Our Lucky 13th . . .

Yesterday I signed us up for both Disney+ and Discovery+, and got a 6 month free trial. It turns out that if you have any Unlimited phone plan with Verizon, you can get these 6 month free trials for both Disney and Discovery, as well as a couple of other streaming services.

Jus log into your Verizon account and click on Add-Ons.

It looks like the check’s in the mail, again.

According to the IRS website found here,

https://sa.www4.irs.gov/irfof-wmsp/notice

our $600 stimulus checks went in the mail today. Of course, this IS the IRS so you never can tell.

When I was waiting for Jan to catch up with me in WalMart yesterday, I saw a lady walk by pushing a cart. But what was unusual is that she was wearing THREE face masks, a cloth one underneath, and then two of the disposable paper ones.

And then a face shield on top of it all. You’ve just got to believe that she wears it while she’s driving too.

But the really strange thing was that she could only walk about 20 feet or so before she had to stop. Then you could watch her try to catch her breath, panting heavily, while the masks contracting tightly against her face as she struggled to pull air in through all those layers.

But looking at these statistics from Florida makes you wonder about what’s really happening.

Florida is one of the least locked-down states with no state-wide mask mandates or lockdowns. But according to this chart, complied from Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration data, there has been virtually no increase in hospitalizations in 2020 vs 2017, 2018, or 2019.

Florida HHS Covid Statistics

Around 1900 – 2000 per day per million population, for the last four years.

And as I usually do with these charts I’ve gone in and skimmed the actual data on the Agency’s website, and found no inconsistencies. Check it out for yourself.

So where’s the massive increases in hospitalizations  that we should be seeing?

Or is this just more confirmation for the people that say that masks and lockdowns don’t really matter. After all, New York and California, two of the most heavily locked-down states, have some of the highest rates.


Thought For The Day:

I was thinking about old age and decided that old age is when you still have something on the ball, but you are just too tired to bounce it.

 

 

Of course now it’s been 13 years since we hit the road in ‘Beauty’.

And We’re Still having Fun!


January 6, 2011

Happy 3rd Anniversary . . .

Today is our “Beauty’s” 3rd anniversary. Three years ago today we picked her up Roman Holiday Motorhomes in New Braunfels, TX.

12b

Then, one month later, on February 6th, 2008 Jan and I began our full-time life on the road.  And if we stick to our plan this year, we will hit the road again this coming Feb. 6th.

A little synchronicity at work.

But this morning I left the the rig a little before 11 am heading back to the same client I was at yesterday. But today was already scheduled before yesterday’s emergency laptop repair visit.

Leaving the rig I noticed we’re finally getting street lights here in the park. They’ve been installing the forms and rebar to pour concrete for the pedestals. And they’ve already finished some of them.

Jan and I both have mixed feelings about the street lights. The darkness is kinda nice and the lack of light lets us see the stars better. Oh well.

RV Park LightPoles

Finishing up at the client’s about 2:30 I next drove over to Brock’s Car Care to see about getting my front brakes fixed. A few days ago I started hearing grinding from my front right brake. Since it hasn’t been that long since I had the brakes done, I suspect that I may have a stuck caliper that caused the brakes to not release completely after braking and then grinding the pads and rotor down.

They said they could get me in tomorrow with no problems, so I told them I’d drop it off either this evening, or the first thing tomorrow morning.

I got back to the rig about 3:30 just to turn right around and leave about 4 pm.

Jan and I were heading up to League City to the Cracker Barrel. It’s Thursday so it’s Turkey and Dressing Day there, Jan’s favorite.

And even better, we got to eat for free.

As I mentioned back on December 23rd, we stopped by Cracker Barrel to pick up a take-out order of Turkey and Dressing so Jan could have ‘leftovers’, since we were eating out on Christmas Day.

But then the day after Christmas, when Jan went to have her meal for supper, she found that no only did she not get any cranberry sauce, but that her Turkey and Dressing lacked any dressing.

Sacrilege!

So to avenge Jan’s slight, I emailed the Cracker Barrel home office, and lo and behold, a few days later, I got a call from the manager. And after another few days, we received a coupon in the mail for two free meals. So Jan finally got her dressing and all’s right with the world.

