Absolutely Hilarious!

Tonight we saw Jeff Dunham’s ‘Still Not Canceled’ show up in Houston at the NRG Arena. And it was Absolutely Hilarious.

Toward the end the guy to my right was laughing so hard I thought he was having an asthma attack. Or maybe he was, but he was still having trouble catching his breath.

But we didn’t get home until after 11, so more tomorrow.

But before I go. I didn’t discovered until this afternoon that an entire section of the Titanic or Olympic post disappeared between when I wrote it and when I posted it.

So I’ll straighten that out as well.

Just know that Nobody Was Supposed To Die!

Thought for the Day:

A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.

The average number of items in the typical woman’s bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.

January 11, 2011

Yo-Yo’s and Bingo . . .

Today was a really busy day in contrast to yesterday’s lay-about the rig day.

It started off when I left the rig about 10am heading for a client’s up in Clear Lake. I was there until about 2:30, and then it was off to another client’s in Pearland to drop off a computer that I had taken home to work on a particularly pesky Trojan Virus. I hadn’t run into this one before so it took a little while to figure out how to get rid of it. I also spent some time talking to Bill and June about RV’ing since they have a 5th wheel and travel a good bit.

Then it was time to head back down south to the rig. And I got back just in time to get Jan and head back up to Nassau Bay to pick up our granddaughter Piper and her friend Helena.

Tonight is Bingo night and they’re both going with Jan and Maria to play tonight. Then it was back down to Dickinson to meet Maria at Garcia’s Mexican Grill in Dickinson for supper.

With all this back and forth, sometimes I feel like a yo-yo.

BTW did you know the yo-yo has been around since 500 B.C. in Greece and was made of terra cotta clay.

Greek YoYo

And when it was first patented in the U.S. in 1866 it was called a ‘bandalore’.

If I don’t tell you this stuff, who will.

After we finished dinner, and Maria, Jan, Piper, and Helena headed down to La Marque for Bingo, I headed back up to Clear Lake to another client’s office to do some updates and cleanups that can’t really be done during the day.

About 9:30 it was time to head down to La Marque to pick everyone up. And unfortunately, nobody won anything but Maria, and she only won $25. Wheeee!

And then it was back up to Nassau Bay to drop off Piper and Helena,  After that we finally headed back down to the RV park on Dickinson Bayou.

Told you I was a yo-yo.

January 11, 2012

Cheese and Books . . .

Jan and I headed out about 12:30 for another afternoon of errands and work stuff. But our first stop was for lunch at King Food, before heading over to Half-Price Books.

Jan had a large bag of books she wanted to sell, and a list of books she was looking for. And as usual, we got zilch for our books. I carried in a big canvas bag that must have weighed 25 pounds, and we walked out with 8 whole dollars.


Our next stop was my client’s office. While Jan read in the truck, I finished setting up the second new computer for them. I’ll go back over some time later this week and get everything installed.

A little before 4pm we drove down to meet Brandi at Landon’s pediatrician’s office. Landon had a Dr’s appointment, and since Lowell couldn’t get free from work, Brandi wanted Jan along, so between the two of they could keep Landon in hand and still pay attention to what the Doctor was saying.

Afterwards, we all headed over to Brandi’s for a while, waiting until it was time to meet Lowell at Cheddar’s for dinner.

While we were there, Landon got his first chance to use his new Gyro Bowl, in this case, full of orange sections. As I thought he spent as much time playing with it as eating from it. He was fascinated by how it swiveled as he turned it.

Landon at Cheddars2

Landon at Cheddars3

After a fun meal, we finally all headed to our respective homes.

Tomorrow’s kind of up in the air. I may just work around the rig unless something comes up.

We’ll have to see.

January 11, 2014

See, I’m Not Crazy . . .

As Sheldon says, “My Mother had me tested”

I was up about 8:30 this morning, heading out about 9:30 to pick up our son Chris. On the way I stopped at Jack in the Box for a couple of Supreme Croissants for us to eat on the way. We were on our way into Houston to meet up with Lowell and Landon at the George R. Brown Convention Center for the Great Train Expo model railroad show.

The first shock was that it cost $20 to park at a lot about 6 blocks from the GRB. At least we got a lot of exercise for our money. But it only cost $10 each to get in, and Landon was free.

