Daily Archives: September 15, 2022

Happy Birthday to My Other Sweetie . . .

Today is our favorite daughter Brandi’s Birthday. That’s her on the left with her BFF Shawna.

Brandi and Shawna in San Diego

Happy Birthday, Sweetie! Love you!

While I was up at Brandi’s in Katy on Tuesday, I noticed that Verizon has 5G in her area now. And it’s really fast.

5G Katy 186Mbps

Yes, that’s 186 Mbps fast, though the upload speed is nothing great.

But it is the fastest 5G speed I’ve seen so far.

Coming soon to an area near you. Maybe.

On another speed note, our park owner, Rob, texted us the other day that the park WiFi will be down on/around Saturday, September 19 while Comcast is working on it. Hopefully it will mean a speed increase for our park WiFi.

We’ll see.

We’re starting to get our first and second tastes of Fall around here. The first one is the daytime temps are staying the high 80’s, and that’s been going on for a couple of weeks now. However the second one we’re just starting to see, and that’s the nighttime temps falling into the 60’s. We’ve only seen it once, a 68 a couple of days ago, but hopefully more soon.

The only thing still left over in the new area of our park is an old truck.

Petticoat Junction Old Truck

I figure that someone, somewhere would want this to rebuild it. I would hate to see it trashed.

I guess it’s lucky that it didn’t get ‘eaten’ by the excavator.

Lunch today was Los Ramirez Mexican once again, with a change for me this time. Jan always raves about the Pechuga Rellena, a large grilled chicken breast, over a bed of grilled shrimp and broccoli, and covered in cheese.

So I had to try it for myself.

Los Ramirez Pechuga Rellena Greg 20220915

And she’s right. It’s really delicious. It may be my new go-to dish for now.

After that it was on up to the Webster area to get my haircut, and then back down to the HEB for a few things before getting home a little after 4pm.

Another nice day!

Thought for the Day:

A watched pot never boils, but it does get paranoid.

September 15, 2009

Back Home in the U.S.A….for now…

First off, Happy Birthday to our daughter Brandi.

Today was a rest and recuperation day back in the US. But it’s our last full day in the US for about a week.

Tomorrow we leave for Canada again. This time we’re heading up north thru Quebec and Ontario and then down to Rome, NY and Niagara Falls.

So all we did today was eat lunch at a good Chinese buffet and then did the Walmart thing.

We’re beginning to see the leaves change up here. Two weeks ago when we were here, this tree was solid green.

Now look at it.

Fall Tree Pic

This is a real nice park and we’re back in the same space we were two weeks ago. Mister certainly likes the grass and trees.

My Bother's Place 2

We’ll go ahead and top off the diesel tomorrow before we leave since I didn’t fill up in Canada the other day.

Then we’ll head up to Notre Dame du Lac about 130 miles north for the night.

September 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Brandi Leigh White Morrison . . .

First off, I want to wish our daughter Brandi a Happy Birthday. Here she is with her husband, Lowell.


I spent this morning checking in with several clients, and catching up on things. Then on the way home I stopped by the bank. I love the new ATM deposit feature where you just stick your checks in and it does it all for you.

An interesting new local attraction.

Oil Wrestling 1

And, of course, here’s your obligatory Landon “Ahhhhh” moment.

Landon - Chubby Cheeks and Thighs

About 4:30 pm we all (except for Chris’ wife, Linda, who had to work) met at Chuy’s, a Mexican restaurant we really like. We have eaten at the one down in the Galleria area a number of times, but they just opened a new one yesterday right here in the Clear Lake area. A lot more convenient.

And, of course, being all together, we all got some quality Landon time.

Landon started out sleeping peacefully in his carrier, but that didn’t last long.

Landon at Chuys

Here’s “Nana” Jan

Jan And Landon 3

“Papa” Greg

Greg And Landon
“Uncle” Chris

Chris And Landon

And here’s a great shot of our son Chris, and our granddaughter Piper.

Chris And Piper

More tomorrow…

September 15, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Happy_Birthday To our Wonderful Daughter Brandi.

Or Amish and Avanti’s . . .

