Daily Archives: September 29, 2023

A New Entry In My Job Description . . .

First off, Jan and I want to thank everyone for all the many kind thoughts and congrats on our Anniversary. It’s much appreciated.

Second, I have gotten a number of questions about my AC fan motor replacement this past Wednesday, so if you have any questions, let me know. I did kind of an abbreviated version on the blog, so let me know if you want more details.

Between yesterday and today, we’ve had over an inch of much-needed rain. Just glad it held off until after my Wednesday morning AC repair.

Brandi and Lowell have installed a new screen door with something that makes their 3 doggies very happy.

And probably makes Brandi, Lowell, and Landon happy too, since they don’t have to keep getting up to let one, two, or three of them out. And then back in.

Notice there’s a 2nd doggie trying to get out at the same time.

A doggie door traffic jam.

I seem to have inherited a lot of different jobs as part of my IT consulting gig. Plumber, Electrician, AC Unit Installer, Possum Wrangler, Auto AC Tech, Auto Parts Installer, etc.

And now I have a new one – Chainsaw Repairman.

My client gave me this one with the chain loose and tangled up, jamming the motor. After putting it all back together, I explained that he had to keep the chain tightened to the correct tension, because the chain stretches over time. Oh, and by the way, oil it once in a while.

And not with the 3 in 1 oil he’d been trying to use. 30W motor oil works great.

When I asked him what he was trying to cut, he said some large limbs about 6” in diameter.

This one is only good for 1”- 2” limbs. Told him to buy a bigger chainsaw.

Tomorrow we’re having lunch with long-time friend Tricia. Looking forward to it.

Thought For The Day:

“Moderation is a good thing. Just don’t overdo it.” – Hagar the Viking

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

September 29, 2008

Just Some Of Our Many Alaskan Friends.

September 29, 2009

Rally – Day 2

Today was our first full day of the rally seminars.

We started off with coffee and donuts at 8:30, while also checking out the vendor wares on sale.

Jan got some microfiber cleaning products and I picked up a book on the history of RV’s.  It’s hard to believe RVs have been around for over 100 years.

At 9 am Jan and I split up and went to separate classes. She went to a “Cooking On The Road” seminar and I went to one on “Electrical Management Systems”

Then at 10:30 am,  I went to a class on Blogging for the RV’er and Jan went to one “RV’ing  Alaska”. I guess she wanted to be sure that we didn’t miss anything last year.

Lunch was from 12:00 to 1:30, so we went back to the China Wok Buffet again, knowing it would be quick, because we wanted to run by Walmart to pick up some stuff.

At 1:30 pm I had a class on “Managing Digital Photos with Picasa”.  Picasa Photo Editing Software is a free program from Google that will find, sort, and manage all the photos on your computer.  They recently came out with a new version and I thought this class would be a good way to catch up on the changes.

At 3:30 we both attended a seminar talking about ‘Hosting in State Parks”.  We both learned a lot about being a volunteer campground host.

When the class was over, we went to our new favorite Mexican place (in Ohio, anyway) La Carreta.  As before, Jan had the Beef and Bean Nachos and I had another bowl of their Chicken Tortilla Soup.

At 7 we were back for the door prize giveaway. I won a T-shirt and Jan won a bottle of energy drink. Wahooo!

About 7:45 we went to a talk of “100 Years of RVing”. There were some really great pictures of RVs from the very early 1900’s. Neat!

Tomorrow is another day…

September 29, 2010

Remember the Alamo. . .

Today was a girl’s day out.

Brandi had a doctor’s appointment up in the Memorial City area, so Jan and Debbie rode up with her to take care of Landon, and of course, do some shopping at Memorial City Mall.

While Jim vegged out at the motel, I did some errands, and then finished up some computer stuff with a client.

Brandi, Jan, and Debbie got back home about 2:30, and I showed up a little later. We all got some Landon time until about 5 pm.

Obligatory photo of Landon getting burped.

Landon getting burped

At 5 pm we drove down to the motel, picked up Jim, and then came back up the road to Floyd’s Cajun Seafood, our favorite local Cajun place. I love their seafood gumbo and boudin, and Jan says their chicken fried chicken with sweet potato fries is fantastic. And as usual, the meal was great. We’ve been eating here for years and have never had a bad meal.