After we left Cracker Barrel I called our son-in-law Lowell to see if he was home yet. Luckily he was, so we drove by the house to borrow his truck so we’d have a vehicle to drive tomorrow while my truck is in the shop. Especially since Jan has a dentist’s appointment tomorrow morning.

This way we were able to go ahead and drop off my truck at Brock’s tonight so they can get started on it the first thing after they open at 7 am.

And, of course, while we were at Brandi’s Jan and I also got in a little Landon time since Lowell had already picked him up from daycare.

We got home about 6:30 after a busy day. Hopefully I’ll be able to get back on rig stuff tomorrow afternoon. We’ll see.

More then…

_________________________________________________________________

Thought for the Day:

”When there are more people riding in the cart than there are pulling it, the cart stops moving…”

 

 


January 6, 2012

Wipers and Doors . . .

I spent this morning working on a few things around the rig, starting with installing those expensive Rain-x windshield wipers I just bought. It only took a few minutes, and even on a dry windshield, they were nice and quiet. I only did the truck today. I do the ones on the rig later.

My next chore was a big one. I was going to take my truck driver’s door off and see what I need to do to fix my broken power window. The window motor still works and the window moves freely up and down in the track, so I figure the motor and the window are no longer connected together.

Removing the door panel wasn’t as difficult as some I’ve done. Five screws, and after disconnecting the two electrical plugs, just lift it off. The only real problem was disconnecting the two control rods that connect the inside door handle to the door lock.

Door Removal 1

The next thing I did was lay out the screws on a table in the pattern they came off the door and take a photo. This makes it easy to remember which screw goes where when I put it back together.

Door Removal 5

  

Getting the trim panel off and setting it aside, I peeled the plastic weather shield back to try and get a look at what’s going on inside the door.

Door Removal 2

 

I plugged the window/door lock control panel back in so I could run the window motor.

Door Removal 3

 

I used a suction cup to hold the window in position so it wouldn’t fall down into the door frame.

Door Removal 4

In trying to see how the window mechanism worked, I found a cable hanging down loose inside the door. A little Google research told me that these Dodge Dakota windows use a motor-driven cable to move the window up and down, and they sometimes break loose. Some people have had luck reconnecting the cable, while others say it quickly breaks again and they end up replacing the window regulator anyway.

I’m going to go ahead and pull the motor/regulator unit out and take a look at it. It’ll got to come out either way. A new unit from the dealer lists for $331.00 with installation extra. I found one on Amazon, a brand-new, OEM part for $59.00.

I love Amazon.

I ran out of time today so if the weather holds out tomorrow, I’ll pull the unit out then.

I stuck the weather shield back on the door and just left the window control panel hanging. To open the door I have to pull on one of the control rods, but it works for now.

Jan and I headed out on some errands about 3pm. First up was dropping her off at a laundromat in Friendswood so she could do some heavy rugs and blankets that won’t fit in our rig washer. While she was doing that I ran some errands and then stopped by Brandi’s and talked with our son-in-law Lowell for a while.

By the time Jan was finished up, it was time for supper, so since King Food was nearby, we couldn’t resist. And of course, more great leftovers.

After supper we stopped off at Brandi’s again to pick up some packages that had come in, before heading over to Kroger’s for a few groceries.

Then it was finally home for the night after a busy day.

——————————————————————————————————————–

Thought for the Day:

Aim High. Time Flies.

 

 


January 6, 2014

I Depend On The Kindness Of Strangers . . .

I’m sure you’ve been seeing the PSA’s on TV and ads in the magazines saying that everyone should be getting a flu shot right now, especially due to the H1N1 (Swine) flu that’s also going around.

When Jan was working at the hospital, she was required to get a flu shot every year, whether she wanted to or not. On the other hand I haven’t gotten a flu shot since the Fall of 1964 when I was in military school and didn’t have a choice.

I started throwing up about 30 minutes after that shot, and was sick and running a fever for about 3 days.

So when we all got lined up the next fall, I tried to tell the doctor at the school clinic that I had been been really sick last year and didn’t want to take the shot again.  But the doctor didn’t believe me, and the Commandant said I could either take the shot, or starting walking PT’s until I did.

PT’s, or Penalty Tours, consisted of walking around the Quadrangle with a pack filled with 60# of sand while carrying an ‘03 Springfield rifle which weighed another 9# or so.

