It’s About That Time Again . . .

Lunch today was our favorite Chinese buffet Yummy Yummy! once again. Though it’s hard to call it just a ‘Chinese’ buffet, since they also have Fried Chicken, Pizza, Boiled Shrimp, and a really good Banana Pudding. And a lot more.

Always delicious.

Our next stop was at our storeroom to drop off our big ladder, and do something we do about this time every year – pick up our space heaters and extra quilts.

Though our days are still in the 80’s, our nights dipping into the 50’s, with a low of 53 so far.

Then it was on for our weekly HEB stop, before finishing up with up with a Post Office stop, and then home.

Another nice day!

Back in May I posted this photo of Dickinson’s new Blue Heron Mascot

Dickinson Heron Mascot

And recently we’ve seen more of thing springing up around town.

Dickinson Great Blue Heron 2

Dickinson Great Blue Heron 3

Well, now one of our favorite restaurants, Gator’s Bar & Grill, has their very own version.

Gator's Great Blue Heron Mascot

It’s the 31 Days Of Halloween over on the Freeform channel, which is part of our YouTubeTV package, and it’s also available as an downloaded app or online.

They’ve got a bunch of old favorites, all the Ghostbusters movies, Beetlejuice, Halloween, The Nightmare Before Christmas,Hocus Pocus, and many more.

Check it out.


Thought For The Day:


Sometimes I have to tell myself it’s just not worth the jail time.


October 2, 2011

Landon Skyping and Broasted Chicken . . .

At about 11:30 we Skyped with Brandi, Lowell, and Master Landon. In a few weeks he’s gone from barely walking to running. And climbing.

Recently while at daycare, he watched a lady using a stepladder to hang some decorations. As soon as she got down and turned away, he RAN to the stepladder and clambered to the top, right up the steps.

Video call snapshot 352

We didn’t get a lot of good pictures today, and probably won’t in the future. He never stops moving, and with the low frame rate of our Skype signal, he’s mostly just a blur.

Video call snapshot 357

Video call snapshot 358

Video call snapshot 359

Video call snapshot 360

Video call snapshot 361

Video call snapshot 362

Video call snapshot 364

Lowell said he’s gotten so tall he’s wearing only 18 mos. sizes. And he’s only 13 mos. old. Looks like he’s going to be tall like his daddy.

And of course we’re really looking forward to seeing him, and everyone else, when we get back to Houston right before Thanksgiving.

Looks like we’ll leave here Tuesday morning and head east about 150 miles to the Smith’s Campground just south of Loudonville, OH for about a week. Then Jan and I will head back to Elkhart following a few days later after visiting some relatives.

Then sometime before the end of October, Jan and I will start a roundabout trip back to Houston.

Later we continued to catch up on the shows we’d DVR’d during the rally, with a couple of naps thrown in for Jan.

About 5:30 we all headed over to St. Mary’s, about 10 miles away, to have dinner at Lost in the 50’s, a great 50’s themed restaurant. We’ve eaten there several times and we’ve always like it.

The owner is a collector of 50’s memorabilia and displays a small part of it in a museum that’s part of the restaurant.

Lost50s 1

Lost50s 2

Lost50s 3

Although not on display at this time, he has a lot of Elvis memorabilia too, including the motorcycle Elvis rode in ‘Roustabout’,

RousaboutCycle

one of his pink Cadillac’s

PinkCadillac

and one of Elvis’ tour costumes, among just a few things.

TourOutfit

And the meal was great too. We all had the 4 pc. broasted chicken dinner and the pieces were so big we all had leftovers.

A definite ‘don’t miss’ if you’re in the area.

Later in the evening, after we got home, we had a nice surprise from our daughter Brandi . . . a bunch of Landon pics taken at the playground.

Landon on Horsey

Landon on Horsey 2

Landon on Swing

Landon at the Park

The perfect end to a great day.


October 2, 2012

Rain and Pie . . .

Apparently we’re not fulltime RV’ers, we’re “vehicularly-housed individuals.” Check out this article about RV’ers living on the streets of San Francisco.

