Daily Archives: January 20, 2021

Don’t Throw This Away . . .

I mentioned the other day about our $600 Stimulus checks finally showing up. Though a lot of people got a direct deposit right into their bank account, both this one and the one back in May came by mail.’

But it turns out that a lot of people are getting theirs in the mail another way. And they’re throwing them away, thinking it was a scam.

Some people are inadvertently throwing away stimulus check debit cards, th

They look like this –

IRS Stimulus Debit Card

If you accidentally threw yours away, you can request a new one by calling the IRS, if you can get through.

FWIW:

A new peer reviewed study out of Stanford is questioning the effectiveness of lockdowns and stay-at-home orders (which it calls NPIs, or non-pharmaceutical interventions) to combat Covid-19. The study’s lead author is an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at Stanford.

The study, co-authored by Dr. Eran Bendavid, Professor John P.A. Ioannidis, Christopher Oh, and Jay Bhattacharya, studied the effects of NPIs in 10 different countries, including England, France, Germany and Italy.

And, when all was said and done, it concluded that: “In summary, we fail to find strong evidence supporting a role for more restrictive NPIs in the control of COVID in early 2020.”

In fact, the study found  “no clear, significant beneficial effect of more restrictive NPIs on case growth in any country.”

This possibly explains the many graphs I’ve posted showing that places with the strictest lockdowns, like NYC, LA, and Chicago, have just as many, or even more cases per capita as areas with little or no restrictions.

See, sometimes the numbers do add up.


Thought For The Day:

The freedom of Speech may be taken away, and, dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter.” — US President George Washington, 1783

 

 

 


January 20, 2011

Chicken Tortilla Soup and Dessert Wine . . .

Today started out very, very early, at least for me.

I left the rig about 7:15 heading for my doctor’s office up in Friendswood. I’ve got my annual physical next Tuesday, and I wanted to get my blood work out of the way so it would already be done on Tuesday.

I got out of the doctor’s about 8:45 and headed straight for the nearest Starbuck’s. I had been fasting since last night, so I hadn’t had my coffee this morning.

Greg Need Coffee Now!

Next it was over to Brandi’s to pick up our mail, before stopping off at O’Reilly’s Auto Parts. I wanted to get some different air connectors so I can interface my new Sears Air Compressor with the hoses and nozzles that connect to our coach’s air system.

My next stop was Chase Bank to go over some things with their finance person.

I finally got home about 12:30, to find Jan ready to go to lunch, so we headed over to Dickinson to Monterey’s Little Mexico. As usual, great Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Getting back about 1:45 we had just settled in when we got a call from Jan’s dentist saying they have a cancellation for tomorrow at 1pm. That moves her 2nd appointment from the 21st to the 16th, which means we will be able to leave by the 17th at the latest. Maybe even earlier with another cancellation.

A few minutes later we heard from our friends Al and Adrianne, who are presently out in Tucson. We were trying to see when we could meet up. At first we hoped to cross paths on our way out to Yuma, but they’re leading this Saturday on a RV caravan trip down to Baja, Mexico, and won’t be back in the states until the 24th of February, when we’ll be on our way to Yuma. So if not then, maybe we can meet up later this summer when they’ll be in Cody, WY. Anyway, it was good to talk to them again.

A little later, I went outside to work on the check valve in our water pump, seeing as how it was supposed to be “Partly Cloudy and Windy”. This is what it looked like at 2:15 in the afternoon.

More Bad Weather

At least they got the “Windy” right.

When it started raining about 5 minutes after I got outside, I decided that it was a good time for a nap instead.

Then, after a very nice nap, Jan and I headed out for Pearland about 4pm to meet our good friends Bonnie and Richard at Spring Creek BBQ.. Jan and Bonnie were co-workers a while back and we always get together when we’re in Houston. Along with Bonnie and Richard were Richard’s brother and his wife, who we were meeting for the first time. Nice people and we had a good time getting to know them.

We finished up the evening back at Bonnie’s with some of her great coffee and two great homemade pies, a Banana Cream and a Sour Cream Raisin, and topped it off with a delicious white dessert wine.

After a great evening, we got home about 9:45pm, closing out a very long day.

