Daily Archives: March 3, 2023

Jan Thinks We Have A Poltergeist . . .

I think maybe she just wanted a new vacuum.

It does seem like lately that small things keep disappearing here in the rig. A couple of weeks ago I was using one of those sets of metal measuring spoons. I set them down on the counter, turned around for a couple of minutes, then came back, and they were gone. We both looked everywhere with no luck.

Then about a week Jan was cleaning out her Sowtech vacuum cleaner.

SOWTECH Cordless Vacuum

She took it apart and set the HEPA filter section aside to empty the reservoir in the trash and when she turned around and started to reassemble the unit, the filter section was gone.

We looked on the floor under the cabinets and even in the trash. Just GONE!

That vacuum is being made any more (we bought it in Dec. 2019) so I ordered her this new one.

Iwoly Cordless Vacuum

Though it’s a little heavier than her old one, it’s much more powerful and she really, really likes it.


I wonder.

Tomorrow looks to be Texas Huddle for lunch once again, and then perhaps the delayed visit to PopShelf for Jan.

Easter Treats For Adults.

When we were at WalMart last Tuesday they had large displays set up with all sorts of Easter goodies, including these two adult treats.

Bailey's and Guinness Easter Cake

That’s Guinness Chocolate Stout Cake and Bailey’s Irish Cream Loaf Cake.

Something for everybody.

Thought For The Day:

Houston: The only place I can drive 15 mph OVER the speed limit and still have to stay in the right lane because everyone else is trying to pass me.

March 3, 2009

Hitting the Jackpot!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, Jan and I received two $25 Player cards from the Hollywood Casino as part of staying at their RV park.

The first card we ran thru the slots pretty quickly. Since we weren’t having much luck we decided to save the last one for this morning after we had coffee at the Casino coffee shop.

I usually let Jan play the machines because I just don’t have much luck with them.  And this time she really came thru.

In about 10 minutes she had run our free $25 up to $103.40.  Since this covered our two night stay at the park, our two meals, and our morning coffee, Jan hit the CashOut button and we walked away with all our expenses covered and bucks left over.


We headed out about 11 am on our way to Gulf Shores, AL,  stopping outside Mobile for lunch at about 1 pm at a favorite BBQ chain of ours called Sonny’s BBQ.

We moseyed  (we’re retired. we mosey a lot.)  on in to the Gulf Shores State Park RV Park about 3:30 pm.

Our site at Gulf Shore State Park RV Park

We got a nice pull-thru* site far from the maddening crowd with a great view of the bayou right outside our door. It was kinda unnerving to find a sign right down the road that says “Do Not Feed or Aggravate the Alligators“.

Apparently, this is Alligator Alley

Apparently, Alligator Alley is right outside our door.

Well, that’s reassuring!  I’ll certainly do my best not to aggravate them.


On second thought, what aggravates a gator, anyway?  Not letting him eat you, or what?

Gulf Shores is a favorite place of ours and has a lot of history for me. My parents moved down here from Birmingham when I was about 2 1/2 and built one of the first big motels on the beach. We lived here in the Gulf Shores / Foley area until I was 13 and we moved to Colombia, South America.  But that’s another story.

Anyway, we’ll probably hang around here for a week or so,  just resting up.  Retirement can be hard work, let me tell you.

* a pull-thru site is desirable since I don’t have to fool with backing the coach in or out, and if we’re really lucky, it’s long enough so that we don’t have to unhook the toad if we don’t want to.

March 3, 2010

3:10 to Yuma… well, more like 2 hours even…

Today we made the 2 hour drive from Gila Bend over to Yuma where we’ll be for the next 10 days or so.

We’re here to help with the lead-in to the rally that will run March 8th thru the 12th.

For the next few days, Jan and I will be going around to local businesses soliciting gifts for door prizes for the rally.

We left Gila Bend about 11am and then stopped for lunch at a rest area about an hour later. Lunch on the road is simple when you take your kitchen with you.

