before 5 pm, Jan and I headed up to Stomp’s Burger Joint in Bacliff to meet up with Jan and Dave Evans for dinner.

Jan and Dave Evans

They’ve been reading our blog for a while and when they saw we were in the area, they wanted to get together. Turns out we have a lot in common, not just RV’ing.

Jan worked for the US Post Office for many years, and at one time delivered mail to our subdivision, but not to our street.

And her husband Dave is an instructor at Texas A&M’s Fire School, and probably taught my son sometime along the way when he was a fireman in Texas City, TX.

We really had a fun time getting to know Jan and Dave better, and hopefully we’ll be able to catch up with them again soon.

On a final note, I’m now pretty certain that it was the Garmin GPS FM Traffic Receiver/ Power Cord that ran my battery down Christmas morning since I’ve not had another problem with the battery.

Live and learn.


Thought for the Day:

No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.



December 28, 2012

Maybe I should cut back on the Ghost Chilies a little bit . . .

Regular blog readers know how much I like hot, spicy foods, the hotter the better.

And so far I’ve never found anything too hot for me. A friend gave me some Ghost Chili salt a while back and I regularly use it to spice up my meals. Ghost Chili’s, also known as Naga Jolokia, were, until recently, the hottest chili pepper in the world. Now it’s number 3, behind the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T chili and the Naga Viper.

But after reading this article, maybe I’ll rethink the heat.

Mala Soup

The guy ate soup so hot it burned a hole in his stomach. WOW!

Lowell and Landon are up in Oklahoma visiting Lowell’s parents until this Sunday, and sent along these photos of Landon and his Grannie.

Landon in OK 1

Landon with Grannie in OK

Brandi, who stayed here for work, is really missing them both, and Sunday can’t come quick enough.

I dropped Jan off at her hair place about 10am while I ran some errands. Between EPO – Electronics Part Outlet, a client’s and then Home Depot, I got back about 2 hours later, just as Jan came out. Nice timing.

After Jan was finished getting her hair done, we decided to have lunch at the new Jimmy Changa’s Mexican Restaurant. It just opened about a month ago and it seems like the parking lot is full whenever we go by. But we figured that on a Friday after 1:30 pm that we wouldn’t have a wait.


We ended up waiting almost 40 minutes to get a table. But it was certainly worth it.

We ate at the Jimmy Changa’s up in Pasadena last year and Jan loved their Beef Chili Rellenos, so she got it again and said it was as good as last time.

I was going to have a bowl of their Chicken Tortilla Soup and a Taco Salad. But luckily for me, the waitress warned me that their ‘bowl’ of soup was about the size of a serving bowl, not a regular bowl, and that I might not want to get that and a salad too. And she was right.

The big bowl of soup was plenty, and it was really, really good, too.

I also really liked the chandelier in the main dining room. It’s made up of individual lights, all different, and all very beautiful.

Jimmy Changa's Chandelier

By the time we left the restaurant after 3pm, they were still on a wait. In fact they seem to be busier than when we arrived.

Than after making a couple of stops at client’s, I took Jan back by the place she got her nails done yesterday with Piper. Jan had smeared the polish on a couple of toes and wanted to get them touched up. Turns out that it only took about 10 minutes and they didn’t charge her. Nice!

Later in the evening I put 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the slow cooker to poach them so we can make up some soup. Boy, does it smell good in here.


Thought for the Day:

“I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical” – Thomas Jefferson writing to James Madison



December 28, 2013

Hot Dog!

I got tired of borrowing Jan’s Kindle Paperwhite every time I want to read at night, so I ordered one of my own last night. But I guess Amazon must have sold the heck out of Kindles for Christmas because, even with Amazon Prime, I not going to get mine until sometime after Jan. 6th.

Bummer. Guess it’s back to Jan’s for a while.

About 10 AM Jan and I headed out for our walk around the park, starting our coffee brewer going before we left. Getting back, Jan fed the birds and we (and Mister) sat outside and enjoy our coffee, our muffins, and our view of the bayou. Nice.

Later in the afternoon we did our first vacuum and seal with Jan’s new FoodSaver. She had stocked up on fresh cranberries and wanted to freeze some so she could use them later in the year when fresh ones weren’t available.

So we cut a slit in the original bags so the air could escape and then put the bags in FoodSaver bags and gave it a try. And it worked perfectly. The bags were sucked down to a hard lump, and  should keep for a good while in the freezer.

Originally Jan and I had planned to stay around the rig all day, and then finish off the Turkey Leftovers we brought home from Luby’s on Christmas Day. But friends just had to go and tell me about how good the hot dogs were at Five Guys where they ate yesterday. So about 4 PM, I couldn’t stand it any more, so Jan and I headed over to the Victory Lakes area to have dinner at Five Guys.

