SugarDash?

Today was a Denny’s/HEB day, and since it was Sunday, we waited a while to go so avoid the normal Sunday crowds. And our Ultimate Omelets were just as delicious as always.

I mentioned last week about how Landon and his cohorts, Sophie and Adam, had put a app online and started selling and delivering candy to the students at their school. Well, it seems they’ve branched out.

They’re now taking orders and delivering candy in their neighborhood.

Wonder what they’re going to call it?

SugarDash?

CandyHub?

UberSweets?

Or maybe my favorite –

SweetTooth!

Last week after I got my haircut, I notice this as we were leaving the parking lot.

PizzaForno Kiosk

It’s a PizzaForno kiosk, where you can get a made-to-order hot pizza in 3 minutes. You have your choice of 8 different varieties, including a dessert one.

PizzaForno Kiosk 2

And if you want you can get it cold to bake at home later.

Isn’t Technology Wonderful?

Recently we’ve noticed that many of the traffic control boxes in our area are being decorated with vinyl wraps.

Painted Traffic Control Box

Painted Traffic Control Box 2

Turns out a lot of cities around the country are doing this. Certainly brightens things up.


Thought For The Day:

The Picture NASA Doesn't Want You To See


September 25, 2009

Wings and more Wings…

As I said, today was pretty much just an errand day.

We’re at the Sleepy Hollow Lake Campground in Corfu, NY, a little east of Buffalo.

Sleepy Hollow Lake

It’s the only park we’ve ever stayed at that has a petting zoo!  They have alpacas, goats, sheep, pigs, and emus.  Not bad.

Petting Zoo 1

Petting Zoo 2

Petting Zoo 3

Petting Zoo 4

And for some strange reason, it also has its own firetruck!

Firetruck

Not sure that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

After sitting outside with Mister a while, we headed out looking a good place to have lunch.

While looking for, what turned out to be an out-of-business Mexican place, we stumbled on Quaker Steak and Lube,  a restaurant with, not surprisingly, an automobile theme.

And really good food.

Besides a full menu, they also specialized in Buffalo Wings.  I noticed that besides the normal ones, they had  ‘Atomic Wings’, so Jan and I decided to try a sampler plate of 5 wings.

Wing Chart

According to the SHU (Scoville Heat Units) chart on their menu,  regular Buffalo wings rate a 3000 of the chart.  Really, really hot wings rate a 30,000.

Their Atomic Wings come in at 150,000 SHU!

Jan ate two wings and I ate 3.  They were hot, very hot.  But I’m not sure they’re any hotter than the hottest ones that Hooters has.

But for the rest of the day, our lips did tingle and feel like they had been sunburned.

After lunch, with our tongues still tingling and our eyes still watering, we drove over to Sam’s Club for some ‘stuff’.

Heading back toward home we stopped off at a Walgreens that had flu shots available. Jan wanted to get one. This is just for the normal flu.  The Swine (H1N1) Flu shots won’t be available until sometime next month.

As usual, I didn’t get one. As I tell Jan, “I depend on the kindness of strangers”. I figure if everyone else gets a shot, then I won’t need one.

I haven’t gotten a flu shot for years and I haven’t had the flu for years. The last time I got a flu shot was in 1964 when I was a cadet

at CMA (Columbia Military Academy) in, where else, Columbia, TN. They lined us up and gave everyone a flu shot. An hour later I was, well, throwing up from both ends, and spent two days in the school infirmary.

The next year was a repeat, only worse. After they dismissed our formation, I walked about 20 feet back toward my dorm and collapsed.

And woke up about 10 days in the hospital, with the doctor telling me that I had been in and out of a coma the whole time. And he told me, that under the circumstances, if I ever got another flu shot, it would very likely kill me. I took him at his word.

So there.

We also stopped off at a NAPA Auto Parts so I could buy a new battery for the truck.  We’ve had a couple of instances recently where our truck wouldn’t start, so I wanted to take care of the problem.

I installed the new battery in the NAPA parking lot so I wouldn’t have to bring the old one back later.

