Daily Archives: August 19, 2022

I Still Don’t Know How He Did It . . .

I spent part of today finalizing the design for the faceplate of a line of epilators that we’re have custom-made in Poland. We wanted something clean and simple with our logo on it.

My client is very happy with it so I am too.

BioMak Faceplate 3

And if we order 10 at a time there’s no extra charge for the custom faceplate. Nice.

This past Wednesday when I was coming home I found this guy blocking my left turn trying to make his left turn.

Long Flat Bed On Ave L 1

And everyone else’s too.

What’s hard to see here is that there is a deep ditch on the left of this street, and a power pole on the right. So I’m still not sure how he made the turn. Or actually if he did. I checked later and there was no tire marks down into the ditch or in the grass next to the pole. I

He finally backed up so everyone could get by, and when Jan and I came back by 15 minutes later he was gone.

You can get a better idea how long he is here.

Long Flat Bed On Ave L 2

Going straight wouldn’t work since he’s got the same type of turn at the end of the next block. And he can’t turn right for the same reason he can’t turn left.

So I not only don’t know how he got out, actually I don’t know how he got in here, either.

But I’ve got an idea I’ll check out this weekend.

As I said in last night’s blog, tomorrow we’ll head up to Katy to meet up with Brandi, Lowell, Landon, and his BFF Sophie at Andretti’s Indoor Karting & Games for his birthday celebration.

Really looking forward to it.

Thought for the Day:

If you can’t fix it with a hammer, you’ve got an electrical problem.

August 19, 2009

Good Mexican food in Maine?

We headed out from our overnight at Walmart about 10 am, heading toward Bangor, ME, about 150 miles away.

As we were passing though beautiful downtown Gorham, NH,  we remembered what we’d heard about the great breakfast at Welch’s Restaurant, so we decided to stop.

Luckily there was a spot on the next block where we could safely and easily park the rig and toad.

The meal was really good.  Jan said her Blueberry Pancakes were the best she’d had since Whitehorse, BC last year, and from her that is a lot.  And my Meatlovers Breakfast Sandwich really hit the spot.

After our meal we again headed east on US 2… into a maze of road work, one after the other.

Apparently they’re in the process of four-laning US 2, so long stretches of it were down to one lane with flag people, or even traffic lights, governing land direction flow.  Several times we sat for as long as 10 minutes.

But finally we pulled into Pumpkin Patch RV Resort in Hermon, ME,  just west of Bangor, about 3 pm, and got set up.

After checking with the office for recommendations, we headed out to Pepina’s Mexican Café for what turned out to be some excellent Mexican food.

Coming back home, Jan sat outside with Mister while I finished aligning the satellite dish.

Tomorrow we don’t have much on the agenda,  probably just rest up,  slept late, and make a Walmart / Sam’s run.

In Elkhart, IN

August 19, 2010

Landon Update – He’s On The Way!

Well, this morning started off exciting with a call from our son-in-law Lowell about 9 am telling us that Brandi was in labor so they weren’t going to have to induce it.

Then our son, Chris called about 15 minutes later to be sure we had heard the news.

Hearing this, we went ahead and booked Jan a flight out of Chicago Midway this afternoon at 5:50 pm and she finished up her packing. She’d done most of it last night in anticipation of this happening.

We left Elkhart about 1pm, stopping off at a CVS to get a new battery for Jan’s watch. She took it off Friday, November 30th, 2007, her last day of work and hasn’t worn it since. So it definitely needed a new battery.

When Jan retires, she retires!

Of course, things can’t go too smoothly. About 30 miles down the road we had a flat tire on the right rear of the truck.

My tire pressure monitor system alerted me that I was losing pressure in that tire, luckily right before an exit, so I pulled off thinking I would find a tire place to put on my spare. But as luck would have it, by the time I got through the toll booth the tire was down to about 10 pounds, so I pulled over to a nice big parking area and started changing it myself.

