Not As Good As The Original . . .

But then, usually, what is?

Jan and I were on our way up to The Woodlands area about 10, hoping not to get caught in all the rain that was being forecast. And we were pretty lucky. We had about 5 minutes of heavy rain leaving the Clear Lake area, but then it cleared up for the rest of the trip.

We did take a different route this time, taking I-69 north up to I-610W and then over to the Hardy Toll Road. Much faster than putt-putting through downtown Houston.

We got to Katz’s Deli Express about 11:15, and by the time I got back from the bathroom, everyone else was there.

Debi and Ed Hurlburt and Janice and Dave Evans.

Turns out that The Woodlands version of Katz’s is kind of a yuppie upgrade, much different than the Montrose one that we’re familiar with. And as it turns out, just not as good as the original one.

My Reuben with Pastrami was tough and chewy, and the ‘Homemade’ Chips

that normally come hot out of the fryer, were just lukewarm, as was my cup of Broccoli Cheese Soup, for that matter.

We had a great time getting together with everyone which was fun, but we probably won’t come back here again.

After getting our hugs Jan and I were on our home a little before 2pm, taking the same route home that we took up, which didn’t turn out as well as the trip up.

Because of the going-home traffic backing up on I-69/59 the route wasn’t really any faster than coming through downtown Houston. So we’ll search for another route next time.

Getting back to our area, we made a quick HEB stop before arriving back at the rig about 3:45pm.

Another nice day with great friends.

Thought For The Day:

Sometimes SpellCheck is just not enough.

Kansas City Anally

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

September 14, 2009

Cora, Cora, Cora…

Today we head back to the States.

But first we just had to eat at Cora again for breakfast before we left. And once again it was great.

Supposedly they are hoping to bring these to the US. I think they would be a big hit. Where else can you get a great meal that looks like a work of art?

We headed out about 11 am for the 185 mile trip to Houlton, ME, which is about 3 miles from the US/Canada border.

It took us about 15 minutes or so, to get through Customs, most of it waiting our turn in line. But the questioning by the Border Agent was a little more thorough than we had last year going to and from Alaska.

The other nice thing about the trip was that we gained an hour as we are now back on Eastern Daylight Time.

We pulled into My Brother’s Place RV Park, into the same site we parked in two weeks ago on our way into Canada. Deja Vu.

After getting set up, Jan and I headed out to get our hair cut and grab a bite to eat.

September 14, 2010

We want Fall back . . .

We had really gotten used to the beginnings of Fall while we were in Elkhart.

You remember Fall, you know, highs in the 70’s, low’s in the 40’s.

Well, not down here in Houston. When we got here yesterday it was 97 degrees. Today it was 93 degrees with a humidity “Feels Like” of 100 degrees.

And the low tonight is 75.

You know you’re back in Texas when the water from the cold water faucet is hot!

But there are some redeeming factors.

Here is our site here at Galveston Bay RV Park.

GB Site 73

And here is the view out our front window from site 73. This is Dickinson Bayou which leads into Galveston Bay.

Galveston Bay RV

This is the slightly different view from site 80, where we’ve parked the previous two years. Jan likes this view better because the small island attracts a lot of birds and wildlife  If and when our old site becomes available, we’ll probably move down the street.

Site 80 Big

Jan always puts out a bird feeder to keep the local avians from starving. We’ve gone through as much as 50# of birdseed a week.

Site 80 Birds

These are Monk’s Parakeets. There are large flocks of them in this area, although they are not native to here, but originally come from South America. They’re very hardy, and colonies are found as far north as Connecticut, and as far west as Washington state. The colonies are generally thought to have originated from escaped pets over the years.

Monk Parakeets

But here’s the main reason for being here. This was my first chance to hold baby Landon. It’s really hard to imagine how small he is. The last time I held a grandchild this small was 17 years ago, with our granddaughter Piper.

Papa And Landon

About 11 am our son Chris came over to drop off a dead laptop for me to work on, and after talking for a while we headed out for lunch at Berryhill Baja Grill. They have great sandwiches, tacos, and tortilla soup, and we always enjoy it.

Coming home we stopped off at Kroger’s for some groceries, and then we were in for the day.