Later that evening, we decided to have more chicken wings.  This time from the place that created the first Buffalo Wings in 1964 and started the whole thing.

It’s called ‘The Original Anchor Bar” and is located in Buffalo, of all places.  The place is really a family Italian restaurant and has been around since 1934.

The wings came about when some friends of the owner’s son showed up right before closing one night, and the son asked his mother to fix something for them.  She took a bunch of chicken wings that she was planning to use for soup, deep fried them, and then dunked them in a sauce she had been working on for another recipe.

And a legend was born!

This being an Italian restaurant, besides an order of Spicy BBQ Wings, we got a cheese and pepperoni pizza, and an order of Pizza Logs, kind of like Italian Egg Rolls.  All very good.  And we had leftovers.

Then it was back home to get ready to  head out tomorrow.


September 25, 2010

Cellphone Crashes and Car Seats. . .

And now for something completely different…

If you’ve read either Freakonomics or SuperFreakonomics, you know that the conventional wisdom about something doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. (If you haven’t read these books, you should.)

For example, I found this chart the other day in an article about the so-called dangers of using a cellphone while driving.

Note that in the last 10 years the number of cellphones has almost tripled, but the number of car crashes has been dropping pretty steadily during the same period.

If cellphones were so dangerous, wouldn’t you think that the number of crashes would be rising, at least noticeably?  I mean, I’ve read some articles that say that using a cellphone while driving is the equivalent of driving drunk.

Cellphones v Car Crashes

As it turns out, analysts think that the reason this is happening is that cellphone usage is replacing even more dangerous driving habits, like driving with your knees while you’ve got a burger in one hand and a drink in the other. Like, reading a newspaper propped on the steering wheel in front of you, putting on makeup and plucking your eyebrows in the mirror, shaving, and my personal favorite, conducting the music on radio with a conductor’s baton in one hand.

(Note that they’re not talking about texting, which requires far more time looking away from the road)

Personally, I think that airbags have caused a lot of crashes all by themselves.

Anyone remember how we got airbags?

The government didn’t think people were using their seatbelts enough so they make the car manufacturers install switches in the seats, so that if someone was sitting there, and if the seatbelt wasn’t fastened, then the car wouldn’t start.

But this caused such a revolt from the public that the government decided that, if people weren’t using their seatbelts, then they would give us airbags instead, since those were automatic.

But then it turned out that airbags were very dangerous without seatbelts. (Don’t believe me, try Googling “airbag decapitations”) So now we got both airbags and seatbelts.

Oh, Goody!

Next, they discovered that, even with airbags AND seatbelts, it was very dangerous to have a baby in a carrier in the front seat.

So now babies in their carriers are supposed to be in the back seat.

So, ever watch a mother with a new baby in the back seat. They can’t keep their eyes off that baby. They’re either constantly checking it out in the mirror, or actually turning around to look

Then, BAMMM! Someone stops in front of them.

And for what it’s worth, I think that rear car seats are also responsible for at least some of the cases where parents accidently leave a baby in a car. That is hard to do when the baby is in the front seat, and it sure seems like we hear about this happening more in the last few years.

Well, that’s it for today. Discuss among yourselves.


September 25, 2012

Pennsylvania 6-5000 . . . well, 1-7003 actually.

After a pretty quiet night at the Cabela’s in Triadelphia, WV, we headed out a little before 9, but only across the parking lot to a nearby McDonald’s for breakfast.

Jan was happy to see that they now have “Pumpkin Pie” pies, and they’re really good.

Getting on the road for real, we traveled about 60 miles before getting on the Pennsylvania Turnpike for the next 175 miles. We’d heard stories about the condition of the roads, but we were pleasantly surprised to find it in excellent shape, making for a nice smooth trip.

We got off the toll road just south of Harrisburg for the last 20 miles to the park. Our toll for the trip was $45.25, not too bad since the road was so good. I really hate it when the toll roads are in worse shape than the free ones.

