Try That With Your Real Ears . . .

I ended up not going into work today due to a reoccurrence of my BPPVertigo, bad enough that I didn’t want to try and drive. And the worse I’ve had in a couple of years.

Ended up mostly sleeping until the afternoon, until it mostly faded away. But as in the past, it leaves me kind of washed out.

But I should be pretty much back to normal tomorrow.

Hope so. I wouldn’t want to waste an off-day lying in bed.

I’ve had 4 or 5 people contact me for more information on my BeHear NOW Hearing Assistants.

BeHear NOW

I had originally bought them to see how much improvement they would give me, planning on returning them during the 30 day free trial before I looked at some of the more expensive ones. But this one works so well that I’m going to keep them.

They list for $249, but if you order them by August 1st and use the code ‘blowout80’ at checkout, there’s a $75 discount.

And no, I don’t get any kickback on these orders.

The last couple of weeks have been a real eye-opening experience for me, discovering all the things I can hear now that I couldn’t hear before.

Jan’s happy because she doesn’t have to keep telling me when the turn signal is still on, and that I don’t need the TV volume up nearly as high.

But sometimes it’s also nice to be able to turn them off.

Yesterday when we were having lunch at Snooze AM, it was getting close to the 2:30pm closing time, and they had the background music tuned to some kind of hip-hop/rap and turned up loud.

Irritatingly loud.

Enduring it for a minute or two, I reached up and turn my ears off. And the music faded off into the background.

Try that with your real ears.


Thought For The Day:


“… that he is incapable of staying on the river of a thought, and is constantly lured down tributaries from which he can never quite work his way back–you can see him batting the little paddles of his mind against the weeds, trying desperately to return to the river but not remembering where it is, or where it was going.”


July 27, 2011

Three in One Day . . .

This morning, our last full day here in Jackson, started at Bubba’s BBQ for breakfast. When Jan saw Blueberry Pancakes on the menu last night, it was a given that we’d be here again.

Then we headed about 25 miles north to Moose Junction. First we wanted to get our National Park Passports stamped at the Park Visitors Center and we also asked a Ranger about the best places to find more moose.

He told us that there had been one by the bridge we just crossed up the road, and also along Moose-Wilson Rd. So it looks like our idea of driving the Teton Park Road and the Moose-Wilson Road might work out.

We first turned north on the Teton Park Rd. that runs for 20 miles before it connects back with US-89 right before Moran Junction. We had some great views along the way, including these shots along Jenny Lake,

Teton Park Rd 1

Teton Park Rd 2

and this photo at our closest point to Grand Teton.

Grand Teton

Along here we also did the 4 mile Jenny Lake Rd. loop, another good spot for wildlife, as evidenced by this sign. Since we’ve seen all three, I guess we’ve really been lucky.

GTNP Wildlife Sign

Reaching the main highway we decided to drive the 4 miles back to Pilgrim Creek where we saw the moose yesterday. And we hit the jackpot again.

What were probably the same two moose were back, and much more visible than yesterday.

GTNP Moose 6

One of them was down in the water along the bank, munching on all the green goodies. Moose like willows and aspens, and both were in abundance here.

GTNP Moose 7

Because he wasn’t in the trees like yesterday we got some great shots.

GTNP Moose 8

Here you can see the 2nd moose further up in the trees.

GTNP Moose 9

GTNP Moose 10

After a few minutes, the moose moved on to where we couldn’t really see them anymore. Jan had noticed some people only about 30 feet from the moose and said “Those people are much too close.” And then she said “I bet they’re getting some great pictures. I want to go over there.”

But luckily, the Ranger showed up a few minutes later and started yelling at people to get away.

We did move further along the creek where we could see the moose again. And in another episode of “Where’s Bullwinkle?”, this is what my camera showed at 1X.

GTNP Moose 11

And this is at 72X. Quite a difference.

GTNP Moose 12

After the moose finally disappeared into the brush, we headed back down US-89 and turned into Moose Junction again to this time take the Moose-Wilson Rd south back down to Jackson.

And as we came to the bridge the Ranger had mentioned before, we encountered a moose-jam.

He was back!

Moose Junction Moose 1

Moose Junction Moose 2

And this time only about 50 yards away, so we got some great photos.

