"Do You Still Love Me"?

That’s what Jan asked me when I came out from the bedroom this morning and found her sitting at the computer. Turns out that she had accidently started downloading and installing Windows 11. But I managed to stop the download at 45% and keep it stopped for the next 7 days. Between now and then I’ll try to abort the whole thing.

I’ve managed to avoid Windows 11 installing itself on any of our machines, home and work, especially at work since we’ve got some legacy programs that I’m not sure how they’ll work under Win11.

It’s been my experience that update/upgrade are often not a good thing. So I put them off as long as I can.

Tomorrow it looks to be Twin Peaks for lunch and then WalMart to finish up. But along the way we’re going to check out a new grocery place down in League City. Called Gordon’s Food Service, it’s been around for 125 years, but just coming into the Houston area with 4 stores open now and 2 more coming soon.

Aimed at restaurant owners and foodservice professionals, the stores will also cater to home shoppers with an assortment of packaged and fresh produce and goods, much of which will be prepared on site.

Shoppers can expect to find:

  • Large seasonal produce department with an assortment of market-direct items
  • Fresh meats available by the piece, pound, or case

  • Wholesale walk-in customer coolers housing cases of produce, meats, and dairy items

  • Grab and go meal solutions with ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat items like rotisserie and fried chicken, ribs, deli sandwiches, handmade guacamole, cut fruit, and fresh squeezed juices

  • Tortillerias that produce fresh tortillas daily

  • 15 varieties of fresh popped popcorn

  • Gordon Go!, a free wholesale loyalty program available to businesses and nonprofit customers to earn points that can be spent like cash or redeemed for $1,000 checks

  • Convenient online ordering for same day in-store pick up

  • Same day Express Van Delivery

Gordon's Food Service Products

Supposedly it’s kind of a cross between Sam’s Club and Costco, but without a membership fee.

And, Yes, I Do!

Thought For The Day:

Acme Catalog

March 15, 2009

Rainy Day Sunday…

We’re in our 2nd day of rain.  And still more until Tuesday at least.

We don’t yet know when we’re leaving here.  Our 2nd week is up this Tuesday,  but what they didn’t tell us is that since we are parked in what is considered a premium site, we can only stay here for two weeks and then we have to be out for at least one day.  Then we can come back for another two weeks, if we want.

But this means we’ll be looking to move in the middle of Spring Break.  And the park, which has 497 spaces,  has been full on and off for the last week or so.  So we’ll see how it goes.

Saw something interesting at the restaurant we ate at last night.

You know those arcade games you find in places where the kids can use a claw to try and grab a toy and drop it in the slot?

Well now they have one for adults. It’s called “The Lobster Zone“.

It’s the same idea, except here your claw dips into a tank of salt water populated with live lobsters.  It costs $2.00 for 30 seconds and there’s a $20 bill taped to the lobster to pay for his cooking.

The Lobster Zone

It seemed to be pretty popular. There was a line waiting to play.

March 15, 2010

Wash and Wax…

Today was our last full day in Yuma. Tomorrow we will head north toward Las Vegas, NV.

We plan on boondocking in Laughlin tomorrow night and then head on to Las Vegas on Wednesday.

We plan on spending about a week in Vegas before splitting up.

So today was prep day for tomorrow’s travel. We started off by dropping by Al’s RV Store to pick a Day-Night Shade restringing kit and a new frig fan.

Then we headed over to Chretin’s Mexican Restaurant for the Buffet Lunch. Just as we were finishing up with lunch, Joe and Vicki Kieva walked in. We first met Joe and Vicki several years ago at a Life on Wheels rally in Tucson, and our paths have crossed several times since.  They were seminar presenters at the rally here in Yuma as were we.

Then it was on to those obligatory prep day stops, Sam’s Club and, of course, WalMart.

We rushed to get back to the rig before 2pm since we were expecting the Road Runner RV Wash people show up between 2 and 4pm.

And, of course, they didn’t show up until almost 5:30pm. But they swarmed over our rigs, washing and hand-waxing them.

RigWash 1

RigWash 2

I don’t think Beauty has looked this shiny since we bought her. But she sure sparkles now.

For $10 extra they also washed and waxed our tow vehicles.

Then after they finished up, Jan, and I drove over to Mimi’s Cafe for dinner. This was our 2nd time there, and, as before, we really enjoyed it.

We plan on heading out about 9 tomorrow morning. but before that, we’ll stop off at the fairground’s dump station to lighten our load.

Then it’s VIVA LAS VEGAS, baby!

More tomorrow from Laughlin…

March 15, 2011

A Quiet Day At Last . . .

Today was a very quiet day.


I slept ‘til about 10, although Jan got up earlier as usual. Coffee was the first thing on the agenda, and then it was time to catch up on some computer work.

