Daily Archives: February 16, 2023

Angelo’s Redux . . .

Recapping yesterday, getting back to the rig about 4pm we turned around a little later and headed back up to Webster to meet up with long time friends, Barb and Tom at Angelo’s Pizza about 5pm.

I’ve known Barb since the early 2000’s when I did IT support for BAHEP (Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership) when she worked, and still does. But this is the first time we’ve gotten together in a while.

And this is the first Jan and I have been to Angelo’s in a while. Actually a long, long while.

Like maybe 40 years or so. Don’t remember an exact year, but both Chris and Brandi were still kids, so it was probably in the early 80’s.

Jan and I both started with a Dinner Salad with their really good Bleu Cheese dressing,

Angelo's Saladi

and then Jan moved on to their Grilled Chicken with Veggies.

Angelo's Grilled Chicken

Said it was really good.

I went with my usual Italian restaurant order, a big bowl of their Pasta Fagioli Soup.

Angelo's Pasta Fagioli

All delicious!

Afterwards we followed Barb and Tom to their place, where we spent a few more hours catching up while I set up her new HP Pavilion laptop.

Before finally heading home about 10pm, we promised to get together again soon.

Now on to today.

Before we left for lunch this afternoon, I got a chance to try out my new ‘Bionic’ Weed Trimmer on some of the grass surrounding Jan’s Flamingo Flamboyance.

Weed Trimmer

I found it worked pretty good as long as I didn’t push it too hard. Otherwise it would just bog down. I was happy to see that the tie-wrap cutting blades show no noticeable wear on them.

Not bad for $18.

Lunch today was at Twin Peaks once again, and our favorite server, Sylvia, was up to her usual excellence, seeing us come in the door and having our drinks at our table almost before we got to our table and were seated.

Jan started off with a salad, along with their made-in-house ‘chunky’ Bleu Cheese dressing.

Twin Peaks Salad 20230216

Jan then got her usual Chipotle Chicken with double broccoli.

Twin Peaks Chipotle Chicken 20220816

I went with the Soup and Salad Lunch Special with a bowl of their Brisket Chili and a Salad, also with their made-in-house ‘chunky’ Bleu Cheese dressing.

Twin Peaks Soup and Salad 20230216

Great Service and Great Food.

Got a notice that my Garmin GPS had a new map update available, so I brought in this evening to update it. The file was 4.2GB and took about 45 minutes to download. Nice thing about Garmin is that no matter how old your unit is, you still get lifetime free updates. And mine is now 11 years old.

Saw a story about this giant gator lounging on a golf course in Sebring, FL.

Giant Sebring FL Gator

Looks like he’s waiting for a passing golfer to ‘play through’.

Finishing up, I saw a TV ad the other day showing some new EV, and at the end there was a small legend shown on the screen saying ‘Tailpipe Emission-Free’.

I guess wanting you to ignore that over 60% of the electricity used to charge said EV come from fossil fuels.

Thought For The Day:

“Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading”

February 16, 2010

Red Lobster and Raccoon Cams…

Today we took a trip about 60 miles north to Austin and Fry’s Electronics to pick out a new computer for our friend Gina.

Found her a nice deal on a 3 GHz Gateway Slimline with 6 GB of RAM and a 1 TB HD. Also picked up a remote-controlled video camera for back porch raccoon watching.

On the way up to Austin we stopped off at Red Lobster for lunch. I’m normally not a big RL fan, but I was pleasantly surprised this time. Of course I had a grilled chicken BLT, and not seafood, so what do I know. Jan had fried catfish that she enjoyed and Gina liked her fried shrimp, so we were all happy.

Our friend Gina lives on a 600 acre cattle ranch about 30 miles north of San Marcos in the Texas Hill Country. It’s so remote that we have to open 2 cattle gates to get to her house. But it has really fast internet, so go figure.

Now I’ve got to get all this set up before we are supposed to leave on Friday. We’ll see how that goes.

On another note, the problem with my oil pressure sending unit has returned, so it looks like replacing it did not fixed the problem. The only thing that makes sense is that it’s a problem with the wiring.  I’ll have to crawl under the truck and see if I can find the problem. It was really strange to make 120 mile roundtrip with the oil pressure sitting on zero, though occasionally, it would jump back up to normal.