However I really had the last laugh (well, as much as you can laugh while changing a flat, anyway), because as I was removing the old tire I found a nail sticking out of it.

We got to Chicago Midway about 4:30 pm, in plenty of time for Jan’s 5:50pm flight, only to find out that it was delayed until 6:50.


We had both brought something to read in case of this happening, but ran into a problem.  I had planned to stay at the airport until Jan’s flight took off, but we found there is nowhere to sit outside the gate area. We were hoping for a restaurant or something so we could sit and wait until it got closer to her boarding time. But no luck.

So after talking it over, Jan said I should just go ahead and start home. After thinking it over I told Jan to go thru security and as soon as she got checked in at her gate, I would go ahead and leave.

She called about 20 minutes later, so I headed home. I was surprised to find almost no traffic on the way out of Chicago, I guess because I was on the toll road, but it was smooth sailing all the way.

Got back to the rig about 9 pm, and am now tracking Jan’s flight on a website called FlightStats. You enter the airline and flight number and it shows you a real-time map of the flight position, along with the speed, altitude, and distance from the destination.

Also talked with Lowell who said Brandi is doing fine. They’ve given her a pill to keep things moving along, and are still looking for Master Landon to arrive tomorrow sometime.

As it stands right now, it’s 10:47 pm EDT and Jan’s plane is 22 miles out at 35,000 feet, doing 315 miles an hour.

FlightStats now says Jan’s plane has landed, so now I’ll wait to hear from her after she meets up with Chris.

It’s 11:04 and Jan just called to say she’d met up with the kids and they were going downstairs to get her luggage, and that she’d call me tomorrow.

Glad to know she’s safe and sound in Houston.

August 19, 2011

Laminate . . .

After coffee this morning, I drove down to the Thousand Trail’s office to settle up. We’ve used up our 50 free days and now have to pay $5 a day, still a great deal for 30 amp full hookups.

After lunch I started working on another chore on my list. First up today was fixing a problem with my AC intakes.

I’ve found that the open areas on the AC intakes would allow the thin foam filters to be sucked up into the opening, causing the filter to stretch and tear.

AC Intake 1

So I purchased a couple of pieces of chicken wire, and using Guerilla Tape, taped them over the intake without obstructing the air flow.

AC Intake 2

I also found a thicker foam filter, 1/4” instead of 1/8”. After cutting it to the right size, I placed it on the grill and screwed it back on the ceiling.

AC Intake 3

Another job checked off the list.

Next I started trying to unbolt the computer desk from the floor so I can remove the carpet under it before I start laying the new laminate flooring. They definitely didn’t want this thing to move, as it is really fastened down. This will be a multi-day job.

Our daughter Brandi called a little before 6 to talk about Landon’s 1st birthday party tomorrow. She’s having the party at a friend’s house up in Katy, TX and plans on Skyping it so we can watch some of it too.

Then to top it off a great day, our son Chris called a little before 9. We really missed them at the reunion last week, and are really looking forward to seeing them in November when we get back to Houston.

August 19, 2013

A Day with Landon . . .

Today was our chance to spend the day with Landon, and his other grandparents, Sonja and Lendell, so about 10am we headed back over to Brandi’s to meet up with them.

But our first stop was at the Kroger’s near her house to fill up the truck with gas. At $3.33 it was the cheapest around, and with my $.30 a gallon Rewards Card discount, $3.03 was a great price.

Getting to Brandi’s and meeting up with Sonja, Lendell, and Landon, we decided to take their Ford Escape since Landon’s car seat was already installed in it. Our first destination was Sandy McGee’s in Richmond, about 10 miles south.

Jan and I have been eating at Sandy McGee’s for over 20 years. Back in the 1990’s Jan worked here in Richmond/Rosenberg for about 8 years at what was then Polly Ryon Hospital. She and her coworkers ate here regularly, and when I was in the area we would always eat here too.

