Daily Archives: May 12, 2022

Good Steak and More . . .

Jan and I were on the road by 10:30 this morning, heading up to the Spring area for our monthly lunch at the Longhorn Steakhouse, along with friends Debi and Ed Hurlburt.

We all started out with salads, Jan and mine’s, with Bleu Cheese dressing.

Longhorn 20220512 Salad

Very good.

Then of course, everyone got steak, with Jan getting her usual Flo’s Filet, the 9oz version,

Longhorn 20220512 Filet

with the Steamed Broccoli.

The white sauce on both our plates is Creamy Horseradish, which we both like with our steaks.

I got a Ribeye, what else, the 12oz one, with the Fried Okra.

Longhorn 20220512 Ribeye

The Fried Okra was delicious, though different, from the usual Southern fried version.

Though I usually like Saltgrass’ steaks better, this ribeye was one of the best I’ve had.

Really good.

We had our usual great time, and have already scheduled the date/time/place for next month’s get-together.

Longhorn 20220512 Group

We were on our way home a little after 2:30, and were home by about 4pm, after a stop at Cowboy Coffee for Cold, Blended, Sugar-Free Hazelnut Lattes with Almond Milk.

A very nice day.

Gators and More Gators

May 12, 2009

Gliding thru the ‘Glades…

This morning we headed back up the Tamiami Trail into the Everglades to take an airboat ride.

We passed a place called Coopertown Airboats on our way down thru the Everglades from Ft. Myers and thought we’d check them out.

Airboat 1

Not Us, but one like ours!

And it was a blast!

The water levels are low in the Everglades so in some cases we were airboating over mud flats and not water, but an airboat doesn’t really care as long as there are no stumps.

And there were alligators everywhere.

Gators 1

Gators 2

Gators 3

Gators 4

Gators 5

Everglades 1

Everglades 2

Everglades 2

More Gators 2

Another Great Day!

Buzzards Are Never A Good Sign

May 12, 2012

Our New Home ??

Yesterday (Friday) marked our 2nd week of gate guarding here at this Marathon site. And we probably won’t hit 3 weeks because our rig will be leaving around the middle of next week, and we’re probably going with it.

At least we think so. The Marathon people want us to follow them, but we haven’t heard definitely from Gate Guard Services yet.

Since I was over near the new drill site today I decided to take a look at the area. The road is pretty good, much, much better than our first gate. The first 3 miles are regular two-lane paved road, with the last 5 miles consisting of a very good gravel road. There are already a couple of drill sites in the area, with a lot of heavy truck traffic, so the roads are being kept up.

Here’s the turnoff to the drill site. The pad is a mile or so down this road, so I don’t know if we would be parked here, or closer in. I couldn’t get to the drill site itself because they were still working on the road back in there.

Charlotte Site 1

But this doesn’t bode well. Just to the left of this turn-in, I saw this.

Charlotte Site Vultures 1

Charlotte Site Vultures 2

Maybe this move isn’t such a good idea after all.

Or is the road back in there worst than i thought?

Also yesterday, our diesel generator started acting up. The diesel part was fine, The generator itself was the problem. The L2 side kept dropping below 105 volts and our Progressive EMS was shutting down power to the rig to protect our AC’s.

The L-1 side was also low, about 112 volts, but still within limits. Since it was in the 80’s and we needed the AC’s, I disconnected from the generator and started up our coach generator. Then my next step was to call Mark, our support guy.

He was out here in about 20 minutes to check things out. By this time the L2 voltage was down to about 80 volts. Not good. And after fiddling with the voltage adjustment with no success, he declared the generator deceased and called to have a new one brought out.

So in about another 30 minutes our new generator trailer was in place and purring along. The replacement generator also solved our other problem of the frequency being off and making our clocks run slow. So that was a bonus.

I’ve now had some time to play with my new Kindle Fire, when I can get it away from Jan. It looks like we may end up being a two Kindle Fire family like we ended up with two regular Kindles.

Getting down to basics, I really like it. It’s great for reading Kindle books in low light, and even outside as long as your not in the direct sun. The color screen is bright and looks good.

The web browser works great and seems to be fast. I’ve not noticed any problems on my regular websites.

