Daily Archives: September 22, 2022

Brushfire and Otterbox . . .

Since Jan wanted to get her toesies done this afternoon, we decided it would be a good excuse (like we really need one) to eat at Torchy’s Tacos once again.

Like most places we go to, we have our standard favorites, with Jan getting the Brushfire,

Torchy's Tacos Jan's

with Jamaican Jerked Chicken. While I got my favorite Jalapeno Cheese Sausage Dogs.

Torchy's Tacos Greg 20220922

Then since we still had time before Jan’s nail appointment, we drove over to the Verizon store at Baybrook Mall to get some help with Jan’s new Galaxy S8+.

In May 2021, when I upgraded to my Galaxy S21 Ultra, Jan inherited my S8+ that I had since I got it in Las Vegas in April 2017. But when the S8+ died, or well the screen died, she went back to my old Galaxy S5.

But recently she said it was running slower and slower, and she really wanted a larger screen. So I found a brand-new S8+, still in the box, on eBay for $200. A great buy.

So when it came in the other day, my plan was to use the Samsung Smart Switch app to transfer all the data from the old S5 to the new S8+, and change out the SIM card to the new phone. But when I tried to SIM card changeout last night, I found that while the S5 used a microSIM card, the S8+ now uses a smaller nanoSIM card. So I wanted to stop by the Verizon store to get a nanoSIM card, and since it would be a new one, they would also have to switch over the phone number.

And unlike most visits to a Verizon store, I was waited on immediately, and was done and out in less than 15 minutes. Nice.

Then while Jan was in the nail salon, I worked on finishing the phone setup. I was pretty much done by the time she came out, and she really like the wallpaper I loaded for her.

S8  Flamingo Screen

I’ve still got a few more things to finish over the next couple of days.

Then when I got home I installed the phone into the new Otterbox case that I ordered last week.

Otterbox S8

I’ve used these Otterbox cases for years and they’re the best around. They really protect your phone.

Getting home we checked out the result of all cement trucks coming and going in the park this morning. When they finished erecting the garage a couple of weeks ago, it look like this.

Petticoat Junction New Garage Front

But after a week of putting up forms, and this morning’s cement trucks, it now looks like this.

Petticoat Junction Garage Finsihed Up

The whole new addition is really coming along.

Thought for the Day:

“Flammable, inflammable & nonflammable… Why are there three? Don’t you think that two ought to serve the purpose? I mean either the thing flams or it doesn’t!” — George Carlin

September 22, 2009

Road Trip…

Today we made a 400 mile round trip in our toad down to South Hadley, MA to visit our friend Joannie, pick up our guns that we had left in her care while we were in Canada, and also mail we had sent to her while we were on the road.

We headed out about 10 am and stopped at a breakfast place in Sylvan Beach before we left the area.

About 10 miles down the road we got on the I-90 toll road and headed toward MA. After a stop at a rest area along the way for coffee, we arrived at Joannie’s house a little after 2pm.

We had a great time visiting with Joannie, and she served us a GREAT meal.

We hit the road a little after 6 pm and got back to the rig about 9:30 pm.

A long day, but a good visit.

Tomorrow we’ve got a 160 mile trip to move over toward Niagara Falls.

September 22, 2010

A Jumperoo and more Spicy Chicken. . .

Still fighting off this cold, but I think it’s on its last legs.


After another lupper of Extra, Extra, Extra, Extra Spicy Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce at King Food trying to burn my cold out, we drove over to Brandi’s for a little Landon time.

At least Jan got some Landon time, I stayed on the other side of the room. It probably wouldn’t have been a problem, since both Brandi and Lowell have had this crud, and I think I caught it from Lowell, anyway.

But why take chances.

Here’s a shot of Landon in his Rainforest Jumperoo. It beeps, roars, blinks, lights up, twirls, whirls, and rotates.

And he just wanted to fall asleep, poor thing.

Landon in Chair 1

While we were at Brandi’s, we picked up box of books from Amazon that had come in for Jan.

And, of course, after we got home, Mister commandeered the box for his own. He loves boxes,  He doesn’t always fit in them, but he does love them.

Mister in Box 3

We got back to the rig about 5:30 and just took it easy for the rest of the evening.

September 22, 2012

All Planes, all the time . . .

We headed out on our Dayton daytrip about 9:30, but our first stop was at the McDonald’s in Harrison, right inside the Ohio line. And after a quick breakfast we were back on the road for the rest of our 85 mile trip.