February 16, 2011

Coons and BBQ . . .

Today was the first day we didn’t have an early morning planned, so we slept in, had great coffee, and some of the wonderful cranberry muffins that Gina had baked for us. Delicious!

Finally, about 12:30 we headed into New Braunfels to the closest HEB to stock up on their Snickernut Cookie coffee. We really like this flavor and this is probably our last chance to lay in supplies for the next 9 months or so.

Coming back to the area we got to Gina’s a little before 2:30pm and headed back out in her car.

Our first stop was at the feed store over in Sattler to pick up 6 – 40# bags of raccoon food (actually dog food) for Gina’s nightly feeding sessions.

About a year ago I installed a ‘CoonCam’ so Gina could watch and record her nightly visitors and their antics.

Coon Cam

The camera can pan, tilt, and zoom, and records both stills and movies.

Here’s just a small part of the nightly mob.

Raccoon Herd

This guy managed to jump about 3 feet up to this bird feeder, apparently thinking he was missing out on something. Now he’s trying to figure out how to get down.

Raccoon in Birdfeeder

Coming back to the Canyon Lake area we stopped to fill up the tank on Gina’s car and then headed to Driftwood, TX, about 20 miles away to Salt Lick BBQ, one of our favorite BBQ places in the Hill Country.

Salt Lick 1

Salt Lick 2

In fact, we all like it so much that our daughter Brandi had her wedding dinner there last June. We had about 50 guests and everyone loved it.

As usual we ordered the ‘Family Style’ menu. It’s all you can eat of everything shown below.

Salt Lick Menu

We also got a half BBQ chicken to go with it all. They brought out a platter piled about a foot high with ribs, brisket, and sausage, so there’s always plenty of leftovers.

And of course, you have to save room for their great peach or blackberry cobbler with ice cream. But having room doesn’t mean being able to eat the entire dessert, so we had leftovers of that too.

After dropping Gina off, and saying our goodbyes until next year, we got back to the rig a little after 6pm, just in time for Jan to have one last chance to feed the deer. And the deer know it too.

As we parked in front of the rig, the deer started heading our way, clustering around the front of the truck, waiting for Jan to start passing out the goodies.

Tonight we’ll start packing up, getting ready to head out tomorrow morning, probably about 8am, since we got a 370 mile run to Balmorhea, TX.

February 16, 2013

Running Out of Time . . .

While Jan and I were sitting outside yesterday with our coffee and enjoying the view, I got this shot of our local Roseate Spoonbill, “Rosie”. A beautiful bird.

Rosie Spoonbill

And Lowell send over this photo from the Valentine’s Day party at Landon’s daycare.

Landon and his Valentines

He says these are his ‘girlfriends’. Looks like they think so too.

Yesterday was another scramble to try and wrap up client ‘stuff’ as much as possible, so I hit the ground running pretty early. And it was rush, rush, rush all day.

But I finished up everything with one client and almost everything with the last one. Just a couple of small things that I’ll handle on Saturday.

So then after a stop at Brandi’s for the mail, and dropping off some stuff at the storeroom, I finally headed home about 5:30pm. And about 6:15 Jan and I headed up to Pasadena to have dinner with our friend Barbara, her fiancé, Tom, and their friend Doug.

And as usual with our get-togethers, the food was good, the conversation was great, and the wine flowed freely, some might say ‘too’ freely, which is why we didn’t get home until midnight, and you didn’t get a blog yesterday.

But we had a blast. So there.

Today started off pretty much like yesterday, coffee outside, and then rush, rush, rush. But today was different because Jan was with me.

Leaving about 11pm, our first stop was Fry’s Electronics for a couple of client things. And then after taking care of the last of the client stuff, we made a stop at Home Depot for some shelf brackets.

Shelf Brackets

A couple of our bedroom cabinet shelves are missing a support or two, so I wanted to get that fixed.

Then, next up was a stop at Sally Beauty Supply for Jan, and then the Target right next door, along with the ULTA across the parking lot.

Like I said, busy, busy, busy, rush, rush, rush.

But our next stop was much more relaxing, a late lunch at our favorite Chinese place, King Food, with our longtime friends, Bob and Maria. And it was so relaxing that we got there at 3pm and didn’t leave until about 7.