Mister enjoyed the trip as usual. Here he is catching some rays on the dashboard.

Mister on the Road

Yuma Fairgrounds

We’ll be parked here until Sunday when we will move into our rally parking sites. Right now there is a Good Sam Club rally going on, so we have to wait until they’re done.

We’re hooked up water and 20amp electric, but no sewer connection. That means we’ll have to dump at least once while we’re here. Hopefully we can do get by with only dumping when we move on Sunday. We’ll see.

About 5:30 the six of us headed out to eat at a Chinese restaurant called, strangely enough, EAT.  Turned out to be really good. I imagine we’ll go back again before we leave.

March 3, 2011

More of the Same . . .

You’d think we’re in the summer rerun season, since today was pretty much like yesterday.

I fixed coffee first thing this morning and then Jan watched things she’d recorded on the DVR while I did computer client stuff and worked on the two seminars I’m giving at the rally starting this Monday.

Then for lunch, Jan heated up our Famous Dave’s BBQ leftovers. I think it might have even been better the second time around.

About 2pm Jan and I headed out to get more door prizes around town. We hit a lot of places and had pretty good luck, but we still have call backs on a number of places. And we’ll try to finish up most of them tomorrow, with a final wrap-up on Sat.

We got back to the rig a little before 5pm, and we were ready to eat.

And boy, were we. We had been visiting restaurants all afternoon . . . really good-smelling restaurants. In fact the last one we visited, Applebee’s smelled so good, that’s where we decided to go for supper.

And, as usual, the four of us, Tom, Barb, Jan, and I, spent more time talking than eating, so we didn’t get home until almost 8pm.

March 3, 2012

Resting up before the Big Day . . .

We really took it easy this morning. Jan had an on again/off again/on again migraine so we just ate in for lunch and watched stuff we’d recorded on our DVR.

I worked some more on my seminars, nailing down exactly what I’m going to talk about, and at I’ll have on the handouts and the CD’s. But mostly I just play it by ear, kind of going by the questions people are asking.

I had hoped I might get phone calls from some of the last minute door prize stragglers, but no luck. Maybe tomorrow.

We called a meeting at 3:30 for the parking crew so we could go over assignments. Many of them have done this before, so I expect things to come up to speed pretty quickly. Although tomorrow is Early Bird Arrival and Monday is actually the first day of the Rally, we always get the majority of the people coming in on Sunday, rather than Monday.

Jan and I will move our rig over to the parking crew staging area after dumping our tanks at the dump station. Then as soon as the Good Sam Rally people have pulled out, we’ll park over by the Vendor building where we’ll be until the rally is over next Friday.

At 1 pm we’ll start parking attendees, starting with handicapped and vendors first. And at the same time, Jan and a number of others, will start registering people as soon as they get parked.

It’s organized chaos, but we do get people parked pretty quickly once we get going.

After the meeting I drove around the fairgrounds checking out the area and deciding where we want to park some people with different requirements.

About 5 Jan and I headed over to eat at EAT, our favorite local Chinese buffet, and one of our all time favorites anywhere. Afterwards we called it an early evening because tomorrow will be a long, long day.

But at least we’re not forecast to have rain, hail, a lightning storm, and high winds all in the same day like we had two years ago.


On another note, our daughter Brandi emailed us that she and her sister-in-law Sherry had stood in line for two hours at the grand opening of a new Bullritos in Friendswood, and had each won a year’s supply of their food, either a Bullrito, a Bullrito Bowl, or Bullrito Taco, once a week for a year.

Bullritos 1

Bullritos 2

Guess we know where they’ll be eating every week.

March 3, 2013

The Best Laid Plans . . .

and all that.

Well, we had plans to go into San Antonio this afternoon for shopping and dinner at Magic Time Machine. But Jan woke up with a gout attack in her left foot this morning and it didn’t get better as the day went on, so we’ll try again tomorrow.

