Monthly Archives: July 2022

$556 MILLION DOLLARS!

A while back a couple of our blog readers asked why I always select the Annual Payments option for the lottery rather than the Cash Payment one.

Well, for starters, if you took the Cash Option for this past Friday’s $1.337 Billion Mega Millions lottery, you would have gotten $780.5 Million before taxes. Whereas if you took the Annual Payments, you would get the entire $1.337 Billion spread out over 30 years.

That means you would be giving up $556.5 million!

That’s a lot of money to give up for taking the Cash Option.

One thing I didn’t realize until recently is that the 30 yearly payments are not equal. Instead the payments are increased by 5% every year.

For instance, the 1st year payout, i.e. what you get initially after you win, on the $1.337 Billion is $15,294,064, while the 2nd year’s is $16,058,767. And by the time you’re at year 30, you will get $62,952,442. And these amounts are after Federal Taxes, but if you live in a state with a state income tax (Texas doesn’t have one), you would get less.

Now that way I look at it, what am I going to do with the $780.5 million Cash Payout that I couldn’t do with the $15+ million Year 1 payout.

And I’m still giving up over $556 MILLION DOLLARS!

And in case you’re wondering, yes you can leave your Annuity Payments to your heirs.

Jan and I headed out to Gator’s for lunch about 1pm. Jan got a Side Salad and the Keto Birria Pizza once again.

Gator's Birrria Pizza

They call it a ‘Pizza’, but actually it’s more of a Quesadilla, with the Keto part being that the top and bottom layers are not made with tortillas, but with fried cheese. The inside is shredded beef soaked in Birria sauce, with more on the side for dipping.

Her new favorite.

I also started with a Side Salad, and then a bowl of their Cilantro Beef Soup. Also really delicious.

Then it was on up the feeder to HEB for our week’s worth of HEB stuff.

Then home for the night.


Thought For The Day:

“The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.” ― Elizabeth Taylor



July 31, 2009

Rainy day in Connecticut…

Today was a quiet, rainy day in Connecticut.

We drove over to Clinton, CT to mail a package and then on to Old Saybrook for lunch at The Log Cabin restaurant.

After lunch we headed to Walmart and then the grocery store.

And then home in a driving rain storm.

This evening Jan and I spend some time mapping out our path for the next month or so.

Looks like we’ll be taking two ferries between Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and back, and it will probably take us about two weeks for the roundtrip to and from Maine.

We’ll see.


July 31, 2010

Chinese Food and a Big Fish…

We left Little Farm on the River RV Park in Rising Sun, IN a few minutes after 9 and headed north on US 127, arriving in Celina, OH about 12:15.

We drove into the Mercer County Fairgrounds and spent about 10 minutes driving around trying to find where to check-in. Finally saw a small sign in front of an RV parked over in one corner that said “Camp Host”.

Way to make it easy, guys..

We parked and got set up along the side of a barn with no problems, and settled in.

Mercer County Fairgrounds 1

This fairgrounds is a lot nicer than others we’ve stayed at, and makes for a pleasant stay. We were here last September for a rally and really enjoyed it then too.

Mercer County Fairgrounds 2

Mercer County Fairgrounds 3

About 1 pm we headed out to China Wok Buffet, one of our top five Chinese restaurants, and it was as good as we remembered. After lunch we drove over to WalMart, and along the way we encountered “Big Bob”, “The World’s Largest Man-Made Bass”, a promotion gimmick for Grand Lake here in Celina.

Big Fish

Constructed in the 1800’s as a reservoir for the Miami and Erie Canal which connected the Ohio River with Lake Erie, Grand Lake was once the largest man-made lake in the world. Strangely though it covers over 13,000 acres, it’s only 5 to 7 feet deep.

And in case you’re wondering, Owen Falls in Uganda is now the world’s largest man-made lake.

After getting back to the rig about 3 and having a short nap, I got the satellite set up.so we could watch some TV.

Then about 6:45 we drove over to our other favorite restaurant here in Celina, La “Carreta Mexican Restaurant. They make a great Chicken Tortilla Soup, and Jan really likes their Grilled Chicken dishes. The chips and salsa are really good too.

Tomorrow we travel about 155 miles further north to Elkhart, IN, where we’ll be for a month.


July 31, 2011

The last time I was at 11,000 feet, I was on a plane . . .

We picked up Al and Adrienne about 9 am and then headed down the street to Peter’s Coffee for traveling food, coffee and muffins.

Hitting the road again, our trip took us back up into Montana on SR72 to Belfry (Yes, they have two belfries in town and the football team is called ‘The Bats’) about 50 miles north of Cody.

This was the route we came into Cody on a week or so ago, but luckily today we didn’t have to go far enough north to hit the 11 miles of one lane, gravel road construction we had to go through then.

At Belfry we took a left onto SR308 heading to Red Lodge, MT about 12 miles away. On the way we passed through the small town of Bearcreek, home of the worst coal mine disaster in Montana history.

On February 27, 1943, seventy-seven miners went down into the Smith Coal Mine. After an explosion later that morning, only three came out alive. And beside ending these seventy-four lives, the explosion also ended the local coal mining industry in Bearcreek.

Getting into Red Lodge, we took a bathroom break at the Visitors Center, and then did some shopping along the nice Main St. area.

Red Lodge 1

On one corner was this old bank that’s now a ladies’ boutique. Waiting for Jan I took a moment to read the plaque on the wall in front.

Red Lodge Bank 1

And, lo and behold, this was a famous bank. On September 18, 1897, the Sundance Kid, Kid Curry, and others of the Wild Bunch attempted “to make an unauthorized withdrawal from the Carbon County Bank.” The “withdrawal” went bad, and after an 80 mile chase, they were captured  and returned to Deadwood, SD, where they later escaped again.

Red Lodge Bank 2

Leaving town and heading south on the Beartooth Highway we came across this store selling furniture and art made from juniper trees,

Rocky Fork Juniper 1

including this neat elk, and even a moose.

Rocky Fork Juniper 2

Really very nice work.

Rocky Fork Juniper 3

It didn’t take long for us start encountering the fantastic scenery and multiple switchbacks that the Beartooth is famous for.

BearTooth 2

BearTooth 3

This map picture shows just one of many switchback sections that takes you from about 5000 feet to just over 11,000 feet.

WOW!

Beartooth Switchbacks

BearTooth 5

The higher we got the more snow we saw. And looking at one of the snow fields I thought I saw movement, so zooming in with my camera I saw

BearTooth 4

this herd of Big Horn Sheep crossing the snow. This was above 9000 feet.

BearTooth 6

And we just kept getting higher and higher.