Around 11 Jan put in a call to our friends, Al & Adrienne, to see about getting together with them while we’re here in Tucson.

I was emailing back and forth with a lady who’s looking to get rid of her Thousand Trails membership. We’ve been thinking about getting one since we’re now staying in places longer, and it would be worthwhile.

Around noon Jan heated up leftover pizza from Da Boyz in Yuma. Still delicious.

Around 1 I headed out for some errands, first stopping off at the office to find out about receiving mail and to confirm that we will be moving into a 50 amp site down the row. We’re doing OK on 30 amp, but due to our front windows heading west, the heat builds up and it’s hard for just one AC to keep up.

My next stop was Sandy’s RV Supply where I was looking for some new cabinet latches, which they had. Much better place than Camping World.

Then it was on to Home Depot to look at transition strips to go between the tile floor and the new laminate when I get it installed

I finally got home a little after 3:30 and did some puttering about the rig.

About 6 Jan and I headed into Tucson to a place we found highly recommended on the Internet called Micha’s Fine Mexican Food We found the recommendations very accurate and the food very good.

March 15, 2012

Big Plans . . .

I had big plans for a bunch of stuff I wanted to work on today – check out the toad tail light feed from the rig, clean the rig windshield, run a separate electric cable to be able to run both AC’s on 30 amps, etc.

But what I got done was nothing. Between my inherent laziness and still having a lot of on and off pain in my foot, I pretty much vegged out all day. Jan and I caught up on 5 hours of ‘Justified’ and then worked our way down thru a lot of other programs we’d recorded during the rally and not looked at yet. I even got in a short, but nice nap during the afternoon

About 4:30 we decided to try Luckie’s Thai, a Thai – Chinese restaurant pretty close to the fairgrounds.

Checking on Urbanspoon, Luckie’s Thai had uniformly good reviews, but arriving at the restaurant made Jan and I think twice. It was just a nondescript little store in a strip mall near the Fry’s Market and only had about 10 tables.

But as Jan and I waited inside, we saw they had a bustling takeout business, always a good sign.

After we placed our orders, we were very pleasantly surprised when our food started coming out.

It was very, very good. Hot and Sour Soup, Special Fried Rice, and Garlic Chicken, all really good. We all decided right then we would be back.

After our delicious meal, Jan and I picked up some things from the Fry’s next door before heading home for the night.

Maybe I’ll be less lazy tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes.

March 15, 2013

Getting to Las Cruces-The Week in Review . . .

To recap starting this past Monday, we left Lakehills Thousand Trails about 8am, with our first stop at an HEB in Boerne about 25 miles away. After taking on about 50 gallons of diesel at $3.88 a gallon, we headed west on I-10 for Saddleback Mountain RV Park near Balmorhea about 325 miles away.

The road between Lakehills and Boerne was pretty rough so I didn’t notice any problems, but as soon as I got on the Interstate I could tell there was a problem somewhere. I was feeling a lot of vibration that I hadn’t felt on our way into Lakehills.

By then Jan had seen a Cracker Barrel billboard and decided we were stopping there for breakfast in Kerrville. When we came back out I crawled under the rig and took a look. And the first thing I noticed was a LOT more oil on the back of my rear wheel, the one that needed a new oil seal. My first thought was that it had leaked enough oil so that the bearings were going out. But luckily that wasn’t the case.

So it looked like we weren’t going much further without replacing the seal. And after a few minutes on the phone with CoachNet I had the name of a nearby repair shop, Reid Graham Trucking, and it was only about 4 miles away

After a phone call to confirm they could do the job, we unhitched the truck and made the short drive a little further down the Interstate to their location right off the next exit. They had said on the phone that they were pretty booked, but under the circumstances would get to it as soon as possible. So after getting the rig parked in the lot and dropping off the keys at the office a little before 11am, Jan and I headed out for some errands.

Jan wanted to get her hair cut so we drove over to the Wal-Mart so she could take care of that. While she was there, she got some suggestions for good places to eat and sights to check out in the area.

After she was done we headed west on SR 27 to check out some of the things the stylist had mentioned. Along the way we noticed an Elk’s Lodge with RV parking in the back so we checked it out and found they had three open sites. This was good to know since I had already figured that with 300 miles still to go to Saddleback Mountain, one way or the other, we were spending the night in Kerrville. Hopefully it would be in our rig, but we might end up in a hotel, we’d just have to wait and see.

After driving around a bit, we went back by the repair shop and were happy to see that our rig had been pulled into the shop bay and they were working on it. After raising the rear of the coach up on the levelers to make it easier for them to get the tires out of the wheel wells, we headed back out for the afternoon.

We ended up driving out along the Guadalupe River to check out the sights.

Kerrville River 1

Kerrville River 2

In one of those “You Never Can Tell What You’ll See In Texas” moments, passing through the small town of Ingram, we came across Stonehenge.