It’s hard to believe we had this much to talk about.

But finally we said our goodbyes, and got our hugs, and then headed off to another restaurant.

Yep, you read it right. We went from one restaurant right to another one. But we had a good reason.

Well, besides more food.

We getting the whole family together tomorrow night at King Food for a final meal before we hit the road on Monday. Well, the ‘whole’ family, except for Miss Piper, who has to work tomorrow night.

So we were going to stop by Sam’s Boat, the restaurant / grill / sports bar where she works to see her one last time.

But when we got there, she said she had be able to get night off after all, so she would be at dinner tomorrow night. Great!

So now we didn’t need to stay and eat, right?

Wrong! But we did just have a couple of appetizers, I.e., a dozen raw oysters, and 10 mango habanero hot wings.

I mean, we had to order something so we could leave Piper a big tip, right?

And the good food there had nothing to do with it, right?


Piper and Jan at Sam's Boat 2

Finally after getting a picture of these two beautiful girls, we headed home,wrapping up another busy day. One more to go.

On a final note, my great-niece Stahlie posted some more of fabulous computer artwork.

Stahlie - More Art

This young lady has some real talent.

February 16, 2014

Sunflowers and Floor Mats . . .

About 10 this morning, Jan and I, along with our long-time friends, Bob and Maria, headed down to Galveston to have breakfast at The Sunflower Café, our go-to place for a great breakfast. Bob and Maria had never been there, so it was fun introducing them to the place. After breakfast we drove around the island for a while before heading back to the rig.

While Bob, Maria, and Jan headed into Houston to visit Sur la Table, a really neat cookware store, along the lines of Williams-Sonoma. I, on the other hand, went off to work for a client. As usual, as our time runs out here, I get really, really busy. since everyone waits until the last minute.

About 5:30 we all met back up at La Brisa for dinner and more fun. Afterwards everyone came back to the rig for some delicious coconut cream pie.that we got at the local Randall’s Market.

Hopefully we’ll be able to get back together next Sunday, right before we leave. We see how it goes.

I think Landon is training for the next Olympics in this shot. He never seems to stop.

Landon at Taste of Texas2

A number of you had asked to see the finished product of the Great Floor Upgrade.

So here it is.

Floor Finishup

Our son, Chris, really did a great job. Thanks again, Chris.

Later this evening I cut out the floor mat using the template I made of the pedal area.

Pedal Mat 1

Pedal Mat 2

Pedal Mat 3

And here’s what it looks like in place.

Dashboard Pedal Mat

I was lucky that it fit the first time with no trimming.This is really just a trial fit. I want to scrape up some old glue and then use double-stick tape to hold it in place, although it seems to stay in place pretty good as it is.

In looking at it, I may try to find some small metal trim strip to cover the edge. I’ll check it out.

Tomorrow looks like another busy day with clients, but we are having dinner with Chris, Linda, and Piper, so that’s better.

February 16, 2015

The All Clear . . .

Jan and I headed up to Webster about 9am this morning, awfully early, but for a good reason. Today was her first mammogram/ultrasound after her bout with breast cancer earlier last year.

She was told it would take about 3 hours, and it did, almost to the minute. And she was told she would have her results before she left, and she did.

Everything came back clean, with no reoccurrence of the cancer. So we’re all clear to leave for Tucson March 1st on schedule.

We still have appointments later this week and the first of next week, but it’s routine eye exams and annual checkups. So we’re good to go.

When Jan was finished up, we drove over to Floyd’s Cajun Seafood to have lunch. It’s our first time back there since we moved down here, and it was nice to be greeted by Brett Floyd, one of the co-owners. We’ve known Brett ever since Floyd’s opened back in the late 90’s, and we laughed about how we’ve both gotten greyer in that time.

And as usual the food was delicious, with Jan having a cup of their Creamy Crab Bisque and an order of the Crabmeat Stuffed Mushrooms, while I had a bowl of Seafood Gumbo and some Boudin.

We were happy to see how busy they were, and in fact they were on a wait by the time we left. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to go back before we leave.

Since both of us tossed and turned last night, by the time we got home a nap was in order, which took up most of the afternoon. I would have like to have gotten some more stuff done outside, but the  cold and rainy weather nixed that. From the time we left the rig this morning, until we got home, the temperature had dropped 20 degrees as the front came through.

