A Busy, Fun Day . . .

So much so that we didn’t get back to the rig until late, so all you get are the Retro-Blogs, and I’ll catch up later.

Thought for the Day:

“The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependency; from dependency back again to bondage.”  Sir Alexander Fraser Tytler

March 24, 2010

The best $40 Ice Cream I’ve Ever Eaten…

Today started off with a trip to the ATM for some cash and then a stop at the RV park office to sign up for another week here in Las Vegas.

It’s a nice park, not too expensive (only about $125/wk + elec.), and convenient to the Strip.

The only downside (downsides?) are that the sites are narrow and there’s no real shade.


We headed out about 12:30 pm and drove over to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville restaurant for lunch.


We had eaten at his original restaurant in Key West last year and really enjoyed it, so we wanted to give this one a try.


Jan had the same Monterey Chicken Sandwich that she had in Key West, and really enjoyed it again. I, of course, had to have a Cheeseburger in Paradise.

After we finished eating, we make the obligatory gift shop stop where Jan got her a Margaritaville Las Vegas T-shirt.

When we got back out on the street we encountered these brightly-feathered guys.


So following up on the whole Jimmy Buffet – Parrothead concept, here are some parrot heads.



We next decided to drive the Strip again trying to get some more pictures of the different casinos.


This is Paris Casino. I assume the balloon sign refers to the Montgolfier brothers,who are credited with inventing and flying in the first hot air balloon in the 1780’s.


And, of course, what would Paris be without the Eiffel Tower.

Effiel Tower

There’s also New York New York which models the New York skyline,complete with the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty..


Flying Saucer

And, although it’s not a casino, for some strange reason, this flying saucer-shaped building houses a fashion show center

Finishing up on the Strip we decided to check out The Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, otherwise known as the History Channel’s Pawn Stars,

Pawn Stars
We even saw one of the show’s stars, Chumlee, who seems to be the court jester//comic relief on the show.

Nice tats!


And Jan got herself a new opal ring.

Sweets for the Sweet.


Leaving the pawn shop, we wanted to check out The Gun Store. They have billboards all over town advertising that you can rent and fire a machine gun on their in-store range. We found out it cost $50 for 50 rounds and $25 for each additional 50.

They were pretty busy, so we’ll probably come back tomorrow. Jan wants to shoot a Thompson Submachine Gun, otherwise know as the Tommy Gun from the Prohibition Era.


By now it was almost 5pm, but with our big lunch no one was hungry for supper, so we decided to just get some ice cream at Dairy Queen,

Unfortunately, the Dairy Queen we chose was inside the Boulder Station Casino.  So $10 of ice cream cost me $40, what with our $30 contribution to the Las Vegas economy via the slot machines.

We got back to the rig a little after 6pm, where I resumed fighting “The Great Toilet Wars”

More Reports from the battlefront soon…

March 24, 2011

Bay Doors and Waste Valves . . .

As is pretty normal, Jan had one of her ‘rebound’ 2nd day migraines, not as bad as the first one yesterday, but still not fun.

A little after 11am I called American Coach with some questions on several projects I’ve got in work on our coach, and as usual, they came thru with great info.

The latest news on my dented bay door is not good. The fairgrounds and the landscapers are pretty much denying that they did it.

Coach Bay Door

But it was not there last Wednesday when we moved from site 407 to site 404 to get a 50 amp hookup. We haven’t moved since, and no one else has been back there, except them.

And since I just changed from Progressive Insurance to GMAC I really hate to file a claim less than two weeks after I got my new policy.

Still deciding what to do.

After lunch I got back to work on checking our battery’s water level.

About 4:15 pm Jan and I headed in Tucson to Poco & Mom’s, a very small, very delicious Mexican restaurant that we were introduced to last year by our friends Al & Adrienne.

Poco & Mom’s does wonderful things with Green Hatch chilies, and we always eat here when we’re in Tucson.

Coming home, we detoured over to Camping World to pick up new black tank waste valves.

Valterra ValveWe have valves that leak slightly and want to replace them. I suspect mine may just have something stuck in the gate, but since I have to remove it anyway, I figure I might as well just replace it instead of cleaning it.

Mine looks to be pretty easy to remove and replace.

We’ll see.

