Immersed And Impressed . . .

Jan and I were on our way into Houston for our Monet exhibit by around 10:30, but our first stop was at the Cleburne Cafeteria on Bissonnet for lunch. Cleburne’s, along with Katz’s Deli, is one of our go-to places to eat while whenever we’re in this area.

Cleburne’s has been around since 1941, and owned by the Mickelis family since 1952, and it’s still a Houston standard.

Cleburne Cafeteria

Everything is fresh and homemade, even their mayonnaise.

And it’s all delicious.

Cleburne's Food Line

Jan got a fish dish that I didn’t get a shot of,

Cleburne's 20220630

while I got Bratwurst and Kraut, with White Beans, Steamed Kale, Fruit, and a Blueberry dessert.

And we both had leftovers to take home for tomorrow night.

Delicious.

Since we still had time before the Monet exhibit, so Jan wanted to stop off at a nearby Whole Foods for a few things.

Then it was on over to our Immersive Monet & The Impressionists, being shown at the same location where we saw Immersive Van Gogh last October.

Van Gogh Building

And it’s also where the Immersive King Tut will be shown this Fall.

I’ll just leave you with some photos tonight. I did a number of videos, but I want to clean them up a little before I post them tomorrow night.

Here’s a wide view of the theater.

Monet Wide View

One thing you can’t see in these still shots is that the scenes are constantly in motion, morphing from one painting to another, and all synchronized to the music. Everything from Bolero to the Rite of Spring, and many others.

Monet Dancers

Monet Flowers

Monet People

And of course, Water Lilies.

Monet Water Lilies

More tomorrow.


Thought for the Day:

All I’m saying is, at any point during that ride through the desert, he could have given the horse a name.


New Braunfels, TX


June 30, 2010

Hummingbirds vs Ceiling Fans…

No, not what you’re thinking, not yet, anyway.

Anyway, we headed out about noon for Gina’s. As we were leaving our rig Jan took this photo of one of the two fawns that are  hanging around nearby.

Fawns 1

On our way we stopped off at the park office to find out what time we have to check in tomorrow to see if we can keep staying here. Hopefully with all the rain and bad weather in the next week or so, it won’t be a problem. We’ll see.

After we picked up Gina we drove over to Sattler to have lunch at Granny D’s and then stopped off at the Post Office to mail some packages.

Then it was back to work at Gina’s.

There’s a hummingbird feeder on the porch where I’m installing the ceiling fan. There’s six of them in the area, but one of them is a bully and keeps trying to run off the others. In fact he spends more time chasing them off than he does actually feeding.

HB 1

HB 2

But every once in a while, some of them settle down and leave each other alone.

HB 3

HB 4

I finally got the ceiling fan mounted and hooked up temporarily. I wanted to test it first before I finished it up, since I installed one a while back, that was completely dead when I first turned it on. But this one worked fine, and came out perfectly balanced, too, with no wobble.

Gina decided she would move the feeder further away from the fan, since she didn’t want it turning into a hummingbird Cuisinart.

CeilingFan

We headed home about 5:30 pm. I let Mister out for a while, and while I was watching him, two deer showed up. They didn’t seem too worried about Mister, they just wanted corn. So I was feeding the deer from my hand and from the bowl while Mister was only about 10 feet away.

On To Bremerton, WA


June 30, 2011

Last Day in Long Beach . . .

We started this morning with coffee at 10:30, lunch at 11:30, and then at 12:30 I went down to the office to pick up my package.

About 1:30 I went outside to do some stuff around the rig to get ready to travel tomorrow.  First I put some air in my slightly leaky tire, then I cleaned up around the rig, and also cleaned all the bugs off the front cap that accumulated on the way up from Bend. It was all nice and shiny when we left, but we hit a lot of big juicy ones on the way up here, but a little Awesome took care of them quick.

About 4:30 we headed out to meet Bill Joyce and Diane Melde for dinner, with a few stops on the way.