Their menu consists of delicious sandwiches, salads, and soups. Nothing is plain jane. There’s some extra special touch to every item. They are known for their great fresh fruit salads, all year long.

Sandy McGee's 1

But what they are most widely known for is their Broccoli-Cheese Soup. To me the texture is more of a bisque, but whatever you call it, it’s delicious.

Sandy McGee's 2

When I get the sandwich, fruit salad, cup of soup combo, I always upgrade the cup to a bowl. It’s that good.

We were happy to see that Sonja and Lendell liked the place as much as we do, and Landon went through his 1/2 grilled cheese sandwich and fresh fruit like a buzz saw.

Our next stop was supposed to be Katy Mills Mall, back up north on I-10, but it got delayed. Since Landon had eaten so well, and it was now really his nap time, he felt asleep just a few minutes after we got back in the car. So we decided to just drive around until he woke up.

So an hour and a half later we were at the Mall (the kid’s a really good napper). They have a great kid’s play area that Landon really loves. So while Jan and Sonja supervised Landon, Lendell and I walked down to the Food Court to people-watch and have a smoothie.

After about an hour Landon was ready for his second treat, a train ride. The Mall has this really cute train that runs all around the Mall. No tracks, just battery power.

Katy Mills Train 2

Katy Mills Train 1

After Landon and Jan had done the Casey Jones thing (without the big crash at the end) we all headed over to Books-A-Million for some light browsing. Jan was looking for some more books to read during our upcoming gate guarding sabbatical. Last year she read 84 books in 4 months, so she wants to be sure she doesn’t run out.

Wrapping things up at the Mall, we all headed back over to Brandi’s to drop off Sonja, Lendell, and Landon, and say our goodbyes. They’re leaving for home in Oklahoma this evening, but we’ll see Landon again Wednesday night when we get together with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon for one last time until November.

On our way home we stopped off at Kroger’s again, but this time for some of their Private Selection brand coffee. It’s one of our favorite, but there’s no Kroger’s where we’ll be gate guarding so we wanted to stock up.

We got back to the rig a little after 6pm. Tomorrow we’re going down to the Clear Lake area to take care of some errands, and eat lunch at Monterey’s Little Mexico for some of their delicious Chicken Tortilla Soup.

August 19, 2014

We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat . . .

With no trip down to Webster today, it was another day to take it easy and goof off. Pretty much too hot to do anything outside, although it was actually a little cooler today. Only 98, rather than yesterday’s 101. Every little bit helps, I guess.

A little before 5pm we lost shore power. When it didn’t come back on in a few minutes, I went out and checked the power pedestal. I took my 3 light tester with me and plugged it into the 20amp socket.

No power. And cycling the breaker didn’t help. Nor did resetting the GFI button

While I’m standing there thinking, I hear something familiar. The outside AC unit is running at the bath house on the other side of the rig. So the power’s not out at the park

Going back to the pedestal, I took another look at the breakers. I had kind of concentrated on the 20amp power and hadn’t cycled the 50amp breaker. It looked OK but when I touched it to flip it, it dropped into the middle position showing it had really blown. So I cycled it and the power came back on.

So I had been misled by a faulty 20 breaker or socket. But the other thing I noticed was that the 50 amp breaker was almost too hot to touch, an indication that either the breaker has a problem, or the connections inside are bad. I’ll have to keep an eye on it.

Since I’m from Alabama, and we were recently there for a couple of weeks, I was interested to see this story about this record-sized alligator caught near Camden, AL

One thing that surprised me is that Camden, although near the Alabama River, is about 100 miles from the coast, and even further in ‘river’ miles. That’s a long way for a gator to swim, especially one this big

Alabama Gator 1

This big boy measured out at 15 feet long, and when they tried to weigh it, it broke the winch. Finally using a backhoe, they weighed it out at 1,011.5 pounds.

