Daily Archives: August 16, 2022

Paladin, Paladin, Where . . .

After a lot of loud banging starting early this morning around 7pm, this is what we saw when we came out to leave this afternoon.

Petticoat Junction New Garage Rear

Petticoat Junction New Garage Front

Boy, that was quick.

Very nice looking building.

Our lunch destination today was Twin Peaks once again. We had planned to visit there about a week and a half ago, but Sylvia wasn’t working that day. A while back she gave us her phone number so we could text her to see if she was working when we wanted to stop by.

But when I texted her yesterday about today, she said she would be there.

And as before, she knew exactly what we usually ordered.

For Jan, that’s the Chipotle Chicken with Double Sautéed Broccoli.

Twin Peaks Chipotle Chicken 20220816

But I did a changeup. I usually get the Half and Half, half a sandwich and a cup of soup. Now normally that’s a BLT and Brisket Chili. But I noticed that they had a new sandwich on the menu, a Pork Cubano. So I got that with the Brisket Chili, and an extra side of their Sautéed Green Beans.

Twin Peaks Cuban with Brisket Chili and Green Beans 20220816

Really good, but next time I’ll probably go back to the BLT. The Cubano was just too messy and drippy.

And after getting our goodbye hugs from Sylvia, we drove over to the office for a few minutes before heading back home for the day.

I came across an article last night talking about Have Gun Will Travel, the TV show starring Richard Boone.

It was so popular that in the first 4 of the 6 years it was on, it was always in the top 4 or 5 of ALL TV programs, not just Westerns. And even afterwards, it was usually in the top Ten. It only stopped because Boone did not want to do it any more.

While many shows like Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger, Dragnet, Superman, and others originated on radio before moving to TV, Paladin was the only one that started on TV and then became a radio show.

About 10 years later, Boone came back with another show, Hec Ramsey, another favorite show of mine. Hec Ramsey was a turn-of-the-century lawman who started using the latest technology to catch criminals. Kind of a Western version of William Murdoch on Murdoch Mysteries.

Of course, you all remember Paladin’s business card.


I’ve always wondered, that when it first came on in 1957, if I was the only 9 year old who thought that Paladin’s first name was Wire?

FWIW, according to one book on Paladin’s adventures, his real name was Clay Alexander. This one story was only place among the TV shows, radio shows, and books, where his name was ever given.

Thought For The Day:
Will whoever keeps asking if this country can get any more insane, please stop?

With Family in Vandalia, IL

August 16, 2011

Cell Phones and Gas Pumps . . .

Under the heading of ‘Make Up Your Mind”:

According to this gas pump at the local Wal-Mart, you can buy gas by texting the pump to turn it on.

Text Gas Pump

But of course, according to this label, you’re not supposed to use your cell phone.

Turn Off Cell Phone

You’d almost think this was a government operation.

We did our usual 9 am breakfast at Robbi’s for the second to last time this morning before heading over to Effingham for some shopping.

Then it was back to Debbie’s where Jan and Debbie worked on a quilt, and I read and goofed off.

All in all, a very nice afternoon.

Jan and I left about 5:30 to first eat supper at Los Amigos, a local Mexican restaurant, and then on to Wal-Mart for grocery stuff and gas.

Then it was back to the rig to get ready to travel tomorrow.

We’re going to have one last breakfast together and then we’ll hit the road, heading east on I-70 about 100 miles to just west of Terre Haute, IN and then north about 25 miles to the Horseshoe Lakes Thousand Trails Resort.

We plan on staying two weeks and then we’ll probably head over to Elkhart.


August 16, 2013

Old Park, New Park?

After being on the road pretty much continuously for the last couple of weeks, it was nice to have a quiet morning of just coffee and not much else.

Jan and I had been thinking about where we will stay when we come back to Houston for the winter starting right before Thanksgiving. For the last 5 years we’ve always stayed at Galveston Bay RV Park down near Dickinson.

Galveston Bay Sunset

GB RV 1201a

It’s hard to give up views like this out our windshield, but since Brandi and her family have moved out to the Katy area west of Houston, we talked about finding someplace more central, kind of half way between our son, Chris, and his family, and Brandi and hers. And once we got here to Advanced RV Park and saw how nice it was, we were thinking that this might be our place to spend the winter.

So a little after noon I walked over to the office to check out the possibility. But that idea quickly got shot down. After the lady checked the computer, she said she could accommodate us for the 2-3 months as long as we didn’t mind leaving the park for 5 or 6 weekends and then coming back in. Otherwise, no go.

