Daily Archives: August 23, 2022

Nutcracker Yes, Renaissance No

In a last-minute substitution, today’s lunch at Texas Huddle was replaced by lunch at Snooze. And later, Costco went by the wayside, due to not being needed. Between WalMart and Sam’s Club, we got what we wanted there.

Snooze was as good as usual, and we got a chance to talk a bit with Holly, our long-time friend there. She’s been promoted to the New Store Opening team. Snooze is opening 12 new locations this year, including several up in the Dallas area where Holly is being sent.

Our meals, our usuals, were as good as always, with Jan’s Bravacado Toast,

Snooze Bravacado Toas 20220823t

and my Shrimp and Grits.

Snooze Shrimp & Grits 20220823

And we split an order of their Maple Glazed Black Pepper Bacon.

Snooze Maple Pepper Bacon 20220823

Then it was on to Lowe’s for some 6-40 screws that they didn’t have.

After that it was WalMart and Sam’s Club, and then home.

We’ve been looking at our upcoming Fall event schedule for the rest of the year. And besides our October San Antonio get-together, we’ve got the Texas Renaissance Festival that runs from October 8th through Thanksgiving, and the Nutcracker Market that runs from November 10th to the 13th.

We first started going to the Renaissance Festival back in the early 80’s, and we’ve seen a lot of changes over the years. And you never know who you’ll see there.

TexasRenFest 2016 12

We last visited in September 2018, and that’s probably going to be our last time. There’s an awful lot of walking involved, and even 4 years ago, we had to take a rickshaw back to the front gate when we were done. So that’s it for the Renfest for us.

But we do want to do the Nutcracker Market this year. We last did it in 2019, and it wasn’t held in 2020. We did plan on going last year, and had tickets. But it turned out to the be the day before my Cervical Fusion surgery, and I thought it would be OK, but Jan and Brandi said, “NO”!

But it’s on for this year. Already looking forward to it.

Thought For The Day:

I know from personal experience that a mad hornet is much faster than an old Ford tractor.

Bangor, ME

August 23, 2009

Harry & Miguel…

Today was Moving Day.

But first I got to talk to the two American Eagle Owners parked next to us.  Both of theirs are 2001 models and then there is another one in the park that is a 2007.

It’s very unusual to see another Eagle in a park with us,  much less three in the same park, and two right next door.

Turns out that they are part of the American Coach Association, a group for American Coach owners, and are traveling together after attending an American Coach rally in Decatur, IL  Hopefully we’ll get to talk some more before we leave on Tuesday.

As I said, today was Moving Day.  The park finally had a vacant site with a sewer connection, so we moved over this morning about 11:30 am.  If we don’t have a sewer connection, we can’t use the washer.

So as soon as we got moved and set up, Jan got the laundry started.

About 1:30 pm we headed over to Orono, ME, about 15 miles north of Bangor, to have lunch at a Mexican restaurant called Margarita’s, before we caught the 4:10 Harry Potter movie.

Unfortunately, no one told us that the restaurant didn’t open until 4 pm.  So we headed back over to Bangor to eat at Oriental Jade, the Chinese restaurant we ate at a couple of days ago.  And as luck would have it, it’s right next door to the movie.

After lunch, we still had some time so we went to Hannaford’s, a grocery store right next door, to pick up some things.

And then it was off to see Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

After the movie, we still wanted our Mexican fix so while heading back to Margarita’s, we came across Miguel’s Mexican Café right down the street from the movie.

The food was good, but it’s the same at every Mexican restaurant we find up here.  No one uses jalapenos in any thing. Even the Pico de Gallo is jalapenoless.

So the food is pretty bland compared to what we’re used to in Texas.

After supper we headed back to the coach for more laundry.

Tomorrow we plan to drive south down to Bar Harbor about 50 miles away to see some of the Maine coast line.

We’ll see how it goes since it’s raining right now and is supposed to still be raining tomorrow too.

Elkhart, IN

August 23, 2010

Monday Morning Coming Down…

Today was spent in a lot of small chores around the rig, and a number of phone calls with clients, suppliers, and American Coach.