Kerrville Stonehenge

Huh? Stonehenge? Well, not THE Stonehenge.

It turns out to be Stonehenge II, a 3/4 size replica originally constructed in Hunt, TX in 1990. In 2010 the property was sold and the structure was moved to the grounds of the Hill Country Arts Foundation and reassembled in 2011.

And along with Stonehenge, there are also two life-sized Easter Island Moai on the grounds nearby.

Kerrville Moi

Stonehenge III was also featured on the TV series “Friday Night Lights”, which told the story of a Texas high school football team.

About 1:45pm I got a call from Reid Graham that they’d gotten everything apart with no problems, but there was oil and grease everywhere and they figured it would be cheaper just to replace the oil-soaked brake pads instead of trying to clean them. I asked if there would be a problem if the pads on both sides weren’t replaced at the same time and was told that there wasn’t a lot of wear on the old one and just replacing the one shouldn’t be a problem.

About 4pm we ended up back in Kerrville and decided to have dinner at Billy Gene’s Hill Country Restaurant, one of the places recommended by Jan’s hair stylist.

Kerrville Billy Gene's 1

And it turned out to be a really good one. Located on the banks of the Guadalupe, the food was as good as the view.

Kerrville Billy Gene's 2

Jan had the Grilled Catfish and I had the Chicken Fried Chicken, both delicious Hill Country favorites.

After finishing our meal, we drove back over to the shop about 5:30 to find everything back together, and them trying to get the rig tilted to one side so they could add oil to the axle.

As it turns out, many commercial chassis have no access plug to add oil to the axle. You have to tilt the axle so you can add fluid in one side until it’s full and then cap it off.

The way they normally do this is drive down the road a few hundred feet and carefully back the rig down the roadside as it slopes off a bit until the coach is tilted over a bit. And we did this with no problems.

But now for the Bummer! part. As I carefully pulled the rig forward the way I backed in, and rig twisted back level, the passenger side of my split windshield cracked at the bottom right corner.


The same thing had happened on our way back from Alaska in 2008, except on the driver side, so I knew I was looking at a $750-1000 replacement, twice as much as the $440 repair bill for the oil seal and brake pad replacement. But what’s done is done, and after a 15 mile test drive, I headed the rig down to the Elk’s Lodge with Jan following in the truck. Getting there we found two sites still open so we pulled in and got set up.

50 amp full hookups for $15 a night. Nice!

A little later we drove back down to the Wal-Mar to buy a roll of heavy duty transparent shipping tape to cover the many cracks to help hold things together.

I had done the same thing in Alaska in 2008 and we had driven all the way back to Houston with no problems before replacing the windshield there. Hopefully this time it will work until we get to the Apache Junction area, which will probably be the first time we’ll have a chance to get it replaced.

The next morning we left the Elk’s Lodge about 9am to make the 300 mile run to the Saddleback Mountain RV Park near Balmorhea.

About 50 miles down the road we stopped for breakfast at the McDonald’s at the Junction, TX exit. But just as I pulled off the Interstate, my TireTraker Tire Pressure Monitor went off. The inside tire on the passenger side rear duals was leaking down. But since we wanted breakfast and it was getting close to the changeover time to the lunch menu, we went inside and ate before I looked at the problem.

This was, of course, the same tires that were removed when my oil seal was replaced, and from appearances, I didn’t get my original valve extension back. This one was a different color.

And as I discovered after cranking the generator up so I could use my air compressor to pump up the tire, the threads on the valve extension were so messed up that the locking air chuck on my compressor kept popping off. But I finally got the tire aired up and we hit the road again.

We go into Saddleback Mountain RV about 3:30,  paid for three nights and got parked and set up, We did have two surprises, one when we registered and one after we parked.

The first was we were lucky to get a site because they were almost filled up. Normally they have plenty of sites when we come through but there’s now oil drilling rigs in the area and they’ve got a lot of permanents here now.

The second surprise was worst. Normally we’ve always had good Verizon cell and data service here, but this time it was almost non-existent. When I ask about at the office they said it had gone out about two weeks ago and hadn’t come back.

For dinner Jan sliced up the leftover steak from our visit to Magic Time Machine, made up some spicy seasoned mayo, put it all together with the leftover bread, and made us a delicious steak sandwich dinner.

A Hidden Gem

Wednesday afternoon we made the 45 mile drive south through the mountains to Fort Davis to try and meet up with some blog readers who lived in the area. But because of the problems with our cell and data service we hadn’t been able to lock in a time and place to meet. So we decided to drive over there and see if we could get in touch. But as it turned out, we never were able to connect.

