Daily Archives: January 13, 2021

So It Really Is Just A Shot . . .

Today marked the last day of our DirecTV subscription, one that we’ve had since 1997. Supposedly sometime in the next two weeks or so I’ll get information about how to send back our receiver. Though why they would want back a 6 year old DVR that they no longer use, I have no idea.

I stop off yesterday to pick up a couple of Lottery tickets, for both PowerBall and MegaMillions. And as usual, I had trouble getting set for Annual Payments, rather than Lump Sum.

Texas apparently is one of the few states that make you decide ahead of time which way you want to receive your prize. Most others you get to decide after you win. And I must be about the only one that wants Annual Payments because it seems they never know how to print one out.

In this case the upcoming MegaMillions is $750 Million with Annual Payments, but if you take the Lump Sum, you only get $550 Million. So you give up $200 Million to get it all at once.

And what exactly are you really going to do with $550 Million that you can’t do with the $25 Million a year for 30 years that you’re going to get with Annual Payments?

And then there’s this:   

Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine immunity to stay at least a year

So this is what I’ve been saying for months. It’s not a ‘vaccination’. It’s a shot, just like annual flu shots we’re (well, you’re) suppose to get.

A ‘vaccination’ is normally a one-time shot like the one I got for Smallpox. Or others for Yellow Fever, Measles, Typhoid, Pertussis, etc.

Which might explain this:

Moderna CEO says the world will have to live with Covid ‘forever’

So despite all the rhetoric about Herd Immunity, Flatten The Curve, Stay Safe, Stay Apart, Better to wear a mask than a ventilator, Keep calm and wash your hands, and my favorite, Those who gather together are shameless, WuFlu is going to just hang around from now on.

Maybe there’s more money to be made with a yearly shot, than a once-in-a-lifetime vaccination?

Thought For The Day:

Losing PowerBall Ticket




January 13, 2011

Old Friends and A Good Time . . .

After yesterday’s busy day, it was nice that today was a little slower paced.

Slower paced, but COLD.

At 10:30am it was still only 35 degrees, after going down to 30 overnight. I’m hoping it will warm back up soon so I can get back to my outside rig maintenance stuff.

About noon, I drove over to the RV Park office to pay the site rent, and told them we would be leaving in the next month or so. Also told them we’d be back next year.

Next I started making some phone calls.

Jan ordered a blouse from Roaman’s a couple of days ago for $39.84. Then today I was checking one of our bank accounts and noticed we had 4 pending charges for the blouse, not just one. When I called the company, I was told that the extra 3 charges would disappear in the next couple of days, leaving only the one. She could not, or would not explain why the 3 extra charges were there in the first place. She first tried to tell me that maybe I submitted the order 4 times rather than one. Then when I asked her if that was the case, why did I only get 1 email confirmation and not 4. Again, no answer.

I’ll see what happens in the next several days.

Next I called Penn Warranty Corp. to cancel our truck’s extended warranty. After paying them almost $1300.00 the last 3 years, they paid $37 on a $600 brake repair bill that was caused by a faulty brake caliper, not wear and tear. And this was the first claim I’ve ever had with them.

Finally I called AT&T to cancel the phone and Internet service I still had at the house. There actually hasn’t even been a phone hooked up there since Brandi moved in. They just use their cell phones. I just kept it for the email service. But I’m finally configured somewhere else now.

By this time it seemed like a nice time for a nap, especially since Jan was already asleep on the sofa.

After our naps, we left the rig about 5:20 heading up to Webster to Chuy’s, another of our favorite local Mexican places.

But this was a special occasion. Jan was meeting five of her former Medical Records co-workers for an evening of good food and the occasional margarita. OK, maybe more than occasional.

Chuys Group

Jan has done this every year since we’ve been on the road, and it’s always a good time to be had by all, and the occasional margarita, of course.

While Jan was having fun, and the occasional margarita, I, of course, was working.

I drove over to a nearby client’s office to update some software, and reprint some missing reports.

I picked up Jan about 8:30 and we headed back to the rig. She couldn’t stop talking about how much fun she had, and that she was already looking forward to next year.

That was about it for today.

See you back here tomorrow, same time, same channel…


Thought for the Day:

“The more corrupt the state, the more it legislates.” Tacitus 115 A.D.