So I took the shot.

Getting out the hospital 10 days later, I was told I didn’t have to take the shot next year, not a problem since I was graduating that next May, and that I shouldn’t ever have a flu shot again, or it might kill me.

Well, thanks a lot.

So now, like Blanche DuBois, I depend on the kindness of strangers. I figure if everyone else gets their flu shots like good little girls and boys, then I won’t have to. There will be no one for me to catch it from. Works for me.

I’m sure many of you out there remember The Great Swine Flu Pandemic of 1976? The one that the government said would be so devastating that they rushed an untested vaccine into production and use, resulting in dozens dead and hundreds reporting serious side effects like blindness and paralysis?

No, thank you.

And now we have dozens of people contracting narcolepsy after receiving the most recent vaccine.

http://atlanta.cbslocal.com/2014/01/06/report-girl-falls-asleep-up-to-30-times-a-day-after-getting-flu-shot/

And to answer your next question, yes, I have had the flu a couple of times since then. But that just means that you aren’t doing your part. So everyone get on the stick out there.


Well, after a high today of 38 degrees and 29 last night, we’re looking for 25° tonight.. I pulled a second electric heater out of the basement, that along with the heated mattress pad on our bed, keeps us warm and toasty.

If it gets down in the ‘teens’, I have a small cube heater like this that I put down in our water bay.

Cube Heater

With the heater plugged into this Inline Thermostat, we’ve been good down to 6 degrees (Garrison, MT in 2008).

Inline Thermostat

The thermostat turns anything plugged into it on at 35 degrees and off at 45 degrees. Works like a champ.


Thought for the Day:

Give power to imbeciles, you get imbeciles with power.

 

 


January 6, 2015

Just Damn!

With the sunshine today, Mister found himself a nice spot on the dashboard to soak it up after all the cool, wet days during the last week or so.

Mister on Dash

Never seen him with three legs together like this, but he seemed comfortable.

About 2pm I went outside to do some maintenance on the truck. Besides checking the oil, coolant, etc., I wanted to do some rechecking on my AC problem.

Regular blog readers may remember that back this past August, the AC in our truck died while we were visiting relatives in north Alabama. I first put my gauges on the Freon line and found the pressures were fine. Next I unhooked the connector that feeds power to the AC clutch to check it.

The AC clutch is what you hear making that ‘CLUNK’ when you turn your AC on. The clutch pulls in and starts the AC compressor turning, cooling the vehicle. First up, with the engine running and the AC turned on,  I checked for 12 volts at the connector coming from the dashboard. And finding the 12 volts told me that part of the circuit was working.

Then setting my meter to Ohms, I checked the resistance of clutch coil, and found the coil open, showing no resistance. Which meant that the problem with the AC was the clutch. With the coil open, the clutch would not pull in, and the compressor would not turn.

So now I had to decide if I was going to replace the clutch, which I could do myself, or replace the compressor, which I could do, but not longer have the vacuum pump and other equipment necessary to recover the Freon and then replace it after the new compressor is installed.

A new coil is about $125, while having a new compressor installed would run $600-700. The other thing to consider is the fact the original compressor (and the truck) are 10 years old. So do I want to spend $125 on a 10 year old compressor that might completely die next month?

So with all that on my mind, and while I had the hood open, I decided to check the coil once again. And lo and behold, this time the ohmmeter showed 80 ohms, not open as before.

WTH

Then as I moved the connector a little, the ohmmeter suddenly showed open. And pulling a little bit on the wires coming from the connector showed me the problem.

The insulation was cut, and by moving the wire around I could tell it was broken inside the insulation as well.

AC Clutch Wire

AC Clutch Wire2

Could it really be this simple?

Twisting the wires around a bit got it in position where it seemed to be connected. So I started up the engine and turned on the AC.

And heard a ‘CLUNK’ as the compressor started turning. Getting a thermometer from the rig, I placed it in front of the vent and watched the temp. Within about 5 minutes it had pulled the temperature down from about 65 degrees coming out of the vent to about 44 degrees, a typical 20 degree differential. And this while it was 63 degrees outside.

Well, that will teach me to always investigate a little further on a problem. If I had done so, we could have avoided all those hot trips in the truck during August and September.