Alabama Gator 2

And it looks very possible that  this might be a new world record. A couple of months ago, the Safari Club International declared a 14 foot 8 inch gator caught in 2007 and weighing 880 pounds as a new world record.

Sounds like this one has it beat.

Alabama Gator 3

The other thing surprising about this is that the boat that they used to capture this gator was only 17 feet long. According to the article, they several times found  themselves being dragged around, towed up and down the river by the gator.

To paraphrase ‘Jaws’, “I’d want a bigger boat.”

Tomorrow Jan and I have our trip down to Webster for Jan’s breast cancer check up.

August 19, 2015

A Good Excuse . . .

I started on my new AC installation project first calling the office to see if by any chance they had a tractor with a front loader on it that I could use to lift the unit up, but no luck with that.

Then I dragged the box from the back seat of the truck and over to the patio. I had already popped the straps and removed the top last night so I could get the instruction booklets out.

New AC 1

There is a small wood pallet underneath the box that I figured was bolted to the bottom of the AC and that I could use to lift the whole thing up on the roof. But as it turned out, everything was just stacked together and held in place by the two straps that I had already cut off to get to the manuals.

Foraging ahead I unboxed everything and turned the unit on its side to check out the control box and how it was wired up.

New AC 2

That’s when I found there was no control box. So then I went round and round with a guy from PPL who said the control box was in the outside unit.  I said “No, it’s not. All I have in the outside unit is a foot long cable with a nine pin connector on it.”

Then he said that then it must in the inside unit. I told him it wasn’t, and that my inside unit had no controls of any kind on it, since it was for a ducted system with an external thermostat. Like this.

New AC Inside Cover

Finally giving up, I called Coleman, and after I finally got through to somebody, (apparently they’re not really geared to working with the retail consumer) we figured out what the problem was.

Normally the control box is part of the inside unit and ties in with the controls on the cover. But since I was using an external thermostat, there were no controls there, and I would need to purchase a separate control box. Which looked like this.

New AC 3


By now it was 2:30 and we’d have to hustle to get into Houston and PPL before the rush hour hit. So by 2:45 we were on our way in.

PPL’s 75 miles away, but good part of the distance has a 75 MPH speed limit, so we were there a few minutes after 4pm and back on our way about 4:20. But that 20 minutes was just enough for the going-home travel to sock in. and it was now bumper-to-bumper on the Beltway.

It ended up taking us almost as long to make the 30 mile trip back to Brandi’s as it did to make the 75 mile trip in to PPL. We had an Amazon package delivered there today, and we wanted to see if they wanted to have dinner with us, but they already had other plans. Jan had already said that our surprise trip into Houston was a good excuse to have dinner at Torchy’s Tacos, so that’s where we headed.

Torchy’s has about a dozen restaurants around the state, and it’s not your average taco place. They’ve got tacos with Blackened Salmon, Seared Ahi Tuna, Fried Chicken, Grilled Portobello Mushrooms, and Fried Avocado. And more. You can check out their menu here: Torchy’s Menu

Jan got the Brushfire Taco, which has Jamaican jerk chicken, grilled jalapeños, mango, sour cream & cilantro, and is served with Diablo sauce on a flour tortilla, along with a Baja Shrimp Taco, which has hand-battered fried shrimp with cooked cabbage slaw topped with pickled jalapeños & onions, Queso fresco, cilantro & a wedge of lime.

Torchy's Tacos Jan's

I got the Green Chile Pork Taco, which has slow-roasted pork carnitas with green chilies and topped with Queso fresco, cilantro, onions, & a wedge of lime, as well as a Grilled Jalapeño Sausage Taco, with shredded cheese & Pico de Gallo, served with Poblano Sauce and on a flour tortilla.

Torchy's Tacos Greg

All really good, and a great place to eat.

We were back on the road about 6:30, getting home about 7:30, after another busy day.

So how do I get it up on the roof?

August 19, 2016

Sweet Rice and Food Trucks . . .