They were right about the hot dogs (with bacon, cheese, mustard, relish, and onions), but they forgot to tell us not to get the large fries. They have three sizes: Little, Regular, and Large.

They really should be called Single, Family, and Mob. Since we were only getting one order to split between us, we figured we wanted the large order.


We pretty much got a grocery bag full of fries. More fries than we could eat. In fact, after we had eaten all we could hold, (and more) we had more fries left than we had eaten. In fact, I’d swear that we had more fries left than we started with originally. I think they were reproducing down there at the bottom of the bag. We couldn’t keep up.

We had so much left that Jan brought the bag full home to feed to the birds. I know seagulls like French fries. We’ll see about our other feathered visitors.

Tomorrow, Jan and our granddaughter Piper are going to have girl’s day out with lunch, a movie, and mani-pedi’s. Sounds like fun, and I’ll get some ME time.

Piper at TexRenFest

Piper is going to pick Jan up here at the park in the morning,  and I’ll meet up with them, along with Chris and Linda, for supper later in the evening.

Sounds like a nice day for everyone.

Thought for the Day:

                                                  Women Shop. Men Buy.



December 28, 2015

It’s Landon Time . . .

Jan and I headed out for Katy about 9:30 this morning, looking forward to our day with our grandson Landon, and his other grandparents, Lendel and Sonja. They head back to Pauls Valley, OK on We dnesday so we wanted to get together before they left.

Getting there about 11am and loading everyone in the car, our first stop was down in Richmond for lunch at Sandy McGee’s, where Jan and I ate a few weeks ago. We had taken Sonja and Lendel here on a previous visit and they were happy to go back once again.

And Landon was happy because he got a Chocolate Milkshake and a big plate of fruit salad.

Landon at Sandy McGee's 1

While Lendel got the Southwest Chicken Salad, and Sonja got the Quiche, Jan and I stuck with our favorite Miller’s Choice,

Sandy McGee's Miller's Choice

1/2 a Turkey, Spinach, and Cheese Sandwich, a cup of their award-winning Broccoli Cheese Soup, and their cut-to-order fruit salad.

Jan and I have been eating at Sandy McGee’s since the 90’s and it’s never failed to please, so it’s always a favorite destination.

Leaving Richmond and Sandy McGee’s, we backtracked over to Katy Mills Mall for Landon’s playday. As usual his first stop was jumpstreet, an indoor trampoline park, with a little bit of everything. And one nice thing is that it has a number of different areas, separate by age group, so the smaller kids aren’t competing with the older ones. Landon was on the go for over an hour, until Jan and Sonja got tired just watching him.

And as before, it seems Landon had attracted his usual coterie of female admirers. Jan said that as he was leaving, one little girl looked over and said, “Byyee, Landon.”

Jan and I also laugh about what happened last year when we took him to school one morning while Lowell was at the office early, and Brandi was out of town on business. We walked Landon to his classroom, and just as we got in the door, three cute little girls came running over to him saying, “Hiiiiii Landon!”

Fathers, lock up your daughters!

Next up on Landon’s list was a ride on the electric animals, in the case, an electric cheetah.

Katy Mills Animals 1

Landon has always loved to ride these, but in the past they could only be ridden in a large, circular cordoned-off area. But now they can be ridden anywhere in the Mall, except into the stores.

Katy Mills Animals 2

I was really surprised at how fast these things are. Actually faster than you can comfortably walk. After a while, Landon grew frustrated that his cheetah wasn’t going as fast as it was a few minutes before. But then he turned around and saw that I was slowing it down by holding onto its tail.

Katy Mills Animals 3

“PaPa, let go!”

Katy Mills Animals 4

I’m also surprised that more people aren’t run down by these things at times. Landon did have one close call when he was zipping along, admiring his reflection in the window he was passing, and almost ran into a metal pillar.

Finally about 4pm, we were all pooped so we headed back to Landon’s house. Turns out that since we were going about 5 hours, both Lowell and Brandi called to see where we were, as we were on the way home. Then after getting our hugs from everyone, Jan and I headed back to Conroe about 4:30, but had a couple of stops in between.

First up was the Harbor Freight store right on the way. I wanted to pick up another of their Survival Knives while they’re still on sale.

Harbor Freight Survival Knife

I bought one the other day for the rig, and decided I wanted another one to keep it the truck. Besides having a compass, a fire starter, a sewing kit, and a fishing kit in the handle, it’s got that whole Crocodile Dundee, “That’s not a knife. This is a knife.” thing going on.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can check that scene out here:

Leaving Harbor Freight, we were commenting on how we were going be in peak Houston going-home traffic as we were . . . well, going home. So we decided to while away some time with a steak, in particular, a Longhorn Steakhouse Steak.

