My ‘Sweetie’ . . .

As regular blog readers know, with my birthday today, we have enter the fabled ‘Sweet Spot’, the 20 days each year when Jan and I are the same age. All until her birthday on the 25th of this month.

Then she goes back to being my cougar and I’m back to being her boy-toy.

I’ve mentioned that she didn’t know that she was a year older than me until we went down to the courthouse to get our marriage license. I’ll never forget the look on her face.

The reason for this is that we had both just finished our freshman year in college. But though I was younger, I had skipped 1st grade and gone directly into the 2nd. And Jan was in a bad traffic accident, so bad she had to learn to walk again, and lost most of the 2nd grade.

A little before 5pm Jan and I headed up to Webster for my Birthday dinner at the Saltgrass Steakhouse once again. I was as delicious as usual, and since we had the same steaks that we usually get, I won’t repost the same photos.

But I will post the pics of the Pumpkin Cheesecake we had for dessert.

Saltgrass Pumpkin Cheesecake 20221005

And we each had to get our own piece since Jan doesn’t share Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Actually, neither do I.

Thought For The Day:

Void where prohibited by law. Your mileage may vary. Not valid in all locations. Tax, Title, License, Dealer Preparation not included. It wasn’t me, it was the other guy; I just look like him. I am not a lawyer, I don’t even play one on TV. You must be at least this tall

to read this story. NO REFUNDS. Not responsible for items lost or stolen. Alternate side parking. Do not feed the animals. Construction area. Restricted area – Authorized Persons Only. No warranty expressed or implied. All employees must wash hands before returning to work. Dealer participation may vary. Double coupons on Wednesday. Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery.

Elkhart, IN

October 5, 2009

A Drive in the Country . . .

Today we puttered around the coach until around 2 pm and then went to a late lunch at Famous Dave’s, one of our favorite BBQ places.  And we always have great leftovers, too!

After lunch we decided to drive around for awhile.  The Elkhart area is only about 1.5 miles south of the Michigan border, so we headed up north a bit before heading home.

Strangely enough, Michigan doesn’t look much different than Indiana.

After an hour or so, it was back to the coach.

October 5, 2010

Landon and a Big Green Frog . . .

Once again the morning started out with coffee and sitting around the coach just enjoying our life together.

Brandi sent over some pictures of Landon and a big green fuzzy frog we bought for him on the way to San Antonio last week.

I don’t think he’s too sure about it. I mean it’s about as big as he is.

Landon and Frog 1

We also got to watch several Dr. Who’s on BBCA that we hadn’t seen before, so that was a real treat. We’re both big Dr. Who fans.

We left the coach about 2:30 pm for some errands, stopping at Target, Sam’s Club, and Wal-Mart. Then I dropped by a client’s office to work on a problem he’s having. Still didn’t get it fixed, but I think I know what’s wrong now. I’ll go back tomorrow to try and finish up.

Jan’s always good about patiently waiting in the car on these calls, and I really appreciate it.

We were supposed to meet Lowell, Brandi, Landon, and Lowell’s sister, Sherry, who’s down from Oklahoma for a short visit.

But since we had some time to kill, we stopped off at Starbuck’s for a Pumpkin Spice Latte for Jan and a Cinnamon Dolce Latte for me. Jan’s always glad when Fall rolls around so everyone has their pumpkin stuff available. She really likes pumpkin.

After making a quick stop at the bank we headed over to Floyd’s Cajun Seafood to meet everyone for dinner.

It was good to see Lowell’s sister, Sherry again. We first met her at Brandi’s wedding back in June, and we always enjoy her posts on Facebook.

Sherry Morrison

After our usual great meal, PaPa got some Landon time so Brandi could finish eating. He didn’t want to stay in his carry seat, but he fell right asleep in my arms.

