Daily Archives: February 13, 2023

Older Than The Pyramids . . .

Happy Valentine’s Day, Sweetie!

Happy Valentine's Day Meow

My cousin Helen up in Athens sent over this article from a Miami TV station.

And why is this important?

Well, my cousin Stahlie is one of the archaeologists doing the dig.

‘Potential tragedy’: Major archaeological dig unearths history in Brickell, but will Miami save it?

Pestle said the site dates back to prehistoric times — as long as 7,000 years ago.

“(It’s) older than the pyramids. It is older than the colosseum in Rome,” he said. “This is a site that has great antiquity.”

That shows that humans have lived in what is now Miami for much longer than previously thought.

Stahlie in Miami Dig

Of course Stahlie has always marched to a different drummer. Here she is, on the right, along with her sister Darby, on the Great Wall of China.

No photo description available.

And she may be one of the only people to ever be photobombed by a Red Chinese soldier on the Great Wall.

Stahlie Photobombed on Great Wall

Stahlie and Darby, love you both.

Tomorrow Jan and I are celebrating Valentine’s Day with dinner at our local Saltgrass Steakhouse, just like we did last year.

It’s that good

Thought For The Day:

A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t.

A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change, but she does.

February 13, 2011

Back in the Texas Hill Country . . .

Today started with Jan finding out that the Buc-ee’s pastries she bought yesterday had been sampled by her cat. Not eaten, just ‘sampled’, enough so that we didn’t want them anymore.

//?!*&^ cat!

Our trip yesterday happily turned out to be uneventful, something that you always worry about after being parked for 5 months. Although I filled up with diesel right before we parked, I always wonder how about full the tank really is, considering how much diesel can foam up. And with all the rain and cold weather we had, I was a little concerned about getting water from condensation in the fuel.

So, I gave my diesel tank a shock treatment of Racor Biocide several days before we left. I don’t know it was needed or not, but for whatever reason, I didn’t have any problems.

We’re parked at the Lake Pointe RV Resort, a Passport American park here in Canyon Lake, in the middle of the beautiful Texas Hill Country.

Texas Hill Country

This is the 5th time we’ve stayed here while visiting our friend Gina, and it’s one of our favorite spots to park, especially due to all the deer in the area.

About 12:30, after picking up a Subway sandwich for her, we headed over to spend some time with Gina. We haven’t seen her since our daughter Brandi’s wedding this past June, so it was good to get together again.

After a couple of hours catching up, we said goodbye and headed out to run some errands over in nearby Sattler. Our first stop was at Granny D’s, a great little Texas café that we’ve eaten at a number of times.

And it’s always good. Jan had a Reuben sandwich, and I had a great fried chicken breast sandwich with waffle fries. YUM!

Granny D

There was also some Girl Scouts out front selling cookies so we just had to get a box of Jan’s favorite Tagalongs.

Leaving Granny D’s, and after a quick letter drop at the PO, we stopped off at the local ACE Hardware & Feed Store. I was looking for a 7/16” drill bit and some #12 x 3” wood screws.

And Jan was looking for a 50# bag of deer corn. Luckily I didn’t have to carry it to the truck. Some nice young man took care of that.

Coming back to the rig, we made two sight-seeing stops. The first was the Guadalupe River crossing carved out by a flash flood a number of years ago.

Guadalupe River 1

Guadalupe River 2

Before the flood, this was a normal stream bed, but afterwards, this was carved out almost overnight, due to runoff from the Canyon Lake Dam

And here’s Canyon Lake and the Canyon Lake Dam that forms it.

Canyon Lake 4

Canyon Lake 1

Canyon Lake 2

Really spectacular scenery. And you can walk across the dam for an even better view.

Canyon Lake 3

Getting back to the rig about 4:30, you can see the reason for the 50# bag of deer corn.

Lot’s and lot’s of deer. Everywhere.

Lake Pointe Deer 1

Lake Pointe Deer 2

Lake Pointe Deer 3

Last year when we were here, Jan had them coming up and eating out of her hand. I suspect she will this year, too.

I finished up the day with some chores around the rig. First, using the drill bit and the wood screws that I got at the hardware store, I remounted the grab bar just inside the front door. It came off the other day because the smaller screws had pulled out of the backing plate.

Then I drained our freshwater tank and refilled it with the water here. The tap water here tastes much better than the water at Galveston Bay RV Park so I wanted to flush out the tank and replace it.

That was about it for today. More tomorrow.

February 13, 2013

Almost Done . . .

Where does 3 months go? Seems like I’m trying to get everything done in the last week here.

I left the rig about 11am, with my first stop at the RV Park office to drop off a signed check that will be used to cover our electric usage after we leave, since the office doesn’t open until 9am and we’ll be leaving about 7:30. I also wanted to discuss where we’ll be parking when we get back here in November. I hope we can get back where we were last year, a little closer to the water.