I spent some time checking out the lights on the truck this afternoon, but with no luck. The lights worked fine when I put external power to them.

I guess it’s possible I’ve got an intermittent short somewhere in the harness, but it’s hard to check it out like this. So I sketched out a circuit in my head for an automatic tester, and I’ll try to pick up some parts if we make it to San Antonio tomorrow.

For dinner we finished off the last of the Chicken Tortilla Soup from the other day. It wasn’t steak but it sure was good. Coming up, a big batch of Chicken Vegetable Soup in the next few days.

The weather is getting weird around here. Yesterday the high was 69 and the low was 30. Today the high was 75, and the low is supposed to be 35. But tomorrow the high is supposed to be 85 degrees!

And then we’re back with a high of 66 degrees on Tuesday. Don’t blink, you’ll miss it.

March 3, 2014

Frozen . . .

Well, it got done to 25 degrees here last night, and with the rain we had yesterday afternoon, there was ice and icicles everywhere. In fact, when I got up about 9:30 this morning, it was still only 28, and didn’t get above freezing until about 1pm, finally making it up to 42 for about 15 minutes and then falling again.

About 2 pm I got a phone call from the park office, telling me that they had just cut my water off because water was running out of the front of our rig. I said, “From the front of our rig?”, thinking maybe he was talking about the drip that occurs when our fresh water overflows from the weak check valve.in the water.

He said, “Yes, it was pouring out the front of your rig.” I said, “Well, I don’t see anything running out.” Then he said, “ Where are you right now?”

“I’m sitting right here in our rig.” He said, “You’re in A32?” “No, I’m in C32.”

“Oh, Never mind.”

I can only think that someone left their rig overnight with the water on, the pipes froze and broke, and when they thawed out, the rig flooded. Glad it wasn’t us.

I did manage to get some more done inside, going through stuff, since it was too cold to work outside. Maybe tomorrow.

About 4:30 we headed out for dinner at Sealand Seafood in La Grange once again. Debi and Ed Hurlburt, and Jan and I first ate here last Friday, and it was so good we came back tonight, along with Gregg and Lynette McHenry.

Gregg and Lynette are blog readers, and also fellow gate guards, working for Gate Guard Services like us.

Sealand Seafood Group5

It was another of those RV’er meals where we spend 45 minutes eating and then sit there just talking for the next couple of hours.

On the way home with Gregg and Lynette riding with us, we stopped off at HEB for a few things. The park is having a potluck supper Wednesday night and Jan needed some stuff for her dish.

We’re now looking at snow and freezing rain tonight, with a low of 28 degrees.

Oh, boy!

March 3, 2015

Headwinds and Peach Cobbler . . .

We were up about 6:45 this morning, much earlier than normal, but for two reasons. We wanted to leave earlier since we had a 315 mile trip today, and we wanted to have time to have breakfast at Isaack’s Restaurant, a mile or so away. Voted one of the best small-town diners in Texas, It’s a favorite of ours.

After another great meal, and after stopping for gas at $2.25, we were back at the park a little before 9. After stopping off at the park office, we were on the road a little before 9:30.

The weather was overcast and foggy, but not as bad as yesterday, especially with not as much drizzle. But the drive was still nice, at least until we hit a headwind a little west of Balmorhea. And my MPG went from about 8.5 down to 5.9.


Coming through Ft. Stockton we stopped for diesel at the Pilot, paying $2.79 a gallon. Still not bad. The only problem was the slow pumps. We were using the separate RV pumps, but it took almost 20 minutes to get 54 gallons. Unlike getting gas this morning, when I got 22 gallons in the truck in about 5 minutes.

We pulled into the Southern Star RV Park in Van Horn about 3pm and got set up.

Southern Star RV Park

Then a little after 5pm, we took the recommendation of the guy at the park office, and walked right next door to the Van Horn Cattle Company Restaurant. And we’re really glad we did. The salads and the steaks were great.