We’ll probably spend the next few days just jelling before we jump back in the swing of things.

September 14, 2011

Cherry Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies . . .

When I got up a little after 10 am, Jan was gone. I figured I had finally ticked her off one time too many. But then I remembered she said she was going over to the park laundry to do the rig throw rugs in the big washers when she got up this morning.

Whew! I don’t like my cooking that much.

But, luckily for me, as soon as she got back a little after noon, she fixed lunch.

A little before 2 pm I drove over to the RV/MH Hall of Fame to meet with them to firm up the details of the new computers I’m going to install for them. We’re going to get one of them installed for a new employee before we leave for Celina on Sunday, and then the other 4 after we come back to Elkhart the first part of October.

Jan and I have been going over our schedule for the next couple of months before we arrive back in Houston about the 20th of November.

We wanted to spend some time at the Indian Lakes Thousand Trails east of Cincinnati and some time at the State Park in Gulf Shores, AL, and a number of friends and relatives in between. And since we won’t leave Elkhart until about the first of November, it’s going to be a busy 20 days.

About 5:30 Jan and I, along with Al Hesselbart headed over to Hollywood Diner to check out one of Al’s favorite places. Our sandwiches were good, and the soup and salad bar were delicious.

Getting back to the rig, Jan and I had some of Jan’s fabulous Cherry Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies with Al.

A little before 8 I could see Jan was starting to nod off so we called it a night.

Tomorrow we plan on taking a drive through the Amish countryside and then eating dinner at Das Dutchman Essenhaus, an Amish-style restaurant over in Middlebury, IN.

September 14, 2012

Jungles and Rivers . . .

Today was another sightseeing day, so after stopping off at the Batesville Post Office to pick up some mail, we headed south to Aurora, IN. We wanted to check out the area, and also the Little Farm on the River RV Park where we stayed in 2010.

Little Farm on the River is, as the name says, right in the middle of a farm,

Little Farm 1

And right on the Ohio River. And even better it’s a Passport America park, so it’s very reasonable.

Little Farm 4

After making a drive through the park, we drove on south to Rising Sun, a nice small town with a lot of interesting homes and buildings.

Then coming back to Aurora on our way north to Cincinnati, we stopped off at McDonald’s for lunch. While we were there we got a check-in call from our son Chris, bringing us up to date on his family, and especially Piper and her college adventures.

After lunch we headed north to the other side of Cincinnati to visit Jungle Jim’s Market, 6 acres of grocery store, including 1 acre of just produce.

Here’s what I blogged last year about the place.

Jungle Jim 1

It’s really hard to describe this place. It’s a restaurant, a convention center, a Starbuck’s, a CiCi’s Pizza, a high-end clothing store, a Chipotle Grill, a bank, a pub, a pet store, and a credit union. It even has a monorail.

But most of all, it’s 6 acres of grocery store, with 1 acre for just fresh produce.

Jungle Jim 3

This place probably has every grocery item you’ve ever heard, and a lot you’ve never heard of.

Jungle Jim 2

Thirty-six different types of olives, 140 different types of honey, 1,600 different types of cheeses from all over the world, over 12,000 different wines, and 1,200 different beers.

Their meat department carries fresh ostrich, kangaroo, rattlesnake, elk, venison, game hens, wild boar, pheasant, and bison. WOW!

And, of course, foods that are organic, non-dairy, earth-friendly, vegetarian, vegan, allergy-free, gluten-free, anti-oxidant, low-carb, sugar-free, fat-free, wheat-free . . . etc., though probably not all at the same time.

Jungle Jim 4

And while many seafood shops have live Maine lobsters, how many carry live fish? Jungle Jim’s carries over a dozen different species, including Blue Gill, Tilapia, Largemouth Bass,

Jungle Jim 5

and Catfish.

Jungle Jim 6

Regular readers here know how much I like really, really hot foods. As I say, if my nose is not running and the top of my head isn’t sweating, then it’s not really hot enough.

I’ve even twice eaten HOT! wings made with Ghost Chiles, also known as the Naga Jolokia, until recently the hottest pepper in the world.


You can read about it here at the Cypress Creek Café in Wimberley, TX.

