Daily Archives: May 13, 2022

So Far, So Good . . .

Well, as I had hoped, I got the new Shipping computer in place and working this morning, with only a couple of bobbles. Mostly due to the correct printer not connected with the correct program. But Jennifer successfully processed all of today’s orders with no problems.

Right now I got the new computer set up right next to the old one, but if everything goes OK on Monday, then on Wednesday I’ll move the old one back into my area. I’ll leave it on for a couple of days in case I need to move some forgotten data over to the new one.

Glad I got this done before we go on vacation in a couple of weeks.

Tomorrow it’s Pho Barr and WalMart once again. Looking forward to a quiet weekend with nothing really scheduled except for a few chores around the rig.

Thanks to everyone for all the kind comments about my Ramses posts. It was an amazing exhibit, and to me, much better than the Pompeii one we saw several month back.

One thing that’s hard to wrap your head around is old the Egyptian civilization actually was.

Like –

When Ramses became Pharaoh in 1279 BC, the Pyramids were already 2000 years old


Cleopatra lived closer to the moon landing than to the building of the Pyramids.


Big Trees

May 13, 2010

Redwoods and Cat Barf, again…

Since we had a 295 mile trip today, we got an early start and left the Sonoma-Marin fairgrounds in Petaluma about 8:30 am heading initially about 12 miles north to a small Pacific Pride truck stop we had scouted out yesterday.

I wanted to fill up with diesel before we got up into the boonies of the Redwood National Park. And my experience here just reinforced why I don’t like the big truck stops like Flying J, Pilot, TA, etc.. I was in and out in a little over 10 minutes with a 100 gallons of diesel, unlike about a month ago when we left Las Vegas and stopped at a TA truck stop on the outskirts of town. It took me over 40 minutes to get diesel and get back on the road.

About a hundred miles down the road we started encountering our first big redwoods. We had been seeing smaller ones, about 50-60 feet or so, soon after we left Petaluma. But now we were seeing really big ones.

Some of these were over 100 feet high and 8-10 feet in diameter. It’s hard to believe that we’ll be seeing some redwoods here that are over 3 times higher.

Along with the redwoods, we encountered something else, another cat barf situation. It was Mister this time. Don’t know why this has started. Neither cat had a problem with all the curvy roads last year in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, so why now?

Maybe we’ll try not feeding them on travel mornings and see how that works.

About 2 pm we stopped at a Pepper’s Restaurant in Fortuna for lunch. They were located in a shopping center parking lot so we had no problem finding a place to park the rig.

This was unlike two other stops we tried to make today. We first tried to find a place to eat in Leggett, a small town about half way along our trip, but neither of the two restaurants were open.  A little while later we drove thru Garberville, a very nice little with a lot of restaurants, all open. But we found no place to pull over and park the rig.

We ate at a Pepper’s in Petaluma last week and liked it, and it was good this time too.

We both had sandwiches that were large enough that we had leftovers to take with us for supper tonight. We also got a piece of coconut cream to split tonight for dessert.

Our road, US 101 was pretty good. It was mostly 4 lane with a smattering of 2 lane, usually thru the mountain curves and steep hills.

We had seen several signs about “Elk Crossing” along our route today, but about 30 minutes before we got to our park, we came across a small herd of elk right along the highway, only about 30 feet away. They didn’t seem to mind, or even take notice when we stopped right beside them.

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We pulled into Klamath River RV Park about 4:30 and got set up. The view is certainly better than we’ve had for past week. This is the view our the front of our coach.

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And this is the view from out back.

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We will be here for 3 nights and plan on leaving Sunday morning. Tomorrow we’re going to take a drive thru the redwoods, and see some of the other sights around here.

Jimmy Buffet and American Pie

May 13, 2011

Margaritaville and Blueberries . . .

Yesterday was our last chance to check out some of the Vegas attraction on the Strip.

So, after we spent the morning resting up from our talk show trip to LA on Tuesday and Wednesday, we left the rig about 4 pm to have dinner at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville at the Flamingo Hotel on the Strip.