BearTooth 7

BearTooth 8

When we would think we couldn’t go any higher, we’d look up and see more switchbacks above us.

BearTooth 9

At one of the pullouts where we stopped to take in the view, we did see this marmot sunning himself on a rock.

BearTooth Marmot 1

Although they kind of look like a beaver or a big guinea pig, they’re actually a type of large ground squirrel.

Cute, though I hear they can be mean.

BearTooth Marmot 2

The views just kept getting better and better.

BearTooth 10

BearTooth 11

Finally we reached the namesake of the Beartooth Highway, the beartooth.

See it, it’s right at the tip of the red arrow.

BearTooth Bear Tooth 1a

Maybe this closeup will help.

BearTooth Bear Tooth 2

We came across a lot of pretty flowers along the way, some of which only grow at high altitudes,

BearTooth Flowers 2

BearTooth Flowers 3

like this Sky Pilot Flower, that only grows above 10,000 feet, and also has a slightly ‘skunky’ smell.

BearTooth Flowers 4

BearTooth Flowers 1

Reaching our 11,000 foot peak, we started back down, with of course, more switchbacks and hairpin turns.

BearTooth 12

BearTooth 13

After our 50 mile journey on the Beartooth, we reached SR296 and took a left onto the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway.

BearTooth 14

BearTooth 15

BearTooth 16

BearTooth 17

This 45 mile section had its own set of switchbacks, although we didn’t get near as high as on the Beartooth.

BearTooth 18

BearTooth 19

BearTooth 20

BearTooth 22

Finally we merged back into SR120, about 17 miles north of Cody, and headed home, getting back about 4:30.

BearTooth 23

After dropping Al and Adrienne off at their rig, we all met back at Proud Cut Saloon and Steakhouse for dinner about 5:30.

The steaks were delicious, but more important Jan and I had our first chance to try Rocky Mountain Oysters when Al ordered them as an appetizer. If you don’t know what they are, don’t ask.

First off, they were good, nothing like real fried oysters, which Jan and I love (raw oysters, too). More like fried slices of roast beef.

Actually I think they just prove the old adage that pretty much anything battered and deep fried will taste good.

After a great meal, Al and Adrienne came back to the rig to check out Jan’s Amish rug, and then we talked a while.

Finally, after saying our goodbyes and getting in our last hugs, they headed back to their rig. Tomorrow we leave for Billings and we probably won’t see them again until next March in Yuma.

After they left, I walked next door to visit with Jack Allen and Nell Dahl, who we had met before at a rally.

They wanted to say hi, and find out more about using South Dakota as a residency. I had a great time getting to know them better, and talking about our travels. I’m sure we’ll see them again soon.

Counting Down On Our First Year Of Gate Guarding


July 31, 2012

Tuscan Chicken and Drill Rigs . . .

The drill rig is finishing up cementing the last of the casing in and getting ready to skid? the rig over 25 feet to the next hole.

Although I’m not sure if ‘skid’ is the right word for moving something that weighs 300 TONS. More like ‘drag’ if you asked me.

I talked to the supervisor of the move today, and right now they’re planning it for Wednesday morning. He said they’ll use two big cranes, one on each leg, each pulling separately, so they can ‘steer’ it as they move. He also said the skid itself takes about 7 hours and he’d already done another rig earlier this morning.

I’m really looking forward to seeing this. I’ll try to get some pictures if I can.

Today, (Monday) Jan fixed a delicious meal of Crockpot Tuscan Chicken, along with a Peach Cobbler made using a yellow cake mix. Of course we have plenty of leftovers, but since tomorrow is Tuesday, we’ll  be having Chile Rellenos from Galindo’s that I’ll pick up on the way home from getting groceries in Pleasanton. So the leftovers will have to wait a couple of days.

That’s about it for what’s going on here at Rancho Peggy (Peggy is the nearest town to where we are. I think it’s one store and a Post Office.).

Meeting An Old Friend in Elkhart


July 31, 2013

Choo Choo Trains . . .

First up, Brandi sent over this latest Landon-ism.

I was driving Landon to school this morning and up in the sky was a Hot Air Balloon. With all the enthusiasm I could muster at 7am on a Wednesday, I exclaimed, “Landon, look at the COOL hot air balloon up ahead!!!”

Landon, in his most non-enthusiastic, deadpan voice admonished, “Hot Air Balloons aren’t COOL mommy,   Choo Choo Trains are COOL!!”

Ugh. My kid already thinks I’m a dork… LOL

Gotta love that kid!


Several people had asked where they can get one of the Pharmacy Prescription Discount Cards that I mentioned yesterday. You can get one free from here.

http://www.rxreliefcard.com/


I also had some inquiries about gate guarding and how to get started, so here’s some more info:

When we started last year, we just showed up at the Gate Guard Services yard in Whitsett, TX and told them we wanted to gate guard. We did not call ahead.

We had heard to do it that way because they get so many calls and requests for info that they really don’t pay any attention until you get there in person.

We got there on Thursday, April 5th about 5:30, but every one had already gone home at the office. But the guy working the yard showed us where to park. They have 5 FHU sites and a number of places with power and water. There is no charge for parking there while you’re waiting for a gate or coming off a gate.

The next morning. I went to the office and got our info packets and fingerprint cards. We then drove over to Floresville about 20 miles away and got our fingerprints done at the Sheriff’s Office.

Then we had to drive down to Corpus Christi on Tuesday, April 10th to process our applications and take our security guard tests. We had to wait until Tuesday because they only process apps on Tuesday and Thursday.

Then 5 days later, on Sunday, April 15th, we were on our first gate.

Doing it this way will work in the Spring and Summer, but probably not as well in the Fall and Winter when the all the snowbirds are down in south Texas.


After a lazy, overcast day, Jan and I headed over to the King Wha  hinese (The C fell off the sign) Restaurant to meet Al Hesselbart for dinner. After being greeted by the owner, Helen, who remember us from last time, we enjoyed a great meal. And along with the meal, we really enjoyed Al regaling us with stories of his two trips to China to consult with them about developing the RV industry there. In fact, we had so much fun it was two hours before we said goodnight.

Working our way back to the rig, we stopped off at Kroger’s for some things, got some gas for the truck, and some Powerball tickets for tonight’s 235 million drawing. Busy, busy, busy.

Tomorrow, with better weather on tap, we’re planning driving down to the Shipshewana area, and maybe Goshen too. We’ll see.

More Fun in Ohio


July 31, 2014

Wanted: $1000 Reward . . .