I also did two loads of laundry, and ran CLR thru our Mr. Coffee to clean out the gunk. The water here in Elkhart is really hard, and even with using an external water filter, it still clogs up shower heads, faucets, and, of course, coffee pots. So while I was running CLR thru the coffee pot, I also soaked the shower head and the sink nozzle. Now everything is running fine.

A little later, Orv Hazelton dropped by and wanted me to come help him with something. Turns out he was trying to set up a Cradlepoint WiFi Router so he won’t need to two Sprint AirCard Accounts for his two different laptops. Unfortunately he probably won’t be able to use the router he already has because it uses a discontinued aircard slot, so he’s going to have to purchase a newer one before he can proceed.

About 2 pm I headed out to solicit more gift certificates for the rally with pretty good results this time. While I was out and about Michele Henry from Phoenix Commercial Paint called to ask a question about the which doors go where on the coach. Got back home about 4:30 and fed the cats and cleaned the litter box. OH Fun!

A little before 5, with Jan still down in Houston, I drove over to the nearby Texas Roadhouse for a great steak.

I got back about 6:30pm, and then about 6:45 two guys (sorry, I didn’t get their names) showed up to admire my classy camouflage for Beauty’s missing cargo bay doors. One of the guys also wanted to know where Phoenix Commercial Paint is located.

Here’s my ‘classy camouflage’.

Beauty Cargo Bays

Jan called me about 5 minutes later to catch me up on all the doings in Houston with Landon.

He had his first pediatrician visit this afternoon and everything checked out fine. So that’s great.

Near Terre Haute, IN

August 23, 2011

Thunderstorms and Campgrounds . . .

Got up this morning, starting with coffee that segued into a long afternoon of bad weather, thunderstorms, and no satellite reception.

But before it all hit, I drove over to the Post Office in Blanford to pick up my General Delivery mail, and then stopped back by the park office to get the new gate code.

Getting back to the rig, I got back on getting my computer desk unbolted from the floor so I can get the old carpet out from underneath it.

It actually took a couple of hours to get it completely loose and pulled to the side. I couldn’t pull it all the way from the wall because it has power cables coming into it from the floor and from the wall, but I did get all the carpet and pad out of the way.

Since it’s now setting a little lower without the carpet, I’ll have to shim it a bit so that all the screw holes line up when I fasten it back down.

But that’s for tomorrow.

On another note, I did come across this website at USCampgrounds.info. It lists over 10,000 public campgrounds in all 50 states plus the Canadian Provinces.

Here’s the description from the site.

This site provides what we believe to be the most complete and geographically accurate US & Canada public campground locator in existence. Includes all National Park, National Forest, State Park and Provincial campgrounds, all BLM, TVA and Army engineers campgrounds, all regional, county, city and utility-owned campgrounds. We include only public car-camping campgrounds with 5 or more campsites and tables and toilets (not backpack-in,  boat-in, horse camps, dispersed or group camps).   We do not include privately owned campgrounds.

Sounds like another great resource.

After dinner, Jan and I watch some more stuff from the DVR, catching up on some shows we’d missed.

All in all, another very nice day.

West Memphis, AR

August 23, 2012

Rollin’ on the River . . .

We pulled out of the Ramblin’ Fever RV Park a little after 8am this morning, after having the same problem starting the rig that we had yesterday.

Once again the engine took longer to start up than normal, and then died a couple of minutes later. And like yesterday, it started back up and ran fine the rest of the day. When it does quit I get no warning lights or check engine lights.

At this point I’m beginning to think that the culprit might be the Diesel Kleen that I added to the tank when I filled up last Monday. It’s supposed to clean out your fuel system, and my thought right now is that it has dumped some loosened-up junk in my fuel filters.

I’ll try to confirm this by replacing the generator fuel filter after we get to Celina. If that fixes the generator problem, then I’ll change out the filter on the rig. Otherwise, it’s back to square one.

We got into the Tom Sawyer RV Park on the Mississippi River in West Memphis, AR, just across the river from Memphis, TN. We’ve stayed here twice before, and always enjoy parking right on the Mississippi River.

Tom Sawyer 6

There’s a constant stream of barges and ships coming by morning, noon, and night.