It took almost an hour to the trip, but Jan thought it well worth it when the first thing she saw was a gift shop. That made the trip worthwhile. After she found a pair of RV camper earrings and a few other things she couldn’t live without, we decided to find a place to eat linner (lunch/dinner). Our friends had mentioned a place, Poco Mexico, that had really good Chili Rellenos which piqued Jan’s interest, but we found  that it closed at 2pm when we passed it on the way into town.

So after driving around for a while, we decided to check out the Fort Davis Drug Store, Hotel, and Restaurant. And we’re glad we did.

Fort Smith Drugstore 1

When we got there the place was so crowded we had a 15 minute wait to get a table, but it was worth it.

Fort Smith Drugstore 2

I had heard several people talking about how good their steaks were, so I decided to have the Surf and Turf, while Jan went with the Grilled Basa, which is a Vietnamese catfish.

Both our meals started out with deceptively simple, but delicious salads with romaine hearts, raw broccoli, baby carrots, and cherry tomatoes. But the real topper was their fantastic homemade poppy seed dressing.

Fort Smith Drugstore 3

Then our entrees came out and it was quickly apparent that the salad was not a fluke.

My steak was cooked perfectly, charred around the edges, but medium rare inside. Along with the grilled shrimp, fresh sautéed green beans, and toasted homemade bread, it was a meal you wouldn’t expect out in the middle of nowhere.

Fort Smith Drugstore 4

And how we found room for a scoop of Blue Bell ice cream for dessert, I’ll never know.

But we did!

Coming back to the rig we enjoyed some of the beautiful mountain scenery in the area, a real treat.

Fort Smith Drive 1

Fort Smith Drive 2

Fort Smith Drive 3

After getting back to the rig, we wanted to see if we could get a glimpse of the comet that people at the restaurant were talking about. So about sundown we put our chairs out and waited for the sun to go down. It was suppose to be low on the western horizon, kind of in line with the crescent moon. But I think the mountains on the western skyline block our view.

Saddleback Comet 1

We did get a nice, colorful sunset and a pretty crescent moon, though.

Saddleback Comet 2

A beautiful end to a very nice day.

Today, Friday, started out with a quiet, slow morning, just taking it easy/ Then about 1pm we headed out for a bunch of errands and then dinner.

Our first stop was Sam’s Club for a few things before I once again started trying to find some new tire valve extensions, but with no luck. I may have to wait until we’re in Tucson and get them from Amazon.

Our next stop was the Wal-Mart right near the RV park. This one was kind of a disappointment. It’s one of those smaller ones, that although it’s a Super Wal-Mart, it just doesn’t stock as many items as the bigger ones. Items that I’ve bought at many other Wal-Marts, they didn’t even stock.

By this time it was after 4:30 so we decided to head over to Chachi’s for dinner.

Chachi’s has become our new favorite place here in Las Cruces. They have great Mexican food, but also delicious steaks and burgers.


While Jan went with a Mushroom-Cheddar burger, I took a liking to their Angus Sirloin Steak Fajitas. And boy did I make a good choice!

ChaChi's Steak Fajitas

They were really, really good. I’ll definitely have these again.

March 15, 2014

Loud and Annoying . . .

Lowell sent over these photos of his and Landon’s Saturday morning Starbuck’s coffee run. They usually head out early to let Mommy sleep in for a while. Of course Landon’s is Hot Chocolate, but he’s got the basics down.

Landon's Early Morning Starbuck's Run 1

Landon's Early Morning Starbuck's Run 2

When we talked to Brandi a little later, she said that he was still having fun with that loud and annoying toy. At first I thought she was talking about me, but it turns out she was talking about the walking, roaring dragon we got Landon a couple of weeks ago.

Landon and the Dragon 1

That’s a relief.

It was already misting when I got up at 10 (I went to bed at 3am, so no comments), and more was forecast for the rest of the day so I called a rain delay and will try again tomorrow.

A little before 4pm, Jan and I drove over to Lynette and Gregg McHenry’s site to pick them up for supper. And on our way out to the main highway we came across this turtle crossing the road. We actually drove over him as he was in the center of our lane. Jan wanted me to stop and help him across so he wouldn’t get run over.

But as we drove over him, I could tell this might be a problem. Because I could tell just from looking at the tail that this wasn’t a plain-jane ordinary turtle. Nope. This was a snapping turtle. Able to take your finger off with ease.

Here’s the guy on the roadway.

Willis Turtle
A snapping turtle has a very thick, long tail. This shot from the internet shows it better.


They also have a bumpy shell with peaks on it.

And here’s a blowup of his mouth.

Snapping Turtle-2

So I stopped the truck, put the flashers on, and went back to the turtle. I had planned to just kind of boot him in the bottom and urge him all the way across the road.

But he was having none of it. When I approached him from behind, he turned to face me, hissing, as his neck lunged out and that sharp beak snapped away. As I circled him, he kept rotating to face me, not letting me get behind him.

