It Was That Good . . .

After our breakfast this morning Jan decided to catch up on laundry since it’s right next door here at the motel, while I did work stuff on the computer here in the room.

Then about 11:45 we headed down to Decatur to meet up with long-time friend, Anne (by long-time, I’ve known her since she was 13) and her friend Alan at The Railyard. Located in downtown Decatur, it’s a popular place for business people and workers to have lunch.

And the food was really good.

Jan had the Fish Tacos with Beans,

RailYard Fish Tacos

while Alan and I both had the BBQ Shrimp & Grits.

RailYard BBQ Shrimp and Grits

This is Shrimp & Grits, along with Pulled Pork. Jan asked me how it compared the Shrimp & Grits that I often get at Snooze. Told her it was apples and oranges. Both are really good, but the addition of the pulled pork makes them really different. But delicious.

Anne got a salad, and we all shared an order of the Maple-Glazed Carrots.

RailYard Maple Glazed Carrots

Note that I didn’t manage to get a photo until after said ‘sharing’. They were really good, and not over-cooked or mushy.

We were having such a good time laughing and talking that they pretty much had to run us out when they closed at 2pm. And because of this I forgot to get a photo of Anne and Alan, so here’s last years.

Moody Crab Anne and Alan

And we’re already planning for next year.

Getting our good-bye hugs, Jan and I headed on down US31 to Big Bob Gibson BBQ once again. Jan had decided that she liked the one forkful of Peanut Butter that I gave her from my slice yesterday, that she wanted her own piece. And of course she wasn’t getting another slice unless I got one too. So we two slices to go from the drive-thru to have later this evening.

Big Bob Gibson BBQ Peanut Butter Pie 20230517

And it was just as good as yesterday.

Then before heading home, we made a stop for a few things at a WalMart Neighborhood Market, I think our first time to visit one. And we also got gas there at $2.92/gal., the best price I’ve seen around here.

Tomorrow we’re making a daytrip down to Birmingham to have dinner with long-time friends, Bill and Carol. Bill and I worked together for the Alabama Educational Television Network from 1972 to 1975, as well as a local radio station, as Broadcast Engineers. Really looking forward to seeing them again.

Thought For The Day:

Keep Walking Cat

May 17, 2009

Sponge Bob and Tarpon Frenzies…

After eating a great breakfast at the Geiger Key Marina Smokehouse Restaurant here at the RV park, we headed back down to Key West with our friends to spend some more time exploring.

The first thing we noticed was that there was a new addition to the scenery. Since we left last night, a Disney Cruise ship had docked right on the square.

Disney Magic Cruise Ship

After finding a place to park, we wandered some of the many gift shops before taking a tour of Key West on the Old Time Trolley.  It’s a 90 minute ride going past all of the major sites in Key West.  Our tour guide, Tim, was excellent and really kept us laughing.

We also came across what seems to be the original ‘Sponge Bob’, although his pants weren’t square.

Sponge Bob

After wandering thru more gift shops, we ate a late lunch at Alonzo’s Oyster Bar, right on the water at the Key West Marina. Once again the food was good and the scenery was great!

Right across the dock from us, a fishing boat had come in and was cleaning some of their catch, throwing the waste overboard.

This attracted a lot of gulls, and some very large tarpon, all of them fighting over the feast.

Gull Frenzy

Some of the tarpon seemed to be at least 6ft in length.

Tarpon Frenzy

But now it was time for us to head back to the RV park since our friends planned on heading back up to West Palm Beach, about 220 miles north.

We had a great time visiting together and will see them again in a few days when we stop over in West Palm on our way up north.

May 17, 2010

A Coos Bay Day…

Today was just pretty much a lazy, do-nothing day in Coos Bay. We slept in late and hung around the coach until almost noon.

I forgot to mention that yesterday at 12:32 pm on our trip up from Klamath we racked up 30,000 miles on our coach.  Not bad for only 2 – 1/2 years on the road and traveling from Alaska to Key West to Nova Scotia to San Diego. (Not in that order, of course)

I talked to our friend Allen Bode this morning. We met Allen and his wife Jan last year in Titusville, FL while we were both at the Manatee Hammock RV Park. They are out in this part of the country and we were hoping to make our schedules match up so we could get together. But it looks like we’ll have to try it later.