Tom Sawyer Barge

I’d heard on the news recently about how parts of the Mississippi were shut down to commercial traffic due to low water levels, and our view here certainly shows it. We’ve never been able to see that part of the river bottom on the far bank before.

Tom Sawyer Low River

After settling in, we headed out about 4:30 to have dinner at the one BBQ place everyone we talked to named as the best place in Memphis – Charles Vergos’ Rendezvous.

Located in an alley, yes, an alley, in downtown Memphis, it’s been there since 1948, and turns out what Jan and I both agree are the best ribs we’ve ever eaten.

Charles Vergos Rendezvous

I’m not normally a fan of the dry rub ribs. They always seem too dry to me, but these were fantastic! They apparently put the ribs under the broiler before they serve them so there is a crispy crust on them that makes them crunchy and delicious.

Rendezvous Ribs 2018

They’re almost good enough to stay over another day to eat there again. But probably not.

Starting A Pipeline Gate

August 23, 2013

Our New Home?

After a quiet morning, probably one of our last for a while, I checked my Amazon shipping email and found that my new canopy had been delivered so I drove over to the office to pick it up, and also see if there was any update on our new gate.

I was really glad I drove over because I found that the canopy weighs about 50 pounds.

Coleman Canopy

Coleman 13 x 13 Canopy

I also picked up our hats and vests, so I guess we’re semi-official now

GGS Hat & Vest

Found out that there will be three new gate guards going into the new site, two on Monday, and one on Tuesday. Based on what Jamie said yesterday sounds like we may be the ones on Tuesday. But of course that could change. We’ll see.

Later, about 3:15, Jan and I headed into San Antonio for dinner, but we took a detour over through Whitsett and up US281A to see if I could find where our new gate might be located based on the rough details I had been given.

And about 3 miles up the road I think we found it. The sign says it’s an Aurora Oil Co. lease which supposedly ours is.

Whitsett Gate 1

Doubt we’ll be going into this front gate. At least without some work. Our rig just wouldn’t fit there. Supposedly we’re going to be parked near a railroad track, and according to the map, there are some tracks about 1/2 mile off the road. But, again, we’ll see.

Our dinner destination in San Antonio was the Magic Time Machine. It’s one of our favorite places, and we’ve been eating here for about 30 years.

Magic Time Machine 1b

The unique thing about MTM is that waiters and waitresses are all dressed up as storybook, comic book, and movie characters.

In past visits, we’ve had Wonder Woman

Magic Time Machine 4

and the Joker taking care of us.

Magic Time Machine 5

Tonight our waiters were Pinocchio and the Lone Ranger. We also saw Batgirl, Supergirl, Jack Sparrow, Peter Pan, The Mad Hatteress, Pocahontas, Minnie Mouse, and a number of others.

One thing I really like that they do is that every table gets two waiters/waitresses, like Pinocchio and Lone Ranger above. This way you’re not waiting for an iced tea refill because your only waiter is tied up at another table. Someone’s always available to take care of you.

Another thing unique here is that the Salad Bar is actually a Salad Car. In this case, a 1952 MG TC. Neat!

Magic Time Machine 2

Oh, and in addition to the entertainment, they cook a great steak too!

Heading home we stopped off at a Lowe’s to pick up an Enduracool Towel. These towels are a passive evaporative cooler that does a great job of keeping you cool on hot days. A perfect addition to help keep us cool on our gate. This YouTube Video will give you more info on the Enduracool Towel.

But it turned out that they were out, and the closest place that had them in stock was Kerrville. So it was off to Amazon.

And Amazon had for $10, $5 cheaper than Lowe’s. And free two day shipping with Amazon Prime.

Large Enduracool Towel

Enduacool Towel

Finishing up, several readers wanted to see Jan’s Oil Rig decal. So here it is  It’s about 6 inches high and originally the ‘Oil Life” text was directly underneath the derrick, but I cut it off with scissors and moved it down so it would fit better.

Oil Rig Sticker

Tomorrow, still waiting.

August 23, 2014

Birthday Boy . . .

Jan and I left the rig about 1pm to meet Brandi, Lowell, Landon, Sonja, and Lendel (Lowell’s parents) and Sherry (Lowell’s sister) at Brandi’s before we all headed over to Smith Ranch – Katy where Landon’s 4th birthday party is being held.