Battery life seems to be pretty good. Although, like the regular Kindle, it helps to keep the Wi-Fi turned off when you’re not using it.

Now for the Cons:

The glass screen is very reflective and attracts fingerprints like a toy store attracts kids. But I’ve ordered a screen protector sheet kit that’s supposed to take care of that problem. I also ordered a case that looks pretty nice. I’ll let you know how they work out.

I was surprised to find out how many of favorite Droid apps aren’t available for the Fire. Especially odd since they both use pretty much the same OS.

That’s about it for today. I’ll talk more about the Fire as I play with it. (When I can get it away from Jan, that is.)

Ziplining In Vegas

May 12, 2013

I Can’t Believe I Ate the Whole Thing . . .

And Lived To Tell About It.

So far.

After a lazy morning, I went outside to do some battery maintenance. I wanted to add some distilled water to the batteries and double check the connections. But I quickly found a problem.

My 1 gallon jug of distilled water had sprung a leak and was pretty much empty. So I’ll have to pick up a gallon or so today or tomorrow to finish things up.

Jan and I headed out about 2:30 for an afternoon of dining and sheer terror. Well, maybe sheer terror for her.

Our first stop was the ATM at a Chase Bank and then it was over to the Fremont Street Experience at the top of the Strip.

We got parked at a nearby parking garage, and then first up was the terror part.

Jan had decided that despite her somewhat fear of heights she was going to do the zip line that runs down through Fremont Street.

So we got her ticket at the FlightLinez Zip Line store and then took the elevator up to the 5th floor.

FlightLinez 1

That let’s you walk directly out on the platform. The smaller tower in the front here is the one presently in use. The taller one in the back is the new one coming on line soon. It will be higher, faster, and longer.

Some of you may be wondering why I’m not doing this.

Well, someone has to take the pictures, right. But the real reason is the weight limit of 250 pounds. I could probably squeak by on the limit, but I would have to do it in the nude, and I don’t think that would be an option.

Or a pretty sight for anyone looking up. Just saying.

FlightLinez 2

FlightLinez 3

The present zip line stops at the platform at the lower side of this photo. The new one will be higher and go all the way to the end of the covered area.

FlightLinez 4

Here they’re getting Jan and her flight buddy strapped in and ready to go.

FlightLinez 5

Ready, set, GO.

FlightLinez 6

And a safe touchdown at the other end.

FlightLinez 7

Here’s the video of her flight.

Jan’s Fremont Street Zip Line Ride

Jan said she enjoyed it, but that her knees were still shaking a half hour later.

It will be interesting to see if she will do the higher, faster, longer version next time.

The next item on our agenda was a little scary too.

The Heart Attack Grill.

It’s located at the front of the Fremont Street Experience, right on the Strip. It’s a place we had to try at least once.

They do have a lot of fun with the concept.

Heart Attack Grill 1

From the disclaimers,

Heart Attack Grill 2

to the hospital gowns everyone has to wear,

Heart Attack Grill 3

to the ID bracelets everyone is given. The white one is for the Heart Attack Grill, the blue one is for the Zip Line. Actually I think the gowns would be a good idea at some BBQ rib places I’ve been to.

Heart Attack Grill 4

Jan got the Single Bypass Burger and the Flatline Fries. I got the Double Bypass with Bacon, but without fries because we were going to share Jan’s order.

Heart Attack Grill 5

The Flatline Fries were really good. They’re sliced and then fried to order. IN LARD.


Heart Attack Grill 6

The way fries used to be cooked.

Besides their large selection of alcoholic drinks, the only others are water and Cokes. But the Cokes are the ones from Mexico made with real sugar, and not corn syrup.

Heart Attack Grill 7

Here’s the burger menu, with one to eight patties, and 5 to 40 strips of bacon (5 per patty).

Heart Attack Grill 8

And here’s the Octuple Bypass Burger. How do you even eat something like that.

Heart Attack Grill 9

Even my Double I ended up eating with a fork. If I went here again I’d have them leave off the Chili. It’s good, but it makes it too messy

Oh, and if you weigh over 350 pounds you can eat here free. Or just eat here a few times until you then weigh over 350, and then eat here free from then on.