More tomorrow…


Thought for the Day:

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” – Plato

 

 


January 20, 2014

Another Oldie, But Goodie . . .

I was up a little early this morning since I had clients to see, but I still had time for coffee, muffins, and sitting outside with Jan and Mister for a while. Then it was off to work.

My first stop was up in Pasadena for another one of my yearly client visits. She has 2 laptops, and another one of my oldie, but goodies. Like another client earlier this month, she has a desktop computer that I built and delivered in July of 2005. I always try to build them to last, but this is really pushing it.

So much so, that I recommended that it was probably about time to consider upgrading, especially since she’s still running XP on this machine and support is falling off fast. I cleaned up her two laptops and fixed a couple of problems But I didn’t really do anything with the old desktop, since I’m going to give her a quote on a new machine in the next day or two.

Before I left I also checked to be sure that her Epson Workforce 520 printer and her HP 4850 Scanner both have Win8 drivers available so they won’t have to be replaced with the new machine.

One thing about working on Jean’s computers is that she always sends me home with fresh baked treats, in this case, warm Oatmeal-Applesauce Muffins..Jean Cahn Muffins

They’re going to be great for breakfast the next several mornings. Yummm!

Then I was off to another client in the Pasadena area to drop off the laptop that I had finally removed the Conduit Search malware. I’m sure Tricia was glad to have it back, and I was glad to see it go.

Then I was off to the client’s office where I worked Saturday night, to see if my fixes and updates were still doing OK. No problems so far.

I headed back to the rig about 4:30 and then Jan and I drove up to Seabrook to have dinner at Hooter’s.

Jan had the Chicken Strips with 911 sauce, which used to be one of their hottest before they added a number of new ones. She also got an order of their new Mega Fries that we shared. I had my usual 10 wings, all drums, naked, with the new Triple Dog Dare sauce (now their hottest) with a side of  their also-new Chipotle Honey sauce.

Hooter's Wings

BTW  “naked’ wings means they don’t have any breading on them. Get your minds out of the gutter.


Under the heading of  “Yeah, that sounds right to me”, I think my problem is that my brain has gotten so full that stuff has started falling out the other side.


Thought for the Day:

“The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.”  — Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873

 


January 20, 2015

Well, the salad bar was good . . .

After working on some web stuff, I went outside to work on a couple of projects, one of which was to re-attach my tailpipe to my muffler. I had knocked it loose a while ago when I backed into an embankment behind our site while trying to not hit the overhanging limbs. I put a metal strap on it to keep it from falling completely off while I tried to come up with a way to re-attach it.

Finally came up with this: Two large stainless steel circle clamps holding four angle brackets around the base of the tailpipe (you can only see the top two). I’ve still got to put a screw the top left one, but I need to dig out my right-angle drill chuck so I can get a drill bit in there.

Tailpipe Repair

Then I pre-drilled holes through the brackets into the end of the muffler and screwed in large sheet metal screws. So actually it’s now more stable than it was to start with.

Then I went over to Randy’s Monaco to help with a leveler jack problem. He got stuck in the mud a couple of weeks ago when we were all at the Lake Conroe TT, as it pretty much rained the whole time we were there.

Since he was kind of sunk in, as he was being towed out, one of his leveler pads had the base pulled off of it.

Monaco Levelers

His looks like this except his has four springs, not two. As it turns out, the pad is only held on to the hydraulic piston by the force on the springs. So the base pad was now just hanging off to the side.

It took a while but by using a pry bar and several large wrenches we were able to lever the pad down and over so that it popped back in place. Glad I could help.

About 4pm Jan and I drove into Columbus to have dinner at Nancy’s Steakhouse. We’d heard good things about the place ever since we started coming out here, but it was our first time. It was a plus for us that Nancy’s is owned by the same people that own Los Cabos Mexican Restaurant right across the street. But unfortunately, for us, that’s about as far as it went. Like I said, the salad bar was really good, but it was pretty much downhill after that.

Jan’s Sirloin Strip was definitely not the Medium-Well she ordered. More like just over the other side of Well, and tough and chewy with a lot of fat.