I got an email this afternoon that the paperwork for my Thousand Trails membership is in the mail and hopefully will be here Monday. Don’t yet know how long it will take to get everything wrapped up.

That’s about it for today. Hopefully Jan will be feeling better tomorrow.

March 24, 2012

Last Day in Tucson . . .

Brandi called yesterday to tell more about the video of Landon helping his daddy mow the grass. She said Lowell had gone out to mow the backyard, and she and Landon were watching from the patio. All of a sudden Brandi said Landon turned and ran back in the house.

Brandi said at first she thought he was scared of the noisy mower. But in just a second he reappeared from the house dragging his toy mower behind him.

He wasn’t scared. He just wanted to help daddy.

Hopefully we’ll be able to Skype from Las Cruces tomorrow afternoon. Our Internet signal has been too slow here in Tucson

The RV Park here at the Pima County Fairgrounds is closing tomorrow partly because they’re starting to get ready for the Pima County Fair that starts April 19th.

They’ve already started bringing in the Porta Johns, and lot of carny trailers are showing up.

Tucson Fair Porta Potties

And what’s a fair without a leafy green elephant,

Tucson Fair Green Elephant

or a giant ice cream cone.

Tucson Fair Ice Cream Cone

Heading out about 1:30pm, our first stop was Harbor Freight Tools. I wanted a heat gun, and they had one on sale. I’m tired of trying to heat shrink tubing using Jan’s hair dryer, and this will fix the problem. Of course I also found a few other things I just had to have. I mean, it’s Harbor Freight Tools, right.

Our next stop was Wal-Mart where we both needed something. Then it was down the road to Bookman’s used book store. Jan was looking for one last book in a Charlene Harris’ series, and she finally found it here.

Later we decided to have one last meal at Luckie’s Thai for some more great Chinese food.

And of course, more great leftovers.

We had our usually delicious meal at Luckie’s before finally heading back to the rig.

And on another note, the war is not yet won. When I checked my traps after we got home tonight I found two more mice in my traps.

Darn it!

Tomorrow Jan and I plan to head for Las Cruces about 9:30.

March 24, 2013

Cactus and Fried Chicken . . .

Well, I finally tracked down the elusive extra circuit breakers for our site and they were both popped. There is master circuit breaker panel at the far end of the row that also has 30 amp breakers in it. But it is strange that it’s always the ones in the remote panel that blow, and not the ones on the site pedestal.

Resetting them put power back to the pedestal by our site. But since the park is emptying out, no one is likely to park beside us before we have to leave next Sunday, so I probably won’t go to the trouble to switch us back.

In anticipation of heading up to Apache Junction next week I’ve been checking out RV parks in the area and it looks pretty promising. I found several parks that start giving long-term Passport America discounts beginning April 1st, rather than the 1 or 2 nights during the season.

One of them, Santa Fe RV Park, let’s you stay for 14 days for $13.50 a night under PA. That’s $94.50 a week, cheaper than we’re paying here at the fairgrounds.

About 11am I walked down to the park office and re-upped for another week. I was hoping we could stay until Monday, but the lady confirmed they will be closing the park on Sunday and we have to be out.

A few minutes later Chris and Charles Yust showed up after finishing up at the FMCA Rally down the road at Lazy Days. After they got settled we all headed out about noon to check out the Saguaro National Park, about 10 miles north of here.

Seguaro NP Visitors Center

After getting our National Park Passports stamped, we headed out on the 8 mile loop through the park.

The variety of cacti are just amazing.


Cactus 2

Cactus 3

Cactus 4

And many of the cacti were just beginning to bloom.

Cactus Blooms 2

Cactus Blooms 3

Cactus Blooms 4

Cactus Blooms 5

Cactus Blooms 6

And of course the name-sake Saguaro cacti were everywhere.

Seguaro Cactus

Seguaro Cactus 2

Seguaro Cactus 3

Cactus 5

These are Saguaro ‘bones’ or ‘ribs’.

Cactus Bones 1

These rods are what’s left of a Saguaro after it dies.

Cactus Bones 2

And sometimes it’s all about the view.

Cactus 6

Cactus Rocks

Since it was now getting to be supper time we decided to eat at Poco & Mom’s, a small family run restaurant that our Tucson friend’s Al and Adrienne had taken us to several years ago. Really good Mexican food with a lot of Hatch green chilies.