Ready to leave, we stopped in the Walgreen’s there and I got a couple of gallons of distilled water for my batteries to use when we get home.

Along the way we stopped off at Boulder Station Casino once again to register our Boarding Passes for the weekend drawings. And as it turns out, I won 1000 points in the last drawing. That’s $10 in slot machine money.

Getting home, I had planned to work on the batteries again, but that burger made me too sleepy so I took a two hour nap. Very nice.

Tomorrow we’re going to eat at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville in the Flamingo Casino with Jim and Peri Dean, and then check out the fountain show at the Bellagio.

Bad ‘Q

May 12, 2014

Never, never, ever, ever . . .

Order Brisket at a Memphis BBQ place!

Since we had a long 360 mile run today, we were up at 7, had our coffee and muffins, and were on our way by 8 a.m. This was made easier by the fact that we didn’t unhitch the toad, or even lower the levelers last night.

We stopped at a couple of rest areas for breaks, and Jan fixed us peanut butter crackers for a snack at one of these.

About 2:30 we pulled into the Tom Sawyer RV Park right on the Mississippi River in West Memphis, AR. We’ve stayed here twice before, and it’s one of our favorite parks.

After getting set up and resting up for a while, about 4:30 we headed across the river to have some Memphis BBQ. We had planned to eat at Charles Vergos’ Rendezvous where we ate two years ago and really loved, but to our disappointment, they’re closed on Mondays.

So checking on line for Memphis Best BBQ, Central BBQ kept coming up in pretty much every list. So we decided to give it a try.

And it was good, but it was no Rendezvous.

I ordered the Rib Combo Plate with ribs, pulled pork, and ‘brisket’. Note the ‘brisket’ is in quotes. For my two sides, I got BBQ Beans, and homemade garlic potato chips.

2014-05-12 17.12.13

First, the pluses:

The pulled pork was delicious. Really good.

The Ribs were also good, with a lot of meat on the bones.

The BBQ Beans were also very good, and chock full of meat pieces.

Also good were the homemade potato chips.

The mild sauce was very good, very tasty, so I had high hopes for the hot version.

Now the minuses:

Although the ribs were good, they were the smaller baby-back ribs, and not the full-sized pork ribs. But that’s just personal preference.

As far as the hot sauce goes, it tasted like they had just added Tabasco or some other vinegar-based hot sauce to their mild sauce. And again, it seems all I could taste was vinegar. So I ended up using the mild sauce, and then adding some of my ghost pepper/ground habanero powder to heat it up.

Now to the ‘brisket’. But I’m not sure I would call it brisket, and I doubt anyone from Texas would either. Note the pile of meat-looking stuff in the photo above, between the chips and the ribs.

Central BBQ Brisket

It’s more like thin sliced roast beef, tough and chewy, and with no real taste. It reminded of deli meat you buy in a package at the supermarket.

But not as good.

I had seen a couple of references in the online reviews about the brisket at restaurants around town, but did not imagine it would be this bad.

As far as Jan’s meal, she had the pulled pork sandwich and said it was delicious.

Central BBQ 2

One interesting thing about Central BBQ is that it’s right across the street from the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot in 1968. The entire area is now part of The Civil Rights Museum.

Central BBQ 4

Getting back to the park about 6 we sat out on the river bank and watched the boats and big barges go by.

Mister enjoyed it too. It you look carefully below, you’ll see a big furry lump rolling around on the concrete.

Jan and Mister on the Mississippi

The sites here have concrete pads and are right on the river.

Tom Sawyer River 1

Mister certainly enjoyed it.

Tom Sawyer River 2

Some enormous barges go by here. This one consist of 21 separate barges strapped together, 7 long and 3 wide.

Tom Sawyer River 3

The tug’s props really stir up the water,

Tom Sawyer River 4

making a continuous ripple effect behind the stern.

Tom Sawyer River 5

We first stayed here in 2010, but the flooding of the Mississippi in 2011 just about wiped the park out. The sign below marks the high water point during the flooding.

“How long can you tread water?”

