Daily Archives: August 21, 2022

Best Buds . . .

Jan and I were on our way out for lunch/HEB about 1pm. It’s been a while since we’ve both been to Pho Bar, though I had lunch here while Jan was up in Katy Landon-sitting.

And as always it was delicious, and we both had enough to take home for dinner tomorrow night.

Then it was on up to HEB for this week’s stuff. And then Tuesday I’ll be time for WalMart, and maybe Costco stuff.

One thing very noticeable about our time at Andretti’s Indoor Karting & Games yesterday was the very high noise level. But it did give me a chance to cycle through the 4 environmental settings of my BeHear NOW Hearing Assistants. However none of the 4, Indoor, Outdoor, Crowd, or Live Music did anything about damping the noise. So finally I just turned my BeHear off.

But that didn’t reduce the noise level that much. In fact it was still very loud even to my bum ears.

I’ve mentioned before that Sophie and Landon are best buds, and have been for a number of years.

Landon and Sophie at Andretti's

They’re both computer nerds, and their birthdays are only 4 days apart, with Sophie being 4 days the older.

Until a year or so ago they were pretty much the same height, but as girls often do, she got her growth spurt early.

I’ve told this story before, but it’s worth repeating. About four years ago, while Jan and I were up in Katy Landon-sitting, we were out driving around and Landon was on his iPad in the backseat, and talking to someone. By himself

When I asked him who he was talking to, he said, “Sophie.” So I said, “But isn’t Sophie in Sweden visiting her grandparents?”

And he said, “Yeah, so?” Now that’s a long-distance call.

Kids today have it so rough.

My missing package, the one that had been orbiting around in Florida for almost two weeks, finally showed up the other day. Last seen over Hialeah, FL, it suddenly appeared at our front door with no intervening tracking. Apparently UPS is magic.

Since we were only subscribing to Acorn TV so we could watch the latest season of Murdoch Mysteries. And since we recently watched the last two episodes for this, the 15th season, I cancelled our Acorn membership last night. No use paying $6.48 a month for nothing, right?

But I was happy to read the other day that Murdoch has been renewed for a 16th season of another 24 episodes, though no word on when the next season will start up. But whenever is does restart, I’ll re-subscribe.

Thought For The Day:

“Understanding is a three-edged sword  –  Your side,  their side,  and the truth” – Ambassador Kosh

Bangor, ME

August 21, 2009

Cruisin’ to Nicky’s

Today was another very restful day.

I spent some time on the phone with American Coach concerning some upgrades to our coach I’m thinking about.

Going outside I was surprised to see another American Eagle like ours parked next door.  Don’t know what year it is, but it’s newer than ours, since it has two slideouts. We’ll try to get to know the owners soon.

Then we headed out for a late lunch at Nicky’s Cruisin’ Diner,  a 50’s style place with jukebox controls at every booth, and 50’s memorabilia on the walls.  Food was good too.

After lunch, Jan wanted to drive around Bangor and its suburbs, so we spent an hour or so cruisin’ around.

After stopping off at Sam’s for some new wiper blades for the coach, we stopped back by Nicky’s for some of their soft serve ice cream.  Uniquely, Nicky’s has 26 flavors of soft serve, where most places just have vanilla, and maybe chocolate, too.

Returning to the rig, we were again surprised to find ANOTHER American Eagle on the other side of the one from this morning.  It’s unusual to find one other Eagle in a park, much less two.

We’re supposed to have rain tonight and tomorrow.

August 21, 2010

Your Landon Update for Saturday, August 21st

Latest Brandi and Landon Morrison Update.

Lowell (the new baby daddy) called a little while ago and said the doctors had been in to give Landon his checkup. They said he was A+ on everything.


Brandi might come home this afternoon, but it will probably be around noon tomorrow.


Jan and Landon —

Jan and Landon

Landon with his full head of hair —-

Landon with Hair

About 2 pm I drove over to Goshen to pick up some things for the rig, and also check out a restaurant that looked good.

Near Terre Haute, IN

August 21, 2011

It’s A New Record!

We’ve been parked here at the Horseshoe Lakes Thousand Trails Preserve since last Wednesday, and we haven’t left the park since we got here. In fact Jan hasn’t left the rig since we got here.

And that IS a record.

But tomorrow we head to town for a full day of stuff; a movie, hair and nails for Jan, Lowe’s and Radio Shack for me, Wal-Mart, Sam’s, and somewhere in there, dinner.

Like I said, a full day.

After coffee the first thing, and then lunch later, we work on a few of the things on our chore list, but really didn’t accomplish much. It was kind of nice to just take it easy today.