It started raining early this morning and continued pretty much all day. One good thing is that I think I’ve figured out where my leak around the slide is coming from. I leveled a little differently this time and my slide ended up on the high side causing the rain to flow in around the seals. So I re-leveled and it appears to have taken care of the problem.

I hope.

About noon I went down to the ranger station to pick up a Priority Mail package that had come in for me. It had come in yesterday, but when I tried to pick it up then, the ranger office was closed.

It turned out to be from Daryl Lawrence of Lawrence RV Accessories providing his usual great support. I had emailed him on Friday to tell him I needed a new 12v charger for my TireTraker Tire Pressure Monitoring System. The old one had started blowing the fuse on any 12v socket it was plugged into, so I needed another one. And Daryl really came through.

Besides the TireTraker TPMS, Daryl also sells the Progressive EMS (Electrical Management System) which is a must-have for every RV’er. My Progressive has saved my rear-end several times, once as recently as last week when we got to this park and found a defective circuit breaker in our pedestal.

If you don’t have one, get one.

After a lunch of cheese toast, we topped it off with a slice of the delicious pumpkin pie we brought home from Funck’s Family Restaurant last night. Then it was back to cleaning and sorting through stuff, and bagging it up to throw out.

About 5 we headed out to Hershey’s East End Restaurant. The online reviews were really good, and so was the restaurant. Nice décor, and really great food.

Hersheys East End Restaurant

Jan had Fettuccini Alfredo with Shrimp and I had the Spaghetti and Meatballs, both very good, and the servings were big enough to have great leftovers to take home.


October 2, 2014

Rut Roh!!!!

Well, today was really nice . . . until about 9:30 pm, when this happened.

Crushed Canopy

A line of thunderstorms was coming through, preceding the cold front that’s going to give us a high of 83 tomorrow, and 75 on Saturday. But I’m not sure the cooler weather was worth this.

It really wasn’t part of the thunderstorm though. If fact it wasn’t even raining yet. But from the looks of the canopy remains, a downburst got it.

It’s just crushed in from the top, with two of the 150# test tie down cords snapped and the 80# buckets of gravel dragged around. Like a big foot just stepped on it.

I’ve cut away the shreds of the fabric canopy and I’m going to see if I can get the framework somewhat bent back into shape, at least enough to be able to throw my 10 x 20 tarp over it for some shelter while I decide what I want to do about another canopy.

Amazon, where I bought this one, is a problem since I don’t really have anyway to receive packages here. Wal-Mart has them, but not in stock, so I couldn’t get one until next Thursday or Friday. But first I’ll have to see how I do with the frame and the tarp.

The ironic thing is that when the rain finally passed through, it really didn’t rain that hard, and only for about 10 or 15 minutes. Go figure.

And now for some good news. We finally have a relief gate guard set for this Saturday, so Jan’s just giddy. She’s going to finally get away from here for the first time in a month. Did I mention she’s giddy?

Of course I did tell the relief guard lady we had this nice big canopy for her to sit under.

Rut Roh!


October 2, 2015

Today was better than yesterday . . .

Tomorrow will be better than today.

First off, Jan and I want to thank everyone for the outpouring of your kind thoughts and feelings. It was the most comments we’ve ever had for any blog post, and we had comments from many readers who had never commented before. It really means a lot to us, and we thank you.

As many readers said, Mister was a very unique cat.

He would stay outside on his leash, and even walk on a leash. Or he would just follow me with or without a leash. If I was taking the garbage down to the dumpster, he’d follow along, there and back. And if it was one of those ‘picky’ parks that says all pets must be on a lease, he did not have a problem just dragging his lease behind him.

I’ve never found a set of park rules yet that says the lease must actually be connected to anything.

Wrapping this up before I get too maudlin, at some point in the near future I’ll probably put up a new page of just Mister pics and some of his antics, because he was always getting into something.

And again, our thanks to everyone.

Today was Friday Wal-Mart/Bring Home Lunch Day so I headed into Carthage a little after 11, dropping off the garbage at the pad along the way. It’s really nice to so close to town here, with only a 10 to 15 minute drive. At sites in south Texas it’s been an hour to a two hour drive – one way. Getting groceries was pretty much an all day job.

Besides the usual stuff, one thing on the Wal-Mart list was a new hooded sweatshirt. The zipper had broken on the old one, so a new one was in order.