JimmyBuffets Plane

From a very large model of Jimmy’s seaplane hanging from the ceiling to a girl sliding down the side of a volcano into a blender of margaritas,

Jimmy Buffet Volcano Girl

and then dancing on the bar, it was a great start to a fun evening.

Jimmy Buffet Volcano Girl 2

Leaving Margaritaville, we drove down the Strip to the Border’s Book Store before heading up to Fremont Street to see the Fremont Street Experience. The Experience is a large video screen covering two city blocks in downtown Las Vegas that shows music videos every evening.

Out of the 4 shown every night, our favorite is the one set to Don McLean’s American Pie.

Fremont Street Cover

Fremont Street Show

And something new this year is a Zipline Ride running almost 700 feet along under the screen.

Fremont Zip 1

Fremont Zip 2

You can even ride it during the show. You’re about 80 feet off the ground, traveling about 30 mph.

Fremont Zip 3

Then leaving Fremont, we headed back down the Strip to the Bellagio Hotel/Casino to taken in their famous water show.

But to get to the fountains in front we traveled through the lobby and found this beautiful ceiling made from enormous glass flowers 2 – 3 feet across. Just beautiful.

Bellagio Ceiling

Our viewpoint for the show let us look out across the lake toward the Strip and the Paris Casino.

Bellagio Effiel Tower

Bellagio Balloon

The water show runs for about 5 minutes every 15 minutes, and each time it uses a different song, We heard Debussy, Chopin, and Beethoven, and even some Elvis. Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture would have been neat.

The show is another one of those events that the camera really doesn’t do justice. But here goes.

Bellagio Show 1

Bellagio Show 2

Bellagio Show 3

Bellagio Show 4

Bellagio Show 5

I’ll try to post some video in the next day or so when I get a chance.

After a somewhat abortive attempt to find a Bob’s Big Boy to have a late snack, (We ended up at the HOME of the owner of Bob’s Big Boy Toys.), we ended up at Blueberry Hill Diner once again, finally get home at almost 1 am.

Who knew retirement would be so exhausting?

Moving To A New Gate

May 13, 2012

A New Record . . .

128 vehicles in and out today (Monday). That’s about one every 10 minutes for the 24 hours.

That’s too much like work!

They’re in the process of finishing up the well and big trucks are coming and going hauling out mud and other drilling fluids all day long. If they finish up on schedule then they’ll start tearing down on Wednesday, which is when we’ll move to the new site about 45 miles away.

However we still don’t know the specifics of the move yet, like is our pad ready? Hopefully we’ll know more tomorrow. If what other gate guards have told us works out, we’ll have several days free to relax and maybe drive into San Antonio, before the rig is set up and running at the new site. Certainly hope so, anyway.

Today marks the beginning of our 2nd month gate guarding. We plan on doing this another 3 months or so, before heading north.

Brandi and Lowell sent over some more Landon pics.

Here he is chilling out at Pink Berry. Cool glasses!

Landon at Pink Berry


And here he is chowing down on Boudin Balls and Ranch Dressing at T-Bone Tom’s in Kemah.

Landon eating Boudin Balls with Ranch Dressing

That’s about it for today. IF we stay on schedule our next blog may be from our new site.

On To Lake Tahoe

May 13, 2013

It’s Time to Get Out of Dodge . . . Well, Las Vegas, anyway.

We left Apache Junction when the temps started getting into 3 digits, and now that weather has caught up with us. Officially it was 101 today, but it was 113 under our awning, so it’s just about time to hit the road.

113 Thermometer

We’ll leave here Wednesday and spend one night in Tonapah, NV where it will be 82/52. Starting Thursday we’ll be in South Lake Tahoe for two weeks where the temps are forecast to be in the high 60’s/ low 70’s and high 30’s/ low 40’s at night. Very, very nice.

I braved the heat for a while to finish topping off my house batteries with the distilled water I got yesterday, and also packed some stuff away to get a head start for Wednesday.