That’s about it for today.

Wrapping Up Our First Year Of Gate Guarding

August 21, 2012

Closing Out Another Chapter . . .

Well, we pulled out of the Whitsett Gate Guard Services about 9 pm this morning, closing out our 4 months of The Adventures in Gate Guarding.

It’s kind of hard to sum up in just a few words, but maybe the best way is just to say “It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t hard.”

More than anything it can be just boring. Based on our average of about 60 vehicles a day coming through the gate, and about 30 seconds per vehicle, we actually only worked about 30 minutes a day, and that’s for a 24 hour day. Jan read 84 books during the time, and I lost count of how many I read.

I’ll talk more about our time on the gate in the next few days, so stay tuned.

Following up on today’s trip, we stopped off for lunch at Fuschak’s BBQ in San Marcos. We’ve eaten here a number of times, but never in the RV. The parking lot was too small for us, but I was able to pull off to the side along a vacant lot.

Back on the road, about 3:15pm we pulled into the Lake Whitney Thousand Trails in Whitney, TX, about 50 miles north of Waco. After driving around a little, we found a 50amp pull-thru that was long enough so we didn’t have to unhitch the toad since we were going to eat at home tonight.

One “rut roh” moment happened about an hour into our trip when our Onan generator up and quit. And wouldn’t restart. We were running it so we could use the roof A/C’s.

It would crank and then catch for a second, before quitting. My first thought is a fuel problem. The filter was changed back in February, but it could be the fuel pump.

It was raining a little when we got here, so I’ll check it out tomorrow morning before we leave. It may be that I can’t do anything about it until we get to Celina OH. Luckily for us it’s getting cooler as we head further north so hopefully we won’t be too uncomfortable.

I’m back to daily blogging again, but this one is going to be short since I’m a little under the weather with a bad cough and a sore throat. Don’t think it’s a cold since I’m not stopped up or sneezing, so it may be allergies.

Tomorrow we’ll travel about 200 miles up to Mount Pleasant TX.

August 21, 2013

On To The Gate . . .

Today is our last day here in Houston for a few months and we still had some last minute things to wrap up.

Getting down to the Clear Lake area, our first stop was at a client’s office to look at a few problems that they were having. One of them I couldn’t do anything about because the client was trying to run a new piece of software on an old laptop running Win XP. He just couldn’t understand why it wouldn’t work. I told him he had to buy a new laptop at least once every 10 years or so.

Then after a quick stop at a nearby CVS, we headed over to the Friendswood area to get haircuts. I dropped Jan off at a SuperCuts and then I headed over to the barbershop I have used for about 20 years. I was in and out is less than 15 minutes (Hey, I don’t have a lot to work with), and went back over to wait for Jan.

An hour and a half later she finally came out. She said the place was jam-packed. Don’t know why it would be on a Wednesday afternoon. Maybe because school starts on Monday?

I then called a take-out order into King Food and we headed over there to pick it up. Brandi and Lowell have really been jonesing for KF Chinese since they moved up to Katy. So we’re taking a big batch up there to have a last dinner with them.

Finally on our way to Katy, we made a quick stop at a Sam’s Club to pick a few bulk things. The nearest Sam’s to where we’ll be gate guarding is about 60 miles away so we wanted to stock up on a few things.

We got to Brandi’s about 5:30 to find Lowell already there and then Brandi and Landon showed up a few minutes later.

After a really good dinner, Jan wanted to recreate a series of photos we had made of Landon sitting in the same chair with his big green frog.

Here he is at about two months. He’s not really sure what that is sitting next to him.

Landon and Frog 6

And here he is at about 7 months. Happy Go Lucky and the frog’s his best friend.

Landon and Frog 12

However now is a whole ‘nother story. Same chair, same frog, but now with a 3 year old. Here’s what we got this time.

Landon and Frog 30

Landon and Frog 31

Landon and Frog 32

Landon and Frog 33

And we only got the last shot right before he threw the frog at me.

After saying our goodbyes and getting last hugs from all, we headed home a little before 8. Tomorrow we’ll leave out about 9am, heading for Whitsett, TX and the Gate Guard Services yard about 255 miles away.

We’ve got several stops planned along the way, the first being at the Buc-ee’s in Luling on I-10 for coffee and kolaches. Then after we turn south onto I-37 at San Antonio, we’ll stop at the Pilot at exit 125 to top off our diesel. Last we’re going to stop at the Wal-Mart in Pleasanton to stock up on groceries, just like we did last year.

Don’t know yet how long it will be before we get a gate. Last year it was about 10 days, but that included driving down to Corpus Christi to apply for our Security Guard Licenses and then waiting for the OK to come back. That was only about 4 days, so we’ll see how it goes.