They have 201 sites here, 108 pull-thrus, and 93 back-ins, so you think they’ve have some room. But the 93 back-ins are only 35’ long, so we wouldn’t fit in those.

Oh, well. It was worth a try.

Finally about 3:30 Jan and I drove over to Brandi’s and Lowell’s new house. So new in fact, that her subdivision isn’t on any maps, much less her street or address. Street Atlas, Streets and Trips, or my Garmin GPS with the latest map updates, does not show any roads there at all.

Google Maps shows the subdivision streets listed as ‘Proposed’. But having visited the area before, and knowing roughly where it was, we were able to find it with only one wrong turn.

Landon was still at daycare when we got there, so first up we got a tour of their new house. And boy is it beautiful. And big. Depending on the room, it has either 14 or 15 foot ceilings. Like I said, Big.

It’s two stories, and has 4 bedrooms, a study/bedroom, a media room, and 4 baths. Like I said, Big.

Brandi's New House 1

Brandi's New House 2

When we first saw pictures as it was being built, we wondered how it was going to work with the dark oak plank flooring and matching dark kitchen cabinets. But with the high ceilings, light gray walls, and white floor and ceiling trim, it’s perfect.

A little later, Jan and Brandi drove over to pick up Landon from daycare and dinner from a Peruvian chicken place called Pollo Bravo. When they got home, Landon hit the floor running, wanting to show us everything. He just goes and goes.

The Peruvian chicken was really good, especially with fried plantains, and a very spicy green sauce. Really good.

After a great time, Jan and I headed home about 8:30, stopping right down the road to get a car wash. The truck was just filthy from being behind the rig with all the rain we’ve been going through. In fact it was really hard to see out the side windows, so it was needed.

We knew there had been some stormy weather down this way while we were visiting Brandi’s. but found out how stormy when we got back to the rig and found our sat dish and stand blown over and around on the side of the rig.

Sat Dish Blown Over

When we left it was around in the front of the rig. It must have been really, really windy because the stand and dish have stayed up during 50 and 60 mph winds down at Galveston Bay. I was kind of worried about the sat dish being damaged by hitting the concrete, but setting it back up and telling it to re-align took care of it.

Tomorrow is Landon’s 3rd birthday party. Next Tuesday, the 20th, is the actual date, but tomorrow is the party. They’ve rented one of those big blow-up water slides for the kids, so they should have blast.


August 16, 2014

What Happened to the Cold Front?

A little before 9am, Jan and I left Maxie’s Campground in Broussard, LA, about 10 miles south of Lafayette on US90. And about 15 minutes later we were on I-10 heading west toward Columbus, TX, and the Colorado River Thousand Trails Park 300 miles away..

Overall, it was a smooth trip, with no real problems. Jan had planned to take over driving when we made a rest stop at Texas Border Welcome Center about 110 miles along the way, but it started raining on and off about 25 miles earlier so she decided to bow out.

Since it was about 2pm on a Saturday, I wasn’t as anxious about driving through downtown Houston as I might have been on a weekday. But I checked my Sigalert app just to be sure there were no upcoming problems.

We pulled into the Colorado River TT about 3pm and got checked in. I was a little worried about being able to get a 50amp site, because it was hit or miss when we stayed here several times earlier in the year. But apparently the park is not near as busy in the summertime. In fact it looks like it’s only about half full, and there are so few people here that they’re no longer doing the Wednesday night Potlucks.

In a similar vein, what happened to the Houston cold front I read about last week? It was 100 degrees here today, and looks to be 98 to 102 degrees for the next 10 days.

But online I read stories about record cold around the country. Pittsburg, PA is having  one of their coldest summers ever with night temps in the 40’s. And now the leaves are starting to change there . . . in August!

In West Virginia, they’re also having record-breaking cold weather and summer vegetables aren’t ripening. And Washington, D.C has had 40% less 90 degree days than normal.

So my question is, where’s our abnormally cold weather? I want our share, especially since we’ll be gate guarding in the area in the next couple of weeks,

Speaking of ‘heat’, our son-in-law Lowell alerted me to this new local store. It’s called iBurn and they sell hot stuff, lot’s of different kinds of hot stuff, from sauces to rubs to condiments and salsas. A little bit of everything.

A visit is definitely in order.


August 16, 2015

We’ve Been Re-Radiated . . .

After coffee and donut holes Jan and I headed out about 8am for the 105 mile trip down to our son Chris’ house, where we were going to install a new radiator in our 2004 Dodge Dakota toad.  Well, he was going to install it while I watched and supervised.