The ‘Floyd’ in Floyd’s is Floyd Landry, one of the Landry boys who started the Landry’s Seafood Restaurant chain. They sold the chain years ago and then went out and started their own new restaurants. Floyd owns two here in the Clear Lake area and one in Beaumont, TX.

And now back to our day trip to San Antonio and the Alamo. We picked up Jim and Debbie at the motel about 7 pm and hit the road. But, on the way, we stopped at the Buc-ee’s at the Luling exit on I-10.

Buc-ee’s goes all out on their stores. They just enlarged this one again, adding to the store inside, and doubling the size of the bathrooms. Outside, they made the parking lot much bigger, and can now accommodate many more buses and RV’s.

Inside, the store has a very large gift shop, an in-house candy factory, a coffee/cappuccino bar, a bakery, a deli, and a small grocery store. On one side they have an outdoor area that sells firewood, and deer and animal feed. Jan loves their kolaches, and I always get a coffee for the road.

Bucees 1

Their gas station has 32 pumps, and, everyone has diesel. Their store in Madisonville, TX has 40 pumps.

Bucees 2

We got to the Alamo a little after 11 and were able to park only a block away. Luckily it wasn’t a big tourist day.

You always see this view of the Alamo, but if you’ve never been there, it’s hard to imagine that it’s right in downtown San Antonio.

Alamo 1

Here’s what’s right across the street.

Alamo 2

And here’s a wide view.  Note that there are no tall buildings near the Alamo. By law, no building can be built that ever casts a shadow on the Alamo.

The tower on the right is the Tower of the Americas, built for Hemisfair 68, the first world’s fair in the southwest US. It has a revolving restaurant at the top that Jan and I ate at several years ago.

Alamo 3

This is the back side of the ‘chapel’, the front of which is the familiar facade that everyone knows as the “Alamo”.

The Alamo was originally a Spanish Catholic mission, but the chapel was actually just a small part of the mission grounds.

Alamo 4

Alamo 5

The well in the center of this photo dates from the mission era, but the large oak tree is only about 140 years old, planted about 35 years after the battle, which took place in February and March of 1836.

Alamo Well

Alamo Tree

Leaving the hallowed ground of the Alamo, we walked across the street to San Antonio’s other famous landmark, the Riverwalk.

Formed originally as a flood control project by the WPA in the 1930’s by concreting and damming the San Antonio River, the Riverwalk has been extended several times to access new hotels and tourist areas such as Hemisfair 68.

The city of San Antonio was actually named for the river, and not the other way around. The river was named after Saint Anthony, the patron saint of the area.

Riverwalk 1

This is the display in a window of one of the many high-end shops along, and adjacent to the Riverwalk. It’s all made of glass.

Riverwalk Glass

Most of these trees predate the Riverwalk, but were kept for their beauty as it was built around them.

Riverwalk 2

We took a barge tour of the river, which lasted about 45 minutes and gave a lot of history of the Riverwalk and the area. The many vistas are really scenic, with new sights around every bend of the river.

Riverwalk Barge

Riverwalk 3

Riverwalk 4

Riverwalk 5

After our barge ride, we ate a late lunch at the Hard Rock cafe right on the Riverwalk, although we ate inside to be a little cooler.

Riverwalk Hard Rock Cafe

We were back on the road to Houston a little after 3 and got back home about 7:30 pm, with a stop at Buc-ee’s on the way, of course.

It was a long day, but we had a great time, so it was worth it.

September 29, 2011

Bella’s and At-A-Boys . . .

Another morning up at 7:30.

Make it stop! Make it stop, please!

First off, a couple of At-A-Boys (or Girls) for two of the vendors here at the Rally.

The first one is for Marla Mallory of Cruising American RV. Two years ago at the last rally here, I bought 12 LED lights from Marla to replace the ones in our coach. About a year ago one of the screw-on glass covers came loose and broke. She replaced it at no charge.

Great Service. Thanks, Marla.