On a first note, I guess I’m officially ‘old’ now. This morning when I got up and checked my email, I had . . . my first email for a Hoveround Power Chair. Oh, the horror!


Just thinking, I wonder when the time comes though, can I tow it 4 down?

So, after an otherwise quiet morning, about 1:30 we headed out for an afternoon drive thru the Amish country around Shipshewana.

And it wasn’t long until we came over a hill and ran into an Amish traffic jam.

Amish Traffic Jam

We spent several hours just driving up and down the country roads, admiring the neat and tidy farms.

Amish Farm

Coming into Shipshewana, we saw a group of Amish women and children having a picnic in the city park with their buggies parked nearby.

Amish Picnic

Coming back into Shipshewana we decided to stop off at E & S Sales. It’s kinda like an Amish Sam’s Club, but without the clothes.

E and S Sales

Want that 50 lb. bag of grits. They’ve got it.

Need a 25 lb. round of cheese, or a 10 lb. block of butter. You’ve come to the right place.

They also have a large selection of bagged goods, like wheat, rice, cake mix, and many others.

E and S Sales 2

Although there was a lot of ‘English’ (that’s what the Amish call us non-Amish) in the store, the majority of the customers seemed to be Amish, or maybe Mennonite, which is kind of like, Amish-Lite.

I was interested to see what the Amish families were buying, and it seemed to be pretty much what you would see in any grocery store, I.e. potato chips, snack crackers, cookies, etc.

One cart I looked at had the child seat area completely filled with many bags of Chips Ahoy Chocolate Chip Cookies. I thought they must have a lot of kids, but looking around I just saw the husband and wife, both kind of young.

Someone has a secret addiction left over from their Rumspringa.

Leaving E & S, we headed back to Middlebury, and our dinner at Das Dutchman Essenhaus.

Das Essenhaus

This is a large Amish-style restaurant that serves really good food three different ways. You can get it family style, where they just keep bringing food to your table until you either surrender or explode, or buffet style, where you get up and get your own food until you’re too fat to walk to the buffet table again, . . . or you explode.

Or you can just wimp out and order from the menu, but what’s the fun in that?

As we were coming into the parking lot for the restaurant we noticed that a car club was having a old car show, so after dinner, I had to check it out.

They did have some cars you don’t see too often. This is a 1964 Amphicar, a car/boat, or a boat/car, take you pick.


About 4000 were made between 1961 and 1965, and is considered one of the most “successful amphibious civilian autos of all time”, although Time’s Dan Neil called it “a vehicle that promised to revolutionize drowning”, explaining, “Its flotation was entirely dependent on whether the bilge pump could keep up with the leakage.”

An owner said “It’s not a good car and it’s not a good boat, but it does just fine” largely because of modest performance in and out of water. “We like to think of it as the fastest car on the water and fastest boat on the road.”

Next up was a BMW Isetta 300. This design originated in Italy and was licensed to several other countries, including France, Spain, Belgium, Brazil, The United Kingdom, and of course, BMW in Germany. And the BMW version was very successful, selling over 160,000 units.


The BMW had a one cylinder 13hp engine and a top speed of 53 mph. You enter the car by opening the entire front, just like a refrigerator. Which makes sense, I guess, because the Italian company that designed it, made refrigerators before it got into the car business.

We saw a number of really neat cars, like this 1960 Corvette,

60 Corvette

This 1926 Model T,

26 Model T

And this Model T with an all chrome engine. “Just look at ‘dem’ pipes.”

Model T Engine

This is a beautiful 1934 Dodge Delivery Sedan. Made for salesman making deliveries, it had no back seat, but the enormous trunk extended into that area, making it kind of an early station wagon, I guess.

34 Dodge Delivery Sedan

These last two are a 1971 and a 1974 Avanti. Originally made by Studebaker from 1962 to 1964, the Avanti Corporation bought the tooling after Studebaker folded. They have been in production almost continuously since then, and you can still buy one today.

71 Avanti

74 Avanti

Besides the GTO, I really lusted after one of these as a kid.

Then I discovered girls.

September 15, 2012

Ah, Peace and Quiet . . .

Jan has laryngitis. (ducking)

She is feeling better, but over the last two days her voice has been reduced to just a squeak. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow.