We knew it was going to take us awhile because with our leaky radiator, we could only go about 35 miles before we had to stop for 10 minutes or so to let the engine cool down so I could add more water. I had six gallons worth of water jugs which I figured would enough, and it was.

We did make three cool-down stops along the way, finally getting to Chris’ about 10:45. And of course we got right to work . . . by going to lunch.

Well, we had to let the engine cool down, right?

So Chris, his wife Linda, and Jan and I drove over to one of our favorite Mexican places, Barcenas, and even better, it’s right outside the subdivision. After eating up and catching up, we next drove over to the nearby O’Reillys to pick up the new radiator.

New Radiator

All nice and shiny. And not leaky, I hope.

Of course it all starts with the getting the old one. Part of the problem that my truck actually has 3 radiators, (Well, four if you count the small one for the power steering. But it’s not in the way.) And two of them were blocking us from the getting the main one out.

Down at the bottom, and only about 10 inches tall, is the radiator for the automatic transmission. Then behind that one is another larger one that’s the radiator for the air conditioner. The small one can be disconnected, but there wasn’t a lot of room to maneuver, but Chris finally got the lines off and that radiator out of the way..

The AC radiator could not be disconnected without losing the the Freon, but Chris finally got it pulled forward enough to unbolt the main radiator and pull it out. (For some reason the lighting here makes the truck look like it’s been in a wreck.)

New Radiator 1

Then of course you do it all in reverse, putting it all back together.

New Radiator 2

After Chris got everything hooked up, but before he put all the covers and cowling back on, we filled it with antifreeze and water, and fired it up to check for leaks, both water and transmission fluid. Of course Chris did his usual great job and not a drip was to be seen.

New Radiator 3

Thirty minutes later it was all buttoned up and we were ready to roll.

New Radiator 4

It actually didn’t take as long as I thought it might. Chris started working at 12:30, and we did the leak test at 2:45pm. And by 3:15 he was washing up.

Of course this is a guy that took a hulk of a boat that had been laying out in a field with a TREE growing out of it, and turned it into this.

Century Arabian 1

Century Arabian 2

Not only did he rebuild and re-fiberglass the hull, he also rebuilt the inboard engine and transmission.

In case you’re keeping score, it’s a 1977 16 ft. Century Arabian, with a Ford 351 Windsor (Mercruiser) engine, and a Velvet Drive inboard/outboard drive unit.

The new radiator cost me $192 w/tax. I had been quoted between $500 – $750 for a shop to do it.

It’s nice to have a kid who’s handy with tools.


August 16, 2016

Home Again at Colorado River . . .

With a 300 mile trip ahead of us today, and wanting to avoid the rush hour traffic going through Houston in the afternoon, we were up at 6:30 and pulling out of our site by 8am.

Since we stayed hitched up last night, prepping for travel this morning consisting of stowing the satellite stuff, letting in the awnings, and unplugging shore power, at least on the outside. Inside Jan finished up with her stuff and we were ready to roll.

We took I-20 back toward Shreveport for a few miles and then got onto US79 south about 30 miles until we got on US59 at Carthage, the location of our last year’s gate guarding job.

Then it was another 170 miles down through Nacogdoches, Lufkin, Livingston, and Cleveland before we got on the Sam Houston Tollway and headed west.

Coming through Nacogdoches we passed right by the big Foretravel plant. And I guess due to this, there seems to be a lot of RV sales lots here for a town this size.

Then just outside Lufkin, the light drizzle we been driving through since we left Miss Ellie’s RV Park turned into a heavy downpour for a while before settling down to a steady rain.

Of course right before I started to navigate the obstacle course where US59 merges into the Tollway, the bottom dropped out, so much so, I couldn’t even see the lane lines. So I just followed the semi in front of me and hoped he could see the lane better than I could.

Finally out on 1-10 west the rain cleared up as we passed through Brookshire. We got into the Colorado River Thousand Trails a little before 2pm and got set up in A1, one of our favorite sites here.

We’re here for 12 days before we move back to the Lake Conroe Thousand Trails, or we will if we don’t get a gate before then. I’m go to start making some calls tomorrow.

One encouraging sign was when we passed the US Rig Count sign as we left the Katy area. A little over 2 weeks ago, the rig count was 462, and today it was 481, up 17 just this week. So every little bit helps.

Looking back over our trip, we averaged a little over 8.4 mpg going over to Gulf Shores and then up to north Alabama. Then coming home where we had a lot more hills, we dropped down a little to about 8.2 mpg. This is with me holding 55 to 60 the whole trip. Not bad.


August 16, 2017

She’s real fine, my 4 0 9 . . .