I also washed out a couple of compartments using my new Little Big Shot Super Hose Nozzle,

Little Big Shot

This thing is really neat. It will adjust your water spray from a needle-fine hard stream to a full spray. The needle spray is great for washing out areas without getting water all over everything next to it, and the full spray is great for washing your coach.

Then after working out in the heat, a nap seemed to be a good idea, and I was right.

Since we wanted to see the Bellagio Fountain Show after dark, we planned on a late dinner, so we picked up Jim and Peri Dean at 6pm and headed down Flamingo Rd. to the Flamingo Casino. We were having dinner at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville located in the casino there.


Margaritaville 1

Margaritaville 2

Our meals were good, and there’s something entertaining always going on, from dancers on stilts,

Margaritaville 3

to a bikini-clad girl sliding down the slide of a volcano into a giant margarita glass,

Margaritaville 4

finishing up with a trapeze act hanging from a large fishing hook high over the crowd. Really neat.

By the time we finished dinner, it was after 8pm and now dark, so we walked down the Strip toward the Bellagio.

Vegas Strip 1

Vegas Strip 2

The shows are every 15 minutes so we didn’t have to wait long for the next one. In fact we stayed for 3 shows, since each one is different.


Bellagio 1

Bellagio 2

Bellagio 3

Bellagio 4

Bellagio 5

Bellagio 6

Bellagio 7

Bellagio 8

For a little more, you can check out this short video of a show.

Tomorrow we’ll start getting ready to travel, and then finish up with one last buffet at Boulder Station Casino with Jim and Peri, before we head out on Wednesday morning.

My Uncle Buddy and Aunt Virginia

May 13, 2015

R.I.P. to A Real American Hero . . .

My uncle, Theo Wesley Calvin, Jr., died this afternoon at the Floyd Fann State Veterans Home in Huntsville, AL.

He was 93.

I knew from an early age that, like my mother, her brother, Uncle Buddy (what I called him) had been in WWII. But it was only much later that I found out just what that entailed.

My family and I visited my mother’s family in Athens, AL, as long as I can remember. Here I am with my aunt Virginia and Uncle Buddy when I was about 18 months old.


This was probably in 1949.

Over the years, as I visited, and later lived in Athens, I learned more about his service to our country. One time exploring in my grandmother’s attic, I came across a WWII Army helmet that had ‘T. Calvin’ painted on the inside. And it also had a thumb-sized dent with a crack in it.

When I asked my uncle about it, he looked at me for a few moments and then said it happened the day after D-Day after his landing on Omaha Beach. He said it knocked him down, and his head rang for a week. Then he wouldn’t talk about it any more.

Theo Calvin

Over the years, I picked up more facts, like that he fought across Europe under the command of General George S. Patton in a Anti-Tank Company

It was only in the last few years that even more of the story came out with the appearance of a mystery envelope full of medals in 2012.

As it turns out, Uncle Theo not only landed at Normandy on D-Day in June 1944, but he was also was part of the Operation Torch landings in North Africa in November 1942, and the Operation Husky landings in Sicily in July 1943. In all, he fought in 7 campaigns during the war, and received a Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, signifying that he was wounded twice, both times in France.

He also fought in the last major offensive of the war, the Battle of the Bulge during December 1944 – January 1945. Dug in near Bastogne, Belgium, he said it was so cold nobody wanted to fight. “We could see the enemy, but we didn’t shoot at them, and they didn’t shoot at us.”

Among the many medals Uncle Theo received were a Bronze Star, the Belgium Fourragere, and the French Legion of Honor.

In 2011, Theo was the Grand Marshal of the Veteran’s Day Parade in Athens, honoring him for his service.


And then in 2012, Lt. Gen. Richard P. Formica showed up to pin that envelope of new medals on SSgt Calvin, medals that had been forgotten and not awarded at the end of the war.

Theo's Awards

Since we’ve been RV’ing, we’ve always made it a point to visit our relatives in Athens, and especially to visit my Uncle Theo in the Veterans Home where he’s been for the last several years.

Our hearts go out to my Aunt Virginia, and the rest of the Calvin family in North Alabama.

Theo And Virginia2

He will be missed.