We got into the Thousand Trails about 3pm and unhitched the toad at the Family Center. Then it was into the Dokota to drive around looking for a good spot.

We ended up finding a site in the 30 amp B section and got parked and set up.

Things were going fine when about 15 minutes after I hooked up to shore power, I had no power in the coach. I know I had it when I first hooked it up because I checked, but not now.

What ever was wrong with my pedestal, my Progressive EMS just didn’t like it. In fact now it would not only not let power into our coach, but it would shut itself off.

I was pretty sure it was the pedestal, but couldn’t be sure until I checked it out further. But it was getting to be time for supper so off we went. I told the ranger on the way out that I had trouble with my electric and he said they’d sent someone over tomorrow.

We had a great meal at A & M Pizza in Hershey, really, really good.

Getting back to the rig I wanted to do one final test to see if I could isolate the problem, and also get us power for the night. So I dug out my heavy duty 20 amp extension cord and my 20amp to 30amp adapters, and hooked up to the pedestal on the empty site next door.

And everything worked fine. So now we have power for the night, and I know the pedestal is the problem. A couple of hours later I checked the 20 amp cord and found it not even warm, so I know I’m not overloading it, even though I actually hooked up to a 30 amp outlet, My EMS shows we’re only pulling about 19 amps anyway.

Looks like we might be in for some rain tonight and tomorrow, so it might be just a goof-off day.

And I’m really good at that.


September 25, 2013

R. I . P. Emma

Jan’s cat, Emma, died this morning, sometime between midnight and 6:30am. Jan came out and found her curled up in her favorite spot. It looked liked she’d just went to sleep and never woke up.

Emma 3

Emma and Moose

Emma was around 17, another stray that, as usual, found us rather than the other way around.

The whole family was eating at King Food, our favorite Chinese restaurant one night and she showed up. Our big round table was in the front corner, surrounded on two sides by windows. Sometime during the meal we looked up to see a small black kitten, about six months old, sitting on the narrow ledge looking at us through the glass and meowing, and every now and then she would rub her head against the window and then just look at us with those big eyes.

Of course this lasted about 30 seconds until Brandi went outside and smuggled her back in. In fact, Brandi was the one who named her, I think after the literary character. So suddenly we had another cat (I think we already had two at the time). And by the time Mister came along in 2006, (another stray that found me this time), Emma was the last cat standing.

Emma and Mister never really got along. Mister tried, but Emma would have nothing to do with him. In fact she would attack him whenever she thought she could get away with it. It was always funny to see this 9 pound cat with no claws taking on a 25 pound cat with his claws. But Mister never fought back. He’d just stare at her until she panicked and ran off. But when it was necessary, like a travel day, they would tolerate each other, but that was about it.

Mister And Emma

Mister and Emma 2

Mister and Emma 4

R.I.P Emma. You will be missed.


September 25, 2014

I Don’t Know . . .

Today was Grocery Day so I headed over to Bryan/College Station (or BCS as it’s known around here) to the Wal-Mart SuperCenter there to top off the larder. After my 3rd visit I’m finally starting to know where everything is, so that helps speed things up.

For lunch we decided to try the other chicken finger place here, Layne’s of College Station. Like last week’s Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, Layne’s is right across the street from the Texas A&M campus. In fact they’re almost next door to each other.

But, unlike Raising Cane’s, Layne’s is not really a chain. Well, they do have two stores. But two stores does not really a chain make. Raising Cane’s has over 150 stores just within a 500 mile radius of Houston.

Like Raising Cane’s, Layne’s has a very limited menu. But where Raising Cane’s has a 3 piece, a 4 piece, and a 6 piece dinner box, and a sandwich, Layne’s only has a 5 piece dinner and 3 different sandwiches (Fried, Grilled, and a Club with Cheese and Bacon. Hmmm, Bacon.)

Other differences are that RC has Cole Slaw while Layne’s has Potato Salad. RC has Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade while Layne’s just has regular drinks.

Our Opinion:

We liked RC’s chicken fingers a little better. They’re bigger and moister. But Layne’s gave me 6 fingers instead of 5. Nice!