Moose Junction Moose 3

Finally dragging Jan away from the moose, we drove back into Jackson and out the other side to Snow King Mountain Resort so we could take the Scenic Chairlift.

In the winter it’s a ski-lift to the top of Snow King Mountain so you can take one of the several runs down the mountain, but in the summer it’s just a great sight-seeing trip.

It’s a 1500 foot climb to the 7800 foot top, and so steep you would be hard-pressed to walk straight up. However there are an number of zigzag trails leading to the top for hikers and horseback rides from the nearby stables.

Snow King Mountain Ski-Lift 1

And the route up is lined with snow-making machines just waiting for the temperature to fall.

Snow King Mountain Snow Machine

Looking down at the ground under our feet, we saw a lot of shoes. Apparently losing them is almost a given.

Snow King Mountain Ski-Lift Shoe

For most of the trip we were about 50 to 70 feet off the ground. What’s kind of funny is that Jan has a fear of heights. It is very difficult for her to stand at a railing and look down. She had problems at both Hoover Dam and Grand Canyon.

But she has absolutely no problem dangling from a ski-lift chair. Go figure!

Snow King Mountain Ski-Lift 2

Getting to the top we had great views of the mountains and out across the Park.

Snow King Mountain Top 1

Well worth the trip up.

Snow King Mountain Top 2

And the trip down was even better, with great views of Jackson and the Elk Refuge beyond. I was hoping to see one of the elk herds from up here, but no luck.

Snow King Mountain Ski-Lift 4

Snow King Mountain Ski-Lift 5

And we even have a memento of our trip to the top. Someone needs to show them something about color correction on their photos. Mine look better.

Snow King Mountain Ski-Lift

And here’s what it looks like with a few minutes of work.

Snow King Mountain Ski Lift

Leaving Snow King, we drove back into town to get gas for the trip home. One thing I’ve noticed here in Wyoming that I haven’t seen anywhere else is that the gas grades are different.

The price for unleaded was only $3.48, but instead of 87, 89, and 91 octane like everywhere else, the gas here in Wyoming all seems to be 85, 87, and 89 octane.

Anyone know why? My truck really doesn’t like 85 octane, especially at these high altitudes.

Next Jan wanted to shop one of the gift shops on the main street.

And which one did she pick?  Well, the Moose on the Loose, of course.

Jan found a moose tee-shirt she really liked, but when she went to pay for it, something strange happen. Both our Wells Fargo and Chase VISA debit cards were declined.  So I paid with cash.

I knew both accounts had plenty of money, and I had just used the Chase card to get gas a few minutes before, so after we left the store, I called Chase.

I got a nice young lady from India, not named Peggy luckily, who was very helpful. She said they log every transaction, even if they’re declined, and she showed the last one was the gas I had purchased. She didn’t show anything even coming thru, much less declined after that.

She said the store was probably having trouble with their merchant account, which would explain why both cards were declined.

Leaving the Loose Moose, we drove back to Bubba’s for supper.

Yeah, we ate there last night, and this morning, so let’s make it three in a row.

And here’s a little secret. We’ll probably eat breakfast there tomorrow on our way out of town. So there.

This is the sign of a good BBQ place, cords of oak wood stacked up next to the separate building housing their smoker.

Bubba's Wood

And when I peeked in the door, they were unloading the beef briskets and taking them into the restaurant.

Bubba's Brisket

And you wonder why we keep eating here.

After dinner we stopped off at a nearby Maverik for Cappuccinos before heading back to the room for the night.

Tomorrow we’ll probably leave here about 9 am for the 177 mile trip back to Cody.

And if Jan has her way, we’ll probably be making a quick stop at Pilgrim Creek for another moose sighting.

Hopefully this will get it out of her system for a while.


Thought for the Day:

“Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading.”


Leaving The Soo


July 27, 2013

Bridges and Parades . . .

Lucky for us the predicted all-night rain didn’t show up, so the grass under our rig had a chance to dry. And when it came time to back out of our site a little after 9am, we got out OK.

Before we left the Soo, we wanted to get some diesel, but taking the most direct way to the Interstate and our station took us up a steep hill with a traffic light at the bottom. If I could be sure that I could take the hill without stopping at the light, it wouldn’t be a problem. But if I got a red light it would be slow going up the hill, doable, but slow. Maybe that’s why the signs say ‘No Vehicles Over 5 Tons’.