Second up is Daryl Lawrence of Lawrence RV Accessories. This past March I bought a TireTraker Tire Pressure Monitor System from Daryl at a Rally in Yuma, AZ.


Sometime since then, the little pop-up antenna on the monitor unit came loose and got lost. When I checked with Daryl earlier this week to see if I could order a new antenna, he gave me a whole new receiver unit at no cost.

Again, Great Service. Thanks, Daryl.

For lunch, Jan and I made our 3rd trip to La Carreta this week for more of their great Chicken Tortilla Soup. Nothing like trying to run a good thing into the ground.

After the last of the classes finished up at 5 pm, we got together for supper at Bella’s Italian Grille with our new friends, Mill and Nancy Pierce. Jan met Nancy at one of the classes and found out that she and her husband have been doing oil field gate guarding down in Texas this last year, so we had to get together and pick their brains about what it’s like.

We had a great time getting to know them, and would have spent longer at Bella’s if we hadn’t had to get to the rally in time for the 7pm festivities. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep in touch and maybe get together with them down in Texas.

Rally Finale 2

Next up, to close out the rally, was another great performance by the McKinney Washtub Two.

McKinney Washtub Two 5

Tonight pretty much wrapped up this year’s rally. with only an early morning get-together for coffee, doughnuts, and goodbyes. After that, people will start pulling out, or being pulled out by one of the fairground’s tractors if they get stuck. We’ve really had a lot of rain this week, and some people who got in OK may have a hard time getting out.

Others will probably take the fairgrounds up on their offer to stay over a few days at the regular rate, just until things dry out a little.

It’s been a great rally and everyone seemed to have a good time, despite the weather. I mean, what’s an RV rally without a little rain?

September 29, 2012

Dragon Boy . . .

Well, someone’s all ready for Halloween.

Landon’s having so much fun Brandi will be lucky to get him out of it between now and Halloween.

Landon Dragon 3

Landon Dragon 4

Today was another of those dreary, overcast, do-nothing days that we like so much. Jan and I spent most of it catching up on some old TV shows on our DVR, some of them dating back to our gate guarding time. I watched very little TV during that period, spending most of my time either outside on the gate, or inside sleeping. And I was surprised how little I actually missed it.

At 5 Stu and Donna McNicol, and Jan and I drove over to Palmyra to have dinner at Texas Roadhouse. I know it was Saturday night, but I figured we were getting there early enough so it wouldn’t be a problem, and we didn’t need to use their Call-Ahead feature.

Big Mistake.

By the time we arrived there was already a lot of people standing outside, waiting to be called. When I signed in they said that it would be between 50 minutes and an hour. It turned out to be about an hour and 15 minutes. But we had our usual great meal so it all worked out. The only problem was that it’s always so noisy there, it’s hard to hear yourself think, much less talk to each other. But we had a great time anyway.

As we were leaving Texas Roadhouse we saw this beautiful 1949 Hudson in the parking lot. Unfortunately this nighttime photo doesn’t really do it justice. But it really is a beautiful car.

1949 Hudson

Stu and Donna will be leaving tomorrow morning and we’ll really be sorry to see them go. Hopefully we’ll meet up again soon.

September 29, 2014

Taking a Walk . . .

Scotty, our Gate Guard Services support tech, showed up today with water, diesel, and . . . the dreaded memo. The one that ‘officially’ notifies us of the new uniform of the day, i.e. hot, ugly, uncomfortable blue shirt, and boring, dark blue pants.

We had to tell them how many and what size shirts we want, and then sign it acknowledging we’d seen the memo. Bummer.

But supposedly there may be some sort of mini-revolt going on about this at Corporate with a lot of gate guards complaining. So we’ll see what happens.

Last night as one of the rig hands came back in after his week off, we were talking about his rig, and fracking. He works on the rig about 1/2 mile down the road from us, and I was wondering about when they were going to skid it to the 2nd hole.

He said they were supposed to do it a few days ago while he was off. I said I didn’t think that they’d moved it, since no big cranes had come in. He then told me proudly that his rig didn’t need cranes. It walked to the next hole all by itself.

Wow! I knew there were rigs that could do this, but I thought they were pretty new and not in much use yet. So it looks like I was mistaken.