RC’s Cole Slaw vs. Layne’s Potato Salad. It’s a tie. They’re both good.

We both agreed that we liked Layne’s Fries better than RC’s They just tasted better.

So, if we go back to one, it will probably be Raising Cane’s, but it’s close.

Next week it’ll probably Sonic for Foot Long Cheese Chili Dogs.


Landon had his first T-Ball game the other night and Brandi sent over some photos.

Landon T-Ball - Who's on First

“OK. Once again. Who’s on first.”

“I don’t know.”

“No, I Don’t Know’s on third.”

Landon T-Ball - Worm

“Hey. There’s a worm in here!”

“Ya have to eat it. That’s the rule.”

Landon T-Ball - Tag

“No, No. Don’t tag me. Tag the guy over there. I’m on your team.”

Well, it looks like they were all having fun, anyway. And that’s what counts.


Apparently the word has come down from on high that we gate guards are going to have to wear GGS shirts to make ourselves ‘more visible’. Someone commented on one of the Facebook Gate Guard blogs that “Isn’t that what the bright orange vests that we wear supposed to do.”

Anyway, thanks to Debbie Branson on the Gate Guards United blog, here’s what they look like.

GGS Shirts

Comments (complaints?) include:

With our vests on, no one will see the logo.

With a jacket on in the winter, no one will see the shirt.

They’re 65% polyester, not too good in the Texas summer time.

I don’t want to. (Well, that one’s mine.)

For people who don’t have a washer/dryer in their rig and go to town to do laundry, they’re going to have to buy a bunch of them.

My solution is that I’m going to have my Company Man tell me we don’t have to wear them.

The Company Man is God.


September 25, 2015

Two Down, One to Go . . .

After my Wal-Mart run this morning, and filling up with gas ($1.96/gallon) to be ready for our Anniversary trip to Shreveport on Sunday, I headed into downtown Carthage to the NAPA Auto Parts store.

This past summer as we were heading east from our two month long blowout repair in Prescott, AZ, I noticed I needed to add some coolant to our rig’s Cummins 350 ISC engine. But when I checked my bay, the jug was almost empty. Well, I’ll just stop at the next truck stop and pick up a couple of gallons. But easier said than done.

Along the way, I checked Pilot/Flying J, TA, Love’s, etc., all with no luck. No one carried the old style green diesel antifreeze any longer. Just the new red type, and various shades of red, I.e pink and magenta. Magenta?

But since you’re not supposed to mix the two colors, I kept looking.

While we were staying in Amarillo for a couple of days, I noticed a Cummins dealership right across the road, so I stopped and picked up a couple of gallons of this.

ZEREX-NITRITE-FREE_EXTLIFE

Zerex Nitrate Free Extended Life Antifreeze

Not having used this brand before for the rig, I double-checked the label for Cummins diesel compatibility, but was really surprised to read that it’s also gasoline engine compatible as well.

Well, that’s a first. In the past there’s been diesel engine antifreeze and gasoline engine antifreeze, and never the twain shall meet. But hey, that just means I’ll only have to keep one type of antifreeze on hand for both our vehicles. Neat.

But the two gallons I bought in Amarillo didn’t last very long. In fact I never got to put any in the rig engine, because I ended up using it when we were having the leaking radiator problem on the truck. So now I needed more.

But when I checked AutoZone and O’Reilly’s, the two places along my usual route here in Carthage, I was again out of luck. They didn’t stock it and couldn’t order it. But after checking online and making some phone calls, I found that the local NAPA store could order what I needed. So I went by there today to pick up a couple of gallons of the concentrated stuff, not the 50/50. The concentrated is only about a 1/3 more for twice as much. You just have to mixed it first, yourself.

I’ve already decided that when RV Mobile Lube comes out to do my service this winter, I’m going to have them flush my system and change me over to the newer red type. That way I won’t have this problem any more.

Then on the way home I made the obligatory Whataburger stop for lunch.