Although it did rain for a short time this morning, the afternoon was clear and not too hot. In fact the forecast is for high 80’s to 90 for the next 10 days or so, and that sounds nice, especially for August in Texas.

Early in the afternoon, I started making gate guarding calls. I left a message with Jamie of Gate Guard Services, and hopefully he’ll call back tomorrow.

Guard 1 took my name and email address and said they’d email me some paper work to fill out. She also wanted to know when we’d be available, and seemed pleased when I told her next week. But as of tonight I still haven’t received any email from them.

As far as the wind farm thing, the girl at Sitewatch said she’d email Buster and he would call me as soon as he was free. But so far I haven’t  heard from him either.

If I don’t hear anything in the next day or so, I’ll start calling down my list of gate guarding companies and see what I can stir up.

Later I spent some time working on new web stuff, getting things set up for a new company’s website.

A little after 4pm Jan and I headed up to Ellinger to have the Catfish Buffet at Peter’s BBQ . It was as good as usual, and at $10.95, at least they didn’t raise the price again.

Besides the Fried Catfish and Fried Shrimp which are both delicious, I really enjoy all the veggies and salads almost as much. Corn on the cob, boiled red potatoes, pinto beans, green beans with bacon and onions, boiled cabbage, cooked carrots, mac and cheese, and sweet rice. The salad selection is good too, with potato salad, fresh pea salad, Cole slaw, Jell-0 salad, and macaroni salad.

As for desserts, they’ve got banana pudding, peach cobbler, blackberry cobbler, and soft ice cream.

All in all, a very good buffet, especially if they don’t raise the price for the 3rd time.

I was surprised by the sweet rice. It looked like mashed potatoes, but the texture was different and it was sweet. I’d never had it before, so I had to ask what it was. It was good, but the sweetness was a surprise when I first tasted it.

We spent a few minutes talking to one of the ladies working there who confirmed my thought that all the vegetables were fresh, and the meats, like brisket, ribs, chicken, steak for chicken fried steak and hamburger, etc., are all bought fresh every morning.

And it certainly shows . . .  and tastes.

Brandi’s been off this week so she and Landon spent the day at the Typhoon Texas Waterpark right down the road from them.

Mommy and Landon at Typhoon Texas

Then later the entire family all headed out to the Katy Food Truck Park to have dinner. Lendel and Sonja, Landon’s other grandparents are down from OK for Landon’s 6th birthday party tomorrow. Jan and I thought about going in to Katy for it, but Jan’s on the 3rd day coming off a migraine, so we begged off until we see them tomorrow.

Food Truck Park

We’ll head into Brandi’s tomorrow about 11:30 and then on to the Main Event Entertainment complex for Landon’s birthday party. until around 4pm.

Really looking forward to it, and also seeing Lendel and Sonja again.

August 19, 2018

Happy Almost Birthday, Landon . . .

After a quiet morning, and coffee, of course, Jan and I headed up to Brandi’s in Katy. We were all getting together for Landon’s pre-birthday birthday party.

His real birthday is tomorrow, August 20th, but today we were all meeting at his favorite Rainforest Café over in Katy Mills Mall.

Rainforest Cafe 8-19-18 1

Not only were Chris, Linda, and Miss Piper with us, but Landon’s Aunt Sherry as well. In addition, close friends, Chantelle, Eric, and Maddox were also there.]

And as a side note, Chantelle is the travel agent who’s putting together our upcoming European River Cruise/Paris/London trip.

After we’d finished our meals, and Landon had opened his presents, they brought a Lava Birthday Cake for everyone to share.

Rainforest Cafe 8-19-18 2

Later, getting our hugs, Chris and Linda headed back to Kingsland, about 4 hours away, while Jan and  I, along with Miss Piper, left for the Clear Lake. We dropped Piper off at her apartment before we finally got home a little after 4:30pm.