Van Horn Cattle Company 1

Van Horn Cattle Company 2

My salad had a delicious homemade Chipotle Ranch dressing that actually had some heat to it. Really good

Jan had their 8 oz.  Flat Iron Steak, something that they’re known for, and I had the 12 oz. Top Sirloin. Somebody in the kitchen really knows how to cook a steak.

Then for dessert, we shared their Peach Cobbler with Cinnamon Ice Cream, all homemade. The perfect end to a great meal.

We were sitting by the window looking out over the road, and watched a steady stream of RV’s coming in. And then a steady stream of RV’ers walking over from the park. Really hope the park guy got his kickback for the recommendations.

By the time we walked back to the rig, the 46 site park was about 3/4 full. Some of that may be due to the bad weather coming through here. The guy in the site next to us was worried, and said he was going to hunker down for a couple of days to avoid it.

Although the high tomorrow (Wednesday) is going to be in the mid-50’s, it’s supposed to start raining in the afternoon, and then go down to 22! degrees tomorrow night., with snow and ice. But we’ll be moving on to Las Cruces tomorrow morning and will be there for two days, so it should be gone by then.

Brandi send over some more ski trip pics, this one of Landon and Ruthie, the daughter of the couple they’re traveling with.

Really cute kids.

Landon and Ruthie

Brandi says they act like brother and sister. Of course that could mean they fight a lot, too.

March 3, 2016

Well, That Didn’t Go Too Well . . .

Or Six Times Is Apparently One Too Many

We finally got back to walking again this morning, but I may have to start getting up earlier because it’s getting warmer earlier, so we’ll have to see how it goes.

Afterwards we sat outside with our coffee and breakfast and enjoyed the outdoors. Much nicer and quieter than back at Lake Conroe. Then a little later our friend Randy Lazarine came by walking his dog Sherlock, and stop off to talk for a while.

Later in the afternoon I did a couple of more loads of laundry before heading outside to crawl under the driver side of the rig to take a look at my oil leak from the other side and check where the oil breather (slobber) tube is located.

Apparently this is a known problem, and Cummins even makes a ‘collection’ kit that connects to the end of the tube,


to keep the oil from spraying out all over. Of course a lot of guys, probably me included, just hang a small bottle over the end of the tube. But I’ll know more when I get back under there. But that’s going to be delayed another another day or so.

I finished up one load of laundry and then started on another, the sixth one since I put the washer back in service, and I very quickly found that the sixth time is not the charm, at least in this case. Suddenly water was coming out from under the washer cabinet onto the kitchen tile.

After throwing some towels on the floor I ran outside to turn the water off at the faucet, and based on the amount of water I saw pouring out of the water bay, I figured that one of the supply hoses had broken or come loose. But when I got back inside I turned the pump on and looked into the side access panel where I could see the hoses and saw nothing leaking in that area.

So tomorrow the washer comes back out and I’ll see what I find.

For dinner tonight Jan fixed a great meal of Chicken and Dressing Casserole and her Green Bean Casserole, Cranberry Walnut Salad, and Grilled Bread. Really, really good, and plenty left over for a second meal.


March 3, 2017

The Good and The Bad . . .

Awaiting the RV Mobile Lube guy at 8:30, I was up about 8am and got the coffee started. Then I got a call from the guy about 8:20 saying he would be about 15 minutes late.

And he showed up about 8:45 and got right to work on changing out my fuel filters, starting with the easy one at the rear of the coach. I went inside for a few minutes to make a phone call, planning on coming back out with my phone to get some photos of how he got under there for the hard one.

FS1022 Location 1

But when I came back out about 20 minutes later, he was already done with both filters and ready for me to start the engine and let it run for a few minutes to check for leaks. And with none found, and everything looking good, he was on his way by 9:20, about 35 minutes after he arrived. Great service from a great company.

And in another example of great service, the cartridge in our shower faucet has started leaking from behind the knob. But a quick call to Moen and a new cartridge was on its way, free, courtesy of their Lifetime Warranty. More great service.