The show was pretty crowded with every aisle pretty much filled to capacity.

train show 18Landon was fascinated with all the different layouts and themes. And actually, so was PaPa.

Train Show 3He demanded to be picked up so he could see everything. This rocky ledge, complete with waterfall, was great.

Train Show 4These blocks of Styrofoam show how many of these hills and mountains start out before being carved into shape.

train show 10

The scenery detail was really good.

Train Show 5
Train Show 6Sometimes even the circus comes to town.

Train Show 7

Train Show 8And of course, what’s a countryside without a farm. complete with a irrigation ditch.

train show 12This one even has an RV campground.  I mean, isn’t it a law that all RV parks must be located next to railroad tracks?

train show 13This is a Lionel 027 gauge layout like the one I started out with.

train show 9This photo shows that comparative size of the major different scales. The Z Scale boxcar in the foreground is less than 2 inches long. And, not shown here is an even smaller scale, known as T Scale. A T Scale boxcar would be less than 1 inch long!

At some point you’ll have to start using a magnifying glass to operate your train, if things get any smaller.

train show 11The part about not being crazy came about from my inquires about the Lionel train set I received when I was 11. I was never able to find the exact train in any of the old Lionel catalogs. In fact a few years ago, one guy told me I must have imagined it. He hinted that I must be crazy.

But based on something I read recently online, and was finally able to confirm with a vendor today, I figured out what was going on. Large Lionel retailer’s like Sears and Roebuck in my case, were able to order train sets to their own specifications. This is apparently where my train set came from.

So I’m not crazy.
Well, at least I didn’t imagine it.

My train set originally cost about $50. After talking to the vendor, and based on the present day cost of this Santa Fe F3 engine like I had, my train set would be worth over $1500 if I still had it.


Notice that steam locomotive below my F3. It now sells for $1450.00.

train show 14

This was the part that Landon was waiting for –  the Thomas the Tank Engine ride

Train Show 1

train show 15

train show 16

train show 17

While he and Lowell were waiting in line for the train ride, I went shopping and found this neat Glow-in-the-Dark Thomas the Tank Engine T-shirt for him.

Thomas the Tank Engine T-Shirt

After about two hours it was time to start heading home,  but we didn’t manage to get past the food trucks parked across the street at Discovery Green.

train show 20

They were having a arts & crafts festival, and a lot of people were out and about on this beautiful day.

GRB Discovery Green 1

Lowell and Landon got Cupcake Pops, and Chris and I got wraps from another truck. I also got a couple of cupcakes to take home for Jan and I later.

train show 19

Running into the usual I-45 construction, it took almost an hour to get back to Chris’ and then another 30 minutes to get back to the rig.

A little later Jan and I headed up to Kemah to have dinner at Hooter’s. We haven’t been for a while, and were happy to see that, probably due to the competition from places like Twin Peaks, Bonedaddy’s, and Buffalo Wild Wings, they’ve added a lot of new menu items, including even hotter sauces. Yumm!

By the time we got back home the sun was going down and I got some good shots of the park here. This is the views out in front of our rig.

Galveston Bay Sunset 2

Galveston Bay Sunset 3

Later, about 8 PM, I fixed us Hazelnut Cappuccino K-Cups and we had the Red Velvet and Carrot Cake cupcakes I brought home this afternoon.

A really nice way to end a great day.

January 11, 2015

Pucker Butt . . .

Mostly today Jan and I just waited out the continuing nasty, wet, cold weather. But it now looks like the next four days should be pretty decent, as in no rain and temps in the high 40’s / low 50’s. That should be good enough to get some stuff done outside.

Later in the day, after doing some web work, I started setting up my client’s new computer. When I was finished with the basic startup stuff, I connected with our rig Wi-Fi network and started to download 964 MB of upgrades and updates. Luckily I have an unlimited 3G Verizon air card, and there’s a good 3G signal here at the park so it only took a little over an hour to get them all pulled down and installed.

Next up I wanted to create the Recovery DVD’s, which according the program, would require 6 DVD’s. Unfortunately, as it turned out, I only had 3, so I’ll have to get some more tomorrow. The program doesn’t allow you to start and stop the DVD writing process so I’ll just wait until tomorrow when I have enough to finish the job in one sweep.

