Daily Archives: July 29, 2022

Sister . . . Wives?

Rob, a regular blog reader, saw yesterday’s blog title, Recent Acquisitions, and then this picture of Jan and her sister Debbie.

Jan and Debbie

And the first thing that came to his admittedly whacked mind was –

Wow, I thought, this guy is brave… There is no way I could deal with a second wife!

Guess that gives a whole new meaning to Sister Wives.

On another funny note, my client asked me to order him a new hedge trimmer from Amazon. Since I knew he hadn’t had his old one for very long, I asked him why he needed a new one.

He said someone had stole his old one from the back seat of his car while it was parked out in front of his house. And the new one came in to the office this past Monday, but he hadn’t taken it home yet.

Then this morning he asked me to send the new one back to Amazon. And when I asked why, he said his old one had been returned to him, and left on his front porch overnight.

“So they just borrowed it?”

He said there was no battery in it when they took it, that it was inside the house on the charger. So when they couldn’t use it they just brought it back.

Nice Thief, I guess.

Our DIL Linda sent over this photo of a doe and her two fawns in the backyard.

Linda's Deer and Fawns

Must be nice. All we get around here are rabbits.

I mentioned a while back about the upgrading going on here at the park.

Petticoat Junction New Garage

This is going to be the location of Rob’s new garage/shop. It will save him a lot of time moving mowers and other equipment back and forth between the park and his home where they’re stored now.

And it looks like he’s starting to lay out the locations of the new sites.

And if things aren’t bad enough, Hershey says there will be a candy shortage for Halloween this year. So stock up now.

And we have a funny story about our first Halloween together. We’d only been married a little over a month and were living in a small duplex apartment in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Halloween had kind of slipped up on us, so when kids started coming to the door, Jan began handing out the only thing she could think of, those small little boxes of cereal that came in a variety pack. Finally getting down to the last two boxes, she gave one to each of the last two kids.

One little boy was happy and said, “I got Sugar Pops. What did you get?”

The other little boy looked up sadly and said pitifully, “CORN FLAKES!

At that point Jan closed the door, shut the curtains, and turned off the porch light.

And that was it for our first Halloween.


Thought for the Day:

“The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which one to burn.” –  David Russell.

July 29, 2011

Hair Cuts and Bear Spray . . .

After coffee about 9:30 and a lunch of leftover BBQ and Nachos around 12, we goofed off until about 2 pm when we headed out for the afternoon.

Our first stop was the Cody Mural, a panoramic painting covering a dome 18 feet high and 36 feet in diameter. The mural depicts the Mormon pioneers settling the West, and especially the Big Horn Basin here in Wyoming.

Cody Murals Sign

It was interesting to discover that states and territories encouraged Mormon settlers to come to their areas because they were hard-working and industrious. Buffalo Bill even tried to get them to come to Cody, but they ultimately ended up further to the northeast in the Lovell, WY area.

Mural Slideshow

Leaving the Mural, we drove by the local Walgreen’s and I got this shot of their sign.

If Walgreen’s is selling Bear Spray, maybe bears are a bigger problem then I thought.

Walgreen's Bear Spray

Right down the street we came across this very unusual RV parked in a liquor store parking lot.

I might have to be drunk to drive this too. Note the chimney for a wood stove.

Wooden RV 1

I like the AC unit right above the steer horns.

Wooden RV 2

And the back porch is a nice touch, too.

Wooden RV 3

I’d been thinking about getting my hair cut (no snide remarks, please) and saw the Cowboy Cuts Barber Shop and decided to give it a try.

The owner/barber, Coral, was really good, but she was not too complementary of my old haircut. The first thing she said was, “Where’d you get this cut, Wal-Mart”?  I had to sheepishly say “Yes, a while back in Las Vegas”

She said, “Well, I hope you did better at the slots than you did with this haircut.”  Ouch!

She then proceeded to give me a layered cut, and also trimmed my beard. When she finished and I ask, “How much?” She said, “Eight dollars” “Why so cheap”, I ask. She just smiled and said, “You didn’t give me a lot to do.”

Ouch, again. But I did give her a $5 tip.

Cowboy Cuts

Our next stop was Wal-Mart for a few things before we met our friends Al and Adrienne at Bubba’s BBQ. And if you’re counting, that does make it 6 meals in a row at a Bubba’s.