Later in the morning we called our daughter Brandi to wish her a happy birthday. And since Jan could only squeak, I had to provide a running translation.

After working on some inside stuff, I moved out to the picnic table to install the replacement 12 volt power cord on my Brake Buddy toad braking system. The outside looks like this.

Brake Buddy Classic

On the inside it looks like this.

Brake Buddy 1

It’s actually pretty simple inside, consisting of an air pump, a air reservoir, a 12 volt vacuum switch, and an air-powered actuator that pushes down the brake pedal

Replacing the power cord turned out to be pretty simple once I got the case open.

At that point I found the power cord connected via two spade lugs. So I got my connector kit out, put new lugs on the new cable, unplugged the old cable, and then plugged in the new one.

Easy Peazy.

I wrapped things up by putting the case back together and then testing it in the truck to be sure it powered up.

Another item checked off my list.

About 5pm we headed into Harrison, OH to have dinner at La Rosa’s Pizza. As it turns out the pizza was so-so, but as usual the company was great and the conversation was sparkling.

September 15, 2013

Someone really knows their way around a pork chop . . .

Or maybe the storm is over.

After vehicle-count highs of 255 and 291 a couple of days ago, yesterday’s count was 237 and today’s was 133.

Very, very nice, believe me.

For dinner tonight we shared one of the Hell Fighters’ Kitchen meals that they dropped off last night. It was a 2 inch thick pork chop, with green beans, twice-baked potatoes, salad, and an almond cookie. And this was the best meal yet.

Someone there really knows how to cook. And how to use spices and seasonings, too. And even better, since they always drop off two meals, and splitting one is plenty for us, we have another one for tomorrow. With them coming every other day, this pretty much means no cooking for Jan. And she likes that.

That’s about it for tonight.

September 15, 2014

It’s a Yugo!


Well, we bumped up to 100 vehicles today, but not bad at all. Pretty much slow and steady, sometimes not seeing a vehicle for 30 minutes or so. But it’s still going to be interesting to see how we’re going to handle things when the fracks start. Not the logging, but physically getting all those trucks in and out of our one lane gate.

As it is now, trucks leaving, come around the curve about 100 yards away and head toward our gate. It’s only when they get here that they can now look down the road to see if anyone is coming in. If there is, the truck leaving has to back up into a pull-out just below us. This is because the incoming trucks have nowhere to pull off coming in.

So if there’s a line of trucks coming in and a line of trucks coming out, everyone’s stuck. But, who knows. It may work. And then again, “maybe the horse will sing.”

It made it up to 88 today, really pretty nice, with 90 expected tomorrow. Then it’s 80’s again for a while, with maybe some rain. Of course that could change. It always does.

Our drill rig is back to making a lot of funny noises again, and they don’t seem to be using the hanging drill pipe very fast. But maybe there’s a reason.

A couple of nights ago, I was talking to one of the contractor guys as he was leaving. We’d gotten friendly over the last few days, so I asked him about this rig, about why it was taking so long to set up and start drilling, and why it was making all these noises I hadn’t heard before. I then mentioned that, of course, my only experience was the Marathon/H&P rig we followed for 4 months in 2012.

He laughed and said, “Them H&P rigs are nice. They’re compact, and made to tear down and put up quickly. And they run great. H&P rigs are the Cadillac of rigs.”

“These here rigs, these are Yugo’s”

Ah, well, that explains everything.

About 4:30 this morning I had the feeling that someone was watching me. And he was.

I looked up from my laptop, and about 6 feet away was a big black steer, just standing there, staring at me. He stood there for about 15 seconds and then turned away and starting walking across the road. By then I was finally able to get a photo of him as he moseyed away.


Our new GGS support guy, Scotty, came by today to top us off with diesel and water. We weren’t hurting for either one, with about 80 gallons of diesel left and 200 gallons of water. While he was here, he also did an oil change on our generator, which meant he had to shut it down for about 10 minutes or so. But no problem since it was still pretty cool. And not worth starting up our onboard generator for that time, as we’ve done when it was 100 degrees in past years.