My next stop was Taylor Automotive in Dickinson to firm up the details for my axle oil seal repair on Monday morning after we leave the park.

Heading into Clear Lake I made a quick look-see at Dues RV to see if they had any of our cabinet latches in stock.

Brass Cabinet Latch

I’ve got a couple of them that the little springs and balls have come out of and wanted to replace them, but Dues didn’t have any in stock so I’ll have to check online.

After a stop at Brandi’s to get our mail, I made another pass through Home Depot. Seems like I live here sometimes.

My first client stop was to help her set up a new home office, moving some of the equipment from the main office and setting it up in her home. Couldn’t get the big Xerox network printer working at first until I realized that the office network IP address was in the 192 series, and her home network was on the 10 series. Once I reset the printer’s IP address to the correct one, it all worked fine.

My last client stop was to tie up some last minute loose-ends before we leave town, although I imagine I’ll get a lot of phone calls along the way.

By now it was time to head back to the rig to pick up Jan for dinner. We were meeting Brandi, Lowell, and Landon at Floyd’s Cajun Seafood, our favorite local Cajun place.

Landon and Lowell at Floyds 1

Landon Brandi and Lowell at Floyds 1

The food was delicious as usual, but the service was abysmal, which is very unusual. It took us forever to get our food. After Lowell complained to the manager, we were told that the order printer was relaying the orders to the kitchen incorrectly, and ours, and others, got lost. The manager did knock 20% off our bill, but still.

Jan and I ordered a dozen raw oysters when we sat down, and then got them 45 minutes later. Then my salad came another 20 minutes, with our meals finally showing up about 30 minutes after that. Bummer!

Last up, I want to wish my beautiful wife Jan a wonderful Happy Valentine’s Day. I love you so much.


February 13, 2015

A Magnetic Personality . . .

I’ve liked the Magne Shade Solar Screens ever since I first saw them at a rally. They’re on the outside so less heat gets in, and they take just seconds to put up without a ladder. They use super strong Neodymium magnets glued inside the windshield corners and on the shades to hold them in place. So they’re great. But they’re also pretty expensive.

They run about $500.00 for the windshield, and if I want Mister’s picture on it like this,

Magne Shade Dog

it’s close to a $1000 bucks.

And since I’m frugal (Jan says ‘cheap!’), I was looking for another way to go. But until recently I wasn’t able to find magnets that were strong enough and cheap enough to make it worthwhile.

But now I found these.


10 Neodymium Magnets 1/2 x 1/4 inch

They have a pull of over 12 pounds, and it’s actually difficult to separate the stack. 10 of them are only about $7, and I figure I’ll need 5 sets, so $35.

As far as the screen material, I have a set  of these RV Quick Shades that are held to the inside of the windshield with suction cups. They work pretty well, but are a pain to put up, especially on the driver’s side.

So I figure I will use my RV Quick Shades and place the magnets in the hem across the top and the bottom. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Since my Starlights RV Lights have died,

Smart Light 1000 Black

I want to at least have something working while I decide what I want to do long-term. So I came up with this. I took one of the LED strips that I used to replace my fluorescents in the rig,

LED Replacement Lights 1

and a 12v remote control switch, and after removing the LED bulb from the Smart Light, mounted the LED strip and the relay inside the light, and got this.

New Patio Light 1

And at night it looks like this.

New Patio Light 2

And it works great too. It’s brighter than the original LED bulb, and I can turn it on and off remotely when we come home at night. Now that I know it will work, I’ll go back in and tape the LED in place so it won’t move around. I’ve got another switch and another LED so I’ll probably do the other light soon.

February 13, 2016

Paint It Black . . .

Well, we were back to our standard 1.5 mile two-part walk this morning. But before we headed out I did another coat of paint on the screen door hinge that I picked up yesterday.

Hinge - Repaired 2_thumb[2]

Now it looks pretty good. Black paint can cover a lot of ugly.

Then as we were starting out, Allen, a blog reader, came by to say ‘Hi”. I didn’t get his last name, but he’s also friends with another friend of ours, Bill Joyce, who we last saw back in 2011 at Long Beach, WA

On the way back from our second loop we ran into our friend Randy who was out walking Sherlock. We mentioned we were meeting Jim and Perri Dean tomorrow morning for the breakfast buffet at Schobel’s Restaurant before we head out for Lake Conroe, and asked him to join us.

Later in the afternoon I started prepping for tomorrow’s trip, beginning by putting away the water and sewer hoses, and then stowing away the deck chairs in the toad. Then I started up the rig engine for a few minutes, just long enough to bring up the levelers, so I could go ahead and pack away the leveler pads as well.

