Daily Archives: February 11, 2023

Happy Birthday, Lowell!!

First off, a very Happy Birthday to our favorite son-in-law Lowell.

Of course, he’s our only son-in-law, but even if he wasn’t, he’d probably still be our favorite.

Like most of our Saturdays, this was a busy one.

First up was a haircut for both of us with Kristina at our local CostCutters, nee TGF. She does a great job on my beard.

Then it was on up to the Webster area to have lunch at Texas Huddle once again. We often go on Sunday, but tomorrow, Super Bowl Sunday, is not the day to go to a Sports Bar.

We both started with their really good Side Salads, hers with Bleu Cheese dressing,

Texas Huddle Side Salad 20230211

and mine with their great Jalapeno Ranch. Which is so good that I ask our server, Juana, if it was a commercial brand like Kraft or Newman’s that I could buy at the store. She quickly told me that all their dressings and sauces were made-in-house.


Jan got her usual what I call a ‘deconstructed’ Keto Mushroom Cheddar Burger, I.e., one with no bun.

Texas Huddle Jan Burger 20230211

I got my usual Wings, all Drums, with Flaming Raspberry sauce.

Texas Huddle Wings 20230211

But this time I only got 5 instead of 10, since I usually can only eat 3 after the salad. And I did have 2 wings left over to bring home.

I’ve mentioned before that we have 3 favorite servers, ones who remember what we always order, and even bring us our drink when we sit down.

One is Miss Angie at our local Denny’s, the much-mentioned (and shown) Sylva at Twin Peaks, and Miss Juana here at Texas Huddle.

Texas Huddle Juana 20230211

She’s a real sweetie, and we’re not the only ones who ask for her specifically.

Leaving Huddle, we stopped by the office so I could install a ‘new’ laser printer at the office manager’s computer. The pickup rollers and the tension springs in the paper pickup path were just worn out. My client had me try to install another used one yesterday that he was sure was a working one.

It wasn’t. It would not even connect via USB.

So I went back today to install a new one, a Canon D570, that he’d had stashed away for a while. Don’t know why he didn’t want to use it to begin with. But the new one connected right up with no problems, and only took about 45 minutes. And that included unpacking the new one.

Last up was a stop at the nearby Kroger’s to pick up a couple of prescriptions before heading home.

Another nice day.

Jan has always been a real ‘Grease/John Travolta’ fan, so she really enjoyed seeing this T-Mobile commercial with Travolta and a ‘Grease’ theme.

This will be shown during tomorrow’s Super Bowl.

Thought for the Day:


Actual obituary from the family of a Galveston resident who died recently. Although the sentence structure is a little jumbled, you can tell it’s from the heart.

Leslie Ray ‘Popeye’ Charping was born in Galveston on November 20, 1942 and passed away January 30, 2017, which was 29 years longer than expected and much longer than he deserved. Leslie battled cancer in his latter years and lost his battle, ultimately due to being the horses ass he was known for. He leaves behind two relieved children: a son Leslie Roy Charping and daughter Sheila Smith, along with six grandchildren and countless other victims, including an ex-wife, relatives, friends, neighbors, doctors, nurses and random strangers.

At a young age, Leslie quickly became a model example of bad parenting combined with mental illness and a complete commitment to drinking, drugs, womanizing and being generally offensive. Leslie enlisted in the Navy, but not so much in a brave & patriotic way but more as a part of a plea deal to escape sentencing on criminal charges. While enlisted, Leslie was the Navy boxing champion and went on to sufficiently embarrass his family and country by spending the remainder of his service in the Balboa Mental Health Hospital receiving much needed mental healthcare services.

Leslie was surprisingly intelligent, however he lacked ambition and motivation to do anything more than being reckless, wasteful, squandering the family savings and fantasizing about get rich quick schemes. Leslie’s hobbies included being abusive to his family, expediting trips to heaven for the beloved family pets, and fishing, which he was less skilled with than the previously mentioned. Leslies’ life served no other obvious purpose, he did not contribute to society or serve his community and he possessed no redeeming qualities besides quick whited (sic) sarcasm which was amusing during his sober days.

With Leslie’s passing he will be missed only for what he never did; being a loving husband, father and good friend.  No services will be held, there will be no prayers for eternal peace and no apologizes to the family he tortured.  Leslie’s remains will be cremated and kept in the barn until “Ray”, the family donkey’s wood shavings run out.  Leslie’s passing proves that evil does in fact die and hopefully marks a time of healing and safety for all.

February 11, 2012

Herons and Spoonbills . . .