Could be.

So I had mapped out a new route that looked like it would work, and it did. The hill along that way was much shallower, and had no light at the bottom. The day was off to a good start.

And at the station it just got better. Diesel had dropped 2 cents a gallon since yesterday. The pumps were no-limit pump and pay, and had the big nozzles for a fast fill. It just kept getting better.

After topping off our tank, we got hitched up and got on I-75S heading for Manistee, MI, and the Little River Casino about 220 miles away. But then things started to go a little awry.

The heavily overcast skies started leaking all over our windshield, and pretty much kept it up all the rest of the trip. It never came down hard, but it did keep the wipers busy.

50 miles down the road and $14 from my wallet, we crossed the Mackinac Bridge, a first time for us. And it took us a while because we did it at 20mph.

Mackinac Bridge 1

Mackinac Bridge 2

The speed limit on the bridge is 45 mph, but it’s also 20 mph for Loaded Trucks. And then there’s the sign that says “Truck/Buses No Passing”. I always wonder about signs like this. I’m definitely not a truck, and I’m not a bus. But I am bus-like, or maybe bus-lite?, so where do I stand?

Anyway, I ended up behind a “Loaded Truck”, and there was so much traffic passing us at 45 (or faster) that I would have had a real problem getting out and around him. So there I stayed.

One thing I thought was funny is that apparently some people don’t like to drive on the open grating on the bridge deck. The way it’s built, the inside lane is grating, but the outside is concrete. A number of cars stayed with us behind the 20mph truck all the way across, but as soon as both lanes were concrete, they zipped out and around, and were gone.

A couple of miles off the bridge we turned west on US-31 to take the the scenic way down the lake. And it was really good that it was scenic because, between the rain, the numerous construction zones, the multiple small towns with 25mph speed limits, the parade, and the street fair, we had plenty of time to see it all.

Another thing interesting about being on US-31 is that it begins where we got on it here off of I-75 and runs all the way down to Mobile, AL, and as it passes through Athens, AL, it runs right through the middle of our family farm there.

We arrived at the Little River Casino about 4pm, and for a change, had no problem finding the RV park there. Believe it or not, they actually had signs leading us to it.

Since we’d been parked for a week with no sewer connection, before we parked at our site, we stopped off at the dump station. Our site is 50 amp and water, again with no sewer, but we’ll have it tomorrow in Elkhart.

We had leftovers for supper, but we’re going to head over to the casino tomorrow morning for the breakfast buffet before we leave. YUM.

Tomorrow we’ve got a 220 mile trip to Elkhart where we’ll be for a week, checking out all our favorite restaurants and places. We’re really looking forward to being back in Elkhart again.


July 27, 2014

What Has the Navy Not Been Telling Us . . .

US Navy X-Wing Fighter
So maybe it wasn’t so long, long ago and far, far away after all.


Saw something really interesting on a TV ad today for the new upcoming Amazon Fire Phone. You know how the Shazam app can listen to a song and tell you the name and the singer? Well, the Fire phone can do that for movies.

The ad shows two guys arguing over what movie they’re watching in an airport. A kid pops up behind them, takes a photo of the TV screen with his Fire phone, and the app tells him what the movie is.

WOW!


We had planned a nice do-nothing day today mainly because of all the really bad weather we were expecting. But the rain didn’t show up until about 8pm this evening, so  it was still a very nice day.

For lunch, Jan fixed herself a Pimento Cheese and Tomato Sandwich, while I fixed me a CBT. That’s a Cheese, Bacon, and Tomato. Then later for supper, Jan whipped up a big batch of her delicious Chicken Rice-A-Roni. She adds a lot of extra stuff to it and it’s really good. And we have enough left for another meal.

Our friends Chris and Charles Yust have been in Alaska for the last few months. A couple of days ago they posted an article on Facebook about the White Pass Yukon railway train. This past Wednesday, the 24th, the White Pass Yukon train derailed with a load of 360 passengers.

White Pass Yukon Derail 2

I’m not quite sure where the crash occurred. One article says it happened just inside Canada, and the other says just back inside Alaska. 19 passengers and 4 crew members were listed as injured.