Tom Sawyer River Crest

Tomorrow we got a short run of 137 miles up to Sikeston, MO, home of Lambert’s Throwed Rolls.

Guess where we eating supper?

More From Prescott

May 12, 2015

I Feel the Need for Speed’s . . .

As far as the rig repair goes, we’re still waiting to hear back from the insurance company, but since our agents, (and friends) Chris and Charles Yust of C and C RV Insurance are on the case, we’re not worried.

A couple of days ago Peter and Patty Louchheim got in touch with us about getting together. They were coming up from Scottsdale to stay at the Fairgrounds RV Park in Prescott Valley to stay for a while. We first met at a rally a while back so it’s good to hear from them again.

Peter and Patty showed up at our rig a little after noon, and after talking for awhile, we then started talking lunch and decided on Speed’s Hanger Deli, a repeat for us, and a first time for them. They had read the blog post about our last visit and were happy to give it a try.

Jan and I did a rerun on our last visit, with her again getting the Rosie the Riveter,

Speed's Hanger Deli 4

while I got the Fatman, but on rye this time instead of sourdough.

Speed's Fatman

Still delicious, and so big that both Jan and I took half home, along some of the great potato salad.

Peter got the 8oz Sirloin Steak Sandwich which looked so good I may try it next time, or the time after that. After all it’s not like we’re going anywhere anytime soon. Unfortunately, I lost track of what Patty ordered, but I’m sure it was good.

Since we hadn’t seen them in several years, we spent a good while just catching up. Like us, they have an older rig, a 1994 Safari, and are well aware of the trials and tribulations of keeping things running.

Peter and Patty Louchheim

Since they’re staying over at the Fairgrounds RV Park in Prescott Valley, hopefully we’ll have a chance to get together again. After all it’s not like we’re going anywhere anytime soon.

Most of you have probably seen the video of the RV that was driving between Baton Rouge and New Orleans and had a blowout. If not, here it is.

This was all captured on the dashcam of a semi in the right lane. Makes me once again feel how lucky we were.

Note in the video how there was no one coming in the oncoming lane. These people were also lucky as you can see in this photo.


And here’s a link with more info about the crash.

Treadmill Mishap

May 12, 2016

Faceplant . . .

Yesterday while we were down in the Clear Lake area, I stopped by Fry’s Electronics to pick up a few things, one of which was a new video card for the new computer.

After trying a number of different non-effective fixes for my HDMI problem, I wanted to try one last thing. My old computer was set up with a 12ft. HDMI cable feeding video and audio to our 32” LCD TV at the front of the rig.

So if one of us wanted to show the other something on the computer, all we had to do was change the TV Input from HDMI1 to HDMI2 and there it is. And it still shows up on the computer monitor as well, which is fed by a DVI cable from the same video card.

But when I plugged the HDMI cable into the computer, it killed the monitor output, and nothing showed up on the TV either, neither video nor audio.

Now I knew the HDMI cable and the TV input were still good, since it still worked from my ASUS laptop. So my next step was to download the latest drivers from AMD Radeon. Then I deleted the old ones and installed the new ones.

And struck out again. Nothing changed.

So my last gasp was to just replace the video card and hope for the best. I once again deleted the old Radeon drivers, removed the old card, installed the new nVidia card, and turned it back on. I had deliberately bought a different brand card from the original one to be sure that there was no interference between the old ones and the new ones. The uninstall routines are bad about not deleting everything, sometimes causing some weird problems.

Of course when it came back up, with no drivers installed, it was in the blocky default 640 x 480 mode, or the Commodore 64 mode as we call it. I had already hooked up the HDMI cable and switched the TV over, but still had a black screen. But since the monitor was still working, maybe I was on the right path.

Putting the Driver Disk in the drive, I got the them installed and then did the mandatory reboot.

And, Voilà!, I had video on both the TV and the monitor. And sound too.

Now Jan can get back to streaming Big Love, so she’s happy.

We had planned to pick up Landon tomorrow afternoon at his home in Katy, and then bring him back here to Conroe to spend the night in the ‘Truck House’ as he calls it. There’s a lot of kids here on the weekend, and he can check out the playground and swim in the pool with the others.