Things were awfully quiet here at the frack this afternoon, and after checking with one of the company guys coming through, I confirmed that they had finished the second well and were reconfiguring to get started on the third one. And this one has 35 stages, so it’s going to be a long one.

We hope.


September 25, 2016

It Wasn’t Me, I Swear . . .

So it must have been one of you.

I warned you yesterday about getting what you wish for. And one of you out there decided to ‘help’ and wished for us to have enough rain to settle the dust around here. And we did.

And wishes can be funny, tricky things. Like wishing for immortality, but forgetting to add that you also want to stay eternally young. So you end up just decaying away into a pile of rotting ooze. But you’re still alive.

But then if you wish for eternal youth, you have to remember to specify ‘at the age of 25 years old’, otherwise you could spend eternity as a 6 month old.

No, wishes can really backfire on you, and that’s what happened today. When one of you wished for us to have a dust-settling rain, you forgot to say, ‘and then STOP.’

So it didn’t stop, but went on and on, all afternoon, without letting up. Several vehicles went in and out, without even looking over to see if I was crazy enough to be out in this. But I was.

The fact that they didn’t stop really didn’t make any difference because I couldn’t have seen their tags anyway unless I walked out in the road and stood about a foot away.

And the rains came

And this was before it really started coming down , , , in wind-driven sheets. And the spray was wetting down everything that wasn’t already soaked. I would have let down the sides, but that wouldn’t have helped much since most of the water was coming in the front of the canopy, and not the sides.

About 5 it tapered off to a heavy drizzle, and by 6pm when Jan came out it had pretty much stopped. Now to clean up and dry out.

Earlier today (before the rains) I couldn’t procrastinate any longer and finally had buckle down and do something I always hate.

I had to fill out all the paperwork for our new Samsung TV’s extended warranty and get it ready to mail off. I mentioned how I had broken one of my cardinal rules, and bought a 3 year extension, giving me a total of 4 years. And now it was time to pay the price.

In the past, the few times I’ve done this, it’s been a real pain in the rear. There are always several forms to fill out, as well as making a copy of the receipt, writing down the 20 digit serial number off the set, finding an envelope and a stamp, etc.

But this time it was different. Leave it to Wal-Mal to make things fast and easy. And it only took about 15 seconds and I was done.

All I had to do was take a photo of the QR barcode at the bottom of the receipt (the same one I scan for their Savings Catcher a program) and text it to 40303, and I was done. I’m supposed to get a text back within 24 hours as a confirmation.

Really neat.

Supposedly we’ve seen the last of the rains for the next 10 days to 2 weeks, but then again, it was only  a 30% chance today.

So I’m not getting my hopes up.


September 25, 2017

Sheldon Is 37 . . .

Tonight was the first night of the new TV season, at least for shows we watch, with the premieres of Big Bang Theory, Young Sheldon, and Kevin Can Wait.

We watched BBT and YS, and recorded KCW for later. We really enjoyed both BBT and YS, especially the unexpected surprise in BBT, and probably not one you’re thinking of.

Jan and I were wondering about Young Sheldon’s older brother. As far as I know, we’ve never seen him in BBT, unlike his twin sister Missy. And I thought the young Missy on YS sounded a lot like her grownup self on BBT, same tone and phrasing.

And since Sheldon’s father is supposed to die in 5 years, I wonder if they’ll kill him off on schedule in YS if it stays on that long. Which it probably will.

Also since his father died in 1994 when Sheldon was 14,  that means he was born in 1980, which makes him 37 on BBT, seven years younger than Jim Parson’s 44.

Recently Jan and I were watching the first couple of episodes of BBT and when Sheldon knocked on a door (Penny’s) for the first time, he did not use his signature knock. And in fact his current knock (three knocks and the name; three times) didn’t come about until the 5th episode of the 2nd season, though a somewhat similar version was in episode 10 of the 1st season.

I’ve given up trying to get a USB WiFi dongle to work on my one recalcitrant machine, so I’m just going to install WiFi card in it like the one I have in my home machine.