Next up was to try out my new hinge. So after attaching the hinge to the door, with Jan’s help to hold it in place, I re-attached the door to the hinge points on the door frame. So after about a month sans screen door, we got it back.

Screen Door Re-installed_thumb[3]

At least now we don’t have to worry so much about Karma darting out.

But that hasn’t been the problem we thought it might be. Although she now sometimes sits on the dashboard and watch everyone go by, but she normally runs when she hears the door open

I was glad to see that she didn’t panic this afternoon when I started up the rig engine, but we’ll see how she does tomorrow when we actually travel.

Karma Update_thumb[1]

If you look carefully at the red tag on her collar, you’ll see it says “Emma’, our cat that died back in 2013 while we were on a gate. We had a couple of extra tags, so we put one on Karma, since it’s the phone number that’s important if she gets lost. We’ll get her her own tag soon.

One thing we’ve found is that Karma loves whipped cream. Whenever we have some in our coffee, she begs for some too. In fact she runs over when she hears the “Ssquack” sound of the can. Or also when I make the sound myself. And now she also wants some of the International Delight Hazelnut Coffee Creamer that we use. She watches me take the bottles out of the fridge and then runs over to her bowl and waits for me to pour out about a tablespoon for her.

Tomorrow we’ll leave for the Lake Conroe Thousand Trails about 10am, making the 120 mile trip where we’ll be for the next two weeks.

February 13, 2017

Last Shift . . .

Tonight is my last shift for this time down here in south Texas. As it stands right now, we’ll probably be back down in this area again in late August/early September for another round of gate guarding.

But we’ve already decide it will be guard shacks only from now on. It pays twice as much, and it’s much more comfortable.

Jan and I are going out for one last meal at La Bella Tavola tomorrow, with a side trip to Wal-Mart to look at a new phone, and maybe a new plan, for Jan.

Right now she has a LG Revere flip phone from around 2011 that’s showing its age. So I would like to get her something a little more modern. But pretty much everything else is considered a ‘smartphone’ by Verizon and automagically bumps our bill up $30 a month, no matter how little she uses it.

Jan only makes or gets maybe 15 or 20 calls a month, no email, and until our gate guarding this year, no texts either.

Right now we have 3 devices on our Verizon plan, my Galaxy S5, Jan’s LG Revere, and our ‘unlimited’ 3G aircard. And I know that Verizon has come out with a bunch of new ‘unlimited’ data plans, but it may actually be cheaper to put Jan on a contract phone of some sort with monthly minutes, which is what we’re going to look for at Wal-Mart. There are a number of cell companies that also use the Verizon network so that shouldn’t change.

And that way she’ll be able to move up to a phone that has a screen larger than a postage stamp.

Another good thing about getting off a day early from gate guarding is that it will let us get an earlier start Wednesday morning when we head for Columbus and the Colorado River Thousand Trails. Our friend Barbara Spade who is a ranger there says the park is pretty full with only 10 of the 126 sites not reserved. So we want to get there early to try and have the best pick of what’s left.

Which could be a 30amp Water Only site.

February 13, 2019

It Went Down!

It actually went down!

Work started off slow this morning, with me catching up on some long-term projects…UNTIL an email came in saying that one of our needle companies, who said back in January that they didn’t want to do their annual February sale, now said they wanted to do a March sale instead.

Now, right now we’re already running an sale on the website for the other needle company, who is normally a part of the February sale mail-out, but they’re a smaller company and it wasn’t cost-effective to send out a $3000+ postcard for just the one company.

So now it’s a scramble to get last year’s card updated, and off to the mail marketing firm to get it out on time for the March sale. Stay tuned.

Jan’s really looking forward to her ophthalmologist’s appointment tomorrow afternoon. It will be one month since her last cataract surgery, and after a final checkup, she’ll get a new prescription for her distance vision glasses. The doctor showed what her vision will be like with the new prescription and she was amazed.

Then we’ll drop her frames and her new prescription off at the Sam’s Club to get it sent off.

Jan and I are also going to have a Valentine’s dinner at our favorite Saltgrass Steakhouse later in the evening.

It actually went down:

Every February/March I always dread getting my new insurance policy for our rig and truck, which renews the 13th of March. But this year was different. For the first time in as long as I can remember, my rate went down.  Yeah, it was only a total of $92.00, but it was in the right direction. Sometimes that’s all you can ask for.

I mentioned this past Sunday that I gave Landon this Smithsonian Rocket Kit.

Smithsonian Rocket Book

He loves to put things together, so I knew he’d love this, and here’s the result.

Landon and Smithsonian Rocket

Knowing him, he’s working on a way to actually launch it.

February 13, 2021

First Off, To My Sweetie . . .

Happy Valentine's Day

Jan and I left the rig about 1pm with our first stop being the HEB over on the Interstate to stock up on stuff to last us through the freeze. We had worried about how busy the store would be with everyone stocking up, but it really wasn’t any busier than a normal Saturday.