And that’s the Good.

And now for the Bad.

Two years ago I set up an iDrive online backup account for a then-client. I put the charge on my debit card and just billed the client. When my work for that client ended in October 2015, I asked what they wanted to do about the account, and was told to just cancel it and they would set up their own system. So I emailed iDrive using their online form for that purpose and cancelled the service.

And since I used their online form, I have no record that I sent them an email. I did however receive an automated reply, stating that they had received my ‘inquiry’ and would get back to me. But I never received anything else, but still thought I had cancelled the service

Then a couple of days ago I noticed a $69.50 charge from iDrive. And going back through my 2016 bank statements, I found that I had a $59.50 last March also that I missed when it came through.

So last night I fired off an email to iDrive to find out what was going on. I was told the account was still active and that they would cancel it now as soon as I prove ownership of the account. And I had to do this by either giving them the password to the account, or the last four digits of the credit card used, as well as the expiration date.

Well, I don’t have the password, since I only logged into the account from the company’s computer. And when I gave them the credit card I have now, they said that wasn’t the correct card. And that’s because I got this new ‘CHIP’ card in June of 2015, and the iDrive account was set up in March 2015. And I have no idea what my old card number was.

So at this point I have no way to cancel this IDrive account.

So next I called Chase Bank to find out what card was used to make the charge, and was told it was my present card. But they weren’t able to explain how I was able to set up an account in March of 2015 using a card that they acknowledge wasn’t issued to me until June 2015.

I sent an email back to iDrive, asking if the fact that the account was still ‘active’ means that backups are being done every day, or has it just been sitting there, waiting patiently for the last 18 months. I haven’t heard back from them yet.

As a last ditch effort, I may just have to cancel the card and get a new one with a new number.

We were meeting Ed and Deb Hurlburt at a great local Chinese place, China Delight, at 4:30, but we headed out a little early to drop off some prescriptions at Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart before we met up.

Jan had the Beef with Orange Peel, while I, looking for something really spicy hot, went for the Chicken Volcano, Extra Spicy. But somewhere between the kitchen and our table, the Extra Spicy disappeared

And actually, the regular spicy went away also.

In fact, even the normally hot Chinese red peppers,


were mild enough to just munch on, without any noticeable heat. Our Hot & Sour Soup was actually hotter than my Chicken ‘Volcano’.

But regular blog readers will know I’m always packing heat.

No, not that kind.

This kind.

Hottest F Seasoning 2

and with a few sprinkles of this, things warmed right up, ‘runny nose and top of my head sweating’ warm. Just perfect.

Dinner was great, as was the company.

Ed and Debi Hurlburt

And as is usual with RVer’s who haven’t seen each for awhile, after all it had been two whole weeks since we last had a meal together, this dinner took the usual three hours, before we all headed back to the park.

Tomorrow we’ll head back down to Clear Lake for Jan’s yearly former hospital coworker’s get-together at 6pm.

March 3, 2018

Long Time No ‘V’ . . .

With another puppy-sitting gig on the schedule for this weekend, Jan and I were out the door by 11am, heading up to Brandi’s in Katy, about  90 minutes away. Brandi, Lowell, and Landon are spending the weekend with friends out in Colorado so we’re on dog-duty again, just like last weekend.

When we got there we let the dogs out and then brought all our stuff inside. Then with the dogs back in, we headed back out to have lunch at a long-time local favorite of ours, Little V’s Vietnamese Bistro.

We’ve been eating here for years since Brandi and Lowell introduced it to us. It doesn’t hurt that it’s only about 5 minutes away from both their old and their new houses.

The last time we ate here was back in October, and the time before that was the previous March, right before we left on our big out West trip. In between those two times, Tuen, the original owner had sold the place so we were anxious to check it out.

And as we left we all agreed that although it was really delicious, it wasn’t quite up to Tuen’s ownership. So Jan and I were interested in seeing what had happened in the last 6 months.