First at the PO for Nick to mail some stuff, on to 42nd St Café where we ate a few days ago. Jan wanted to buy a couple of jars of their homemade jam that we sampled then.

Our next stop was on to El Compadre, the really good Mexican place we eaten at twice before.

Coming home, we made our usual stop for cappuccino before getting home a little before 7.

We’ve got an early start scheduled tomorrow because, although it’s only about 150 miles to Bremerton, there’s a lot of curves and hills, and I also wanted to get diesel before we leave. So we’ll head about 8:15 to fuel up and then hit the road.

More tomorrow from Bremerton.


Gillette, WY Escapade


June 30, 2013

How to Turn $25 into $225, just like Magic . . .

Jan and I were up this morning about 7:30 to have time for coffee before we headed over to the Cam-Plex for the opening of the Vendor area. Jan wanted to sign up for some of the limited-size craft classes before they filled up, and I wanted to be at the Blue Ox booth when they opened so I could sign up to have my Aventa LX tow bar serviced. The tow bar is what connects the RV to the Dodge Dakota truck we tow behind us. We bought our Aventa at the beginning of 2008 and we’ve put over 56,000 miles on it since then. So it was about time to have it serviced.

I had tried at a couple of other rallies where the Blue Ox guys were present, but always got to the booth too late. But today I was the first person to sign up.

The charge for the service was only $25, but a phone call about 10:15 magically jumped that up to $225. Brian, the service guy, was already at the rig and was calling to tell me that my hitch connector, the now-shiny part that you see below, needed to be completely replaced. I had already noticed a lot of ‘loosey-goosey’ movement in the ball joint that had slowly appeared on the years, but it has always worked with no problems.

But if the ball joint came apart, the safety cables would be the only thing still connecting the truck to the rig.

Not a good thing.

Blue Ox Aventa Repair

I was happy to find out that the new ball joint connector will not wear out near as quickly as this one did, And since this one lasted over 5 years, hopefully we won’t have to do this again.

For lunch Jan heated up her left-over pizza from Old Chicago last night, and I had the last of my BBQ from Big Hole BBQ last week in Victor, ID. Both still very good.

A little before 3pm Jan and I drove back over to the Cam-Plex for the opening ceremonies for the Escapade. But I think the real reason to be there was the fact that they were having a drawing to give away two $500 gift cards. Neither of which we won, unfortunately.

Escapade Open

By the time everything was over, it was getting to be time to go eat. So about 5pm we headed out to have dinner. After finding our first choice Chinese restaurant closed on Sunday, we headed over to Humphrey’s, a place we had eaten at when we were here 3 years ago. Our meal was good, but when Jan ordered her burger well-done, I got mine well-done, whether I wanted it that way or not.

I’m more of a medium / medium-rare kind of guy myself. But we had a good time, anyway.

Getting back to the rig, we again sat outside for a hour or so until the sun went down and it started to cool off quickly.

Then it was in for the night.

Still No Windshield in Elkhart, IN


June 30, 2014

Finally . . . Maybe

Well, I was at the repair place at 8am this morning.

And then things went downhill from there.

When the guy from RV Glass, that was supposed to know all about installing this type of gasket on an American Eagle, didn’t show up, Josh, from Coach Supply, gave him a call.

And it turns out that the guy knew nothing about coming to help install my gasket. Nobody had said anything to him about it.

And in fact, he was already booked solid the rest of the week, anyway. And on top of that, he had never installed this gasket on any American Coach whatsoever.

At this point I threw a major snit fit (note the ‘n’).

I first called American Coach parts down in Decatur, IN to confirm, yes they did have the gasket in stock, and it was $266.69.

Then I got on the phone with RV Glass out in CA and jumped all over them, but politely.

The local RV Glass guy here in Elkhart had admitted on Friday afternoon that they were trying to use a cheaper, generic gasket instead of getting the real one from American. This, coupled with the phantom, know-it-all, no-show repair guy, was the last straw.

When I related all this to RV Glass HQ, that seemed to get the ball rolling. It took a little while but I later got a call back saying the gasket was waiting down in Decatur.