I also took some time to check out the client’s old computer as far as the hard drive goes. It certainly is bad, as with the side of the computer off, you can hear the drive spin up and then start ‘clicking’ and not initializing as it should. I won’t try the ‘freezer trick’ until everything else is set up on the new machine. But the fact that it is spinning, and not completely dead, is encouraging. But we’ll see.

In the afternoon, wanting a snack, I got a chance to try another of my Christmas gifts, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion Caramel Candy, that my son-in-law Lowell got for me at iBurn.

Scoprion Candy

Trinidad Moruga Scorpion peppers were acknowledged as the hottest pepper in the world until recently when it was surpassed by the Carolina Reaper.


While both the Scorpion and the Reaper look pretty much the same, with a average rating of 1.2 million Scoville units, the Scorpion is about 60 times hotter than a Habanero, while the Reaper is about 80 times hotter. I found it funny that the Carolina Reaper was developed in South Carolina by Ed Currie, owner of the Pucker Butt Pepper Co, the perfect name for a hot pepper company.

As far as the hottness of the candy, it was hotter than the Mango Habanero sauce at Buffalo Wild Wings, but not quite as hot as their Blazin’ sauce.

All in all, very good.

January 11, 2016

The Siren Call . . .

Jan and I were back walking this morning, since she was feeling back to normal after her migraine travails. And even though we’d been sidelined for a couple of days, we did bump our distance up to 1.52 miles.

Runkeeper 1-52 miles_thumb[4]By adding a couple of loops and swirls along the way, that gave us the additional distance without really modifying our basic route. We’ll probably  hold at this distance until we’re back at Lake Conroe after next Sunday.

Since we didn’t bump into anyone we knew, we were able to keep a good, steady pace at 27:38 min/mile. Not bad for old folks.

We did however split up the walk like we did the other day, by doing the top loop, about a mile, and then stopping for our coffee and breakfast bread. Then about 30 minutes later we completed the bottom loop. It was a perfect day for the walk, with a partly sunny sky and 50°, and couldn’t be much better.

Jan and I headed up to La Grange about 3:30 this afternoon, planning on having a light dinner at Sonic, and then a trip to Wal-Mart.. But as we came up SR71, we were lured by the siren call of the local Whataburger. It was almost like the truck was steering itself. And we just ate the Columbus Whataburger a few days ago.

But while last visit we stayed with our  tried-and-true burgers, this time we went off in a different direction. Jan had been wanting to try their Buffalo Ranch Chicken Strip Sandwich.Whataburger Buffalo Chicken Sandwich_thumb[4]

When she was almost done, I ask her how it was, and she said, “Good.” So I then ask, “Just Good, or Have Again Good?” She took another bite and said, “Have Again Good.” So there you have it, Jan’s Seal of Approval.

For my part I went with an repeat meal for me. one that I last had on the gate, their Apple and Cranberry Salad.Whataburger Salad_thumb[1]

Topped with their really good, spicy Honey-Pepper Vinaigrette, it was a great meal. Of course I also had a large order of fries with it, just to be sure I was eating a well-balanced meal.

And with our last visit to the Whataburger in Columbus, there was absolutely no problem with my order. So beware of the Carthage Whataburger, I guess. Or just get it plain.

When I talked about the Bath & Body Works Touch Free SmartSoap Automatic Hand Soap Dispenser a few days ago,

Touch Free Smart Soap_thumb[2]Several blog readers mentioned that they had refilled different models of these soap dispensers, but I’m not sure how it would work with these cartridges.

SmartSoap Lid_thumb[2]There is a small hole, but you’d probably have to use a hypodermic or something like it, to put soap back in the cartridge.

Another reader mentioned that he had pried the lid off and refilled it that way, but I’m not sure how that would work. Right now it looks like that prying the lid off would break it.  So I’ll wait to see about doing that after the cartridge is empty.

One thing I did notice is that, although these soap cartridges are being sold online for about $15, according to the barcode price label, the retail cost is only $8.00. So that makes it not quite so important, at least to my bank account.