TP-Link WiFi Card

TP-Link PCI Express WiFi Card

It finds and connects to signals that my phone or tablet won’t even see.  A really great card.

I think the problem with the USB dongle is conflicting drivers. Both the built-in audio card and the Ethernet card in the machine all use Realtek drivers, as does the dongle, so that’s probably the problem.

It’s beginning to look like Fall weather came in with the actual start of Fall a few days ago, with our high temps in the mid to high 80’s and nighttime temps in the mid to high 60’s.

Very nice!


September 25, 2018

Another Day, Another Kludge . . .

As I mentioned last week, after I got Jan’s Viking #1 sewing machine out of storage in one of our bays, I found an intermittent problem that I finally traced down to a broken wire in the connector where it plugs into the machine.

Old Footpedal Plug 1

So my first thought was to find a replacement plug, but that proved harder than I thought.

Sewing Machine Connectors

The plug on the left is the power cord for the sewing machine and the one of the left is the one for the foot pedal. First off, the foot pedal plug pins are closer together than the standard power cord.and shaped differently.

I spent a couple of days trying to track down this connector with no luck, even though a couple came close. I guess it might be that these are custom made for Viking to prevent anyone from accidently plugging a power cord in and blowing it up.

So my kludge was to get a standard power cord and then use my Dremel tool to eat away all the plastic, leaving only the bare pins.

New Footpedal Plug 1I then found that I could squeeze the pins together so that it plugged into the receptacle perfectly.

So, to finish it up, I put heat shrink tubing on the exposed pins and tried it out

New Footpedal Plug 2

A perfect fit, and a kludge well done. And before anyone comments, there is no power on this. It’s merely a varying resistance coming from the potentiometer in the foot pedal, that governs the speed of the machine.

New Footpedal Plug 3

Later, about 1pm, Jan and I headed up to Webster for an afternoon of fun and frolic . . . well, lunch and errands, anyway.

For lunch, it was once again our favorite King Food. We wanted something light so we each had a big bowl of Hot & Sour Soup,

King Food Big Bowl Hot & Sour 3

and an order of their Honey Glazed Garlic Chicken Wings.

King Food Garlic Honey Crusted Wings 3

Really delicious and crunchy.

Out first local Costco is opening Oct. 19th and I had noticed yesterday that they had a kiosk set up on Bay Area Blvd. advertising memberships. So we stopped off for some info.

We did join back in 2010 while we were out in Tucson, but weren’t really impressed so we let our membership lapse at the end of the year. It didn’t help that there wasn’t a location anywhere near us in Houston.

Looking over the info, a basic membership is $60, so with one now nearby, we may give it a try again. We’ll see.

Then it was off to WalMart for a few things, and then a drive-by of our old house to see if anything had changed. There was work going on, but nothing stood out.

Then I dropped Jan off at the Friendswood SuperCuts while I doubled back to Estrella’s, nee Lou’s, Barbershop to get my hair cut. And I pretty much mean ‘hair’, as in singular.

Then we zigged over to Kemah so Jan could pick up an order of her Neuropathy mixture at Bodhi’s Essential Oils.

Finished there, we zagged back over to the HEB on FM646, mostly to pick up another bag of the Lola Savannah Texas Pecan coffee that we first tried about 3 weeks ago and wanted more. But they were out.

Bummer! But online says they have it in stock at the Friendswood HEB, so we’ll have to try there.

This is the only Texas Pecan coffee I’ve found that actually has pecans in it.

HEB Lola Savannah Texas Pecan Coffee

Really good and tastes great.


September 25, 2021

Yummy . . .

Jan and I left the rig a little before 2pm to meet up with long-time friend Tricia at the newly-reopened Yummy Yummy Chinese Buffet.

We’ve known Tricia since someone recommended me to do some computer repair for her business, That was back in the early 2000’s and we’ve been friends ever since.

Tricia at Snooze

Besides the good food it’s been long enough since we’ve seen each other that we didn’t say our good-byes until almost 5pm. Hopefully it won’t be as long until we get together again.

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