Daily Archives: August 6, 2022

Mexican Corn . . .

Jan and I headed over to Dickinson to have lunch at Monterey’s Little Mexico, our first visit back there in a good while. Long enough that they’ve made some big changes to their menu.

Jan’s favorite, Chicken Ixtapa, is no more.

Monterey's Chicken Ixtapa

So she ended up ordering their new Pollo Feliz.

Monterey's Dickinson Pollo Feliz

She thought it was OK, but kind of disappointing.

Lucky for me, they still have my favorite Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Monterey's Dickinson Chicken Tortilla Soup 20220806

And even better, they now have a new favorite of mine, Mexican Street Corn.

Monterey's Dickinson Mexican Corn

Still great food, even with the changes.

Then it was on up the feeder to the HEB shopping center so Jan could get her hair cut at the CostCutters there. While she was doing that I drove over to the nearby Lowes to get some brackets so I can mount our new Wind Spinner.

Coming back to the HEB, I stopped off and got gas before picking Jan up. Then it was right next door to pick up some stuff at HEB, before finally heading home.

After almost two dry weeks, we finally got some rain last night and this morning. Fairly heavy in some cases.

And I don’t which was the cause and which was the effect, but we also have a nice cold front along with the rain. The low last night was 74°, a big drop from the normal low 80’s we have.

And the high today stayed in the 80’s, and never got near 90°.

Very nice.

And strangely enough, we had another cold front just like this last year at just about this time.

Tomorrow we’re meeting Brandi, Lowell, and Landon up at King Food up in Webster for lunch. Then she’s going back with them up to Katy for a week of Landon-sitting. I’ll pick her up Friday afternoon so we can make the Alvin Opry performance

Today, August 6th, is a very important date in my life.

The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima 47 years ago today in 1945.

As I’ve mentioned before, my mother was a Captain (later Major) in the Army Nurse Corp, and Chief of Nursing at West Point, and she and her nurses were on a train for New Orleans to get on a troop ship to the Pacific to participate in the invasion of the Japanese homeland.

And with Japan’s propensity for attacking hospital ships, there’s a very good chance she might not have made it home. After all, it was forecast that there would be over a million American casualties during a possible invasion.

Thought for the Day:

Old Yella

August 6, 2009

We found it!

We spent our last day on Cape Cod driving around looking for the efficiency motel unit we stayed in here in 1972.

And we found it.

But the first time we had to do this morning was move. We only had our other site for 4 days and then someone else had it reserved.  So we had to pack up and move down the road apiece from site 266 to site 2.

Site 2

Actually this is a better site for us, because it’s a pull-thru and had room behind it for us to hook up the toad (truck) before we pull out tomorrow.

After getting hooked up, we headed out on our quest.  And first we found the motel, or what’s left of it, that we stayed in for a few days when we first got here.  Apparently it’s no longer a going concern.

First Motel

Next we moved into an efficiency motel unit that had two bedrooms.  We knew it was on the water, so we just kept checking likely areas, and there it was.

Cape Wind 1

Cape Wind 2

Cape Wind 3

We didn’t remember the name, but now it’s called the Cape Wind Resort. The place has expanded and the cranberry bog behind it is gone, but the playground area out in front where Chris played is still here.  Chris turned four while we were here, so he probably wouldn’t remember the place.

We only stayed here a month or so, because the rent would go from $100 a month in the winter to $400 a month once the tourist season started after Memorial Day.  That’s when we moved into the house we found a few days ago.

It’s kind of amazing that all these places are still here after almost 40 years, but then they’ve got houses around here that were built in 1675, so I guess it’s not that amazing.

Coming home we ate dinner at a pretty decent Mexican place called Sam Diego’s. Not bad.

And tomorrow it’s off to Woonsocket…

August 6, 2010

Much Ado about Nothing…

Nothing…because that’s pretty much what we did today.


Having stayed up until about 3 am this morning I slept in ‘til about 11.

Jan fixed sandwiches for lunch, and then after lunch, we again did nothing.

But nothing this time also included a nap.

About 6 pm we drove over to Ryan’s for supper. Jan and I both love their fried chicken, and this time was as good as usual.

We got back to the rig about 7 and continued doing pretty much nothing.

And that was about it for the day.


Getting back to our recent visit to Vandalia, IL.