Our first stop was the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, located in and around buildings that housed the Wright Brothers and their businesses.

Dayton National Aviation Heritage Museum

Most people know about their bicycle shop, but less well-known is the fact they were also in the printing business, printing newspapers, flyers, pamphlets, and other items. And in addition to running two companies, they were also designing the first airplane at the same time.

As their businesses expanded, they moved to bigger buildings but always in this same small area of Dayton.

One of the first things you see inside the Museum is a replica of the Wright’s 1902 Flyer, the first successful powered heavier-than-air craft.

1902 Wright Flyer

While we were there we also saw this replica of the Wright’s Bicycle Shop, where they repaired bicycles and built new ones.

Wright's Bike Shop

Although Jan and I enjoyed here, we both agreed that we liked the Wright Brother’s museum at Kitty Hawk, NC.

Next we headed about 10 miles away to visit The National Museum of the United States Air Force.

National Air Museum

Like visiting the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, it’s hard to know where to start. They had pretty much one of everything, including some that I’ve never seen in person before.

There are planes everywhere you look, in front, behind, overhead, etc..

Wright Pat Overview

From the Red Baron’s Fokker Triplane,

Red Baron Frokker

to the Kettering ‘Bug’, essentially a 1917 version of the cruise missile.

Kettering Bug

And this Kellett K3 Autogyro.

Kellett K3 AutoGyro

This is the last remaining Seversky P-35, the forerunner to the P-47. It was the Army Air Corps first production, singe-seat, all-metal pursuit plane with retractable landing gear and an enclosed cockpit.

It also has the unique property of being the only plane flown by both the U.S. and the Japanese during World War II. The Japanese government bought 20 of these from the US in 1938 and used them through the war.

Seversky P-35

I can only figure that the pilot of this B-24 Liberator either married a redhead, or got a ‘Dear John’ letter from one.

B24 Stawberry Bitch

This is the ME 163B Komet, a WWII German rocket-powered interceptor designed to climb rapidly and bring down the Allied bomber formations. It was hampered by its short range and vulnerability to being shot down while landing.

Me 163B Komet

The is the ME 262A, the first jet aircraft used in combat.

Me 262

This is the P-61C Black Widow night fighter, the first US plane designed specially for that purpose. The radar in its nose allowed to track and shoot down enemy aircraft in total darkness.

p-61C Black Widow

This is one that I’ve never seen in person before. It’s the F-82G Twin Mustang, similar to the P-38 Lightning, in that it has two fuselages joined by a common wing. It was the last propeller-driven fighter aircraft acquired by US.


And this is the B-29 ‘Bockscar, only the second plane to drop an atomic bomb in wartime, in this case, on Nagasaki, Japan.

B-29 Bock's Car

And this is a replica of the ‘Fat Man’ bomb that was dropped. It derives its explosive power from the plutonium, unlike the ‘Little Boy’ bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima three days earlier, that was powered by Uranium 235.

Fat Man 3

We’ve now seen both WWII atomic bombers, this one, along with the ‘Enola Gay’ at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

This wraps up today’s blog. I’ll continue our tour in tomorrow’s post.

September 22, 2014

Are We, or Are We Not . . .

412 Rig in Day


Well, we may be fracking. Or we may not be fracking.

We certainly got a good bit busier, with 96 vehicles in today, up from yesterday’s 70, and Saturday’s 60. But nothing like the 300+ we had for two days in a row at last year’s frac gate when they started up.

We’ve been told that there are three wells in the back that are ready to frac, but no one seems to know when they’re supposed to start, just RSN (Real Soon Now). But then this afternoon one of the vacuum trucks that had been running in and out all afternoon, came in and then back out about 5 minutes later.

When I asked why, they said that they were fracking on the back pad,and they couldn’t get in.

So we don’t know. If this is how fracking is done up here, we’ll take it. No 300 vehicle days would be nice.

Don’t know what’s going on with the rig in front of us. They’re supposed to skid the rig to the new hole on Wednesday, but they’re not finished drilling yet. There’s a full rack of drill pipe on the derrick, so they obviously planned to drill more, but the rig’s been quiet all day with no drilling going on. Looks like they broke something again.

After all, remember, It’s A Yugo.