January 13, 2012 Uncategorized No comments

Chicken Chili and Mountain Oysters . . .

Today was pretty boring.

After lunch at Jason’s Deli (love their Southwest Chicken Chili!), we did a Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club run and few more things before finally heading home, picking up Chicken Tortilla Soup and Queso & Chips from Monterey’s Little Mexico for dinner later tonight.

Since I posted yesterday about the Top Ten Scenic Drives in the United States, I thought I’d repost our trip along one of them – The Beartooth Highway.

The last time I was at 11,000 feet, I was on a plane . . .

Originally posted on July 31, 2011

We picked up Al and Adrienne about 9 am and then headed down the street to Peter’s Coffee for traveling food, coffee and muffins.

Hitting the road again, our trip took us back up into Montana on SR72 to Belfry (Yes, they have two belfries in town and the football team is called ‘The Bats’) about 50 miles north of Cody.

This was the route we came into Cody on a week or so ago, but luckily today we didn’t have to go far enough north to hit the 11 miles of one lane, gravel road construction we had to go through then.

At Belfry we took a left onto SR308 heading to Red Lodge, MT about 12 miles away. On the way we passed through the small town of Bearcreek, home of the worst coal mine disaster in Montana history.

On February 27, 1943, seventy-seven miners went down into the Smith Coal Mine. After an explosion later that morning, only three came out alive. And beside ending these seventy-four lives, the explosion also ended the local coal mining industry in Bearcreek.

Getting into Red Lodge, we took a bathroom break at the Visitors Center, and then did some shopping along the nice Main St. area.

Red Lodge 1

On one corner was this old bank that’s now a ladies boutique. Waiting for Jan I took a moment to read the plaque on the wall in front.

Red Lodge Bank 1

And, lo and behold, this was a famous bank. On September 18, 1897, the Sundance Kid, Kid Curry, and others of the Wild Bunch attempted “to make an unauthorized withdrawal from the Carbon County Bank.” The “withdrawal” went bad, and after an 80 mile chase, they were captured and returned to Deadwood, SD, where they later escaped again.

Red Lodge Bank 2

Leaving town and heading south on the Beartooth Highway we came across this store selling furniture and art made from juniper trees,

Rocky Fork Juniper 1

including this neat elk, and even a moose.

Rocky Fork Juniper 2

Really very nice work.

Rocky Fork Juniper 3

It didn’t take long for us start encountering the fantastic scenery and multiple switchbacks that the Beartooth is famous for.

BearTooth 2

BearTooth 3

This map picture shows just one of many switchback sections that takes you from about 5000 feet to just over 11,000 feet.


Beartooth Switchbacks

BearTooth 5

The higher we got the more snow we saw. And looking at one of the snow fields I thought I saw movement, so zooming in with my camera I saw

BearTooth 4

this herd of Big Horn Sheep crossing the snow. This was above 9000 feet.

BearTooth 6

And we just kept getting higher and higher.

BearTooth 7

BearTooth 8

When we would think we couldn’t go any higher, we’d look up and see more switchbacks above us.

BearTooth 9

At one of the pullouts where we stopped to take in the view, we did see this marmot sunning himself on a rock.

BearTooth Marmot 1

Although they kind of look like a beaver or a big guinea pig, they’re actually a type of large ground squirrel.

Cute, though I hear they can be mean.

BearTooth Marmot 2

The views just kept getting better and better.

BearTooth 10

BearTooth 11

Finally we reached the namesake of the Beartooth Highway, the beartooth.

See it, it’s right at the tip of the red arrow.

BearTooth Bear Tooth 1a

Maybe this close up will help.

BearTooth Bear Tooth 2

We came across a lot of pretty flowers along the way, some of which only grow at high altitudes,

BearTooth Flowers 2

BearTooth Flowers 3

like this Sky Pilot Flower, that only grows above 10,000 feet, and also has a slightly ‘skunky’ smell.

BearTooth Flowers 4

BearTooth Flowers 1

Reaching our 11,000 foot peak, we started back down, with of course, more switchbacks and hairpin turns.

BearTooth 12

BearTooth 13

After our 50 mile journey on the Beartooth, we reached SR296 and took a left onto the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway.