As the kids showed up, the first thing that caught everyone’s eye was the enormous inflatable waterslide.

Smith Ranch Slide 0

For some of the smaller kids, like Landon, it was a tough climb. But that didn’t seem to slow anyone down.

Smith Ranch Slide 1

Almost there.

Smith Ranch Slide 4


Smith Ranch Slide 5

Smith Ranch Slide 2

Now let’s do it again.

Smith Ranch Slide 8

This little girl in yellow was the star of the show. She was fearless.

She would claw her way to the top of the slide, stand at the edge, leap into the air, bounce on her bottom, and fly halfway down the slide before she hit the ramp. Then she’d do it again.

Smith Ranch Slide 9

The party itself was held under a nice pavilion with ceiling fans to help keep things cool. Kind of.

It was 100 degrees today.

Smith Ranch 1

Smith Ranch 2

Here’s Landon with Brandi’s BFF, Shawna.

Smith Ranch 6

And here he is showing off his Power Ranger’s Cupcake Cake.

Smith Ranch 3

Then it was time for the presents.

Smith Ranch 4

Everyone had a great time, and the Smith Ranch young ladies took very good care of us. This is an excellent place to have a party.

And, as I said yesterday, when it’s over, you just get in your car and go home. No cleanup.

About 5:30 we all (minus Sherry who headed home earlier) met up at Little V’s Vietnamese Bistro to introduce Sonja and Lendel to the great food there, and now they love the place as much as we do. And we got to eat there twice this week.

After we’d been there for a while, I looked up to see a cute blonde waitress behind the counter. She was wearing a white blouse, black slacks, and had her hair in a ponytail. When I looked up a couple of minutes later, she was now wearing black rim glasses.

But when she brought our pork spring rolls to our table, she wasn’t wearing them. OK, maybe they’re reading glasses. Right after that, I watched her walk back into the kitchen. Then I looked up and she was standing there asking if I wanted a refill on my iced tea. And she was wearing the glasses again. Huh?

Then her identical twin sister came back out of the kitchen, sans glasses.

Now it made sense.

When we got ready to head back to the rig, Brandi insisted we take her Lexus, so we  had a nice, cool trip home. Thanks, Brandi.

Tomorrow afternoon, we’ll be going back to Brandi’s to spend the afternoon with Landon, and his other grandparent’s, Sonja and Lendel.

We’re really looking forward to it.

Columbus, TX

August 23, 2015

Cold Air . . .

I was up about 10am this morning to prep things before getting up on the rig roof and swapping out the old and new Air Conditioners.

My first task was to remove the 4 bolts from the inside flange and pull it all out. The outside unit was now free.

AC Install 1

AC Install 2

Then it was up on the roof to actually swap out the AC units. I don’t really trust the 16 year old ladder on the back of our rig so I always back it up with my own.

AC Install 0

This is the old unit before I unbolted the cover.

AC Install 3

Once the cover was off, I turned the unit on its side to remove the wires for power, and the thermostat.

AC Install 4

Once the wiring was removed, I slid the old unit off to the side on a piece of cardboard. This left just the opening in the roof ready to place the new unit in its place.

AC Install 5

I then slid the new unit over the hole and lined it up.

AC Install 6

That finishes up my work on the roof. Now it’s all inside the rig.

Being the impatient sort that I am, after I fastened the unit down with the new flange and four bolts, I temporarily hooked up the control box, turned the breaker back on, and turned the AC on.

AC Install 7

And had nice cold air. So I know it works.

And after a little bit more work, this was the finished project.

AC Install finish

“I love it when a plan comes together.”

A little before 4pm Jan and I headed for La Grange and the Wal-Mart  to stock up on gate guard supplies. But our first stop was Peter’s BBQ in Ellinger for dinner one last time. Good BBQ.

Tomorrow we’ll head out about 9am for a 260 mile run up to Henderson, TX. We’ll spend the night there, and then head out to our new gate about 18 miles away.

August 23, 2016

Blue Moon Gate . . .