Landon and PaPa

Finally I want to give a big congratulations to my great-niece Stahlie Calvin on being accepted as a finalist in the Documentary category at the San Antonio Christian Film Festival. She is one of 15 finalists out of 250 entries in the category. Her entry, “Peaceful Betrayal” is about the history of gun control around the world, and its real effect on people. An earlier film of hers, “Legends of the Lost Gold”, won the youth category in the Athens Shorts Film Festival in October 2009.

Stahlie Calvin

Stahlie, along with her sister Darby, and brothers, Luke and Harland, are home-schooled by their mother on the family farm in Athens, Alabama. Stahlie does her videos using both a Canon HD video camera and a Canon HD still camera.

Once again, congratulations to a beautiful, talented young lady.

Loudonville, OH

October 5, 2011

Strawberries and Street Fairs . . .

A little while after our morning coffee, George Smith, one of the campground owners, stopped off with some of the Amish rolls and strawberry freezer jam we had last night.

For lunch, we had the leftover broasted chicken from Lost in the Fifties the other night along with some of the rolls and strawberry jam. Delicious!

The rest of the afternoon we pretty much did nothing, just goofed off. Jan read on the Kindle and napped, and I played on the computer, read, and watched kayakers float by on the Mohican River in front of our rig.

About 4:30 we all headed into Loudonville for dinner at Mohican Tavern and then a walk though the Loudonville Free Street Fair.

And after a good meal, we spent some time walking along the close-off streets of downtown Loudonville.

Loudonville Street Fair 1

Loudonville Street Fair 2

In these last two photos you can see more of Fall coming to Ohio.

Loudonville Street Fair 3

Loudonville Street Fair 4

Tomorrow our host, Amy Smith, is going to give us a guided tour of the area, and we’re really looking forward to it.

October 5, 2013

Thanks, Everyone!

First off, I want to thank everyone for the many warm birthday greetings. It almost makes up for being officially old now.

The gate’s been pretty quiet recently with only about 70 to 90 vehicles a day. Looks like the frack site is starting to go into production, and a lot of equipment is being pulled out. The pipeline work still gets a lot of traffic through the gate, but we don’t have to log them, just the people going to the 3 sites here.

Other than that, not much is going on here.

I did want to post the latest photo of Zoe Nadeau. She’s our son-in-law Lowell’s sister’s daughter’s daughter. I’d probably have to sign up for Ancestry.Com to figure that out.

Zoe Nadeau 7

Now that’s a real cutie!
And of course the obligatory Landon photo.

Landon eating Yougurt1

That’ll about wrap it up for today. With all the bad weather in the Midwest, I thought I’d repost about one of our encounters with it up there.

October 5, 2014

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood . . .

(Now try getting that song out of your head.)

But it was a really nice day today, about 82°, sunny, a few clouds, and low humidity.

And it got off to a really great start too. Jan came out to relieve me this morning at a little before 6am, rather than the normal 7am.

An extra hour of sleep this morning. A very nice birthday present, indeed.

Our gate traffic picked up today with 117 vehicles coming through the gate, with most of the increase being big trucks coming and going, hauling out parts of the rig in back that’s starting to tear down and move on down the road. But I haven’t heard where yet.

Two Sheriff’s Deputies came by the gate today. The first was looking for kids on 4 wheelers, but he didn’t say why. I told him the only 4 wheeler we had seen was the landowner’s, and that was about a week ago.

The second came by about 6:30 pm after I had gone to bed. He said folks up the road had complained about the trucks driving too fast on the road.

What can I say? We tell’em it’s 15 mph on our side of the gate, and 10 mph leaving our gate. The 10 mph is because of the families and kids that live along the road heading out. And coming in, for that matter.

They’ve learned that we’ll (especially Jan) will yell at ‘em if they go past us too fast, so they creep past us until they’re about 25 yards away and out of sight due to the trees, and then you can hear them speed up.

Well, all we can do is tell them to go slow. Maybe the Sheriff’s deputies can make it hurt a little in their pockets.