Today was another tourist day for us. so we all headed out about 10:30 on our way south, to Georgetown, OH. to visit President U. S. Grant’s boyhood home and other sites. So after a quick stop at the Post Office in Wilmington, we headed down US 68 for Georgetown, about an hour away.

Grant's House

Grant’s boyhood home was built in 1823 by his father Jesse, and Grant lived here until he was 17, and left to attend West Point in 1839. And in a strange twist, going to West Point accidently changed Grant’s name.

His real name was Hiram Ulysses Grant, but realizing his initials on his trunk would HUG, he was afraid he would be teased, so he submitted his application under the name of Ulysses Hiram Grant. But the Senator who recommended him, mixed up his name even further, submitting it as Ulysses Simpson Grant.

When Grant got to West Point, he found out they didn’t  have an opening for Ulysses Hiram Grant, or even for Hiram Ulysses Grant, but they did have one for Ulysses Simpson Grant. So he decided his name was now U.S. Grant. Anything was better than HUG.

His father owned a tannery right across the street which is also still standing.

Grant's Tannery

It’s amazing how much of the original furniture is still in the house.

Grant's House Inside 1

Grant's House Inside 2

Our next stop was right down the road where Grant attended school from 2nd grade to the 8th grade

Grant's School House

And they’ve still got the desk he used.

Grant's Desk

And they also had this Wanted Poster for one of Jan’s ancestors. John Hunt Morgan of Morgan’s Raiders fame . . . or infamy, depending on which side you were on during The War of Northern Aggression.

Wanted Posted

Leaving Georgetown we headed further south down on the Ohio River to Ripley, OH, and the home of John Rankin, one of the leading Abolitionists during the period.

Rankin House

Rankin House View

Rankin’s house sat on a high hill overlooking the Ohio, and served as a beacon for slaves escaping from Kentucky right across the river. Rankin’s home was one of the first stops on the Underground Railroad, and it’s estimated over 2000 slaves passed through his hands on their way to freedom.

Leaving the Rankin house and heading back down the hill, we encountered something none of us had seen before: A blonde squirrel.

Blonde Squirrel

This photo was taken through the windshield so the coloring is a little off, but in the sunlight he seemed to be the color of a palomino horse. And like a palomino’s mane, his tail was much lighter than his body, almost white. The Internet has a lot of pictures of these, but no real explanation as to what they are. They’ve definitely not an albino of any type.

After stopping off at  Rankin’s gravesite in town, we made another cemetery stop up the road a ways to the grave of Rose Washington Riles, otherwise known as Aunt Jemima, or at least one of them. Apparently there have been 6 ‘official’ Aunt Jemima’s, and a bunch of regional ones. Reading online it’s a pretty convoluted story.

Heading west along the Ohio River, we stopped off at Point Pleasant, OH to check out Grant’s actual birthplace where he lived until the age of 1, when his parents moved to Georgetown

At that point we turned north, heading for Loveland, OH, on the eastern outskirts of Cincinnati, and after a quick stop at a Chase Bank we arrived at our dinner location, the Montgomery Inn. We had heard good things about their BBQ. And the menu said that every President since Gerald Ford had eaten there.

The ribs, their specialty, were pretty good, with a sauce that was different, but very good. However, the pulled pork was more like what we called ‘Chopped’ in Texas. And like we’ve encountered before up in this area, the Beef Brisket is more like Roast Beef with BBQ sauce on it, rather than the Brisket we get in Texas.

But the Ice Tea was really, really good. What can I say?

Our last tourist stop for the day was Loveland Castle, or Chateau Laroche. Unfortunately they were already closed, and good pictures were hard to come by, so I got these from their website

Loveland_Castle 3

Loveland_Castle 2

Construction was begun in 1929 by Boy Scout troop leader and World War I veteran Harry D. Andrews, who said this about the project:

“Chateau Laroche was built as an expression and reminder of the simple strength and rugged grandeur of the mighty men who lived when Knighthood was in flower. It was their knightly zeal for honor, valor and manly purity that lifted mankind out of the moral midnight of the dark ages, and started it towards a gray dawn of human hope.”

Apparently Andrews built the place pretty much by himself over the next 50 years, assisted by the Boy Scout troop he found, The Knights of the Golden Trail.

Reading about the castle and its builder on the Roadside America, Loveland Castle page, it kind of reminds me of Edward Leedskalnin, the guy who built the Coral Castle down in the Miami FL area.

Our last stop of the day was a nearby Barnes & Noble for a few magazines, before we finally headed home.

Another long, but fun day.

Still At Cherokee Landing Thousand Trails


July 31, 2015

Why Bother?

I finished my AC voltmeter install today, mounting it on the bottom of the cabinet right above my head, fastening it with double-stick tape. There are two AC outlets in the cabinet above, one of which goes off when the engine is running, and one that stays on, which is the one I plugged the meter into.

AC Voltmeter Install

Today was the 3rd day of Jan’s 3 day migraine pattern, and she still didn’t feel like making the long drive in Memphis, so about 3pm Jan and I headed back into Corinth, MS to once again have linner, this time, at Ruby Tuesday’s.

One thing I noticed as we turned onto US72, was that the Exxon truck stop that had diesel for $2.37 yesterday, had it for $2.32 today. I had already thought about topping off our rig tank there, and this just makes it more attractive. But it all depends on how busy they are when we get there. Maybe it will go down even more by Sunday.

One of Jan’s favorite places, she loves Ruby Tuesday’s large salad bar, but we don’t eat there a lot because we don’t come across them very often.

We both had really good burgers and then added the Salad Bar for $3. A really good deal.

One thing we did was bring all our devices, two Kindle Paperwhites, my Galaxy Tab 4, and my Galaxy S5 phone, with us. With the mostly bad Internet here at Cherokee Landing, we wanted to update our Kindles with books we’d ordered, as well as apps on the two Galaxy’s.

But in the case of Ruby Tuesday and many other commercial Wi-Fi’s I’ve encountered, you’ve got to wonder why they even bother. After I started updating our Kindles, I noticed that it was even slower than what we have at the park when we’re on 1X. So using my Tab, I ran Speedtest.net and got a 712 ms ping, 0.10 Mbps download speed, and 3.1 Mbps upload speed.

I have never actually seen a ping that slow, and 0.10 Mbps download speed is just pitiful. But even worse, the 3.1 Mbps upload speed, 31 times faster than the download speed, almost certainly means the download speed is being artificially and deliberately throttled.

You might see this situation when a connection is severely overloaded, I.e too many people trying to use the connection. But since there were only two other couples there at the same time, and neither seem to be going online, I’m sticking with my conspiracy theory.

As I said, if you’re not going to offer a usable connection, then why bother?