August 21, 2014

Hunkered Down . . .

First off, Jan wanted me to thank everyone for their best wishes on her good breast cancer checkup. She really appreciates the nice thoughts.

Jan and I started this morning with coffee and a couple of the Cranberry Nut muffins we got yesterday from Buc-ee’s.

Besides the fact that these muffins are delicious, they’re HUGE, about 5 inches across.

Bucee's Muffin 2

Now that’s not all muffin. But it does have a really nice overhang.

Bucee's Muffin 1

Buc-ee’s uses specially-made muffin tins that give you this wide rim. And the rim is part of what makes this muffin so good. It has a chewy, crusty texture that adds to the cake-like taste of the muffin body. And I don’t know if it makes it taste any better, but these are baked right in the pan, no paper cups used.

The rest of the day Jan and I just hunkered down and tried to stay cool. It hit 100 degrees today here in the Columbus area, and it’s supposed to be 101-102 for the next few days.

We picked up our Sunshield Vent Insulator covers at Brandi’s yesterday and installed them last night. And installing them just meant taking off the plastic wrapping and sticking it up in the opening.

It has a fuzzy fleece side.

Vent Cover - Fuzzy Side

And a shiny insulated foil side.

Vent Cover - Shiny Side

And as they say, keep the shiny side up.

Vent Cover - Installed

And they do seem to make a difference.

But even with them, the rig AC’s run pretty much non-stop all day when it’s 100+ degrees, but the rig did stay comfortable. And we do have our sunscreen shades up on the windshield and side windows.

And when we’re on a gate, and it’s 108 degrees, then it’s even worse. Depending on where we end up this year, I’ve thought about getting small window AC unit to put in the driver’s window. A 5000 BTU unit should take some of the load of the rig’s AC’s.

We’ll have to see how it goes.

Yesterday was Landon’s birthday. You can see which one here.

Landon is Four

They even celebrated his birthday at his school.

Landon the Birthday Boy

Although Landon’s real birthday was yesterday, the 20th, his big party is this Saturday. We’re really looking forward to it.

Rainforest Cafe

August 21, 2015

Clean Bill . . .

Although tomorrow is Landon’s Birthday Party, yesterday, August 20th, was his real birthday, so Brandi and Lowell took him to his favorite place, The Rainforest Café in Katy Mills Mall.


Looks like he really liked their version of his birthday cake.

Jan and I headed for Clear Lake this morning, leaving about 8am. We noticed as we drove into Columbus that the sky was really black to the south and east of us, just the direction we were going to be going. We made a stop at the Jack in the Box for a breakfast sandwich, and when we came out, the rain had started.

It just got worse as we headed into Houston, sometimes slowing us down to 30mph on I-10. But by the time we got onto the South Beltway it had started to clear up, and the sun was out by the time we got down to Webster.

Jan’s appointment was just a 6 month checkup for her past breast cancer, and everything was fine. So we were out of there in time to meet our son Chris at another of our all-time favorite places, King Food for lunch.

After our great meal, Chris headed home and we stopped off at Kroger’s for a few things before meeting up at Chris’ to pick up some gate guard supplies. Then after a Wal-Mart stop to pick up some more 150 pound strength rope for my upcoming AC project, we stopped by Starbuck’s for a couple of iced Cinnamon Dolce Lattes before we headed home.

Tomorrow we’re driving into Katy to Brandi’s about 9am to help her get ready for Landon’s birthday party. Then after the party we’re all getting together at Little V’s Vietnamese Bistro to introduce Chris, Linda, and Piper to their great food.

On Our Way To This Year’s First Gate

August 21, 2016

Hawkwood and Indian Woods . . .

Jan and I headed out about 9am to have what may be our last meal out together for 3 months or so.

Unless the gate turns out to be like last year’s gate outside Carthage, TX.

We can only hope.

We had the great Sunday breakfast buffet at Schobel’s in Columbus, and then made a quick stop at Brookshire Bros. for a few last minute things. Coming back into the park, I stopped off at the office to let them know we were leaving a week early.

Hopefully my $56 that I paid for next week will show up in my HOA account (that’s what TT calls it) A while back I had some credited that just disappeared somehow.

I finally was able to get in touch with the Indian Woods Campground, the Passport America park outside Normagee that we were planning on staying tonight. Our full hookup site will be $12.50 and looks to be a nice park.

We pulled out of the Colorado River TT and headed up toward La Grange on US71 to get diesel before turning onto US77 and heading for Normangee. Getting close to town, we thought we saw the pad site, but I had a line of traffic behind me so I couldn’t slow down too much to check it out.’