It always seems to be boom or bust as far as the dusty roads go. Either the water truck guys water the roads down so many times during the day that everything is just muddy, or like the last couple of days they don’t show up at all. Which means that the dust is everywhere when any vehicle comes by. So maybe tomorrow.

October 5, 2015

Dang It!

Well, I had planned to let this one slip by this year, but with Jan spilling the beans on Facebook, the word leaked out.

So I want to thank everyone for the many birthday wishes. They’re much appreciated. It’s really amazing how many friends you can accumulate over the years in the RV world.

We still don’t have any word about whether or not we’re moving to the new frack site right up the road. But now that I know where it is, I drove up there about 12:30 to scout things out for possible parking spots for the rig if we do move. I’d rather have a spot picked out and not need it, than to have to find one on the fly if we’re told to move at the last minute.

I first drove all the way down to the pad and found a couple of crews hard at work installing the two ‘frack stacks’ that came in early this morning.

Maybe New Pad

The delivery guy showed up at our gate because he was lost, so I had to get him turned around and headed back to the right place. So I guess he made it.

After checking out the pad, I drove back out, checking out possible parking sites for us on the way.

I found three locations, all of which had pluses and minuses, but if I had to pick one today, it would be this one.

New Site Maybe

It’s shaded, fairly level, and the ground seems pretty firm. It’s also at kind of a high point, so water (rain) should drain off OK. The only real downside is the fact that it’s on the right side of the road instead of the left, which means that we’re not on the driver’s side as they come in. But all three possible sites are that way, and we’ve had gates that way in the past, so it’s really not that much of a problem.

Heading back to the rig, I saw where they had run the big water hose along the power line right-of-way from the frack pond next to us up to the new pad.

Frack Water Line

As far as our frack here, we’ve heard Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday to finish up. Personally we like Thursday, or a week from Thursday. Or even a Thursday near the end of November when we want to head back to Houston anyway.

We’ll see how it goes.

Later in the afternoon I started filling up our water tank from the well next to us. This well is what keeps the frack pond topped off, but they must be sucking up all the pressure, because at the faucet, I’ve only got about 20 psi. So it takes several hours to fill our 500 gallon tank, but it’s worth it because it’s really good water, very soft, with a good taste. And I know that Todd, our GGS service guy, is happy to only have to bring us diesel every two weeks, and not water too.

October 5, 2016

That Sweet Spot . . .

First off, I want to thank everyone for their many Happy Birthday wishes. Jan and I both really appreciate it.

And as far as Jan is concerned, we’re in that yearly Sweet Spot. The one where for 20 days a year, we’re the same age. Then on October 25th, Jan goes back to being a sexy cougar/cradle-robber for another 345 days.

With the washer problem no longer hanging over me, I spent the morning and early afternoon fine tuning the new website shopping cart, which is really close to going online. I’ll let you know.

During the day, our daughter Brandi, our son Chris, and our long-time friend Maria called to wish me a Happy Birthday.. Thanks guys.

About 3pm we headed out for some errands and dinner at Golden Corral. Our first stop was Wal-Mart to check out their prepaid cell phones for Jan.

Presently she has an LG Revere flip phone. Yes, they still make them.

She only wants a phone for phone calls, no web, no text, no camera, just phone calls. But we’re presently paying almost $60 a month for this. So I’m looking for something cheaper.

And after a really good meal at the Corral, we stopped off at Kroger’s for a few things before heading home. Then after we got settled in and the groceries put away Jan came outside and held the ladder while I finished hooking up the dryer hose to the outside vent. So all I lack now is to the put the cabinet doors and retaining strip back on.

A couple of nights ago Jan and I watched the pilot episode of Timeless, a new NBC drama on Monday nights. A time machine has been stolen from an Elon Musk type character (think Tesla & SpaceX) by a mysterious man who seemingly wants to change history and eliminate or cripple the United States.

A history professor, Lucy Preston, a Delta Force soldier, Wyatt Logan, and a scientist, Rufus Carlin, are recruited to use a somewhat rickety prototype machine to follow the stolen machine and try and stop or reverse any changes made.