It’s supposed to sunny and dry tomorrow, but the temp won’t get much above 50, so we’ll see how it goes.

February 16, 2016

Wash Day Blues . . .

We didn’t walk this morning because I was in repair mode – Splendide washer repair. A couple of days ago our washer went wonky and stopped pumping the water out when it goes into spin mode. The drum starts to turn but I don’t even hear the pump try to pump.

Since we had a washer full of wet clothes, we loaded them into a plastic garbage bag and took them down to Brandi’s yesterday to finish up.

So this morning, after looking over the Splendide service manual, I was hoping it was the pressure switch (cheap to buy and easy to replace), I ruled out a clogged drain line (another easy fix) since the pump would at least try to start pumping in that case.

But a call to Westland Sales disavowed me of that easy fix. The tech reminded me that the pressure switch also governs the amount of water that fills the tub at the beginning of the wash cycle. So if the switch wasn’t working, the tub would overfill. And it wasn’t.

Then he gave me the bad news. It was probably the pump itself.

Then he gave me the badder news. The pumps are no longer available.

So if it is the pump is bad, I’m out of luck. At least as far as buying a new one. But looking at a photo of a pump, there might be another way.

Splendide Pump_thumb[1]

There’s really only two things that can go wrong with a pump like this. Either the pump rotor is jammed, or the motor has died.

The motor can be repaired, even if I have to rewind it. There are no brushes in this type of motor, so that’s not a problem either.  Actually  the most likely motor problem is a broken wire leading to the windings.

As far as the pump itself, unless the pump rotor broke, it’s probably the bearings. And they can probably be kludged also.

So we’ll see.

The next step is to pull the washer out, turn it upside down and check out the pump situation. I didn’t start today since we’ll be down in the Clear Lake area all day tomorrow with two doctor checkup appointments for Jan, and then dinner with friends. So I’ll tackle it starting Thursday morning.

Blog reader Judy Hughes reminded me I didn’t give y’all a Traveling with Karma update since we moved over to Lake Conroe from Colorado River this past Sunday.

Karma and her Toy_thumb[1]

All in all, she took it pretty well for a first time. Especially  if ‘pretty well’, means hiding as soon as we pulled out and not coming out until we were parked. But she didn’t seem to care when I started up the diesel, didn’t really seem to notice at all. I guess she didn’t like the floor moving under her feet though.

The newest thing she does is to get up on the dashboard and look out through the curtains, just watching what’s going on. She does this several times day, over and over. But she still shows no inclination to go outside though, so that’s good

The biggest change, though, is how she’s bulked up. We’ve had her for two weeks now, and when we first got her, I measured her for a harness so we could take her outside on a leash. But by the time we got it from Amazon yesterday, it almost too tight.

Thinking I might have mis-measured, or they sent me the wrong size, I checked her again. And she’s definitely filled out in the body.

Our little girl is growing up.

February 16, 2017

Tomorrow’s A Busy Day . . .

Recapping some of yesterday.

We left the Spacious Country RV Park about 10:15, a little late due to the fact that the park people were late showing up to settle up on our electric usage.

We gave a $100 deposit when we checked in, and then got $20 back when we left. Not bad.

We were leaving that early so we could get to Colorado River TT around noon, the park checkout time. Our ranger friend, Barbara Spade, told us the park was very full and we might have a problem getting a 50 amp full hookup site. But as it turned out, we had our pick of two sites down on the river, took one of those, and got parked and set up.

One notable thing on this trip was that we passed 140,000 total miles on our American Eagle coach. The rig’s computer records this total and we can see it on our Silverleaf computer interface.

Silverleaf 2a

As you can tell this was about 34,000 miles ago. When we bought our rig, it had 64,511 miles on it, so that means we’ve put 75,489 miles on it since we picked it up January 6th, 2008.

Later, after a short catnap, we headed into Katy to meet up with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon at our favorite Little V’s Vietnamese Bistro.

Like most places we eat at regularly, we all have our go-to dishes. For us, we all start out with an order of their Pork Spring Rolls with peanut sauce.