I did find this video of another rig showing how it actually walks. It can go forward and backwards, sidestep, and turn in place. And it does this carrying a full rack of drill pipe and weighing 2.5 million pounds. That’s 1250 tons.

WOW again!

He also confirmed what I’d been told about them not wanting to frack too close to active drill sites, so between his rig and ours, that may delay fracking here. Hopefully, maybe, until we’re gone for the year.

Later this afternoon a big excavator showed up and started tearing down our windbreak.

Big Backhoe 1

Big Backhoe 2

I was looking forward to having that high wall of dirt to help shield us some from the north winds we’ll start getting in November. Cold north winds.

All I can say is that this guy must have a really good union, because he’d work for about 10 minutes and then take a 10 minute break, leaning back in the cab, and putting his feet up, as you can see here.

Big Backhoe Feet Up

Of course I could be kind and say his hydraulic pump was overheating and he had to stop and let it cool off.

I could say that, but it’s not really in my nature.

September 29, 2015

Another Repair Job . . .

Still in progress.

About 11:30 I headed into Carthage to the Ace Hardware to get some larger screws for another repair attempt on my lighted door handle.

Rig Door Handle

When the repair place in Prescott removed it last June to replace the wiring leading to the light inside after it was damaged by our blowout, they stripped out several of the 5 screws that hold it on. This of course put extra stress on the remaining ones and they started coming loose too.

The ones that are holding the handle on now are #12 Bevel Head Sheet Metal Screws, so I thought I’d try #14’s to see if they would work.

Of course, from the Ace Hardware parking lot I could see the Whataburger, so a stop there to bring back lunch was in order on my way home.

Later, after lunch and I was on the gate, I tried out the larger screws . . . with mixed results. I did have to drill out the holes in the handle slightly for the larger screws, but this was no problem.

But the problem was that only one new screw tightened down. The rest still just spun. So now a little further inspection was in order. Using a flashlight and a right angle probe, it looked like the backing for the handle was a block of wood. This is what the screws fastened into behind the fiberglass siding. And it looks like the wood block has split vertically, which is why the screws aren’t holding.

So at this point I’m in a quandary. I can’t use larger screws because the heads would be too large to recess into the handle. I can’t see how I can use any type of molly or wing bolt because there’s no room for it to expand, and I think that trying to use some sort of plastic or lead anchor would just cause the wood to split more.

I’m still mulling this over, but one idea I’m thinking about is to squirt as much Plastic Wood into the holes as I can, let it dry thoroughly, then drill a starter hole and try screwing into that.

Or similarly, try to fill the holes with one of those JB Weld Steel products, then drill and tap it, and then use machine bolts instead of sheet metal screws.

In other words, it’s a problem still in work.

Anyone have any ideas? Let me know.

September 29, 2016

Washed Up . . .

Normally on a travel day I’m up at around 6:30, but since we have only have a 70 mile, two hour drive over to the Lake Conroe Thousand Trails, and we didn’t need to leave until the 11am checkout time here at the park, I slept in . . . all the way until 8:30.

About 10:30 I pulled the rig forward enough to allow us to hitch up, and we pulled out of the Timber Ridge RV Park a little before 11, and headed southish on Hwy 6, down to Navasota, where we turned east on SR 105. 105 would have taken us right into Conroe, but we turned north on FM149 to cross over the top of Lake Conroe and then down around to the RV Park.

We got checked in and drove over to the ‘G’ section to find a spot. As we turned down a row we’ve stayed on before and took a small curve, Jan said, “There’s one, and, OH, there’s Janice and Dave Evans right next door.” And it was.

While I was getting us unhitched, parked, and set up, Jan and Janice were planning our evening dining pleasure, which turned out to be El Bosque, our favorite local Mexican place, one that we’ve eaten at for years, even following them when they moved to a new location a couple of years ago.

But that wasn’t until 4:30 or so, so by 2pm it was time for a nice nap, so I headed back to the bedroom for my nap, while Jan stayed out on the sofa for hers. A bout 4:30 Jan and I walked next door to meet up with Janice and Dave and headed out for El Bosque for dinner.