And besides, hacking the circuit would be a large part of the fun. I mentioned that I was going to try to modify the mechanism so that it doesn’t  put out as much soap. Since I figure that it might difficult to change the amount of time that  soap is pumped out, I going to see if I change the circuit so that it only runs when my  hand is in front of the sensor.

But I’ll have to wait until the first cartridge is empty before I explore further.

January 11, 2017

The One Day At A Time Gate. . .

About 2:30 this afternoon, I got a text from Todd, our SiteWatch supervisor, wanting to know if we had plans this afternoon. I told him it sounds like I do now.

So same gate, same time. I told him that they made a TV show about this gate a while back. It was called One Day At A Time.

At least I got the call a little earlier today. As far as tomorrow, who knows. I just take it On . . . well, you know.

So far it looks like I’ve solved the program with my dashcam. I first noticed it a few weeks ago when we were almost sideswiped on a day trip to San Antonio. Later when I checked the camera I found that it had stopped recording about 5 minutes before the incident.

Looking over the video files, I noticed other gaps where it started and stopped. And this got me to thinking about how recently the dashcam screen would come on at random times and after a few minutes go back off.

Wondering if this might have anything to do with my problem, on my next drive I noted the time the display came back on and then went off again. And checking later confirmed my suspicions. The video files stopped at the time the display came on and resumed when it went off. So that’s what’s happening, but what’s causing it?

My next step was to email the company’s Tech Support, and after laying out the symptoms, mentioned that I was using a SanDisk memory card. The return email said that SOME cameras have trouble with SOME SanDisk cards and to maybe try another brand. So I did.

And now after about a week and a half the problem has not returned. But the card itself seems to be fine and works perfectly as a standard SD in my computer. Plus I have SanDisk cards in my camera, my phone, and my tablet, all with no problems. So who knows.

As I mentioned, we’ll be leaving this year’s gate guarding stint on February 15th, when we’ll head back to the Colorado River Thousand Trails for two weeks while we get our medical stuff taken care of for this year. Then it’s on to the Lake Conroe TT for a week, and then back to Colorado River for a few days before we head out for Tucson and the Escapade Rally.

So today I once again fought my way through the Thousand Trails’ website and made the prerequisite reservations. And as usual, every time I finished making a reservation and then booking it, I got an error message telling me that there was a problem (at least it wasn’t blue, or green) and my reservation could not be completed.

But, also as usual, when I would go to Current Reservations and check, it would show that the reservation was made, and I would also get an email confirming it.

Earlier this evening we had a Sun Coast fuel (diesel) tank truck come up to the gate looking for pad X29 where a new drill rig was going up. Told him that we were a frack and not a drill site, and I hadn’t heard of a pad X29 around here. Then I ask to see his directions.

The directions are printed on a long strip much like a Wal-Mart receipt, and have pad name and the directions to get there, as well as a contact number for any problems. And as it turned out, he had followed the directions perfectly. They led him right to us. But we weren’t where he was supposed to be. So I suggested he call his contact number to see if they could straighten him out.

Well, his ‘contact’ number turned out to be some lady’s house who was very irate that she had been getting calls at all hours of the day and night for the last two days, asking for directions.

He said “She told me where to go, all right. But I don’t think I want to take a tanker full of fuel there.”

January 11, 2018

Seen Better Days . . .

I was really nice to just get up this morning and not really have anything that we really needed to do.

I did want to take the big awning down but it was overcast and looking like rain when I got up, and it was supposed to rain all day, so I wasn’t too hopeful.

I called my client to let them know that I would be in the office tomorrow since Jan’s lithotripsy has been moved to next Wednesday. Then I called the hospital to double-check our arrival time for that. Originally we were told to arrive at 9:30 for the 11:30 procedure. But now that the procedure is scheduled for 12:30, I wanted to be sure that our arrival time would be pushed back to 10:30, and it was.

Even though it was still overcast, when the rain hadn’t showed up by 2, I got ready to go outside and tackle the awning. But before I could get out the door the hard rain swept through.

But looking at the Rainy Days app, I saw that the rain was a long, thin line sweeping through so I still thought I might make it. And by 3pm I was outside and ready to go.

This one has seen better days. It got soaked in drilling fluid in 2014 when we were across the road from the drill rig and they blew a seal and covered the rig in sticky oil. I tried everything I could to get the stains out, but no luck.