Little V's Spring Rolls

While everyone has their own favorite entrees, I always go with the Shaking Beef Vermicelli Bowl.

Little V's Shaking Beef Vermicelli

The beef strips are marinated in a delicious sauce, and then the broth soaks into the noodles. Just fantastic.

And finally we all finished up with a a little dessert, spoonful’s of Crème Brule.

Little V's Creme Brulee

The perfect light end to a great meal.

Today, after my first full night’s sleep in a month or so, I started working on a few things around the rig.

First up was to tackle the rat’s nest of cables behind the computer table. It’s been accumulating for a while, so before they start actually breeding new cables back in there, it’s time to cut it down to size.

Later. I went outside and installed the new Rain-X wipers on the truck. I’ve used this brand for several years, and combined with the Rain-X wiper fluid I also use, it keeps the glass crystal clear while the rain just beads up and runs off. I’ve also got new blades for the rig that I’ll install later.

After a few more chores, I fixed coffee and Jan and I sat outside for a while and enjoyed the view.

Colorado River D40 1

A few minutes later we noticed one of the bald eagles that live in the area swoop down and start eating on a fish he’d caught in the river.

Colorado River Eagle 1

Colorado River Eagle 2

A really great sight.

Tomorrow we have a very busy day, starting off getting to Chris’ down in the Webster about 10am so he can install a new AC condenser fan on our Dodge Dakota.

Then it’s lunch at King Food, haircuts for both of us, and a visit to the Verizon store to look at new plans and a new phone for Jan.

Last up will be dinner with some old friends and then back to their house to work on a computer problem.

All in all, a busy, fun day.

February 16, 2018

Ben Hur, Redux . . .

First off, Jan wants me to thank everyone for all their get-well wishes. She’s still having no pain, and getting her strength back after the procedure.

Work today consisted of the usual stomping out small fires, all taken care of, with the last one still smoldering.

The Shipping computer is supposed to be able to access the customer database on the Office Manager’s computer so shipping addresses can be double-checked. But for some reason it’s started running very slowly, taking a long time to pull up customer info over the network.

But other network data flows at the normal speed, and calling up the customer data locally runs just fine, so it’s not the database itself. And I can copy files from one computer to the other with no problems or slowdowns. So why is the network only running slow on this connection.

I’ll figure it out.

As soon as I got back home from work we turned right back around and drove back up to Webster to have dinner at Floyd’s Cajun Seafood, our local go-to place for seafood. And since it was Friday night and we didn’t get there until about 5pm, we had about a 15 minute wait to get a table

Finally getting seated, we ordered our ice tea, and of course, a dozen raw oysters.

Floyd's Oysters3

Then it was back to our usuals, with Jan getting the Grilled Catfish Filets with the Grilled Steamed Veggies.

Floyd's Catfish Filets and Veggies

As for me, in over 20 years of eating at Floyd’s I’ve never eaten here that I haven’t had a bowl of gumbo, and this time was no different. But after listening to Jan rave about the Grilled Steamed Veggies, I decided to give them a try as well.

Floyd's Gumbo and Veggies

And Jan was right. I don’t know what it is about grilling already steamed veggies, but they are so much better. Enough so that it will be my standard side dish from now on.

Finishing up we made a quick stop by WalMart for a few things before we headed back toward Santa Fe, with another stop at the HEB for gas. It’s nice to see the price starting to come back down, now at $2.15. Much better.

When I was coming home this afternoon, I ended up behind this Ben Hur wanta-be.

Ben Hur Reborn

Certainly can’t park too close to any curbs.

February 16, 2019

The Egg and I Who?

After a nice quiet morning of hot coffee and whipped cream (Saturdays and Tuesdays are whipped cream in our coffee days. And of course, Karma has to have her share too. The whipped cream, not the coffee.), we headed out about 1pm to have brunch, this time at Snooze AM, a new Webster breakfast/lunch place in Webster,  and actually just a couple of blocks away from The Egg & I, our usual weekend breakfast place.

I texted Miss Piper to see if she could meet us, but she was spending the weekend in Houston with friends.

The last time we ate here was right after Jan’s first cataract surgery when she was still a little woozy from the drugs.