Our Truck House

May 13, 2016

Worse The Second Day . . .

Well, after a quiet morning, probably our last for a day or so, we headed out for Katy about 2:30, to pickup our grandson Landon so he can spend tonight with us in the ‘Truck House.” Unlike our last couple of trips south, this one was pretty smooth with no hang-ups or slowdowns.

We got to Brandi’s just about 4pm and Lowell had him all packed and ready to roll. Brandi was still at work, so Landon hugged Lowell and Miss Kitty, the dog., and we were on our way.

Going home, we took the new 99 Grand Parkway to avoid all the going-home traffic. And it really does. As soon as we got a mile or so off I-10 everyone was cruising at the 70 mph speed limit.

Well, no. Most everyone was doing 80 or above. This is like driving through west Texas, with absolutely nothing around you, just open countryside. So even through the route is further, and more expensive, than taking the Sam Houston Tollway, it’s certainly quicker during rush hour.

And there are the six entertaining toll booth charges. Where in the heck do they come up with toll amounts like $1.03, or $1.11, or even $1.98?

When I set our Garmin GPS to take us back to Conroe, the online traffic info said we would have 45 minute delay, and would be home about 6:15. But taking the Parkway we were back at the rig by 5:30. Nice!

Not actually back at the rig though, because we made a dinner stop at where Landon wanted to eat, Taco Bell.

The last time we ate at one was during our two month blowout repair sabbatical out in Prescott, AZ last year. It’s strange because we always like it, but it never comes up when we talk about where we want to eat.

Getting back to the rig for real, Landon changed into his swimsuit and I dropped he and Jan off at the park pool for about an hour and a half or so, before picking them up a little after 8pm.

Getting home, we all snuggled down and watched the first episode of Star Wars, well, the fourth in the episode list, but the first one for us when we saw it in 1977. Landon had never seen it, and was looking forward to it.

Finishing up,  apparently a Treadmill Faceplant Face looks much worse the second day.

Here”s the first day.

Landon's Treadmill Face 1

And here’s the second day.

Landon 2nd Day 1

At least he’s smiling now.

Cardamom And La Pine

May 13, 2017

Ocean Rolls and Tacos . . .

It got cold enough last night that we thought we might wait up to a covering of snow, but no luck.

But we did get more white stuff on and off several times during the morning and afternoon, but none of it stuck around. The temp finally crept up to the low 40’s, staying mostly overcast all day.

For breakfast this morning, along with our coffee, we had half of our Cardamom Ocean Rolls from yesterday’s visit to the Sparrow Bakery.

Sparrow Bakery Ocean Rolls 2

Really good, especially with the cardamom flavor.

Later our daughter Brandi sent over these pics of Landon at hockey practice.

Looking pretty good on skates

Landon Hockey on the Ice

Not sure if Landon just checked the other kid, or maybe he just likes short naps.

Landon Hockey on the Ice 2

And here’s Landon with his uncle Chris who came up to watch practice.

Landon Hockey with Chris

About 4:30 we headed out for dinner at Cinco de Mayo down in La Pine, with a stop right next door to pick up our friend Dina.

Cinco De Mayo Jan and Dina

Whoever recommended Cinco to us years ago is lost in the mists of bad memories, but if they read the blog, hopefully they’ll speak up. But whoever it was, it was a great recommendation.

Jan had the 3 item combo with a Chili Relleno, a Beef Taco, and a Beef Enchilada.

Cinco De Mayo Jan

These are the biggest plates we’ve seen anywhere with a diameter of almost 19”, and they fill them up. So everyone had leftovers.

Dina got this huge Taco Salad.

Cinco De Mayo Dina

I got the Carne Asada Dinner.

Cinco De Mayo Greg

Everything more than met our expectations. Except their much-vaunted ‘Hot’ salsa. A number of the Yelp reviews talk about how hot it is. Well, maybe for Oregonians, but not for Texans.

In Texas it would be, maybe medium-hot. So I used some of my Volcanic Pepper Dust to spice things up.