Just damn.

After we get to Colorado River, I’ll splice the wire to fix the problem. It’s always nice to save several hundred dollars or more when you can.

About 4:15 we headed out to dinner with our friend Randy. I had helped Randy rewire his electrical system a couple of weeks ago while we were both at the Colorado River Thousand Trails, and since I wouldn’t let him pay me, he insisted on taking us out to dinner. So we were off to the Buffalo Wild Wings right down the Interstate.

Randy had never been to one, but it turns out he likes stuff hot like we do, so he fit right in  And today was 60 cent wing Tuesday so that was even better.

Leaving the restaurant we stopped off at Sam’s Club to pick up Jan’s prescription that wasn’t ready yesterday. Then last up was a stop off at the Post Office to mail a letter before heading home.

We plan on leaving for Colorado River TT about 11am tomorrow. But first we’re going to have breakfast right down the road at the Cracker Barrel before coming back to head for Columbus.

_______________________________________________________________

Thought for the Day:

“I like going to the Dollar Store because you don’t have to dress up like when you’re going to Walmart” – Heard on TV

 

 


January 6, 2016

Wednesday Roadtrip . . .

I was up at 8 am, way too early for me, and then about 9, Jan and I headed out for our day down in the Clear Lake area, missing out on walking, but since it was completely overcast, cold, and rainy, that was probably a washout anyway. Hopefully tomorrow will be lucky.

We made a fuel up/potty stop at the Flying J in Brookshire where I had planned to get a coffee/cappuccino combo for the road. But it looks like Flying J has screwed up their cappuccino selection.

I first noticed this a few weeks ago when we stopped at the Pilot/Flying J on I-45 north of Houston. They have two cappuccino machines, each with six spigots. In the past they’ve had a choice of probably 8 to 10 different flavors, like Hazelnut, French Vanilla, English Toffee, Pumpkin Spice, Mocha, Cinnamon Vanilla Nut, etc., I.e. fairly decent coffee/cappuccino flavors.

But now, at both Flying J’s, eight of the flavors are variations of French Vanilla, French Vanilla, Sugar-Free French Vanilla, Mocha French Vanilla, French Vanilla Alert (extra caffeine), etc.

The remaining 4 flavors were Hot Cocoa, Mexican Chocolate, Winter Dark Chocolate, and Raspberry Truffle (?).

Not exactly my favorite flavors of coffee. So until things change, no more coffee at Flying J for me.

Getting into Webster, we met our son Chris and his wife Linda a little after 11 at our favorite local Chinese place, King Food. It’s so good we’ve been eating here since 1978, almost 35 years. In fact we’re on our fourth owner.

Jan and I had our usual Chicken with Hot Garlic Sauce with jalapenos, Extra, extra spicy.

King Food Chick with Hot Garlic_thumb[5]

With Hot & Sour Soup, Fried Rice, and an Egg Roll, it’s a great meal, just  perfect for a cold, rainy day.

Finishing up, Jan and I headed off to get our haircuts, with me first dropping Jan off at the Friendswood SuperCuts, while I drove back down to Lou’s Barbershop where I’ve been going for almost 20 years, so long that I don’t even have to tell them how I want it cut.. Sheldon would say it’s because they have my haircut records.

Picking up Jan, I made a stop at O’Reilly Auto Parts to get a new gas cap for our Dodge Dakota. The old one gives me a Check Engine code every second or third tank of gas from removing and replacing it when I fill up. This should fix the problem. I hope.

Next stop was a nearby dry cleaners to drop off our summer quilt to have it cleaned. We have a lighter quilt that we use during the summer, and a heavier, winter one for the . . . well, the winter. So when we get back to Houston every fall, we drop it off at the cleaners, and switch over to our winter one that we left at our son Chris’. Then a week or so before we head out for the year, we swap back again, leaving the now cleaned winter one again with Chris.

After a client stop for a while, we drove over to the nearby Harris County Public Library so Jan could get a library card, not to check out any paper books, but so she check out Kindle books online. That way she won’t have to pay the high prices for mainstream publisher books, but can just check them out online.

By now it was after 3pm, and rather than hang around to have supper down here, we decided to head back toward home to get ahead of all the going home traffic on the Katy Freeway.