My 12oz Ribeye was done Medium-Rare as I ordered, but was not very tender and had a lot of gristle in it.  All in all, a pretty poor example of a $24 steak. Not anywhere near as good as our steaks a couple of weeks ago at Saltgrass, or Jan’s steak this past weekend at Longhorn Steakhouse.

In fact when we were at the Golden Corral in Conroe three weeks ago or so, they had 5oz Sirloin Ends that were delicious, some of the best steak I’ve had anywhere in a long time. Jan wondered why they would have steak that good on a $12 buffet. I figured that there’s not a big market for 5oz. Sirloin Ends in a restaurant.

If this was a cheaper place, we’d probably give them a second chance, but at over $60 for the meal (with tip), it’s not worth another try. Between Los Cabos, Sealand Seafood, Peter’s BBQ, and Schobel’s, there’s enough good places around here to make up for it.

And speaking of Schobel’s, Jan and I, along with Randy, are going to go have breakfast there tomorrow morning about 9am, before we head back to Conroe later in the day.

Coming home, I got gas in the truck for $1.71, and saw diesel for $2.39. Nice.

_______________________________________________________________

Thought for the Day:

“I’m not questioning your honor…I’m denying its existence.” – Tyrion Lannister, Game of Thrones

 

 


January 20, 2016

Lego my Lego . . .

Even though it rained heavily overnight, and it was still cloudy this morning, we still wanted to get our walk in, so we headed out, wearing long sleeves. But about half way around our 1 mile loop, the sun came out . . . and it got HOT.

So after our mid-walk break for coffee and breakfast, we both changed into short sleeves for the rest of our walk. And at 1.65 miles, the same as yesterday, and 25:47 min/miles, only two seconds slower than yesterday, it was a good walk. But that may be it until Friday since we’re looking at thunderstorms tonight and all day tomorrow.

But it is weather after all, so who knows.

Right before we left on our walk, Janice and Dave Evans dropped by to say ‘Hi’ on their way home from getting groceries. We made plans to get together for dinner sometime soon. Looking forward to it.

Later, back at the rig, I put in a call to a local glass place to see about them coming out to the park and remounting the passenger side windshield of the rig. Back last year during our blow-out repair in Prescott, AZ, the repair shop managed to crack the windshield during the repairs. And now it had started coming loose.

Windshield made it all the way through the blow-out itself, the very rough ride as I brought the rig to a stop on the shoulder, and the rocky ride on the trailer on the way to the repair shop.

BlowOut TowTruck 2_thumb[4]

15,000 Pound Jack_thumb[13]But the repair place used a 15,000 pound jack like this one to lift the front of the rig about 4 feet off the ground to work underneath. And somehow along the way they torqued the front end enough to crack the glass.

Ironically, this same windshield had been replaced just a year earlier while we were up in Elkhart, IN in 2014, after it was cracked when the rig was tilted over during a rear axle inner wheel seal replacement.

And then in 2008, the driver side was cracked when we leveled the rig in 10° weather while up in Whitehouse, YT.

The glass shop guy had me text him some photos of the separation. The main one looks like this.

Windshield Repair 1_thumb[2]

This is the top right corner of the windshield where the glass and the gasket have pulled away from the frame. So now I’ll just wait to hear from the glass guy.

Later I changed out my EVO canister filter for the first time since last August, right before we left to gate guard. It seemed like our water pressure was down a little, so I dug out my spare cartridge and headed outside.

And this is what I found.

Water Filter New and Used_thumb[2]

This is a 5 micron filter and it seems to do a good job cleaning up the shore water. And the color change shows that. And the fact that the old one is about twice as heavy as the new one. This is the second filter I’ve replaced, with the first one lasting a little over 4 months and this one lasting 5 months. Not bad, I guess.

For dinner Jan heated up our leftovers from last night’s Vernon’s Kuntry Katfish visit, with catfish, hushpuppies, fried okra, and some of her loaded baked potato, it was plenty.

Vernon's Leftovers_thumb[8]

Jan also heated up a can of BUSH’S Bourbon and Brown Sugar Grillin’ Beans to round out a really good meal.