Tomorrow is our last full day here at Cherokee Landing, so we’ll start putting stuff away and getting ready to roll on Sunday.


July 31, 2016

Poche’s and Gumbo . . .

We had a 307 mile trip scheduled for today, to Poche’s Fish N Camp near Breaux Bridge, LA, so we wanted to get an early start.

So we were up about 6:30, and I was pulling out of our site a few minutes after 8am, with Jan following in the truck. Our first stop was the Brookshire Bros. Groceries gas station in Columbus for $2.03 diesel, about 80 gallons worth.

Diesel At Brookshire Bros

It was easy in and out, with plenty of room to hook up the truck after we were done. The only problem was a really slow pump, so by the time we were done and hitched up, it was a little before 9. But as it turned, we were still on schedule, since I wanted to be on the road by 9 anyway.

Our first stop was at the Buc-ee’s in Baytown, right on the way. We picked up couple of their Cranberry Nut muffins for tomorrow’s breakfast, a couple of Cream Cheese Kolaches for today’s lunch, and a couple of Cappuccino/Coffees for the road.

Our next stop was supposed to the rest area just getting into Louisiana, but it was being completely rebuilt so we keep moving, finally pulling over for a bathroom break on a wide shoulder.

We got into Poche’s Fish N Camp a little before 3pm after a smooth trip. It’s a Passport America park, so $20 for a $40 a night park. Pull-thru site, 50 FHU and a concrete pad. Very nice. And a very nice view, too.

Poche's Sunset 2

About 3:30 we drove into Breaux Bridge to have dinner at Pont Breaux, one of our favorite Cajun places. Under this name, and the previous one, Mulate’s, we’ve been eating here for almost 40 years.

Jan and I got our usual bowl of Seafood Gumbo,

Pont Breaux Gumbo

and then Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce for dessert.

Pont Breaux Bread Pudding

They have live music here, Cajun of course, and in fact the band was setting up just as we were ready to leave.

Mulates 3

Tomorrow’s trip is a little shorter, a 165 mile run to Bay St. Louis, MS, and the Hollywood Casino.

Jan said she’s feeling lucky.

It’s Almost Sold


July 31, 2018

Just Batching It . . .

The high bidder on our house emailed over a copy of the contract all filled in and ready to sign.

Except that Jan’s name is not on it, and needs to be, since her name is on the deed as well as mine.

The contract is the standard Texas Real Estate Commission version so there shouldn’t be any hanky-panky with it.  But just to be sure I downloaded a sample copy from the TREC website and compared the two, and found no discrepancies.

But there are still some parts that I don’t quite understand, so I’m going to check with a real estate lawyer just to be sure.

We’ve been needing rain and today we got it in spades. Over 3.5 inches here at the coach, and more officially in the area. And the lightning/thunder was pretty serious also.

About noon it started to come in buckets, large buckets. And the thunder was jarring the coach, so much so that it apparently jarred the DirecTV satellite out of alignment also.

I thought that when DirecTV went out, it was because it was raining so hard. But it was still offline when I got back home later in the evening and it wasn’t raining. So I set the dish to realign and got the signal back.

Jan and I headed out about 12:45, in the rain, of course. with our first stop at the Webster Rudy’s BBQ. Not for BBQ, but for a big jar of their coarse ground pepper.

Rudy's Black Pepper

We use a lot of it and theirs is really good.

Our next stop was our favorite East Star Chinese Buffet for lunch, great as usual. Then while Jan was getting her hair cut at the local SuperCuts, I stopped by my client’s to finalize things on the website for our August sale.

Next we headed over to the house to go through some boxes, and also wait for Brandi, Lowell, and Landon to meet us at King Food for dinner about 5:30. They were coming down to pick Jan up and take her back up to Katy to Landon sit. He’s decided that he doesn’t like his Day Camp so Jan’s going to stay with him the rest of this week and all of next week, until school starts on August 15th. I’ll pick up her this Friday, and then Brandi, et. all, will pick her back up on Sunday.

But until then, it’s just me and Karma, batching it.

Fun In Costa Rica


July 31, 2019

Monkeys, Toucans, and Sloths, Oh My!

I mentioned before that the one thing Landon was looking forward to on their Costa Rica trip was all the wild monkeys that live in the area. And it looks like he got his wish, and more.

And not just Monkey’s,

Costa Rica Animals - Monkey

but Toucans

Costa Rica Animals - Toucan

and even a Tree Sloth.

Costa Rica Animals - Tree Sloth

Here’s a video from Facebook of Landon feeding the monkey’s, but I don’t know if you can see it or not if you’re not on FB.

Landon Feeding The Monkeys

And what better way to top off a day full of Monkeys than with a Banana Split.

Costa Rica -Landon Banana Split


July 31, 2021

SD vs HD . . .

While we sat outside on the patio with our coffee this morning I was experimenting with the camera on my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra phone and it continues to amaze me.

This is a photo I took of a cardinal about 50 feet away using the standard 1X magnification. That’s the little red dot on top of the branch.

Patio Cardinal !

And this is the same shot using the 10X optical zoom.

Patio Cardinal 2

What continues to amaze me about this camera is how good it is at knowing what I’m taking a photo of. I mentioned before how it knows that I’m taking a picture of plates of food, but yet if I pan off the plates and just shoot the table, the little food icon goes away.

And even when I took the 1X photo of the cardinal it recognized that the little red dot was an animal.

So how does it know?

A couple of days ago I posted a side-by-side photo of 4K video vs HD, so I thought I’d also post this one of SD vs HD.

SD v HD

To me, it’s a more noticeable difference than the one between 4K and HD. And at least we can stream HD now, but we’re going to have to wait for Starlink for the 4K stuff.

Jan and I had lunch a Gator’s Bar & Grill once again, and as always, really good. Then it was on up to Webster so Jan could pick up some stuff at the Big Lots. It’s been years since I’ve been in one, and it’s really changed. In fact, it’s more like a high-end Dollar General now, just bigger, with more stuff, and higher prices.

Our next stop was by the office to pick up an Amazon order that came in after I left yesterday, and then it was on up the street to Kroger to pick a prescription. And the cost, $6, just reinforced my decision to switch all our prescriptions to Kroger’s’ Pharmacy Plan. In this case the same drug would have been $24 at WalMart/Sam’s.

Coincidently our next stop was at WalMart/Sam’s for a few things before we headed for home.

All in all a very nice day.


Thought for the Day:

According to an audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), Special Agents at the IRS accidentally shot their firearms 11 times between 2009 and 2011, and at least three of the cases “may have resulted in property damage or personal injury.”