I’m still getting login attempts on the blog, but less of them since I upped the lockout requirements. Now after two failed retries, they’re locked out for 4 hours, and after two lockouts, they’re locked out for 48 hours.

They trying a lot of different login names, still with no luck, of course. I mentioned the other day that I use a VERY strong password, made up of just random garbage, so they’re not going to guess it, and throwing a dictionary attack at it simply won’t work either.

Lockout Stats

But as you can see, they keep trying.

The food fairy showed up again. The same one that brought the Red Beans and Rice with Sausage yesterday, dropped off Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas today. Again, homemade, and really, really good. We could get used to this.

I forgot to mentioned yesterday’s and today’s dessert that Jan made to go with our gifts. It was a delicious Peach Dump Cake. She made a big pan of it the other day, so we’ll be able to eat on it for several days. Really good with whipped cream on top.

September 22, 2015

It’s On . . .

Jan and I have a couple to gate sit for us this Sunday from 1pm to 7pm, so Jan’s all giddy again. They live right up the road in Marshall, TX about 30 miles away, so it won’t be a long trip for them. And this way we’ll get to celebrate our 48th Wedding Anniversary only a day early.

One thing nice about having the window AC outside here with us is that we don’t have to use our mister anymore. No, not Mister the cat, but this.

Ocean Breeze Misting System

Ocean Breeze Misting System

It’s a home version of the overhead misting systems you see at amusement parks and restaurants with outdoor waiting areas. We mounted a couple of the spray nozzles in front of a 20” box fan and it would drop the 100° air coming into the fan down to about 80° coming out. So it did the job.

The only problem, besides the occasional nozzle clog, was that after a while you were just . . . damp. And anything around you got damp too. In fact Jan started reading her paperback books and her Kindle inside a zip lock bag just to keep things somewhat dry. So this is a big, and drier, improvement.

Unfortunately for our possible long term stay here, our frack is running wide open tonight, and very loud. Loud enough that it’s pretty much impossible to talk over it. And this is what it looks like from here, about 500 yards away.

Frack At Night

Of course, if they keep true to form, they’ll break something before the shift is over and things will come to a grinding halt. We hope.

Looks like tonight is going to be another chilly one, with the temperature already down to 62° at midnight, so I’m wearing one of my long-sleeve FRC shirts, and may end up with a windbreaker on too before the night is over.

September 22, 2016

Just No Pleasing Us . . .

It went down to 67 degrees here last night, cool enough that with the slight wind, I went inside and grabbed my windbreaker. But it sure was nice.

According to The Weather Channel we’ve got one more day of low 90’s, Friday, and then Saturday the front moves through with temps in the 80’s and thunderstorms. With pretty much the same Sunday, on Monday, it’s more rain, with 78 and 60.

Then it settles down to Sunny with mid-80’s and mid-60’s as far as the eye can see. Of course The Weather Channel said this once before and then change its mind and we got summer and high 90’s back.

Of course in a couple of months, we’ll be wearing two pair of sweats and a pair of jeans, two long-sleeved shirts, a hoodie, and a windbreaker, while we’re huddled around 3 heaters and wondering where summer went.

There’s just no pleasing us.

As is usual for a Thursday, I headed into B/CS for Wal-Mart and lunch. I first went to the pharmacy to pick up Jan’s three prescriptions that I had called in yesterday, but found one of them not ready because it had come in this morning . . . the product, not my order.

They said it would be about 30 minutes, so I headed out to get the groceries. At some point here I had planned to get a haircut, but I guess since it wasn’t on the list, I forgot about it. When I got home, I told her to put it on next week’s list.

I can’t wait too much longer because I’m starting to get into ponytail territory here, or at least one of those little short ones that turns up at the end about a couple of inches past the rubber band.

Finishing up with the groceries, I picked up the now-ready prescriptions, and headed across the parking lot to get our Chick-fil-a lunch.

They have a new app that lets you submit your order and pay online and then pick it up at the designated store. But I’m not sure it’s needed, at least for me.

I walked in the door, right up to the counter, where there were 5 cashiers working (you never see this at McD’s), placed my order, and swiped my card. A minute or so later I had my two large lemonades in a nice cardboard carrier, and turned to get straws and napkins. By the time I turned back around, I heard my name called and was handed my bag of stuff. And my Spicy Chicken Deluxe Sandwich was a special order to add bacon. BTW you’ve gotta try their bacon, on anything. It’s thick cut, fried very crisp, and really flavorful.