She got their Smash Avocado Benny, their version of Eggs Benedict, and was not a happy camper. She said the English muffin was soggy and she just didn’t like the taste. But when I pointed out that they had another version of an avocado-themed dish, their BRAVOcado Toast, she decided to give it another try.

Snooze Bravocado Toast

And it was perfect for her, down to the Dressed Greens she gets with The Egg and version, But she says this dish is actually better. And more importantly, at least to me, is that it’s cheaper.

So Jan now says “The Egg & I Who?”

I got my usual Shrimp & Grits, which I think is the only thing I’ve gotten every time we’ve eaten here.

Snooze Shrimp and Grits and Fruit

With the sautéed shrimp, Andouille sausage, peppers and leeks, topped with an sunny side up egg, it’s pretty much my favorite non-eggs, bacon, English muffin, fruit breakfast.

Then afterwards, it was on over to WalMart  and Sam’s Club for a few things before heading home.

I didn’t plan on looking at our rig’s leaking oil filter problem this weekend because, although the temps were OK,  we were looking a 90% chance of rain. Except that it didn’t.

But there’s always tomorrow, so we’ll see.

I missed it by a week, but this past February 9th was the 11th anniversary of the beginning of our RV travels. After buying our 1999 American Eagle on December 27th, 2007. And after prepping and new tires, we picked it up from the dealer on January 7th, 2008, and then headed to Alaska on the 9th of February.

Well, we headed there by way of Las Cruces, Casa Grande, Yuma, Gila Bend, Chula Vista, Temecula, Long Beach, Barstow, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, Colorado Springs, Casper, Billings, Garrison, Cle Elum, Cache Creek, Prince George, Dawson Creek, Fort Nelson, Watson Lake, Whitehorse, Haines Junction, and Tok, finally ending up in Fairbanks on April 26th.

And found this.

AK Snow

And it’s been a wild ride ever since. And it’s not over yet, though we’ve slowed down a bit.

February 16, 2020

Not Bad For a V7 with 299,767 Miles . . .

As Well As Another 90,000+ Being Drug Around Behind The RV.

After breakfast at our Super 8 motel this morning, we headed toward home about 8:30 or so, somewhat slowed down by the steady rain. We made a quick pit stop just outside Baton Rouge as the rain finally started to taper off.

Our next stop was at the Breaux Bridge Pilot where we got gas for $1.93, as well as a couple of Jamocha Shakes for the road at the adjacent Arby’s.

Our last stop was at the Baytown Buc-ee’s for a couple of kolaches for dinner after we got home. But that took about an hour longer than we had planned.

Coming into the Webster area they had all six southbound lanes narrowed down to ONE, due to bridge construction. So instead of getting home about 4pm, it was a little after 5.

When we pulled into our rig site this afternoon I checked the truck’s odometer and found we were at 299,767 miles. Plus of course, the 88,000+ miles it’s traveled behind our RV, where the odometer doesn’t register.

I had hoped we’d make 300,000 miles on this trip, but not quite. However we should make the 300,000 mark in a week or so.

But what really makes this remarkable is that the 4.7 liter V8 engine in our 2004 Dodge Dakota has actually been a V7 for about 6 months or so. By that I mean that one cylinder, #7 specifically, is dead.

While the rest of the cylinders have about 125 – 135# of compression, #7 has only about 25#. However it just keeps running.

Yes, it’s got a lumpy idle, kind of like I’m running a full race cam, and it sometimes smokes a little, uses some oil, and the gas mileage is down about 10%, but it just keeps running.

It will do 75 mph on the Interstates with no real problems. It just down a little on power and won’t accelerate as fast. And we had no problems with it on our recent almost 2000 mile trip.

So my thought right now is just to keep running it until it dies, and then either have the engine rebuilt, or replaced with a rebuilt one, for about $5000-$7000. Much cheaper than the $15-20,000 that even an equivalent newer, but used truck would cost me.

Of course it could just keep running as is and outlive us all.

Finishing up, when we got together with my Aunt Lenette and Aunt Virginia last Friday, Lenette mentioned that she and her husband Tom just died a couple of weeks ago, had been married for 70 years.

Tom and Lenette Calvin

Gives Jan and I, now at 52+ years, something to aspire to.