In fact, these 11 ‘accidents’ were 3 times the number that they intentionally fired their firearms in the field.

Don’t you feel safer now?

  

  

Sharing Is Caring . . .

Well, it turns out that one ticket in Illinois won the $1.337 Billion Mega Millions lottery last night

Our daughter Brandi, covering all her bases, messaged this to Jan’s sister/family in Illinois.

Brandi Lottery Message

Unfortunately the luck of the Illinois bunch wasn’t any better than ours here in Texas.

Though I did win $4 on my $20 ticket. Whoopee!

But I’m not sharing it.

However I wasn’t able to even check my ticket until this evening, because every time I checked it during the day, the Texas Lottery app either wouldn’t respond or said it was too busy. Guess too many folks were checking their tickets.

Jan and I were on our way up to Webster a little before 1pm for lunch at Texas Huddle once again.

And like Angie at Denny’s, and Sylvia at Twin Peaks, Juana, who’s only waited on us twice before, brought us our correct drink order right off the bat, and also remembered what we also order.

After we both started with a side salad, Jan got her Mushroom Cheddar Bacon Burger (no bun) and a side of their Steamed Veggies.

Texas Huddle Mushroom Swiss Bacon Burger 20220730

I of course, got the PB&J Bacon Cheeseburger, heavy on the PB&J.

Texas Huddle PB&J Burger 20220730

And as usual I dusted the burger with some of my Carolina Reaper Volcanic Pepper Flakes, for that extra touch.

Then when the manager came to see how we were doing, she told me that some people order it with the Flaming Raspberry sauce that they have for their Chicken Wings, instead the Grape Jelly, or in addition to it.

Next time for sure!


Thought for the Day:

Ancient Worlds


July 30, 2009

Eastbound and Down . . .

Today was a travel day.

After having breakfast at a local restaurant, we headed east toward Clinton, CT a little after noon.

We were only going about 130 miles, but it took us about 4 hours due to all the traffic on I-95.  A good part of the time we were only doing about 40 mph.

The only ‘highlight’ of the trip, if you can call it that, was the fact that it cost us $23.75 to cross the Tappan Zee bridge which spans the Hudson River about 25 miles above New York City.

And traffic across the bridge was very slow due to what a flashing sign said was police activity on the bridge. We could see police lights in the distance and a helicopter hovering overhead, but by the time we got to that part of the bridge everybody was gone.

Jan jokingly said “Maybe somebody jumped!”.  And it turns out she was right.  A 66 year old women from NJ  jumped from the bridge and was killed when she hit the pilings at the base of the bridge.

Apparently this happens enough that they have installed phones all along the bridge that connect directly with the Suicide Prevention Hotline.


July 30, 2010

EnterTRAINment Junction . . .

We’re presently parked at the Little Farm on the River RV Park in Rising Sun, IN, about 25 miles from Cincinnati, OH.

This park is in the middle of a working farm that runs right down to the Ohio River and we’re surrounded by corn and soybean fields

Little Farm 1

Little Farm 2

Little Farm 3

Little Farm 4

About 10:00 am we headed into Cincinnati. Strangely enough, although Ohio is just across the river, we have to go through Kentucky to get there. Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky all come together right here in this corner of the country.

Our first destination was Quaker Steak and Lube, a hot wing place we first ate at in Buffalo, NY last year on our way back from Newfoundland. When we were there the big promotion was their “Atomic Wings”. These rate about 150,000 on the Scoville Heat Scale (a jalapeno rates between 2500 and 8000) and you have to sign a release before they will serve them to you. Jan and I got a sample order (5 wings) and we both thought they were pretty hot, hotter than anything we’ve eaten before. Jan could only eat one.

This time they have a new deal. “Triple Atomic Wings” with a 500,000 rating. Unfortunately they don’t offer a sampler of the Triples, and I didn’t want a whole order of 10, so we didn’t get to try them.

But Jan and I both agreed that either we had both lost a lot of taste buds, or these “Atomic Wings” today weren’t as hot as the ones we had last year. But they were good. We also had some regular Hot Wings and some Buckeye BBQ, which rates at about  5000.

One thing I really like about Quaker Steak is that their chicken pieces are a good bit bigger than either Hooter’s or Buffalo Wild Wings.

After lunch we stopped off for gas and a car wash before heading over to the main course for the day, EnterTRAINment Junction. Yes, it’s spelled correctly.

EnterTRAINment Junction is a train-themed attraction that has a railroad museum, and what I was really there for, the world’s largest indoor model railroad.

With over 25,000 sq. ft., 90 trains with more than1200 cars, 2 miles of track, and over 6000 handmade trees, it’s really something.

Train 1

Train 2

Train 3

Train 4

Train 5

Train 6

Train 7

I had a large HO layout when I was a kid, and if we weren’t living in the RV I might think about building another one. But in the meantime I still like reading about them, and visiting large layouts when possible. Last year I visited the Model Railroad Museum near Lancaster, PA, but this one is much bigger.

As I said, my layout was HO, which at the time was the smallest scale at 1/87 real size. The trains we saw today were G scale, or 1/22.5

Now there are two smaller scales than HO  N scale, at 1/160, and Z scale at 1/220. An locomotive in Z scale is less than 2 inches long.

We also enjoyed the American Railroad Museum, which had a lot of interesting displays and artifacts.

One thing that I found funny about the building of the Trans-Continental Railroad was that when the Union Pacific and Central Pacific work crews approached their meeting from opposite directions, they passed each other by and kept on going for another 100 miles. They were getting paid by the mile and didn’t want to stop. Finally the Government stepped in and declared Promontory, Utah the meeting point.

Leaving the Junction we head back to the rig, but detoured through downtown Cincinnati to get some flavor of the city. It’s a very nice town with a lot of new big buildings going up.

I kept looking for the Flimm building, but never found it.

Getting back to the rig a little before 5 we decided it was nap time for an hour or so. Then about 6:30 we headed out for dinner at Skyline Chili, one of two chili-based restaurants in this area, the other being Goldstar Chili.

Everything is pretty much chili. Chili Dogs, chili burritos, salads with chili on them, and even chili spaghetti. And of course, all of it covered with grated cheese and onions.

And it was delicious. Hopefully we’ll get to try Goldstar some other time.

Tomorrow we head north about 135 miles to Celina, OH for the night before getting into Elkhart, IN on Sunday.


July 30, 2013

Guards and Buffalos . . .

More on the Gate Guard front:

This morning, before I got up, Jan got a call from someone looking for Gate Guard Services. I wasn’t sure why they had called us, but after thinking about it for a while, I figured he had got our number from one of our rig’s Company Men as a Gate Guard Services contact.