Hmm! I wonder if you can just order bacon?

Anyway I was back out the door in less than seven minutes. Take that, McD’s.

One thing interesting about their new app is all the changes and additions to your food that it allows you that aren’t shown on the menu board at the store. But one thing annoying about the app is that it won’t let you peruse the menu if the store is closed. What’s up with that?

It should let you at least look at the menu, but just not order. Or even pre-do your order and then submit it when you’re ready.

As I mentioned yesterday, before I went into CFA, I did try the Open Signal program to see what I got in B/CS. And it showed me the tower I was connected to just a few blocks away on the other side of the Hwy 6 main drag.

I then ran a speed test and found I had 12 Mbps down and 5 up, with a 49 ms ping. My signal strength was – 92 dbm and 90%. A good strong signal. I also wrote down the actual lat/long coordinates to double check that it wasn’t showing the tower was in Missouri like it does from here.

So this just reinforces my thought that there is something screwy about the tower I’m connected to here. And reinforcing that reinforcement, is the fact later this afternoon while I was outside on the gate, I picked up my phone to make a call and notice that it was again showing 3G data.

Now normally here I show 2 bars of 4G data, but as I noticed the other day when I was in Open Signal and this happened, my 3G signal was much stronger than my 4G one. In fact I was showing 5 bars of 3G!

But before I could run SpeedTest.net, or the one in OS, my phone jumped back to 2 bars of 4G again.

And FWIW I have another app, Network Signal Info, that is also supposed to show me the lat/long and distance of a tower. But when I try it here, it will not give me any values, but instead says, ‘Cell has wrong values’. Like I said, just screwy.

At least my new desktop Wi-Fi card to supposed to be here tomorrow. So maybe that will fixed my Internet problems. But somehow I kinda doubt it.

I was reading through the manual for our new TV last night and discovered a couple of things. One is that there is an Amplify command on the Sound Settings menu. And it certainly seems to work.

The manual says that it “. . . increases the overall intensity of high-frequency sounds for a better listening experience. It is designed for hearing-impaired listeners.”

Well,except for the part where it calls me ‘deaf’, I like it.

And I’m not deaf. I just have a loud A/C right over my head.

I also found out that we have PIP (Picture in Picture) but I don’t think it will do any thing for us, since it only has selections for Air or Cable inputs. So there is no way to do PIP from the DirecTV DVR. Bummer!

Another thing I found that I haven’t tried yet is a setting under the Sound Effects Menu called ‘DTS TruDialog’. It says, it “Increases voice intensity to make dialog clearer”, so it will be interesting to see what difference this one makes.

But whatever it does, it looks like based on ‘Amplify’ alone, that I won’t have to buy a sound bar.

September 22, 2017

Never mind . . .

Today was really nice, the first time I’ve been able to sleep in for about a week. What with Clear Lake trips, moving to a new park, and other stuff, it’s just been go, go, go.

In fact, we never left the rig at all today, and maybe not tomorrow either.

I mentioned yesterday how nice this park, Hillcrest RV Park, is. But I do have a small gripe. The Verizon signal is pretty weak. I was hoping for better since there’s a cell tower right down the road, but apparently it’s not a Verizon tower. Oh Well.

They do have park WiFi here, but since I haven’t been able to find anyone to pay, I haven’t been able to get the code.

I really like my new printer, a HP 4650 Wireless Printer.

HP 4650 Printer 2

It’s well worth the $70 cost, with edge to edge printing, an auto document feeder, and automatic two-sided printing.  It’s also much faster, but for a different reason than you might  think. It is marginally faster, 9.5ppm vs. 8.5ppm, compared to my old printer, but that’s not the real difference.

The way most people judge a printer’s speed is how soon the page comes out when they hit the PRINT button, because they usually only print 1 or 2 pages at a time. So the fact that their printer can crank out 9.5 ppm really means nothing.

No, the real speed issue for most people is what’s known as TTFP, or Time To First Page. In other words, how soon that first page comes out. And in this case the TTFP for the 4650 is over twice as fast as my old printer. So that’s the real difference.

A while back we came across this old photo of Jan. She thinks it was in the 1st or 2nd grade. It’s about the size of a postage and was rolled up in a tight  scroll. So flattening it out and scanning it, I had this.