BearTooth 14

BearTooth 15

BearTooth 16

BearTooth 17

This 45 mile section had its own set of switchbacks, although we didn’t get near as high as on the Beartooth.

BearTooth 18

BearTooth 19

BearTooth 20

BearTooth 21

BearTooth 22

Finally we merged back into SR120, about 17 miles north of Cody, and headed home, getting back about 4:30.

BearTooth 23

After dropping Al and Adrienne off at their rig, we all met back at Proud Cut Saloon and Steakhouse for dinner about 5:30.

The steaks were delicious, but more important Jan and I had our first chance to try Rocky Mountain Oysters when Al ordered them as an appetizer. If you don’t know what they are, don’t ask.

First off, they were good, nothing like real fried oysters, which Jan and I love (raw oysters, too). More like fried slices of roast beef.

Actually I think they just prove the old adage that pretty much anything battered and deep fried will taste good.

After a great meal, Al and Adrienne came back to the rig to check out Jan’s Amish rug, and then we talked a while.

Finally, after saying our goodbyes and getting in our last hugs, they headed back to their rig. Tomorrow we leave for Billings and we probably won’t see them again until next March.

After they left, I walked next door to visit with Jack Allen and Nell Dahl, who we had met.

They wanted to say hi, and find out more about using South Dakota as a residency. I had a great time getting to know them better, and talking about our travels.

Thought for the Day:

The Tripolitan Wars (The Barbary Pirates) taught our young republic vital lessons, among them: tyrants cannot be appeased, peace cannot be purchased and there is no substitute for victory.

January 13, 2014

Souped-Up Soup . . .

Sometimes Canada has us beat!


This morning started out what is hopefully, a nice long run of typical Houston winter days, sunny, with temps in the 60-70’s and night temps in the 40’s.

Just about perfect.

I got the coffee started and then Jan and I headed out for our walk around the park. I put Mister out on his leash and he just sits there and watches us go round and round the circle. When I say “Hi” as we go by, he meows back. He thinks it’s some sort of game.

Coming back to the rig, Jan fed the birds, while I fixed our coffee, and heated up the Buc-ee’s Cranberry Nut muffins we got yesterday. Then we sat outside and had our coffee and muffins while we enjoyed the sunshine. Mister has his own chair and normally sits right beside us. He thinks he’s “people’ too.

Next up was some more chores. The first one was to replace the CR1632 batteries in the 4 tire pressure sensors on the truck. One of them was dead and I’ve found that when one dies, the others aren’t far behind, so I always replace them all at once.

I’ll do the six on the rig right before we leave in February.

If you RV and you don’t have a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitor System), you should. I use and recommend the TireTraker system, sold by Daryl Lawrence at Lawrence RV Accessories.


Then I checked my water pump to see how I’m going to mount a new check valve in the water line. The internal check valve in my Shurflo water pump has apparently weakened over the years, and when we’re on shore water with high pressure, water is forced back through the pump and into the water tank. Then the tank fills up and water starts running out the overflow, making a mess.

Check Valve

Since the pump works fine, it’s easier (and cheaper) to just add a new check valve in the line itself. It looks like I just need a couple of small stainless steel circle clamps to finish the install.

Then it was time to get dinner started. And in this case, dinner was going to be souped-up soup. Starting with the soup we make a couple of days ago, I added two more cans of Bush’s Chile Beans, a package of frozen Crinkle Cut Carrots, and some more Shredded Chicken.

One thing I really like when opening cans is this One Touch Can Opener.

One Touch Jar Opener

We’ve had this one since before we started RV’ing 6 years ago, and I think I replaced the batteries once since then. You just set it on the top of the can and press the button. And off it goes.

You don’t have to touch it again until it stops all by itself. It also cuts the lid on the outside of the crimp so there are no sharp edges, and the removed  lid can actually be put back on the can for short-term storage

As far as tomorrow, we’ll see what happens.

Thought for the Day:

Chicago Newspaper Headline:

Woman Fatally Shoots Brother During Argument Over Whether Her Gun Would Fire.

I think the answer was ‘YES’.



January 13, 2015

The Crazy Chicken . . .

Once again today, the weather was in the low 40’s, with no sun, and windy enough to not be very conductive to working outside on any projects. So I stayed inside and mostly goofed off.