Wrapping up for today, here’s something really neat. It’s a tear-drop style camper built from 215,158 Lego blocks.

lego-brick-camping-trailer-1-1050x700_thumb[1]

It has working lights, running water and Lego food on the stove.

lego-brick-camping-trailer-3_thumb[1]

lego-brick-camping-trailer-5_thumb[1]

 
Here’s a short video about the construction of the camper.

And you can read the whole story here: Lego Camper

Tomorrow we plan on having dinner and a movie at the Star Cinema Grill here in Conroe. We’ve been at the one in Webster, TX a number of times, but this will be a first for the Conroe one.

The Star Cinema Grill is the perfect combo for a evening out, with no rushing from dinner to make the movie on time, because it’s all in the same place.

The menu is on the same scale as an Applebee’s or Chili’s, and at least at the one in Webster, it’s always been good.

I’ll have more tomorrow.


Thought for the Day:

“The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” – The Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180)

 

 


January 20, 2017

Moving Day . . .

Things started moving fast this morning, and so did we.

I had just gotten to sleep after  my 12 hour shift when I started getting texts from Todd, our SiteWatch supervisor, pretty much upending everything.

Rather than close the pad gate where I’ve worked for the last few days, the CM reopened it for days only until the frack starts. But the big change is that Todd wanted us to turn around from night shift to day shift. Which means that today’s turn-around day  is maybe the only chance we’ll have to move over to Westhoff.

So after about 4 hours of sleep I was up a little after 11 so we could have one last meal at Barth’s. Then it was back to the rig by 12:30, and we were on our way by 2pm.

I had called ahead to the Westhoff RV Park and was told to just pick a site when we got there. So we did.

But it was all down hill from there. The park owner, Jan says he was creepy, was upset that we were in a ‘big, heavy’ motorcoach and were making deep ruts in his grass sites. Of course this was because the ground was soaked due to all the rain we’ve had in the last week.

Finally he asked us to move to another site where, not surprisingly, we also left deep ruts. At this point he continued to fuss and complain about how much trouble it was going to be to fill those ruts. At this point Jan got fed up and said, “Would you like us to leave?” He thought for a couple of seconds and said, “I think that would be best.” and then gave us our $240 check back. So we left, making more ruts getting out of the park.

So he ended up with the same ruts, but now he had no money. I’m not sure he thought this through.

But we later found a very nice RV near Cuero, for $250/ month with free Wi-Fi. It’s only about 20 minutes from the gate. But even better it’s only 3 minutes from Whataburger.


Thought for the Day:

“A society that loses its sense of outrage is doomed to extinction.”

 

 


January 20, 2018

They’re Always Watching . . .

I saw an article recently that Texas set all-time electricity usage records during the recent cold snap. But unlike other areas of the country that suffered blackouts due to an overloaded grid, Texas had no such problems.

And at least part of that is due to the fact that Texas is not part of  the nationwide grid, but maintains its own network called ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas). This lets them operate without worrying about those pesky Federal regulations and much more reliably.

This record usage showed here at the RV park as well. Normally our park voltage runs between 123 and 125 volts. But during the coldest period, when we had all three of our heaters running, the voltage was running around 110 – 112 volts.

We met Chris and Linda up at the Webster Cheddar’s at 12:30, luckily getting there right ahead of the crowd, so we got right in. Miss Piper had decided that she’d rather spend the day in Galveston with friends.

Her loss.

Chris got the Cornmeal Catfish Fillets, while Linda got her favorite Chicken Pot Pie. Jan of course got her usual favorite Key West Chicken with Shrimp,

Cheddar's Key West Chicken and Shrimp

and I again got the 4 Vegetable Plate with the House Salad.

Cheddar's Veggies

Really good. Cheddar’s does veggies as good or better than Cracker Barrel.

After a nice, leisurely meal Jan and I  had planned to go by Wal-Mart for some things, but when we came out of the restaurant, it was pouring down rain so we just headed home.

There’s always tomorrow.

Chris brought our mail with him so after we got home we gingerly sorted through it, looking for hospital/doctor bills for Jan’s recent  stay. But so far, nothing.

Keeping our fingers crossed.

Yesterday at work I was watching a two hour YouTube video concerning some new software I’m thinking about purchasing for my client, and I was about 45 minutes in when I stopped to head home.

