Daily Archives: March 4, 2023

Nice And Quiet . . .

Today was a nice, quiet one, starting with lunch at Texas Huddle once again. And since there were no Major League games scheduled today, the place was probably quieter than we’ve ever seen it.


As usual, Juana, our regular server took great care of us, bringing us our drinks without us even having to order them

Texas Huddle Juana 20230211

Jan got her usual Bacon Swiss Mushroom Burger, the Keto way, I.e., no bun. And no Swiss, but Cheddar instead.

And she gives the Bacon to me. So she really just ends up with a bunless Cheeseburger with Mushrooms.

Texas Huddle Kerto Cheddar Burger 20230304

We both started out with their Side Salads, Jan’s the usual way

Texas Huddle Salad 20221204

but mine with Blackened Chicken added.

Texas Huddle Side Salad with Chicken 20230304

Plus of course, Jan’s Bacon.

Good enough that this ended up being my meal.

These last few days have been the ‘nice’ time I mentioned above. The weather had been just about perfect.

Clear and Sunny, with highs in the low 70’s and lows in the high 40’s/low 50’s. Wish we had it year round.


Thought For The Day:

Stupidity kills. But sometimes just not often enough.

March 4, 2009

It’s always something…

When we started to head out for lunch and shopping this morning, the first thing I had to was unhook the toad.  We didn’t go out Tuesday night after we got here so we were still hooked up.  Usually this is about a 5 minute job, but not today.

Normally when we pulled into a site the toad is straight out behind us, but as you can see from yesterday’s post, we are parked on a site with a slight curve.

This put enough pressure on the tow bars that they did not want to release by hand. They also didn’t want to release using a big hammer and a lot of lubricant.  I then tried to unhook the entire hitch from the back of the coach, but it was binding just like the tow bars so no luck there.

Finally I was able to get everything loose by having Jan jog the truck in reverse and forward while I pried on things. So, an hour later we were finally on our way.

To quote  Roseanne Roseannadanna, “It’s always something.”

March 4, 2011

Chocolate Crafters and One-Eyed Crabs . . .

After fixing coffee this morning the first thing I did was to go outside and move our truck so we could get out and dump.

About 11 am I headed back out to re-survey some of the power outlets that I had located a few days ago. I was trying to reconcile the two different maps that I had, to be sure we know where all the power hookups are.

Finishing that up, just like yesterday, about 2pm I headed out to try to round up the last of the door prizes. And I made a lot of progress, leaving just a few to wrap up tomorrow.

One of the places I wanted to try was Chocolate Crafters, much recommended by Laurie and Odel at Semi-True Tales of Our Life on the Road, one of the blogs Jan reads everyday.

And Laurie was right. You start drooling when you walk in the door. They gave me a number of samples, including my favorite, the Kona Coffee Bark, with real Kona coffee in it.

I’m going back tomorrow to pick the door prizes, and this time Jan wants to go with me. Funny how that worked out.

About half an hour after I got back, we headed out for supper.

The 6 of us ended up at The Ranch House Restaurant, a couple of miles away. We got there just in time, since about 15 minutes after we were seated, they were on a wait.

The food was pretty good, but the consensus was that it wasn’t as good as Famous Dave’s BBQ.

And, as become our routine, we adjourned to a nearby DQ for ice cream and more conversation.

Coming home we stopped off at Wal-Mart so I could get a webcam so we can Skype with Master Landon back in Houston.

March 4, 2013

This Magic Moment . . .

Jan was feeling a lot better today so about 3pm we headed out to San Antonio. Our first stop was at the Post Office in the Leon Valley area to mail off a card to Master Landon.

Then it was my turn, stopping at a nearby Radio Shack and Advanced Auto Parts to pick up the parts for the toad towing light tester I want to build. I had hoped to get everything at Radio Shack, but they didn’t have the ATM fuse holder I needed so I headed down the block to the auto parts store to pick one up.

Finishing with this, we headed north on I-410 to the Magic Time Machine, and just as we planned, got there right as they opened at 5pm.


As it turns out, they didn’t open until 5:30. So we sat in the car and read our Kindles for a while before they opened. Checking later, one place on their website says 5 and another says 5:30.