Well, I knew they were closed on Mondays, but what I didn’t remember is that they close at 2pm on Sundays. Bummer!

So after a couple of minutes of discussion we headed down the road to Golden Corral. They can sometimes be hit or miss, but one was really good. Delicious Prime Rib, great Fried Chicken, fish, etc. All good.

Tomorrow is another day.

March 24, 2014

Save the Date (and the Time) . . .

The Date: May 15

The Time: 10:00 AM

The Event: My seminar on Gate Guarding for Fun? & Profit at the 54th Escapade in Goshen, IN from May 12th to May 17th

Hope to see you there.


Well, as I suspected, the Tractor Supply shear pin sheared after about a second when we tried to bring in the slide before hitting the road this morning. But, luckily, it proved to be pretty easy to crank it in manually as Jan was bringing it in with the motor.

Slide Manual Drive

About 15 minutes after we were finished with the slide, Dave Evans showed up to see if we needed any help with it. I told him that his timing was perfect: He got there just in time to miss the work, but early enough to show his concern and get credit. LOL

Plus the breakfast casserole that his wife Janice brought over yesterday made for a delicious breakfast this morning. Thanks again, Janice.

The next problem occurred when I brought the levelers up. Visually they were completely retracted, but the lights on the control panel said they were still down. Normally this means the hydraulic reservoir is low on fluid, and that proved to be the case this time too. I always keep a couple of quarts of ATF on hand just for that purpose. So a few minutes later we were ready to go. We pulled out a little before 11, hooked up the toad by the Activity Center, and were on our way.

Being a Monday midday, traffic was pretty light. We headed south on I-45, then took the Houston Tollway for 18 miles and then got on I-10W. 65 miles later we turned off on to SR71, and a few minutes later we were at the Colorado River Thousand Trails.

It was an easy trip, and for an added bonus, after passing through Brookshire, we started seeing more and more Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes all along the highway, and a really big patch where we turned off SR71 toward the park. Hopefully it will be a good year for them.

Due to the warmer weather, and the easy-popping, weak 30 amp breaker we had here last time, we upgraded to 50 amp this time. After checking in at the office, we got parked and set up, and using the same manual/electrical combo we used this morning, Jan and I got the slide out with no problems.

A little later I called American Coach and told them that I had received the incorrect shear pin. After a little work, they finally found what I think is the correct one. Unfortunately they only had one in stock, but they did say they would send it out free because of my receiving the wrong one before. Hopefully it will be here by the end of the week.

Our daughter Brandi called about 4 to let us know she’s got the flu, diagnosed and everything. Luckily (for us) we haven’t seen her since last Wednesday so we should be outside the window of opportunity.

Dodged bullet there.

March 24, 2015

Jalapenos do not an Inferno make . . .

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that I planned to paint the rig bumper this morning, but I wasn’t thinking about how early we were leaving out this afternoon for our lunch date, so no painting today, but maybe tomorrow.

Jan and I headed out about 1pm for the Tempe area, about 20 miles east.

Getting in the area, and since I do so much business with Godaddy, it was interesting to find what I thought was their HQ.

GoDaddy - Tempe

It’s a very large complex, complete with covered parking for some, and open air parking for others. They’ve also got covered basketball and tennis courts for the employees. Must be nice. I’ve never had a playground at any of the places I ever worked.

We got to our lunch destination about 2pm, and met our lunch companion in the parking lot of the Tilted Kilt, another entry in the ‘breastaurant’ category. And as it turns out, this one is their headquarters location, with their HQ building right across the large parking lot.

Tilted Kilt 1

We were there to meet long-time blog reader Rod Ivers, who had suggested the place, and we were happy to add another ‘breastaurant’ to our list.

Rod and I both had burgers, while Jan had their Gaelic Chicken, pan-seared chicken breasts over fettuccine, and covered in an Irish Whiskey Cream Sauce. She said it was very, very good, and that she’s glad I’m driving home.

I had a cup of their Beer Cheese Soup, made with Guinness Stout. Very good, and maybe Jan should be driving home. I also had their ‘Inferno’ Burger with fries.