About 11:30 am we drove back over the marina area to have lunch. We decided to try another seafood restaurant that was recommended to us, the Sea Basket. And it was just about as good as yesterday.

After lunch we went by the Post Office to drop off some packages to our son Chris and our granddaughter Piper.

Then we stopped by Walmart to pick up some things and it was back to the rig for the night.

Tomorrow we’ll head further north to Seaside, OR. On the way we’ll stop about 60 miles up the road at the Sea Lion Caves. Hopefully we’ll see some sea lions. We haven’t done too well on the whale front.

May 17, 2011

Great Muffins and So-So Pizza . . .

I woke up about 10 am to another cold, rainy, dreary day, pretty much like yesterday, and tomorrow is supposed to be more of the same.

But Thursday is looking up. We’ll see.

I quickly made coffee in my nice, clean coffeemaker, anticipating some of the muffins that we got last night.

I mentioned my clean coffeemaker because I spent a good while yesterday running pots of CLR through it to clean out the calcium buildup. And then I had to run 6-8 pots of clean water through it to clean out the CLR.

At 11 we got to see ourselves on TV again on the The Talk. We were shown in the audience right when the hosts were introduced. We’ve got another shot at stardom on Friday the 20th, but we don’t know if we’ll be shown again.

Later Jan fixed us egg and cheese sandwiches for lunch that, along with Kettle Salt and Cracked Pepper Potato Chips, made for a great lunch.

About 5:30 we headed out for supper at a local Italian place called Di Cicco’s. Turned out to be so-so. Better than Pizza Factory, not near as good as Crusty’s Pizza in Camp Verde, AZ, or Da Boyz in Yuma.

We agreed that they don’t have oregano or basil in their kitchen, or at least they don’t use it.

On our way home we stopped off at a Chevron station to get a cappuccino as a nitecap.

That’s about it for today.

May 17, 2013

Good Coffee, Good Soup . . .

We really enjoyed the cool (actually more like cold) weather last night, With the temp in the mid 30’s, it was nice to have the windows cracked open a bit and the mattress pad heater cranked up. Really good sleeping weather,

And tonight it’s supposed to be 31 degrees. Nice.

With the cold weather our morning coffee was especially good. Cinnamon Hazelnut. Hmm, Good!

Since the park office was closed when we got here yesterday, I went down there about 1pm to register and pay the $3 a night that staying at an Encore park costs us. Not bad for staying in South Lake Tahoe.

While I was out and about, I stopped off at an mini-mart to pick up some lottery tickets for tonight’s Mega-Millions and tomorrow night’s Powerball drawings. Right now the Powerball is over 600 million, and could be substantially higher by the time of the drawing.

I wander how long it’s going to be until we get a $1 Billion prize.

As I mentioned yesterday, we’re parked in a nice wooded area, with a lot of Ponderosa pines surrounding us. The nearest rig is a couple of hundred feet away, so that’s nice.

Tahoe Village 1

Of course all these trees wouldn’t be so nice if I couldn’t get a satellite signal, but it all worked out.

Tahoe Village 2

Before I left on my errands, I got a batch of soup going in the Crock-Pot. A couple of boxes of chicken stock, 3 or 4 frozen, previously poached, chicken breasts, a can of Rotel Hot Diced Tomatoes with Habaneros, a can of kidney beans, a couple of fresh, sliced-up jalapenos, and you’ve got the perfect meal for this kind of weather.

We’ve been checking out things to do in this area, and I brought back a few brochures from the park office. They do have another zip line for Jan to try, and someone recommended the paddleboat cruises on the lake. But most of the attractions here seem to revolve around snow skiing, water skiing, jet skis, golf, and gambling.

We also noticed that the Donner Pass area is only about 45 miles from here, so we’ll probably make a sightseeing trip over that way while we’re here.

Tomorrow?  Who knows?

May 17, 2014

Finally . . .

Jan and I were up at 6:30 this morning getting ready to make the 350 mile trip up to Elkhart for the first time since last July. But we had a last breakfast with Jan’s family here before we left the area.

We pulled out of the Timber Trails Campground out in Mulberry Grove about 7:30 to meet Jan’s sister Debbie, her husband Jim, and daughter Christian (Jan’s niece) at the Denny’s in Vandalia at 8am.