And things had changed, but for the good. They seemed to have taken the same dishes and improved them by putting their own spin on them. We started out with an order of the Pork Spring Rolls.


Last time we didn’t like that the wrapper was a lot chewy than before. But now the wrapper was perfect, and they had more of the crispy pork strips in them.

Jan went with her favorite Curry Chicken, which she said was as good as ever.

Little V Chicken Curry

I of course got my usual Shaking Beef Vermicelli Bowl (still don’t know why the beef is shaking though.).

Little V's Shaking Beef

Last time, the beef, which was normally  melt-in-your-mouth tender, was pretty chewy. But the tenderness is back, and even better, it’s got bigger pieces of beef, and more of them.

And we always a dish of their homemade Soy Ginger Sauce. Really amazing flavor.

Little V's Ginger Sauce

Neither one of us could finish our entrée’s, so we both had take-home containers. And because of that, we decided to bypass ordering our normal Crème Brûlée Spoons. But as it turned out, we didn’t have a choice.

When the young lady brought our check she also brought an order of two Crème Brûlée spoons. It seems they now include them with the meal, since we saw other tables getting them too. So it wasn’t just that we were special.

Tomorrow we’ll lounge around until about 6, then head home. Thinking about having dinner at the Plucker’s Chicken place down in Webster, but we’ll see.

March 3, 2019

Chantelle Is Still Speaking To Me . . .

In one of those somewhat typical Texas winter days, after a low of 65 last night, the high for today was 66 . . . at 9am. Then the temp started dropping quickly into the low 50’s by noon.

Then tomorrow’s high is 50 with a 37 for tomorrow night. In Texas you can get Spring, Fall, Winter, and sometimes Summer, all in the same day. It’s always something.

But before it got too cold I went outside and crawled under the rig to see what was going to be involved in changing out the oil filter. And it looks like it won’t be a problem as far as actually reaching it and letting it down. Of course getting it up and back into place full of oil might be another story. But at least it’s not at the limit of my reach.

What I’ll probably do is that after I let the old one down and clean the base, I’ll first put the new one into place while it’s empty to see how easy it goes on and tightens down. Last thing I want to do is to cross-thread it.

Then I’ll fill it with oil and try it that way. So we’ll see how it goes.

After I completely changed our Paris/London travels plans . . . again, it looks like our travel agent, Chantelle Nugent, is still talking to me. After I called her yesterday morning to see about adding an extra day in Paris and an extra day in London, getting us home on Saturday, the 25th rather than Thursday the 23rd, I looked at it a bit more and we decided to add a second extra day in London. That would get us home on the 26th.

I think this about covers the changes that will need to be made.

Add Additional Day at Paris Hotel for Sunday, May 19th.

Change Private Transfer to Train Station in Paris to Monday, May 20th.

Change Paris to London Train Date to Monday, May 20th.

Change London Hotel Reservations to Monday, May 20th – Saturday 25th. adding two additional days total.

Change Total London Tour to Tuesday, May 21st or 23rd, 24th, or 25th.

Change Private Transfer to Heathrow to Sunday, May 26th.

Change Flight Home to Houston to Sunday, May 26th.

Hopefully the only increased cost will be 3 hotel nights.

Since we had breakfast for lunch yesterday at Snooze, today, of course, we had to have breakfast for dinner. At Denny’s this time. Then it was on over to the nearby Lowe’s for some longer bolts for my windshield wiper replacement.

After a PO stop for our mail, we got back to the park a little before 6pm, and found the rig’s parking (maker) lights on. I know they weren’t on when we left for Denny’s.

Since I had been fooling with some stuff near the dashboard, I thought maybe I had knocked them on accidentally, or maybe Karma the cat had done it.

Personally I blame the cat.

But when I checked they were not turned on, at least by the headlight switch. When I checked closer, I found that the front parking lights and the side marker lights were the on, including the roof ICC lights. But no tail lights at all.