And there was no way I was going to poke at him with my shoe from the front. I’ve seen what that beak can do to a pair of boots.

So finally I went back to the truck and got a 2’ x 2’ piece of 1/2 plywood, planning to use it to just push or shove him off the road in the direction he was trying to go. But that didn’t really work either.

First off he kept biting at the board, but not holding on long enough to drag him off. So then I tried to use the board to just push him off. But that didn’t work either. The pavement surface was rough enough and his long claws sharp enough that he would just latch onto the road and I couldn’t move him.

But the next idea did the trick. I used the edge of the board to carefully flip him over on his back. Repeating this several more times got him to the edge of the road and into the grass. Mission accomplished. But he still hissed at me.

In case anyone is wondering why I didn’t just pick him up from behind, that’s very hard to do safely with a snapping turtle. They have a very long neck that can whip around far back over their shell and all the way to their back legs. And I’d like my fingers to all stay right where they are.

Back on the road, we headed over to Vernon’s Kuntry Katfish, a place suggested by Lynette and Gregg. And a great suggestion it was.

Some of the best catfish I’ve had in a long time. Even better than the Sealand Seafood place that we ate at in LaGrange last week. And Sealand was really good.

And even better, they have hand-cut fries.

Kuntry Katfish 1
Jan had the Blackened Sampler, with catfish, shrimp, and scallops. Also really good.

Kuntry Katfish 2

And to go with this, they had Fried Green Tomatoes, Hushpuppies, and Tomato Relish. YUMMM!

Tomorrow, with the weather forecast to be better, hopefully I’ll be back in the bin business.

March 15, 2015

Planes and More Planes . . .

Thought today’s blog might be a good time to catch up with our visit to the War Eagle Air Museum a week or so ago since not a lot else happened today.

War Eagle Air Museum

The first things you see are a Hawk missile battery, and Patriot missile launcher, along with their radar units.

WE Hawk Battery

WE Patriot Launcher

Getting into the building I was happy to find that, unlike some places, the entry fee was very reasonable, $5 for adults, and $4 for seniors. Working our way through the gift shop (there’s always a gift shop) we went out on the hanger floor and found a very nice collection of vintage planes, many in flying condition.

Hint: The way you tell if one is in flying condition is to look for the oil drip pans underneath the engines. As they say, if it’s flying, it’s leaking.

First up was a very nice P-40E Warhawk.

WE P-40E Warhawk

This plane was what the famed Flying Tigers were using against the Japanese in China, operating as the 1st American Volunteer Group.

Later, flying with ‘Pappy’ Boyington of ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ fame, many other Flying Tigers veterans flew the F-4U Corsair for the US Marines.

WE F4U Corsair

‘Pappy’ Boyington was later awarded a Medal of Honor for his heroics.

Next up was a P-51D Mustang,

WE P-51D Mustang

and a TBM Avenger bomber.

WE Grumman TBM-3E Avenger

The next plane in the line is one of my two favorites, the Lockheed P-38L Lightning. (My other favorite is the SR-71 Blackbird)

WE P-38L Lightning

Note that this one is also in flying condition. Known by the the Germans as the ‘Forked Tail Devil’ and the Japanese as “Two Planes, One Pilot’, it was the only American fighter to be in production from Pearl Harbor through VJ Day.

And of course, what’s a WWII display without nose art . . . well, tail art, anyway.

WE Texas Tail Art

Wrapping up the prop planes, here’s an A-26C Invader, also flyable.

WE A-26C Invader

Finally getting into the early jet age, they’ve got an F-86 Sabre,

WE F-86 Sabre

a MiG-15,

WE MiG-15

and a MiG-21.

WE MiG-21

And a little more modern, here’s a T-38B Talon trainer.

WE T-38B Talon

We see a lot of these around Houston because they’re what the astronauts fly to keep current, and travel back and forth to the Cape.

And here’s another favorite of mine, (OK, so I have 3 favorites) the Cessna T-37B trainer.

WE T-37 Dragonfly2

One reason it’s my favorite is that I actually have a couple of hours of left seat time in both the T-37 and its A-37B big brother. The A-37 is a lot more fun because it has more than twice the thrust of the T-37. This was when I was working as a DOD contractor in the late 60’s – early 70’s.

Last up was a group of H-Bomb mockups showing the amazingly small size of something that can wipe out a city.

WE H Bombs

If you like planes, the War Eagle Air Museum is a cheap, enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours.

War Eagle Air Museum Balcony 2

WE Balcony 3

Check it out.

As far as today, not much.

I worked on some projects, Jan read, and about 5:30 we headed out for dinner at the Hot Wok Asian Bistro. After all the recent problems with Luckie’s Thai, I think Hot Wok is our new favorite Asian place in Tucson.

