Monthly Archives: November 2023

See I Told You It Was A . . .

Christmas Movie!

Our park water was off for a couple of hours this past Monday, and when I went to turn our pump on to use our rig water in the meantime, I got dead silence.

Zip, Zero, Nada.

In checking Amazon I found that I had replaced this pump back in early 2016, which replaced one I had installed back in 2008, a few months after we hit the road.

Which replaced the original one that came with our 1999 American Eagle coach.

So these pumps seem to have about an 8-year life span.

Not bad, I guess.

I did double-check the 12v fuse under the bed and it was fine.

So I guess ‘pump repair’ is on my list for next week while Jan is Landon/Dog-sitting up at Brandi’s.

It is possible there is a problem with the pressure switch that makes the pump turn on when you open a faucet, so I’ll check that first. But I’m kind of wondering if it might be easier to just jump to the end and replace the pump rather than fooling with it.

A pump rebuild kit is $40, and the one I bought back in 2016 was $60, and the same one now is $70, so not bad. So for $30 more I’d have a brand new pump.

So there is that. We’ll see.

It started raining about 5am and kept it up all day, giving us almost 1.5” for the day. And the rain figured in our later excursions.

We had originally planned to have lunch at Twin Peaks, but it turned out that our favorite server, Sylvia, wasn’t working today. So we’ll try to catch her later this weekend.

Jan had been talking about having lunch at the Sunflower Cafe down in Galveston, so today seemed to be the day for it. Rain or no rain.

But as it turned out, it was raining even heavier down there, such that the streets were heavily flooded.

The problem was actually getting into the restaurant. Even the sidewalk had about 4” of water running on it, and in some places the deep curbs had almost a foot of water in them.

I dropped Jan off as close as I could, but she quickly found her boots were not waterproof, and though my shoes were waterproof, that was only until I got in water high enough to come over the top of them. So we were both pretty soggy when we finally got inside.

To warm up, we both got Hazelnut Lattes. Really good.

Then I got my usual Big Breakfast, with 3 eggs, potatoes, bacon, a biscuit and two Blueberry Pancakes.

Jan got the Little Breakfast, with two eggs, potatoes, bacon, and a biscuit.

And then she takes one of the pancakes. Something for everyone.

And we both had food to take home.

We were entertained by watching people trying to leave the cafe, wading through the high water. Some actually took off their shoes and went barefoot to their cars.

Heading home, we again fought the heavy rains, getting back to the rig about 3:30. A wet, but nice day.

About a month ago, I mentioned the controversy about whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie.

One thing in its favor is the fact that there’s a series of Advent Calendars marking the villain Hans Gruber fall from the Nakatomi Plaza building.

If that’s not ‘Christmasy’, I don’t know what is.

And now to reinforce the idea, 20th Century Studios is re-releasing the movie during December.

See I told you so.

Thought for the Day:

I don’t like making plans for the day. Because then the word “premeditated” gets thrown around in the courtroom.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

November 30, 2010

Work, work, work . . .

Today was just work, work, work.

Jan and I tried to walk our mile and a half this morning but it turns out my ankle just wasn’t up to it. So we ended up doing the 1/4 mile circle and that was it.

Then about 11 I headed out on my errands. My first stop was at my son Chris’ to pick up a Santa Suit from his wife Linda to take to our daughter Brandi’s for Landon to wear for his picture with Santa at the Mall tonight.

Then it was off to a client’s office for a while, then to the bank to deposit a check for the fruits of my labors.

Then off to another client’s at about 1pm. I ended up there for the rest of the afternoon, before getting home a little after 4, just in time for Jan and I to head up to League City to meet our friend Maria at Kelley’s Restaurant for supper.

Then I headed home, stopping off at Wal-Mart for gas.

Jan and Maria went down to La Marque to play Bingo. And once again Jan won $95 ($100 before taxes), just like last week.

I need to take this girl back to Vegas quick.

I drove down to pick her up about 10 pm, getting us home about 10:30.

Tomorrow we’re heading up to Fischer, TX to visit our friend Gina who lives on a 600 acre cattle ranch. We’ll be there for two days, and then on Friday we’ll drive on up to Burnet TX to meet the kids at the lake house for our annual Christmas at the Lake get-together.

November 30, 2012

Getting My McRib Fix . . .

About 1pm I headed out to check in on a client and straighten out a couple of problems they were having. Turned out to be “Operator Error” with a new employee.

Then it was back to Lowe’s to double-check a price I saw yesterday. I was confused because they had the price of an 8 foot 1” x 6” listed as $6.97 and a 10 foot piece of 1 x 6 was $5.97.


Turns out that the price difference is due to the fact that the 10 foot pieces are slow sellers, so they’re priced cheaper. Great for me.

Then it was off to the bank to make a deposit. I keep meaning to stop off and get a replacement debit card, but never seem to remember it until I’ve left the bank. My old one is getting kind of flakey and some machines won’t read it. Maybe next time.

Next I went across the parking lot to the Kroger’s to pick up a few things, and while I was there I decided to get a coffee at the Starbuck’s located in the store. And that was a big mistake.