Tilted Kilt 2

Also very good. But I’m sorry. These people must really be from up north, because jalapeno peppers and pepper jack cheese do not an inferno make. But a few shakes from my Volcanic Pepper shaker took care of that.


We now have 5 chains in our ‘breastaurant’ list: Hooters, the original one, Twin Peaks, Bone Daddy’s House of Smoke, Bombshell’s, and now Tilted Kilt. As far as how we rank them, it’s Twin Peaks, then Tilted Kilt, with Bombshell’s and Bone Daddy’s much further back. And, Oh, we’re ranking the food here, not the girls.

But Courtney, our ‘lassie’ would have ranked very high on any list.

Tilted Kilt - Courtney

It’s hard to put Hooters on that list, since we pretty much go there for the wings.

One thing that was kind of funny was that even the busboys (bus guys?) wear kilts. But they don’t look as good in theirs as Courtney did in hers.

We spent a couple of hours there and had a great time getting to know Rod, and finding out how many of the same places we’d traveled to.

Rod Ivers - Tilted Kilt

Rod is heading out in his RV tomorrow or Thursday, so hopefully we’ll see him down the road somewhere.

Coming home, we stopped off at a Dunkin’ Donuts near the RV park, and I got my first bad coffee from them. It was so bad it almost tasted like Starbuck’s. They said it was fresh, but it had a burnt, bitter taste. And this wasn’t even straight coffee, but a Caramel Latte.

Back home and later in the evening, I got a email saying that my long-delay domain name transfer from Network Solutions to Godaddy had finally come through, but due to the way that NS had it configured, I was having trouble setting it up. So I gave GoDaddy Tech Support a call and talked to a very nice young lady named Misty.

But even before talking about my problem, the first thing I ask her was how do you get to park in the covered parking area, She laughed and said that if I found out to please let her know. She’s been with them about six months and still doesn’t know.

I asked her if it was as fun a place to work as I’d heard, and she said it certainly was, and that Godaddy goes out of their way to keep their employees happy. She said they have bikes and pedal cars to get between the widely separated offices and buildings, and besides the basketball and tennis courts for fun, if you don’t want to take the elevator or the stairs from the second floor to the first, you can take the giant spiral slide. Said it was really funny to watch guys in suits going ‘Wheee’ with their arms in the air like kids as they take the slide down.

She also said that they don’t use scripts when working with customers, and they’re not timed. They’re just told to keep us happy. And it was certainly obvious that they weren’t timed, since fixing my problem took just a couple of minutes, and we spent the rest of the 25 minute call talking about RV’ing, traveling, and things to see around the country. We even talked about cats. (inside Godaddy joke)

By the end of the call I’d figured out that she didn’t work at the complex we’d seen in Tempe, but their much, much bigger headquarters up in Scottsdale. So I don’t know if this one has a slide or not.

Tomorrow, maybe painting, maybe not.

March 24, 2016

Green Apples and Ham, er Pork . . ..

Another quiet morning in the White household. But whatever, it was nice. For most of the morning, we both goofed off with reading and Internet stuff. We didn’t walk, feeling that we had made up for it with yesterday’s 2.05 miles walking/shopping at Wal-Mart.

For some reason we can walk a lot farther, a lot easier, in Wal-Mart that around the park. But hey, 2 miles is 2 miles.

About 2pm Jan started working on the batch of Funeral Potatoes she was taking to Dennis and Carol’s this afternoon. Pretty easy to put together, and then just pop it in the convection oven.

Jan and I headed out for Livingston, and Dennis and Carol Hill’s at the Escapees Park there.

We got to Dennis and Carol’s about 4:45, and soon after, the other guests show up.

Dennis Hill Gettogether_thumb[5]

From left to right: Dennis, Jim, Carol, in back of Mark, my Jan, Kim, the other Jan. It appears that other Jan’s husband, Dave, has wandered off.

Lucky for us, Dennis’ ‘Smoking A Butt’ did involved pork, and boy, was it good. Along with Kim’s Grilled Beans with Bacon and Cheese Bacon Biscuits, Carol’s Cole Slaw, and my Jan’s Funeral Potatoes, it was a really great meal.