After another great meal of BBQ, Al and Adrienne headed home, while Jan drove down the road a ways to Tecumseh’s Trading Post to check out their 7000 square foot Western diorama.

Highly detailed it shows many scenes from the settling of the West, Custer’s Last Stand, the coming of the railroads, and more, along with voice narration.

Really nice, very well done, and even better, it was free.

Tecumseh Museum 1

Tecumseh Museum 2

Tecumseh Museum 3

Tecumseh Museum 4

Tecumseh Museum 5

Tomorrow, at the suggestion of several of our blog readers, including our friend, Dave Cross, we’re going to drive the Beartooth Highway up north from here. It’s a loop of about 180 miles and is supposed to be really spectacular.

July 29, 2012

Counting Down the Days . . .

Tomorrow (Monday) we’ll be starting our final 3 weeks of gate guarding, and Jan’s counting down the days.

Me, I’m counting down the fact we’ve only got 3 more paychecks. Bummer!

First off, to get the important stuff out of the way. Here’s Landon talking about how old he is.  He’ll be 2 on August 20th.

Landon and Daddy,

Landon and Daddy with Blocks

It’s been a pretty slow week so far, but things are picking up.

We’ve heard that they will be sliding the drill rig over to the new hole sometime later this week. We’ve also heard that it will take several days, rather than the 12 – 15 hours I was told originally. That makes more sense to me, since it’s not just a matter of moving the derrick, but all the surrounding stuff has to be moved out of the way first and then hooked back up.

On Wednesday we had another catered meal, this time from Stellar, the company that furnishes and support all the office and residence trailers on site. Nothing fancy, but a delicious pork loin cutlet, with green beans, cheesy baked potatoes, and fruit salad for dessert. The really great thing about all these catered meals is how well they’re seasoned. Just perfect.

Stellar Catering

And they’re free.

OK, the really great thing about these meals is that they’re free, AND perfectly seasoned. I’ve got my priorities after all.

On Tuesday of course, it was Galindo’s Chile Rellenos Day.

Another great meal from a little hole-in-the-wall place

Chile Rellenos


Once again, not real fancy-looking, but really delicious!

For several weeks our temps here pretty much stayed in the low 90’s, but this past week it’s been back in the high 90’s every day, and looks to stay that way for the next several weeks.

Oh well, it’s summer in south Texas after all.

A few days ago I was talking with one of the drivers for Macro Trucking, one of the big haulers in this area for the rigs. They have over 600 semi’s, and we get 3 or 4 a day in here.

The driver told me about Power Service Diesel Kleen with Cetane Boost.

Diesel Kleen

He said the company had started using it in all their trucks about 9 months ago, after doing a six month trial run on about 50 of them. He said they were getting a solid 5-6% increase in mileage, along with cleaner injectors.

I had actually heard of this awhile back on RV.net so I decided to give a try. Amazon carries it at the link above for about $14 for a 32oz bottle. I’ll let you know how it does once we get back on the road.

Wrapping up, Joseph, one of the Gate Guard Services’ techs came out today to top us off with water and diesel, and change the oil in our generator.  This guy can do an oil and filter change in 8 minutes! Great when you don’t want to be without your rig AC for very long.

Finally, I want to highly recommend two Kindle books, both 99 cents, and well worth the money and more.

The first one is Mars the Avenger, a murder mystery set in ancient Rome, about 135 A.D. Besides the interesting mystery, the details of Rome life in that period make it even a better read. Check it out.

The second one is Methuselah’s Daughter, about a 3500 year old woman. The story starts in the present (2004, actually) and jumps between 1100 B.C. (when she’s already 400 years old) and around 135 B.C. in the Roman Republic.

Effectively immortal, (she grows back an arm and a leg after a bad traffic accident) the story really centers on how she views the rest of mankind and what she has to go through to hide her condition, a growing problem in today’s computerized society.

Don’t take this as a science fiction or fantasy book. It’s really not. It’s the story of a woman who has lived 50 lifetimes, coping with the loneliness, and watching anyone she becomes close to, grow old and die, while she stays young. At one point, she pretty much has no human contact for almost 400 years! because of this.

And just like Mars the Avenger, the details of the societies she lives in make the book even more interesting.