Two things were nice shopping there today. I didn’t have a problem at the pharmacy with one of my $10 prescriptions like I did last time, and unlike the Wal-Mart in Shreveport last Sunday, they haven’t made the chipped cards mandatory here yet, so I was able to check out in about 10 seconds today, as opposed to 10 minutes last Sunday. Much better.

Coming home I stopped at Chicken Express for fish. Yeah, I know. It sounds funny to me too. But we kind of alternate between their chicken and their fish, because they’re both so good. And today was fish day.

Jan’s started digging out our jackets and cold weather stuff. This is because, along with very pleasant fall days we’re having now (it was 79 and sunny today), we’re having much colder nights, i.e. it’s 50 right now at 1am and still dropping.

At the present time I have raised the DEFCOLD alert level here to the two-heater condition, and am fully ready to escalate things to the three or four heater level, if necessary. I am nothing if not prepared. Though it makes my head itch, I’m even wearing my pull-over knit cap to keep my ears warm.

I’ve found that people around here look at you funny when you try to buy earmuffs.


October 2, 2016

Dobies and Dollies . . .

Before we left for Brandi’s this morning, we spent a few minutes playing with Apollo the Dobie next door. He has a big enclosure out under the awning, but he was out with his owner  when we walked over to say Hi.

He and I had a good time playing tug of war with his green furry froggie while Jan talked with his owner. Apollo had this trick where he tugs hard for a few seconds and then stops, just freezing for about 15 seconds and then jerks really hard, trying to lull you into relaxing your grip.

Smart dog.

We were on our way by 11:30 with a Flying J pit stop along the way. Then right before we got to Brandi’s, I made a quick stop at the Tractor Supply to pick up a #2 Phillips extension bit.to make it easier to get the washer out of the cabinet.

We had a great time at Brandi’s with Chris, Linda, and Miss Piper, as well as Landon. Landon’s Aunt Sherry was also there, and we got to meet her friend Neil. Lowell was out working this time.

Brandi had fixed a great meal of pulled pork and sliced brisket, along with potato salad, shredded Brussel sprout salad, and Mac ‘N Cheese. We used Hawaiian Bread rolls to make sliders with the BBQ, and a delicious meal was had by all.

Since we are washerless for the time being, we took all our laundry with us to do at Brandi’s in her nice big machines. So we’re good to go on the laundry front for a few more days. Or at least until I get the washer fixed.

Leaving Brandi’s we got back to the rig about 6:30. Later, while I worked on website stuff, Jan went next door for a last get-together with Janice Evans. Janice and Dave are heading out for other parts tomorrow morning so we won’t see them for a while.

Two things while we were at Brand’s. I’ve shown some of Landon’s artwork before, and here’s something new today..

Landon's Dog with Ballons

I noticed him sketching this with a ball-point pen, and when I asked what it was, he gave me that ‘look’, and said, “PaPa, it’s a dog at a birthday party holding some balloons.”

And he’s right. Note the birthday hat on his head and the birthday cake in front of him.

The second thing is that Chris finished my screen door catch for me.

This is the drawing I gave him.

Screen-Door-Catch-Drawing2

and this is was what I got.

New Screen Door Catch

Great job, and he even painted it. I’ll install it tomorrow and try it out.

Tonight I went ahead and remove the washer cabinet doors and the retaining bar, and then unplugged the washer. So now I’m all ready to pull it out tomorrow.

In the past I’ve used a full-size 30” x 20” floor dolly to slide the washer out on to work on it. But that’s too big to lug around in the RV so it stays at our son Chris’ house.

Floor Dolly

But then I found this smaller one, 12” x 18”, at Harbor Freight for $10 and got it to have in case we have washer trouble on the road. So that’s the one I’ll use this time. It says it’s good for 1000# so it should work fine.

But, as usual, we’ll see how it goes.


October 2, 2017

The Big Debate Is Over!

Texas Monthly recently had a shootout between Cali-favorite In-N-Out Burger and Texas’ favorite son, Whataburger. And of course, when it comes to shootouts, you’ve just got to know that a Texan is coming out on top.