As far as liquid refreshment, Dennis had a nice selection of adult libations, so I decided to try a Redd’s Green Apple Ale. And now I have a new favorite grownup beverage. In addition, when I gave Jan a taste, I had trouble getting the bottle back. Now we want to try their other flavors, Apple Ale and Strawberry Ale.

After a really nice evening, and saying our goodbyes, we headed back to Conroe, taking with us Dennis’ lovely parting gifts of his delicious smoked pork.

We got back to Lake Conroe a little before 9:30,  wrapping up a very nice day.

Tomorrow we head out for the Clear Lake area for Jan’s final wrap-up doctor appointment. Then I’ve got a couple of clients to visit to take care of some computer problems they’re having.

March 24, 2017

Oink, Oink . . .

Our last day in Tucson, Jan and I were up and out the door a little after 10am with our first stop back at the Pima County Fairgrounds to see if I could find the computer mouse I left in Seminar Rm. 4 after our Gate Guarding seminar.

The mouse was black and the ruffled cloth on the tabletop was black, so it didn’t end up coming home with me. It’s not a big deal, only a $7 Amazon mouse, but I’m cheap and it was worth a stop and look in any case.

But no luck. The room had been stripped clean.

So leaving the Fairgrounds mouseless, our next stop was the Oink Café at Kolb and Broadway, but along the way we checked out the Valero station at Kolb and Valencia to see if it was suitable for getting diesel tomorrow on our way north to Apache Junction. It’s only 3 miles off the Interstate and 30 cents a gallon cheaper than the Pilot right down the road. And since we need a little over 100 gallons, that makes a difference.

Several people had told us about the Oink Café. How can you not like a place whose slogan is ‘Breakfast, Lunch, Bacon’. And they do have bacon, eight different kinds of bacon, as a matter of fact.

Jan went with, what else, a BLT with Apple Cider Bacon.

Oink BLT

She said it was probably the best bacon she’s ever had.

I had the 50-50 burger, which is a 1/2 patty that 50% Beef and 50% ground bacon.

Oink 50-50 Burger

It doesn’t get much better than this. And their coffee was really good too.

I also tried a sampler of 4 different types of their bacon.

Oink Half Flight of Bacon

From left to right: Applewood Smoked, Honey, Jalapeno, and Pepper. All very good, and all very distinctly different tasting.

And of course we had to get some donut holes to take home for tomorrow’s breakfast. And of course, they’re Maple Bacon donuts. All bacon all the time.

There’s also an Oink Café up in the Phoenix area that we might check out while were up in Apache Junction.

After lunch it was over to the big Ace Hardware over on Houghton for some hardware items. Then it was on to 3 different auto parts stores until I found AW32 Hydraulic Fluid in gallon jugs.

Getting home I took care of some maintenance items around the rig. First up was using the AW32 to top off the reservoir in the rig that powers the rig’s power steering and the hydraulically-controlled radiator fan. Next I topped off the radiator coolant and checked the engine oil.

Then I added Rain-X wiper fluid to both rig and the truck, as well as topping off the brake fluid in the truck, and checking the oil and transmission fluid too.

Finishing up with this, I worked on some Internet stuff until it was time to head down to Omar’s for a dinner get-together with a bunch of other RV’ers, including Dennis and Carol Hill, and Sharon and Don del Rosario.

Omar's Group

As with our previous visits, our food was really good. We both went with breakfast, Jan with a Belgian Waffle with Strawberries and Whipped Cream,

Omar's Belgian Waffle

while I had the Omar’s Favorite, with 3 Cheese Enchiladas, Shredded Beef, 3 Over Medium Eggs, and Country Potatoes.

Omar's Omar's Favorite

All very good.

Tomorrow we’ve got a 145 mile trip up to the Santa Fe RV Park in Apache Junction where we’ll be for two weeks, before we head out for Vegas, Baby,

March 24, 2018

Mach 2 . . .

After a quiet morning, about 3pm Jan and I headed up to Webster to have lunch at Cheddar’s once again

We both had our usual Chicken and Shrimp, and Veggie Plate, just as delicious as usual. All their sides are good. Then after a nice leisurely meal, we circled by the Post Office in Webster to mail a letter, and then our last stop was back at Brock’s Car Care to get a couple of things out of the truck that I had left when I thought I had it back permanently.