February 16, 2021

Frozen –The Sequel

Jan and I headed down about 8:30am for our free breakfast here at the Texas City La Quinta. I told Jan as we were on the elevator I wouldn’t be surprised if it was already gone, since I don’t think they were planning on a full hotel out of the blue like this.

And I was right. All the little paper bags were gone. Of course according to another guest, all they contained was a protein bar and a bottle of water, so it wasn’t a big loss. But the coffee was good, at least.

But that was one reason we got muffins yesterday at Buc-ee’s so we were all set breakfast-wise.

When we got back to our room after ‘breakfast’ we found that the water was off. And with a little inquiring, we found out that it had been turned all up and down this side of the highway.

Rut Roh!

It’s actually easier to get by without electricity than water. You know, no toilets, etc.

Finally, about 1pm we headed over to the rig to pick up a few things ;and check things out. And as we were still finding the traffic lights off as we got closer to Santa Fe, we were pretty sure that the lights were still off at the rig, and we were right. Everything was frozen solid. It was 30 degrees in the water bay, and 32 degrees in the rig.

And 33.6 in the refrigerator. I had been worried about it, since it was so cold yesterday (16 degrees) before we left, that I was not able to get it to start up on propane. But it looks like mother nature took care of the problem.

In the past the rig’s plumbing has been pretty forgiving about being frozen, but we’ll see about this time when it thaws out and I turn the water back on.

Leaving the rig, we started looking around for a place to eat lunch, and finally found the Black Bear Diner open over around FM646 and I-45.

They were short-staffed and only had about half the tables open, and though they told us it would be a 45 minute wait, it only turned out to be about 15. Nice.

The service and the food were just as great as always, with Jan trying the Black Raspberry Stuffed French Toast with Bacon,

Black Bear Diner Raspberry Stuffed French Toast

while I went with my Bacon Cheeseburger Salad and a side of Fruit.

Black Bear Diner Bacon Cheeseburger Salad

In talking with the manager, he said they tried to open yesterday afternoon, but the door lock was so frozen up, they couldn’t get it open. He also said that they were closing at 5pm today so everyone could get home safely before it started freezing again. Nice guy!

Then it was on down the Interstate to the Buc-ee’s for more coffee, kolaches, and muffins for tomorrow’s ‘free’ breakfast.

Getting back to the hotel, we found some enterprising guy had set up a food truck in the parking lot. Maybe lunch tomorrow if he’s still here?

La Quinta Food Truck

I also went by the front desk and got us a 3rd night here since I doubt things will be thawed out before Thursday.

Karma seems to have settled in to hotel life just fine after spending a couple of hours head-bumping her way around the room. And now that she seems to know the layout, she’s right at home.

Karma at the La Quita Hotel

And finally as far as getting power back goes, CenterPoint Energy seems to be falling further behind. Yesterday they showed 1.34 million customers without power in Houston and surrounding areas.

CenterPoint Outage Map

Then this morning they were showing 1.22 million, so they were making progress. But then this afternoon they were showing 1.44 million without power.

But as soon as they get the wind turbines defrosted, everything will be fine.

Helicopter Spraying Turbine

And on this note, our power here at the hotel went off at 7:33 pm and as of 9:15 was still not back on. But on the other side of the Interstate, it’s never gone off.

However at least we’re warmer than in the rig.

February 16, 2022

Whipsawed . . .

Work today was pretty busy, which is nice because the time passes quicker. Otherwise I get bored. And as Jan will tell you, I don’t do nothing well.

Then I tend to wander off and get in trouble. You can count on it.

Tomorrow we’ve got a lunch get-together with our Alvin Opry bunch, and at Saltgrass Steakhouse for the 2nd time this week. But at the one in Webster this time.

Then Friday we’re looking forward to Season 4 of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime. This season will be 8 episodes, with two new ones dropping each week.

And as I mentioned a few blogs back, The Orville is coming back for the 3rd season. But its premiere date has changed. Originally it was going to be March 10th,but it’s now been pushed back to June 2nd.

Oh well.

Tomorrow’s also going to be one of those typical winter days in Texas, with a high of 80° and a low of 37. That’s a 43° temperature swing in one day.

Nothing like getting whipsawed.

So far the Jeep is working great after the recent repair, and it looks like the O2 sensor replacement has fixed my loss of gas mileage problem.