Both well recommend. You won’t be disappointed.

Elkhart, IN

July 29, 2013

Gluttons for Punishment . . .

It was really nice to sleep late this morning with nothing to see, or nowhere to go. Just do nothing.

Looks like we’re in for a nice spate of weather for the rest of our time here. It’s supposed to make it to 80 only one day with the rest in the mid 70’s, with pretty low chances of rain. Hope the forecast holds up. We’ve been lied to before.

About noon I went up to the park office to get the WiFi password for the park  from Gita.

In past years the Verizon 3G was good, but this year it’s pretty crappy. On the other hand the 4G on my phone is really good. This kind of supports something I heard that all the carriers are trying get everyone off 3G and their unlimited data plans, like my aircard, and onto their 4G metered plans.

They want to do away with the whole 3G system anyway, since it runs on a completely separate hardware system from 4G and it’s just an added expense.

About 3 Jan and I headed out for errands and dinner, with our first stop at the Great Clips for a hair trim for Jan. Then it was next door to Wal-Mart for a few things. Our last stop was the Ryan’s across the street for dinner. This is a great Ryan’s here and we always get a good meal.

Getting back to the rig after a big meal, Jan and I both ended up dozing off for a little while. Mister took this opportunity to knock the screen door open and go for a walkabout around the park. When I realized he was on the lam, I went outside and called him. I then checked on both sides of the rig looking for him. When I came back around the front, there he was, walking down the middle of the roadway, tail waving in the air, looking like he owned the place.

As I was herding him back to the rig, Glen and Gayla Hickey pedaled by and said “Hi”. They’re blog readers and were up in the Soo a few days behind us. It’s always good to run into friends on the road, one of the really great things about RVing.

As far as being “Gluttons for Punishment”, Jan and I have decided to do the gate guarding thing again this year, but on a slightly different schedule. Last year we did it from the middle of April to the middle of August, getting the hottest part of the year. This time it will be from the middle of August until the Sunday before Thanksgiving, so things will start cooling off fairly quickly.

I did put in a call to Jamie, our supervisor last year, who still had our number on his phone and recognized my call. He said he wouldn’t have a problem finding us a gate, so I guess we’re good to go.

Cincinnati, OH

July 29, 2014

Two Sets of New Friends . . .

We headed out about 10:15 to meet Davy Boggs, his wife Kelly, and their daughter Odie (Andrea) for lunch at 11am at the Acapulco Mexican Restaurant down in Lebanon.
Davy and his family are traveling evangelists – The Boggs Family Ministries – who use a Prevost RV to travel around the country. In addition, they’re also readers of our blog, and finding us all in the same area, wanted to get together for lunch.

The Boggs

It was interesting hearing all the stories of their travels around the country, and the places they’ve been. They’re going to be in the New York City area in the near future and we were trying to give them some tips on how to get around New York and places to see.

They spend a lot of time in the Lebanon area, and Acapulco is one of their favorite places to eat, and it was easy to see why. Everything was delicious.

I had the Carnitas Acapulco, chunks of re-fried pork cooked up with onions and jalapenos, and then smothered in Queso.

Carnitas Acapulco

Really, really good.

After a great couple of hours getting to know the Boggs family, we said our goodbyes and headed into Cincinnati proper to visit the boyhood home of William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the Unite States, serving from 1909 to 1913.

Built in the 1830’s the house was bought by William’s father, Alphonse Taft, for $10,000.

Taft Home

William Howard Taft not only was President, but the only person to also serve as the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Appointed in 1921, he served on the Court until shortly before he died in 1930.

Leaving the Taft home, and moving on, we came back through Covington, KY to check out the many old neighborhoods in the area.

After that it was time to start heading back toward Wilmington. We did make a stop at the Sam’s Club in Loveland to pick up the prescriptions I called in this morning. I was surprised at the price of the Tamoxifen that Jan takes for her recent breast cancer. It was $63.00, a big jump from the $24 we paid back in Houston for the first 3 month supply. The pharmacy tech did some checking and discovered that the computer had glitched (her word) and although it said the price was discounted, it wasn’t.

So a little checking saved us $39. Nice.

Before leaving Sam’s, we stopped and got gas – for $3.15 a gallon!  That’s almost a dollar a gallon cheaper than we were paying up in Elkhart earlier this year. Nice again.