Their first stop is May 6th, 1937 in Lakehurst, NJ, the time and place of the Hindenburg disaster. One of the problems the team has is that they have no idea what the mystery man is trying to change.

In this case the thief manages to avert the Hindenburg crash, only to set a bomb to try and bring it down the next day as it departs New Jersey heading for London and the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

SPOILER ALERT! In case you’ve recorded the show and haven’t watched yet!









Although the team manages to disarm the bomb, a gunfight breaks out that still causes the Hindenburg to crash and burn, but on May 7th, not the 6th as before, with different people killed and different people surviving.

When the team returns to the present, they find the timeline altered such that the Hindenburg always crashed on the 7th. The team are now the only 3 people who remember the original one.

But the last scene is the real twist. When Lucy returns home, she discovers her mother is not comatose and dying, but in perfect health.

And she never had a sister. Amy never existed.

October 5, 2017

The Sweet Spot . . .

First off, I want to thank everyone for their many kind birthday wishes. I was trying to fly under the radar this year, but my beautiful wife went on Facebook and announced it to the world.

Thanks a lot, Jan.

Jan’s always happy when my birthday comes around for another reason. We’re now in that 20 day sweet spot period every year where Jan and I are the same age. So I can no longer accuse her of robbing the cradle. But just wait until Oct. 25th comes along.

I’m one of those people who think that the best way to get what you want for your birthday is to buy it for yourself. I don’t normally buy T-Shirts with pictures or patterns on them but I just had to get this one for my birthday.

Now Leaving New Mexico T Shirt

You can get yours here: You’re Now Leaving New Mexico T-Shirt

About 4:45 we headed out for dinner at Asian Grill, a favorite of ours, and where we haven’t eaten since last year. We were going to eat here back in August but forgot that they don’t open for dinner until 5pm.

We started out with an order of their delicious Shrimp Spring Rolls, made to order, as well as their homemade peanut sauce.

Asian BBQ Spring Rolls 2

Really good and fresh. You can always tell when they’re not fresh, because the wrapper gets tough and chewy.

Next up was a couple of their Vermicelli Bowls. Jan got hers with Grilled Chicken and Shrimp, and I got mine with Grilled Pork and Shrimp.

Asian BBQ Grilled Pork and Shrimp Bowl 2

We sauced it with Sriracha, Hoisin, and Dragon Sauces, and well as the last of the peanut sauce. Jan and I both thought that the Dragon Sauce wasn’t as hot as in the past, so I warmed mine up a little more with a few shakes of my Volcanic Pepper Flakes.

Volcanic Dust

All really, really good.

This is a Bump Stock.

Bump Stock

I’m sure you’ve heard about them being used by the Las Vegas shooter. He had twelve of them installed on twelve different semi-auto rifles. For what its worth, they don’t make a semi-automatic a fully automatic weapon. They really just make it easier for you to pull the trigger faster.

Maybe a distinction without a difference to most people. But it is to the ATF who approved bump stocks in 2010. And they are legal in every state except California.

The ATF says that since they do not change the actual function of the rifle, they are legal, just like adding a scope or a laser sight.

The way they work is that when you pull the trigger the first time, the recoil of the rifle pushes it back against your shoulder and compresses the spring. The spring then pushes the rifle body forward. Since your finger is still on the trigger, the fact that the rifle is moving forward essentially pulls the trigger again. And again. And again.

The rifle operates the same as if you could pull the trigger really, really fast.

Of course after Las Vegas, the calls are out to ban bump stocks so something like this can never happen again. But would that accomplish anything? Take another look at the bump stock photo above.

It’s a SPRING!

That’s all it really is.

There are plans all over the Internet on how to make your own. I could probably make a trip to the nearest ACE Hardware, buy a selection of springs and a couple of other parts, and cobble together one right here in the rig. The only thing that makes the store-bought ones really better is cosmetics. They look like they’re actually part of the rifle.