I was up about 8 this morning, mainly because I don’t sleep well when Jan’s not here. Of course she’s not far away, just over at Brandi’s, Landon-sitting for the weekend while Brandi and Lowell take a break.

I picked up Jan and Landon about 10:15 and we headed over to The Egg and I for breakfast. I hadn’t expected it to be too busy since most breakfast places are busier on Sunday, not Saturday.

But boy was I wrong about Egg and I. We had a 20 minute wait, but Landon was great, just spent the time looking around at all the people and pointing at things.

Landon at Egg and I 1

As usual he was a good eater and plowed through his pancake and fruit like Sherman through Georgia.

One funny thing that happen at the end of the meal was after he had been eating with the spoon, he banged it on the plate several times pretty loudly, and I said “No, Landon. Don’t do that, Don’t bang your spoon on the plate like that.”

He looked up at me kind of solemnly, and then took the spoon and tapped it on the plate very softly, “Tink, tink, tink.” And then looked up at me again with a big grin on his face. He knew exactly what he was doing.

Brandi and Lowell are going to have their hands full with this one, believe me.

Finishing up breakfast, we drove over to Fry’s Electronics so I could pick something up, and Landon fell asleep on the way, so Jan stayed in the car with him. And when I came back about 20 minutes later, they were both asleep.

Leaving Fry’s we headed down to the rig to show Landon around and introduce him to Mister the cat. On the way we stopped off at the bank and then Kroger’s for some Powerball lottery tickets for tonight’s 325 million dollar drawing.

Getting to the rig, Landon was really fascinated by our cats, Mister and Emma, especially Mister. His cat at home won’t let him get near, but Mister was just rubbing up against him and purring.

Landon also spent some time riding Jan’s Moose Footstool and watching Barney on the TV.

Landon on Moose

He’s crazy about Barney so Jan had prerecorded some episodes to keep him entertained.

Before heading back to Brandi’s, Jan went outside with Landon to let him help her feed the birds, and I got some shots of the heron and the Roseate Spoonbills.

Spoonbill 5

They’ve gotten a lot redder since we go here in November.

Spoonbill 4

Getting back to Brandi’s, and getting Jan and Landon squared away, I headed over to a client’s for awhile, still working on finishing up some last minute tasks.

Leaving the office and heading back to Brandi’s, I got a call from Sam’s Optical saying Jan’s glasses were ready . . .  for real this time. I told them we’d try to get by before they close at 7 pm.

Getting to the house, we decided to have dinner at Barcenas Mexican Restaurant right down the road, but looking at the time, we went by Sam’s Club first to get Jan’s glasses, and then it was on to the restaurant.

Then after leaving Jan and Landon back at Brandi’s, I drove back over to my client’s for a while.  Earlier this afternoon I had been making the System Recovery Disks for all three new computers, but ran out of DVD’s. So I picked up another 100 pack while we were at Sam’s, and now I was back to finish the job.

I got back to the rig about 9:45 and then started back to work on this laptop I’m upgrading. Another long day.

February 11, 2013

More of the Same . . .

Yesterday started off with another breakfast at The Egg & I for Landon, Jan, and I. Landon got his favorite Mickey Mouse pancakes this time, and ate a lot better than yesterday.

Landon and Nana at Egg & I

After another delicious breakfast, I dropped Jan and Landon off at Brandi’s, and I headed over to a client’s office to install the HP Deskjet 1000 printer I picked up for him the other day.

By the time I finished up and made a quick stop at Home Depot, Brandi and Lowell were home from their weekend. They wanted to show us another model of home they’re interested in, so we drove over to Pearland to take a look. They still plan on buying up in the Katy area, but the same model is also down here in Pearland which is a lot closer.

Getting back to the rig, Jan and I immediately both napped out. She, because keeping up with a 30 month old is exhausting, and me, because . . . well, just because.

Jan and I left the rig a little after 7 this morning heading up to our doctor’s office for my yearly checkup. We always try to get our appointments the very first thing in the morning, so we never have to wait because they’re running behind.

After a clean bill of health for another year, Jan and I headed over to Webster to once again have breakfast at The Egg & I. And yes, that’s 3 days in a row. Love that Hazelnut coffee.

Later, after stops at a couple of clients and a quick pass through Home Depot, we made our weekly pilgrimage to Wal-Mart for a bunch of stuff. Then it was next door to Sam’s Club for our prescriptions.

Next up it was a stop at Kroger’s for a few things that Wal-Mart was out of, along with a full tank of gas.

After a quick at Brandi’s to wish Lowell a Happy Birthday, and pick up our mail, we headed back to the rig.

By now it was almost 3:30, and since Stomp’s Burger Joint was on our way, we decided it was a good time for a last shot at one of their delicious burgers.