I go to Starbuck’s regularly, but in all those years I’ve never actually had their coffee. Not once. Actually I normally get a latte of some sort, usually a Cinnamon Dolce Latte. But this time I decided to have a coffee.

You ever go into a diner about 4 in the afternoon and get a coffee that tastes like it was brewed up at lunch and then sat there on the hotplate cooking down to a sludge with the flavor and consistency of burnt crankcase oil.

Unfortunately this wasn’t that good.

I can only assume that this was an anomaly, because otherwise I’m going to start selling the coffee I make and run them out of business.

Getting back home about 4pm, Jan and I headed back out to a nearby McDonald’s so I could get my McRib fix, before they disappear again.

As far as McRib trivia, the sandwich was developed in the early 80’s as a Chicken McNugget replacement. McNuggets were so popular that McDonald’s ran into a chicken shortage for several years. They just couldn’t buy enough to keep all their franchisees supplied. So the McRib was offered to take up some of the slack.

I’ve also heard that McDonald’s waits to bring the McRib back each time for when pork prices are at their lowest, at least that’s the way it’s worked since 2005. Then when prices rise too much due to the demand, they discontinue it for the year.

Hmmm! McRib!

On another note, I put out Jan’s birdfeeder the other day and it didn’t take long for the birds to find it. But this year the feeder has some new visitors.

Birdfeeder Ducks 1


Lots and lots of ducks.

Birdfeeder Ducks 2

Knowing the way ducks eat, it’s going to be fun? to try and keep them all fed.

November 30, 2013

Elephants and Llamas and Camels, Oh My!

Today was our trip up to the Texas Renaissance Festival about 70 miles north of here. The last time Jan and I came up was in 2007 right before we started RV’ing. But we first started coming here in the early 80’s when the kids were little. Then in the 90’s we brought Miss Piper up here several times too. So now it was Master Landon’s turn.

Jan and I left the rig about 8am heading for Chris’ with a stop at the bank for money, and Jack in the Box for breakfast sandwiches for everyone. And then a little after 9am we were back on the road with Chris driving.

Brandi’s group was going to meet us there. And by group, I mean a bunch. It included Brandi, Lowell, Landon, Lowell’s parents Lendel and Sonja, and Lowell’s sister, Sherry. With our car-full that makes a total of 11.

It’s going to be like herding cats.

We made a quick trip up to the area, but hit bumper-to-bumper traffic as we got within 10 miles and that took us a while to get parked. But finally we were through the gate and  into the park.

And it’s like entering a whole different world. One inhabited by dragons

TexRenFest 22

and even fairy queens.

TexRenFest 4

TexRenFest 16

You’ve got gypsies,

TexRenFest 6


TexRenFest 23

TexRenFest 24

or even royalty.

TexRenFest 25

And even commoners.

TexRenFest 5

And of course, Landon enjoyed taking it all in.

TexRenFest 3

I mean where else can you ride a real Brahma bull,

TexRenFest 7

a zorse,

TexRenFest 26

or even a dragon’s egg.

TexRenFest 8

And, apparently, Landon will ride just about anything with his cousin Piper, including

TexRenFest 9

an elephant,

TexRenFest 10

TexRenFest 11

a llama, (it was a one person llama, so Piper just watched)

TexRenFest 12

TexRenFest 13

and a camel.

TexRenFest 14

And even a really big swing.

TexRenFest 18

One of our favorite shows is the Birds of Prey demonstration.

TexRenFest 20

And yes, that’s a full-grown owl, a Screech Owl.

TexRenFest 19

This is an African Augur Buzzard, but more like a hawk or falcon, not a buzzard of the US kind.

TexRenFest 21

We finally all staggered out to the cars a little after 4pm, feeling a lot like this camel. And yes, that’s how they rest when they’re pooped.

TexRenFest 15

Getting back to Chris and Linda’s about 5:30, we headed back to the rig, stopping only at Buc-ee’s for coffee to help keep me awake to do the blog, and Cranberry muffins for breakfast.

We had a great time, a lot of fun, but boy, are we tired. Maybe even camel-tired.

November 30, 2014

Not Much Sleep . . .

Didn’t get a lot of sleep last night due to fighting Walker the Dog for a spot on the couch. And I usually lost.

So no blog today, but I’ve got a lot for tomorrow.

November 30, 2015

Sorry ‘bout That . . .

Our blog readers who subscribe by email received four blogs this afternoon from June 2014.

Sorry ‘bout That!

In July 2014 I moved from my old blog format over to this one. At that time I used WordPress’ export and import functions to move all the pages, posts, and comments from the old blog to this one.

But for some reason everything didn’t move. For example only the last 10 days of June 2014 moved over. The first 20 days didn’t make it. So after trying several things to fix the problem, I came up with a cunning plan.

I would just copy each post, one at a time, from the old blog and then paste them into a new post and then change the date from today’s to the correct one for the month of June 2014. I guess in the back of my mind I thought that this date change would keep the posts from being sent out to our blog subscribers.

I was wrong.

After I did the first four pages, June 17-20, 2014, and it seemed to be working, my daughter Brandi texted me to see if I knew that I was sending out year-old posts.

No, I didn’t.