Vandalia is another town that is home to a Madonna of the Trail. The Madonna’s are a series of twelve 18 ft. tall statues erected in 1928-29 by the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), The statues were placed along the National Old Trails Road from Bethesda, Maryland to Upland, California, mostly along what is now US 40. The statues were not carved, but were cast from a mixture of crushed marble, Missouri granite, stone, cement and lead ore in identical molds.

Vandalia Madonna

We saw another Madonna in Springerville, AZ when we were visiting Show Low, AZ back in June. We’ll try to catch some others as we travel around.MadonnaOfArizona

Our real purpose for being in Vandalia was to visit Jan’s sister Debbie and her family. We all got together at The Depot, a local restaurant, and had a great meal.

Here’ the whole group.

From left to right: Jason, Laura, Ella, Avery Jane, Debbie, Jim, Gwen, Christina, Tana, Jan, and Me.

Now for the relationships. Jason is Debbie and Jim’s son, Laura is his wife, Ella and Avery Jane are their children. Debbie is Jan’s sister, and Jim, in the center, is her husband.

Next is Debbie and Jim’s daughters, Christina and Tana. Christina is holding Gwen, who is Tana’s daughter. And of course, Jan and I.

Hope you keep all this straight. There will be a short quiz at the end of this blog post.

Depot Group

And this cutie is our grand-niece, Gwen, Tana’s daughter.


Here’s Laura and Jason.

Laura Jason

And this beautiful young lady is Miss Avery Jane, Laura and Jason’s daughter.

Avery Jane

And this young lady is Ella, Jason and Laura’s other daughter.


And this is my cutie, Jan, with Gwen.

Gwen and Jan

This is Christina, and Tana, our nieces, with Avery Jane and Gwen.

Christina Tana Avery Jane Gwen

And here’s one final shot of the entire group.

Depot Group 2
We had our usual great time visiting with Jim and Debbie and family, and we’ll try to stop off for dinner on our way back to Texas the first part of September.

Leaving Vandalia on Sunday, and heading for Cincinnati, we passed by this two hundred foot cross just outside of Effingham, IL The Effingham Cross is located at the junction of I-57 and I-70 and is seen by about 50,000 travelers a day.

Effingham Cross

And now for your quiz. Who is Avery Jane, and what is her relationship to Jan and I?

And remember, this quiz will be 30% of your final grade.

August 6, 2011

Guess Who’s Walking?

Yep! Master Landon has started standing up on his own and walking. Brandi called us just a few minutes after we hit the road this morning.

She said he first stood up with a toy in each hand and took a couple of steps, then it was 4-5 steps. No pictures yet.

Watch out, World. He’s on the move!

We pulled out of the St. Paul East RV Park about 9:15, heading for the Pine Grove Campground just outside Shawano, WI, about 210 miles away.

Ten minutes later we were in Wisconsin for the first time. For the first 60 miles or so we were on I-94 but then turn off onto SR29. Seeing as this was a State Road I didn’t really know what to expect, but it turns out that SR29 is an Interstate in everything but name.

The next 150 miles were all four-lane, limited access, and no traffic lights, so we made good time.

I was thinking to myself that for some reason the countryside reminded me of Pennsylvania, the gently-rolling hills, the neat and tidy farmhouses, and then I saw this and the image was complete.

Didn’t realize there were a lot of Amish in Wisconsin, but I guess so.

I saw yesterday that we passed 6200 miles for the year so far. I figure we’ll be between 10 and 11 thousand by the time we get back to Houston right before Thanksgiving. Since we hit the road in February 2008, we’ve put almost 43,000 miles on our coach.

And loved every mile of it.

We arrived at the Pine Grove Campground about 1:30 and got set up in a really beautiful site right on a lake. 50 amp full hookups too.

Jan immediately started doing laundry.

The only downside is no satellite reception. I put the Winegard about 60 feet away in the most open area I could find, but no luck. I’ll try again tomorrow.

About 4:30 we headed to Shawano to have dinner. On the way we passed this neat local institution.

The Indoor-Outdoor movie theater.

It has 4 screens inside and two outside, back to back. For some reason drive-ins seemed to have survived up here. We’ve seen several still in business between here and North Dakota.

I know I certainly had a lot of fun at drive-ins growing up.

We ended up at Flamingo’s Family Restaurant for dinner, with Jan having the Roast Turkey and Dressing and I had the BBQ Pork Short Ribs. Both very good. It was easy to see why the place was so busy.