We give all our gates a name, and since we’re right down the road from the Blue Moon BBQ, we’re now officially at the Blue Moon Gate.

Jan and I were up at 6:30 this morning, to get be ready when Jamie got here with our sewer trailer.

Of course Jamie didn’t get here until about 8, but that gave us time for coffee and breakfast bread, so it all worked out. Jamie parked the trailer at the end of the pad, actually off the end, to allow more room to park the generator trailer behind it.

Hawkwood Parking Site 8

Getting a closer look at the mat shows why it can support semi trucks.

Hawkwood Parking Site 2 Mats 3

Speaking of trucks, they started rolling in early, enough so that our big pad got a lot more crowded.

Hawkwood Parking Site 3

As the day progressed they made a lot of progress laying down the metal plates that they build the rig on.

Then when the time comes, they oil them up and use two big cranes to drag the entire derrick over to the next hole.

Hawkwood Parking Site 4

Hawkwood Parking Site 5

And since they’re doing three holes here, we get to see them do it twice. And maybe even better, when they did this on a Marathon/H&P rig we were following in 2012, we got a couple of days off. So we hope that holds true here too.

Before Jamie left this morning, and before heading over to see Dick and Judy Mott, we decided that he would come back early (6:30 am early) tomorrow morning to move our generator trailer into place, and then we would follow with the coach. By doing it this early we were hoping to avoid blocking the trucks coming in and going out.

But about 2pm, there was a knock at the door and they wanted us to move now. When I said we normally don’t log trucks in and out during rigging up and rigging down, and that we planned to move tomorrow morning, the guy laughed and said he didn’t care about logging. He just wanted us out of his yard because he needed to stack stuff where our rig was parked. Maybe they’re running out of room because they’re already stocking up on drill pipe, and they don’t even have the rig up yet.

Hawkwood Parking Site 6

So I got on the phone to Jamie to see if he could come back over this afternoon to get us moved. Luckily he wasn’t too far away, and said he’d be here in about an hour.

While he hooked up to our generator trailer, I started our onboard generator to keep the AC’s going while we got moved over to the pad.

It took a little jockeying, but we finally got on the pad and parked. We parked as close as we could to the trailers, allowing just enough room to open the slide. This gave us the maximum amount of space on the mat to set up on.

Hawkwood Parking Site 7

Right now it looks like they may be ready for us to start logging sometime Thursday, maybe. If so, we plan on going into Bryan/College Station for dinner and some supplies from Wal-Mart.

Hopefully it will work out.

August 23, 2017

Chicken Fingers and Powerballs . . .

Today was another travel day, with Jan and I heading down to the Clear Lake area for a client visit for me, a Chris and Linda visit for Jan, and a King Food lunch for all of us.

So we were out the door by 9:45 and heading through downtown Houston a little bit later. We were mostly past the rush hour traffic, and luckily encountered no accidents, so we pulled into the King Food parking lot right at 11am and found Chris and Linda, our son and daughter-in-law waiting for us.

And after our usual delicious lunch, Jan headed home to spend the afternoon at Chris’, while I drove over to my client’s to spend the afternoon there.

I’ve spent the last few days telecommuting in to the office computers using TeamViewer, but there are some things better/easier done in person. I’m still trying to unravel some of this installation, which is really squirrelly in many places.

In fact one of the things I’m trying to straighten out is the mail program, aptly named SquirrelMail. And so it goes.

I picked up Jan about 3:45 and headed back up to Conroe. All things considered, the traffic wasn’t too bad, even getting through downtown Houston. Then coming out the north side of town, we took the 610 loop east for a couple of miles until we got on the Hardy Toll Road. Then it was 70 mph all the way up before it dumps back on I-45, passed the heaviest going-home traffic, and about 20 miles from the park.

Along the way we had decided to stop and have dinner at the Cane’s Chicken Fingers in Conroe before heading back to the rig.

Cane's Chicken Fingers 2

Cane’s has become pretty much our favorite chicken place since we first tried them in 2014 when we were on a gate near Bryan/College Station. Always really good.

Coming home we made a stop at a nearby O’Reilly’s for some hookup wire and then a convenience store for some $700+ Million Powerball Tickets.