Brandi and Lowell are closing on their new house this coming Friday, but it could be Thursday. Then just as soon as the closing is done, the movers are scheduled to show up. They expect to be completely moved by the end of the day.

Landon still has another birthday party to go, this time on September 8th at the Smith Ranch north of Katy once again. This will be the one with all his friends, along with the giant water slide, the petting  zoo, and a lot more.

August 19, 2019

It Works . . .

My WiFi Module came in today, and I also bought home some CAT-6 cable to wire it up. I pull out a twisted pair of the wires and it’s perfect for making small connections.

Mr Coffee Upgrade 4

It was easy to figure out which pads to solder too since they were only two that had a circuit trace going to them.

Then once I had it hooked up, I wired it into the module.

Mr Coffee Upgrade 5

Then I download the app and after a few times going round and round I finally got the the module paired with the app and I was good to go.

Once I confirmed that the app would turn the machine on and off, I then linked it with Amazon Alexa and I was done.

For now.

I’ve got a small plastic box ordered that I will use to mount the module and then double-stick tape it to the back on the machine.

As it stands right now, I’m setting aside Thursday to do the rear brakes on the truck. Hopefully the weather will hold, though there is a 30% chance of rain.

August 19, 2021

More Gator’s!

After a quiet morning, we drove over to Gator’s about 1pm for lunch.

Jan got the Strawberry Walnut Salad with Chicken again,

Gator's Bar & Grill Strawberry Walnut Salad with Chicken

while I got my fav Blackened Chicken Breast Sandwich with Bacon and a side of Texas Toothpicks. And the Sweet Potato Waffle fries, of course.

Gator's Blackened Chicken Sandwich 20210819

We also spent some time with Margie, the owner, talking about all the new menu items coming up. We’ve actually known Margie since the 90’s when she was a manager/supervisor for Monterey’s Mexican Kitchen so it’s always nice to see her again.

And in more Monterey’s news, their location on the other side of the shopping center from Gator’s, that’s been closed since Hurricane Harvey in 2017, is getting close to reopening. They finally started renovating the place a few months ago, and it looks like it’s going to be real soon now. So close that there was a Coke truck out front. So any day now.

Tomorrow is our grandson Landon’s birthday, the big One One. And rather than the big get-togethers he’s had in the past, often with his BFF Sophie,

Rainforest Cafe Landon and Sophie

this time Landon just wanted a small family party. So Jan’s riding into work with me tomorrow and then we’ll head up to Brandi’s about 3:30.

Looking forward to it.

And we’ve got another one scheduled for September. Our granddaughter Piper’s birthday is the 7th of September, and her Aunt Brandi’s is on the 15th, so on the weekend in between, Chris, Linda, and Piper are all coming down to Brandi’s for a big family party.

Can’t wait.

I spent time this afternoon updating the software on one of our digital photo frames. We have two, one with photos of family, friends, and our RV travels, and the other one with from our European trip in May 2019. But I had been meaning to add some photos from our Christmas in NYC trip so I thought I’d work on that today.

However while I was doing that I also tried to fix a weird problem. Even though all the photos are at 4032 x 3024 resolution, for reason a few are rotated 90° to the right. So trying to figure this out, I went online to see if the company was any help.

The first thing I found was that I was about 8 versions behind in updating the firmware on the photo frame. Well, to start with, who knew that a digital photo frame even needed firmware updates? But it was worth a shot.

The process was pretty simple. Just download the correct firmware update file for your model, put it on an SD card, and plug it into the frame. And a couple of minutes it’s done.

And it didn’t help.

So I went back to take a closer look at the photos themselves. And I can’t find any difference at all. In one case, the camera wasn’t moved, and the the two photos were only about 30 seconds apart. So right now I don’t know what is happening.

But I’ll keep looking.

Thought for the Day:

Having a Birthday is a lot like finding a warm spot in a swimming pool.

It feels good as long as you don’t think about it.