Still not sure what we’re going to do tomorrow. Our real reason for coming up this way is because we wanted to visit the DeYoung Family Zoo in Wallace, MI, right across the state line from Wisconsin. They’ve had a TV show on Nat Geo Wild for a couple of years, and we wanted to check the place out.

We had originally planned to go tomorrow, but there’s a 50% chance of thunderstorms, while it’s supposed to be clear on Monday. So we may extend a day here and go then, but then that will mean longer driving days getting to southern Illinois by Wednesday.

So we’ll see tomorrow. BTW it’s pouring down rain right now.

August 6, 2013

Something Different . . .

In the last couple of days I’ve come across two familiar topics on some of the online RV forums and just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to weigh in.

the first one concerns the Economy Mode button found on most Diesel Pushers, and how it works and what it does. According to Spartan Chassis’ and Allison Transmissions it doesn’t do much.

It seems the most mistaken idea is that it’s an overdrive gear. It’s not.

Actually the only thing it does is to change the computer so that it delays the downshift point when you start up a hill and hurries the upshift point at the top.

So if you’re driving on the straight and level, staying in 6th and never downshifting, it does absolutely nothing. Zip, Zero, Nada.

And if you’re in hilly country, constantly downshifting and upshifting one or more gears, again it will make no real difference.

The only time it will make a difference is on gently rolling hills just the right height so that Economy Mode would keep you in 6th gear, rather than having to downshift without Economy Mode. And since this is very hard to anticipate, the only way to be sure is to just leave it on all the time. And of course you have to remember to turn it on again every time you crank up. Just don’t expect it to make a lot of difference.

The second topic is a perennial favorite: Black Tank Treatments. The packets, the tablets, the powder. The blue stuff, the green stuff, the clear stuff. Take your pick. It seems like everyone has their personal favorite. Some, like me, even mix their own.

After reading a lot of ideas and suggestions over the years, I came up with my own formula a while back that seems to keep the level sensors clean and eliminates any smells. And it’s simple and cheap, and can all be found at Wal-Mart

I buy a box of the cheapest powder laundry detergent I can find. In most cases, it’s a brand called Fab. Next up is a bottle of Calgon Water Softener and a box of RID-X Septic Tank Treatment.

Pretty much every time after I dump the black tank, I put in a scoop of detergent, a capful of Calgon, and a tablespoon of RID-X in the tank. The detergent cleans the tank, the Calgon acts as a surfactant cutting the film that blocks the level sensors, and the RID-X introduces enzymes and bacteria that help to break down and emulsify the waste, reducing the chance of a clog while draining the tank.

I’ve also seen posts saying the RID-X doesn’t do any good because we don’t have septic tanks. But at least in our case we do, in a way. We normally only dump our black tank every two weeks so the RID-X has plenty of time to do its thing. I guess it you dump every day or something, it might not work as well.

All I can say it that it works great for me.

August 6, 2014

Big Boooommm!

As I had figured, we each had a piece of my Aunt Virginia’s Banana Nut bread with our coffee for breakfast.

Later I went back out in the heat, 92° today, to take another look at my truck AC problem My first test was to use my ohmmeter to check the coil of the compressor clutch, and as I suspected, the coil was open. So that’s the problem. Now what to do about it?

I can replace, and have replaced, the AC clutch on other cars. It’s not really that hard. But I would need some tools I don’t have with me. The advantage is that I wouldn’t have to pull the compressor and replace the Freon.

But, do I want to spend ~ $100 for a new clutch to put on a 10 year old compressor, when for ~ $200 I can get a whole new compressor and clutch. Of course, then I would have to pump out the Freon, replace the compressor, then pull a vacuum on the system, and put Freon back in.

And it’s possible that if the compressor was already starting to fail and seize up, it could have caused the coil to burn out anyway.

Either way it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to do anything about it until we’re back in Houston in a week or so.

Saw a mention today that a female gate guard was run over by a big truck a couple of days ago. Looks like stitches in her head and a broken arm are the lucky (for her) result. Apparently, after talking to the driver, she walked back around the front of the truck and stopped to get his tag number without telling the driver. They can’t see you down there over those big hoods.

I normally get the tag info on the way out to talk to the driver, and then coming back, hold the clipboard over my head until I’m clear.

Glad to hear she wasn’t more seriously injured.

Came across an interesting website the other day.

Ever hear a voice on a commercial and you know it’s someone famous, but you just can’t place it?

Well, check out www.adwhois.com. And they probably know.

.A couple of days ago, I heard a new ad for Gold Peak Ice Tea. I knew the voice was familiar, but I just couldn’t place it.