Also while we were at Sam’s, we got a text from Carol Burt and husband Ray. They were traveling through the area towing their Airstream, and wanted to hook up with us.

We ended up in a Wal-Mart parking lot near Mason, OH for a meet and greet. After talking for a while, getting to know one another, everyone was getting hungry, so it was off across the parking lot to a nearby Red Robin. Here we spent the next several hours talking, laughing, and telling stories.

Ray and Carol Burt

And by the time we again said our goodbyes to new friends, it was going on 8pm.

Two sets of new friends in one day. Just another reason we love the RV life.

Cherokee Landing Thousand Trails

July 29, 2015

Alone Again . . .

Well, our next door neighbors left early this morning so hopefully we won’t have anyone park nearby before we leave on Sunday. I know they were having trouble keeping their AC’s running in their 5’er since they only had 30 amps. They were interested in my AC breakout wire, and said they were going to try it on their rig.

A little after 1pm, I went down to the office to pick up my Amazon package. I had ordered this120 VAC digital meter so that I can monitor my genset output while we’re on the road.

120 VAC Digital Meter

Digital LED Panel AC 110/220V Meter

Although I can see whether or not my genset is running from the dashboard when I driving, I can’t actually tell if the Transfer Switch is letting genset power into the coach. And with the recent problems I’ve been having with my Transfer Switch, I want to know this before we realize that the coach has gotten up to 85 degrees behind us.

So I’m going to mount this meter on the cabinet over my head and plug it into the outlet in that cabinet. That should take care of that problem.

Later in the afternoon, I got out our Karcher pressure washer for some cleaning chores. I had planned on cleaning off the grilles and grease tray from our toaster oven, and I also wanted to spray clean some of the blowby oil off the plastic front bumper of the truck.

Karcher Pressure Washer2

But when I perused the 11 page rulebook we were given when we checked in here, it said ‘No Washing of Vehicles or Rigs’. But there was nothing in the rules about not washing kitchen appliances, so I just hung the grilles on the front bumper of the truck and went at it.

I can’t help it if the bumper got clean too. After all, I had to hang them somewhere.

I’ve found that my pressure washer comes in handy for washing and waxing the rig, where it’s allowed, and does a really good job.

Tomorrow we’re going to make one last trip into Memphis to have linner at Charles Vergos’ Rendezvous, the recent winner of my Best Ribs in Memphis contest. Looking forward to it.

Colorado River Thousand Trails

July 29, 2016

Wax On–Wax Off

Since I got rained out yesterday, about 1pm today I went outside with my Karcher Pressure Washer to wash and wax the rig. It’s been awhile since I’ve have had a chance to do this. In fact checking back in the blog, it’s been exactly a year as a matter of  fact, so it was about time I guess.

Karcher Pressure Washer2

I really like this unit. It’s easy to put together and get back in the box, and it’s got a lot of power. It comes with two separate wands, one high power, and another one with variable power,  and a method of adding wash/wax to the spray.

The only problem with this is that tank that comes with the system is too small. Although its probably large enough to do a car or a pickup, I have to refill it 3 or 4 times to do the rig.

So I came up with a better idea. The hose that goes into the tank from the washer is long enough to reach a separate larger container, so I used a half gallon pitcher to hold the wash/wax solution.

Karcher Pressure Washer Tanks

You can see the difference in size, and how it works above.

I first use the high power wand to wash down half of one side of the rig, sometimes stopping to scrub down a particular tough spot with a brush. I’ve found that the power of the spray is enough to clean the dirt  off without using any type of detergent.

I go back and forth getting it as clean as possible. Next I swap to the waxing wand and using a mixture of Zip car wax, I hose down that area of the rig. And then I just let it dry. Zip Wax dries without streaking so this works out fine.

I just work way around the rig, doing each side in two halves, and the front and the rear caps.

It took me about 90 minutes with a couple of breaks in there. It was in the 90’s by then, so I occasionally  would hose myself to keep cool. Well, one time I forgot which wand I was using, so I waxed myself instead.

But on another note, my head is especially shiny now.

Besides the usually nicks and chips, the rig’s 17 year old paint job still looks pretty good. The only visible problem are some patches where the clear coat is flaking off. It almost looks like it’s a patch of sunburnt skin peeling off.