The hottest chili in the world is now acknowledged to be the Trinidad Scorpion Butch T chili.


But Jungle Jim’s is the first place I’ve found that actually sells them to the public. Besides the fresh ones, they have a salsa made with the Nagas which I bought some of, and a small package of dried Nagas, which I also bought.

Dried Ghost Chiles

The package says to wear eye protection and latex gloves before handling or preparing them.

Not sure what I’m going to use them for, maybe trick Jan into eating one so I can see steam coming out of her ears.

We spent almost two hours at Jungle Jim’s and still didn’t see everything, so hopefully we’ll be able to go back again sometime.

Finally leaving Jungle Jim’s, we stopped across the street at a Verizon store to take care of some business. Then it was down the road to have dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse before heading home.

Tomorrow we’re going to do another take-it-easy day, just happy to be doing pretty much nothing.

September 14, 2013

Mommy, Somebody Broke the Moon . . .

That’s what Landon said the other night about this.

Broke Moon

And we also have this.

Landon at Daycare 1

Well, it’s been a busy several days. We’ve approaching 300 vehicles a day, three times what we had last year at our drill sites. And we’re both pretty sure we don’t want to do a fracking site again, though the fact that they ran low on water and had to start trucking it in may be the problem. Of course along with the normal sand trucks. Don’t know yet if this is usual or not.

The weather is trying to cool off, at least. The last couple of days the high was 86-87, but then today it was 95, but at least the trend is there. Last night it was actually kind of chilly at 68. Thought about going into the rig and getting a jacket, but was too tired to get up when I didn’t have to. Ha!

I came out a little early last night and Jan and I took down our old new canopy and put up our new new one.

Coleman Canopy

As usual Amazon really came through on replacing this defective one. They just sent me the replacement and then I have 30 days to get the old one back to them, at their expense. This new one is much more stable since it has all its struts. Nice

Jeff, our company man sent over a few front loader scoops of pea gravel to put under our canopy site and our truck parking area. So we went from this

2013-09-12 15.46.34

to this.

2013-09-12 15.46.58

My truck was actually stuck in the mud the other day and I had to wait until it dried out before I could get it out. This is much better. And the area under our canopy was nothing but a full-on mud hole. We’ll see how it goes at the next rain.

Jeff also has us on a one-week schedule for diesel, water, and sewer. So now we don’t even have to call anyone, or worry if we’re going to run out, or overflow.

Under the heading – Missing in Action, one of our vehicle sensors apparently wandered off the other night.

Vehicle Alarm

At least that’s what I assume, because it’s no good to anyone without the receiver, which I have at the canopy. I noticed during the night that it quit working, but figured it had just fallen over. And the other one is still there and working on the other side of the road. I’ve put out the word with the company people, so hopefully it will find its way home sometime soon.

That’s about it for today. It’s about time to go out and relieve Jan.

September 14, 2014

Delightful . . .

First off, Jan and I want to wish a Happy Birthday to our wonderful daughter Brandi. Although this is actually Sunday the 14th’s blog, most of you will read it on the 15th which is her birthday.


Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

Today was delightful, especially compared to yesterday. It finally struggled up to 80°, and partly cloudy with just enough breeze to keep things comfortable. Much, much better than yesterday.

It looks like the rig is finally up to speed on drilling. It’s not making as many of those strange noises, and they’ve now got drill pipe hanging from the side of the derrick, instead of bringing it up one stick at a time.


We had 83 vehicles come in today, which over the 18 hours the gate is really active, (I often have only two or three vehicles between midnight and 6am) means we get one every 15 minutes or so. But what that really happens is that we’ll have nobody for 30 minutes, and then 3 in a row.

The landowner and some of his family came by in an ATV today. We met him last week and he seems like a really nice guy. In fact all the landowners we’ve worked with the last 3 years have been nice, although I’ve heard some horror stories.

I did think it was funny how he was asking me questions about what was going on where. Like we would know. We’re usually the LAST to know, even when it concerns us. He didn’t even know the cattle guard had been replaced, though he said the last couple of guards had complained about it. Guess it takes a tanker almost falling through to get some action.

