Daily Archives: August 20, 2022

Start Your Engines . . .

Jan and I were on our way up to Katy by about 10:45 this morning, meeting Brandi, Lowell, Landon and Sophie at Andretti’s Indoor Karting & Games in Katy. Though we encountered a lot of on and off heavy rains, the trip was pretty smooth.

And once we got close it was pretty easy to find.


The place is huge, bigger than a football field.

I dropped Jan off in front while I found a place to park on the side of the building, not too far from the front door. And parked right next to me was a high-end Cadillac SUV. And I don’t know how he got here, but I don’t think he’s leaving anytime soon.

This was his passenger side front tire,

Andretti's Cadillac Wheel 2

and this was his rear tire.

Andretti's Cadillac Wheel 1

And his driver’s side front tire was almost flat, but the wheel didn’t appear to be damaged.

Getting inside we found Lowell and Brandi in the Food Court area, while Landon and Sophie were out and about playing games.

Brandi and Lowell had already eaten so Jan and I ordered ours from the Food Trucks.

Andretti's Food Court

You put your order in and they bring it right to your table.

Jan got the Buffalo Chicken Wrap with Fries,

Andretti's Jan's Buffalo Chicken Wrap

which she said was Delicious!

I got the Bacon Cheeseburger with Ghost Pepper Cheese, and Onion Strings.

Andretti's Greg Burger

Also really good.

A few minutes later Landon and Sophie showed up to say Hi.

Landon and Sophie at Andretti's

One thing neat about this place is that none of games or rides use money. You’re given a card that’s loaded with money at the front desk. Then every time you want to play a game or ride a kart you just swipe your card.

About 1pm Landon and Sophie’s ride number came up and we all walked over to watch them.

Andretti's Cars Landon & Sophie 1

That’s Sophie in the 2nd kart on the first row, with Landon right behind her.

Andretti's Kart Start

And here’s Landon coming up the hill in front of us.

Andretti's Cars Landon 1

And here’s Sophie passing by.

Andretti's Cars Sophie 1

This is a short video of Landon in his yellow shirt passing by.

And here’s Sophie with a little wave.

Besides the karts, there’s also hundreds of video games. Every type and kind you can think of.

Andretti's Games 1

Andretti's Games 2

Andretti's Games 3

And of course what’s game area with crane/claw machines.

Andretti's Games 4

But this one in the center is the most popular.

Andretti's Games 5

And here’s why.

It’s full of dinosaurs.

Andretti's Games 6

But your chance of actually winning anything is determined by the computer inside and not your skill.

Here’s a blog from 2015 where I talk about how they can be programmed for any rate of profit you want. Just like a slot machine. The Crane part is about half way down.

Trains And Cranes

And how about a crane game for adults.

The Lobster Claw

Of course you could get a prize the good old-fashioned way.

Kid in Crane Machine

Just climb inside.

Thought for the Day:

“It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.” – G.K. Chesterton

Bangor, ME

August 20, 2009

Oriental Jade . . .

After sleeping in this morning, we drove over to Bangor to a Chinese restaurant, Oriental Jade, that we’d seen yesterday on our way to Pepina’s.

It turned out to be really good, especially the Hot & Sour Soup.  We’ll try to go back.

Leaving the restaurant, we drove down the street to Sam’s Club and then on to a brand-new Walmart down the road a piece.  This may have been the biggest Walmart we’ve ever been in, and the layout is completely different from any we’ve ever been in.  Except for the checkouts being in the front, nothing was where it was supposed to be.

I think it took us twice as long to shop as it normally would.

Getting back to the rig, we let Mister play outside for a bit while we enjoyed the nice weather.

Don’t know how long that will last though.  I can’t believe we’re almost in Nova Scotia and we have to worry about dodging a hurricane!

We’ll see how the weather goes.

I’m in Elkhart, IN, Jan’s in Houston

August 20, 2010

Friday, August 20 – Landon Thomas Morrison’s Birthday !!

Jan called this morning a little before 9 am EDT to say that Brandi’s labor is coming along fine, and Landon should be making his appearance sometime later this afternoon.

Jan called around 11:45 am EDT.  Brandi’s still doing fine, with Landon expected between 1 and 2 pm EDT.

More updates as they come in.


Landon Thomas Morrison was born at 1:02 pm CDT weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces.

Mother and Baby doing fine.


Presenting Landon Thomas Morrison !

Landon Thomas Morrison

A nice quiet end to a very exciting day!