Then this afternoon I thought I’d pick up where I left off, but thinking I’d have to start and stop until I found the right starting point. But to my surprise, when I called it up here at home, it started up at the exact point where I stopped it at work.

Remember, they’re always watching.



The Headline of the Day:
People are four times as likely to order dessert when their waiter is overweight.

So I need to find skinnier waiters?


Thought for the Day:

Officer: “Why did you shoot this man 6 times as he broke into your home?”

Home Owner: “’Cause the seventh time I pulled the trigger it went click.”

 

 


January 20, 2019

At Least He Still Has All His Teeth . . .

After a somewhat cold night, officially 33° but we still had ice in the puddles when we went outside, we left for Landon’s hockey practice at 11:15am.

Originally Miss Piper was going to ride up with us, but she became otherwise engaged, so we were on our own.

We met Brandi, Lowell, and Landon about 12:30 at the Sugarland Ice Rink for the 1 hour practice. This is Landon’s 3rd year of the sport and his improvement is really noticeable. The only thing he still has a little trouble with is the whole ‘skating backward’ thing.

But I’ve always thought that the big attraction for kids playing hockey is for the same reason that we played roller skate street hockey when I was a kid.

It’s a good excuse to hit other kids with sticks. Of course, then they hit you back. I think our version was a lot rougher too, because we weren’t bundled up like the Michelin Man, with all the padding. Just skates, shorts, T-shirts, and a big stick.

You know what they say, “There’s no crying in hockey”. Well, actually there was some.

There are no pictures of Landon’s hockey prowess because I forgot to take my phone. And my backup camera (you just knew that I would have a backup camera, didn’t you.)that I keep in the truck, one like this, a 5 megapixel one with a 4X  optical zoom,

Emprex 5.0 MegaPixel Backup Camera

wasn’t quite up to the task.

Well, the camera was fine, but the two AA batteries had died. I leave them out of the camera because even Off, it draws enough current to run them down after a while. So at least they corroded in the Ziploc bag and not in the camera.

When the practice was over at 1:30 we headed over to the nearby Floyd’s Cajun Seafood for lunch, the same one we ate at a couple of weeks ago before the Mannheim Steamroller concert.

Today, as then, we got the same thing, a dozen Raw Oysters,

Floyd's Raw Oysters 2

with Jan’s Grilled Catfish Filets and Grilled Veggies,

Floyd's Grilled Catfish and Veggies

and my favorite, the Shrimp Gumbo, also with the Grilled Veggies.

Floyd's Shrimp Gumbo and Grilled Veggies

But since we didn’t really have any breakfast before we left this morning, Jan started off with a Side Salad.

Floyd's Side Salad

We’ve never had a bad meal at any of the Floyd’s we’ve eaten at. It’s well worth a visit.

And no, Floyd doesn’t pay me to post this. I wish he did.

And unfortunately, we just missed seeing him. The hostess said he was by last week, checking things out. He normally hangs out at his original Beaumont location where we’ve stopped off a couple of times to see him.

For new readers, Floyd is Floyd Landry, who we’ve known since the 1990’s. He and his brothers started the Landry Seafood restaurants before they sold out to Tilman Fertitta over 20 years ago, where it became the founding restaurant of his large entertainment corporation.

Landry’s now consists of about 65 different restaurant chains, like Saltgrass, Claim Jumpers, Bubba Gump’s, the Rainforest Café, Willie G’s, Joe’s Crab Shack, and the list goes on.

And if that’s not enough, Tilman owns a Rolls-Royce dealership, the Golden Nugget Casino chain, the Houston Rockets, two amusement parks, a Houston skyscraper (under construction), and the Tower of The Americas

Tower_of_the_americas_2013

in San Antonio.

I’m actually surprised the Alamo isn’t on this list. And since Landry’s is a privately-held corporation, he owns it all.

And he got his start peeling shrimp in his father’s Galveston seafood restaurant.

I wonder if he’ll adopt me?


Thought for the Day:

Wooly Mammoths were still alive when the pyramids were being built. So maybe that’s what the Egyptians were using to haul those big blocks of stone around.

 

 

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