Volcanic Dust

Besides Habaneros and Scotch Bonnets, this also has Moruga Scorpion Peppers, the 2nd hottest pepper, in it.

What I haven’t yet had a chance to try is the Carolina Reaper, the world’s hottest pepper as of a couple of years ago.


That thing looks deadly just sitting there.

Tomorrow we’ll probably just stay at home, with Jan whipping up a batch of her world-famous chili. And I can guarantee it will be hotter than Cinco de Mayo’s salsa.

Bloody Mary’s And Mother’s Day

May 13, 2018

Mother’s Day Memories . . .

I’ve mentioned before that my mother was an Army Nurse during WWII. Her first command as a Captain in the Army Nurse Corp was at Fort Benning, GA, where she was Chief of Nursing while George Patton was there.

When Patton left for California to set the Desert Training Center for the Tank Corps, my mother, now Major White, was transferred to West Point where she spent the rest of the war, again as Chief of Nursing.


In August 1945, she and her nurses were on the train heading for New Orleans where they were to board a hospital ship heading for the coast of Japan to prepare for the coming invasion of the Japanese mainland. Then Hiroshima happened and they were turned back around

Mother in the Army

So it’s a good possibility that I’m only here because of the atomic bomb.

My father, on the other hand, a police detective in civilian life before he enlisted, spent the war in the Navy Shore Patrol, stationed in Chicago guarding the Navy Pier installation. He always said that he figured he did his part because “no Japs ever made it past Chicago.”

And  then there’s a couple of the other mothers in my life, our daughter Brandi, and of course, my wife Jan.

Jan and Brandi 1975

Both here in one photo.

Jan and I headed out a little after 9am, on our way up to Katy,to meet up with our daughter Brandi, and her family. Then it was off to Anthonie’s Market Grill in nearby Simonton for a Mother’s Day get-together.

We’ve never eaten there before, but Brandi and Lowell had heard a lot of good things about it, and the reviews are great.


We were also meeting up with Brandi and Lowell’s friend’s Eric and Chantelle Nugent, and their son, Maddox.

Anthonie's Mother's Dey Group

Unfortunately Landon had wondered off.

And luckily for us, the reviews, if anything, were understated. The food was fantastic.

I started off with one of their House Specialty Bloody Mary’s.

Anthonies Bloody Mary

Made with Spicy V-8, as well as some added heat, it was great. I’m not sure what they used to heat it up, but it wasn’t the Tabasco Sauce that many places use, because I can taste that. But it was much hotter than standard Spicy V-8 juice.

Jan had the 1/2 Flame-Kissed Rotisserie Chicken with the Grilled Asparagus.

Anthonie's Jan's Chicken

I really like Wedge Salads, and I’d heard Anthonie’s had a great one. So I got the Wedge Salad with Grilled Chicken.

Anthonie's Greg's Wedge Salad

Brandi and Lowell both got the Ribeye, Brandi’s with their Creamy Spinach Stuffed Grilled Tomato. Brandi gave me a couple of bites, and this was a really good piece of meat.

Anthonie's Brandi's Steak

One of the things that make Anthonie’s so good is that, despite the high-quality of the food, the prices are on the level of a Longhorn or Saltgrass Steakhouse. Not bad at all.

Hopefully we’ll get to go back soon.

On a side note, Brandi and Chantelle are leaving tomorrow morning for the Dominican Republic and the Punta Cana resort area. Chantelle is a travel agent and is always winning sales contests for free trips, resort stays, etc.

So she and Brandi get to spend an all-expenses paid 5 day stay at an all-inclusive resort there. Nice!

After that great meal, Lowell, Landon, and I drove back to their house, while Jan and Brandi headed out to get Mother’s Day Mani-Pedi’s. So they came home with pretty toes, and Lowell and I got to nap.

So a good time was had by all.

We headed home about 3pm, with a detour by our new storage room. We had brought a loaded bin and some other things to drop off, and also finally install our combo lock on the door.

I was happy to see that no one stole our stuff before we got it locked up

Thought for the Day:

“The amount of ammo you need is determined after the gunfight.”