I mentioned yesterday that today, the 15th, was our daughter Brandi’s birthday. What I didn’t know was that she’s in Atlanta for a business conference this week and Landon and Lowell are batching it. But Landon had to wish his Mommy a Happy Birthday anyway.

September 15, 2015

Chicken or Fish . . .

First off, Jan and I want to wish our wonderful daughter Brandi a very Happy Birthday.

Sorry we couldn’t be there, sweetie, but we’ll see you soon.

Mister still seems to be doing fine with his insulin shots. He never meows or even jerks. He just looks at me with that, “Can I have my treat now?” look. He also seems to be eating and drinking less. So far, so good.

The procedure is pretty easy and only takes a couple of minutes. I just get the insulin out of the fridge and roll it between my fingers (don’t shake it). The I pulled a new syringe out of the container, pop off the end caps and drop them in the disposal top. Next I insert the needle into the bottle of insulin and first pull out 5 units. Then I push back in until I only have 2 units left in the syringe.

At this point I’ve already got Mister up on the counter, watching me as I do all of this. Then I just pinch off a fold of skin on a thigh or shoulder, and pop him. Easy Peazy.

Apparently for both him and me.

I had to go into Carthage this morning to drop some packages off at the Post Office, and on the way back I stopped off to pick up lunch. No, not Whataburger this time.

Jan said she was wanting chicken so I decided to check out Chicken Express. They’re always busy when I drive by, and they’ve got 4.5 stars on Yelp, so it looked like a good bet. And it was.

I’ve seen them around, and according to their website, they’ve got over 200 locations, but this was our first time to try one. Unfortunately, as they say, no good deed goes unpunished. But it wasn’t Chicken Express’ fault, it was mine. Sometimes I’m just too polite for my own good.

As I started to enter the store, I could see in the glass door reflection, a lady about 30 or 40 feet behind me following me in. Now she was far enough back that I could have been at the counter before she got to the door. But Nooo, I had wait the extra time to hold the door open for her, and then follow her in and get in line behind her.

Whereupon she proceeded to order 250 chicken tenders to go. I was going to be here for a while.

But, as they say, it was worth the wait.

Jan got the chicken tenders, FINALLY, along with Mac N Cheese and a biscuit. I decided to check out their catfish fillets and hushpuppies, along with corn on the cob and fried okra.

Jan said hers was delicious, and some of the best Mac N Cheese she’s had. For my part, the fish was great, with crunchy crust, and the fried okra was some of the best I’ve had. So we were both happy.

We did get some rain around 8pm. Not long, only about 20 minutes, and with no wind to blow it under the canopy.

Pretty much the perfect amount to settle the dust for a couple of days.

September 15, 2016

Boy, that’s big!

First up, Jan and I want to wish our beautiful daughter Brandi a Happy Birthday! Sorry we couldn’t be there, but it looks like she had a nice lunch with some of her coworkers. That’s her on the left in both photos

Brandi Birthday 1

Brandi Birthday 2

Since I was not only getting groceries today, but also returning and then getting a new TV, I was out the door and on my way a little earlier this morning.

As usual Wal-Mart didn’t give me any problems returning the old one, giving me the money back on a gift card instead of cash. Cash didn’t make sense anyway since I was just going to give it right back to them.

Luckily the new one I wanted was right out on the shelf so I was in and out fairly quickly. I paid for it back in the TV department rather than taking up front, because then they have to put one of those ‘Spider Wraps’ (that’s what they call them) on the box. And in the past they’ve had problems getting them off up front.

Once again I anted up for the 3 year extended warranty, giving me a total of 4 years on the new one. Usually though, if electronics makes it past the “infant mortality’ stage, then it’s going to keep working. Of course there’s always just the luck of the draw, like the failure of our old one. You never know.

Finishing up with the groceries, I again headed across the parking lot to the Chick-fil-A for our lunch. One thing I sometimes wonder about is why people wait in long drive-thru lines?

I parked in the parking lot, and then was in and out in 8 minutes with my order. Meanwhile, a red Corvette had moved forward about 4 cars, and still had about 10 cars in front of  him. I was probably halfway back to the rig.before he got his order.

So are people just that lazy that they won’t walk 25 feet or what?