But as soon as we got parked, we headed back to check out the pad, about 30 minutes back up the road.  So now we finally got some more info about our gate guard site. It’s about 10 miles west of Normangee right off TX-OSR (Old Spanish Rd.). Jamie of Gate Guard Services said it’s a Hawkwood  Energy site with a Nabors workover rig, and maybe the largest pad we’ve ever worked.

Hawkwood Site 1

Looks like our spot will be heading in toward the PortaPotty right inside the gate. There are about 8 trailers on site, so it looks like they’re here for the long haul which bodes well for filling out our full 3 month stay.

Jamie’s going to meet us there about 8am to get us parked and set up with our support trailers. The workover rig is not on site yet, so I don’t know exactly when we’ll actually start. We’ll see.

We’ll head out from here a little before 7am to allow us plenty of time to get there by 8am.

More tomorrow from our new pad.

August 21, 2017

Silver Alerts and Beaver Nuggets . . .

When you’re driving along and see one of those Silver Alert signs,

Silver Alert Sign

do you check it out to be sure it’s not you?

Us too.

Jan and I spent the late morning and early afternoon watching the eclipse , , , on TV, starting with the beginning out in Newport, OR, where we’ve been.

One thing I found very interesting was the visibility of the solar prominences on the right side of the disk.

Solar Eclipse Flares

Here in Conroe, it started getting noticeably dimmer around 11:45, with totality (for us, at least, about 67%) about 1:15pm. The most obvious change for us was the fact that the AC was cycling on and off at noon, something that doesn’t normally happen in August.

I really liked this photo from Houston’s Lunar and Planetary Institute showing the totality here from one of their telescopes, again showing the prominences erupting from the sun’s surface.


The next total eclipse for the US is due in April 2024, with a path that includes Texas this time. So get your RV park reservations in early.

2024 Eclipse Path

I spent a couple of hours this afternoon, on the phone and TeamViewer, setting up a client’s daughter’s new laptop, installing anti-virus, anti-malware, and iDrive online backup software, and taking off some of the crap that comes installed on new machines. It went very smoothly.

Finishing up, for those of you in the Katy area, the new Buc-ee’s there is now scheduled to open at 6am on Monday, the 28th, so your Beaver Nuggets craving is almost over.

August 21, 2018

Passports and Satellites . . .

Jan and I headed out about 1pm with our first stop at the Santa Fe Post Office to get a PO Box for our local mail. For the first time since we started RV’ing in 2008 we no longer have a local address.

We could have used our daughter Brandi’s up in Katy, but then it’s always a hassle getting it from her in a timely manner.

I could have it sent to my client’s like all my Amazon packages, but the packages are easy to separate out from their stuff. But mail maybe not so much. So a PO Box was probably the best idea.

And it turned out to be pretty painless. I was in and out in about 10 minutes. The only thing kind of funny was the fact that I need an ID with my photo on it and an ID without my photo on it. BUT it had to be one with and one without. When I tried to use my Driver’s License and my Passport, no dice.

But they did accept my auto insurance card, so I was good to go with a 5” x 5” for 6 months for $38. Not bad.

Then it was on up to the Clear Lake area to have lunch at Floyd’s Cajun Seafood. Grilled Catfish with Gilled Veggies for Jan, and Shrimp Gumbo with a side of the Grilled Veggies for me. Delicious as always.

Our next stop was Friendswood Post Office to renew our passports. They expired last fall, but we kind of forgot about them until we started planning our European trip. So we want to get a jump on getting them renewed. Turns out that we can do it all by mail, so we got the forms to take home with us..

Then it was by Sam’s Club for a prescription, followed by a visit to the Kemah Boardwalk area so Jan could get some new essential oils at Bodhi’s.

From what I’ve been reading, it seems like that DirecTV is dropping all their SD (standard definition) channels sometime next year. Although we already have an HD DirecTV we only got it for the bigger hard drive and more storage space. We don’t have HD because our Winegard CarryOut Dome won’t receive HD signals, just SD.

Winegard Carryout

So I guess at some point I’ll have to replace it with a new HD dish, something more like this.

DirecTV HD Dish

Certainly won’t be as convenient and easy to set up.

August 21, 2019

At It Again . . .

I meant to mention this yesterday, but somehow I left it out.

Yesterday was our grandson Landon’s 9th Birthday.

Happy 9th Birthday Landon

Hard to believe that he’s 9 ready.