And that was certainly the case here. Texas Monthly Burger Showdown

It all comes down to the last paragraph.

Catching up on a couple of things about yesterday’s move.

Unlike the trip over to Hillcrest on the 20th of September, this time my new slide remote control work perfectly. So I have no idea what the problem was last time. But hopefully it will keep working.

On the downside, for our last three trips or so, Karma is getting car sick, or maybe rig sick. Don’t know why she’s just started this. We were certainly on curvier roads earlier this year with no problems. Hopefully it won’t last.

Concerning the problem with finding someone to pay our rent to at Hillcrest, and the questions about what the charges should be, friend and blog commenter Brett O’Neal said that maybe he’s losing money because he’s not collecting the money.

Makes sense to me.

Well, I’m now 3 for 3 in non-working WiFi cards in one of the client’s computers. Today I installed this TP-Link PCI Express WiFi Card.

TP-Link WiFi Card

I have one of these myself, and have installed two others on friend’s machines, and all worked great. But as before, this one didn’t work, just as the previous two didn’t. I’ve got a couple of more tricks to try before I give up and just let the machine stayed wired.

The Mystery Machine still is.

I mentioned before about a server up on the top shelf of the closet at my client’s that I didn’t know what it did. And I still don’t know.

It’s dead, Jim. I pulled it out of the closet, set it up on my desk, and powered it up. Or not. It’s completely dead.

I figure it’s probably the power supply, so I’ll have to dig out a replacement and substitute it. The other guy was heavy into gaming, so I figure it’s probably his gaming server. But I’ll have to wait a few more days to see.

Of course it could the almost-mythical porn server. Enquiring minds want to know.

About 10 minutes before I left the client’s, I used the El Pollo Loco app on my phone to place an order to pick up on my way back to Conroe. And 10 minutes later when I walked in the door, it was ready to go.

We each got an all-white (is that racist?) 4pc Chicken Meal with two sides. I got Charro Beans and Mexican Corn, while Jan got Charro Beans and a Side Salad. In addition, I got Jan a side of Guacamole and Chips, while I got a Chicken Tortilla Soup. And for dessert, a couple of  Churros.

Jan loved her Guac, and my soup was just chocked full of chicken.

El Pollo Loco Soup

And here’s our meal.

El Pollo Loco 4pc Meal

If you’ve never tried El Pollo Loco chicken, you should. It’s marinated overnight in a citrus juice marinate, and then seared on an open-flame grill til it’s perfect.

So we got 4pc of chicken, 2 sides, and 4 tortillas, all for $8.39. A really great deal.

Finishing up, when I talked about our European River Cruise, I forgot to ask for any input our readers have. A few of our readers already have, but anyone else is welcome to chime in.


October 2, 2018

Counting Down . . .

Today consisted mostly of some final errands as we counted down to leaving on our Florida trip.

But before that, I went outside to check out a problem I noticed during our last couple of trips that our radiator temps were running about 10° – 15° hotter than previously. So I thought I checked out the radiator, since I’d checked my coolant level and found it right. I had cleaned the radiator about six months ago, and found it no dirtier than usual. But opening the grille I found today was a different story.

Rig Radiator Before

The radiator was covered in oil with embedded dirt/gunk, and grass.

So after spraying it down with Awesome and letting it soak for about 5 minutes, I washed it down, even spraying it from the inside out from the engine compartment. Then I  repeated it again, until I had this.

Rig Radiator After

Much better, and I bet my engine temps are back to normal.

Heading out about 1:30p, and after lunch at Los Ramirez Mexican Restaurant, we stopped by the storage room to drop off some of our yard stuff that we don’t want/need to take on our trip. Then it was on up I-45 where we dropped off our last two rig batteries at the NTB store.

Next up, we went by my client’s office to pick up our last-minute Amazon delivery, and to once again try to get the strapping machine to work.

As I mentioned yesterday, the instructions were in Taiwanese and something that vaguely resembled English. Or at least the words were English.

However the order in which they were arranged left much to be desired. Here what it said.

Like the chart shows, put packed bandage to circle in the packing case, the right hand holds tightening, presses the tension bar, put packed bandage under the clamp and cutter outer covering, the packed bandage terminal have to surpass (length which the tool chart 2 shows) tool, the pine will be open for business the tight pole.