And when the then tiny hole appeared I tried to patch it with awning tape, but it wouldn’t stick. In fact nothing I tried would stick. So that leaves us here.

Big Awning Removal 1

I locked the pliers to the end of the spring, removed the screw, and unwound the spring, counting the turns.

Big Awning Removal 1a

One the left end I just let the spring unwind free, leaving me with this.

Big Awning Removal 2

Then after removing the screw from the upper frame, I was able to slide the frame piece and the fabric off.

Finally I uncrimped the frame, slid the fabric loose, and I was done.

Big Awning Removal 3

It only took about  30 minutes. I’ll try to drop it off at Sundowners tomorrow or Saturday.

About 4pm we headed down to the Victory Lakes area to have dinner at Jason’s Deli, one of our favorite soup and sandwich places. But this time it was Soup  and Salad.

Jan had a cup of her favorite Broccoli Cheese Soup AND got a bowl of it to go for tomorrow’s lunch while I’m at work.

I got a bowl of my usual Southwest Chicken Chili, my all-time favorite.

Jason's SW Chicken Chili

Really good. Unfortunately I forgot to bring in my Volcanic Pepper Flakes to spice it up a little.

Volcanic Dust

For the salad part, we both got the Nutty Mixed-Up Salad,

Jason's Nutty Salad

with grilled chicken breast, greens,grapes, cranberries, feta cheese, raisins, nuts, apples and pumpkin seeds.

Really delicious and we both had some to take home.

There’s a Social Security Office in the same area as Jason’s and I had hoped to stop by and find out why my 2018 check amounts don’t make sense, but we ran out of time and they were closed. Maybe next time.

When we got to Jason’s, the sun was out and the sky was blue. But by the time we left about 45 minutes later, the sky was dark gray and heavy rain drops were starting. So our stop at the nearby HEB for a few things was postponed.

Although our high today as 70° our low tonight is looking at 33. And the front coming in presages 40/50 degree days and 30/40 degree nights for the next week or so. Our favorite temps.

Brandi, Lowell and Landon are all settled into their rent house for the next year while they’re looking for a new place to buy. The last we heard they close on the old house on the 22nd. But in our experience, that’s always kind of fluid. On one of our buys, we had 3  different appointments before one stuck.

Brand did send over this pic of Landon and his best buddy, Baxter. Too Cute!

Landon and Baxter 2

Back to work tomorrow.

January 11, 2020

OK, I’m Confused . . .

We had our usual great time at the New Alvin Opry last night, catching up with old friends, and seeing some really good performers for the first time.

And of course, we always start an Alvin Opry visit with dinner at long-time favorite, Monterey’s Little Mexico Restaurant. We had been eating at the one in Dickinson for over 20 years, but it was flooded out in Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and it’s never reopened, though they keep saying they will. So we have to make-do with the one in Alvin whenever we’re up this way.

Jan, as usual, got her fav Fajita Beef Stuffed Avocado.

Monterey Stuffed Avocado wtih Beef

while I got the same Chicken Tortilla Soup that I’ve getting for 20+ years. Yes it’s that good.

Monterey's Chicken Tortilla Soup

Thought the Opry show didn’t start until 7pm, we got there when the doors opened at 6, since unless you have a large group with a reserved table, it’s the best way to get a good seat.

I had planned to get some photos, but when I got there I found that the battery was dead in my Panasonic Lumix camera, so no pics this time.

Ok, I’m Confused. (no snickering)

A couple of times a week, Jan and I have some whipped cream with our morning coffee, and of course, we have to share with Miss Karma. In fact she’s very insistent about it.

For a while now we been using the Great Value (WalMart’s brand) Sugar Free version, like this.

Sugar Free Whipped Cream

But the other day they were out of this, so I was looking at some of the other selections.  (What the heck is Fat-Free Whipped Cream anyway? Isn’t that kind of contradiction of terms?)

So I picked up a can of the GV Regular Whipped Cream, like this.

Regular Whipped Cream

And when I compared them, I was confused to find that that Sugar-Free version had 5 more calories per 2 Tbsp. than the regular one.

OK, so you take the sugar out and replace it with Sucralose (Splenda) and the calories go UP?

How exactly does that work?