Daily Archives: September 1, 2022

Yes, Two!

Jan and I were on our way down to Galveston a little before 1pm, with the Sunflower Café our brunch destination.

We’ve been eating here for years, and it’s always been delicious. And today was no different.

Jan had the Little Breakfast,

Sunflower Cafe Little Breakfast 2

while I got the Big Breakfast,

SunFlower Cafe Big Breakfast

which is the Little Breakfast, plus two pancakes.

Sunflower Cafe Big Breakfast Pancakes

Pecan, in this case.

Our brunch was great, and we just sat there talking for a good while, enjoying our life.

Then we drove down along Harborside Dr. looking for the U.S.S. Texas at its dry dock.

And we did find it.

USS Texas in Dry Dock 2

But we really couldn’t get a good shot of it. But I did find this one later online, already out of the water.

USS Texas In Dry Dock

A great photo.

And I also really like this piece of artwork.

Battleship Texas - 500

That’s the San Jacinto Monument in the background in the sunset, where it used to be docked.

And to make the day even better for Jan, she had two, yes TWO, confirmed pelican sightings.

Galveston Pelican Floating

Galveston Pelican On The Fly

So she was a happy camper.

Coming home, we make a Sam’s Club stop at the La Marque location, first topping off the Jeep’s tank with gas at $2.91/gallon, a new low for this area. Then after picking up a few things at the store, we got home a little after 4pm.

A very nice day.


Thought For The Day:

Is this why they’re crunchy?

Made From Ants


September 1, 2009

Antigonish…what kind of name is that?

We left Moncton, New Brunswick  this morning about 11 am,  heading for Antigonish, Nova Scotia, about 185 miles away.

But before we left I wanted to top off the air in the tires on both the coach and the toad.  The colder weather has lowered the air pressure, and one of my coach tires has a slow leak…it loses a pound or so a week.

Luckily, I don’t have to go anywhere.  Since the rig has an on-board air compressor for the air brakes and the airbag suspension,  all I have to do is plug my air hose into a jack inside one of the front compartments and start the engine.

This works out well because the coach tires can only filled at a truck stop or tire maintenance shop.  Unlike car tires, and the ones on the toad that are aired up to 30 – 40 pounds of pressure,  the coach tires need 100 – 115 pounds.

This only took about 15 minutes and then we were on our way.

We arrived in Antigonish about 3 pm and got set up.  And after puttering for about an hour,  we went out to find a place to grab a bite of dinner.

We found a place called the Main Street Café that turned out to be real good. Jan had the Island Sunset Grilled Chicken Breast and I had the Grilled Pork Chop with Cranberry & Mango Salsa. Really good.

After dinner we ran back a local grocery store to pick up some fresh fruit.  Normally we stay stocked up, but had to eat up all we had before coming into Canada.

When we got home, I tried to set up the satellite with no luck.  This far north the satellites are pretty low on the horizon and there’s a big tree in the way.

So I guess we’ll just have to read!  Oh, the horror!!


September 1, 2010

Landon And Indiana Sunsets

Today started off with a new baby Landon photo.

All together now…… Ahhhhhhh!

Jan’s only been back 3 days and she’s already going through Landon withdrawal.

Landon in Blue

Elkhart Sunset 1

Elkhart Sunset 2

Back In Elkhart


September 1, 2011

Summer’s Last Gasp . . .

Ended up not going to bed last night (this morning?) until about 3:15am so I didn’t get up until about 10:45, giving Jan some extra computer time.

For lunch we had some of Jan’s delicious Tuna Pasta Salad that she made before we left Horseshoe Lakes. Hopefully she’ll make some more soon. It is really good.

After lunch I took apart my LogiTech Trackball Wheel Mouse to try and fix the scroll wheel. It stopped working last night and at first I thought it might have been a program glitch, so I rebooted, but that didn’t fix the problem.

Logitech Trackball Wheel

Everything worked except for the scroll wheel, so I took it apart and discovered the problems.

Cats!

Or at least our cat’s hair. The scroll wheel has small slots in it that an LED shines through to show rotation. This area was completely clogged with hair, obviously not mine.