All the Company Men we worked with had both Jan and mine’s phone numbers and email addresses in case they needed to call us on the gate. Curious, I gave the guy a call back and that’s what had happened. Another Company Man, apparently one that we had worked with last year, had given him our number.

In addition, earlier this morning, I got an email from Jerry and Rita Scarbrough, who also work for Gate Guard Services, telling me that GGS has finally switched over to Direct Deposit for our paychecks. This will make it a lot easier for us since when I used Chase’s Online Deposit last year, I kept running into a problem because Chase has a limit on how much money you can deposit online in any one month. Who ever heard of a bank that doesn’t want your money?

About 1pm Jan and I headed out for the afternoon. Our first stop was at the RV/MH Hall of Fame to check in with Al Hesselbart, the director there, and a long-time friend. After talking for a while we made a date to meet for dinner tomorrow night at King Wha, a great local Chinese restaurant.

Next up was a stop at the Sam’s Club over in Mishawaka, about 15 miles away to pick up Jan’s prescriptions and get some other Sam’s-type stuff. Since we wanted some other pharmacy items we went there first. When I went to pay for the prescriptions, I thought they were kind of high at $136.

So I pulled out my Pharmacy Discount Card. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I picked one of these up from the payment counter at my doctor’s office last February. Figured it wouldn’t do much, but what the heck, it’s free.

Pharmacy Card

When I first used it at the Sam’s Club in Friendswood, I was surprised to find that it saved me about $50. Yeah! I was also told that I only had to enter the card into the system once and it would apply to all prescriptions from then on.

Kind of.

I showed the Pharmacy Tech my card and asked her to be sure it was still in the system and if it would save me anything today. She said these cards never made much difference but she would check. She went away for about 15 minutes and then came back with a big smile on her face.

I asked her if it make any difference and she said “You could say so”. So I asked “How much?”. She just hit a few keys on the cash register and a new total came up.

My $136 total was now $50.  WOW!

The other thing I found out is that the card has to be re-entered each time we move our prescriptions to a new Sam’s Club or Wal-Mart. Which for us is pretty much every month. Note to self.

Leaving Sam’s, we went right next door to the Wal-Mart to get me some new socks since Sam’s didn’t have what I wanted.

Then, after a quick stop at a P.O. to mail a letter, we headed over to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. Usually we get the regular wings, but this time since the Boneless Wings were on sale, we got those instead. We both got the Mango Habanero sauce on them, which is their third hottest sauce, behind ‘Wild’ and ‘Blazin’, which is the hottest But I always get a small cup of the ‘Blazin’ sauce as an added hit.

I do this because I like the heat of the ‘Blazin’, but overall I also like the sweetness of the Mango Habanero, so I get the best of both worlds.

On the way back to the RV park, we first stopped off for a car wash, and then a quick stop at a Chase bank to get a roll of quarters. Jan wants to use the big washers here at the park laundromat to do some of our rugs while we’re here.


July 30, 2014

Stuff Every RV’er Should Have . . . Maybe

Since today was a rainy do-nothing day I thought I’d continue with a list I started on a post back in June. It’s a combination of things we like and use, and some of the items from the 10 Things Every RV’er Needs seminar that I used to give at Escapades and other rallys. We’ve found all of these either very useful, or very necessary, or both.

First up are things electrical.

1. A Three Light Outlet Tester is just plain necessary, for your home or your RV.  I’ve lost count of the times I’ve plugged into  a 20 amp or 30 amp campground outlet and found a Open Neutral, an Open Ground, or a Reversed Open/Neutral. All of which under some conditions can get you shocked. Or keep the power from making it through your Electrical Management System (EMS) and into your rig. About $6.

3-Wire Receptacle Tester

2. The Kill-A-Watt is another must-have. With it you can check the voltage of the outlet of course, but also the current draw in Amps of whatever you have plugged into it. And you can also check the frequency in Hz, the power consumed in Watts and KWH (Kilowatt Hours). I use it to set the frequency on the diesel generators when we gate guard, so our clocks run right. About $23.

P3 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor

3. A Digital Volt Ohm Multimeter (VOM) is another must-have item. With it you can check battery voltages, fuses, pretty much anything electrical. About $6.

Digital Large Screen Multimeter

3a. Just a better VOM, this one with auto-ranging which means you don’t have to preset the voltage range before taking a measurement, I.e. 0 to 200 volts, or 0 to 20 volts. About $20.

INNOVA Auto-Ranging Digital Multimeter

4: These are the super bright LED strips that I came across recently due to Ed Hurlburt of the RV Tips area on Facebook. They’re bright white, and are perfect replacement for your F15T8 fluorescent bulbs. Here’s my blog post on how I replaced my fluorescent tubes with these. About $9 per set of 2.

Super Bright COB White LED Lights

5. This is a temperature-controlled outlet that I use during the winter. I have a small cube heater that I put in the our water bay during very cold weather. The heater plugs into this outlet which is plugged into the rig AC power. The heater is turned on, but only operates below 35° and then cuts off at 45°. About $12.

Cold Weather Thermo Cube Thermostatically Controlled Outlet – On at 35-Degrees/ Off at 45-Degrees

6. This one is for diesel rig owners. You should always carry a spare filter or filters when you’re on the road. I can attest to that. What I was surprised to learn about was all the Cummins Fleetguard products that Amazon carries, including both of my fuel filters shown below.

The FS1022 is a very fine particle filter located right on the engine on our 1999 American Eagle. About $22.

Fleetguard FS1022, Diesel Fuel Water Separator

This FS1242 is a 1st stage coarser filter located near the back bumper on our 1999 American Eagle. About $20.

Fleetguard FS1242 Fuel/Water Sep

Of course, your locations will probably be different. One thing nice about getting these through Amazon is that they’re cheaper than directly from Cummins.

7. I went through a number of different inside dual extensions that always started leaking after a few months, until I found these braided stainless steel ones. Going on two years now, and they’re still airtight. About $19 for a set of 2.

Pacific Dualies 18101 MAX EZ Air 7″ Braided Stainless Steel Valve Stem Extensions

8. This Water Pressure Gauge has backed up a couple of my complaints about low water pressure at several parks. They would say the pressure was fine, and I would show them that 10 psi is way too low. About $12.

Watts Water Pressure Test Gauge

9. This High Flow Dual Outlet lets me hook up a hose for washing the truck or the rig, or even the pressure gauge above. And unlike a lot of cheaper ones, it doesn’t restrict the water flow. About $18.