Right now they’re showing a low of 25° Sunday night and then a high of 30 on Monday, with a low of 16° that night. And it’s all supposed be combined with rain, sleet, ice, and snow. But then by Tuesday it’s supposed to be back up to the low 40’s and low 30’s. So a little better.

The office is not going to be open Monday, and since I don’t normally work Tuesdays, the earliest I’ll go back is Wednesday. A nice long weekend.

And I might even get to use the 4WD on our Jeep.

Jan got the ingredients to make a big batch of her world-famous chili, so we’ll be eating good too.

After HEB, we headed over to the Denny’s for a couple of their Ultimate Omelets, with 3 eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and onions, fruit instead of the hash browns, and an English Muffin.

Denny's Ultimate Omelet 20210213

Jan and I both agree that these are just about the best omelets we’ve eaten. They’re stuffed to the gills inside, with even more stuff layered on top. Delicious!

Finally coming home, we of course had to stop at Cowboy Coffee for a couple of their Ghirardelli Hot Chocolates with Whipped Cream. Perfect for a cold day.

I’m phone shopping for an upgrade to my Samsung S8+ that I’ve had since March 2017. Normally I only go about 3 years between upgrades, but last year nothing new caught my eye.

But now I’m looking at the new Samsung S21 series. There’s the S21 and the S21 Plus, differing only in screen size, and the S21 Ultra, which is even bigger in screen size, and has more memory, a much better camera, and a bigger battery.

And of course, they’re all 5G.

But at $1300, it’s a big bite to swallow. But we’ll see.

If you’re interested, here’s a good article comparing the 3 models.

Samsung S21 Comparison

Friday I ordered a new Gigabit router and WiFi cards for the network at work. We’re moving a lot more large data files around, and our present 5G speeds are bottlenecking us. So now we’ll be looking at about 6 times more speed.

February 13, 2022

What Happens In Sarasota, Stays In Sarasota . .

Jan and I were out for lunch a little before 1, on our way to local favorite Yummy Yummy Chinese Buffet. We thought we had lost them when they closed back in March 2020 in the depth of the WuFlu panic, but they reopened last year in September.

Yummy Yummy

What was kind of confusing was that the other local Chinese buffet, East Star up in Webster, never closed. They just ask you to wear the disposable gloves while getting your food.

Next it was on up 45 to the HEB for some things. We were kind of surprised at how busy it was, and remembered it was Super Bowl Sunday. Which explained all the carts piled high with cases of beer.

Who knew there were Amish Snowbirds?

In Sarasota, Florida, Amish snowbirds.

Like other snowbirds, the Amish come from locales with cold winters. Think central Ohio, northern Indiana and, of course, the unofficial Amish capital of Lancaster County in Pennsylvania.

At the height of the season, about 5,000 winter-weary Amish and Mennonites call Pinecraft, an enclave about 20 minutes from Sarasota, home. In the summer, the population numbers just 50.

Most of the Amish arrive after taking a 22-hour ride on chartered buses that are collectively called the Amish Express. By contrast, Mennonites often drive themselves — an illustration of how the two Protestant traditions differ, despite a shared cultural and religious heritage.

Sarasota Amish

Over at my hotel, the Hyatt Regency, I did a double take at two bikini-clad girls talking in Pennsylvania Dutch and drinking what were presumably virgin cocktails. Then again, I suppose what happens in Sarasota stays in Sarasota.

Or then again, it could just be Rumspringa.

I mentioned the other day when I was talking about the coming problems with providing enough power to charge all the EV cars mandated by 2030, that the government was planning on installing 500,000 charging stations around the country. And part of this plan seems to be installing charging stations every 50 miles along every Interstate in the country.

Now I can see that happening with no problems in the urban/suburban areas, but what about places like out in west Texas where there’s miles and miles of miles and miles, and no electrical power. Though I guess you could run an extension cord from one of those wind turbines on the mountain top 20 miles away.

But what’s probably going to happen is this.

Diesel Charging Station

Yes, that’s a diesel generator powering an EV charging station.

Kind of defeats the purpose, now doesn’t it?

Tomorrow morning I’ve got my 3 month checkup after my Spinal Fusion surgery back in November. Hopefully everything is still on track, so my P.A. Alexandria will lift my 20# lifting limit and also let me take Advil again. But we’ll see.

As of yesterday, I’m at 90 days on the use of my Bone Growth Stimulator, so halfway there.

Tomorrow evening we’re having a Valentine’s Day dinner at the Saltgrass Steakhouse down in Galveston. Then Thursday we’re having lunch with our Alvin Opry group, at Saltgrass Steakhouse once again, but this time at the one up in Webster.

Looking forward to it all.