I cleaned it all out and then started to put it back together. I finally got it but it took a while. It would certainly have helped if I had taken this photo of it before I took it apart because the wheel mechanism has six small parts, and it all just kinds falls out when you open the case.

Logitech Trackball Wheel - open

Finally getting it back together it’s now working fine.

Then I called Galveston Bay RV Resort to get our reservation in for this coming November. We’ve spent the last 3 years there, and really like the place. We plan on getting there the Sunday before Thanksgiving and leaving around the 1st of February.

Later in the afternoon, I put up the final piece of our RV Quick Shades on the driver’s side window. I put the two big windshield pieces yesterday after we got here, But we’re parked facing almost due west and the afternoon sun really bakes in, so I wanted to cover everywhere the sun come in.

It looks like this hot weather we’re seeing is Summer’s last gasp. It was 92 here in Elkhart today, with 96 coming tomorrow, and Saturday and Sunday coming in at 87 and 75 respectively for the highs.

By Monday the high is supposed to be 67 degrees! Then we’re supposed to have about 10 days of weather with highs in the low 70’s and lows in mid 40’s.

NICE!

It’s really good to be back in Elkhart. It’s become almost like a second home.


September 1, 2012

A Nice Dreary Day . . .

Jan and I started out this nice dreary morning by having breakfast in downtown Celina at The Fountain, a really good small town dinner, right on the square.

After we finished our meal, Jan and I walked across the street to the courthouse square to take in the small Farmer’s Market that was set up there. Jan found some Halloween jewelry that she just had to have. She has jewelry for just about every holiday.

After we left the Market, we drove over to a small house next door to the City Library. Here they sell used books left over from the library or donated for sale. In fact Jan found two J. A. Jance books she had been looking for, and only paid 25 cents each. Nice!

Getting back to the rig I decided to get in a nap. Gotta get my rest in while I can.

About 4pm Chris and Charles Yust dropped by for a while. Chris and Charles are agents for GMAC insurance, and handle our RV and Auto insurance.

Getting back to the rig, the rain that we had been promised all day finally started to roll in. But it didn’t seem to last too long.

Gate Guarding In South Texas


September 1, 2013

Chili, Four Ways + . . .

The last couple of days have been a little busy as the sand trucks start coming in, prepositioning sand for when fracking starts on Tuesday. Originally it was set to go on Monday, but it got delayed.

When we got a new generator the other day our just-filled 500 gallon water tank went with the old one.  And the new one was pretty empty. Our service guy said he’d get someone out here to fill it, but I think that got lost in the changeover. We were told that morning that from now on all the gate guards here would get our water and diesel from the rig suppliers. But there was some confusion as to who we call to get service.

So late yesterday afternoon, we ran out of water. Of course the immediate solution was to just turn on our pump and use the water from our RV tank. No problem with that since I made sure we came over here with a full tank. But we quickly realized the REAL problem was that now our misting system on the fan didn’t work since it comes from the external tank. BUMMER!

As they say you never miss something until it’s gone. And boy did we miss the mister. There’s a lot of difference between a fan blowing 100 degree air and one blowing 75 degree air with the mister.

We did finally track down who to call later in the afternoon and were told they would have someone out about 5:30 tomorrow morning, which was fine. But they actually showed up about 10pm this evening, which was better. So, hot today, mister tomorrow.

I mentioned the other day about fracking using water, sand, and a little detergent. The water pressure fractures the rock, the sand holds the fractures open, and the detergent kind of lubricates things. And since most fracking takes place at 10 to 12,000 feet down, and the water table is usually just a couple of hundred feet down, it’s always funny to see some of the anti-fracking propaganda about all the problems fracking causes with the water supply.

One of the most visual ones has been shown on TV and in the movies where people light the water coming out of their tap, thus ‘proving’ that fracking is evil, and puts methane in the water supply.

But a recently uncovered State of Michigan pamphlet blows it all out of the water, so to speak. Published in 1965, it details the problems and dangers due to naturally-occurring methane found in water supplies in Michigan. This about 20 years before any fracking was done in the area. So there.