And when I turned on the headlights, all the marker lights went out. Since it was getting dark, I decided to brute-force the solution by pulling some fuses. So after checking the chart, I first pulled the 20amp Marker Lights fuse. And lucked out because that killed the lights.

Another thing for the repair list, I guess.

March 3, 2020

Reminiscing . . .

Recently I saw this headline from CNN News.

Amsterdam Closing Coffeeshops

Apparently over 50% of Amsterdam’s tourists say they are visiting there to experience the many Cannabis Cafes, and the city thinks they’re are getting “over-touristed”.

Of course, you don’t really need to actually ‘visit’ a ganja café. Instead you can just walk down the street.

When we were strolling along a waterfront street near the Anne Frank House we saw a display basket of lollipops right out on the street. Jan said, “Why don’t we get Landon some souvenir candy to take home to him.”

I laughed and said, “Read a little closer.”

Amsterdam Cannabis Lollipops

Yes, those are marijuana lollipops. In Strawberry, Blueberry, and Purple Haze flavors. Not sure I want to know Purple Haze tastes like. Maybe it’s what your vision looks like post-lollipop.

And just so you don’t forget you’re in Holland, those are tulip bulbs being sold right underneath the basket.

And if a lollipop is not your choice, you can try an cannabis ice cream cone.

Amsterdam Cannabis Ice Cream

And No, we didn’t buy any treats, nor did we visit a ‘café’.

In a way I’ve always prided myself that as someone from my generation, I’ve never smoked marijuana. And apparently that’s a rarity. Or at least if seemed that way to the U.S. government.

Over the years, between working for the DOD, and later NASA, I’ve had more security clearances than I can count, or remember. In fact some of them were so secret that I was never even told the name of it. Just that I was now cleared to work on something.

And a number of the early ones included lie detector tests.

But I had a lot of problems getting though some of them. Because I told the truth.

When I was asked, “Have you ever used marijuana, or any other illegal drugs?”, I answered, “No!”

And when he questioned my answer, I told him again that I had never smoked marijuana, but I had inhaled deeply at a few concerts.

He didn’t really see the humor in that. They actually thought I was cheating on the test somehow. I mean, everyone in college in the 60’s tried marijuana, right?

Somehow, they finally figured out I was just a weirdo and not lying to them. And luckily I guess it got entered into my record because it quit coming up.

And one of the times I ‘inhaled’ was actually with Jan. In early 1968 when she was about 6 months pregnant with our son Chris, we drove from Tuscaloosa over to Birmingham to attend a Beach Boys concert.

As we walked into the concert hall we could see a smoky haze hovering over the seats. I think Jan probably figured it was just from cigarettes, but as we got further into the hall, Jan sniffed around and said, “Why are they burning incense in here?”

Chuckling, I told my sweet little innocent wife that it wasn’t cigarettes, but marijuana smoke. Her eyes got real big and she said, “Really?”

And she was sound asleep within 20 minutes after the concert started.

I warned her not to inhale.

March 3, 2021

And Now It’s Three . . . Again

Well, now that the Toilet Wars are over, it looks like I have a new project. Sometime in the last few days our front AC just quit AC’ing. But since it’s been in the 60’s in the daytime and the 40’s at night, it hadn’t gotten much use.

But I noticed a couple of days ago that it was a bit warm, and when I looked at the thermostat, the AC wasn’t coming on. So yesterday I checked the usual suspects.

I changed out the batteries and rebooted the thermostat. Then I checked the voltage at the circuit breaker, and double-checked my 30 amp bypass hookup. All with no problems found.

So tomorrow I’ll pull the thermostat off the wall and try to control the AC manually. If there’s nothing there, I’ll pull the cover off the ceiling unit and check the power coming in up there.

March 3, 2022

Firestick TV . . .

Jan and I had lunch at Floyd’s Cajun Seafood for the first time in a good while. And although it was delicious, it was also kind of a comedy of errors.