I’m going to check and see if it’s possible to lightly sand the edges of the peeling and then overspray with new clear coat to seal it and stop it from spreading

About 4pm Jan and I headed into Katy to meet up with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon for dinner.

And of course this was the perfect time for my AC fan problem to rear its head again. I thought I had it fixed, but now I guess I’ll have to take it completely apart this time. The drive into Katy without AC wasn’t bad at all, just very noisy doing 70 with all the windows down.

We were meeting up at one of our favorite places, Torchy’s Tacos. A couple of their friends, Shantal and Eric and their son, joined us also. And we had a great time with everyone, not leaving for over 2 hours.

On our way home we stopped off at the Sealy Wal-Mart for a few things, and to pick up the prescriptions we called in yesterday. Then coming through Columbus, I checked out the Brookshire Bros. gas station to see the best way to get in and out Sunday morning for diesel. Shouldn’t be a problem, and we’ll hook up the toad when we’re done.

Tomorrow I’ll go down to the office and settle up on our electric bill before we leave early Sunday morning.

Montgomery AL

July 29, 2017

Somewhat The Worse For Wear . . .

After coffee and some of the delicious pound cake that our friend Susan Springall sent us home with last night, we headed out about 1:30 for some errands.

Jan’s been wanting to get her hair cut, so using the Supercut’s phone app, we found the closest one and booked her in there. So instead of the 20 minute wait she would have had when she got there, she got taken right in. Kind of like the Call-Ahead Seating at Texas Roadhouse. Great Clips has a similar app, but there are no Great Clips in the Montgomery area.

While Jan was getting clipped, I got gas, and a car wash to get the hydraulic fluid off the truck.

Afterwards, we drove around for a while, checking out places where we lived while we were here from January 1974 until December 1978.

For the first year, we lived at Eastdale Apartments, in the front unit to the left of the breezeway.

Montgomery Burbank Dr Apts

Then we moved into this small house south of town.

Matterhorn House

Still looks pretty good. We lived here for about a year until we bought this one, the very first home that we owned.

Brookwood House

On the other hand, this one looks somewhat the worse for wear. Kind of sad because it was a very nice house in the day.

By now it was time to head north on I-65 up to Prattville to meet long-time friends Kathy and Whalen Wilkes at the Longhorn Steakhouse there.


Jan worked with Kathy when they both were at Jackson Hospital so they spent a lot of time talking over old times and people. One thing both sad AND funny, was that as they were naming off people they knew and worked with, it was So N So, Dead, So N Do, Dead, So N So, Dead. And on and on.

For dinner we had the usual delicious steaks we’ve come to expect from Longhorn.

Jan got the New York Strip, her favorite steak, along with a Baked Potato.

Longhorn New York Strip

I got the 18oz. Outlaw Ribeye, with upgraded Black Peppercorn encrusting, as well as the Fire-Grilled Mexican Corn. And the Corn was really, really good.

Longhorn Outlaw Ribeye 2

All really great, and mine was so big I had half to take home.

We really had a good time catching up with Kathy and Whalen, and we’ll try not to wait so long next time.

Tomorrow we’ve got a 190 mile day up to Athens, AL for 5 days to visit with relatives and friends. Looking forward to it.

July 29, 2018

Landon-Sitting . . .

We didn’t do anything today. Just stayed at the rig, goofed off, read, computed, and napped.

Really, really nice.

Getting back to yesterday, we met one of our prospective buyers, along with his contractor. He wanted to get an estimate on what it would take to really trick the place out before he makes us an offer.

The last house like ours that was tricked out like this listed for $179,900 and sold for $187,000 after only two weeks. And that was a year ago. This year we hear that would be $195,000 to $200,000. So we’ll see.

Next up was breakfast at The Egg and I, only about 10 minutes from the house. Jan got what she said was her new favorite, the Tuscan Scramble.

The Egg and I Tuscan Scramble

I got my usual Two Egg Breakfast, but this time I added a cup of grits.

The Egg and I Two Egg Breakfast

We were meeting Brandi, Lowell, and Landon up in Katy for a tour of their new house at 4:30, so when we were finished with breakfast by 1pm, we figured we had time for WalMart, so we got our shopping out of the way, took it all back to the rig, and then were on our way up to Katy by 3pm.