Brandi and Lowell are in New Orleans this weekend, along with her BFF Shawna and husband Jason. They’re celebrating Brandi’s 40th birthday a couple of weeks early, so while they’re gone, Aunt Sherry is Landon-sitting and it looks like they’re having a good time.

I think this was taken at one of the lakes in their new subdivision.

What I want to know is what Aunt Sherry did to get him to hold still for this picture, and are drugs involved?

Landon with Aunt Sherry

Most of the pictures I take of him, he’s just a blur.

For dinner tonight, Jan fixed Chili, Four Ways +. We found that we can buy Cincinnati’s famous Skyline Chili in cans at many Wal-Marts, so we stock up when we can.

Chili, Four Ways, Cincinnati style is spaghetti, with Skyline Chili, Cheese, and Beans on top. The + comes from the fact that she added some Habanero Rotel Tomatoes to the mix for a little extra kick.

It would have been Chili, Five Ways if we had added diced onions, but we didn’t have any. But even Four Ways, it was really good. A quick, easy, delicious meal. And we’ve got leftovers for tomorrow.


September 1, 2014

Soon? We Hope . . .

After coffee and muffins this morning, we just took it easy, enjoying the quiet before the gate, so to speak.

About 2pm I head over to the Wal-Mart in Pleasanton to go ahead and stock us up with groceries so we won’t have to worry about that for a while if we get a gate in the next couple of days. Was kind of surprised to see that the place wasn’t very busy at all.

But I think that was because everyone was out on I-37 heading back to San Antonio from Corpus and the Valley. When I got on the Interstate heading for Pleasanton, I was in the middle of a solid two lanes of traffic heading north. But then coming home, the road was pretty empty.

For dinner about 6pm we had some of the Wacky Mac tuna pasta salad that had been marinating in the fridge since she made it yesterday. And as I had thought, the tomato, spinach, and beet powders listed on the package are just there to color the pasta naturally. They certainly didn’t change the taste. But it was really delicious and we each had two bowls.

I’ve been going through our bins a little more, pulling out the big items we’ll need on the gate. Or may need.

This first one we didn’t need at all last year since we stayed at one gate the entire 3 months, and we were only about two miles off the Interstate.

But in 2012 we were at four different gates, and used this Wilson Booster on two of them. And on one of them I was hitting a cellphone tower 21 miles away.

Wilson Electronics DB Pro Cellular Signal Booster

Wilson Cell Phone Booser

I had the directional antenna mounted on a 20 pole made up of 4 – 5 foot antenna sections from Radio Shack. When I bought ours in April of 2012 it was about $350, but now it runs about $400. But since we get our Internet access as well as cell service this way, when we need it, we need it.

I’ve got a few more items, but I’ll save those for tomorrow.

We’ll be up early tomorrow to check in at the office to see if there’s anything on the schedule for us.

Gate Guarding Near Carthage, TX


September 1, 2015

Week Two On The Gate . . .

Well, after thinking things might be slowing to a halt, today was actually busier than yesterday. A lot of new companies came in to do their thing, I guess getting ready for the frack crew to come in. Of course that time frame keeps changing.

At first we were told the frack would start in four or five days from last Tuesday, when we got here. Then yesterday we heard two to three weeks. But this afternoon, a guy who had just come from the frack site over in Louisiana said they should be finished up next week and then come over here. He also said that it could take two months to frack the three holes here.

Which brings up another thing. We were originally told there were two holes being fracked at this pad, but the guy said three. And when I drove down to the pad this afternoon after everyone left, there are three wells, so who knows

Site Carthage

I also saw several pieces of equipment still on the pad, so that bodes well too.

If they do go two months or so here, that’ll be great, because the next frack after this one is scheduled for right up the road about 1/4 mile from here. If so, those next three wells should easily take us to the end of November when we’ll head back to Houston for the winter

Jan has kind of been worried about how busy this frack will be, mainly because of the ‘killer’ pace last year where we had over 500 vehicles a day coming in through the gate each day, and of course, leaving later. That meant we had almost 1000 login/logouts in a 24 hour period. That’s about one every two minutes.