We’ve been eating at Magic Time Machine since the early 80’s and always have a great time.

Magic Time Machine 1b

It’s really a unique place, a maze of little rooms and tables, with a lot of twists and turns. In fact it’s easy to get lost, and a lot of people do, going to the bathroom and then not being able to find their way back to their table.

Another unusual item is their Salad Car. It’s a salad bar built into a 1957 MG TC. Neat!

Magic Time Machine 2

The other neat thing here is that all the waiters and waitresses are dressed up like fictional characters. We’ve been waited on by Wonder Woman,

Magic Time Machine 4

and the Joker, among a number of others.

Magic Time Machine 5

After finishing up our really good steaks, we headed out about 7:15. But along the way we made a quick stop at Ulta so Jan could pick up a few thing, finally getting back to the park about 8:30. Another fun day.

Tomorrow we may take a trip over to Bandera to check the place out, before coming back to Boerne for a few things, and also to take a look at the HEB gas station since we want to fill up on Monday before heading for Balmorhea 375 miles away.

March 4, 2014

More Frozen . . .

We woke up this morning to a winter wonderland, and long rumbles of snow thunder, some that went on for almost a full minute. And when I went up to the park office about 1pm, it still looked like this.

Thousand Trails Ice Storm

I would imagine that the palmetto bush in the foreground is a little confused about this weather.

And of course, you can’t have a winter wonderland without icicles, can you?

Icicles at TT

I had gone to the office to sign up for the potluck dinner tomorrow night, and check on getting propane when we leave here this coming Monday. We’re down to about 1/4 tank, which is pretty good since the last time we filled up was September 18, 2011 in Elkhart, IN. And before that it was July 2009 in Bangor, ME.

Pretty much the only time we use propane is to run the fridge when we travel, and when we occasionally boondock or Wally Dock and want a hot shower. We have used our rig’s propane furnace the last couple of days, the only time in about 4 years. We normally just use one or more of our electric heaters, but since we’re on 30 amps here and can only use one heater, we’ve needed the rig heaters because it’s hardly gotten above freezing for the last couple of days.

I do always check the heaters every year right before we leave the Houston area and head out for the year’s travels, to be sure they’ll be working if and when we need them.

Was anyone else set to DVR Downton Abbey this past Sunday and found that because of the time change, you didn’t record it? Normally Masterpiece Classic AKA Downton Abbey comes on at 8pm CST, but, I guess, because of the Oscars, the season finale (Episode 8) came on at 6pm, not 8.

But if you did miss the finale, you can go to www.pbs.org and stream the episode. In fact you can stream every episode of this season. Check it out.

I posted a new recipe to Jan’s Favorite Recipes area. It’s what we had for supper tonight, Crockpot Chicken and Dressing. We got it off Debi Hurlburt’s RV Cooking blog, and it’s really good. And very quick and easy, only about 4 hours on low in the crockpot. Give it a try.

When I fixed our breakfast English muffins this morning, I used some our of son Chris’ Habanero Jelly on mine.

PJ's Jellies

Too infrequently Chris brews up a batch of his famous Habanero Jelly, along with Apple Butter and Banana Butter. I had thought we were out, but I discovered a jar of the Habanero in the back of the fridge, so I can add a little wake-me-up spiciness to breakfast.

In the past, Chris has sometimes sold his jellies at local flea markets, and sells it all out. The problem is the ‘100% Homemade’ on the label. It takes several days, start to finish, to prepare a batch, so it’s very time-consuming. But, boy is it good!

BTW, the ‘PJ’ in PJ’s Jellies is named for their daughter/our granddaughter, Piper Jean.

March 4, 2015

We Tried, We Really Tried . . .

After yesterday’s early morning, we got to sleep in a little this morning since we didn’t plan to leave until about 11am. That’s CDT, and we’ll in MDT about 5 miles down the road. So we’re really leaving about 10am. Which will put us in Las Cruces about 1pm since it’s only about 165 miles away.

Jan had planned to drive some today, but since it was raining pretty steadily when we left, she decided to put it off for another day. Maybe Friday when we head to Tucson.