I think my favorite is “the pine will be open for business the tight pole”.

The funny thing about this is that once I watched the YouTube video on how to do it,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-JwQq8hHHs

the above jabberwocky actually makes sense. Or at least more than,

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

And this time it only took me about 5 minutes to strap down the box and have it ready to go. Yah YouTube!

Wrapping up with a WalMart stop, a gas/lottery ticket stop, and a PO stop, we were finally home by about 5:30.

After we got settled in, I went outside to pack everything away, disconnecting the water and sewer hoses, let in the awnings, and put away everything else. All I lack now is put away the satellite dish later tonight, and then disconnect the shore power tomorrow morning.

Since we we’ll be traveling without our generator/AC’s, we’re going to leave early, probably between 7:30 and 8am, stopping for the night at Poche’s Fish N Camp in Breaux Bridge, LA.

Finishing up with our countdown theme, here’s the one for our European Cruise Tour.

European Cruise Countdown


October 2, 2019

Tomorrow’s The Big Day . . .

The day that I’m crawling back under the rig and trying to get a handle on my oil leak problem.

First thing I’m going to do is remove the oil filter and see if there is any way to prop myself up and reach the bare adapter. But if not, I’m going to put it all back together so I can crank up the engine and drop the rig all the way down. Then I’ll have to take it all apart again and see if I can reach it then.

Hopefully, but we’ll see.

Jan and I have started to think about our next big trip. Right now we’ve got a long weekend trip up to Kingsland penciled in for November where we’ll do an early Thanksgiving get-together with all the kids and grandkids. We plan on taking the rig up, leak or no leak fixed.

Then of course, we’ve got our long weekend in NYC the first weekend in December. Really looking forward to that one.

2020 starts off with a rig trip back to Alabama to visit friends in Montgomery and Birmingham, and family in Athens Probably a couple of weeks long after the first of the year.

Early June will be a rig trip for a big family (including Jan’s sister Debbie and all her brood down from Illinois) get-together, which will be a week or so in Gulf Shores, AL before Jan and I take the rig on down to Florida.

But now we’re talking about another big trip. This time north to Alaska.

Or maybe north back to Alaska.

We did an Alaskan cruise in 1998, and then spent 5 months workcamping in Fairbanks in 2008. But we’ve always wanted to go back.

So now we’re looking at two different possibilities. First would be 12 day Land/Sea cruise starting in Fairbanks and ending up in Vancouver, BC. But we would fly up to Fairbanks four or five days early to spend some extra time there.

Or we might just forget the cruise all together, fly up to Fairbanks and spend a couple of weeks all on our own. But we’ll still working out the details.

Stay tuned.


October 2, 2020

More Than Half A Century . . . Yikes!

Don’t say it that way.

That’s what Jan said about our 53rd anniversary this past Monday when I mentioned that we’d been together more than half a century.

For some reason that sounds a lot worse than 53 years.

While we were driving around Galveston this past Monday, we saw a number of their famous dead tree carvings. There’s a whole series of carvings done on trees damaged by past hurricanes and storms.

Everything from geishas,

Galveston Geisha Carving

to mermaids,

Galveston Carving Mermaid

and even SpongeBob.

Galveston Carving SpongeBob

Or even other trees.

Galveston Norfolk Pine Carving

Apparently there are several dozen of these on the island, and an online map to find them all.


October 2, 2021

Land Of The Lost. For Adults.

Jan and I headed out about 1pm for lunch at Los Ramirez once again. Just as delicious as always.

Then it was on down I-45 to the La Marque area to check out the reason that we’re now able to receive Amazon packages here at the rig just a few hours after we order them.

Amazon La Marque Faciltiy

This is Amazon’s new Regional Distribution Center that just opened down in our area, just a few miles from our rig.

Coming soon from Amazon, We Deliver Before You Order!

Jan and I are looking forward to a new show on NBC called ‘La Brea’.

La Brea TV Show

When a massive sinkhole opens in the middle of Los Angeles at the site of the La Brea Tar Pits and pulls hundreds of people and buildings into its depths, those who fall into it find themselves in a mysterious and dangerous primeval land, where they have no choice but to band together to survive. The show follows one family, broken up by the events, trying to get back together.