Back at the rig, we again enjoyed our Chick-fil-A lunch. While I stayed with my Spicy Chicken Deluxe Sandwich with Bacon, Jan tried out their Spicy Southwest Chicken Salad, that our daughter Brandi had recommended earlier. Jan said it was delicious, and one of those ‘get again’ meals.

Unlike yesterday when Jan stayed outside longer and got too hot while I set the new TV up, this time I made her go on inside, and said that I would set it up tonight. I told her she could just stare at the box in Antici . . . Pation. (some of you may get that.)

When I got up at 10pm, it only took me about 30 minutes to get our  new Samsung 40” TV up and running. Luckily this larger model comes with the pedestal base rather than the two widely spaced feet, so it’s much more stable in position.

New 40 inch TV

Although mathematically it’s only 25% bigger, it looks a lot bigger than that. And the picture quality increase, with brighter colors and blacker blacks, is really noticeable.

And the new TV has Screen Mirroring, so our Samsung TV can connect with my Samsung Galaxy S5 phone and my Samsung Tab 4 tablet. Neat!

Now I just have to figure out how to dispose of our old one.

The rig completed their move to the next hole this afternoon, but as of midnight, they’re still not up and running yet.

Fine with us. The longer we’re here, the better.

September 15, 2017

I Could Have Told You That . . .

With another Clear Lake work day on tap, I was on the way south about 9:45, getting there about 11pm

I spent most of the day catching up on long-missed product/price corrections to the paper catalog and online website that had been neglected for months. Then I got back searching through the computer’s folders one at a time, cataloging and renaming them. For some reason the ex-guy just stashed critical files all over, in folders called Temp, New Folder, Stuff, etc. So one folder at a time, I’m gradually finding what I need.

I was on my way back home up in Conroe by 3:45, hoping to get ahead of the traffic, but today the traffic got ahead of me. Don’t know if there had been an earlier wreck, or it was just Friday, but it was bumper-to-bumper, stop and start, from Fuqua all the way into the I-69/US59 split. But after taking 59, it was full speed around to the Hardy Toll Road and on up to I-45. Even with speedup, the 1:15 trip took me 2 hours.

But it did have a nice ending, because our friends Debi and Ed Hurlburt had picked Jan up at our rig, and then we all met up at El Bosque Mexican Restaurant for dinner about 5:45pm.

Jan tried something new this time, the Pollo Mar, a chicken breast topped with shrimp, mushrooms tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapeno cheese.

El Bosque Pollo ala Mar

She said it was really good and she’ll definitely have it again.

I went back with my favorite Beef Fajitas Poblanos.

El Bosque Fajita Poblanos

It’s Beef Fajitas with bacon-grilled onions, poblano peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, and two white cheeses. Again really good, as usual.

We always have a great time with Debi and Ed, and it’s amazing how much we all have in common. Just really great friends.

Tomorrow we’ve got another day-trip in store, first down to our son Chris’ in Friendswood, and then on down to Galveston to have breakfast at the Sunflower Café before heading over to Moody Gardens to check out their new Aquarium Pyramid and their da Vinci exhibit.. This is actually a dual birthday celebration, for our granddaughter Piper’s 24th birthday on September 7th, and our daughter Brandi’s . . .  well,she’s one year older today, the 15th.

The only downside to all this is that we have to be on the road by 6:30am, way too early.

Finally, under the heading I Could Have Told You That.

The University of Pennsylvania just released the results of a study showing bald really is beautiful. The UP study was composed of three major tests given to students on campus. Male and female students were asked to rate photos of men according to attractiveness, confidence, and dominance.

And bald men won out in all categories. Well, what else were you expecting?

For my part, very soon after Jan and I got serious, I told her I was almost certainly going to be bald by the time I was 25. And the reason I knew this can be seen in this photo of three of my mother’s four brothers. And the fourth one was bald too.

Mother's Brothers

They say the baldness gene comes down the mother’s side. And it did.

Luckily for me, it turns out that Jan liked bald guys.

September 15, 2018

Happy Birthday, Brandi!

First off, Jan and I want to wish our beautiful daughter Brandi a very Happy Birthday.