We took this train back in September 2008 while we were visiting Skagway with our friends Al and Adrienne, on our way back from Fairbanks. I guess if it had to happen, it was better where it did happen rather than along here.

White Pass Yukon Railroad 2

______________________________________

I’m still trying to figure out this ad I saw on Amazon.

Expensive T-Shirts 2

Is the $1395 for a diamond encrusted one or is this for a thousand of them. I went all through the different selections of sizes and colors and never got a price of $1395.

Finally I saw these photos on Facebook of a vinyl wrap job on an RV. Here’s the before:

RV without Vinyl Wrap 2

And here’s the after:

RV with Vinyl Wrap 2

I’m not real crazy about the chosen color scheme, but I am interested in the vinyl wrap idea. I’ve seen it used on some of the RV upgrade shows and the cost seems to run about a third to half of what a good paint job would be, I.e. $5000 to $7000 for the vinyl.

Anyone out there have any experience with this?

_________________________________________________________________

Thought for the Day:

Irony 2

More Memphis ‘Q’


July 27, 2015

And the Winner is . . .

Jan and I headed out about 1:15pm to see a movie and finish up our trifecta of famous Memphis BBQ places. Along the way we made a PO stop to drop off some letters right before we got to the theater, the same one where we saw Jurassic World the other day.

We were looking forward to seeing the Minions because we really liked both Despicable Me moves, and the Minions were part of some of the funniest bits. But although we both really liked this movie, it did not live up to the Despicable ones.

It’s like the Minions are great supporting actors, but can’t carry a film by themselves.

Recommended, but not Well Recommended.

But the popcorn was really good and fresh.

Leaving the movie, we made the 20 minute drive further into town to have dinner at The Bar-B-Q Shop, one of Food Network’s Top Five BBQ Restaurants in the US. Each one of the five specializes in a different type of BBQ. In The Bar-B-Q Shop’s case, it’s for the ribs.

So following that, I had the Ribs and Pork, with Beans and Cole Slaw,

BBQ Shop 1

while Jan went with the Ribs and Grilled Chicken Breast, also with the Beans and Cole Slaw.

BBQ Shop 2

We both got our ribs 1/2 and 1/2, that is, half wet with sauce, and half dry with rub sprinkled on.

So what do we think?

In the last couple of weeks, we’ve eaten at three high-rated BBQ places in the Memphis area.

Charles Vergos’ Rendezvous

Jim and Nick’s BBQ

and of course, today’s

The Bar-B-Q Shop.

And in all three, at least one of us had the same things.

Ribs

Pulled Pork

Beans

Cole Slaw

So I’m going to rate each category.

First up, the ribs.

I’ll have to disagree with Food Network here.

The best ribs were at Rendezvous. The crust on them is delicious, and they just burst with flavor when you bite into them. These don’t need any sauce.

Second was Jim and Nick’s. These large, meaty spare ribs were moist and favorable, with a really good, tangy sauce.

Third was The Bar-B-Q Shop. These baby back ribs were very meaty, but the meat and the sauce and/or the rub, didn’t have a lot of flavor to me. Just bland, with a so-so sauce. We asked for some of their fabled ‘HOT” sauce, and again I was disappointed. Although it was hot, to me it had a chemical or plastic taste. Jan liked it though.

Next up, pulled pork.

Jim and Nick’s is the winner here. Very flavorful meat, firm, not mushy, with a good mix of lean and outside char. And of course, there’s their great sauce.

In second place is Rendezvous. Good flavor, but a little too finely chopped for my taste.

Coming up in last place again is The Bar-B-Q Shop. The chop was OK, but again like the ribs, not a lot of flavor,. I actually sprinkled some salt and pepper on it which helped a little.

Now for the Beans.

Once again, Rendezvous is in first place here. As said last Saturday after our visit, these are probably the best baked beans I’ve every eaten. The subtle taste of burnt caramel in the sauce puts these over the top.

Jim and Nick’s again slides into second place here with beans that are really done well, just a perfect balance of sauce, tanginess, and beans.

And again coming in third is The Bar-B-Q Shop. Again,, no real standout taste, . . . just beans.

And last up, Cole Slaw.