They’re really made a lot of progress on the park paving, with all of the entrance way done,

Lake Conroe TT Paving 1

and down pass the Activity Center and the new large parking area.

Lake Conroe TT Paving 2

What I haven’t seen yet is any paving on the actual site roads, which is where it’s really needed in places. Hopefully they’re not stopping with just prettying up the entrance.

And even the new sites are progressing fairly well.

Lake Conroe TT - New Sites 2

Though I don’t think they’ll be ‘done by August’ as was initially said.

Brandi originally had Landon’s birthday party scheduled for this Saturday at an outdoor entertainment center, but cancelled it due to the possible oncoming bad weather. But since the main attraction is a big waterslide, the kids probably wouldn’t mind.

August 23, 2018

Snapped . . .

As I figured, we ended up with a lot of errands on  our plate, but luckily intermixed with lunch at East Star Chinese Buffet.

However our first stop was at a Postal Annex in Clear Lake to have our passport photos made. Originally I had planned to do them myself and just print them out. But after reading the ‘very’ detailed instructions about the type of paper, the framing, the background, etc., I decided to let a professional do it. And a few minutes, and $21.56 later we were on our way.

Our next stop was East Star for lunch, as delicious as usual. One thing that really makes a difference is that they don’t put a lot of food in each pan, so it’s being constantly replaced with fresh, hot stuff. Even to the point of replacing the serving spoons each time as well.

Then it was on over to the Staples for some pen refills and a new 3-part binder for Jan. Then it was on down to Lowe’s to make a return on some leftover parts from my recent dryer vent repair. I bought two different connectors, sure that one of them would fit, and then returned the unused one.

Right next door we made a WalMart stop for a few things, that as usual turned out to be more than a few things. Then it was home by about 5:30.

We made the down payment for our cruise yesterday, with the final payment due September 30th. And if we wanted the cruise trip insurance we also had to prepay it at the same time.

Several readers had wondered what we gave Landon for his birthday. Since he like to build things with Legos using the Technic motor and gear kits, we decided to see if he’d like doing the same thing with electronics using one of these Snap Circuits PRO 500 kits.

Snap-Circuits 500

It has 500 different projects that can be snapped together. Projects like a digital voice recorder, AM radio, digitally tuned FM radio, AC generator, screaming fan, whistle switch and more.

He seemed to be excited when he opened it and said it he’d seen these, so hopefully he’ll enjoy it. Though I don’t know how much time he’s had to play with it, since Brandi et. al. are getting ready to move into their new house.

In fact they close on it tomorrow morning and the movers are coming tomorrow afternoon. A busy time.

August 23, 2019

On To The Next Project . . .

Well, I’ve pretty much given up on my Mr. Coffee upgrade/mod.  As I mentioned I found the new one much easier to take apart and get into. In fact I was able to unplug the ribbon cable and remove the circuit board completely.

New Mr Coffee Upgrade 3

And that’s when I discovered the problem. Unlike the previous board, which uses simple on/off button switches, the switches on the new board are actually interfaced directly to the IC chip and buffered for the input.

Which means that I can’t just parallel a relay across the contacts and have it work.


I ran into this same problem several years ago when I tried to remote control the power windows in our truck. The up/down buttons are on the internal computer bus and can’t paralleled with other switches or relays.


As usual, everyone waited until the last minute to decide that they want to have a September Sale, and this includes the company whose products are going on sale. So now I’m rushing to get an Ad Card produced, and also cleaning up the mailing list for these particular products. Hopefully I’ll get it in the mail before the middle of September.

I’m still hoping to do my rear brakes, maybe on Sunday. But the rain chances are at 60-80% for both days, so it’ll be hit or miss it looks like.

And of course this pushes back the timing for changing out the oil filter gasket on the rig. But we’ll see how it goes with Mother Nature. If this keeps up, a lot of stuff is going to get pushed back into next year.

Next up on my plate at work is to come up with a color scheme/design for these machines.

Biomak EP103

We’re having them customized to our specs from the manufacturer in Poland, and that includes the colors and our own logo. So now I’m trying to come with something that looks good and won’t cost us too much extra.

As Jan says, it keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. But I tell her to just be satisfied with one out of two.