Horseshoe Lakes Thousand Trails, Terre Haute, IN

August 20, 2011

How to run both AC’s on 30 Amps . . .

or, Happy 1st Birthday to our grandson, Landon Thomas Morrison.

We both slept late this morning. Even Jan didn’t get up until about 9:30 and I followed about an hour later. Later, along with our morning coffee, we caught up on a bunch of TV shows from our DVR.

After lunch I set up the computer so we’d be ready to Skype Landon’s Birthday Party later this afternoon. We’ll just wait until they call.

Then I got back on my chore list. Since Jan planned on cleaning out some more stuff under the bed I thought I’d make my AC modification today.

A week or so ago I had a problem with the front AC not getting any power, but the circuit breaker was OK. After a call to American Coach I found out that the front AC passes back through the Heart Source Manager Inverter/Converter Transfer Switch through an AC Lockout relay.

Why, I don’t know. And I also don’t know why it suddenly engaged, even though the Source Manager is mostly disconnected due to my previous transfer switch problems.

Anyway, at the time, the solution was just to pull the wires off the relay and tie them together like below.

AC Bypass 1

This not only fixed that problem, but gave me the solution to another problem.

I had been thinking for a while about a way to break out the power leads to one of the AC units so that when I was plugged into 30 amps I could power one of the AC’s separately from the additional 20 amp outlet that most pedestals have.

I originally thought about tapping into the circuit breaker panel, but kept putting it off. But this seemed to be the perfect solution.

The first step was to replace the wire nuts with a set of male and female power plugs. Note that the end that supplies the power has the female plug for safety.

AC Bypass 2

This allows me to plug them back together to get back to normal.

AC Bypass 3

But it also allows me to plug the AC into an extension cord that I ran in through the bedroom window. The other end is plugged into the 20 amp receptacle on the power pedestal outside.

AC Bypass 4

This of course was only a test. I used it to run both AC’s all afternoon with no problems. Now I’ll run a permanent cord down through the engine bay and into the power bay. That way I can just plug in from outside whenever I need it.

This will probably only be used occasionally, Right now we only have 30 amps, but since the temperature is in the 80’s, one AC works just fine. But we have sometimes been in high 90’s temps and with only 30 amps available, one AC really can’t keep up.

So now you know how to run two AC’s on 30 amps. If you have any questions, let me know.

About 2:15 our computer rang and we were online Skyping Landon’s birthday party. Our signal quality varied a lot, so the photos do too.

The party started off with Landon opening his presents. Although sometimes he seemed as interested in the wrapping paper as to what was inside, he did a good job tearing everything open, And he seemed to be happy to find toys and other stuff inside.

Video call snapshot 233

Video call snapshot 236

Video call snapshot 237

Of course, after the presents, it was time for cake and ice cream. And Landon got his own cake.

Video call snapshot 266

And he dug right in and really enjoyed it.

Video call snapshot 270

Video call snapshot 287

Video call snapshot 288

We were online for the party for almost 30 minutes, and really enjoyed being included in the festivities. As a follow-up Brandi called about 5:30 to bring us up to date.

On another note, we’ve been noticing the first signs of Fall here. There is a slow but steady rain of yellowing leaves floating down from overhead. I’m sure everyone around the country will be happy with the cooler temps. I know we will.

Almost Gate Guarding

August 20, 2013

Wrapping things up – Almost . . .

Today we started wrapping up our time here in the Houston area. So Jan and I headed out about noon down to the Clear Lake area.  Our first stop was Monterey’s Little Mexico, down in Dickinson. No way could we come through the area without getting a big bowl of their Chicken Tortilla Soup. the soup that all others are compared to.

And it’s always nice to see Julie, our favorite waitress, who still remembers what we order, and how we want it. Even the young man who brings the chips and salsa to our table remembered we always want two salsas instead of the normal one salsa and one green sauce.

Finishing up at Monterey’s and telling them we’ll be back in November, we headed up I-45 to Academy Sports. I was looking for a canopy for our gate guarding sojourn.

Based on our experiences last year, we wanted a canopy that has an air vent at the top, and has a UV coating to shield out some of the sun. But after looking at Academy, Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Wal-Mart with no luck, I’ll probably order this one from Amazon

Coleman Canopy

Coleman 13 x 13 Canopy

It’s Amazon Prime so two-day shipping is free, but what may be the only downside is the fact that at 13 x 13 feet, it’s 69 square feet larger than the 10 x 10 one we had last year.

Our next stop was to check in with one of my clients for a few minutes before making a stop at Half-Price Books so Jan could stock on Gate books.