The winner here is Jim and Nick’s, but just by a nose. Very good, tangy flavor with a coarse cut that you can really bite into.

Coming in second here is The Bar-B-Q Shop. If the Cole slaw had had the same coarse chop as Jim and Nick’s, it would have been a tie.

This time Rendezvous comes in third. Although very tasty, it was so finely chopped as to be almost mushy, like baby food.

There you have it. My take on Memphis BBQ, at least from the places we ate at. On the whole I was very disappointed with The Bar-B-Q Shop. I remember them being much better than this when we ate here 5 years ago. So I don’t know if they were having a bad night, or I was. Or as happens sometimes after a place gets a little fame, the quality starts to suffer.

I think Jan disagrees with me on some of these, so I’ll post her ratings tomorrow.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria


July 27, 2016

WOW . . . 462 !

Jan and I were up and on the road by 11am this morning, making the 2 hour trip down to the Clear Lake area, to meet up with our son Chris, our DIL Linda, and our GD Piper.

Although it was pretty overcast and threatening rain most of the way, it stayed dry and cool with temps in the 80’s.

About 15 minutes out Jan called Chris to see if we were meeting at Chris’ or at whatever restaurant they had picked out. Which, to our pleasant surprise, turned out to be the new Grimaldi’s Pizzeria at Baybrook Mall.

Grimaldi's with Kids

Piper really knows Grimaldi’s since she and Brandi were with us in 2009 when we first ate at a Grimaldi’s, the original, and only one then, in the DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) area of Brooklyn, NY.

Grimaldi's 1

In fact the bridge runs almost directly overhead.

After our great meal, we went back over to Chris and Linda’s to pick up our mail, and also check out Piper’s new (to her) car.

A few weeks back she was making a U-turn and fell into a pothole, hitting something else, and pretty much ripping part of her front suspension completely off. All without even setting off the airbags.

So she now has a 2012 Nissan Xterra.

Piper's New SUV

She’s still enjoying her apartment in Galveston, close enough to her job at U.T.M.B. Hospital that she was able to ride her bike to work for the time she was between vehicles.

Piper in Hammock 2

After getting our goodbye hugs, it was on to the local Kroger’s for a few things, as well as gas for the truck at $1.89/gallon. Not bad.

Next up was a quick Target stop for a couple of more things, and then a pair of Cinnamon Dolce Lattes for the road from the Starbuck’s in the parking lot.

They’ve got the new Bay Area Blvd/I-45 underpass open now so it was a quick ramp onto I-45 north. Luckily we were running just ahead off the going-home traffic, so we didn’t hit any slowdowns until we were out on the Katy Freeway. And a quick dodge onto the HOV lane kept us moving along.

We checked in with Brandi, but didn’t stop for a couple of reasons. First she was under the weather and had come home a little early, and second, the Amazon stuff we were expecting today, apparently wasn’t coming in until tomorrow. So we rescheduled our get-together until Friday evening.

After a coffee-disposal stop at the Flying J in Brookshire, we got home about 5:45 to a noisy, upset Karma who repeatedly informed us that we were about an hour late in feeding her.

Now that we’re getting back on the road in a few days, we’ve both got a bad case of Hitch-Itch. In fact we’re already starting to map our travels for 2017.

Of course, after our upcoming two plus week Alabama jaunt, our next up adventure will hopefully be another 3 month stint at gate guarding for the 5th year in a row.

Two weeks ago the US Rig Count was at 440. But today the count was at 462, another big jump. So if we’re lucky that will mean more gate guard jobs, or at least one for us.

Of course I remember a couple of years ago when the rig count was around 2000, and God willing, we’re heading back in that direction again.

Beaux Bridge, LA


July 27, 2017

Life Is Prickly . . .

Yesterday afternoon when we got back from dinner, I noticed that I had some fluid leaking down from under the engine, but since it was getting dark I decided to wait until this morning to take a look at it.

Turned out to be the hydraulic fan motor that came loose about a month ago while we were in Pauls Valley, OK visiting our son-in-law Lowell’s parents.