Brandi and Landon for Her Birthday Photo

We love you, sweetie.

Because of the 70% chance of rain forecast for today, we put off our rig’s planned test drive/top off the diesel until Tuesday. Of course it dawned bright and sunny this morning with nary a drop to drip. And now the rain chances have gone up a little for Tuesday.

Jan and I headed out for the afternoon about 1pm, starting with breakfast for lunch at the nearby Denny’s, probably our favorite meal. Then it was off to the nearby Lowe’s to pick up my new rig batteries.

I must have missed it on the news, but apparently the universal gravitational constant has changed. At least that’s the only reason I can see that would cause these new batteries to be so much heavier than their 56# used to be. What’s up with that?

Then it was on up to the Baybrook Mall area to visit JoAnn Fabrics so Jan could get some new needles for her Viking sewing machine. Then, with that done, it was off to Kemah to check in with West Marine and their battery cable-making setup.

Their 00(2/00) cable runs about $9 a foot, with a set of two crimp-on terminals also $9. I know I’ll need two 1ft pieces and 4 terminals to connect the batteries in parallel. After that I’ll have to take a closer look I may need to change out a couple of the rig cables due to the different positioning of the battery terminals.

I also ordered two sets of these Battery Terminals from Amazon today.

New Battery Terminals

The rig’s cables are all the bolt-on type, while the new batteries have the standard automobile post terminals. So these will make that conversion.

Leaving West Marine, we stopped off at Bodhi’s Essential Oils in the Kemah Boardwalk area so Jan could pick up some more of her Migraine Protocol, and then it was home for the night.

Tomorrow morning we’re meeting some long-time friends for breakfast at the IHOP over in Clear Lake Shores about 8:30. Almost too early, but it is breakfast at IHOP, after all.

September 15, 2019

Happy Birthday, Brandi !!!

A Very Happy Birthday to Our Beautiful Daughter, Brandi !

Young Brandi

Random Thoughts and Various Musings

Jan and I were watching a History Channel show about King Tutankhamen this morning, and the phrase ‘The Boy King”, was used. And that made us think of Steve Martin’s King Tut, first shown on Saturday Night Live.

So I went to YouTube and played it back.

But as I was reading over some of the accompanying articles, I found that in the last couple of years Steve Martin has come under severe criticism because of the ‘racism’ and ‘cultural appropriation’ found in the song.

It even seems like the saxophone player who comes out of the sarcophagus painted in gold, is the equivalent to being in ‘blackface’. Or maybe ‘goldface’, I guess.

Who knows these days?

See I told you it was good for you.

A recently uncovered study, dating from the late 60’s, seems to show that animal fats are no worse, (or no better) for you than vegetable fats. Yes, the vegetable fats did lower cholesterol slightly, but did not reduce the risk of coronary heart disease or death.

So have that Double Bacon Cheeseburger and enjoy it.

Regular reader know that I like trains and model trains, so I was really disappointed that our recent Viking River cruise through Europe didn’t go through Hamburg, Germany. Otherwise this place would have definitely been on my list.

It’s billed as the largest model railroad in the world, with airliners taking off and landing, Space Shuttle’s taking off , and pretty much everything else you can imagine.

Check it out.

And I also came across this one Large Scale Layout too. You can see it here.

Looks like the first hints of Fall are moving into our area, with temps in the mid-80’s by Wednesday. Of course we’ll see how long it lasts.

Summer around here digs in and hangs on tenaciously. Sometimes even into December.

September 15, 2021

Happy Birthday to our Daughter Brandi . . .

Young Brandi

We love you, sweetie. And we’re so proud of you.

Joe the mechanic called me about 1pm to tell me that our Jeep was repaired and ready to go. Since they would be closed by the time Jan and I got there to pick it up, I gave them my credit card number and told them to leave it in the yard and we would pick it up later this afternoon.

According to the invoice our baby has a new starter, a new exhaust gasket, and a new set of upgraded valve cover gaskets, which were the cause of leaking oil that damaged the starter.

For those of you with Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited, you may or may not have noticed that Amazon has upped the number of books you can ‘check out’ has been increased from 10 to 20 books at a time.

Happy Reading!