The rain finally cleared up about 50 miles along the way, and the sun actually came out, but still with a lot of clouds

Like the last couple of days, today’s trip was smooth with no problems . . . until . . . well . . .

For the last few years our friends has been recommending the Loop 375 Transmountain Drive around El Paso to avoid all the traffic. They even talked about the scenic views. But it was all for naught.

Once again we were led astray.

We had actually tried to take this route twice before. The first time the road was closed for some reason, and the second time traffic was back up out on the Interstate at the exit, and was stopped as far up the road as we could see.

But the siren call lured us in again, and we took Exit 34 for the Loop. And of course, as soon as we took the exit, there’s a sign saying, “NB 375 Closed. Use Alt Route.”.

And exactly why couldn’t they have put this sign out on the Interstate BEFORE the exit?

So we continued on down the feeder, finding no other exit except the SB one. We kept looking for any sign of an “Alt Route”, but no luck. So instead, we trundled along in a line of cars, making all of 20 mph.

This went on for about 8 miles, as we watched all the cars on the Interstate to our left streaming along at 60 mph. There were no more exits in any direction, until finally we were led right back out onto I-10. So apparently, the “Alt Route” was just to eventually put us back on I-10, and that’s it.

We pulled into the Coachlight Inn RV Park in Las Cruces, NM about 1pm and got set up. We’ve stayed here a number of times, and it’s a nice little park, And Passport America, to boot. So it was $18.60 for 50amp FHU. Nice,

Later, a little before 4pm, we drove over to old Mesilla to have dinner at La Posta de Mesilla, where we always eat when we’re in town. I first ate here in 1981 when I was out here at White Sands working on some Shuttle stuff with NASA. And then I brought Jan here on our first RV trip in 2007 in our rental Class C.

We’ll be here for two days before we head over to Tucson on Friday for the Escapade that starts Sunday, the 8th. Don’t forget I’ll be giving a seminar on Gate Guarding during the rally, so check it out.

March 4, 2016


or I’m getting really good at this.

After coffee and breakfast this morning, I started pulling my washer back out of the cabinet. But the first step was to go outside and loosen the vent deflector and hose.

Then it was just a matter of pulling and dragging, tugging and cursing, until I had it out of the cabinet and onto the floor dolly. Moving it out into the kitchen, I put down some padding and turned the washer upside down.

But even before removing the bottom panel, I saw at least part of the problem. One of the two bolts that held the angle bar in place, the bar that held the new pump, was gone.  And then removing the panel told me the whole story.

Washer Re-Repair 1_thumb[2]

When I originally installed the angle bar, I used a 1/4” bolt on one end, and a smaller bolt on the end by the orange arrow. I used the smaller one there because it was too small an area for where I wanted to put the bar. And the reason I wanted to put it there was so the electric leads for the pump would still reach without having to lengthen them. And that’s what happens sometimes when you take a shortcut.  It bites you in the bottom.

The reason for the leak itself was immediately obvious.

Washer Re-Repair 3_thumb[2]

When the mounting bar came loose, the pump moved, and that pulled the hose loose that goes from the filter into the pump. Thus the leak.

So now I started over by remounting the bar in an area where I could use the larger 1/4” bolt. Then I spliced longer power leads into the harness and moved the pump into position. This let me reconnect the drain hose and tighten down the clamp.

As before, I wanted to give it a test before I put it back in the cabinet, so after I replaced the bottom panel and turned it upright, I plugged it in at the sink, dumped a couple of quarts of water in the drum, and turned it on.

Then after that successful test, I put it aside until we finished dinner, a delicious rerun of last night’s Chicken and Dressing Casserole, Green Bean Casserole, Cranberry Walnut Salad and Grilled Bread. Still really good.

After dinner I reinstalled the washer and got it all hooked back up. Next up was two loads of laundry during the rest of the evening for a test.

Hopefully it’ll last longer than six loads this time. But on the plus side, I’m getting really good at taking the washer out and putting it back.

So with this out of the way for now, tomorrow I’ll get back on my rig oil leak.

Oh, boy!

March 4, 2017

Mamacita’s Meetup . . .