Later on, the owner’s grandson came through in a pickup with his two dogs in the back, taking them for a swim at the big pond in the back. He has a yellow Lab and a Rottweiler that probably outweighed me. Big dog!

But thankful the only thing he seemed interested in was licking me to death and slobbering all over me.

For dinner we had BBQ sandwiches and sides from the Rudy’s I brought back last Wednesday. Really good, as usual, and Jan said we have one more meal from it. That means we’ll get 4 meals from $38 of Rudy’s BBQ. Not bad.

September 14, 2015

And That Makes Three . . .

Well, now it’s official. All three of us, me, Jan, and now Mister, have some form of diabetes. I pretty much keep mine under control with diet, Jan takes Metformin, but Mister is now insulin-dependent.

Mister had been losing weight recently, something he did once before when we had a bad flea infestation, but he gained it back after that. This time however, no fleas, and no weight re-gain.

And in the last few weeks, he’s been always hungry and always thirsty, all signs of diabetes. So this morning I called a local vet and made an appointment for noon. Mister, his usual mellow self, curled up on the seat and went to sleep on the ride over.

The vet tech mentioned that his problem could also be hyperthyroidism, which I ended up hoping for, because it’s usually treatable with medication alone. But as it turned out my first thought was correct, and he does have diabetes.

Cats have pretty much the same normal blood sugar range as humans, i.e. 90 to 150. Mister’s blood sugar was 475.


So Mister and I came home with this.

Mister's Needles

The big container is a combination needle supply/needle disposal unit. It holds a hundred needles in the base, in 10 packs of 10 needles.

The top is a rotating sharps disposal container that holds the used needles.

Mister's Needles 2

Not sure yet if I can just toss it in the garbage when I’m done. I’ll have to check.

The small bottle is his insulin, and it has to be refrigerated. Unfortunately, although Mister kind of thinks he’s a dog, i.e. walks on a leash, comes when I call him, etc., he’s not. Which means he needs the more expensive cat insulin. Dogs, however, can use human insulin, which is much cheaper. Much, much cheaper.

Since Jan can’t stand the sight of needles or blood, it’s why she went into Medical Records instead of Nursing, I’m the designated shot-giver. And I don’t have a problem with it. I spent one summer during high school working as a vet assistant, so I’ve given a lot of shots.

Mister gets two shots a day, at 11 in the morning and 11 at night, and he doesn’t seem to mind. He just lays there and lets me do it. The needle is only about 1/2 long and a really small gauge. I’ll rotate the injections, the skin on both shoulders and both hips, so he won’t get sore.

He’s now had two shots today and I noticed he’s not as hungry as he was. Hope this is a good sign.

September 14, 2016

And Back It Goes . . .

I was on the road and heading for B/CS by 11:30 to pick up our new TV at Wal-Mart. Their website said that they had the one I wanted in stock, so I was expecting a quick trip.

Well, maybe not so much.

The Samsung I wanted was not mounted on the display, nor did they have a box out there either. When I asked about it, the lady said they didn’t have that one. And when I showed them that their computer said they had them in stock, she said, “Oh, that thing lies all the time.”

But then another lady came over and looked, and then said, “I think I know where it is.” And about 10 minutes later, here she comes out with one.

When I checked out, I did something I normally don’t do. I bought the 3-year extended warranty. I’ve never been a big fan of these, but for $29, I thought I’d give it a try.

My next stop was the Chick-fil-A right out in front of the Wal-Mart parking lot to pick up lunch. When I first came into the lot it was about noon, and the drive-thru line wrapped around the Chick-fil-A parking lot, out into Wal-Mart’s lot, up the entrance road, and then out onto the right lane on Briarcrest, the main road. So they were actually blocking the lane that turns into Wal-Mart’s lot.

Since there were about 10 cars out on the street, I was kind of surprised that the police were letting this happen. But then I saw two police cars in the line, so it made more sense.

And this is not the first time I’ve seen lines like this at Chick-fil-A’s. And the only other place I’ve seen it like this is In-And-Out Burgers.

But by the time I got there the line wasn’t quite as long, but then I went inside anyway. Seems like inside is always faster.

Jan got the Chicken Strips while I got the Deluxe Spicy Chicken Sandwich with Bacon. We both got Waffle Fries and the Kale/Broccolini Salad, along with Lemonade to drink.