Jan !st or 2nd Grade

But after about a hour or so with Paint Shop Pro (a Photoshop clone) I had this.

Jan !st or 2nd Grade

Not bad. She’s was a really cutie even back then.

If you were worried about tomorrow’s prediction of the end of the world, David Meade, the Biblical Numerologist who announced that The End Is Nigh, says,


Apparently the End Is Still Nigh, not just as Nigh as was predicted. But it’s still coming, he said.

You can count on it.

September 22, 2018

Rainy Days And Saturdays . . .

always get me down. And keep me from getting much done outside, too.

In between rain bands this afternoon I started prepping to install my new house batteries.

It rained pretty much all night and most of the morning, before slacking off in the early afternoon. So I first started with the new ones, getting them set up by installing  the bolt-type connectors.

New Deka Rig Batteries

This was necessary since the rig uses the bolt-on connections rather than conventional automotive posts. Next up I ‘staked’ the posts and the terminals together using a screwdriver and a tap from a hammer.

I learned this trick when I was10 years old, and watching/helping/learning/getting in the way from the mechanic working on the Jimmy (GMC) 6-71 diesel engines in my father’s shrimp boats in Gulf Shores, AL

New Deka Rig Batteries2

It locks the two together and helps give them a better long-term connection.

Next I disconnected the outside two Interstate 6 volts batteries and removed them, leaving the other two still connected, making it quicker and easier to swap out the old and new ones when the time comes.

Old Rig Batteries

But that time didn’t come this afternoon because the heavy rain showed up again and brought things to a halt. So maybe tomorrow.

About 4:30 Jan and I headed out for a late lunch at Denny’s, and then a stopover at WalMart for a few things before heading back home.

I did make a stop by the PO and found our new (renewed) passports had come in. And in only about 3 weeks. Not bad.

So now we’re all set for next April and another 10 years.

Right now the rain is supposed to slack off tomorrow afternoon so maybe I can finish up with the batteries, and a few other chores as well.

Or maybe not. We’ll see.

September 22, 2019

Our Future Robot Overlords . . .

Last night we watched the last of the four episodes of Maigret on Ovation, and it was just as good as the first three. It’s really sad to see a quality series like this not continued.

Rowan Atkinson is great in the part, especially if you’ve only seen him as Black Adder or Mr. Bean, both of which are hilarious.

One thing I didn’t mention the other day is that Budapest, Hungary was the stand-in for 1950’s Paris, with another location in Hungary for shots of the French countryside.

And since we were just in Budapest back in May, we were always on the lookout for locations we might recognize. And we did think we saw the steps at the Fisherman’s Bastion a couple times.

Fisherman's Bastion Steps

I’m pretty sure that Ovation will be showing the four episodes a number of times, so you’ve still got a chance to catch them.

Don’t miss out.

I’m constantly amazed at how much more interactive that Alexa is becoming. When I asked her to do something, she’ll say ‘OK’ and then I’ll always say, “Thank you.”

I mean, I’m always careful to be polite to our future robot overlords.

Then a couple of months ago, she started answering me back with, “You’re Welcome”, “Sure”, “Any Time”, or “No Problem”.


But a couple of weeks ago she started adding little things like, “Have a nice Friday”, or “Hope you have a nice weekend.” Then last week during the heavy rains we had, she said, “Try to stay dry out there.”

Then yesterday morning she upped her game when she said, “Enjoy the nice weather today, now that all the rain has gone.”


This afternoon I booked Jan and I tickets for the Tuesday afternoon 2pm showing of Jan’s long-time favorite, “Downton Abbey”. It’s been a while since we’ve been to this theater in Webster and it turns out that they’ve made a lot of upgrades. Like all of the 18 screens are now Reserved Seating, and have these very nice electric recliners, complete with cup holders and footrests.


I think the biggest problem might be for us to stay awake.

September 22, 2020

Is It Actually Already Over ?

We stayed in today, mainly due to the many reports of flooding around the Houston area due to the passing through of Tropical Storm Beta. Though in our case we saw none of the forecasted 50 mph winds, and not a lot of the heavy rains.

But a lot of other areas around here did get a lot of rain, with streets so flooded you could only see the tops of the cars.

I finished putting together our absentee ballot request letter to send off to South Dakota tomorrow. Hopefully they’ll get back to us pretty soon. I do like that SD has a website that lets you track your request so you can be sure they received it and that it’s being processed. Nice.