Then, after a another stop at our storage room to pick up some gate-related things we had stored away last year. Then it was on to Chris’ to kill some time before we met Piper for dinner at Floyd’s Cajun Seafood, our favorite local Cajun place.

Gooood Gumbo!

It was really nice to have Piper all to ourselves and be able to catch up on what’s going on in her life. It’s really hard to believe she’ll be 20 next month. It seems like only yesterday she looked like this.


or like this.


Yep, she started on computers early.

Tomorrow we’ll wrap things up here in Houston, and then have dinner with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon tomorrow night.

Almost Gate Guarding For This Year

August 20, 2014

It’s All A-OK . . .

Jan and I headed out this morning about 9:30, way too early for me normally, but we had a full day of stuff planned.

Our first stop was about an hour away at Brandi and Lowell’s to trade out trucks. Lowell had been nice enough to offer us the use of his Toyota Tundra for the day since we had a lot of driving planned and still no AC in our truck.

Getting down to the Webster area about 11:30, our first stop was at Twin Peaks to have lunch.

Twin Peaks 4 500 - Lauren Bell

Unfortunately our favorite waitress, Lauren, was off today so we didn’t get to see her, but our lunch was as good as always.

After lunch, and after a quick client visit, we headed over to Texas Oncology for the real purpose of our trip down here; Jan’s six month checkup after her breast cancer operation.

Based on her post-op visit right before we left Houston last May, she figured it would take a couple of hours or more, but they called her in right on time, and she was out in 40 minutes.

The Doctor told Jan everything looks good with no problems. Her blood work was normal and she has not been having any of the possible side-effects from the Tamoxifen that she’s taking. The Doctor just wants to see her again in six months.

Insert ‘sigh of relief’ here.

Our next stop was down the road a piece to the Buc-ee’s on League City Parkway to pick up some of their great Cranberry Nut muffins. Turning into the place I was really surprised to see their price for diesel.

Bucee's Diesel Price

You just never have an RV with an empty fuel tank around when you need one.

Our next stop was the home of Bob and Maria, pretty much our oldest friends here in the Houston area, who we’ve known since the mid-80’s. After checking their new dog we all headed over to Monterey’s Little Mexico for dinner and talk.

A lot of talk. About two and a half hours of talk.

Hey, we had a lot of catching up to do.

After saying our goodbye’s and getting our hugs from Bob and Maria, Jan and I stopped off at our storeroom to pick up our gate guarding stuff, I.e. our canopy, tarp, big fan, misting system, etc. Wanted to have it handy since we hope to get a gate sometime next week.

Before leaving the area we stopped by Chris and Linda’s for a few minutes, and found Linda had a warm Blueberry Bundt Pound Cake to take with us.

Great! Now we have muffins AND pound cake.

Finally about 8:30 we got our truck back at Brandi and Lowell’s, and headed home, arriving about 9:30pm.

A long day, but one with good news, good friends, and great family.

Colorado River Thousand Trails, Columbus, TX

August 20, 2015

Why I Got Nothing Done On The AC Today . . .

Rainy Days Radar

And since tomorrow and Saturday are booked up with doctor’s appointments and Landon’s Birthday Party, it’ll be Sunday until I can get back on it. Bummer!

Later this morning Jan and I changed the sheets on our queen size bed and commented on how good they still looked. No pilling, no fading, and no snags.

We’ve had these for over a year and a half and they still look new.

Milani Sheet Set

Striped QUEEN Sateen Sheet Set

We bought one set, used them for a month, and then ordered a second set. They’re 1500 thread count, come in a bunch of colors, and are only about $30 a set.

Check ‘em out.

The last couple of mornings we’ve been enjoying the coffee Brandi and Lowell brought us back from Costa Rica last week.

Britt Tres Rios Coffee

It’s called Britt Tres Rios Valdivia and it’s really good. Very bold, but still smooth, and a different taste than other coffees we’ve had. And even better, we don’t have to go back to Costa Rica to get more. Turns out it’s also available on Amazon.

Café Britt Tres Rios Valdivia Ground Coffee

The last several parks we’ve been at, I was disappointed in the water pressure. That is, until we got back here to Colorado River TT, where I knew the pressure was great. Then I thought about my Camco EVO Water Filter, so I bypassed the filter and got good pressure back. But I noticed that in the shower I could smell the chlorine in the water, where I couldn’t before. So it was still working, I guess.