And, boy, was this a good idea. The steaks were really good, very tender and flavorful, and perfectly cooked. I don’t think we’ve ever have a bad steak at Longhorn.

I had the Wedge Salad, with bacon, tomatoes, onions, and bleu cheese dressing.

Longhorn Salad 4

Funny, but I’ve never been a big fan of bleu cheese dressing. I’m more of a Thousand Island guy. But for some reason I really like it on a wedge salad.

Not only was my steak delicious, but even the broccoli was cooked perfectly. Not overdone and mushy, but crisp and buttery, with lemon juice squirted on it

Longhorn Steak 3

Most places don’t seem to take the time getting the sides right, but Longhorn sure did tonight.

Tomorrow we’ll try to walk if it’s not too cold and windy, but otherwise we’ll just hunker down here in the rig and enjoy.

Thought for the Day:

“It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with the experiment, it’s wrong.” — Richard P. Feynman.



December 28, 2016

Sobbing and Clapping . . .

Well that didn’t last long.

At 7am this morning, about an hour after I got to sleep, Todd texted me that I was off my old gate tonight and then start another new gate tomorrow night. And by new I mean one I’ve never been to before, or even heard of, actually.

I was happy about this since the Internet is so crappy here. But disappointed for two reasons. One, I was hoping this was going to be somewhat permanent gate, and Two, because thinking this was a somewhat permanent gate, I left my wall clock and floor heater there, since I thought I would be back there tonight.

As I was trying to get back to sleep, it dawned on me that this might be a good time to make a quickie trip into San Antonio to see the new Star Wars movie and also have dinner. And when I called out to Jan to tell her, she was all giddy.

But when I got up about 1pm and started trying to make everything work, the 25 mile side trip to pick up my clock and heater, the Sam’s Club/ Wal-Mart shopping, the movie, and then dinner, it didn’t fit. So it looked like we have to try to make it all work on the fly.

And the first fly showed up as soon as we left my old gate after picking up my stuff. According my GPS, we would arrive at the movie 15 minutes after it started. OOPS!

So after running through plans B – K, I flipped the whole schedule upside down. We’d shop first, then movie, then eat.

I hope.

And because of all this rapid rescheduling, and not knowing when we were going to eat, and where, even, we didn’t call our friends, Jim and Peri Dean to meet us like we had hoped to. Sorry guys, we’ll catch you next time.

The other problem with the rescheduling on the movie was that we were no longer seeing the 3D version, just the standard one. But not really a problem.

But because we were pushing dinner back to the 8:30 to 9:00 pm time frame after the movie, Jan was going need to stop and get something to eat. Otherwise her blood sugar goes ‘wonky’ and she gets, well, let’s just call it ‘cranky’.

Yeah, let’s go with that.

And where better to relieve possible crankiness, but the Whataburger in Floresville, right on the way. So that we didn’t fill up, we just each got our usual Double Whataburger Jr., but nothing else. No fries, no drink.

With that problem out of the way, it was on to our Sam’s/Wal-Mart stop. I finally got a chance to check out the new San’s Club Scan & Go app on my phone. It both worked, and didn’t work, but I’ll follow up on this tomorrow.

Then it was on to the 5:40 showing of Rogue One – A Star Wars Story.

All I can say if you liked/loved the original 1977 Star Wars, you will LOVE this movie.

Rogue One is prequel to the very first one, and actually ends just minutes before the action began in the first movie. You could just bump the two films together and you’d think you were watching one lone movie.

I don’t want to give anything away, but the movie answers two main questions, as well as a number of others.

Did you ever wonder how Princess Leia got the Deathstar  plans than she gave to R2D2 to get to Obi-Wan?

Did you ever wonder why this planet-size space station could be taken out by a single missile down a ventilation shaft?

This is the first movie in a long time that had people applauding loudly at the end. The last one I remember was Independence Day in 1996. There was also a lot of sobbing from the audience going on at the end.

Not me, of course. It’s just that I have allergies. That’s why I was tearing up.

Yeah, let’s go with that.

Besides the great storyline and the action, the most amazing thing about the movie were the digital characters.

Peter Crushing, who played Grand Mott Tarkin in the original movie, and who died in 1994, was resurrected digitally for this prequel. And you can not tell him from the live actors surrounding him. He just looks real. It’s uncanny.

There is one other major digital resurrection that I won’t give away, but if you were a real fan of the original, you will also recognize some of the X-Wing fighter pilots from the first movie, some digitally reproduced, some redone from unused scenes from the original one.

For us I think this is also  the first movie in a long time that I could easily see again.

Note that if you’ve got young kids, this movie is darker than the first one. A lot of people that you want to live, die, so be prepared.

