Daily Archives: August 17, 2022

Our Next Family Get-Together . . .

We’ve been talking about this for a while, but this past Monday we finally pulled the trigger.

Jan and I had wanted to revisit the Snake Farm (now Animal World & Snake Farm Zoo) in New Braunfels, and also eat at the Magic Time Machine nearby in San Antonio, both long-time favorites of ours.

Though we’ve visited the Snake Farm over the years, the last time was December of 2008 after we wrapped up our first year of RV’ing. And that’s when we discovered Miss Piper’s love of big snakes.

Piper At Snake Farm

And then the next year when Piper and Brandi visited us up in New York City in July 2009 she found another one.

Piper with NY Snake

The Magic Time Machine is a unique restaurant location, as much entertainment as restaurant.

Inside it’s a maze of alcoves, cubbyholes, and other Nooks and Crannies.

Magic Time Machine Interior

The Salad Bar is actually a Salad Car, a 1952 MG-TD outfitted as their Soup and Salad

Magic Time Machine Salad Car

And the servers are all dressed as characters from movies, TV shows, and literature.

Over the years we’ve had Wonder Woman,

Magic Time Machine 4

The Joker,

Magic Time Machine 5

and more recently, twice in fact, Lady Ga Ga.

Magic Time Machine Lady GaGa 2-500

And our food has always been good too.

One time back in the 80’s we were there with Chris and Brandi, and one of the servers was dressed as Tarzan, just wearing a loincloth. There were lit candles on each table, and as he was bending over to serve one table, he backed into a candle on the table behind him, setting his loincloth on fire.

When he realized what had happened, he started jumping around, yelling, and grabbing glasses of water from the tables and throwing it on his rear end.

And all of us at the surrounding tables started laughing and clapping, thinking it was part of the show.

It wasn’t.

Finally he ran out of the dining room while he still had some dignity.

We’ve got this scheduled for October 15-16, and it looks like everyone’s on board. We’ll drive over on Saturday morning, about a 3-1/2 trip, meet everyone at the Snake Farm. Then sometime around 5 or so, we’ll make the 20 minute drive in San Antonio for dinner at the Time Machine.

Afterwards, Jan and I plan on spending the night nearby, then doing some more driving around, before heading back to Santa Fe Sunday afternoon.

Tomorrow is Landon’s first day as a 7th Grader, and then this Saturday, the 20th, he turns 12.

It’s a big week for him.

And to celebrate, we’re all meeting up at the Rainforest Café in Katy for his birthday.

Really looking forward to it.

Thought for the Day:

The British Are Coming

August 17, 2009

On The Road Again . . .

Well, we did a 20 mile test drive on my fuel filter changeout and it looks like we’re good to go!

As soon as I can find another filter, I’m going to buy one as a spare so I’ll always have one on hand.  I probably wouldn’t be able to install it on the road because I would have to hang over the very hot muffler to install it.

So I would have to wait a few hours for things to cool down.

The park we’ve been at for the last several days here in St. Johnsbury, VT is called…

Moose River

Unfortunately for Jan, the only moose we saw there was this cutout at the entrance.

Moose Cutout

It’s a very pretty park with very friendly owners.

Moose River Entrance

Moose River Stream

The only problem with our parking spot is that there is no shade, but then the satellite reception is great!

Moose River Parking

Now that the coach is ready to go, today is our last day here at Moose River.

Tomorrow we’ll drive about 50 miles over to Gorham, NH. 

Since I couldn’t find a decent RV park in the area,  we’ll Wally-dock for the night.

August 17, 2011

Uh Oh! 30 amps!

We had one last breakfast at Robbi’s Restaurant this morning with Debbie, Jim, Tana, Gwen, and Jan and I. We really had a great time visiting with Debbie and her family, and, of course, seeing Brandi, Lowell, and Landon one last time too.

After saying our goodbyes, and getting last minute hugs, Jan and I headed back out to the RV Park to get ready to leave.

I’d gotten up at 6:30 and pretty much had everything done before we left for breakfast, so all we really had to do was hitch up the toad, unplug the power, and head out.