So this past Monday I ordered a couple of new filters from Amazon and picked them up from Brandi’s yesterday. This afternoon I pulled the old filter and this is what I found compared to a new one.

Old vs New Water Filters

Quite a difference, and old one is about twice as heavy as the new one. And as I figured, replacing the filter took care of my pressure problem. And I’ve got a spare for next time.

Jan got a new toy this week, a new Oster electric skillet to replace her old one.

Oster Skillet

Oster DuraCeramic 12-Inch Electric Skillet

The only problem with her old one was that there was almost no Teflon left on it. That was probably because, when we got to thinking about it, we’ve had it for about 40 years. We don’t remember exactly, but it was from Sears & Roebuck and we got it before we moved to Texas in 1978. They don’t make them like that anymore.

Plus this new one has a ‘DuraCeramic’ coating that’s supposed to last 4X longer than a normal coating. So I guess in about 160 years we’ll be ready for another one.

Tomorrow morning Jan and I will head down to the Clear Lake area for Jan’s doctor’s appointment, and then lunch and some other errands.

August 20, 2016

We Got A Gate!

A Short Bog Tonight!]

Because we’ve got a lot to do.

We don’t have all the particulars yet, mainly the exact location, but it’s northeast of Bryan/College Station in the same general vicinity as our 2014 gate near North Zulch.

It’s a 3 well workover project that should take about 3 months . . . we hope. And even better, no FRC’s. The only downside is it’s $125 a day, and not $150 like last  year. But it’s a Gate, so It’s hard to complain.

The only other problem is that we have to be there at 8am Monday morning, so we’ll have to travel up to that area tomorrow afternoon. Luckily, going the back way through La Grange, it’s only about 120 miles.

So after Landon’s birthday party in Katy, tonight we had to drive down to our son Chris’ to pick up our canopy frame. Then tomorrow morning we’ll pick up some groceries to last us a while, before we head out about 1pm.

I’ll have to update you on Landon’s birthday later.

August 20, 2017

Happy 7th Birthday Landon Thomas Morrison!

I spent the morning and afternoon working on client’s computer stuff, most trying to figure out the mail server situation at my client in Clear Lake.

I use TeamViewer, a program that once installed on the client’s computers, allows  me to login and control it remotely. So I can do a lot of stuff from the rig and not have travel down to Clear Lake quite as often.

Last night I dumped a box of baking soda in a bowl and left it in the fridge overnight and almost all of the remaining odor is gone. Now to restock all the staples we had in there.

About 3:15 Jan and I traveled down to the Katy area to meet Brandi, Lowell, Landon, and Lowell’s sister Sherry, at the Rainforest Café in Katy Mills Mall to celebrate Landon’s 7th birthday.

We took the Grand Parkway around this time, since we’d never done in this direction. And since I updated our Garmin GPS a couple of months ago, that’s the way it wants to take us anyway, and not by the Sam Houston Tollway as before.

Rainforest Cafe 1

Jan and I got to the restaurant and got seated along with Sherry, as we waited for the birthday boy, et. al.

Jan had the Shrimp Tacos,

Rainforest Cafe Shrimp Tacos

while I had the Awesome Appetizer Sampler.

Rainforest Cafe Awesome Appetizer

Plenty to share with Jan, and plenty to take home for later.

For dessert, and to celebrate Landon’s birthday, we all shared Rainforest Café’s famous Volcano ice cream cake, complete with sparkler

Rainforest Cafe Volcano

About every 30 minutes, a rain storm rolls through the jungle, illuminating things with flashes of lightning as the thunder rolled on.

Rainforest Cafe Sky

Landon opened one present from his Aunt Sherry,

Landon at Rainforest Cafe

but the rest waited until we got back to Brandi’s.

If you want to see the eclipse here in the Houston area, it will start about 11:45am, and will be at its maximum at 1:45pm, before fading away around 2:45. At its peak, it will look something like this,

Eclipse In Houston

with about 2/3’s of the sun obscured.

Don’t forget your special glasses and don’t look at the sun without them.

August 20, 2018

More Phở

Today was another work day for me, mostly catching up on price changes and catalog corrections.

Coming home about 3:30 it started pouring down rain just as I got off I-45 and kept it up until I got into Santa Fe. But stopped before I got home.

I told Jan I was hankering for some Phở so we headed right back out to have dinner at nearby Phở 20. Jan went with something new, Chicken and Veggies Lo Mein,

Pho 20 Chicken and Veggie Lo Mein

while I got my usual Chicken White Meat Phở with Extra Veggies,

Pho 20 Chicken Pho with Veggies 2

along with an order of the Shrimp Spring Rolls.