August 23, 2020

Maybe The Seagulls Know Something . . .

We’ve got two tropical storms/hurricanes roaming around in the Gulf, but only one, Marco, looks to have some possible effect on us. Of course that depends on whose tracking you want to believe.

But whatever, it looks like it won’t become our problem until sometime between Tuesday night and Wednesday night, with winds between 30 and 40 mph. So I doubt we’ll do anything special except maybe let the awnings in. And even that might change.

Jan and I headed out about 1pm, first for lunch at our nearby Spring Creek BBQ. And as usual Jan had the Baby Back Ribs, with Beans and  Beans, and we shared a basket of their Fried Okra.

Spring Creek BBQ Ribs

while I had my usual Baby Back Ribs and Cracked Black Pepper Sausage, also with Beans and Beans.

Spring Creek Ribs and Sausage

Then it was on to the WalMart right next door. And with the hurricane(s) coming in, I was surprised that there didn’t seem to be a lot of panicked buying. They didn’t seem to really be out of anything, I.e. plenty of bread, milk, meat . . . and beer.

Actually the beer usually goes first. You don’t want to go through a hurricane completely sober.

The only thing out of the ordinary at WalMart were the birds. Now normally there are a lot of grackles and blackbirds hanging around, hiding under cars to get out of the sun, and fighting over scraps of food. But today was different.

The parking lot was swarming with seagulls. I mean it looked like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. They were everywhere, squawking and diving in a large flock.

My first thought is that the gulls know something is happening out in the Gulf and they decided to come inland for a while. So maybe I need I might need to rethink my preparations, or lack thereof.

August 23, 2021

It’s A Mechazilla Monday . . .

Jan and I sat outside with our coffee again this morning, really enjoying the cool weather we’ve had this summer. In fact it was only 75° when we went out.

Hibiscus 20210823

I know that places further out west are having heat problems, but our summer here has been much cooler than usual. And actually we haven’t had a 100° day so far this summer.

Unlike our first summer here in 1979 where we had 13 straight days of 100+° temps, and a lot other 100’s scattered through the summer, here we are 3/4 of the way through August, and our predicted high temps for the next 6 days are 93, 93, 90, 88, 90, and 88.

Not your usual late August temps here in south Texas, believe me.

I spent most of today at work going round and round with the U.S. Post Office trying to convince them that we are who we say we are.

I mentioned recently that I was setting up a new computer for our shipping department. Besides the usual stuff, the two main programs we use for shipping out packages are UPS Worldship and USPS Click N Ship Business Pro.

Now UPS Worldship is very simple to move over. Just go to their website, give them our UPS number, and download a new copy of Worldship, Then I just export the UPS data on the old computer, import it into the new computer. And I’m done.

But Click N Ship was another story. To download a new copy of the program, I needed to log into our US Post Office account, but I couldn’t because I didn’t know the password.

And I don’t know the password because the account was set up by my late predecessor and it wasn’t on any of the several lists I had. And when I tried to do a password reset, I also didn’t know what his pet was named, or what his favorite holiday was.

Now the website said that if I couldn’t log in or do a reset, I was supposed to just create a new account. But if I did this I was afraid it would erase all our data.

So I was on the phone for a while trying to convince them that we were really who we said, and finally, after she quizzed me about our account info, she sent me a temporary password to reset the account. And she said I was right about not creating a new account under the same name as our old one, and that it would have overwritten all our addresses and other data.

Wrapping up, Elon Musk and SpaceX just keep coming up with wild, outlandish ideas that are laughed at . . . until they work.

His latest idea, to reduce the weight of his Super Heavy Boosters by eliminating landing legs, and speed up the turn-around time to to relaunch, is to catch the booster in mid-air from the tower and then stack a new Starship on top of it.

Doing this, he hopes to have a ONE HOUR turn-around to relaunch the booster with a new loaded and ready to go Starship on top.

And Mechazilla as it’s called, is already under construction down in Boca Chica, TX.

And even more outlandish, Musk hopes to use Mechazilla and this one hour turn-around to offer point-to-point passenger service between major cities around the world.

Knowing Musk, don’t bet against him.