Jan got the Pollo ala Parrilla,

El Bosque Pollo ala Parilla

while Janice and I both got the Beef Fajitas Poblanas.

El Bosque Fajita Polbanos 3

I don’t remember what Dave got, but it sure looked good, with Beef, Chicken, Shrimp, and a lot of other stuff.

And as usual with RV’ers, we spent a lot of time catching up on everyone’s travels, talking long after we were finished eating.

Coming home we made a Dollar Tree stop. It’s amazing how you can go in there and buy a big bag of stuff, and it comes to only $7.32.

Wrapping up, we once again have washer problems. Jan did a wash load yesterday morning with no problems, but when she did a second load in the afternoon, it started washing and then stopped, with the timer not advancing. And even when you manually advanced the knob, it just washed. The only position that did anything else was the OFF position.

The first thing I thought of was of course the timer itself. And although like the water pump I replaced earlier this year, the timers are no longer available, I stripped a spare out of an old Splendide.

So this afternoon, pre-nap, I put a call into Westland Sales out in Washington state. They’re the go-to people for all things Splendide, and have been a big help to me in the past. And so it was this time.

When I described the problem, the tech guy immediately said “you’ve got a pump problem, and they’re not available anymore.” I told him I knew that because I had replaced my old one with a new one from a different make of washer back in February.

He said, “Well you’ve got the same problem again.:” Well THAT wasn’t very helpful.

He said that at the end of the wash cycle, the pump is supposed to start up and drain the water out. This is the signal to the washer to start letting water back in for the rinse cycle.

But if the pump doesn’t pump, then the washer stays in the wash cycle waiting for the water to empty out.

So once again, I’ve got a pump problem. And since it’s not leaking, that means it hasn’t come loose, and I don’t hear the pump running, which means it’s probably not clogged with a lost sock or something. But, just in case I did ask Jan if she was missing a sock or anything, and she said No, that they all matched up.

So I’m left with either the new pump has gone bad, or it’s not getting power for some reason, like a loose wire or a bad relay.

This is how I kludged a new pump into the washer. This is the new pump after I had it plumbed in.

New Washer Pump Install 7

Then I mounted it on the crossbrace running diagonally across the bottom of the washer.

New Washer Pump Install 8

And this is what it looked like after was tied down and hooked up.

New Washer Pump Mounting 2

So yeah, it looks a little kludgey (well, a lot kludgey), but it’s worked great for over 6 months and saved me over $1000 dollars from buying a new one.]

BTW here is a graphic of the online prices for a new Splendide.

Splendide Prices

Let’s see. Should I buy a new one from PPL, or should I buy it from Camping World for only $172 more. Decisions, decisions.

So even though the problem could be something as simple as a loose wire. I’ve still got to drain the washer, pull it out of its cabinet, and then turn it upside down in the middle of the kitchen to take a look at the problem.

And then hope we don’t get another gate in the middle of all this.

September 29, 2017

Catfish and Gators . . .

About 2:30 I went outside to start on the rewiring of my toad taillight system.

Somewhere along the line during our trip back to Houston after our breakdown in Louisiana last month, I think a road gator popped up between the rig and the toad and shredded the wiring harness between the two.

In case you’re wondering what a road gator is, it’s not this.

Road Gator Real

This is a gator in the road.

No, this is a road gator.

Road Gator

It’s a large piece of tire tread spun off a large truck tire, just waiting to leap up and rip into something, kind of like this.

Road Gator Damage

I also heard of rigs getting air,  brake and fuel lines torn out and fuel tanks punctured. So I guess I got off lucky.

First I cut off the old wire and then spliced the new 5 pin connector into the harness, the four light wires, a 12 volt charge wire, and a secondary chassis ground.

The charge wire runs from the rig engine batteries to the truck’s battery, keeping it charged during our trips. This is needed because the Brake Buddy braking system works off the truck battery, and if we’re doing a lot of stop and go driving, sometimes we would arrive at our RV Park to find a dead battery in the truck. But no longer.

So first I cut off the old 4 pin plug and then spliced in the new 5 pin plug and cable.