So now we’re banning bump stocks and springs.

What’s next?

How about rubber bands?

Here’s a video of rapid fire using a rubber band.

Rubber Band Bump Stock

There are also videos on YouTube rapid firing by hooking their thumb in their belt loop.

So what to ban next?

Really fast fingers?

October 5, 2018

Not Another One . . .

Well, I had planned to try and slide this one by, being the The Big Seven OH but Jan spilled beans.

So I want to thank everyone for the many Birthday Wishes I received, from the blog, email, and Facebook. It does somewhat cushion the realization.

And besides being my birthday, Jan enjoys it for another reason. She calls it her Sweet Spot. It’s twenty days a year when we’re both the same age.

Then come October 25th, she’s a cradle robber again.

We’re really enjoying our site here at the Escapees Rainbow Plantation, except for a couple of things.

The Verizon data service is kind of sucky here, and then there are the noisy acorns thunking on the rig roof day and night. Though I guess it could be worse.

We could be parked under the magnolia trees like some nearby sites, with their large, heavy seed pods the size of golf balls.

Magnolia Tree Seed Pods

And these are heavy enough to hurt. When I was a kid we’d use them playing soldier and throw them at each other, pretending they were hand grenades. And they do hurt.

About 2pm we headed down to the Intracoastal Waterway, and another of our long-time local favorites, Lulu’s at Homeport Marina.

For those who don’t know, ‘Lulu’ is what Lucy’s brother Jimmy used to call her. And ‘Jimmy’’ of course, is famed singer Jimmy Buffett

Unlike past visits in August, when the place is jam-packed, we were seated immediately and got a table out of the deck.

LuLu's 2018 - Jan

And the view of the canal is pretty nice, too.

LuLu's 2018 - Sailboat

Looking over the menu,we discovered a new addition, and it’s one of our favorites – A Wedge Salad.

LuLu's 2018 - Wedge Salad

Delicious, but as I told Jan, it’s the the first we’ve had one that was a ‘kit’ and had to be assembled. And with about 3/4 of a head of lettuce, it was definitely the largest we’ve ever had.

And along with the Bleu Cheese Crumbles, the chunky Bleu Cheese dressing made this probably the best Wedge Salad we’ve ever had.

Jan got her favorite Grilled Shrimp Tacos

LuLu's 2018 - Grilled Shrimp Tacos

while I got my usual Shrimp and Oyster PoBoy.

LuLu's 2018 - Shrimp and Fish PoBoy

One thing about Gulf Shores seafood is that you know it’s all going to be fresh, fresh, fresh. The texture is a dead giveaway.

And of course for dessert, we had to split an order of their famous Krispy Kreme Bread Pudding.

LuLu's 2018 - Bread Pudding

The perfect finish to our meal.

Tomorrow we’re going down to the beach and do some shopping and then have dinner at De Soto’s Seafood Kitchen, another of our local favorites.

October 5, 2019

Thanks To Everyone !!

First off I want to thank everyone for the many Happy Birthday wishes. It almost makes up for the fact that I’m a year older.

And for the record, that ‘year older’ leaves me at 71.

And it also leaves Jan and I in our yearly ‘sweet spot’. At least that’s what Jan calls it. This starts the 20 day period where we’re the same age. Then on October 25th,  Jan’s birthday, she’s back to being a ‘cradle robber’, and I’ve got my own personal ‘Cougar’ back.

I spent most of the day trying to make sense of this HP laptop that I’m trying to upgrade for a client/friend. It came with a 256GB SSD and she’s running out of room, so I was going to put in a 1TB one.

So after checking online I ordered a new WD 1TB SSD because that’s what the manual said it used. But when the drive came in and I finally got the laptop case open, which like most of these, is more of a Chinese puzzle than anything else, I found something I didn’t recognize.