Getting back to the rig about 1:15 and chowing down, we both quickly decided no more Waffle Fries. I had mentioned before about how Whataburger fries end up cold and chewy after the 30 minute drive back to the rig, so we were hoping the Waffle Fries being thicker would travel better.

Not so much.

But everything else was delicious.

After lunch it took me about an hour to set up the new TV, mostly due to the installation of the feet. I was hoping that it would come with the center pedestal, but that wasn’t the case. So I’ll have to figure out a way to make the feet work.

One thing that quickly struck me was how much lighter and smaller the new TV is, even though they’re the same screen size.

Our old RCA 32” weighs 26.6 pounds, while the new one weighs only 8.5 pounds, a big difference. And side by side, you can see why.

New TV Comparison 1

The old one has a 3” bezel around the top and sides, and about 6” on the bottom, while the new one only has about 1/2” on all four sides. The upshot of this is that it gives you the optical illusion that the new screen is actually smaller than the old one. Even though you can actually measure it to see they’re both the same.

Kind of like this.

Optical Illusion

Since Jan says it bothers her, and it looks like I can get the 40” version to fit, back it goes tomorrow for a bigger one.

It’s supposedly moving day for the rig. They’ve pulled the pipe loader down, but so far it doesn’t look like they’re moving yet. But soon, probably.

September 14, 2017

Boring, Or Not?

Jan and I left the rig about 1:30, heading out for lunch and groceries. But our first stop was at the park Ranger Station to try and extend our stay another 3 days, until the 20th of September rather than the 17th. And to also pay them for our stay here, the $5 a day, and the $3 a day for 50 amp. When I tried to do this last week the computer wouldn’t take the extension. It said the park was full.

But when they tried to ‘test’ extend someone else’s stay, it worked fine. So it was just me. And when they got the main office to try, they couldn’t do it either. And no one knew why it wouldn’t work.

But I suggested a workaround that did. So now we will check out on the 17th, but then right back in again for the next 3 days. Of course the rig will never move, but the paperwork will work out.

And that’s what’s important, right?

I think this probably has something to do with the fact that when we finally do leave here on the 20th, we will have been here for 34 days straight. Certainly a new record for us.

Our lunch destination was the Chuy’s Mexican down near the Woodlands, a location we’ve never been to before, although we’ve eaten at several of their other places around town.

We actually go to Chuy’s for their salads, mainly their Mexi-Cobb salad, which is what I got this time.

Chuy's Salad

Really good, especially with their Creamy Jalapeno dressing.

Jan decided to try their Chicken Fajita Salad for a change, which she said was good, but she’s going back with the Mexi-Cobb next time.

Chuy's Fajita Chicken Salad

We both really like their sauces and queso. With the chips, they bring out the usual Pico de Gallo, but also a bowl of their Creamy Jalapeno dressing, but as a dip. Then we also ordered a small Guacamole for Jan, and a Queso for me.

Chuy's Sauces

Again, really good.

Then, after a great meal, we headed back up to Conroe to the Wal-Mart for groceries and gas at the Sam’s next door, finally getting back to the rig a little before 5pm.

Recently there has been a debate among some of our blog commenters about whether or not my blogs about computer stuff, the ‘never-ending math’ about where to stay, or even ‘defragging a coffee pot’, are boring. Some thought so, but others came to my defense.

So maybe I need to talk about the origins of this blog. It started in January 2009 at the beginning of our 2nd year on the road. In 2008, our first year, we traveled all the way up to Fairbanks, AK where we spent five months workcamping, before heading back toward home on September 20th.

By the first part of November, we were in Gatlinburg, TN, before getting back to Houston the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

The blog started as a way to share our travels with family and friends as we traveled, but over time and repeated references to our blog from other blogs, this blog has a much wider following. In fact we had a little over 400,000 visitors last year, covering every continent except for Antarctica. (BTW if you know anyone on a science expedition to Antarctica, please ask them to visit our blog.)

I do this blog every day, and in 9 years I doubt I have missed more than a couple of dozen days. But as anyone who has tried this can tell you, doing a blog every night is not easy, as the many abandoned blogs around the Internet will tell you.