Toad Tailight Repair 1

Next I worked the wire loom along the cabling and then tied it in place using tywraps.

Toad Tailight Repair 2

Finishing up, I wrapped it around the tow bar connection which is where it stows away when the truck is not being toad.

Toad Tailight Repair 3

Tomorrow I plan on doing the rig end of the cable.

About 4:30 we headed over to Coldspring to meet up again with Debi and Ed Hurlburt at the Paradise Grill.

Paradise Grill Debi and Ed

We were there for their Friday Night Special, All You Can Eat Fried Catfish. And it was well worth the trip.

We all had the Catfish, Jan’s regular and mine crispy.

Paradise Grill Catfish

Both were delicious.

And we wrapped it all up with a piece of their made-in-house pie, Chocolate for Jan and Bread Pudding for me. All very good, and we had enough to bring home.

Paradise Grill Chocolate Pie

Paradise Grill Bread Pudding

And it sounds like we’ll be coming back here for their Turkey and Dressing on Sunday morning before we head back over to Lake Conroe.

September 29, 2018

Morays and Memberships . . .

Following up on yesterday’s anniversary celebration, Jan and I had dinner last night at the Aquarium Restaurant on the Kemah Boardwalk.

We’ve eaten a number of times over the years, but not since we started RV’ing in 2008.

Kemah Aquarium

The place is built around a 50,000 gallon seawater aquarium filled with everything from sharks to moray eels.

Kemah Aquarium 2

Kemah Aquarium Moray Eel

We started off with a dozen Oysters On The Half-Shell. We’re both always careful to count them so the other one doesn’t get an extra one. And of course we have to have a lot of horseradish to mix in with our red sauce.

Kemah Aquarium Oysters

Next up was one of our favorite Wedge Salads.

Kemah Aquarium Wedge Salad

Good, but not as good as other places that use the Blue Cheese crumbles. This one just used what seemed to be Ranch Dressing, and not as good.

For the entrée, we split the Broiled Captain’s Platter, which had a little bit of everything.

Kemah Aquarium Broiled Captain's Platter

The place wasn’t busy on a rainy Friday night, so we took our time and just enjoyed the ambiance. We also spent some time talking about our upcoming trips, and what we still needed to get done beforehand.

Kemah Aquarium Jan and Greg

We also spend some time talking about our future, and have decided to go for another 51 years together.

So far, so good.

Today, I spent the morning out in the drizzling rain, taking care of a number of pre-trip chores like adding air to the rig tires, cleaning up around the rig, and getting some yard stuff ready to take over to the storage room while we’re gone.

I also got two of the old rig batteries loaded into the truck to drop off at Lowe’s this afternoon so I could get my $20 chore charge back.

We finally headed out about 2pm with our first stop at Denny’s for lunch/breakfast. and then on over to the nearby Lowe’s to drop off the batteries.

Then heading up to Webster, we made a stop at the Rudy’s BBQ so I could pick up a bottle of their coarse ground pepper, before looping back around on the feeder at Bay Area Blvd to stop off and get a Costco membership. Our new Costco is set to open Oct. 19th, but the membership store is located in a nearby Baybrook Mall storefront.

We bought a Costco membership years ago when we were out in Yuma, but let if drop because there weren’t any locations near us here in Houston. But now with one so close we’ll give it a try again.

Coming back toward home, we made a stop at the Santa Fe O’Reilly’s Auto Parts to get new bulbs for the rig’s rear turn signals and the license plate lights for the truck. And after a quick PO stop, we were home for the night by 6pm.

Tomorrow, we’re heading up to the Magnolia area to take in the Texas Renaissance Festival. Family Brandi, Lowell, and Landon, and friend’s Chantelle, Eric, and Maddox will probably be meeting up also.

It will probably be kind of wet since there’s an 80% chance of rain, but we won’t melt.

We’re just not that sweet.

September 29, 2019

Thanks To Everyone . . .

Thanks to everyone for all the kind words and congratulations on our 52nd Anniversary. We really appreciate it.

We headed up to Katy about 10am to meet up with Brandi, Lowell, and Master Landon to celebrate Brand’s much delayed Birthday get-together. She’s been traveling so much recently that it’s sometimes hard to match our schedules up.