I had already mentioned that I was willing to go down and pick it up, so about 1:30 Jan and I hit the road for the two hour drive down there.

Real Gasket

When we got there, the gasket was waiting as promised, and already paid for.  I had told Josh not to worry about trying to install everything tonight, since we were already on the hook for tonight’s motel room, but that we would get a early start tomorrow morning.

We got back to Elkhart about 5:30 just in time to have dinner at El Maguey, probably our last time this year.

So hopefully, this time tomorrow we’ll be back in our rig.

We hope.

Little Choo-Choo Trains


June 30, 2015

Sedona and Wyoming . . .

About 1:30 Jan and I headed for a train day in Cornville, AZ.

We were going to visit the Wyoming Division Historical Society HO Model Railroad in the small town of Cornville.

Located in a fairly non-descript warehouse type building, there’s no sign of what’s inside.

Wyoming Division RR 5

The only giveaway is the mailbox.

Wyoming Division RR 4

Located in a 50’ x 75’ building built just for this purpose, it is geo-thermal heated and cooled via ten 180’ deep wells under the building. Right next door is a 30’ x 36’ shop where all the woodworking and metal working is done, keeping all the dust and fumes away from the trains.

We were warmly greeted by Verryl Fosnight, the owner and head engineer of the Wyoming Division Railroad, who spent over an hour showing us around and explaining the layout.

Wyoming Division RR 6

Wyoming Division RR 12

The layout depicts the 485 mile Union Pacific route between Cheyenne, WY and Ogden, UT in the year 1957, and is built on 3 different levels, with the top two levels for operating and bottom hidden level for staging the trains and simulating other destinations, like Chicago, California, and Oregon. Using 1957 as the year of operating allows them to authentically run both steam and diesel locomotives on the railroad.

Wyoming Division RR 2

As you can see from the above diagram, the layout folds back and forth on itself several times, allowing the depiction of the many towns and industries along the route. It also isolates the operators from each other’s view, allowing for more prototypical operation.

Wyoming Division RR 9

And overhead catwalk lets you look down on the layout, giving a better view of the overall operation.

This is one of two helices on the layout. A  helix is basically a spiral staircase for trains, enabling them to move up or down between the 3 levels.

Wyoming Division RR 11

And this is one of 3 turntables used to move engines into the roundhouse for either maintenance or storage. In addition, it can also be used to turn an engine completely around.

Wyoming Division RR 10

These control boards allow the operators to remotely control the many switches in the train yard.

Wyoming Division RR 7

The towns and industries on the layout mirror the actual ones found along the real route.

Wyoming Division RR 8

Wyoming Division RR 15

As of 4/15 the benchwork, track, and the DCC control system are all up and working, and they have regular operating sessions once a month. About 1/2 half the buildings are done, and then the actual scenery comes next.

Verryl just recently got his website up, and much more info can be found here:

Wyoming Division Historical Society HO Model Railroad

Sheldon would be so jealous.

Finally leaving the Wyoming Division, we drove toward Sedona on AZ179, a route we’ve never taken before, and in our opinion, much more scenic than the usual route coming in from Cottonwood on 89A.

Sedona Trip 3

Sedona Trip 2

Our main reason going to Sedona was to have dinner at the Szechuan Restaurant. We had been jonsing for Chinese since we left Prescott and our favorite Beijing Garden, so we thought we’d give this place a try.

Szechuan 1

The Yelp review gave this place only 3 1/2 stars, but looking at the reviews, it showed a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews, and some 1 and 2 star reviews, complaining about how they thought the martini’s were too expensive, or they didn’t like the sushi.

Our review would give it 5 stars. Everything was delicious.

We both got the Dinner Special, which gave us Hot and Sour Soup as well as an appetizer plate.

Szechuan 2

Jan got the Sesame Chicken, with white rice,

Szechuan 3

and I got the Orange Sauce Chicken with fried rice.