Stomps 3

February 11, 2014

Landon’s Man Cave . . .

First off, Jan and I want to wish our son-in-law Lowell a happy birthday!

Landon has decided he likes to sleep under his bed, rather than in it.

Landon under his Bed

To this end, he’s established a nest under there with all his favorite stuff. Looks like he’s really comfortable.

On the subject of ‘under things’ I spent some time today thinking about the best way  to fill in the pedal area under the dashboard.

Under Dashboard

The area is just too lumpy and uneven to fit the flooring in there. So I think I will find a piece of rubber mat to cut and fit under there. It should look pretty good. We’ll see.

I had also hoped to spend some time working outside on some projects, but with it raining on and off, and the temps never getting out of the 30’s, working inside seemed a better idea. At least the next several days are supposed to be better.

Later, Jan and I cleaned up and put things back into place that had been moved while Chris was putting the new floor down. We’ve also been going through a lot of stuff and throwing out some more stuff.

I also got the last of the three chairs wired back up. The big problem is hooking up the cable that controls the rotation release. There’s only about 3 inches between the floor and the bottom of the pedestal and you’ve got to hold the cable in place while trying to get the circle clip installed. Not easy.

Circle Clip

But after a lot of fiddling I finally got the last one done. I was surprised to learn that, unlike the front two chairs that only lock in forward position, the computer chair only locks sideways. I’ve never rotated it that far so I never noticed.

I also need to go by Home Depot or Lowe’s and get some trim strips to cover the edges where the new floor butts up against the wall. I’ll check on this tomorrow.

For supper tonight we had the rest of the Grimaldi’s pizza from yesterday. Still great. I think one thing that makes Grimaldi’s pizza so good, besides the fact that they use the same flour, same water, and the same coal-fired oven they use in New York, they use sliced mozzarella cheese on the pizzas, rather than shredded. That makes the cheese more of a solid covering, and you can taste the difference.

February 11, 2015

They Admit It Was Defective, But . . .

I’m set up with RV Mobile Lube for late morning tomorrow. They’ll be doing a complete Full Service Oil Change which consists of  changing engine oil, oil filter, primary and secondary fuel filters, lubing the chassis and driveline, checking all fluids, and correcting tire pressures. And they will also be doing a Coolant Service which consists of testing the coolant, and changing the coolant filter. Costs should be around $400.

I called the Starlight’s RV Lights people today about a problem with my Smartlight 1000 patio lights. In 2008 I bought a pair like this one for our rig.

Smart Light 1000

It’s a motion-sensing light that turns on and off at night, but shuts down during the day. They worked great, but did have a problem. When they turned on as you came home at night, they turned off too quickly, and the sensors didn’t look down enough to trigger when you were at the door.

But by 2012 they had come out with a new model with a longer activation time and a better look-down angle. In addition, they now used a very bright LED bulb, so at a recent RV rally I purchased two new ones, this time in black, because the original white ones had started to yellow slightly.

A couple of months ago, I noticed mine had both stopped working, even manually. But with all our oscillating back and forth between the Lake Conroe Thousand Trails and the Colorado River Thousand Trails, I didn’t have a chance to check them out until the other day. And what I found was this.

Smart Light 1000 Black

Both of the sensor lenses on either end looked like they had been smashed out, which of course let water in and killed the lights. Jan thought maybe someone had poked them out for some reason (sometimes she’s more paranoid then I am) but our son Chris thought they might have just deteriorated from the sunlight.

And he was right. When I climbed up on the ladder, I found that the plastic was so brittle that merely touching it with your finger made pieces break off.

So I talked to Customer Service about my problem. The guy said that that they knew about the problem, and that the first run of the new LED models were done by a different manufacturer who used an inferior plastic for the sensor lenses.

I said I knew I was out of the one year warranty, but since this was a manufacturer’s defect, did they had any remedy. He said they would be happy to send me new replacement lenses, but when I reminded him that the units were already dead, he agreed that that wouldn’t help much.

So now I guess I’m supposed to buy two new units ($100 – $150) and hope I don’t run into the same problem after another two years, again with no support.

It’s really a shame when a company  takes a good product and then destroys their reputation by failing to support it with their customers.

Not Recommended.

Our son Chris showed up about 8:30 this morning and finished up his part of the fiberglass bumper repair today.

Remember it started looking like this

Rig Repari B4 1

and now looks like this.

Rig Repair Side Day 2 7

and started like this

Rig Repari B4 2

and now looks like this.

Rig Repair Finish 2

The passenger side started like this

Rig Repari B4 3

and this

Rig Repari B4 4

And finished like this

Rig Repair Finish 4

and this.