But it may be on hold until next Friday, because Landon came down with a bad case of Treadmill Face.

He was upstairs playing and he decided try out the treadmill. He had been told a number of times to stay off, but I guess it was just too tempting.

So, turning it on, the result was a faceplant right to the mat. At least he didn’t lose another tooth.

Landon's Treadmill Face 1

Landon's Treadmill Face 2

Poor kid. But I bet he stays off the treadmill now.

And after hearing story, Jan and I couldn’t help but think of the Polar Bear on the Treadmill cartoon. Check it out.

Snow In Bend

May 12, 2017

April Showers Bring May . . . Snow?

Well, the Weather Channel has been promising/threatening snow for the last few days, but this morning Mother Nature finally delivered.

I looked out about 11:30 and it was really coming down, heavy enough that it was hard to see the rig next door for a few minutes. It only lasted for about 20 minutes, but nothing stuck since it was in the 40’s. But it was neat!

Snowing in Sunriver OR 2

And then a little after noon, it did it again. Not quite as heavy, but it lasted a little longer. There’s more forecast for tonight, and with temps in the mid 20’s, it might actually stick. We’ll see.

About 12:30 we headed into Bend once again, first for another visit to The Sparrow Bakery, but the other, larger location this time. Located in a high-end neighborhood market area, it’s has a completely different, modern feel.

Sparrow Bakery 2

Like last time I again got a Cardamon Latte, this time with a better leaf.

Sparrow Bakery Cardomon Latte 2

Here’s last time’s.

Sparrow Bakery Cardomon Latte

We both started out with a cup of their Minestrone Soup. Very good, but more as a really good vegetable soup with pasta, well seasoned, but not very Italian tasting.

Sparrow Bakery Minestrone

Jan once again got the Chicken Waldorf Croissant Sandwich, the same she got last time.

Sparrow Bakery Chicken Waldorf Sandwich

But she liked this one better, because it was made using white meat, not dark.

I decided to try their Monte Cristo Sandwich with roasted turkey, gruyere cheese, onion marmalade, raspberry preserves, served on battered slices of miche bread, a type of French sourdough.

Sparrow Bakery Monte Cristo

This was one of those sandwiches where the whole is less than the sum of the parts. It wasn’t bad, but just didn’t have a lot of taste, kind of bland. I used to get the Monte Cristo sandwich at the late-lamented Bennigan’s years ago and it was really good.

One thing that might have help would if it had more raspberry preserves on it. A Monte Cristo should be a little sweet. It is dusted with powdered sugar after all. But the Sparrow version just had a schmear. In fact I couldn’t even taste it.

I’ll know better next time.

Before we left we did pick up a couple of their famous Cardamom Ocean Rolls.

Sparrow Bakery Ocean Roll

Jan got the chocolate version while I went plain.

Coming back down US 20 we made a loop through the Fred Meyer’s to check it out for topping off the rig’s diesel on our way out of town this coming Wednesday. And at $2.55;/gallon, it’s one of the cheapest in the area.

While we were at Wal-Mart I came across this VR headset.

Onn VR Headset 1

Though actually it’s only a holder for your smartphone, and not a full-blown VR headset with its own screen. And according to the box, it’s made especially for Wal-Mart.

Onn VR Headset 2

But since this one only costs $12.88, and the others are $100’s of dollars, it’s a pretty good deal. It says it will fit smartphones up to 6”, and it will fit my new S8+ . . . almost.

It would fit perfectly if I didn’t have the Otterbox case on my phone, but it won’t quite latch shut. So I’ll have to find some way to keep it fastened . . . maybe Velcro.

As it turns out, there’s actually a lot of VR software available for the Android phones, roller coasters, space battles, sky diving, etc.

Pretty neat. Check it out.

Google has their own version called the Cardboard VR, because that’s what it’s made of. They give you the scored cardboard and a set of lenses, and you roll your own.

Google Cardboard VR

But since the Wal-Mart version comes with a headband and only cost $12.88, and the Google version cost $15, I know which one I’d pick.

And did.

Tomorrow, dinner at Cinco de Mayo down in La Pine.

Thought for the Day:

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
― Dr. Seuss