And it turned out to be Opie Taylor, I.e. Rod Howard.

Check it out.

August 6, 2016

“Vague but exciting”

Another nice, quiet day here at Gulf Shores. We had a respite from the thunderstorms today, but they’re coming back with a vengeance the next few days, including 100% chance of Heavy Thunderstorms on Tuesday when we supposed to leave for north Alabama.

They have Wi-Fi here at Gulf State Park, and it appears to cover the entire area using repeater relays. In fact we have a repeater pole right outside our rig. Too bad it doesn’t work.

And it didn’t work last year either. When I ask then about the problem, I was only told they have Wi-Fi at the Activity Center. Well, to start with, I’m not parked by the Activity Center.

But what’s strange is that they’ve got the hard part done. I have 4 bars of signal here, and my systems will connect and then try to get an IP address. Which it where all it fails. It hangs there until it gives up and times out.

Which pretty much means that the system is not connected to the internet. So I don’t know if they put the system in and then decided that it was too expensive to pay for sufficient bandwidth to cover the park or what. Since we’re talking about the State Government running things, who knows.

About 2pm Jan and I did our yearly Pensacola run, mainly for two things. Sonny’s BBQ and Artesana Imports.

Sonny’s is one of our three favorite BBQ places – Rudy’s BBQ, Famous Dave’s BBQ, and Sonny’s BBQ, . Between the 3, we’ve got most of the US covered for good BBQ.

Rudy’s covers Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona, and we’ve eaten at a number of locations in Texas, and as far west as Phoenix. Good Texas BBQ, Brisket, and Ribs.

Famous Dave’s covers much of the US, with locations in 36 states, as far west as California, as far north as North Dakota, Montana, and Illinois, and as far east as New York. Good Ribs, Brisket, and Hot Links. We first ate at a Famous Dave’s in Billings, MT with Mike and Janna Clark, and have eaten at a number of them around the country since then.

Sonny’s covers a large part of the south and the southeast, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina, and we’ve been eating at various locations since the 70’s.

We always tried to eat at the Sonny’s in Pensacola when we’re in the area, so today was our chance.

The first thing we noticed was that since we were here two years ago, they’ve done a major remodeling, inside and out, really updating the look.

Sonny's Pensacola

But the BBQ is as good as ever. Jan got her usual Sliced Pork Sandwich with Fries and BBQ Beans, and I got my usual Pork 3 Ways Platter.

Sonny's Pork 3 Ways

With Ribs, Sliced Pork, and Pulled Pork, it covers all the bases. I got the BBQ Beans, and the Corn on the Cob. One thing I like about their Corn on the Cob is that it’s cooked in foil, and not boiled and then left in hot water so that it gets soggy.

Besides the great BBQ, another thing I like about Sonny’s is no wimpy iced tea glasses.

Sonny's Iced Tea

No, these are big, double-handed 32oz glasses, so I’m not constantly having them refilled.

After our great meal, we drove on in toward downtown Pensacola to visit Artesana Imports, a gift shop that we’ve been visiting since the 70’s. Jan always finds something she likes, and today’s find was a new seashell-based dish towel.

Artisiana Dish Towel

Always a great place to visit.

“Vague but exciting”.

This is what Mike Sendall, Tim Berners-Lee’s boss at CERN in Switzerland wrote on Lee’s proposal giving him permission to develop what we know today as the World Wide Web.

So, yes, one guy invented the Web, and, no, it wasn’t Al Gore.

It was Tim Berners-Lee.

“He wrote the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which outlined how information would travel between computers, and the HyperText Markup Language (HTML), which was used to create the first web pages. “

And today, August 6th, is the 31st anniversary of when the very first website went live.

And you can still see the page here at its original address.


And here’s the very first web server sitting on Lee’s desk,

Tim Berners-Lee's NeXt Server

It was a NexT computer which had a note taped to the front that said: “This machine is a server. DO NOT POWER DOWN”.

And it was almost a year later when the very first picture was published on the Web.

First Web Image

It’s a photo of a parody rock band made up of CERN employees.

I figure the 2nd photo was probably porn.

Or cats.

I got in this early enough that I remember when there was only about a dozen websites in the entire world, all of the them at universities and research facilities.

One thing to remember is that the Internet and the Web are not the same thing. The Web runs on the Internet.

The Internet came first, with the first commercial ISP’s coming online in the late 80’s, and consisted of Email, Newsgroups, and IRC Chat.