With it drizzling rain pretty much all day, that put a kibosh on any outside chores, so I spent most of the day going over our upcoming trip schedule.

I nailed down a few more parks, and made a few reservations,  An ‘*’ by the date means I have a reservation there. Many of these I won’t contact until a few days before.

*3/08 -Travel to Colorado River   Columbus, TX

*3/10 -Travel to Pecan Valley RV Park   Junction, TX

*3/11 -Travel to Saddleback Mtn. Park   Balmorhea, TX

*3/12 -Travel to Coachlight RV Park   Las Cruces, NM

*3/14 -Travel to Cochise Terrace Park   Benson, AZ

*3/18 -Travel to Voyager RV Park   Tucson, AZ

*3/25 -Travel to Santa Fe RV Park   Apache Junction, AZ

*4/08 -Travel to Las Vegas TT Park   Las Vegas, NV

*4/22 -Travel to Soledad Canyon TT   Acton, CA

*4/29 -Travel to Turtle Beach TT (?)   Manteca, CA

*4/30 -Travel to Friendly RV Park   Weed, CA

*5/02 -Travel to Bend/Sunriver TT   Bend, OR

*5/16 -Travel to ??   Hermiston, OR

*5/17 -Travel to Blackwell Island RV   Coeur d’ Alene, ID

*5/19 -Travel to Riverfront RV Park   Garrison, MT

*5/20 -Travel to Billings Trailer Village   Billings, MT

*5/22 -Travel to Gillette Cam-Plex   Gillette, WY

*5/23 -Travel to Elk Creek RV Park   Piedmont, SD

*5/30 -Travel to Belvidere KOA   Midland, SD

*6/01 -Travel to ??   North Platte, NE

*6/04 -Travel to ??  Salina, KS

*6/05 -Travel to ??  Pawhuska, OK

*6/08 -Travel to ??  Paul’s Valley, OK

*6/11 -Travel to ??  Waco, TX

*6/14 -Travel to Lake Conroe TT  Conroe, TX

*6/25 -Travel to Colorado River TT  Columbus, TX

A Total Distance of a little over 4400 miles.

We’re coming back here the end of June for a big family reunion. Then we’ll head back out for a couple of more months until the end of August when we’ll come back for Landon’s 7th birthday. After that it’s gate guarding time again.

In a follow-up to Moen’s excellent customer service, I got an email from them today, saying that my FREE part had been shipped.

And in a follow-up to iDrive’s sucky customer service, I still have not heard back from them answering my questions about any actual activity on the account.

Yesterday I was able to repair the socket that holds the AC Blower Resistor Pak for our Dodge Dakota.

A while back a high resistance in the socket burned the common pin off the plug and damaged the socket itself.

AC Blower Speed Control = Burnt

Since then we only had the high speed on the blower because I used a paper clip to bypass the resistor pak.

AC Blower Resister Pak 4

But I was able to repair the socket and install a new resistor pak.

AC Blower Resister Pak 0

So now we have all 4 speeds again.

About 3:45 Jan and I headed down to the Clear Lake area once again for Jan’s yearly get-together with five of her former Medical Records coworkers. They all have done this every year since we started RV’ing in 2008, and Jan looks forward to it for months.

Jan had me come by the meeting place, Mamacita’s Mexican Restaurant, in Webster to get a  picture of the group.

Jan's Coworker Get-together

I didn’t have any trouble finding the group. I just asked at the front desk where the rowdiest bunch was seated and they pointed me in the right direction.

Jan’s already looking forward to next year’s meet.

March 4, 2019

Easy Peasy. . . .

Today, in another step forward, I managed to drag my client kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

After setting up the return of the defective Brother FAX machine to Amazon, I fast-talked my client into switching over to a online FAX service instead of ordering a replacement machine.

I use MyFax for faxes and have for years. They give me both a local and a toll-free number, and for $10 I can send 100 pages and receive 200 pages a month. And I have never come close to hitting those limits. And I doubt my client will either, since they only send and receive a few faxes a week.

But my client already has both local and toll-free numbers and didn’t want to change them so I checked to see if we could use our own numbers and found that we could transfer them. So then I called Spectrum VOIP, where we get our phone/internet service, to see what that would entail. And found a whole ‘nother solution.