Sounds like kind of a Land Of The Lost for adults. With a lot better effects.

Can’t wait for the Sleestak to show up.

So following that theme, here’s a repost of our visit to the Tar Pits in April of 2010.


The The Tar Tar Pits…

This late breaking news just in…

We just found out our upcoming grandchild is a BOY!

His name is Landon.


Today we visited the La Brea Tar Pits, which strangely enough, is in the middle of Beverly Hills. And even stranger, or maybe funnier, The La Brea Tar Pits, actually translates as The The Tar Tar Pits, since “La Brea” means “The Tar”’ in Spanish. Thus the title of this blog.

Anyway, we got there about 11 and decided to eat lunch first at a Marie Callenders right next door, or as they call it in Beverly Hills, just ‘”Callenders”. Apparently ‘Marie’” isn’t fancy enough for Beverly Hills. Even if it is right next door to tar pits.

And this is not your average Marie Callender’s.

MarieCallendars

And the food was really upscale too. We both had the Trio lunch plate, which consisted of a gorgonzola-pear salad with walnuts and cranberries, a choice of soup, (Jan had potato cheese, I had chicken tortilla) and a warm turkey/cheese sandwich on focaccia bread. It was all really good. And we were so full we didn’t even have room for what Marie Callender’s, excuse me, Callender’s is famous for, pie. Then.

After lunch we walked next door to the Tar Pits. Before we even crossed the street we could smell the asphalt in the air. And walking into the park we could see the results of the asphalt, or al least, the simulated results.

Tar Pit 2

The tar, along with methane gas, bubbles up from the ground and forms large pools. And it’s been doing this for tens of thousands of years. The oldest fossil found here has been dated to 38,000 years ago.

Tar Pit 1

Then rainwater and dirt/grass/leaves accumulate on the surface, masking the tar. Animals come down to drink and get mired in the muck. And sometimes predators come to feast on the “stuckees” and get stuck themselves. Thus a wide range or predators and prey have been excavated from the tar here.

Here is an excavation that’s been under way for years, and tens of thousands of fossils have been found.

Tar Pit 3

Here are the bones of a sabretooth cat that are in the process of being removed.

Tar Pit 4

Many of these animals were much larger than their contemporaries. Here is a medium-sized sloth. And being medium-size, this sloth was only 7 feet high and weighed 1800 pounds!

Sloth

And again,this ancient bison was much larger than the ones that live today.

Bison

This is an American camel, that become extinct over ten thousand years ago.

Camel

This is a mother Mastodon and her baby, found together in the tar.

Mastodon

And this is “Zed”, a 13 foot tall Columbian Mammoth, bigger than any elephant alive today

Mammoth

These are the bones of an American Lion, that was larger than any lion or tiger of today, and larger than the sabretooth cat from its own era.

American Lion

This is the skeleton of a horse. What’s different about this is that horses died out in the Americas thousands of years ago, and didn’t return until brought over by the Spanish explorers in the 1500’s.

Horse

This short-faced bear was enormous. Larger than any bear today, it was a foot taller than any grizzly and probably weighed a thousand pounds more.

Short-Faced Bear

And this is the sabretooth cat. Sometimes incorrectly called a sabretooth tiger, it is actually closer to today’s housecats, rather than tigers.

Sabertooth

This diorama shows a sabretooth trying to munch on a short-faced bear. I think the cat will probably end up as bear chow.

BearVsSabertooth

It was really amazing walking around here, thinking about all this going on right where we were standing 20 or 30 thousand years ago.

Leaving the Tar Pits we drove about a mile away to cruise the famous Rodeo Dr.

RodeoDr

We saw a lot of expensive cars, and a lot of shops with names we couldn’t pronounce.

Guess I should have been more impressed, but I wasn’t.

Before we left the area, we stopped off at Callender’s once again, this time for pie to go. For later.

Tomorrow we’ll be attending two tapings of the Bonnie Hunt Show that will be shown Wednesday and Thursday of this week.


Lowell texted over a photo of their Halloween decorations for this year.

Brandi's Halloween 2021

Bet it’s even better at night.

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