And then in 2013 we were on a frack gate for the entire three months, and were doing 250 to 350 vehicles a day coming in. But I reminded her that we’ve actually never been on a ‘single’ frack gate.

In 2013, besides the frack, they were hauling water out from our frack pond to another site, running two workover rigs, one drill rig, and building a pipeline. It wasn’t just a frack.

And last year, at its peak, we sometimes had two fracks, two workover rigs, and two drill rigs going at the same time. Of course we were making more than the standard $150 a day, a lot more, but still . . .

I finally got a chance to check the water pressure at the well and only found about 20psi, which explains the weak showers we were getting. So I guess I’ll just use the well water to keep the tanks filled and not tried to run directly off it.

When I drove down to the pad this afternoon I also checked out one of the three frack ponds they have here.

Frack Pond Carthage

Really big, bigger than others I’ve seen. In fact, this photo only shows about half of the pond anyway.

Jan’s decided to put off her hair cut trip into Carthage tomorrow, hoping we might get a day off later this week so we can go together and have dinner.

Of course she’s also afraid that the hair salons in a small town like Carthage won’t have her hair cut records anyway.

Gate Guarding Near Blue Moon BBQ


September 1, 2016

So’s an Oven . . .

So far the weather is holding pretty steady, and not too bad at all. The temps are staying in the high 80’s/low 90’s with low 70’s at night. Very nice overall, especially compared to our first two years gate guarding down in south Texas.

Back then we regularly saw temps in the hundred teens, but of course as everyone says, “It’s a dry heat.”

113 Thermometer

Yeah, so is an oven.

And as far as rain goes, that’s been pretty nice also, We’ve had a couple of 10-15 minute showers, but nothing sustained or heavy. And we’re not supposed to have the possibility of any more rain until Monday or Tuesday.

Here’s hoping.

A couple of times the sky has gotten really dark and I thought we were in for it, but according to the Rainy Days weather radar app, the storms just skirted around us. Sometimes even splitting apart as it past over over us, leaving us nice and dry.

Lucky!

The problem with our DirecTV receiver not getting guide info has not come back, so tonight I’ll probably swap domes again to see if the problem reappears with the new dome.

Jamie, our supervisor/service guy is supposed to be here tomorrow morning to bring us some more water, since we didn’t a full 500 gallons when we got here, only about 350 gallons,

I can tell we’re getting low since the output of the pump is pulsing slightly, but we’ve got a full rig water tank, so we can just switch over to it for a while if we need to. He’s also supposed to bring me a hardhat for going on the pad. That way I can drop our garbage off at the trash trailer.

I don’t know if he will do our two week generator service (oil and filter change) while he’s here since it’s a few days early, so we’ll see.

I put in orders to Amazon and Jet.com today so we’ll see how the ‘address’ thing works. I tried to be a little descriptive when I entered the address, but unlike Jet.com, Amazon was a little uptight about what I want to enter as an address.

I put the street address that Tony, the landowner, had given me in Address 1, and then in Address 2, I put “RV at Drill Site”. Well, Amazon kept telling me there was a problem with the entry in Address 1, so I tried a number of different versions and spellings with no luck. It wouldn’t let me proceed past that point.

Finally I removed the “RV at Drill Site’’, in Address 2, and suddenly it was fine with Address 1 now. So I tried putting “RV at Drill Site” down in the space for “Gate Codes, Security Codes” and it took it. So we’ll see how it works.

On the other hand, Jet.com had no problem with “RV at Drill Site” in Address 2, so that’s what I used there.

I wish they’d let you be a little descriptive in your directions, you know like, “Quarter Mile SW from Blue Moon BBQ”. The local delivery guy would know exactly where that is.

Or maybe let you enter latitude/longitude coordinates. That would work.

Still don’t know what they do about the Labor Day holiday here. In the past some of our rigs have shut down, and some keep working. Guess we’ll find out Monday.

It would be nice to have a night off for dinner in BCS, though.

Post Hurricane Harvey


September 1, 2017

Leave Well Enough Alone . . .