We’ve always enjoy our visits here with Debbie and her family, and this one was no exception. And it was really nice to have one last get-together with at least part of the extended family.

But since we had a long day’s drive in front of us, we were back on the road by 9 heading north on I-70 where we got on I-57 in Effingham. Later, we got off I-57 onto US24 and then took that east until we headed north on US421.

US421 took us all the way up to the I-80/I-90 tollway, where we headed east to Elkhart. And $10.50 and 50 minutes we were pulling into the Elkhart RV Park, kind of our home away from home.

We were quickly steered to our site right and Jan and I got connected and set up.  Then it was off down the road to have our first meal here at King Wha, our favorite local Chinese place. And it didn’t disappoint.

Getting back home, the long day and the change to EDT started to get to us, so we were in for the night.

May 17, 2015

Rethinking . . .

our Love of Twin Peaks

Most of you have probably heard about the big shoot-out at the Twin Peaks Restaurant in Waco, TX. It seems members of possibly five different biker gangs opened fire in and around the restaurant, even spilling over into the parking lot of the restaurant next door. You can read more about it here at this link.

So far it seems like all of the 9 dead and almost 20 wounded, were bikers, and not patrons.

Regular blog readers know how much Jan and I like the food at Twin Peaks, and try to eat at one whenever we find one in the area. But now maybe we’ll check out the number of bikes in the parking lot before we eat at one again.

As far as our home here behind the service department of Affinity RV, things were pretty quiet today, even for a Sunday. We just read, watched TV, and did computer stuff.

We did start going over the list of things we want to take with us on our 1500 mile trip back to Vandalia, IL this coming Wednesday. We’ll do it in two 750 miles days, spending the night in Amarillo, TX on the way.

We had planned to be making this trip in the rig, but our blowout changed that. But since we didn’t want to miss the family reunion, a road trip it is.

Around 5pm I drove across the street for a few things at Fry’s, and then picked up dinner at the Taco Bell in the parking lot. We both like their new Steak Doubledilla meal, and wanted to have it again. It’s delicious and cheap.

Finishing up, Brandi sent over this photo of Landon.

Landon the Tiger

Don’t know the reason for the tiger makeup, (National Tiger Day, maybe) but he does look cute.

May 17, 2016

Where It All Started . . .

First off, Karma’s still doing OK. She’s actually moving a little slower than last night since the long-term time release painkiller wore off. But she’s eating and drinking just fine.

My week of FAST WAVE Wi-Fi here at the park is over, and I did not renew. All I can really say is that the service is just sucky, and at about 2.5 Mbps, not any better than my 3G aircard. Plus it drops out a lot.

Now I know that most RV’ers are used to spotty, low quality park Wi-Fi. But this is a brand-new, park-wide system just completed last month. They’ve got antennas all over the park, with one just 3 sites away, giving us 5 bars of signal. It’s really a shame that the actual service is not any better.

Compare this Wi-Fi at $15 a week to the free Wi-Fi at the Harris County Public Library yesterday, where we had 28+ Mbps. Too bad they don’t have RV hookups at the library.

Apparently an era has ended in Las Vegas. No more free parking. At least at the MGM casinos. This includes the MGM Grand, Circus Circus, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, Excalibur, The Mirage, New York New York, Monte Carlo, and finally, The Bellagio. And the last one is the one that affects us.

Whenever we’re in Las Vegas, we drive down to the Strip one night, park in the Bellagio’s parking garage, and take in the famous fountains out in front.

Bellagio 1

Bellagio 5

Bellagio 7

But now if we do this, it’s going to cost us $10. Bummer.

Now the next question is, will this spread? I guess it could go either way. Either all the other casinos will match this so they all make more money, or the other casinos will use it as an advertising gimmick, i.e., Play here and get FREE Parking!

It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Recently I stumbled across this site that tracks Florida’s Lost Tourist Attractions. And one of the many listed here was Florida Wonderland.

Florida Wonderland Sign

Florida Wonderland was where Jan and I met July 5th, 1967. Jan lived in Titusville, and I had come down from Alabama for the summer to spend some time bumming around. I had relatives living in nearby Sanford, and while there, saw an ad in the Florida Today newspaper wanting someone to take care of the animals, and do the porpoise shows at the Marine Life part of Florida Wonderland.