We pulled out of our site right at 11, and a few minutes later we were on I-70 heading east toward Terre Haute. It warmed up pretty fast so about 40 miles down the road I started up the generator so we could run the house AC’s.

Then about 15 miles west of Terre Haute we turned north on SR 1, heading thru Paris, IL to the small (very small) town of Blanford, IN. Right outside of Blanford, we entered Indiana and the Eastern Time Zone. This means that during our travels this year we’ve been in all four US time zones.

And Jan was happy to see a Super Wal-Mart as we passed through Paris which is only about 15 miles from our park.

A couple of miles north of Blanford we arrived at the Horseshoe Lakes Thousand Trails Resort.

This Thousand Trails is kind of unusual in that you don’t check in at the guardhouse, but at an office down a side road. Then once you’re checked in, you come back out the side road and enter the park itself using the gate code you now have.

As we’ve done with a couple of the other large, heavily-forested TT parks, we left the rig at the office, and after unhitching the toad, we drove it around to find a spot. I took my compass with me so I would be able to check for satellite availability. Finding a good spot, we left a bag chair to hold it while we went back for the rig.

We found a really nice site, across from the lake, with some trees for shade, but open enough for good satellite reception, and 3 bars of 3G on my phone.

Horseshoe Lakes 1

All that, along with the really good water pressure means a happy camper.

Horseshoe Lakes 2

So far this looks like a really nice park, and hopefully we still feel the same way at the end of our two week stay.

I’ve got a lot of projects lined up, and maybe I can make a dent in the list.

The only problem we’ve had so far is when Jan was fixing supper, and everything suddenly got very quiet and very dark.

Then I hear Jan say “Uh Oh!  30 Amps!

So, no, she can’t run the microwave and toaster oven at the same time that the AC and the dryer are running.

August 17, 2013

The Birthday Boy . . .

This Tuesday, August 20th is Landon’s birthday, but today was his birthday party, and a party it was. Jan and I headed out about 10:30 to get his presents and also pick up a few supplies at Wal-Mart, and then it was back here to do the wrapping.

We got over to Brandi’s about 1pm, and found our son Chris and his family, wife Linda, and daughter Piper already there. They were all blowing up balloons and Piper was putting the streamers up.

Piper Landon's Birthday 1

Landon’s birthday cake was really neat.

Landon's Birthday Cake 2013

The theme for the party was Pirates, and the cake was an ocean with an island, and it was all made of individual cupcakes covered over with icing.

Landon in the meantime, was taking a nap with his other Nana so he would be fresh for the party that started around 2pm.

The highlight of the party was a Water Slide that they had rented for the occasion, and it was a big hit.

Waterslide 1

Waterslide 2

Waterslide Landon 1

There was over 50 adults and children at the party, so Brandi and Lowell’s big house came in handy. There was room enough for everyone.

Landon Birthday Party Crowd

Finally it was time for Landon to open his presents, and he had a ball. Got some great gifts too. Jan spent a good while picking out just the right wrapping paper for his presents at Wal-Mart this morning, and I kept telling her it wasn’t necessary.

Kids, especially boys, just don’t care what a present is wrapped in. It could be wrapped in old garbage bags or newspaper, and as long as the kid thinks there’s a toy in there, it’s history. Again, he just doesn’t care.

Landon Birthday Party Crowd 2

After all that, Landon settled down long enough to have some of his birthday cake.

Landon and Piper 1

Then he finished things up with a Happy Birthday kiss from his cousin Piper.

Landon and Piper 2

Everyone was pretty much gone by 5pm, so we were able to spend some time together as a family, just catching up. Jan and I finally headed out about 8:30, and I’m sure Brandi was glad to see us all go. If only for the peace and quiet.

Tomorrow afternoon we’re going over to Chris and Linda’s and Chris and I are going to put new brake pads on my truck. Then we’ll eat supper at Barcenas, one of our favorite local Mexican places.

August 17, 2014

A Prickly Time . . .