I spent this morning before work looking at a YouTube video detailing a rear brake job on my 2004 Dodge Dakota, my Job One for tomorrow. Assuming it doesn’t rain like it did today, but they’re still only showing a 20% chance, so we’ll see.

Then this evening I watched a second one . . .  and found out I wish I had watched it first. It’s been 50+ years since I’ve replaced rotors and I forgot about the fact  that the rotors come covered in a lubricant to keep them from rusting.

I probably could come up with something to get it off, but I think I’ll make an O’Reilly’s run tomorrow morning for a can of brake cleaner spray before I get started.

I did tell them at work today that I might not be in on Friday if I couldn’t get the truck back together by then. And once I get the brakes apart I’ll have to take an Uber to get more parts.

I’m at it again.

Getting home this afternoon, I started disassembling our new Mr. Coffee. And it turned out to be as easy as I hoped after I looked it over yesterday. I just removed one screw underneath the front and the entire control panel just popped right out. And on this model the cable is long enough to actually work on the board.

And then two more screws and the board is loose. It really looks like this model was designed to be repaired.

New Mr Coffee Upgrade 1

Or at least for me to modify it.

August 21, 2020

Steaks and Gates . . .

Brandi texted us this morning with another Landon story.

Went to tell Landon it’s almost time for class and he is watching a video, I asked what it is and he said “Henry the VIII”

I mentioned Catherine Parr and he right away said “yes, I am watching about how he did not hang her like the others” and I told him we are related to her. Of course, he was excited.

I asked how he ended up watching that and he said, “I was watching a youtuber and he had a coin with London Fire of 1666 on it and I wanted to know what that is, so I looked it up, and the fire video led to Henry the VIII, and here we are”!

This kid

Jan and I decided it was time for a nice dinner out, and for us, that means Saltgrass Steakhouse.

As usual, we both started out with our favorite Wedge Salads.

Saltgrass Wedge Salad 8

Then Jan got her usual Filet,

Saltgrass Kemah Jan's Filet

and I got the Pat’s Ribeye.

Saltgrass Ribeye 8

Delicious as always.

August 21, 2021

Hot! Hot! Hot!

About 1pm Jan and I headed up to Webster to try a new place that’s getting good reviews, The Cookshack. Located in the old Black-Eyed Pea building at the corner of Bay Area Blvd and Hwy 3, it’s been open now for a few weeks, so it’s time to give it a try.

The Cookshack

It’s a simple menu, with just different combinations of Chicken Tenders, Waffles, and Ribs, and like a number of places where we’ve recently been, you order at the counter and then they bring it to your table.

Jan got the 3 Grilled Chicken Tenders and a Side Salad.

The Cookshack Chicken Tenders and Salad

I ordered the Chicken and Waffles, with Sweet Potato Fries as a side, and then the young man asked me, “How hot?”

As Jan chuckled, I said, “As hot as you’ve got.” And he said, “OK, Texas Hot”

But when I looked up at the menu board, though it’s hard to see here, there was a whole other area to the right of ‘Texas Hot’ called ‘AMF’.

The Cookshack Heat Level

So I told him I wanted ‘AMF’. He looked at me kind of wide-eyed, and stammered, “You’ll have to sign a waiver.” So he rang us up, apparently so flustered that he forgot to have me sign the waiver.

As I headed over to our table, the owner said that he should have told me just get one tender at the AMF level since I wouldn’t be able to eat one, much less four, and they would just go to waste.

The Cookshack Chicken and Waffles

Jan chuckled … again.

When the owner came over later, he was amazed that I was not only able to eat one, but two. And the only reason I didn’t eat all four was that I also ate two waffle pieces and some of the fries. So I was just full.

He told me that he had started requiring a waiver because at his Houston location he had people demand their money back because they were too hot, and in a couple of cases, several people almost passed out and had to be helped out of the restaurant. He did seem a little upset when I told him that I hadn’t actually signed the waiver.

He did tell me that he actually has two more levels hotter than what I got today, but I got the idea that nobody has ever ordered it.

Now as far as how hot these tenders were, they were very, very hot, possibly the hottest thing that I’ve ever eaten in a restaurant. But I’ve made things hotter myself using my Carolina Reaper Pepper Flakes.

And it didn’t take long for my personal hot food meter to begin registering. For me, my bald head starts sweating and my nose starts running. And boy, did it this time.

Now, as far as next time, I’ve got to take up the challenge and try the ‘Two Levels Hotter’ version. But only for one tender. The rest I will probably get at the Texas Hot level.

Sometimes it’s worth beating a challenge, and that’s why I’ll try one at the very hottest, but overall it’s just not pleasant to eat. So a little less heat next time.

But we will definitely go back. Soon.