Szechuan 4

Note all the peppers on mine. I finally found a place that doesn’t wimp out when I tell them I want it extra, extra, extra, extra spicy. Mine also had pieces of grilled orange peel in it. Probably the best Orange Chicken I’ve ever had.

And because we had soup and appetizers, and the entrée portion was so large, we both had plenty to take home.

It would be nice to go back, but I don’t know if we’ll have time before we leave here next Monday.


Everything’s better with Bluetooth


June 30, 2016

What Might Have Been . . .

Jan’s been a little under the weather for the last couple of days. Night before last she woke up about 1am with a migraine coming, which I think is a first for one starting in the middle of the night.

She was OK yesterday, but then woke up this morning feeling bad again. So bad she didn’t even want coffee this morning, but she did have some cheese toast later in the day.

Hopefully she’ll back to normal tomorrow.


As Sheldon says, ”Everything’s better with Bluetooth.”

And apparently that includes First Response Pregnancy Pro pregnancy test

Now with Bluetooth!

So now, after you pee on the stick, or dip it in the cup, you can wander off and wait for the stick to contact the downloaded app on your phone with the results, via Bluetooth.

And even better, the app has Wait Time Support, where the app provides distractions to help reduce stress while waiting.

I mean, are we talking Solitaire, or a short story to read, or what?

And while we’re on the subject, did you know that there was a unaired pilot f or The Big Bang Theory done in 2006, before the series we know and love debuted in 2007.

The first pilot of what will become “The Big Bang Theory”. Leonard and Sheldon are two awkward scientists who share an apartment. They meet a drunk girl called Katie and invite her to stay at their place, because she has nowhere to stay. The two guys have a female friend, also a scientist, called Gilda.

The unaired pilot was available at one time on a Big Bang Theory Bonus DVD, but it is currently not available.

But you can watch a couple of video clips from that pilot here.

Unaired Big Bang Pilot

Seeing what might have been, I’m really glad they didn’t go with the first idea.

And as it turns out, a lot of well-known TV shows had unaired pilots, including The Munsters, All in the Family, and Gilligan’s Island. You can read more here.

Unaired Pilots


Maybe Green Next Time


June 30, 2019

Little Boy Blue . . .

Wrapping Up Our Waco Weekend.

Our stay at the Marble Falls Motel 6 was OK, I guess, except for the broken WiFi. And flakey cell signal so I couldn’t hotspot my phone either. Bummer.

Saturday morning, with Linda working, we met Chris and Piper for breakfast about 9am over at the Grand Central Café in Kingsland.

Grand Central Cafe

If this place looks kind of familiar, like you might have seen it in a movie or something, you’d be right. It was the setting for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, shot in 1974. The house, but not the location.

When it was a movie set it was located over near Round Top, Texas, but was disassembled and moved to Kingsland in the late 1990’s, where it’s now part of the Antlers Inn, a turn of the century railroad resort that sits on Lake LBJ.

Grand Central Cafe 2

And the breakfast was just as good as the history behind the place.

Jan and I both got the Two Egg Breakfast, with Jan getting the Home Fries and Fruit,

Grand Central Cafe Jan

while I got the same thing, but with grits and bacon.

Grand Central Cafe Greg

Really good, especially the bacon.

Finally, getting in our goodbye hugs, we were on our way for the 3-1/2 hour trip down to Katy to meet up with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon. We were going to eat at a new place they’ve heard a lot about, Astor Farm To Grill.

It’s kind of an eclectic, fusion type of place, with a combination of South African, Venezuelan, and Argentinean food.  Not sure how they came up with that menu, but it is good. Very good.

Jan had the Lemongrass Grilled Chicken Breast with a salad,

Astor Lemon Chicken Breast

while I got the Gluten Free 8oz Angus Burger with Sweet Potato Fries.

Astor Plantain Burger

It’s gluten free because the bun is actually made from Fried Plantains. Other than that it was a normal, delicious burger.

I really got it for the plantains, not the GF aspect,.