The SATA drive bay was empty, and the SSD located under the battery looks like nothing I’ve ever seen. It’s not SATA, M.2, or NVMe, the 3 types of SSD drives. So the only thing I figure it’s some kind of proprietary drive that’s HP only.  But it looks like I can buy a new cable and mount to let me use the SATA drive that I’ve already purchased. So right now I’m waiting on a price quote on those items.

About 4pm Jan and I headed up to Webster to have my Birthday dinner at that Saltgrass, rather than the Kemah Boardwalk one from last Saturday’s Anniversary dinner. And we went to this one for two reasons.

It’s closer, and it’s cheaper. I noticed last weekend that pretty much every steak on the menu at the Kemah location was $2 more that the same steak at the Webster one.

Good enough for me.

We both got our usual Wedge Salads, along with Jan’s 9oz. Center-Cut Filet and my 16oz. Ribeye. All just as delicious as usual, and $4 cheaper.

Greg 71st Birthday at Saltgrass

Then after a quick Costco stop we got home about 6:30 after a very nice day.

And once again, thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes.

October 5, 2020

Another Year, Another Sweet Spot . . .

If you haven’t already figured it out from Facebook or elsewhere, today is my birthday, my mumble-mumble birthday. And as I mentioned in our 53rd Anniversary blog last week, it’s also the beginning of our yearly Sweet Spot.

The Sweet Spot is the 20 days a year when Jan and I are the same age. As I mentioned in that blog, Jan didn’t know she was almost a year older than me until we were at the courthouse getting our marriage license.

I had thought that she might be older than me, because I was ahead in school because I skipped the 1st grade and started directly in the 2nd. And I knew Jan was behind a grade due to a bad car accident when she was 7. Bad enough that she lost a grade and even had to learn to walk again.

But I learned at a young age that you never ask a woman how old she is.

Since we had just done the Saltgrass Steakhouse thing last week for our Anniversary, we just did Spring Creek BBQ tonight for mine. But it was delicious just the same.

We both got the Baby Back Ribs with Beans and Beans. Our favorite.

Spring Creek Birthday BBQ

But for Jan’s birthday in 20 days, we’ll probably be back at Saltgrass.

Following up on my Amazon Fire TV Stick blog yesterday. this is what the Home Screen looks like.

Amazon Fire Stick Home Screen

The blocks along the bottom half are apps where we stream various show. But the most important one is probably YouTube TV.

This is where we watch the regular TV networks and shows, and also DVR them, just like our old DirecTV service. Except it has unlimited DVR recordings, and at $75 per month, it’s less than half the cost of DTV.

As I said yesterday we’ll probably cancel our DTV subscription at the end of the year when the suspension is up.

October 5, 2021

It’s Still Sweet . . .

Today’s my seventy mumble-mumble birthday, and so once again Jan and I are in the fabled Sweet Spot, the 20 days each year when Jan and I are the same age.

Because I skipped first grade, and Jan lost a year due to an auto accident, we were in the same year in college when we met. So she had no idea that she was almost a year older than me.

In fact she didn’t realize ii until months later when we were at the courthouse getting our marriage license. I think she just looked at me and decided, what the hell.

And 54+ years later, it’s still working.

We tried to sit on the patio with our coffee this morning, but after all the rain we’ve had the last week, our sojourn was called on account of mosquitos.

Lots and lots of mosquitos.

About 3:30 we headed up to Webster to have dinner at the Saltgrass Steakhouse there. Since we just did the one down in Galveston last week for our Anniversary, we decide to stay local this time.

Our steaks and wedge salads were as delicious as always, but the highlight of the meal, at least for Jan, and me too really, was dessert.

When we were at Saltgrass last week, Jan was disappointed that they hadn’t coming out with their delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Saltgrass Pumpkin Cheesecake

So Jan was giddy to find that they just got their first shipment in yesterday, and we may have been the first people to order it.

Then it was on over to the Clear Lake Kroger’s to pick up a couple of prescriptions for Jan  and some groceries. Then it was down toward home with a quick stop at the PO along the way.

A very nice birthday!

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