Pho 20 Shrimp Spring Rolls

Tomorrow I’m going to raise the bed and take a look at the top of the engine to see if I can get a handle on my oil leak. Wish me luck.

August 20, 2019

The Operation Was A Success, But . . .

The Patient Died.

Also know as OOPS!

When you last were here, I had successfully interfaced my WiFi Module to my Mr. Coffee machine, allowing me to control it remotely from anywhere in the world, and also set up timed brewing without worrying about power glitches erasing the times. And last night it worked fine with no problems, making our nightly decaf brew.

And this morning, it again worked fine . . . for about 5 minutes, and then it shut off, never to work again. When I tried to restart it, it just beeped like it was finished brewing and then quit. Over and over.

Now, Jan’s first thought was that I broke her Mr. Coffee, and she was not happy without her caffeine this morning. So to soothe her withdrawal pangs, I heated up water in the microwave and poured it over the grounds.

I looked back over my wiring and found nothing loose or changed. So was this somehow the fault of my modification, or just bad luck that our 8! year old Mr. Coffee just up and croaked.

Maybe it just died of old age.

About 1pm Jan and I headed up to the Clear Lake area for lunch at Snooze and then mutual haircuts for the both of us, as well as a Wal-Mart stop for more stuff.

Apparently we can never had enough ‘stuff’. At least that’s what I assume, because we just keep buying more.

And of course, one of the things from WalMart was this shiny new RED Mr. Coffee machine.

New Mr Coffee

And it looks like it might be even easier to get into to modify than the old one.

You didn’t really think I was giving this up, did you?

I will say that Jan made me promise that if I do kill this one, I have to leave the new new one alone.

Yes Ma’am.

We did have a nice cool snap today, with our temps staying in the 80’s with a lot of overcast. It would be really nice if it holds for Thursday for my brake job.

August 20, 2020

Happy 10th Birthday . . .

Ten years ago today, Landon Thomas Morrison looked like this.

Landon Thomas Morrison

Then nine years ago, he looked like this.

Video call snapshot 287

Five years ago he looked like this.

Smith Ranch 4

Three years ago he looked like this.

Landon at Rainforest Cafe

And this is Landon recently doing his online classes with Jack helping out

Landon and Jack in his Online Class

Of course Landon’s birthday wasn’t all cake and presents today. Earlier this morning Brandi texted this over.

Poor Landon.

He is on a Zoom with his music teacher and was trying to tell him it was his birthday, but it autocorrected to “Its my bitch”!!

He came to me crying and showed it to me. I ran over and you could tell he was reading it because he stopped mid sentence and was kinda shocked for a few seconds.

Still kinda upset.

He did text back and told him he was trying to say “it’s my birthday”.

I called the school so they could tell him too. He’s very worried he’s going to get in trouble.

Of course, I could not stop laughing.

I told him to not try to type so fast.


August 20, 2021

I’m Jealous . . .

Jan went into work with me this morning so we could leave for Brand’s from Clear Lake rather than me coming back to the rig to pick her up first, saving us an hour on the trip up to Katy.

And Brandi was already for Landon when he got home from school this afternoon.

Happy Birthday Landon Yard

And then once Lowell got home Landon got to open his presents first before dinner.

Happy Birthday Landon Presents

After a delivery dinner from Hasta La Pasta, I got a look at Landon’s computer setup. And I’m jealous.

Happy Birhday Landon Computer Setup

That curved monitor is really something, and very sharp.

One of the birthday presents he got was a specialized gaming keyboard and mouse, and it does everything but the dishes. He got the keyboard installed and configure pretty quickly, but had some trouble with the mouse and asked for help.

I think the problem is that that mouse has more buttons and adjustments than the Space Shuttle. Seriously, the mouse has 8 different buttons on it, and 3 computer screens of setups and configurations.

And when we looked at the tiny manual, even he with his now 11 year old eyes, wondered, “Why do they print it so small?”

And even worse it was in about six different languages. So he went back to his old gaming mouse, and said he’d do some research online to get get some help.

And the lighting effects alone on the keyboard are really something. It’s lightshow all by itself, with the colors rippling back and forth across the keys, and even doing the wave.

A really nice setup.

There’s not much on the agenda for tomorrow. We’re probably going to have lunch at a new place up in Webster called The Cookshack, specializing in Chicken, Waffles, and Ribs.

Sounds like our kind of place.