Jan ordered her usual Side Salad, as well as Grilled Catfish along with the Grilled Veggies.

Floyd's Grilled-Fried Catfish 20220303

But as you can see, the catfish came Fried, not Grilled. Plus a large part of the Grilled Veggies was three big slices of Bell Pepper, which Jan doesn’t like. The Veggies have never had Bell Peppers in them before.

I started out with their version of the Wedge Salad, which along with Jan’s Side Salad, turned out to be the only correct orders we got.

Floyd's 19th Hole Wedge Salad 20220303

And I told Jan it was probably the best Wedge Salad I’ve ever had. Really good.

Then, I had a bowl of their Shrimp Gumbo, or at least that’s what I ordered.

What I got was Seafood Gumbo instead.

Floyd's Seafood Gumbo 20220303

Note the filé I asked for to add to the Roux.

The reason I like the Shrimp version better than the Seafood, is that all they added to make it Seafood is Crab Meat.

And a lot less Shrimp.

Now if they also added Oysters, it would be a different story.

Then, about the time I wanted a refill on my iced tea, Robby, our waiter, disappeared.

And didn’t show up for almost 20 minutes until we finally had to ask another waiter to find Robby so we could get our check.

And I never got my tea refill.

Then it was on over to Costco for a few things. I was happy to find that the La Crosse Weather Station I bought here a couple of weeks ago was now $20 more.

Several of our readers have asked about YouTubeTV that we use for streaming TV programs.

From 1998 until August 2020, we used DirecTV for our satellite TV service, first at our home, and then starting in 2008, in our RV. We started out using a Winegard foldup dish like this one.

Winegard Foldup Dish

This lasted until July 2011 when the plastic base finally wore out and started coming apart.

So I replace it with a Winegard Carryout like this.

Winegard Carryout

The real advantage to this one was that it aimed itself. I would put it out when we got parked, and usually by the time I got back inside, I would have a picture on our TV.

The only disadvantage was that the Carryout could only receive SD (Standard Definition) video, and not HD (High Definition). Plus there was even talk of DTV discontinuing SD altogether.

This lasted until August 2020 when I finally got fed up with with DirecTV’s regular, excessive rate increases, and cancelled our service. It wasn’t my fault they were constantly losing money.

I had purchased an Amazon Firestick and we started using it to stream all our TV through it. Turns out the free WiFi here at the park is fine for streaming HD, and since they upgraded it a few months ago, we can stream 4K as well, though we don’t normally since it costs extra.

And though I can definitely tell the difference between SD and HD, it’s kind of toss-up between HD and 4K. The difference seems to have a lot to do with the program content.

But after I had switched over to streaming, I had to find a streaming service so we could watch live TV as well DVR programs. And after looking at the six possible choices,

Sling TV
YouTube TV
Hulu with live TV

and after checking them all out, I chose YouTubeTV. At $70 a month, less than half of DTV latest price.

In addition to the 85 channels, including the local ones, it has unlimited DVR’ing of programs. Not only is that unlimited, you can also record as many programs at one time as you want. The only downside is that your recorded programs are only saved for 9 months. But we haven’t found that a problem.

The other neat thing is that if you tell YouTubeTV to start recording something like Law & Order, you will find all 20+ seasons of the program available to you.

To get YouTubeTV you just download the app to your SmartTV, Roku, Fire TV, or as in my case, a Firestick.

The Firestick is a small module about the size of a large pack of gum, and just plugs into your TV.

After we settled on YouTubeTV, we started adding additional streaming services, like AppleTV, Paramount+, Curiosity Stream, Discovery+, AcornTV, Peacock, and Disney+, all of which cost $5 or $6 a month. And then there are a bunch of other free streaming channels, like Crackle, Tubi, Vudu, PlutoTV, plain old YouTube, and a number of others. And even with all these, our cost is only about 60% of what we were paying DTV.

You just have to download the apps to your TV.

If anyone has any more questions, just leave me a comment.