Since we got here to the Colorado River Thousand Trails Jan and I have been fighting a sandspur invasion. And apparently it’s all Misters fault.

When we were at Maxie’s Campground in Broussard, LA a couple of nights ago, we let Mister lay outside on his leash for an hour or so. And it seems that the ground he was lying on was full of sandspurs. And then he brought them in the rig on his coat. And then the sandspurs apparently stuck to our rugs better than Mister.

So all of a sudden Jan and I were stepping on sandspurs IN the rig. By the time we figured out what had happened, and I checked Mister over, there were none left on his coat. They were now all over the rig. And even though I’ve gone over the rugs several times, we’re still finding them, the painful way.

About 4:30 Jan and I headed into Katy to have dinner with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon at Little V’s Vietnamese Bistro, our favorite local Asian place.

We were surprised about how much traffic we encountered heading into Houston. In fact we hit on and off, bumper to bumper traffic as soon as we got on I-10E. It slowed things down enough that it took about an hour and twenty minutes for the normally one hour trip.

While we waited for Brandi to get home, I helped Landon assembled a present we got him while we were up in Elkhart, IN. It’s a Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton kit. But it’s more like a puzzle.

There are no real instructions, just pictures, and the parts aren’t labeled in any way. But after fooling with it for a while, I finally got it finished.

Landon's T-Rex

What’s really strange about this photo is that the T-Rex skeleton is flat black in color. But when it’s hit with the flash from the camera, it fluoresces bright white, almost glowing. The pieces seemed to be made from some sort of stiff wood or paper, very light, but strong, and the black color goes all the way through. It’s not a paint. Strange.

Little V’s seems to make pretty much everything from scratch, even Landon’s Corn Dog Bites are made in house.

Landon at Little V's 5

As far as us grownups, everyone went with their favorites. We started out with an order of their Pork Spring Rolls, also made in house, and to order. Even the Peanut Sauce is homemade.

Little V's Spring Rolls

Next up was our favorite Shaking Bowls. Jan’s bowl was Chicken and mine was Beef. Topped off with Sriracha and some of their special hot sauce, it’s hard to describe how good this is.

Little V's Shaking Beef Bowl A

And no meal at Little V’s is complete without a spoonful of Crème Brûlée for dessert, the perfect end to a filling meal.

Little V's Creme Brulee

After getting our Landon hugs, Jan and I drove back to the rig, getting home a little after 9pm, and luckily encountering a lot less traffic than our trip in.

August 17, 2015

Two Repairs in Two Days . . .

I hope.

I check the water level in the radiator this morning and found it hadn’t dropped any since we topped it off yesterday at Chris’. So that’s one problem out of the way.

Next up, the AC/Heater blower fan in the truck. I mentioned when we were back in Prescott, AZ last June that it seemed like our AC blower wasn’t putting out as much air as it should. The first thing that comes to mind is the blower motor itself. So I did a little Googling and found that in most cases it’s not the blower, but the resistor pak that is used regulate the blower speeds.

So before I replaced a $50 blower motor, I thought I’d replace the $8 resistor pak first. So before right before we left Prescott after our two-month rig repair, I picked one up at a NAPA Auto Parts.

Resistor Pak

But one thing led to another, and with all our traveling, I never got around to changing it out. Part of the procrastination was that the manual seemed to show that you have to remove the glove compartment and part of the dash to get to it.

But a little more Googling showed me a video that said different. In fact it only turned out to be 15 minute job, and that because I managed to drop the two screws in the grass and had to use a big magnet to find them.

The resistor pak is mounted the airduct to help keep the resistors cool and hides right behind this plastic panel.

Resistor Pak 3

From underneath you can see it’s held in with only two screws.

Resistor Pak 1

Remove those and the plug harness falls right out.

Resistor Pak 2

Some people online mentioned a problem with a melted harness and/or connector but mine looked fine. So after unplugging the old one, I sprayed the connector with Strike-Hold magic elixir, and plugged the new one in.