Along the way, we thought we’d stop off for dinner at the Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in the Katy area. Grimaldi’s has become our favorite pizza place, especially since they’ve spread out across the country.

When we first ate at one in 2009, it was at the original (and only) one, located in Brooklyn, NY under the Brooklyn Bridge (DUMBO) area.

Heading home, we made a pit stop at the Sealy Oasis, a new large convenience store about 15 miles out of Columbus, before getting back to the rig a little after 7pm.

Another nice day and good times.

Our granddaughter Piper is on a ski trip with some girlfriends in Breckenridge, CO this week, and sent back this photo.

Piper in Breckenridge_thumb[5]

That’s Piper on the left. Looks cold.


Thought for the Day:

“All pop music is about sex. Rock is about wanting to do it, jazz is about doing it, and country and western is about feeling guilty after you’ve done it.” – Robert Waldo Brunelle, Jr.

 

  


January 6, 2017

A Three Heater . . .

And A One Cat Night.

It finally struggled up to 35° today after a low last night of 33. Big difference.

Our low for tonight has been downgraded to 24° with 25 tomorrow night so later in the afternoon I topped off our fresh water tank and then disconnected both ends of the shore hose and let it drain. So we’re all set for the next couple of days.

Glad we’re not on a gate tonight, though with the shacks it wouldn’t be too bad. Back in 2014 we were on a frack gate over in Whitsett. And one night in November a couple of weeks before we left, it was 26° and sleeting, and I had icicles hanging off the edge of the canopy. Never again.

Of course from up in Paul’s Valley, OK, about 50 miles south of Oklahoma City, our son-in-law Lowell’s mother Sonja sent us these photos today.

Paul's Valley Snow 1

Paul's Valley Snow 2

Sonja said it was 16 degrees today with a wind chill of 5 degrees. Then after 4 inches of snow it supposed to be 10 degrees tonight with a wind chill of –5. Just glad it’s not us.

For breakfast this morning we had a couple of the tacos I picked up on my way home from my gate the other morning.

During our first week here back in Oct. Jan and I stopped off at the Stripes/Valero Truck Stop coming home one morning from our gate. We found they had a 24 hour Taco/Burrito Shop so we each got a couple of breakfast tacos to bring home. Since they were so good, it was worth doing again.

This afternoon I took my anemometer outside and found the wind speed here at the park to be about 25 mph, so with the 33°, that gives an wind chill of 20°. No wonder it felt  so freaking cold wind we left the rig about 4pm.

We’ve always heard about how good the burgers were at Barth’s, even seeing people ordering them when we’re there for the lunch time buffets. So if they’re better than the buffet, they must be good. And they certainly were.

Jan got the Cheeseburger and I got the Bacon Cheeseburger.

Barth's Burger

These are huge burgers, with 6” buns and a hand-formed patty sized to match. And they were really good. The thin edges were crispy-charred and just perfect. A really delicious burger. It’s easy to see why they’re so popular.

We’ll use all 3 of our heaters tonight, the Lasko Ceramic Tower,

Lasko Heater

and two of these smaller Sunbeam units.

Sunbeam Heater

Normally one of the Sunbeam’s stays in the truck for use on cold nights on the gate. The rooftop heaters don’t always work too well in some of the shacks so I always have a backup plan.

Always have a backup plan . . . for everything.


Thought for the Day:

“Maybe this world is just another planet’s hell.” – Aldous Huxley

 

 

2 Responses to Our Lucky 13th . . .

  1. Linda in NE says:

    I’ve come to see the Covid-19 hullabaloo as one great scam. Oh, the illness is real enough and many people have unfortunately died. A lot of people die too from the flu every year yet we don’t see the kind of fear mongering we’ve seen with Covid. As you saw, people are really terrified. I’ve had it and I know many others that have too and none of them have died. All I can say is that it was very convenient that this virus showed up during the year of the Presidential election, which lead to certain states illegally changing their election rules to send out millions of unrequested mail-in ballots leading to the possibility of massive election fraud. Not to mention the crooked voting & tallying machines they purchased. Call me a conspiracy nut if you want, but it’s all just to convenient for those wanting to ensure that Pres. Trump would not be elected for a second term.

  2. Tricia says:

    You should retitle your blog White Wisdom. LOL

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