So I have to write about things that interest ME. It’s really the only way I can do this blog day after day. I’m not really a ‘creative’ writer. My forte has always been in ‘technical’ writing, doing manuals, courses, and how-to’s, for NASA, the DOD, manufacturers, and colleges. So I can write what I know and what I see. That’s about it.

Now when we’re traveling, seeing the sights around the country, blog writing is pretty easy. But when we’re wintering over here in Houston, or even gate guarding, it can get a little dicey. Because many days we don’t leave the rig, just reading, relaxing, computing, and enjoying life.

But of course this doesn’t leave a lot of hot topics to blog about, so you pretty much get my life, boring as it is. What we did, what we saw, where we ate, and what I’m working on, that’s about it.

Some readers refer to this as ‘reading my diary’. kind of a voyeuristic pleasure. Or maybe like peeking in your neighbor’s window. Anyway, maybe you can look at it this way.

You know how sometimes your favorite magazine has a ‘theme’ issue, and it’s a theme that you could care less about, or maybe even hate. But then the next month it’s a theme you’re crazy about.

Pretend it’s like that.

Come back tomorrow and maybe you’ll like it better.

September 14, 2018

That Was Quick . . .

I got an email this afternoon from Lowe’s saying that my new batteries had come in. Surprising, because they weren’t scheduled to arrive until the end of next week.

To recap: Our house batteries are 4 years old and on the way downhill. I had looked at getting another set of 4 – 6 volt Interstate’s to replace the ones I have. Wired in series-parallel, this would give me about 450 amp hours for about $625. But then we don’t really boondock any more, and probably won’t in the foreseeable future.

So I ordered these two heavy duty 12 volt tractor batteries from Lowe’s.

Deka 12 v battery 2

Wired in parallel, this will give me 12 volts @ 2280 amp hours, and saving me about 140 # in weight.

And the cost is only about $250.

Bigger, better, and cheaper. Nice!

And again, I know these aren’t deep-cycle batteries, but we won’t be using them that way.

One thing I’ll have to do is make up some new cables to get the new batteries hooked up. And a while back I found the best place to do this is at a West Marine location.

They have the big 00 (2/0) gauge wire, the heavy-duty copper connectors, and the bench-mounted swaging tool

Swaging Tool

to crimp the connectors on with.

And even better, and cheaper, it’s do-it-yourself.

But just be sure they still do this, I’ll make a stop by there tomorrow to check it out after we pick up the new batteries, though I’ll have to do some measuring before I’m ready to make up the cables.

Under the heading, “How high’s the water, Momma?”, I still haven’t been able to get back to my Onan generator problem. Because it’s rained heavily each day for the last two weeks without letup. But things are looking up for next week, so we’ll see.

I did think it was really funny this morning as Jan and I were watching some North Carolina weather girl (woman/person?) gushing about all the rain they’d had in her area, saying that they’d had over 4 inches in the last 24 hours, and that another 2 or 3 inches were expected in the next day or so.

Laughing, I looked over at our LaCrosse Weather Station display which said that we’d had 5.1 inches just since midnight here at the rig with more expected during the day.

It’s all relative, I guess.

The rain is also delaying our plans to take our rig out on a test drive this weekend. Since we’ve been parked after we returned from our Illinois/Alabama trip in July, I want to take the rig out for a drive, and probably top off the diesel before we leave for Florida on Oct. 3rd. But I’d rather not do it when it’s pouring down rain, so with rain scheduled all weekend, but clearing next week, Tuesday looks like our next best bet.

September 14, 2019

RV.netting . . .

I spent the morning on trying to get some more input on our rig’s oil filter problem. It’s probably been about 10 years since I’ve been on, But from the summer of 2006 until around the end of 2009, I pretty much lived on there.

During the summer of 2006 I told Jan that we didn’t really have to wait until we ‘retired’ to start RV’ing, but we could go ahead and start working toward it now. So we did.

But there was a problem. I knew pretty much nothing about RV’ing, beyond knowing we wanted a Class A motor coach. So I spent the next 18 months or so absorbing everything I could about the RV world. And then in December 2007 we bought our American Eagle and hit the road to Alaska in February 2008.