Rig Repair Finish 3

Now when the wind dies down, I’ll mask off the area and spray on some sand-able primer and do the last bit of sanding and prep work before spraying on the final coats. Again when the wind dies down.

Chris did a great job, and I really appreciate all his hard work.

February 11, 2016

Jan and I Missed Our Chance . . .

Or Joining the Tenth Mile High Club

I slept in late this morning, actually no later than my normal 10 to 11 am, but later than all the recent early departures we’ve been doing lately. So that was nice for a change. Especially since I didn’t go to bed last night (this morning) until about 3:30 am.

We didn’t walk this morning, both because we didn’t want to, and because we made up for it yesterday. I turned on Runkeeper when we got out of the truck in Fredericksburg, and from start to finish, we walk 2.54 miles. Of course it was stretched over several hours, but it all counts, right?

For breakfast this morning, we had coffee and our Buc-ee’s kolaches, Jan’s Ham & Cheese,

Buc-ee's Ham Cheese Kolache_thumb[3]

and my Sausage, Cheese, and Jalapeno version.

Buc-ee's Sausage Cheese Jalapeno Kolache_thumb[2]

The sausage link in these is very spicy, and very good.

And as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, along with our kolaches and muffins we picked up for breakfasts, we also got a couple of their Sliced BBQ Brisket sandwiches to have for dinner after we got home last night.

Buc-ee's BBQ 1_thumb[2]

This was our first time to try the BBQ there, and like everything else from Buc-ee’s we’ve had so far, it was very good. I got mine with pickles and onions, while Jan got hers without.

These are done on the big “Quarter Pounder”-sized buns, so they’re a good handful / mouthful, and well worth a visit to Buc-ee’s.

Later in the afternoon, I replaced the floor mat hooks that I had installed in our truck back last December.

Floor Mat Hooks 1_thumb[6]

But I had two problems with them. One, I didn’t like the white color, and Two, I needed to move them further back because the ones on the driver’s side interfered with the position of our  Brake Buddy auxiliary braking system when we’re towing.

Floor Hooks - New_thumb[1]

So now it looks like this. Much better in silver, I think. And while I was at it, I also installed the two hooks on Jan’s side as well.

Another job checked off the list.

Tomorrow afternoon I going over to the welder’s and pick up my screen door hinge, repaired or not. But hopefully repaired.

Karma is still doing well, and she’s fitting right in. It’s easy to see that she’s putting on some weight, though I doubt she’ll ever get in Mister’s 25+ pound territory. I guess she’s eating a little more regularly now.

One thing she does have in common with Mister, is that she almost never makes a sound. Certainly not a meow. If anything it’s more like a squeak. So maybe that’s what she learned from, since she had several squeaky toys that the people who were feeding her had bought.

Mister was the same way, only doing a silent meow for the first year or so we had him. And ever later he was always pretty quiet. So maybe it had to do with them both being ‘on the run’ so to speak.

I put in an Amazon order which should be in this coming Monday. One of the items is a full harness for Karma so we can see how she does outside.

Back last April we spent two weeks at the Las Vegas Thousand Trails, and one of the things we did was a nighttime ride on the 550 foot High Roller Ferris Wheel right off the Strip behind the Flamingo Casino.

High Roller 4_thumb[2]

You can read about our adventure here: Riding the High Roller

Last week, not to miss an opportunity to join the Mile High Club, though really it’s more like the Tenth Mile High Club, I guess, a couple was arrested after applying for membership in the club. Hanky Panky on the High Roller

And in case you might be thinking about making your own application, here’s some tips that might help keep you out of jail. High Roller Tips

I guess Jan and I missed our chance.

For this year, anyway.

February 11, 2018

Too Many Alexas . . .

The Russians have too many Alexas on their various Olympic teams. The announcements of these names keeps turning on OUR Alexa, making her light up and ask what we want . . . over and over again.

Make it stop!

After a cold,damp, overcast  morning, Jan and I headed up to Clear Lake a little before 4pm to have dinner once again at Cheddar’s, pretty much our favorite ‘comfort food’ establishment.

Jan got her usual Key West Chicken and Shrimp, with Green Beans and Carrots,

Cheddar's Key West Chicken and Shrimp 2

while I followed up on her theme of Green Beans and Carrots with my Veggie Plate, and a croissant, of course.

Cheddar's Veggie Plate 3

After dinner we drove by Chris’ house to say Hi and pick up our mail, and then it was on to the nearby  Kroger’s to get gas. It’s nice to see the price starting to creep back down, but unfortunately a lot slower than it went up.