The new house looks even better in person than in the photos, and we were really impressed. We also got to meet up with long-time friends, Shawna and Jason, and meet Brandi’s coworker, Rebecca, who lives nearby.

Then while Brandi and Lowell headed out to dinner, we took Landon with us, made a dinner stop at Chick-fil-A, and then brought Landon back to his house to Landon-sit until Brandi and Lowell came home.

A really nice day.

July 29, 2019

Let There Be Light . . .

Last Wednesday I sent my Panasonic Lumix Digital Camera back to the Service Center in McAllen, TX to have it repaired under warranty. According to the USPS tracking they received it on Friday, and this afternoon I got an email from them saying my camera was under repair and should be on its way back to me soon.

Great Service.

My new LED light strips came in today so this evening it only took about 10 minutes to put them in place and pop the covers back on.

New Bedroom LED Lights

If you want a little more info on the conversion, you can read about here from 2015.

Cooking For Christmas

You can even replace the bigger tubes like the ones in our living room by using a total of 6 lights, 3 on each side. Works great for that too.

Tomorrow’s agenda is kind of up in the air, as in whether or not rain will fall out of it. There’s a 60% chance, so I don’t really want to get half way through the rear brake job and have the bottom drop out. So I’ll see how it looks in the morning.

I do have inside stuff I can work on just in case.

Every time I think of the title of tonight’s blog, a reference of course to repairing the lights in the bedroom, I always think of a short story written by Isaac Asimov back in 1956. A story that when I first read it in about 1958, started my love of science fiction that continues to this day.

In a back room of the tiny Foley, AL public library, I discovered an entire room of science fiction magazines, like Astounding Stories, Amazing Stories, and Future Fiction.

Somebody had donated their entire collection, and not knowing what to do with them, they just stuck them in a room in the back.

Magazines covers with robots, spaceships, alien monsters and more.

Astounding 1 Astounding 2

At that time I was about 10, so the covers with scantily-clad buxom blondes being menaced by the hideous space creatures didn’t catch my attention until a couple of years later.

Astounding 3 Astounding 4

But catch my attention they did.

But this story, The Last Question, is what cemented my love of the genre, stories that could make you think, wonder, and imagine. Stories that hold you until the very last two sentences.

Check it out. You won’t be disappointed.

July 29, 2021

If It’s Thursday, It Must Be . . .

Twin Peaks, of course.

Jan had an appointment to get her toesies done this afternoon, and Twin Peaks was once again her lunch of choice.

Jan went with her favorite Spicy Chipotle Chicken with potatoes and broccoli, and a cup of their Tomato Basil soup.

Twin Peaks Spicy Chipotle Chicken 2

while I got the Soup and Half Sandwich Lunch Special, with a BLT and a bowl of Green Chile Chicken soup.

Twin Peaks Soup and Sandwich 20210729

I didn’t get a photo of Millie, our server, who was very good BTW, because she looked to be between 4 and 5 months pregnant, and I thought it would be kind of tacky.

Later, after I dropped Jan off at Crystal Nails, I headed over to the office to pick up an Amazon order and look at a phone system problem.

I’ve been wondered about 4K video and how it would look on our TV system. Several of our streaming services offer 4K service for an extra cost. But I wasn’t sure that I would really be able to see the difference on our TV, and none of them offered a trial period.

So I’ve been looking for some way to see 4K and HD side by side. Well, I finally came across a YouTube video that allows me to view it in both 2160p 4K and 1440p HD.

The video details a bipedal robot that successfully ran a 5K run. Kind of interesting on its own.

But the video allowed me to switch between 1080p HD, 1440p HD, and 2160 4K. And the first thing I discovered was that our WiFi can’t handle streaming 4K. It will run for a few seconds, and then freeze and buffer, and then start up again.

But I could stream HD at 1440p, higher than the usual 1080p we stream. And although it was hard to get a good feel for 4K, it was easy to see the difference when I did a freeze-frame side-by-side comparison.

4K v HD

It’s pretty obvious how much sharper the 4K on the left is vs the right side’s HD version. But it looks like I’ll have to wait for our Starlink system to show to have enough bandwidth for 4K.

Thought For The Day:

The true path to inner peace begins with three words: NOT MY PROBLEM!