Of course that was by way of Casa Grande, Yuma, San Diego, LA, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Colorado Springs, Billings, and Bellingham, before we entered Canada the first part of April.

All I say is that so far, so good.

So this is what I posted in the Tech area of

Back in May 2018, I had RV Mobile Lube come out and service the Cummins 350 ISC engine in our 1999 American Eagle Class A, just as they’ve done every couple of years or so since we bought our coach in 2007.

About a month later we left Houston on a 2000+ mile trip up to Illinois and back down through Alabama, and then back to Houston. we very quickly discovered we were leaking oil, about a gallon every 250 miles or so, turning our tow vehicle black. So to keep our schedule we just added oil as needed along the way.

Checking it was obvious that the leakage was coming from around the oil filter itself. But retightening it did not help. Talking with Cummins, they thought it was probably a defective filter.

So when we got back to Houston a few weeks later, I called RV Mobile Lube and they came back out and replaced the filter. After running the engine at high idle for about 45 minutes, we had no sign of any leaks. But to be sure we took the rig out a 50-mile test drive at both Interstate and side street speeds, again with no leaks.

Thinking we had the problem fixed, in October we headed down to Florida on another 2000+ mile round-trip. And we still had leaking oil.

Getting home about 3 weeks later, and talking with Cummins again, they thought it was probably burn-on residue where the oil filter gasket contacts the adapter. So I dropped the filter and cleaned the gasket seat thoroughly. And another test drive showed no leakage.

But on a 500-mile round-trip in April 2019 we still had leakage. It was starting to dawn on us that we only had leakage when we were towing our pickup truck.

Back on the phone, a Cummins tech said it had to be the gasket between the oil cooler and the oil filter adapter.

Supposedly all I had to do was to remove the filter, remove the 4 bolts holding the adapter on, clean it and replace the gasket, and then put it all back together.

Well, removing the filter and the 4 bolts went fine, but the adapter won’t come loose. And even tapping with a rubber mallet didn’t help.

Finally, I put the old filter back on and ended up rapping it with the mallet, again with no luck. It was stuck tight.

Back on the phone with Cummins, the tech went away for about 10 minutes, he came back and told me that the center post was actually a bolt and needed to be removed too.

But the tech bulletin they sent me doesn’t match up with what I have.

On my adapter, the center shaft is not a bolt. So now I’m stuck.
But before I get back on the phone to Cummins I thought I throw this out to the group.
Has anyone run into this before or have any ideas about how to get the adapter off?

So far I’ve gotten a couple of replies, but nothing helpful yet.

Here’s hoping, though.

We had planned to get together with Brandi and her family for her birthday tomorrow, but she’s got a business trip to San Diego coming up on Monday so she wanted to put it off until next weekend.

Ever notice how all the ‘business’ conferences are in places like San Diego, Miami, Hilton Head, or Las Vegas? And not in places like Detroit, Toledo, or Cleveland?

Why is that?

About 4pm we headed out to have dinner at our nearby favorite Los Ramirez . Jan got her usual Pechuga Rellena, a grilled chicken breast over grilled broccoli and shrimp, while I got my Beef Fajita Taco Salad with Queso, staying Keto by not eating the Taco Shell, of course.

September 14, 2020

Giving Up, For Now . . .

On the brake lights, anyway.

Several people have agreed with me that my brake lights probably won’t work unless the engine’s running and the brakes are aired up. So I’m putting the brake lights and the backup lights on hold until I can crank up the engine.

And to do that I need to get the oil filter adapter head remounted. So today I ordered two new gaskets, and 4 new bolts from Diesel Parts Direct, and a Helicoil installation kit from Amazon.

The kit will be here tomorrow, and hopefully the other parts will be here by the end of the week, so I can work on all this over the weekend.

But we’ll see.

September 14, 2021

An Avian Devastation . . .

Well, Hurricane (just barely) Nicky passed over us between around midnight and 3am with a lot of wind, but I don’t think we got the 20” of rain that was forecast. We only lost power for a couple of minutes around midnight, and again around 3:30am. Don’t know if it was connected in any way, but sometime later in the early morning, the rear AC popped its circuit breaker, but resetting it fixed the problem and it’s been working fine since then.