Coming back down I-45 toward home, we saw traffic signs detailing that the FM 646 exit (our exit) will be closed from 9pm to 5pm this coming Monday through Friday nights. At some point they’re going to tear down the 646 overpass over I-45 and replace it with an underpass. But I don’t think this is for that, since they don’t look like they’re ready for that yet.

Oreo (Android 8.0) seems to have broke my phone. I just upgraded about a week ago and this is the first problem I’ve noticed.

I use the Texas Lottery app to check my Mega Millions and PowerBall lottery tickets by scanning the barcode on the bottom of the ticket. But since I upgraded to Oreo the camera doesn’t turn on. All I get is a black screen.

Texas Lottery Scanner

So the next thing I did was try the Savings Catcher Receipt scanner in the Wal-Mart app and it worked fine.

Wal-Mart Savings Catcher Scanner

And checking Wal-Mart and Sam’s Scan & Go apps showed they both still worked too.

So then I tried rebooting the phone, again with no change. Next I deleted the Lottery app, rebooted, and then reinstalled it. Again with no luck.

Strangely this same thing happen on my previous Galaxy S5 after an update. But that time it took out my Wal-Mart scanner. So I’ll have to keep looking at the problem.

While we’re on the subject of the lottery, I’ve already lined up my first purchase after my big win.



It’s a F4H-1F, a pre-production variant built in 1959, and the 11th one produced before the model was re-designated the F-4 Phantom II in 1962. This one was used by the Navy as a test bed for various projects and only has 461 hours since it rolled out of the factory.

I spent a lot of time  in the late 60’s working on F-4’s at the MCAS (Marine Corp Air Station) Beaufort, SC (part of Parris Island) and got a couple of check rides in the back seat of one. Also got to work on one of the Blue Angel’s F-4’s one time, so it’s one of my favorite planes.

This one is listed as the “World’s Only Privately Owned F-4 Phantom Capable of Flight”, and even better it’s going for the bargain price of only $3.95 million. And that includes 3 spare J-79 engines, 3 fuel drop tanks, 2 drag chutes, and fully-active M-B ejection seats. A bargain at twice the price.

Looking forward to hitting Mach 2 again.

March 24, 2019

Starry Night, and Peaches . . .

We spent this morning on a number of different things, some trip-related, some not. We did look back through our possible extra-cost excursions, trying to decide which if any we want to add to our trip.

I also ordered a couple of these compact travel umbrellas to take along with us. They are pretty good size and have the best reviews,

Compact Umbrella

but really they only have to last for the trip. And at $17 each that’s not too bad.

Jan got the Pink Peach version,

Compact Umbrella Pink Peach

while, keeping the Van Gogh theme, got the Starry Night one.

Compact Umbrella Starry Night

While I was ordering stuff I went ahead and ordered another bottle of the Busch’s Aluminum Wash, since doing all four rig wheels pretty much uses up an entire bottle. FWIW I’ve tried a number of other brands that I’ve bought locally but this stuff is the only thing I’ve found that works.

And while I was thinking about stuff for the trip that we’d ordered, I thought to the TSA Prohibited List and found, as I had suspected, that our sharp-pointy walking sticks are not allowed in our carry-on bags, but must be checked. Not a big deal though since we’d already thought about checking a single, larger bag in addition to our two bags each that we will be carrying on.

I also made our coach once again legal to drive by digging out and installing our license plate stickers, so now we’re good to go for next Sunday’s test drive and the family trip up to Kingsland Friday week.

And on another coach note, I talked with Cummins on Friday about the burnt-on residue on my oil filter mount and the tech said it is pretty hard steel rather than aluminum, so I should  be able to scrape it if I have to without worrying too much about scratching it, as long as I’m careful.

And he also said the oil filter mount is replaceable. “Four bolts and it comes right off,” he said. However, I suspect this is one of those ‘MUCH easier said than done’ situations, based on the location.

Without orangutan arms I don’t think you can reach it from underneath, and you can’t see it from the rear engine compartment. So I’ll have to see if it’s at all accessible from under the bed.

So I’m crossing my fingers that the leak is fixed now.

We knew long-time friends Butch and Fonda Williams were coming through Houston on their way from Quartzite, AZ to the Escapees Rainbow Plantation Park in Summerdale, AL, where we stayed last October on our way to Florida. But we weren’t quite sure where or when we would be able to meet.