We had planned to have brunch at the nearby Black Walnut Café but when we got there we found a line out the door, so we moved on. And ended up at a nearby Mexican place, El Asador. Which turned out to be really, really good.

They had eaten right after they closed on their new house last year, but hadn’t made it back since.

Jan had the Beef Taco Salad with Queso, unusual in that it wasn’t in a taco shell, and it used a Spring Mix salad mix , but it was delicious.

El Asador Taco Beef Taco Salad

I had the same salad, but the Beef Fajita version, but with Ranch along with the Queso.

El Asador Beef Fajita Taco Salad

Really, really good.

El Asador Brandi Lowell Landon

And so was getting together with everyone.

This evening we got to check out two more of the new TV shows.

Carol’s Second Act is the latest from Patricia Heaton of Everyone Loves Raymond and The Middle fame. She plays a woman who retired after teaching for many years, and then decides to become a doctor. The show starts with her first day as a new resident, with this pilot episode spent largely establishing the many characters.

A slow start, but it has a lot of potential.

We really liked the other one, The Unicorn, starring Walter Goggins of Justified and The Shield fame. He plays a widower with two young daughters whose wife died from cancer a year ago.

His friends are now trying to get him back into the dating world. And he’s a hot commodity, known as that rarest of rare animals, a Unicorn, because of his widower status. And when his family talks him into signing up on a dating app, he’s overwhelmed handling his new popularity, as well as trying to stay on top of his daughters growing up too fast.

A great show. Check out both of them.

September 29, 2020

On To The Next 53 . . .

First off, Jan and I want to thank everyone for the dozens of emails, Facebook posts, and blog comments congratulations on our 53rd Anniversary yesterday.

To celebrate we spent the afternoon down in Galveston, first driving along the Seawall several miles to the west, before coming back and stopping off at Murdoch’s Souvenirs right on the Gulf. Then after spending an hour or so just driving up and down the residential streets, checking out all the many beautiful homes, finally ending up at the Seawall Saltgrass Steakhouse for dinner about 4:30.

My Beautiful, Sexy Cougar.

Galveston Saltgrass 53rd Anniversary Dinner Jan

Unfortunately, a neighboring diner got a shot of both of us. Sorry.

Galveston Saltgrass 53rd Anniversary Dinner

As far as Murdoch’s, it started out in the late 1800’s as a bathhouse. They rented bathing suits and provided showers for tourists visiting the beach. At its peak, it had 542 shower / changing rooms, 251 for women and 291 for men.

Destroyed in the Great 1900 Hurricane, it was rebuilt after that hurricane, and other storms in 1909 and 1915.

After the 1910 rebuild, two things happened. Mr. William J. Guyette Sr opened a gift shop in the bathhouse, and then Gaido’s Seafood Restaurant opened there the next year.

Gaido’s still exists further down the Seawall, and is considered one of the best restaurants in Galveston.

Murdochs 3




The bathhouse lasted until 1961 when it was finally destroyed by Hurricane Carla. Since the days of bathhouses were pretty much over, it was rebuilt as two separate buildings that housed gift shops, both named Murdoch’s.

In 2005 the two separate buildings were joined by a walkway/breezeway that allows you to sit out and enjoy the ocean view.

Murdochs 4

On September 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike destroyed Murdoch’s once again.

Murdochs 1

Murdochs 2

But not to be overcome, a little over a year later, Murdoch’s reopened with an exact copy of the old one.

Murdochs 6

Because the state will not allow anyone to sink new pilings into the beach, and some of the pre-storm ones were destroyed by Ike, they actually reused pilings from the original 1890’s bathhouse.

We’ve been visiting Murdoch’s for over 30 years, and it’s nice to see it’s still around.

We always enjoy driving around to check out all the many remodeled homes, some of them very striking,

Galveston Home 1

and some of them really standing out.

Galveston Home 2

But of course, some of them still need a little TLC.

Or a lot as the case may be.

Galvestion House 1

A really great time, and getting a start on the next 53.