Been wanting to open carry your foil or epée on the way home from fencing practice?

Or think you’d feel safer bar-hopping on Saturday night carrying your Texas Toothpick on your belt?

Bowie Knife

A Texas Toothpick. Also known as a Bowie Knife.

Well, as of today, September 1st, It’s now legal here in Texas to carry knives longer than 5.5 inches, the previously-legal length.

Don’t mess with Texas.

About 12:30 I drove out to the Ranger Station to re-up until next Wednesday, the 6th . . . when we’re supposed to be back here from Colorado River.

Yes, we’re actually supposed to be there, but they got flooded out and probably won’t be open until the middle of September. So we just stayed here, and since the park offices were all closed, there was no one to talk to. But we heard that corporate said it was OK, so we went with that.

So now we’re ‘legal’ here until the 6th, when we’ll check right back in here for another two weeks.

If we don’t go gate guarding.

With that straighten out I drove over into Willis to pick up a few things at Kroger’s. It was interesting to see that although their gas station was pretty busy, with two or three cars lined up at every pump, the price was still $1.99

The store was better stocked than our last  visit, but there were still some odd shortages. For instance, they were completely out of any type of Meow Mix cat foods (Karma’s favorite brand) both wet and dry. And they were fully stocked with Coffeemate Coffee Creamers, but were completely out of any International Delight flavors.

Leaving, I decided to take the back way out, which took me past the Whataburger . . . and found it now open. In fact they had just opened for the first time at 10:30 this morning, and were only serving a limited menu, drive thru only  –

Burgers, Fries, and Drinks.

Well, what else do you need?

So I got a couple of #6’s to bring home for lunch. Nice!

Last June, our Sharp microwave malfunctioned and would not let the door open. So when I finally got it open I found that one of the interlocking door latches had broken, so I went online and ordered a new one.

Here’s that blog.

So for $6.80 I was able to fix it. For a while at least.

A few months later it started acting up again, but with a different problem. When you started it up, the timer would count down, but sometimes the light would go off, and when that happened it would stop heating, but keep counting.

But if we pushed in on the control panel, the light would come back on and it would start heating again. It seemed to be heat-related somehow. It might work for the first 5 minutes cooking something. But if we then tried to cook something else, it would act up.

So yesterday I decided to take it all apart again and see what I could find. I used some silicone lube on the latch moving parts, and exercised the several microswitches.

And when I put it back together, it worked. But now the interior light, which should be on only when the door is open or you’re heating something, now stays on all the time. But it now cooks with no problem.

So I guess I could take it all apart again, but then something else might go wrong, so, since it’s only a light bulb staying on, I think I’ll leave well enough alone this time.


September 1, 2018

Happy Almost Birthday, Miss Piper!

Jan and I headed out about 10:30, traveling up the Clear Lake area to meet our granddaughter, Miss Piper, at The Egg and I for breakfast.

We were spending the day together to celebrate her almost birthday. The reason for this pre-celebration celebration because her actual birthday is next Friday, but we’ll be celebrated Landon’s post birthday birthday celebration.

His birthday was actually August 20, but since that was kind of in the middle of the whole closing on the new house/moving in thing, Brandi scheduled his big party for this coming Saturday.

Hopefully you got all that.

Piper Egg and I

Piper is working in Medical Administration at M. D. Anderson Cancer Hospital up in Houston, which is also where Jan worked back in the 80’s. So it was interesting to hear them comparing parking lots, buildings, and benefits.

Piper not really happy with the long drive in to Houston five days a week, but since she works from 7am to 3p, she misses some of the traffic problems. Even better, M. D. Anderson is opening a facility down in this area so she hopes to be able to transfer when the time comes.

Piper said she’ll have her BS in Healthcare Administration with a minor in Psychology in less than a year, and then she starts on her Masters.

Jan and I are really proud of her.

I had my usual Two Egg Breakfast, while Jan had her Onion, Mushroom, Tomato Omelet with a side salad,

Egg and I Jan Omelet 2

while Miss Piper went with this.

Egg and I Piper

You can eat like this when you’re skinny.