And while the storm was over us, the rig was really rocking and rolling, but not in the fun way. In fact, we both agreed that we’ve never experienced that much motion. And it seems that motion was enough to make Miss Karma motion/seasick since she threw up on the bathroom rug during the storm.

By the light of day, we surveyed the damage, such that it was. Two of the solar screens had come off and were laying out in the street in front of the rig, and the two window awnings on the driver’s side had popped loose and rolled up.

Looking up, I saw that the vent cover over the refrigerator vent had also come loose,

RV Fridge Vent

so it looks like a up-on-the-roof trip is in the cards.

But the most heart-breaking was the avian devastation to Jan’s Flamingo Flamboyance.

A Severe Devastation 1

In fact it seems to have been so bad that one of them tried to get out of the storm by hiding under the rig next door.

A Severe Devastation 2

Hopefully we’ll get our Jeep back tomorrow so we can park Ole Smokey until the next time. But she’s still a reliable workhorse.

About 1pm Jan and I drove over to the Interstate to get some lunch and then do some  WalMart’ing afterward. Finding a couple of places still closed from the storm, we ended up at Denny’s once again, for Ultimate Omelets once again.

Coming home, we made a Cowboy Coffee stop for a couple of Theresa’s (the owner) custom-blended Sugar-Free Pumpkin Spice Cold Lattes. She hadn’t been able to find a source of the sugar-free Pumpkin syrup, so she concocted one of her own. And it was really good.

On the CoVid front, after doing some online research, Jan and I have added L-Lysine to our anti-Flu Manchu regime. L-Lysine is already known as a potent anti-viral in regular use against Herpes, Cold Sores, and Shingles.

Most of the data on its effectiveness against the virus shows up in European publications, but here’s an article from Fauci’s NIH touting its successful use against the virus.

Lysine 164 is critical for SARS-CoV-2 Nsp1 inhibition of host gene expression

Like the other supplements, Jan and I take, Quercetin, Zinc, and D3, L-Lysine is also available OTC from places like Amazon.

September 14, 2022

All Gone Now . . .

There was a lot of entertainment at our park yesterday morning, starting with this.

Petticoat Junction Mobile Home 1

Rob, our park owner, bought the property next door to expand the park. He took possession of the place August 31, but the previous owners left a lot of stuff behind, including this 65’ long mobile home.

I was wondering if Rob was going have it towed off, or torn apart and hauled off in little tiny pieces.

And when I came home Monday afternoon and saw this, I knew what it was going to be.

Petticoat Junction Excavator

I didn’t get outside in time to see the first bite, but I was out there on the patio with my coffee for the main event

Petticoat Junction Mobile Home 2

It was fun to watch the excavator just taking big bites out of the unit and then spit it out to the side, working its way down the length.

Petticoat Junction Mobile Home 3

Then the excavator just rolled up on top of the pile of now-trash and started pounding into the pile using the bucket like a fist., while it rolled around on top crushing it down.

Petticoat Junction Mobile Home 4

A bit later, a big truck showed up and the excavator loaded it up, though it wouldn’t hold all of the rubble on the first trip.

Petticoat Junction Mobile Home 5

While the truck was gone, the excavator chewed up the 40ft container that was also left behind.

Petticoat Junction Mobile Home 6

Petticoat Junction Mobile Home 7

The claw would just grab a hold of the container, pick it up in the air, and then shake it like a rat terrier.

Petticoat Junction Mobile Home 8

Then after pounding it flat, the excavator rolled up onto one end, holding it in place, and used the claw to rip it into small pieces.

And then it was all loaded into the next truck and hauled away,

Petticoat Junction Mobile Home 9

leaving this. Much nicer.

And it only took a few hours.

Petticoat Junction Mobile Home 10

Easy Peazy.

I was surprised to learn that the mobile home didn’t have any kind of metal frame underneath like our RV does. It was all wood, except for the axles and the wheels/tires.

So much fun to watch, I should have sold tickets.

And if you’re interested, you can get you your own Volvo EC300EL Excavator for around $200,000.

Think of all the things you can break with it.

And I’ll just end with this.