March 15, 2016

A New Way Home . . .

Jan and I were once again up at 7am (this is getting to be a very bad habit), and after a quick stop at the office to get the new gate code, we were on the road by about 8:45.

Despite having no AC, due to the cloud cover, the trip was nice with no real traffic along the way. And there was no problem with the engine cooling either, so we arrived at Brandi’s right on time at 10.

Then it was off to the Houston Zoo with Landon, and Lendell and Sonja, his other grandparents. But as we had already been warned might happen, we couldn’t really get anywhere near the Zoo. There was a 3 mile line of cars trying to enter at the Zoo entrance, so we went on past to check out the remote parking site a couple of miles away.

And found it no better. There was a long line of cars waiting to get into the lot, and an even longer line of people standing out in the hot sun waiting for the tram back to the Zoo. So it was a No-Go for the Zoo, and even Landon wasn’t too upset.

So since we had planned to have lunch at the Zoo, we decided instead to have lunch at the nearby Cleburne’s Cafeteria, a place where we’ve eaten many times over the years. And it’s pretty special. Owned and operated by the same Greek family since 1941, it’s well known for its great food and delicious desserts. And we had some to take home.

Landon said he wanted to go to the Mall and play in the castle so we were off to Memorial City Mall and Frolic’s Castle, a dedicated fairy play land for the kids.

Frolics Castle_thumb[1]

Frolics Castle 1_thumb[1]

Landon played with all the other kids for an hour or so, before he was ready to move on.

Later Landon decided to try on my glasses. They don’t look bad on him.

Landon with my glasses_thumb[2]

Next up on Landon’s agenda was a ride on the Mall’s beautiful double-decker carousel. It’s a real work of heart, and fun for the kids.

Carousel 1_thumb[1]

Due to Landon’s height (less than 36”) Jan had to ride with him, and unfortunately  for her, he wanted to ride on the upper deck. Up the stairs on the upper deck.

Carousel 2_thumb[1]

After that, it was on to the electric Dinosaur Ride, one of Landon’s favorites. And he was quickly all saddled up and ready to ride when a problem developed.

Unlike the same ride at Katy Mills Mall, where he always rides by himself, here they said he had to have a co-rider.

Dinosaur Ride 1_thumb[1]

And guess who got to do it. At least there were no stairs involved, right Jan?

Dinosaur Ride 2_thumb[1]

Kinda looks like she’s having more fun than he is.

Dinosaur Ride 3_thumb[1]

With Landon finally getting a little worn down, we all headed back to Brandi’s. We had originally planned to have dinner at Little V’s Vietnamese Bistro when Brandi got home from work, but we were all still too full from Cleburne’s. And everyone including Landon, seemed to think a nap was in order, anyway.

Then about 5pm Jan and I headed back to Conroe for the night. And for the trip we thought we’d take a new way home, the recently-opened SR99 Grand Parkway Toll Road, that runs from I-10 in Katy to The Woodlands and I-45.

And it made for a very fast trip, especially for this time of day, albeit somewhat more expensive. It was pretty much 70-75 mph the entire way, amazing for this time of day. A lot of the route is out in the countryside with very little around to cause slowdowns.

But at ~$6.50+, it’s more than twice as expensive as taking the Beltway Toll Road at $3.00. I say approximately (that’s what the ~ means) because of the weird pricing at the toll scanners. And by weird, I mean one toll was $1.03, the next one was $0.95, and then next one was $1.11. What’s up with that?

And FWIW, it’s about 5 miles further.

So for our Sunday back and forth’s between Colorado River and Lake Conroe, there’s no gain. It’s further and it costs more. And there would have been no gain if we’d used it this morning, either, since there wasn’t much traffic then.

But anytime during rush hour, it’s a good deal.

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog about trying to find a more level site, and right after we got home this afternoon, Debi and Ed Hurlburt came by to offer us theirs, since they’re leaving tomorrow morning.

But we had to turn down their offer, since Jan and I are leaving out for the Clear Lake area about 8am tomorrow for the last our of yearly medical stuff, and then lunch with the kids. Too bad too, since they have a nice site in the newly-upgraded ‘G’ area.

March 15, 2017

We Don’t Like Mountain (Pacific) Time . . .

It was nice to sleep in a bit this morning with no upcoming travel until this coming Saturday when we’ll move over to Voyager RV Resort for the Escapade.

Around noon, long-time friends, Dick and Phyllis Schell showed up to say Hi. We sat outside for a good while at the site’s picnic table, catching up on our going-on’s.

Dick and Phyllis Schell

They drove over from the SKP park right down the road. I think the last time we were together was in May 2015 while we were getting our blow-out damaged rig in Prescott, AZ. They were at the Verde Valley Thousand Trails and drove over to do some shopping, a perfect occasion for a get-together.