Nelson Rezimar High-Water Flow Dual Outlet Kink-Free Flex Hose Adapter

10. Staying with the water theme, every RV’er seems to rave about the Oxygenics shower heads, and we’re no different. Low flow so your hot water lasts longer, high pressure for a good shower, and easy installation. About $33.

Oxygenics Handheld Power Massage

11. These last two are my favorites. The first up is this Flying Ball Helicopter that’s great for flying inside, or outside too. But the globe protects the blades in the close quarters of the rig without hindering the flying, and makes for more enjoyment, and cheaper flying. About $22.

ROBOTIC UFO 3-Channel I/R Flying Ball RC Helicopter with Gyro

Hopefully this list will prove useful to you, so if you have any questions or comments, let me know.


July 30, 2015

A Delayed Rendezvous . . .

Well, just as we’re wrapping it up here, it cools off. Pretty much since we’ve been here, the temps have been in the mid to high 90’s, and staying in the mid to high 70’s at night. But today it was only 93 degrees, with 66 tonight. And that’s how it’s supposed to stay until we leave here on Sunday.

As I mentioned before, we had planned to make a last visit to Charles Vergos’ Rendezvous for some more of their fabulous ribs. But Jan woke up with a migraine this morning and just didn’t feel like making the hour and 45 minute trip into Memphis, and of course, back home.

But she did feel like making a 30 minute drive in the opposite direction to the Cracker Barrel in Corinth, MS. Thursday being Jan’s favorite Turkey and Dressing day, it was the perfect fix.

Jan of course got her T & D, while I went with the Cracker Barrel Sampler, something I’ve never had before.

Cracker Barrel Sampler

It comes with samples of Chicken and Dumplings, Sugar-Cured Ham, Meatloaf, and Mashed Potatoes, and then I added Turnip Greens and Fried Okra as my two sides.

I mean if you’re at a comfort food place, then you should have comfort food, right?

Everything was great, especially the Turnip Greens. Well, everything but the Meatloaf. Although it tasted good, it was dry and chewy, and in crumbles, like it was scrapped off the end of the pan. But all in all, it was a good meal.

They have plenty of parking here, so we’re thinking about stopping here for breakfast on our way to Alabama on Sunday. We checked it out and they’ve got plenty of parking in back. But we’ll see how busy they are when we get there.

One thing I noticed as soon as we came into Corinth is that they must be having a gas war here. Everywhere had unleaded at $2.19 or less. In fact we filled up the truck at $2.15. Nice!

Too bad they’re not having a diesel war too. It was still in the $2.40’s.

Not bad, but not as good as we saw last week over in the Memphis suburbs, where it was in the $2.26 area.

We’ll see how Jan feels in the next couple of days, to see if we’re going to try Rendezvous again.

WARNING!!

The last few days I received several emails with this heading.

Warning: Inbox for gregw@whiteserv.com is limited [13 undelivered messages]

If you get one with your email address on it, delete it.

This is an autmomated email sent from our SSL severs to inform you that there is an error in your email configuration.

This error was identified on: 2015/07/25 and we have not been able to deliver 13 contact email messages from this date.

To retrieve your emails and reconfigure Port 486,Click Here

Warning: Failure to do this will lead total suspension of your email account.

This message has been sent to:gregw@whiteserv.com.

Please delete and Ignore if this is not your email address.

First off, note they’ve misspelled ‘automated’ in the first paragraph.

And when you put you mouse over the Click Here link (which I unlinked for your safety), you see this

http://doctortarucan.com/images/blocked/mailer-daemon.html?

I’m not sure who the hell Doctor Tarucan is, but he has nothing to do with my email.


July 30, 2016

Scratching the Itch . . .

Saturday’s usually a sleep-in day for me. Instead of getting up at 11am, I get up at noon. But I didn’t go to bed until almost 4am, so cut me some slack.

Of course, 15 minutes after I got up, and before I even had my coffee!, a client called and needed help.

By the time I first had my coffee, and fixed the problem, it was almost 2pm. So after snapping a photo of our electric meter, I headed down to the park office to settle up on our electric bill for the almost-month we’ve been here.

Turned out to be $195.12 for the month, which along with the $375 rent, totals $570.12 for our 28 day stay here.  That’s $20 a day.

Not too bad, I guess.

Later, around 7pm, after it had cooled off a bit, I went outside to stow things away for our travel tomorrow, and also to take another look at my AC blower problem that seemed to center on the resistor pak.

AC Blower Resister Pak 0

The pak gets hot in operation, so it actually sticks up into blower airflow to help keep it cool.

AC Blower Resister Pak 1

And after I got it out and unplugged it was quickly obvious what the problem was

AC Blower Resister Pak 2

There was a burnt pin on both the pak and the connector.

AC Blower Resister Pak 3

A little Googling said this was a fairly common problem. The long-term solution might be to replace both the plug and the pak, but I wanted to get it fixed now.

So a paperclip to the rescue.

AC Blower Resister Pak 4

I let it run about 15 minutes, and although it got hot to the touch, it wasn’t hot enough to burn, so I deemed the repair a success.

For now.

Of course, I only have one speed now, high. But we pretty much only run it on high, anyway.

Finishing up, I stowed away the water and sewer hoses, as well as the chairs. So all we have to do tomorrow is unplug shore power, raise the levelers, and hit the road.

Tomorrow night we’ll be at Poche’s Fish N Camp near Breaux Bridge, LA.,  finally scratching the itch.


July 30, 2017

Smooth and Cool . . .

We took our time getting up and on the road this morning, not pulling out until about 10:30.

I think the spaces here at Capitol City RV Park here in Montgomery are some of the largest I’ve seen. At 85ft x 45ft, you could park a couple of RV’s in each site.

Capitol City RV Site

Though these are their ‘Premium’ sites, I was given a free upgrade when, noticing all the Auburn University stuff on the walls of the office, I told her I had gone to Auburn. Of course I didn’t tell her I had also gone to Auburn’s arch rival, University of Alabama too.

It took us about 10 minutes to get out on I-65N, heading towards Athens, AL, about 180 miles away.

Based on past trips through Birmingham, I was expecting the same really bad roads, especially coming into town from the south, but they’ve obviously been doing some work since we were through here last year. Nice and smooth.

And being Sunday, there was really no traffic to worry about, so we just cruised right through, with the only slowdowns being the many hills.

We pulled into the Northgate RV Park in Athens and were met by my cousin-in-law, Helen, at the park office. After getting in our hello’s and hugs, we got parked and set up about 2:45.

About 4pm Jan and I headed to have dinner at Catfish Cabin, our regular ‘first night here’ restaurant.

One of the best things about this place is that pretty much every thing is homemade. From the salad dressings,

Catfish Cabin Salad

to the Hushpuppies,

Catfish Cabin Hushpuppies 2

it’s all made in-house.