Thor and Lori

The Marine Life facility was located across the street from Florida Wonderland and was right on the Indian River. In fact the two large ponds for the porpoises were fed by the river.

Besides the two porpoises, Thor and Lori, we had a 12 ft. alligator, two manatees, Bruce and Vivian, a very large tortoise, and a sea lion, as well as a few other smaller animals.

Marine Life Wonderland

The fish we used to fed the animals had to be kept iced down, and we didn’t have an ice machine over there, so I had to walk across the street to get ice several times a day.

And on my first afternoon, I walked across the parking lot to where the ice machine was, and encountered a beautiful long-legged redhead. And I was smitten from the start.

Jan was one of the saloon girls working at Miss Kitty’s Pleasure Palace, one of the attractions in the Dodge City western town area of the park.

Miss Kitty's Pleasure Palace

I was skinny and had hair back then, but even so it took me about two weeks to get her to go out with me. She said later she thought I was just another stuck-up college kid, driving a red sports car. Glad I didn’t give up.

And now, this September 28th, we will have been married 49 years.

It’s been great!

May 17, 2017

On To Hermiston . . .

I had planned to be up at 7am so we could be on the road by 9, earlier than usual. But since we wanted to hopefully weigh the coach at the weigh station and then diesel up at the Fred Meyer’s in Bend.

But it didn’t quite work out that way, since I woke up feeling really under the weather. So I slept in until about 8:30 hoping to feel better by then. But though it really didn’t work out that way, we were still able to pull out of the park by 10am, only an hour late.

As we approached the weigh station I saw flashing red and blue lights so I was prepared to abort. But then I saw it was the Highway Patrol who had someone pulled over right at the entrance, so I pulled on in.

This weigh station only has a single platform so the front and rear wheels have to be weighed separately.  For the front I got 12,050 pounds, and 18,750 on the rear for a total of 30,800 pounds, comfortably below our Max GVWR of 32,000. And this total includes a full Fresh Water tank, a full Grey Tank, and a full Black Tank.

And me.

So that’s 834 + 500 + 350 pounds for a total of 1,684 pounds.

And me.

I just didn’t feel like fooling with backing up and doing a side to side weight. And we’ve never had more than 100 pounds difference between the two sides anyway.

So it was on to the Fred Meyer’s to take on some diesel, and unlike yesterday, it went very smoothly . . . and quickly.

I dumped my bottle of Diesel Kleen in the tank first and then the guy started the pump.

Actually pretty easy. Of course they weren’t near a busy as yesterday.

Finished fueling up, we had to wander the parking lot for a few minutes until we found a place to hook up the toad. Or at least hook up the toad and then still be able to navigate out of the lot.

But finally we were back on US97N a little after 11am.

And I’m going to continue this tomorrow when I’m feeling better.

May 17, 2018

Business Is Booming . . .

I spent the morning and afternoon working on a couple of different things. First up I continued to sort through more stuff, separating things into ‘Stay In The Rig’ and ‘Go To The Storage Room’ piles.

Second were new knives to be posted on the website. Business is booming and they’ve sold all the knives presently on the site, so we’re restocking and adding a new line of knives made from USA blanks. So that’s going to keep me busy for a while.

Once I decided that I wasn’t going to be ready to take a load over to the storage room today, we drove over to Pho 20 to have dinner. As in the past, we started out by splitting the House Crunch Salad. Then Jan tried a new entry on the bill of fare, the Spicy Teriyaki Chicken, a hotter version of the regular one.

Pho 20 Spicy Chicken Teriakyi

Since I had my half of the salad, I lightened up with the White Chicken Meat Pho, but without the added veggies this time.

Pho 20 White Chicken Pho

And as in the past, the owner, Sherry, had left a present for us. She knows how much we both like Hot & Sour Soup, and although it’s not on the menu, she’ll make up a big batch and leave it in the freezer until we come in. Some good eating this weekend.

Now that I’ve got the last of the electronic parts in, I’ve come up with a way to mount the actuators on top of the valve bodies. I’m going to use U-Bolt clamps like these,

U-Bolt Clamps

to hold the actuators and stainless steel band clamps to secure everything to the valve body. At least that’s the plan, but we’ll see how it goes.