It’s getting late, so I’ll save save our last minute change of dinner plans and the great time we had, until tomorrow.

Thought for the Day:

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.



December 28, 2017

Feeling Better . . .

I woke up feeling better this morning, but the symptoms were exactly the same as what was bothering me last Thursday before our Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert.

I’ve done some Googling and I think I’ve got a line on  what the problem is, but I’m still researching it.

Looks like winter is here for a while. It hasn’t got out of the 40’s for the last three days and by Monday it’s going to be in the 20’s. Of course It’s -37° in Minnesota, and it’s colder in New Hampshire than it is in Siberia or Antarctica. So I guess we’re lucky.

About 3pm Jan and I headed up I-45 and out I-10 to Columbus to meet up for dinner with our friends Chris and Charles Yust at Los Cabos Mexican Restaurant. They were passing  through from Fort Myers, FL and eventually out to Quartzite, AZ later this month.

Los Cabos Chis and 'Charles Yust

Everyone had something different tonight, with Jan having the Pollo Relleno, with a chicken breast stuffed with shrimp, tomatoes, cilantro, and onions, and topped with butter wine sauce made of mushrooms, tomatoes, jalapeños and onions

Los Cabos Pollo Rellanos

Jan said it was delicious and her new favorite.

I had the Fajitas Mexicanas, fajita Beef, topped with marinated sauce made with onions, tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro, and mushrooms.

Los Cabos Fajitas Mexicanas

Really good but I think I like the Fajitas Poblanos better for next time.

As is usual with our Chris and Charles get-togethers lasted about 3 hours before we headed back to Santa Fe  a little after 8pm, finally getting home about 10:15.

Going out to Columbus we made a pit stop at the Flying J in Brookshire and at the Buc-ee’s in Katy on our way home. I told Jan that when I was washing my hands in the Flying J restroom, I was moving my hands under the faucet, trying to get the water to turn on and mumbling how these things never work right.

Then I realized it was an old school faucet and actually had a handle. Oops!

The Headline of the Day: Holiday Family Dispute Ends With Ear Bitten Off.

Thought for the Day:

“Liberty can have nothing to fear from judges who apply the law. But liberty has everything to fear if judges try to legislate, too” – Alexander Hamilton



December 28, 2019

Well, That Was Weird . . .

Well, I fixed my PC to new TV problem this morning, and we used to stream an episode of Stumptown this evening.

And as happens quite often, to paraphrase Sherlock Holmes, When you eliminate all the usual suspects, it turns out to be something really weird.

First thing I did was get out my Hungarian ASUS laptop, and after booting it up, I plugged the HDMI cable into it and the other end into my desktop computer monitor. Then to get the monitor to switch over, I  unplugged the DVI cable from the computer.

And now I had laptop video on my PC monitor. So then I unplugged the cable from my monitor and plugged it into the TV.

And now I had laptop video on the TV, so now I knew that part worked. And when I then plugged the laptop cable end into my PC, suddenly I now had PC video on the TV.

WTH? So why did it suddenly start working?

While I was contemplating this mystery, and noticing that I had not plugged the DVI cable back into the monitor, I plugged it back in and the video disappeared on the TV.


But then it made sense. Going to my computer desktop, I right-clicked and selected Screen Resolution. And there was the problem.

For some reason my Display Settings had changed. Instead to being set to Multiple Monitors and Duplicate These Displays, it was set to Show Desktop Only On 1.

And correcting the settings fixed the problem.

But what I don’t understand, and so didn’t think to check, was how the settings got changed in the first place. They were correct just a couple of weeks ago with the old TV, and I’ve had no reason to fool with them since.

So who knows, but it’s working now.

As far as streaming from the PC, we’ve been trying to catch up on some of episodes of our favorite shows we missed recording while our rig was in the shop in Luling. So first we caught up on Evil this afternoon, since we didn’t need to stream any episodes to catch up with that one.

Then this evening it was on to Stumptown to stream the one episode we needed, and then it was on to the the last two episodes we had recorded.

Then in the next few days it’s on to Prodigal Son, where we’ve got one episode to stream, Emergence, two to stream, and Bull, with two episodes, also. Hopefully we’ll be all caught up by the time the new episodes start up in a couple of weeks.

I streamed these from the computer since I haven’t had a chance to peruse the TV’s 177 page manual to see if there’s a way to stream directly from the Internet rather than through the Hulu, Netflix, AppleTV, Prime, or other services shown on the SmartHub selections.

Thought For The Day:

“Certainly one of the chief guarantees of freedom under any government, no matter how popular and respected, is the right of the citizens to keep and bear arms. […] the right of the citizens to bear arms is just one guarantee against arbitrary government and one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.” – Hubert H Humphrey