And all of their catfish, shrimp, and oysters, are all fresh, and then breaded and prepared at the restaurant. The only thing bought pre-prepared are the stuffed crabs like on my Combination Platter.

Catfish Cabin Combination Platter 2

Jan always gets the Cabin Platter, because she really likes the whole catfish on it.

Catfish Cabin Cabin Platter 2

Really delicious as always.

One thing we’re enjoying up here is the cooler weather, with highs in the mid-80’s, and lows in the low-60’s, temps we haven’t seen since Rapid City, SD back in May.

Cool.

Tomorrow we’re making a daytrip back down to Birmingham to drive around, and then have dinner with our old friend’s Bill and Carol Alverson.

Bill and I both worked as broadcast engineers at WBIQ, Ch. 10, the local Alabama Public Television station back in the early 70’s, before we moved to Montgomery. We also both worked part-time at WENN, a black radio station in town, also as broadcast engineers.

So we’ll have a lot to catch up on.


July 30, 2018

GPS Fixed?

We’re still waiting for the last two house offers to come in, hopefully in the next day or so.

I thought I might have another possible buyer today, but it didn’t work out. My client gave me an ad card for another local company that buys houses, so I gave them a call.

They sounded very interested and kept me on the phone for almost 30 minutes giving them info on the house, and finally setting up an appointment for Thursday afternoon at 2pm.

Then on my way home I got a text asking me to call back to discuss what they could pay for the house. I thought that’s what they would decide after they looked at the house on Thursday. But I gave them a call when I got home.

The young lady said that she had turned over my info to the property buyer, the guy who would be checking out the house on Thursday. She said he told her that he was presently paying $75,000 to $125,000 for houses in our area, and would that be a price range that I could live with?

I told her that since I had offers for $137,000, $139,000, and $140,000, what did she think? After she was quiet for about 10 seconds, she said, “Oh, I guess not.” Then she said that she would cancel the appointment.

Now I’m not sure what was going on, but I really doubt he’s bought any house in our subdivision for $125,000, much less $75,000. But at least they didn’t waste my time.

The high bidder sent me a copy of the contract we will be using if we go forward with the deal, already filled in, so I can look it over. I was glad to see it was the standard Texas Real Estate Commission 10 page form, and not some in-house version with a lot of possible gotchas.

It now looks like I got off easy on my GPS problem. As I mentioned the other day, the new power cord did not fix my problem of the unit constantly rebooting. So I started looking at replacements units on Amazon.

Googling had told me that sometimes the problem could be caused by a bad update, but I hadn’t updated recently so I didn’t think that was the cause. And anyway, to fix it, you have to save all your data off, do a factory reset, and then spend a couple of days downloading all the new updates, and then load your data back on. Seemed like a lot of trouble to go to, especially since I was kind of looking for an excuse to get a new one anyway.

But Friday, while I had the GPS plugged into my laptop to download the latest copy of my Favorites from the unit, I saw that a new update was available, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

And it fixed the problem!

It worked perfectly all the way up and back to Brandi’s on Saturday, and then again to and from work today.


July 30, 2019

TV Guide . . .

As was forecast it did rain off and on all day so the only thing I got done outside was to get my local digital antenna mounted and and up in the air.

New Digital Antenna

Coming inside I switched the TV over to Off-Air and hit Scan. And in a few minutes it had found 111 local channels. WOW.

That’s almost 3 times what it found before I put it up on the pole. Of course, about 80 of those are in languages we don’t understand.

One thing Jan was worried about is how to find out what was on the many channels since there’s not a guide like on our DirecTV. We did find one online that showed the local channels but it would be a real pain to have to check the computer every time you wanted to know what was on.

Then as I was looking at the TV remote I noticed a Guide button. So out of curiosity I press it, and suddenly I had a channel guide.

And just like our DirecTV guide, it not only time and program name, but also gives a short synopsis of what the show is about.

Neat

But now my question is, where is this coming from? It has to be coming over the air, but who is putting it together, and what channel is it coming in on? It doesn’t show up when you scan through the channels, just when you use the Guide button.

It must be something standard around the country, since I assume it works everywhere since it’s on the remote. But so far Googling hasn’t turned up anything.

So I’ll keeping looking.

As I mentioned yesterday I got an email from Panasonic saying they were repairing my camera, and then today I got another email saying it was done and they were shipping it out this afternoon. Very fast service.


July 30, 2021

Trip Prep . . .

Jan and I spent this evening starting to book stuff for our Christmas in Branson visit. First up were our tickets to Yakov Smirnoff’s show on December 5, the day we arrive in Branson. We had to do this one first because that’s his last show of the season.

Next up we got tickets to see SIX once again, on Monday at 8pm at the Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater. Again, we were kind of constrained by the times of their shows and the times we had open.

Next up was a Dinner Cruise on the Branson Belle, the riverboat that cruises Table Rock Lake. We had hoped to do the 8pm one, but they didn’t have any open during the week we’re going to be there, so it will be an early dinner, at 4pm on Tuesday, the 7th.

One thing I found is that it’s cheaper to book directly through the theater, and not through one of the online services like BransonShows.com or others. In fact we saved over $30 on the tickets for Yakov’s show alone.

I finally ended up setting up a spreadsheet to keep track of shows and times we had open.

And in other ticket buying news, I went online this morning to the Houston Museum of Natural Science and got tickets to the Pompeii Exhibit there,

Pompeii Exhibit

and it’s going to be family and friends excursion, with Jan and I, Brandi and Landon, and Landon’s BFF, Sophie.

And besides Pompeii, there’s also the Body Worlds exhibit,

Body Worlds

and Victoria, the T-Rex.

Victoria T-Rex

So we’ve got bodies encased in stone, bodies encased in plastic, and a T-Rex. Sounds like the perfect afternoon for a couple of almost-11 year old’s.

And us adults too, of course.

As we’ve done on past Museum visits, we’re going to meet up first at nearby Cleburne Cafeteria for lunch beforehand. A great place to eat.

We’re set for August 10th, just before Landon and Sophie start back to school the next week on the 16th.

Then the following Thursday, the 12th, we’re meeting Debi and Ed Hurlburt, and maybe Janice and Dave Evans, for lunch at Razzoo’s Cajun Café up in Spring. Then coming back south, I’ll drop Jan off at Brandi’s so she can dog-sit while Brandi, et al, spend the weekend at the lake.

So it’ll be just me and Karma for our weekend.


Thought for the Day:

Dear Karma,  (again, not our cat)

I have a list of people you missed.

Me

  

  

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