Of course direct dial-up services like CompuServe, Prodigy, AOL, etc., had been around since the late 60’s, but there was little or no connectivity between them.

Email was pretty much what it is today, while Newsgroups were gathering areas for people to trade info on pretty much every hobby, interest, and perversion you can imagine. IRC Chat was the early version of today’s Instant Messaging.

There’s more info here:


So if it wasn’t for what happened 31 years ago, you wouldn’t be reading this.

August 6, 2018

Theme For A Day . . .

Nothing much new at work today. I’m trying to find a new Zen Cart/WordPress theme that I like, to use on the company website when I move the whole thing up to Godaddy and off our in-house server.

The old theme is no longer being supported and I never really liked it anyway. But so far I’ve looked at a bunch with no luck. Either I don’t like the way they look, or they don’t have the features I want, or even worse, they have ‘features’ I don’t want that I can’t turn off.

Got a call from our buyer this morning telling me he was going to have a couple of guys at the house this morning and knew I had the Wyze cameras set up to monitor things. Guess he didn’t want me calling the police on them.

I was finally able to get in touch with our storage location and set up to get a 2nd storage room, hopefully right next door to our old one. I’ll go by there tomorrow and settle up and then maybe bring some stuff down from the house. Don’t want to wait until the last minute if they want to close earlier than the 24th..

Last week I was having trouble with the volume on my Galaxy S8+. The speakerphone worked fine, but the earphone was just barely audible. So the first thing I did was to reboot the phone.

When in Doubt, Reboot. Right?

When that didn’t work, I tried cleaning the earpiece out by pressing a piece of very sticky tape (I used Gorilla Tape) over it a few times and peeling it off. This helps pull any dirt or dust out of the tiny holes in the grill. Again, no luck.

So next up I tried booting up in Safe Mode. Knew your computer had a Safe Mode, but didn’t know your phone had one? Well, it does, both iPhones and Androids. And it’s easy to get to.

On an Android, just hold down the power button until you get the 3 button screen with Power Off, Restart, and Emergency Mode on it. Then hold down the Power Off button until you see the Safe Mode button.

Your phone will reboot and come back up in Safe Mode. This means any and all apps that you’ve downloaded are now disabled. Your phone will still work as a phone though. To get out of Safe Mode, just restart your phone again. This is handy when you think that a rogue app might be causing mischief with your phone. But that wasn’t my problem, either.

Finally I tried one last  thing. I powered off my phone and left it off for about 10 minutes. And when I turned it back on, it was now working fine. So why did powering it off work and restarting it didn’t?

Well, restarting doesn’t clear everything. It just reinitializes the system and then reboots. So it’s possible to still have data of  some sort buried in some wayward  memory location. And it sometimes can take a bit for all the memory to run out of juice. 5 minutes would have probably been fine, but actually I got busy on something else and forgot about it.

Jan of course, is still up in Katy Landon-sitting, so tomorrow I’ll run a bunch of errands and check out the storage room.

Love You Sweetie!

August 6, 2021

Fully Stacked . . .

Today, SpaceX did the first full stack of their Starship/Falcon Heavy combination. At 390 feet it’s 27 feet taller than the fabled Saturn V, and at 17,000,000 pounds of thrust, the Starship is more than twice as powerful.

Starship Full Stack

But it was only temporary, just for today, so that they could check the alignment and operation of the crane system. But they hope to do a test launch to orbit in the next few months.

Rocket Sizes

Elon Musk says this combo will take us to the Moon and then Mars.

Regular readers know that Jan and I are both big Van Gogh fans, and we were really looking forward to the two immersive performances, one of which is the same one that we saw in Paris in May of 2019.

You can get some idea what these are like here.

And here.

We were supposed to see that one on Sep. 28, next month on our 54th Anniversary, but it’s now been delayed to a later, but unknown date.

And it looks like the other one, the one we were supposed to see on Nov. 21 with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon, has also been pushed back.

Both of them say it’s production difficulties, so it doesn’t look like it’s a WuFlu problem.

We were able to set outside with our coffee this morning, enjoying the cooler weather and the blooms on Jan’s hibiscus tree. And with all the buds popping out, it looks like there’s more to come.

Jan's Hibiscus Bloom 2

But it looks like the rain and the heat are coming back so who knows about tomorrow.

Thought for the Day:

Sometimes I wish my life had closed-captions so I could figure out what the heck was going on.