Well, I did finish up with my client’s new computer. But, unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any data off her old hard drive.

I opened up the case and plugged in the frozen-overnight hard drive, and I was encouraged to not hear the ‘clicking’ sound after the drive spun up. But unfortunately the computer could not see the driver at all.

Just to sure I didn’t have a problem with the way the drive was hooked up, I connected another old drive I had, and it work with no problems. So then to double-check I hooked the bad drive up again, but still with no luck. So at this point I just packed up the computer and got it ready to deliver tomorrow afternoon.

A little later, our friend Randy came by to ask for some help. He wanted help getting his big, old, heavy, CRT TV out of the overhead cabinet of his Monaco. Later, I drove my truck over to his site and we put the TV on the tailgate and drove it over to the dumpster and dropped it in.

The reason Randy didn’t need his old TV is a friend of his son’s gave him this one. For Free!

Randy's Big TV

It’s a 65 inch Mitsubishi LCD and it sits on one side of the rig, across from the sofa on the other side. To me it would be like sitting on the front row at the movie theater, but Randy seems to be happy with it.

Did I mention it was free?

Tomorrow we’re going to deliver the new computer, along with making a couple of other stops. First we’re going to have lunch at Katz’s Deli in the Montrose area on Westheimer. Then I want to check out the iBurn store down on Bellaire to look over their stock of hot stuff.

I always need more hot stuff.

Then it’s off to Pasadena to deliver the computer. Coming home we’re going to go by one of the new El Pollo Loco locations that have just opened here in Houston and pick up some chicken and stuff to bring home.

We first encountered them a number of years ago out on the West Coast, and we’re really glad to find them spreading out eastward. There are two open here now, and a third one opens soon. And hopefully there are more in store for this area.


Thought for the Day:

“Legendary truth is of another nature than historical truth. Legendary truth is invention whose result is reality.” – Victor Hugo



January 13, 2016

Hello Kitty . . .

Jan and I didn’t walk today, but we probably will tomorrow. After I posted the article about accuracy problems with FitBits, I got several comments and emails from readers who have also noticed problems with theirs.

So check out the free RunKeeper app before you spend the money on a FitBit.

Well, I heard back from American Coach and my screen door hinges are no longer available. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t seem like the hinges were ever available separately from the door. But the door company is out of business, so nothing’s available.

So I’ll give Colaw RV Salvage a call tomorrow and see what they might have in stock. They did have a lot of the parts for our blow-out repair last summer, so hopefully they’ll be able to help here too.

A little before 1pm Jan and I drove into Columbus to check out the weekday lunch buffet at Schobel’s. We had the Sunday buffet and really liked it, so time for another shot.

And although the number of meat selections, and the price, were a little less, everything was still delicious.

Schobel's Buffet 1_thumb[1]

And if not all, it sure seems like almost all of  the veggies are fresh. And with mashed potatoes, green beans, carrots, corn, broccoli and black-eyed peas, it was all good.

Schobel's Buffet 2_thumb[1]

While on Sunday, they have six meats, the weekday buffet has three, with today’s Beef Tips and Gravy, Lasagna, and Fried Chicken. Since we also had it Sunday, I assume the Fried Chicken is available every day.

Coming home I made a stop at the hardware store to pick up some larger Scotchlok connectors to finish up a project.

Scotch Blox_thumb[2]
I wanted to add a 12v socket to one of the cabinets in the kitchen so I can plug in a small inverter to run our Amazon Echo (review still coming) while we’re traveling. We want to use the Echo for music and news while we’re on the move.

Kitchen 12v Socket 1_thumb[2]

To get power for the socket I used the Scotchlok’s to tap into the power feed for the lights over the sofa. And when I got everything wired up and packed back in the wall, it looked like this.

Kitchen 12v Socket 2_thumb[2]

The digital voltmeter also taps into the light power feed and monitors the coach batteries. There are two more that I’ve installed up front over the dashboard. One monitors the AC voltage feeding the coach, whether from the generator or shore power,  and another one that monitors the engine batteries.

Jan and I are really looking forward to tomorrow

We haven’t seen them since last spring so it will be good to get together again. And Nick says he has a whole list of things for me to fix.

Am I a lucky guy, or what?

Wrapping up, I definitely want to build one of these for next 4th of July.