After breakfast we split up, with Jan and Piper heading out for Mani-Pedi’s and shopping, while I headed over, first to WalMart to pick up a USB printer cable and a pair of windshield wipers.

The printer cable was for Miss Piper’s birthday present, a HP 6952 printer. The new printer didn’t come with one, but I figured I would just use the one with her old printer. But it turns out she didn’t have an ‘old’ printer, which is why she needed a printer for her birthday.

And since Piper mentioned that one of the wipers on her Mazda Miata was coming apart, I picked up a pair of those too.

Still needing to kill time, I decided spend it at the Baybrook Mall Starbucks having a Salted Caramel Latte, Venti, of course. And on the way I drove by our old house to see if they’d made any changes, but nothing noticeable yet.

As I was leaving the Starbucks, I saw this car and didn’t recognize the trident emblem on the front.

Maserati 1

But after checking the rear, I knew why. You don’t see them very  often.

Maserati 2

It’s a Maserati sedan. A Levante that starts at about $75,000.

We all met up at Piper’s apartment a little after 3pm so I could set up her new printer and get it configured. Then when we left about a hour later I installed the new wiper blades on the way.

Tomorrow Jan and I are heading up to Brandi and Lowell’s for an inaugural pool party.

Brandi New House Pool Area

Even Baxter likes the pool.

Baxter at the pool

Really looking forward to it.


September 1, 2019

Cake and Keto . . .

Yesterday afternoon Jan and I got together at King Food with our long-time friend’s Bob and Maria Sutton.

Bob snd Maria Sutton at IHOP

We’ve known them since the mid-80’s when we met over Commodore Amigas at a local computer store.

Jan and I stayed Keto with KF’s Chicken with Hot Garlic Sauce,

King Food Chick with Hot Garlic

and the Broccoli and Hot Garlic Sauce.

King Food Broccoli with Hot Garlic Sauce

And of course, a bowl of their Hot and Sour Soup

King Food Big Hot & Sour

It’s been a while since we’ve gotten together, and we need to do it more often.

This morning I went outside and added a 2nd magnet to the top outside passenger side solar screen on the rig. For some reason that’s the only one that seems to come loose occasionally during wind and rain. So this should take care of it.

This afternoon Jan and I headed out about 1pm to have lunch once again at our new favorite Black Bear Diner. And we both had our new favorite meals, Jan’s Big Burger with Avocado, no bun. And a Dinner Salad for the side.

I had my same New York Steak and Eggs, also with a Dinner Salad instead of the Fruit and English Muffin.

Unfortunately I left my phone at home, so no photos.

After we got home our daughter Brandi sent over a couple of photos for me to play with.

Landon and Sophie Birthday 0

Sophie Birthday Dakota 0

The first one is of Landon, his best friend Sophie, and Landon’s dog, Baxter. The second one is of Sophie’s dog, Dakota. Unfortunately Dakota was ill and had to be put down recently.

Landon and Sophie are having a birthday party together this coming Saturday, so Brandi wanted me to combine the two photos to put on their birthday cake.

So this was the first pass.

Landon and Sophie Birthday a

Then I cropped the result down a little tighter.

Landon and Sophie Birthday4a

Finally I eliminated the background leaving just this part.

Landon and Sophie Birthday5a

I’ll be looking forward to seeing how it looks on the cake.


September 1, 2020

A Real Mess . . .

I went outside this afternoon, and after first taking care of some other rig chores, I took another look at the rig’s wiring harness in the engine compartment. And boy, is it a real mess.

RV Wiring Mess

And right now I’m not yet sure what goes where.

All of this was tie-wrapped into a big bundle and tucked back under the frame member out of sight. If I made a mess like this, I’d hide it too. So I cut it loose and tried to make sense of it.

I have two bundles enclosed in wire loom that look to have been pulled loose from somewhere, but it’s not obvious from where. And the the wires don’t match each other.

Our rig had two owners before us and it looks like both of them make their own changes, mostly to add wiring for the towed vehicle lighting hookup.

So I’ll be back on the phone with Spartan tomorrow trying to figure out where this bundle connects up with rig’s lights.

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