I was reading recently about two guys that had been arrested for stealing a gold bar for the Mel Fisher Museum in Key West, FL. Apparently in 2010 they smashed a display case and took off with this $550,000 gold bar.

Mel Fisher Gold Bar

Although they caught the guys seven years later, they’ve never recovered the gold bar. Probably because it was quickly melted down, though I guess it’s possible that it was sold to a private collector.

Jan and I visited the Mel Fisher Museum in 2009 when we were RV’ing in the Keys. We both held this bar at one point, but Jan got an even bigger thrill.

A lady at one of the counters was unpacking a box of new gold artifacts and asked Jan if she wanted to hold one. A gold coin about the size of a silver dollar, the lady said that yesterday it was on the ocean floor.

Jan said the coin was actually hot in her hand and it made a real impression on her.

Just think how hot the stolen one would be.

February 11, 2020

First Cousin Once Removed . . .

After a light breakfast about 8:30 here at the hotel this morning, we headed out about 11:30 to meet my cousin Margie and her husband Walter at the nearby 306 BBQ.

She’s the daughter of my grandmother’s sister, so Google says she’s my First Cousin Once Removed, but I’ll stick with just ‘Cousin’.

Margie and Walter 2020

We’ve eaten at 306 BBQ a number of times before and always enjoyed it, so we happy to meet Margie and Walter there.

Jan had the BBQ Chicken with Squash Casserole and Brown Sugar Green Beans,

306 BBQ Jan Chicken

while I got the 2 Meat Plate (Ribs and Pulled Pork) with Baked Beans and Collard Greens.

306 BBQ Greg 2 Meat Plate

One thing funny did happen while we were ordering at the counter. Athens being basically a small town, pretty much everyone knows everyone else. So when a gentleman spoke up and said ‘Hi’ to Margie and Walter we didn’t think anything about it. But since we were all  ordering, Jan and I didn’t get introduced.

I’ve mentioned in the past when we were visiting up here, I found myself checking out people around us in stores and restaurants, wondering if I would run into one of the 3 girls I dated when I lived here in the mid-60’s. But then I realized that I was looking for the young ladies as they looked when they were 16 or so, the last time I saw them, and not at them in their late 60’s or so like they would be now.

I also mentioned that a few years ago, when my most serious girlfriend, now divorced, moved back to Athens from Michigan, she called my Aunt Virginia and in a roundabout way, inquired as to my ‘present marital status.’

Well, after lunch when we were back at Margie and Walter’s, I found out that the gentleman, who was about 6’5”, at the counter with us was the younger brother of that girlfriend. I think he was 2 or so the last time I saw him, and still in diapers.


Like I said, Athens is a small town.

Tomorrow we’re getting together with my Aunt for a late lunch and then some time together at her house.

February 11, 2021

Hunkered Down . . .

First off, Jan and I want to wish Lowell, our favorite son-in-law, a Happy Birthday today.

However we won’t mention the fact that he’s our only son-in-law. But, he would be our favorite one, anyhow.

Jan had another of her yearly doctor appointments today, so after that was done we headed down to the Cracker Barrel in League City for Jan’s Thursday ritual, their Turkey and Dressing.

Cracker Barrel Turkey and Dressing 20210211

Jan says they’re the only place whose Cornbread Dressing comes close to hers. In fact over the years, several holidays we’ve bought a couple of big pans of it there for large get-togethers.

I will also sometimes have the T&D, but today went with breakfast.

Cracker Barrel Homestead Breakfast 20210211

Three eggs, over medium, bacon and sausage . . .  and grits. You can tell CB is a southern favorite since I think every breakfast comes with grits.

Coming home we made a quick Kroger stop in Dickinson, and then wrapped up with coffee at, where else, Cowboy Coffee, finally getting home about 5pm.

The temperature today never got above 48°, and was only there for a couple of hours before it started dropping. And it’s pretty much supposed to stay in the 40’s/30’s range through the weekend and then into the 30’s/20’s range.

In fact Monday night we’re looking at a low of 19°. And SNOW, since it’s supposed to be raining too. And we’ve heard about single digit temps up north of Houston.

So we’re just going to hunker down and try to stay warm. Sunday I’m going to disconnect from shore water and then put my heat lamp in the water bay for a couple of days. That’s worked for us down to 6° without any problems.

BTW that was in Garrison, MT in March 2008 on our way to Alaska. In fact it’s the coldest temperature we’ve every encountered anywhere, even in Alaska and Canada.

Of course there’s this temperature in Fairbanks in Feb. 2009 that a friend sent us after we left there in late September 2008.

Fred Myers Fairbanks -62

Makes the 19° here look a lot better, now doesn’t it.