Cue the Beach Boys.

Back at the client’s this morning, I concentrated on getting full access to the webserver. And to do that I had to figure out how the other IT guy was getting from his personal computer into the webserver, which is a Linux machine, not Windows.

Normally you use a program called PUTTY to telnet into the other computer, but it wasn’t installed on his machine, so I went looking for OpenSSH, another popular telnet program, but no luck there either. Of course I could have just installed PUTTY or OpenSSH and used them, but I figured that whatever program he was using would have the IP address and ports already entered.

And finally I found it – TightVNC. And there was the needed info – Now to figure out the password.

I had found various passwords scribbled on Post-It’s around his office, and started with some of those. But I quickly ran into a problem. He had the security protocols turned on, so after three wrong passwords the system would lock me out for a while.

So I had to get smarter. I had noticed that there was a lot of references to 409, the song by the Beach Boys, and I knew the password had seven characters (the system wasn’t masking the password length) so I started trying variations on  this theme – and the second try – ‘fine409’ hit paydirt.

Now although I was into the the webserver, I still didn’t have root access, so it back to my password list. And in this case the fifth try was the charm, and I was in with SuperUser access. And that wrapped it up for today.

Now I can work on it remotely from home.

I know Karma will be glad to get back as well, since for the last almost two weeks, her entire world has been our bedroom here at Brandi’s

Karma Bored

With two big dogs, Kitty and Baxter, and two other cats in the house, we decided to keep her out of the fray. But I should have brought a couple of her toys with me when I brought her with me. She’s been really bored.

Then on Friday we were scheduled to come on  back to Lake Conroe TT for two days before moving over to Colorado River for two weeks. But this evening I changed our schedule to where we stay nine days at Lake Conroe, a week at Colorado River, and then back on our two week schedule at Lake Conroe.


August 16, 2018

A Done Deal . . .

We’re now officially homeless. At least in a Sticks & Bricks way.

I got a call from the title company this morning about 11 saying they were hoping to get the release from HOA faxed over in the next few minutes, so Jan and I went ahead and got ready.

And about 11:30 we got a call saying that they were ready to go, but they were really booked up and we could close either at 12:30 or 1pm. Otherwise we’d have to wait until Monday since the buyer wouldn’t be available until then. The only problem was that the closing was at an office up in the Galleria almost 50 miles away.

But  we were ready and out the door in about 5 minutes. We were lucky enough not to hit any traffic slowdowns, and were at the office about 12:45. And after about 30 minutes of signing and initialing form after form we were done and on our way back down to Clear Lake.

Since the buyer wasn’t scheduled until 1:30, after us, we decided to have the funds deposited in our bank account via EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) which they said would be later in the afternoon.

We had already decided that we were going to celebrate the sale, whenever it happened, by stopping off for steaks at Saltgrass.

As usual we both started off with their Wedge Salads.

Saltgrass Wedge Salad 4

These salads are why we don’t eat at Longhorn Steakhouse, our other local favorite, and come here instead. Longhorn doesn’t always have a Wedge Salad, and when they do,  it’s actually done with a large stalk of Romaine, and not a lettuce wedge. And Jan doesn’t like Romaine.

As for our steaks, Jan got the Center-Cut Top Sirloin with the Grilled Broccoli, while I got my usual Ribeye, also with the Grilled Broccoli.

Saltgrass Ribeye 4

The broccoli actually is their Steamed Broccoli, but we learned a while back to ask places to throw it on the grill for a bit. Makes it much better.

Right after we got home I got an email from the title company with my copy of the closing documents and a note saying the funds had been sent. And when I checked an hour or so later, it was there.


As I said yesterday, now that the whole ‘house’ thing is out of the way , I want to get my on my project list, with the first big one to track down the rig’s oil leak. Since it seems to be coming from up on the side of the engine, I’m going to start by looking under the bed to see if I can see anything from up top. Hopefully I’ll find something loose and easy to fix.

Jan saw an ad on the TV for the Nutcracker Market which runs November 8-11 this year, so I went online and got us tickets. Put on each year as a fundraiser for the Houston Ballet, it’s a high-end Christmas market with home décor, food, clothes, and toys.

Nutcracker Market

Nutcracker Market 2

Starting from a humble church bazaar, it’s grown to welcoming over 100,000 visitors during the four days, visitors who spend almost $20 million dollars.

Really looking forward to it.


August 16, 2020

Red Sprites and Blue Jets . . .

This is not a scene from the latest sci-fi blockbuster. Nor is it something that just washed up on Galveston beach. It’s an actual photo taken during a thunderstorm over Mt. Locke, TX back in July.