I checked the South Dakota Absentee Voting website and found that our Absentee Ballot requests had been received yesterday, and our actual ballots went back in the mail yesterday.

I had expected to be back under the rig drilling and tapping the flange mounts for the Helicoil installation. But despite receiving several Amazon orders yesterday, the one I really needed, the 24’ drill bit extension, did not come in, but did finally show up today.

So it looks like I’ll be back at work under the rig on Thursday.

September 29, 2021

Whisking . . .

Wrapping up, a couple of days ago I needed to replace the battery in our coffee whisker. So taking the back off, I inserted the new battery according to the diagram.

Whisk Battery Compartment

And pushing the button, it didn’t work. But the new battery checked good on my tester. But as I stared at it I realized that the new battery was opposite of how the old one was installed when I took it out. So reversing the new battery, it now worked.

The diagram is backwards, and since the battery came installed in the handle, you would never know, especially since one end doesn’t have the spring to tell you it’s the negative pole.

So, am I just being paranoid that this was deliberate, to make you think it had died so you buy a new one?

Or is it just me?

September 29, 2022

56 and Counting . . .

Jan and I want to thank everyone for the many Best Wishes and Congratulations that we received on our 55th Wedding Anniversary yesterday. We really appreciated it.

We have a number of friends and relatives down in the Florida area, some we’ve heard from and a few we haven’t, but we’re hoping to get an update soon.

Stahlie, a cousin, once removed, is down in the Miami area doing archaeological digs, and she’s OK.

And why is she doing archaeological digs in Miami?

Well, as it turns out, all new major construction down in that area has to be inspected to see if there are any signs of settlements/encampments from either Spanish or Indian settlements. Or sometimes, both.

If they do find evidence of previous inhabitants, construction is stopped while a team comes in to do a full dig

Now my cousin Joy is a lot worse off, since she’s in Fort Myers. Here’s her text from this morning.

What a mess! High water mark on my condo Bldg is 34″. All cars parked out front, all A/C units, all lower floors… flooded. Water has receded. Trees down. Still no power (generator coming), no water (main break), curfew in place (but can’t stop John). We actually came thru surprisingly well. Haven’t checked my car; John’s (brand new, 1 mo old!) car sustained some (electrical?)  damage but still runs. We are good. Clean up has begun.

Still waiting to hear from several others. Praying for everyone.

And even the flamingos hid out from the storm.

Hurricane Ian Flamingos

These are some that were taken to shelters from the many small zoos and attractions in the area of the storm.

There were only 5 of us for our Saltgrass get-together today. Harry felt bad so he and Sadye didn’t come. But we had a good time anyway, with Connie, and Bob and Maria. Since Jan and I had exactly the same thing today that we had last night, just smaller portions, I won’t bore you with photos.

However we did find out that, unlike the Saltgrass in Galveston, the Webster location already has the Pumpkin Cheesecake. But we decided to save that until we have dinner there next Wednesday for my Birthday.

We received the FedEx delivery of our replacement Capital One Debit Cards this afternoon, just like they promised. What I forgot to mention is that when I tried to use the old Capital One on Tuesday at Twin Peaks, Jan said, laughingly, that ‘the way things are going, they probably canceled the old cards’.

Turns out that they had.

Then when a Capital One Fraud Prevention called yesterday afternoon to doublecheck that we really had meant to change our residential address, I mentioned that what happened to our cards, he said he could see that they had been canceled, but not why.

Told him not to worry about it since our new cards should be here soon.

We had one of those 4am-8am Amazon Delivery things this morning, and apparently the delivery guy/girl doesn’t like to get out of the van at 5:24am. They just tossed it out in the driveway.

Amazon Delivery 20220929

And it’s not because it was too dark at that time of the morning. Notice how light it is. That’s because we have one of those big LED streetlights right in front of our RV, so it never gets dark.

While we were at Saltgrass this afternoon, I noticed that my phone was showing 5G so I checked it out with SpeedTest.net and WOW! a new high.

207 Mbps!

5G Webster 207Mbps 20220929

Apparently they do things differently for Halloween down on the Island. We saw this yesterday while we were down in Galveston yesterday for our Anniversary.

Mermaid Skeleton