Resistor Pak 4

Once I found the screws in the grass, it only took a couple of minutes to get the unit remounted.

For a quick test, I cranked up the truck and turned on the AC. It seems to be blowing harder, but I don’t think I can really tell until we’re on the road.

And that will be tomorrow when we drive into Katy to have dinner with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon at Little V’s Vietnamese Bistro.

It’s a 55 mile trip, and we won’t even have to stop for water.

August 17, 2016

Recuperating . . .

After several days of early risings, I finally got to sleep in this morning, made much nicer by the steady rain on the rig’s roof.

It’s nice to just set back for awhile and do not much of anything. After coffee and toast, I spent the morning catching up on some web stuff that was delayed during our recent traveling.

Then I started looking through some recent ads I’d seen for gate guard openings. I’m also trying to track down a listing I saw recently for wind farm gate guarding jobs in OK. I know I saved it off somewhere.

About 2pm I went down to the park office to settle up for our stay here. We used up our 50 free days a good while ago, since we alternated between Colorado River and Lake Conroe every two weeks. So now we’re paying $5 day plus $3 a day for 50 amps. So we’re paying $8 day, still a very good deal.

Of course our projected 12 day stay here may get cut short if we get a gate in the meantime.

This coming Saturday is Landon’s 6th birthday, and Brandi is having his party at the Main Event Entertainment Center in Katy. With bowling, bocce ball, billiards, laser tag, and a rock climbing wall, it’s got something for everyone. Should be fun.

We got Landon a couple of robot kits for his gifts, a Table Top Robot Crab that runs around the table top and when it senses the edge, turns and goes in another direction,

Landon's Table Top Robot

and a Solar Powered Transforming Robot that makes a number of different units.

Landon Solar Robot

They’re both for 8 years and up, but he’s really good at building up the animated Lego kits so I suspect he’ll have no trouble with these either.

August 17, 2019

A Day At The Pool . . .

We didn’t get home from Brandi’s up in Katy until kind of late this evening. So I’ll just post a few pictures of the day.

Everyone In The Pool 2

Jan and Linda in Pool

Piper Posing at the Pool

Landon On Water Slide 0

Landon on Water Slide

Piper on Water Slide

August 17, 2020

I Don’t Like To Read Books Anymore . . .

I have a number of favorite books, mostly sci-fi paperbacks, that every few years I pull out and reread. Now many of these I’ve bought again in Kindle versions to just to have them available, but some of them were from back in the mid-90’s and were never converted to Kindle.

One of these is called Anti-Ice written by award-winning, best-selling author Stephen Baxter. So when I saw my old copy in my bedroom cabinet, I thought I’d give it a try.

And that’s when I discovered I don’t really like books anymore, at least not the real, touchy-feely, wood-pulpy kind.

You know, the ones that you can’t read in the dark, the ones that you can’t make the print larger when your eyes are tired, or the ones that you can only carry a couple around with you at any one time.

No, I now prefer the ones that light up in the dark, the ones that I can resize the print with a squeeze of my fingers, or easily carry around the 1527 books presently in our Kindle account.

Those kind of books.

August 17, 2021

An Alvin Opry Get-Together . . .

Our long-time friend Chris Yust, who’s actually now on a Carnival cruise in the Caribbean, was nice enough to send Jan these beautiful Flamingo earrings, her new favorites.

Chris Yust Flamingo Earrings

Thanks, Chris!

Jan and I left for our lunch date about 11:15, to meet up with a bunch of old Alvin Opry friends at the Cheddar’s up in Webster.

Cheddar's Opry Group

Starting off next to Jan on the left, is Connie Taube, Maria and Bob Sutton, Sadye and Harry Dudley, finishing up with Hugh Jordan on the right.

We’ve known Bob and Maria since the mid-80’s, and the others since the late-90’s when we first started going to the original Alvin Opry.

We had great time, so much so that we’ve already scheduled the time and place to do it again next month.

So good seeing everyone.

Thought For The Day:
You never appreciate what you have until it’s gone. Toilet paper is a good example.