Thought for the Day:

As they say, “Happiness is a belt-fed weapon” . . .  and a set of Hello Kitty Ear Muffs.

Little Girl with machine gun_thumb[1]


January 13, 2017

First Time Since 2012 . . .

The last time we had breakfast at Barth’s was in 2012. We were following a Marathon drill rig that year and were at a site over near Whitsett, TX.

We were off for a couple of days because they were moving the rig to a new hole on the same pad. Back then they would bring in two 100 ton cranes and just drag the entire derrick 25 feet to the new spot. Now the rig’s just walk to the new spot all by themselves.

Anyway, due to my vampirish tendencies (but not the blood-sucking part) I don’t do breakfast very often, but somehow Jan talked me into it this morning. And I must say it was worth braving the sun, even if my skin did sizzle a bit.

Barth Breakfast Omelet

Jan and I both had omelets, hers cheese and mushroom, with a side of bacon, and mine double bacon and cheese with grits and a large OJ.

And of course, coffee.

Coming home we stopped off at HEB so I could pick up some Lotto tickets. Both PowerBall and MegaMillions are in the $120 – $130 million range so it’s time to get back in the pool.

Getting back to the rig, I went back to catching up on my sleep.

A long-time friend of ours has some property on lake in east Texas and is thinking seriously about putting in an RV park. He’s thinking 50-70 sites, both back-ins and pull-thrus.

Concrete Pads 70 x 30 feet
Gravel Roads
Free Laundromat(s)
Fenced Pet Runs

I added

Good Wi-Fi
Wide Turns
Don’t put Big Rocks or Poles at corners
Just put Gravel across the corners

So now I’m throwing it out to the masses . . .  or the blog readers, anyway.

What would you like to see in a new RV park?’

So give me your ideas to pass on to him.

Thought for the Day:

With only two days notice, a previously unknown 10 story building-sized asteroid passed by the Earth about half the distance to the Moon a few days ago.

An astronomer commented that this near-miss is nature’s way of saying “Hey, how’s that space program coming along?”



January 13, 2018

So That’s Why . . .

And now I know.

I had really planned to get outside and put up the new awning, I really did,.

But somehow it just didn’t happen. Apparently my get up and go not only didn’t . . . get up and go, it never even showed up in the first place. But there’s always tomorrow.


Finally  about 2pm Jan and I headed into Clear Lake first for lunch and then some shopping.

Lunch was King Food for big bowls of our favorite Hot & Sour Soup and then an order of their Crispy Chicken Wings with Garlic Butter, our new favorite.

Then after a delicious, relaxing meal, we headed over to the Wal-Mart on El Dorado for some groceries. Jan still wasn’t quite feeling up to walking all over the store so she stayed in the truck with her Kindle while I did the shopping,.

Finally checking out, I had all my groceries on the checkout conveyor belt when I reached in my back pocket for my billfold and found nothing,

Rut Roh!

In fact, when I reached into the pocket my hand went all the way out the bottom. And now I remembered  that’s why I stopped wearing these pants a couple of years ago and bought new ones. I had grabbed these up since my others were in the wash.

What I don’t understand is why they were still hanging in the closet. I thought I had thrown them away.

Well, they’re in the garbage now!

After checking both Customer Services at Wal-Mart with no luck, I headed back out to the truck. Since I knew that I’d had it at King Food, I first put in a call to them, but got a busy signal.

Knowing they do a big take-out business, I tried it again a couple of minutes, again with no luck. So I started cancelling credit cards.

My first call was to PayPal to cancel that one, which is my main one that I use, since I get cash back on it. It only took me a couple of minutes to deactivate it using my phone.

Then, before I did another card, I again called King Food and found they had it. Someone had found it in the parking lot and turned it in. So we head back over to KF to pick it up. And I found all my money and my cards still intact.

Then it was back over to WM to see if I could salvage my groceries or if I would have to shop all over again. The first place I checked was at the Customer Service area, and there was my cart. Getting back in line, I checked out again and we headed home.

A little later I put in a call to PayPal to see if I could un-deactivate my card, but no luck. So they’re sending me a new one next week.

That was enough excitement for today.

The Word of the Day is:

Thought for the Day:

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye. – Miss Piggy



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