It’s a Red Jellyfish Sprite, an atmospheric phenomena that wasn’t even discovered until 1989.

Red Jellyfish Sprite 468

They were first observed during Space Shuttle missions looking down into thunderstorms from above.

Sprite from Space

Although there had been reports of strange lights during thunderstorms in the past, they’re usually found high up, as much as 50 miles above the clouds during a storm. But even when they’re lower down, they flash on and off so fast that they’re hard to see, until you play back the video. In fact it took 4.5 hours of filming to catch the one above.

And they’re even other types, like these Carrot Sprites.

Carrot Sprites

And don’t get me started on Blue Jets, Pixies, and Elves. Google them.

With Jan supervising from the ground, I got up on the rig roof about 7pm this evening to open up the condensation drain holes in our front rooftop A/C. And this time I not only opened them up, but I drilled them out a lot bigger so that some little tiny piece of crud won’t stop up the drain. And I also drilled a couple of extra drains in the bottom of the pan.

I dare it to stop up again now.

When I’m on the roof, Jan always insisted on being outside to watch me. One time I asked her if she was going to catch me to cushion my fall if I slipped and fell off the roof.

She said,  “No, but I will call 911.”, she said with a smile, holding up her phone.

Not so sure about that smile.


August 16, 2021

More Pompeii . . .

I mentioned in last night’s blog that I had put in for a refund of the $99 deposit I had made when I signed up for a Starlink system. I was told it would be 7-10 days until I got my refund, but it showed up in my PayPal account this evening. Nice!

Getting back to our trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science this past Tuesday, (you can click above to read about it again) this is a facsimile of the famed Rosetta Stone. For some reason I always pictured it smaller.

Museum Rosetta Stone

Dating from 196 BC, and discovered by one of Napoleon’s officers in 1799, it contains the same document, written in three different scrips and two languages, Ancient Egyptian in both Demotic and hieroglyphic text, while the bottom is in Ancient Greek.

Since Ancient Greek was well-known and easily read, it allowed linguists to translate and read the hieroglyphics of Ancient Egypt for the first time, though it took more than 25 years before this was accomplished.

As I mentioned in last Tuesday’s blog about our visit to the Museum, it’s amazing how much some of these almost 2000 year old objects would look perfectly at home today.

Like this shovel and a pitchfork,

Museum Pompeii Tools

and these carpentry tools, a set of dividers, a chisel, a plum-bob, and a right angle framing square.

Museum Pompeii Tools 2

Even this glassware used for cooking looks like stuff found in a high-end shop.

Museum Pompeii Cooking Glassware 2

And  this solid gold jewelry could be found in a Cartier’s store window.

Museum Pompeii Jewelry

Museum Pompeii Jewelry 2

But the thing that stands out more in these Pompeii exhibit are the ‘bodies’. But of course they’re not really bodies.

When the excavations of Pompeii started in the mid-1700’s workers were finding these mysterious voids inside the solidified volcanic ash. It was only when they noticed jewelry and bits of cloth in the voids that they realized that these were left after the bodies inside them decayed away over the intervening 1700 years or so.

Museum Pompeii Body 1

So they started pouring plaster of Paris into each one as they were discovered.

Museum Pompeii Body 2

And the posture of some of the bodies showed how fast that some of the victims were engulfed in the ash. In fact I’ve seen some that were found standing up, or even running.

Museum Pompeii Body 3

Museum Pompeii Body 4

Even the pets were caught, like this dog.

Museum Pompeii Body Dog

And this just goes to show that, as I titled the first episode in this visit, Nothing New Under The Sun, this the recently-excavated version of a Pompeii Fast Food Joint.

Pompeii Fast Food Place

With no place to sit, you just strolled through, picking your food from the dishes, and then dropping a few denari on the counter as you left. Sounds familiar.

Finishing up at the Pompeii exhibit, we headed down to the main level to everyone’s favorite . . . Dinosaurs!

Museum Dinosaur Hall

This Dimetrodon is not really a dinosaur, but a prehistoric reptile and lived about 50 million years before the dinosaurs ever showed up.

Museum Dinosaur Dimetrodon

Another T-Rex.

Museum Dinosaur T-Rex

A Stegosaurus, the guy with the big spiked tail.

Museum Dinosaur Stegasaur

Museum Dinosaur 2

A Triceratops.

Museum Dinosaur Triceratops

And of course, this isn’t a dinosaur either but a Wooly Mammoth, who lived 10,000 to 20,000 years ago.

A real youngster.

Museum Mammoth

More Tomorrow . . .