About 4pm Jan and I walked a couple of rows over to “The Crow’s Nest” Activity Center for a meeting of Escapees in the area. Put together by our friend’s Sharon and Don del Rosario, it was a good chance to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.

Cochise Terrance Escapees Get-Together

At 6pm we met up with some of our fellow Escapees at the 86 Café, a local Benson Mexican restaurant that came well-recommended. And for good reason, as it turned out.

Jan had the #10, two Chile Rellenos with rice and beans.

86 Cafe Chili Rellano

Jan said these were in the top 2 or 3 rellenos she’s ever had. High praise from her.

I had the Green Chile with Pork, and rice and beans.

86 Cafe Green Chile Pork

Also very good, especially slathered with some of their hot sauce. Really delicious.

86 Cafe Group

Starting on the left, it was Gloria King, Sharon del Rosario, my Jan, and Phyllis Schell. On the right, it was Frank King, Don del Rosario, my empty chair, and Dick Schell.

As with many RV get-togethers, we were there long enough that they started closing down the place around us, locking the doors and turning off the Open sign.

I think they were trying to tell us something.

Being back out west has reminding Jan and I how much we don’t like Mountain (Pacific) Time. I say Mountain (Pacific) because although we’re actually in the Mountain Time Zone, because most of Arizona doesn’t observe DST, effectively we’re on Pacific time.

And that really screws with the TV schedule, with prime time shows starting at 5pm, way too early for us. Unfortunately we’ll be out here for the next 4 months or so, so I guess we’ll get used to it eventually.

March 15, 2018

The Girls Are Fine!

First off, Jan had her diagnostic mammogram this afternoon and the verdict is in:

The Girls Are Fine!

Jan got a clean bill of health for another year. Now all we have left are our two GP appointments on Monday morning, and then Jan has a final follow-up on Thursday with her oncologist to go over the mammogram findings. Then hopefully we will be done for this year.

But unlike Jan’s . . .. boo . . . er, mammogram findings, the truck died on the way to her mammogram appointment. I’d been hearing some rumbling from the truck for a couple of weeks, which I figured it was the U-joints. Turns out it was.

With a little help of a bystander we got the truck into the parking lot at the Taco Cabana just a few blocks from Jan’s appointment. Prioritizing things, I called an Uber to get Jan to her appointment where I knew she would be occupied for a few hours.

This was our first time to use Uber and it was pretty painless. I did have to change out the credit card I had on the account since it had expired since I set the account up. But once that was done I had the ride booked in just a couple of minutes, giving the address where Jan wanted to go. A couple of minutes later I got a confirmation from them giving me the driver’s name, vehicle, and tag number, with an arrival time of about 5 minutes. And he was right on time.

With Jan on the way I put a call into Brock’s Car Care, my long-time mechanic, letting them know I had a problem and that I was on the way. They wanted to know if I needed a tow and I said No, that I had it covered with my own Roadside Assistance.

I wish I had taken them up on it. But I’ll cover this more tomorrow when I have more information about what happened.

While I was waiting, I put in a call to our son Chris to see if he was in the area to give us a ride home if necessary. Turns out he was at work up in Baytown, but he offered his Chevy pickup for our use.

Thanks, Chris.

The tow truck dropped me and the truck off at Brock’s about 1:45, and as soon as I was checked in, their pickup/dropoff service dropped me off at Chris’ where I picked up the truck and headed back to where Jan was.

I hadn’t been there for more than about 15 minutes when she called to say she was ready to be picked and that everything was fine.

We had originally planned to have dinner this afternoon at Floyd’s Cajun Seafood with our friends Jan and Dale Thompson, but they begged off due to a bug going around. So we’ll catch them another time.

But Jan and I decided to go to Floyd’s anyway. As we were walking in, Jan said, “I want a Coors Light to celebrate.”

Fine by me. I had one too.

Brock’s called later in the afternoon saying I was right about it being the U-joints. In fact it seems like the driveshaft is still laying in front of the Taco Cabana since it wasn’t attached to the truck anymore. They said they’d get back to me.

March 15, 2019

Et tu Brute?

Then Fall Caesar!

I always thought that every month’s 15th was a “ides”, but like many things I’ve thought over the years. that’s not exactly true.

Only March, May, July, and October have it on the 15th. The rest of the months it’s on the 13th.  This all comes from the Roman calendar where the ‘ides’ are the day of  the full moon each month. Other than that, it had no special meaning to them.

At least until Caesar went under the knife in 44 BC

And there’s even a lot of controversy about what, if anything, was said. Some historians of the time say he said nothing, others said he just pulled his toga over his head when he saw Brutus, and some say he said, “You too, child”, apropos since Brutus was his protégé.