But they ended up ‘rest-stopping’ last night the other side of Columbus, and called this morning a little after noon to say they were at the Baytown Buc-ee’s. So we headed up to meet them there.

Butch and Fonda 1987 MCI Bus

They’ve got a 1987 MCI bus that they converted and put in a new engine, and recently spent the winter at Quartzite. So now they’re heading back to their home in Indiana by way of south Alabama.

Sounds like 2008, our first year on the road, where we came home to Houston from Alaska via Gatlinburg, TN and the Smoky Mountains.

After catching for a bit, we headed right down the feeder about a mile to have lunch at Saltgrass Steakhouse, their first visit to one.

Butch and Fonda Williams

Not only did they seem to like their steaks, but we turned them on to our favorite Wedge Salad. And luckily, the restaurant wasn’t really busy, so we were able to spend a couple of hours catching up without the guilt of hogging a table that was needed.

Finally saying our goodbyes, we headed home and they headed on east on I-10 to a nearby rest area for the night. Hopefully we’ll see them their next time through here.

Last week I posted the following as a Thought For The Day.

Wife tells programmer husband “Pick up a loaf of bread on the way home from work and if they have eggs, get a dozen.” (If you’re a programmer this is hilarious!)

Several readers, who were programmers, or programmer’s spouses, disagreed with the hilarity of the statement, and said they didn’t get it. In hindsight I guess I should have clarified it as ‘OLD programmers.’

Several others, from my early programming time-frame, saw it the same way I did. So I guess you had to start out in the stone-age of computers like I(we) did.

In my case I started out at age 17 in 1966, programming in Fortran II on the IBM 360 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Everyone was talking about/waiting for, Fortran IV.

Never did figure out what happened to Fortran III?

So I guess you had to be there, or maybe ‘then’.

March 24, 2020

Up On The Roof?

Jan and I were out the door a little after 7am this morning, heading up to Friendswood for our annual checkups.

Rob Amoto, our park owner, has been working on getting our new street lights installed, and just got them upright a couple of days ago. And this morning was our first time to see them in action.

They’re daylight LED lights and really brighten up the area.

RV Park New Lights 1

And the daylight part means it looks like this underneath.

RV Park New Lights 2

We got to the doctor’s office about 8am, and found that they would only let one of us into the office at a time. Everyone was wearing masks and gloves, and complaining about how hot it made them. Then after letting Jan and I in one at a time, they put us in a room together. After the nurse drew our blood, the doctor quickly went over our prescriptions and we were out to the desk to pay.

That’s when I mentioned, “Aren’t we supposed to pee in the jar?”


I think they were a little too much in a hurry to get us out the door.

Then after filling our bottles, we drove down to the Home Depot on FM646 for a few things. It was interesting to find that it was pretty much business as usual there. I wanted to get a can of spray cleaner to clean the coil in the Coleman Mach 15 AC unit in the front of our rig.

I pulled the inside panel to see if I could unclog the outside drain hole, since rather than run off the side of the rig, water was dripping down inside. But while it quickly became obvious that I was going to be up on the roof in the near future, I also found that the coil was pretty dirty and I needed to clean it ASAP.

As we left HD, I submitted an online order to the nearby Whataburger so we could drive by and pick it up. Our receipt said our order would be ready in 5-7 minutes, and to park in the lot and an attendant would bring out our order.

But after about 15 minutes we had not seen anybody, so we got in the drive-thru line and found our order waiting for us. Don’t know where the problem was, but our burgers were as fantastic as usual.

Then we across the roadway to park in a shady spot in the WalMart parking lot to consume our long-missed burgers and fries. These were our first burgers in a long time since we’ve been prepping for good numbers on our tests at the doctor’s.

Done with our burgers, we drove over closer to WalMart and went in to pick up a couple of items. Though the store was about as busy as usual for a Tuesday morning, the parking lot seemed to reflect the whole ‘social distancing’ meme.

Rather than most of the cars being clustered near the doors, cars looked to be scattered all around the parking lot, even out to the edges.

So spread in the parking lot, and then huddle together in the checkout line.

Got it!

Our daughter sent over this text this morning, reflecting the trials and tribulations of Homeschooling.