Rig Fan Pump 2

The nuts on the two bolts that hold the hydraulic motor to the bracket had come loose, letting the motor just flail around. I was able to replace the bottom nut but cannot reach the top one. Spartan said to use an 7/16-14 nut, a serrated lock washer and two flat washers. Well, all the local hardware store had was a self-locking nut and no serrated washers that would fit.

But it looks like the self-locking nut didn’t stay locked, and although it wasn’t completely loose like last time, but it was loose enough to wiggle slightly. So using my cheater pipe I really tightened it back down.

Once we’re in Athens I’ll try to get the right nuts and washers. But what I really need to do is figure out how to replace the top nut too. It looks like I need a short guy with really long arms. Actually sounds like a chimp.

We really like this park, which is laid out around several fishing lakes. Very scenic.

Poche's Sunset 2

Poche's Sunset

Very nice, and it’s Passport American too.

We were pulling out of our site here at Poche’s Fish-N-Camp by 10am, but it took almost 15 minutes to get out of the park due to the really atrocious roads. They were just repaved a couple of years ago. But now they look like this.

Poche Road 1

Poche Road 2

Poche Road 3

The reason for this is that they just spread dirt over the old pavement , and then paved on top of that.  And the above is the result.

The dirt washes out underneath and then the pavement collapses, especially under heavy weights like RV’s.

And unfortunately this seems to be the same thing that they’re getting ready to do at the Lake Conroe Thousand Trails. When we left they were spreading dirt out on the roads, and we were told they were going to repave.

If so, I expect the newly paved roads at Lake Conroe to look exactly like the ones at Poche’s in a couple of years. If you don’t dig down to a firm base, lay down a gravel bed, and then pave over that, it will never hold up.

Our 240 mile trip was pretty uneventful, with only the usual mess going through Baton Rouge, and a few minutes of heavy rain as we crossed into Alabama. Our AC’s kept the coach nice and cool, so I think I can declare the problem fixed, and my deflector vanes on the roof AC cover a success.

We pulled into Payne’s RV Park about 3pm, paid our $20 Passport America fee and got parked in our 50amp FHU site. Nice!

About 4pm we headed out to have dinner at Sonny’s BBQ, about 15 miles away.  We’ve been eating at Sonny’s for a long time. In fact as I reminded Jan, the Sonny’s BBQ in the Titusville, FL area was where we went a number of times while we were dating. So we’ve been eating at one for more than 50 years!

Scary thought.

As with our other long-time favorite places, we went with our usuals. Jan got the large sliced pork sandwich, with fries and BBQ beans,

Sonny's BBQ Jan

while I got my favorite Pork 3 Ways Platter with Ribs, Pulled Pork, Sliced Pork, BBQ Beans and Corn on the Cob. And I had leftovers.

Sonny's BBQ Greg

Kimberly, our server, took great care of us and never let my iced tea glass get empty.

Great Service.

Tomorrow’s a short travel day, only about 190 miles up to the Capitol City RV Park in Montgomery for a couple of days where we’ll catch up with friends we haven’t seen a while.


July 27, 2019

Found it!

Back on my repair list, I spent the morning looking at my dead bedroom ceiling lights. As it turns out the two ceiling fixtures are the only ones left in the rig still using the original fluorescent bulbs. All the rest have been updated with these 12 volt LED strip lights.

LED Replacement Lights 1

They put out slightly more light than the fluorescent tubes, at 30,000 hours they last longer, and at $10 for 6, they’re a lot cheaper.

In this case, since both fixtures were dead I figured it was the power feeding them, so I first checked the fuse, again. I had checked before, but I wanted to start from scratch again.

With the fuse good, I next checked the wall switch, thinking it was now likely, but I had 12 volts entering and leaving the switch. So I pulled the cover off one of the fixtures, and had 12 volts there. And 12 volts at the other one too.

WTH?

I knew that both sets of bulbs were on their last legs, and it looks like they all gave up at the same time. I’ve got some more LED strips packed away so I’ll dig them out and put them in place.

LED Strip Light Upgrade 4

About 2pm I made a trip over to our storeroom, with a detour by Yummy Yummy’s for lunch, to see if I had another dryer blower motor in my parts box.  And I did.

Washer Dryer Blower Motor - New

It almost looks like it’s brand new. I’ll pull the washer back out tomorrow and put it in place.


Thought for the Day:

“Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading.”

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