Our daughter Brandi looks to be having a really good time down in the Dominican Republic, along with her friend Chantelle.

Brandi and Chantelle at Punta Cana

From left to right, that’s Chantelle, Brandi, and a friend to be named later.

I did want post some of the artwork done by my niece Stahlie. Actually she’s my first cousin once removed, but according to the genealogy sites, she’s still called my ‘niece’.

Stahlie Artwork

Stahlie New Art

A very talented young lady.

Stahlie Calvin 2

And beautiful, too.

When he’s not playing hockey, Landon’s playing soccer, just like his mother did.

Landon Soccer 2018

Lowell sent over his soccer team photos for 2018.

May 17, 2021

Satellites and Sunflowers . . .

This past Saturday evening SpaceX put another 52 Starlink satellites into orbit, less than the normal 60 since they had a couple of paying customer’s satellites onboard, taking up the space.

And I’m hoping that every launch puts us closer to getting our Starlink online. We’ve paid the $99 deposit, so now we’re just waiting for Starlink to tell us we’re ready to got in our area. Then we’ll pay the $499 for the equipment, and we’ll be ready to go.

And I’m really looking forward to getting speeds like this.

Glenn Reynolds Starlink Test

Yes, that’s over 300 Mbps, compared to what we have here at the RV park.

Petticoat Junction RVP Speed Test

That’s a big difference!

And at my client’s up in the Clear Lake area, we get between 50 and 60 Mbps, so Starlink is even 6 times faster than that.

For now!

Elon Musk says that as they get more and more satellites on orbit, they hope to get speeds up around 1 Gbps. That’s 1000 Mbps.

Since all these launch from SpaceX’s facility down at Boca Chica, Jan suggested we might take a trip down that way to try and see a launch sometime. We saw a Shuttle launch from the Cape in 2009, and I was at the STS-3 Shuttle landing at White Sands in 1982.

So it would be nice to add another one to the scrapbook.

Boca Chica is about 20 miles northeast of Brownsville right out on the Gulf of Mexico, and just south of South Padre Island by about 5 miles.

So we’ll have to see what we can put together, but almost certainly after we get back from our June vacation to Illinois and Alabama.

And since we’re on the subject of rockets, here’s what’s going in the Gaza area of Israel right now.

Israeli Gaza Rockets

On the right you can see the ballistic rockets that Hamas is launching into Israel. And on the left you can see the interceptor rockets that Israel’s Iron Dome defense system has launched maneuvering to intercept them.

The term ‘ballistic’ means that once launched, the rockets follow a predicable path and don’t maneuver, making it possible to know where each rocket is going to land.

The Iron Dome system quickly knows whether a incoming rocket is going to land in a field, or out in the desert, and ignores those, only going after ones that look to be headed for populated areas.

The interceptors are very smart, smart enough divide up the targets so they don’t all go after the same few rockets, and to re-target themselves to another rocket if necessary.

A really amazing system that’s said to stop over 90% of the incoming rockets.

Tomorrow we’re making the trip down to Galveston once again to meet up with Jim and Peri Dean for lunch at Sunflower Café, a really great breakfast/brunch/lunch place.

Really looking forward to seeing them again.

May 17, 2022

Mascot Sightings . . .

As I said in last night’s blog, today was a Twin Peaks, Kroger, Storage Room, Take 5 Oil Change kind of day.

Our usual TP server, Sylvia, was there, and besides her usual great service, she gave us her phone number so we can text her to see if she’s working on a day we want to come. If she’s not going to be there, she said she’ll tell us who to ask for.

We’ve seen a lot of mascots as we’ve traveled around the country –

Mermaids in Beaufort, SC,

Beaufort Mermaid Mascot 1

Javelinas in Sedona AZ,

Sedona Mascot Javelinas 2

Bears in Easthampton MA,

Easthampton MA Bears 4

Mackinac Island Moose,

Mackinac Moose Mascot

Seabrook TX Pelicans,

Seabrook Pelican Mascot 6

And Pearland TX Pears.

Pearland Pear Mascot

And now it looks like Dickinson TX, right down the road from us, has their version.

A Heron.

Dickinson Heron Mascot

We’ve only seen this one, so we don’t know for sure.

But we’ll keep our eyes open.