Homeschooling Day #2.

Landon was getting ready to log into Zoom for his morning meeting with his class and I told him the items he still needed to do this week and he said “I don’t have to do ALL that today, do I?”

And I said “no, we will space it out” and he says “whew, you’re my savior…the lazy teacher I always wanted!”

Our son, Chris, sent back, “Smart Ass runs deep in this family.”

He would certainly know, if anyone would.

March 24, 2021

Happy Birthday!

Today, on March 24th, 1999, “Beauty”, our 1999 American Eagle coach, rolled off the assembly line at the factory in Decatur, IN.

Our Beauty RV

We bought her from Roman Holiday Motorhomes in New Braunfels, TX on December 26, 2007. She had only 64,511 miles from the two previous owners, and was in fantastic shape. We picked her up on January 6th, 2008, and then after a month of prep, on February 6th, we headed for Alaska.

Well, in a roundabout way, at least.

Our route over the next two months took us out through Yuma, San Diego, LA, over to Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tucson. Then across to Albuquerque, up through Denver, Cheyenne, and on to Billings.

Next up it was on over to Bellingham where we entered Canada at the Sumas crossing on April 13, 2008. And after the drive up to Dawson Creek, we go on the Alcan Hwy, and we were in Fairbanks, parked at the Chena Marina RV Park there, on April 26th.

We spent the next 5 months workcamping there, finally heading back home on September 19, 2008. We took a different route back, down the Cassiar Hwy, then coming south from Prince George, down the Cariboo Hwy to Cache Creek, and then across to Lake Louise, Banff, and Calgary, finally reentering the US at Sweet Grass, MT on October 8th.

Next it was on east through Iowa and Illinois, down through Nashville and over to Knoxville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg. Then it was on down through Alabama to Gulf Shores, before finally heading back to Houston, getting here the Sunday before Thanksgiving, November 23rd. So, almost 10 months on the road.

A wild and crazy first year. And a hell of a lot of fun!

Well, Uncle Sam was right on the money this time, and our Stimulus Funds showed up in our account this morning, just as promised. And since today was also Jan’s regular SS payday, it was even better.

March 24, 2022

P. F. Chang’s And More . . .

For the last several days our shore water pressure coming into the rig has been good, intermittent, or nonexistent. However, whenever I looked closer, it all started working for a bit. But after a process of elimination, and the fact that water from our internal tank going through the pump works just fine, the only thing left really was the shore water inlet/check valve.

And when I went to Amazon to order a new one, I found I had ordered one back in June 2013 while we were at the Bend/Sunriver Thousand Trails park in Bend, OR. And for the same reason, as I found out when I checked the blog for that date.

RV Water Inlet Check Valve

It should be here tomorrow morning, along with a new hose splitter.

4 Way Hose Splitter

This one is solid brass, so it won’t crack/rust like my previous plastic/steel one. So it’s going to be a busy weekend, I guess.

This morning we left the rig a little after 1pm, with our first stop at Esthela’s Barber Shop over in Bay Area Blvd/FM528 area.

Up until about 4 years ago, it had been Lou’s Barber Shop, where I had been going for about 30 years, not too long after it opened. Then Lou sold the shop and retired to Corpus.

Next up was our lunch at P.F. Chang’s, our first visit, but probably not our last.

It was that good.

PF Chang's

When we sat down, our server dropped off a platter of their Chicken Lettuce Wrap for us to sample.

PF Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wrap

So good that a couple of us ordered it for their meal.  Probably the idea for the sample.

Jan ordered the Mandarin Crunch Salad with Chicken.

PF Chang's Mandarin Crunch Salad

Which she said she would order again.

I got the lunch version of the Kung Pao Chicken Bowl, which was listed as Very Spicy.

Yeah, right!

PF Chang's Kung Pao Chicken Bowl

Though it was pretty tasty.

And here is this motley bunch.

PF Chang's Opry Group

Bob and Maria, on the left, we known since the mid-80’s. while Connie, Harry, and Sadye, we known since 1997 or so. And Jan of course, I’ve known since July 1967. July 5th to be exact.

And we’ve already got next month’s get-together scheduled, this one at the Black Bear Diner down in our area.

Already looking forward to it.