Today was the first day we could buy tickets to the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. You’re only allowed to  purchase them two months before the visit, which for us will be May 14th, our only free day in Amsterdam after the cruise and before we take the train down to Paris. But you can’t wait until the last minute, or apparently, even the last week or month.

However I did have to go through 3 credit cards before I got the purchase to got through. I guess PayPal and Capitol One weren’t really happy with suddenly getting a $35.16 (€31.00 in Euros) from Amsterdam.

But at least now we’re good to go.

Now, on to the Sex Museum.

I did get a short-term scare this morning when I logged into our account on MyVikingJourney.com and got a pop-up saying our Visa and Travel Documents had been mailed, and giving me a couple USPS Tracking Numbers. And when I checked it showed they had been delivered yesterday . . . to the Front Desk/Reception Desk at an address in Coral Gables, FL.


So I was quickly on the phone to Chantelle Nugent,  our travel agent, and found that the address was the headquarters of her travel company. She said Viking would only ship the documents to the home office, who would then send them to Chantelle, who will send them on to me.

So, all good.

While I had her on the phone I told her about our backup plan to spend 3 extra days in London by hoping to get bumped from our flight  on Thursday by volunteering for it, and then asking for a flight on Sunday. Then we would find another hotel back in London.

She said it would work as long as we could get bumped, and that she would check the flight right now to see how sold out it was. And also keep an eye on it as time passes.

So we’ll see.

March 15, 2020

Braving The Ravaging Horde . . .

Or Not.

While I’m waiting on the Thursday morning delivery of our new Rubbermaid Shed, I’ll try to get a plywood base set up on some concrete pavers. Otherwise the plastic flooring of the shed would probably get punctured by the gravel underneath over time.

I’ve already download a copy of the Rubbermaid Roughneck Shed Assembly Manual so I’ll try to get started with assembling whatever I can before Jan gets back home.

About 1pm Jan and I headed out to lunch at our favorite Los Ramirez Mexican Restaurant. Jan got her usual Pechuga Rellena, with Grilled Shrimp and Broccoli,

Los Ramirez Pechuga 1-05-20

while I got my new fav, the Spicy Chicken Fajitas with Charro Beans.

Los Ramierz Spicy Chicken Fajitas

The salad is self-made. Jan doesn’t like all the shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes that comes with her dish, so I take it, add the Pico de Gallo that comes with my meal, and then dress it will their Green Sauce. Makes a really good salad.

And with the salad and the Charro Beans to fill up on, I had more than half of the fajitas to take home.

Next up was a truck wash at the Blue Ocean Car Wash. Really like them, since they do a great job getting the grunge off the truck. Then it was right across the street to see if our local WalMart had been stripped bare yet.

And the answer was Yes and No.

We started in the Pharmacy area and found the Cold Medicine/Cough Syrup area pretty much bare, as well as the Vitamin area to a lesser extent. Then moving over to the Grocery area, the ravaging horde made themselves known.

The Orange Juice area,

WalMart Bare OJ Shelf

and the Dairy area,

WalMart Bare Milk Shelf

were all stripped bare.

And for some reason, although the Soft Drink area was still pretty well stocked, my favorite Lipton Green Tea area was almost bare,

WalMart Bare Green Tea Shelf

leaving me only the Mixed Berry version which is not my favorite.

But what was really weird was the run on Coffee Filters. All the brown unbleached ones were completely gone, and only one pack of the white ones was left. Which I got.

As I was typing this, I was trying to figure out why the run on filters and not coffee. And then it made sense.

They’re for backup toilet paper. Makes sense to me.

Tomorrow Jan’s coming into work with me so we can leave from there to take her up to Brandi’s for her next week of Landon-watching. She’ll probably hang out at the Harris County Library for the day before we head out about 3pm.

Once we’re up there we plan on stopping off at the local Chick Fil A for some Grilled Nuggets before I drop her off at Brandi’s and then head back to the rig.

March 15, 2021

Yikes . . .

Well, I think the blog email problem should be fixed. Jetpack, the WordPress plugin that handles the emailing of the blogs had updated itself (remember, I HATE updates) and somehow the configuration files got misconfigured.

The only problem now is that some people are getting more than one copy of the blog email.

Too many, Not enough! It’s always something. LOL

Brandi and Lowell sent over some great photos of the snow in Colorado.

Brandi Colorado Pike's Peak

That’s Pike’s Peak in the background.

And Landon seems to be making himself right at home.

Landon Colorado Snow 1

Landon Colorado Snow 2

When I left for work this morning I realized that I probably needed to stop for gas on the way, rather than waiting to get it on the way home at Costco like I usually do. So I pulled into the Circle K/Valero right out on Hwy 6 and filled up for $2.45 a gallon, 16¢ more than Costco. But, hey, when you need it.

However coming home this afternoon, I noticed it had jumped 10¢ a gallon since this morning.  Yikes!