Turns out Spectrum has their own fax service, and since we were already paying for the fax machine interface,  the service was free. So a few minutes later they had reconfigured our two numbers to the online service and we were good to go.

In case you have used one of the these services, you receive faxes as a  PDF file in a email, which you can print out or not as needed. To send a fax you just enter the phone number followed by @fax01.spectrumvoip.com in the TO:  field. Then enter the Subject, and your text in the Body. If needed you can attach a document in pretty much any format, I.e., Word, Excel, JPG, PDF, etc.

Easy Peasy.

Amazon also made sending the fax machine back easy peasy. I just went back to the product order page, clicked Return or Replace Item, chose Item Defective or Doesn’t Work, and described what was wrong with it in the Comment box.

Then I clicked on UPS pickup at the office and a refund onto my debit card. Finally all I had to do was to pack it up back into the original box and I was done. The UPS guy will bring the label when he picks it up. And if it’s like they’ve done in the past, as soon as the box is logged into the UPS system as ‘picked up’, I will receive my refund.

Again, Easy Peasy.

Jan is not never easy to buy for, but occasionally I score big. She does like earrings, especially dangly ones. Now in reading over our upcoming trip FAQS, it says that there are no formal nights, but recommended evening dress is ‘elegant casual’. Now to me that sounds kind of like  “jumbo shrimp’, ‘boneless ribs’, or ‘limited nuclear war’.

So I found and ordered these for her.


Certainly looks elegantly casual to me.

What do you think?

March 4, 2021

Almond Blossoms . . .

Well, it’s not the thermostat. I pulled the cover off this morning and shorted across  the common and the Y (Yellow) terminal and got Zip, Zero, Nada. So this weekend I’ll tear into the overhead unit to see what’s what.

Luckily the temps are pretty much staying in the 60’s for now.

About 1pm Jan and I headed up to Webster to have lunch at Twin Peaks once again. Jan decided to try something new this time, getting their Spicy Chipotle Chicken, with grilled broccoli and green beans.

Twin Peaks Spicy Chipotle Chicken

She gave me a bite of the chicken and it was really good.

I combine two of my favorites, their Wedge Salad, and their Venison Chili, with their Lunch Soup and Salad Combo.

Twin Peaks Half Wedge and Venison Chili

This is their Half Wedge with a bowl of the Bambi Chili. Really, really good.

Recently Twin Peaks has been a place to find interesting vehicles on the parking lot. Last time we were here we came across this Shelby Cobra replica.

Twin Peaks Shelby Cobra Side

Then today when we came out we found this beautiful Z28 Camaro parked right next to us.

Twin Peaks Z28 Camaro 1

Twin Peaks Z28 Camaro 2

What’s really kind of sad is that this Camaro has an ‘Antique Auto’ tag. Back in my day those tags were reserved for Model T’s and the like. Though I guess this Z28 being 50+ years old, I guess it probably does qualify.

Then it was on up to Sam’s for some of Jan’s Joint Juice before a stop at our storage room to drop off a few things. Then our last stop was at Cowboy Coffee for a couple of Cold Blended Sugar-Free Hazelnut coffees with Almond Milk.

Then getting home, we sat out on the patio and listened to the wind chimes for a while.

A very nice day.

When Jan and I were in Paris back in May 2019 we attended the Van Gogh Illuminare Exhibit while we were there.

Imagine being inside Van Gogh’s paintings, as they paint themselves around you. They come to life in 3D, as they move around you.

Well, that experience is coming to the U.S, and to Houston in particular. And we’ve got tickets for the 2pm showing on Sunday, November 21st for Jan and I, Brandi, Lowell, Landon, and a Landon friend to be named later.

Check out this video.

And this is a video clip that I took in Paris.

Beside Starry Night, I think Almond Blossoms is my next favorite.

I even have it as the cover for my Samsung Tab 4 tablet.

Samsung Tab Almond Blossoms Cover

You can find out more about the local Houston show, Van Gogh – The Immersive Experience here.

And there are shows scheduled for other cities around the country.