Everyone really enjoyed what they had, and we’ll certainly go back.

We got home about 4:30, got everything out of the car, and then Jan followed me over to the Enterprise office to drop it off.

Then this morning while Jan was unpacking the suitcases, apparently Karma decided that the next time we leave to go somewhere, she’s going with us. Even if she has to camp out in Jan’s suitcase so she won’t be left behind.

Karma in Suitcase

Wrapping up, Landon decided he wanted to do something different with his hair this summer, so he went with BLUE.

Landon Little Boy Blue

Well, that’s certainly different, I guess. It’s temporary, and will wash right out if he wants to try something different.

Like GREEN!

We had a great time the last few days, getting to catch up with old friends, meet a new one, and also see both of our kids, et. all.

Really fun.



June 30, 2020

Bunny Rabbits . . .

I was on the phone awhile this morning, first with the Moen faucet people to order a new 1222 cartridge. Our Moen single handle shower faucet has started leaking, I.e. it doesn’t turn completely off. This is the 2nd time I’ve had to replace the cartridge to fix this problem. Luckily we have an on-off switch on the shower head so we can still turn it off there.

Then I put in a call Fleetwood-American Coach to get copies of the electrical schematics for the dashboard area. Our taillights and turn signals don’t work, and with both not working it’s almost certainly something with the main power feed to the systems.

I need to get this fixed before I put the rig in the shop for the oil leak.

Later, after a nice morning, Jan and I headed out about 1pm, and on the way to drop off some trash at the dumpster, we found we had visitor to our site.

Site Bunny Rabbit

Our first stop was the Snooze up in Webster for breakfast, with each of us getting our usual, Jan’s Bravocado Toast,

Snooze Bravacado Toast

and my 3 Egg Classic.

Snooze Gregs Eggs

Our favorite meal is breakfast, and we have it a lot when we’re eating. In fact, we also had breakfast a couple of days ago at our local Denny’s, with Jan getting an Mushroom Omelet with a side of Avocado,

Denny's Jan Omelet 4

while I got the All American Slam with Fruit.

Denny's Greg Eggs 4

Then it was on to Sam’s Club, WalMart, and the Post Office before finally getting home about 3:30pm

Nice day.

To Sous Vide Or Not To Sous Vide


June 30, 2021

I Guess They Ran Out . . .

I’ve been looking over sous vide recipes for doing our ribs this weekend, and it’s all over the map.

165° for 12 hours, 150° for 24 hours, or 145° for 36 hours. Rub or no rub. Salt or no salt. Marinate in vacuum bags overnight or not. Sauce or no sauce.

Or the ultimate blasphemy of them all, Liquid Smoke or not.

I think I’ve decide on how I’m going to do them, hoping that they come out looking like this example from the recipe I’m using.

BBQ Ribs Sous Vide

I’m not going to detail procedure yet because I’m sure that someone (everyone?) will be quick to tell me how I’m doing it wrong.

Now, chili. Beans or no beans?

I mentioned on Monday that I was ordered a new HP printer for work, not because of a printer problem, but because the scanner had cratered. And I probably scan more documents every day than I print.

And when I ordered it, it said it was available for Next Day Delivery. Great! But a little later when I looked at my Amazon orders, it now said that delivery would be between July 12 and 27th.

I guess they suddenly ran out of printers. So I quickly cancelled the order and started looking again. But quickly found nothing available on Amazon.

So ranging further afield, I found I could order it from WalMart, but it wouldn’t be delivered until July 7th. And there wasn’t one available for in-store pickup anywhere in Houston.

But then I found it at Staples. Same $120, Free Delivery, and it would be here this Friday. So I put my order in. Then today my tracking info said it would be delivered by FedEx tomorrow, Thursday.

Go Staples.

Things are looking up.

According to this article, Elon Musk has said that his Starlink service will be available ‘globally’ in August. Sure hope that ‘globally’ includes a little south of Houston, TX


Thought for the Day:

The trouble with trouble is that it usually starts out being fun.

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