But I quickly heard from several blog readers about the problem. So now I’ll have to come up with a ‘more’ cunning plan to do this.

Later in the morning I went online to the EZ Tag website to add my new car and rig tags to my EZ Tag Toll Road Account. It wasn’t very obvious how to do this, so it took me a while to figure it out. Another example of bad website design.

Next, I again tried to call Clark’s Allstar Glass to see if they could reset my rig windshield. I noticed while we were parked on the gate that my passenger side windshield, that was replaced this past June, was starting to pull away from the frame leaving a quarter-inch gap about 8 inches around the top outside corner.

The windshield was not cracked during our blowout this past May, but was cracked when the repair place lifted the front of the rig with a single point hydraulic lift while working underneath.

It had previously been replaced the year before up in Elkhart, IN, and we had no problems since then, even going through the severe shaking during the blowout recovery.

So my insurance company, National General, told me to find a local place to remove and replace the glass, but Clark’s is closed until next Monday due to a family emergency. So I’ll call back then.

About 3:30 Jan and I headed down to The Woodlands for a movie and dinner. Along the way our first stop was at a UPS store to send my defective transfer switch back to the manufacturer.

$23 later we were back on the road. Kind of expensive for a ‘free’ warranty replacement.

We had been wanting to see The Martian ever since it came out while we were on the gate. Jan and I both really liked the book, and hoped they had done a good job bringing it to the screen.

Starring Matt Damon, and directed by Ridley Scott, who directed Thelma and Louise, Alien, Blackhawk Down, Bladerunner, and a number of other blockbusters, who did an excellent job making this book into a movie.

Although a science fiction story about an astronaut (Matt Damon) accidently left for dead on Mars during an emergency evacuation, it’s really a man against nature story that could have taken place in a remote jungle or even the Arctic, anywhere a man is fighting to survive against overwhelming odds.

The book, The Martian, written by Andy Weir, is kind of a rag to riches story. Andy, a software programmer, wrote the book in his spare time, posting it one chapter at a time on his website where anyone could download it for free.

When he was finished, friends urged him to post it on Amazon as a $.99 Kindle book. And when he did, it jumped to the top of the Bestseller Lists, even while it was still available for free on his website.

The book made such a splash that Weir was quickly approached by Random House with a publishing contract, followed by Hollywood, Ridley Scott, and Matt Damon.

See The Martian. You’ll like it as much as Jan and I did.

After our movie we were close enough to just walk up the hill a little ways to our dinner destination, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, our all-time favorite pizza place.

The Woodlands was covered in Christmas lights and decorations, covering every tree and lining the curbs along the way, making for a nice stroll to and from our car.

Woodlands Trees 1

Woodlands Trees 2

We first ate at Grimaldi’s in 2009 when we were visiting New York City with our daughter Brandi, and our granddaughter Piper. At that time we thought it was the best pizza we’d ever eaten. And it looks like we’re not the only ones.

Here’s what online says about them.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria is one of the most popular in New York City. In recent years, Zagat Survey has rated Grimaldi’s No. 1 Pizzeria in New York. It was named one of the top 10 restaurants in New York by Let’s do New York City. As Grimaldi’s does not take reservations, lines for tables are often long in summertime and extend far up Old Fulton Street.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria was chosen as one of the five best pizzerias in the United States by the Food Network. Their pizza was featured on the television show The Best of….

At that time there was only the one restaurant located in the DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan-Bridge Overpass) area of Brooklyn. So we were very happy when our friend Lyn Cross alerted us to the fact that Grimaldi’s was spreading out, with a new location nearby in the San Antonio area. Since then we’ve eaten at Grimaldi’s all over the country, and it’s always great.

We finally got home about 9pm, finishing up a very nice evening together.

Coming up tomorrow, a batch of Jan’s world-famous chili. Really looking forward to it.

November 30, 2016

Supply and Demand . . .

Today was my last day at this gate, at least until next time. I never know.

One gate I’ve been to 4 separate times, so I’ll probably be back at this one too. And I wouldn’t mind it either. This was actually a really good gate.

I actually only had about 10 vehicles in and out of the gate. Nothing like the 60 truck convoy that came through yesterday. But I did have about 30 vehicles come in who were lost. I would tell them they were at the wrong pad, but some just wouldn’t believe me.

I had a small convoy of 10 welding trucks come in who insisted they were in the right place and insisted on going in. I told them no one was on site, but they just wouldn’t listen.

Then about 5 minutes later here they come back out and then the lead guy sheepishly asked me where the ‘other’ site was.

Well, after trying unsuccessfully to out-produce us, OPEC and including Russia, has finally gotten their act together enough to make some slight cuts in oil production. But the cuts were enough to jump the price of oil today almost 10%.

We’ll see how long the cuts hold, but it does bode well for US companies. And of course for us gate guards as well. But in the past as soon as the price goes up some, individual OPEC members get greedy again, increase their production to take advantage of the higher prices, and then it all falls apart again.

Supply and demand. Supply and demand.

As it stands right now my next gate is this Sunday on days, back at the gate where I got lost going to this past Monday. As I told Todd, at least I know where it is now.

Tomorrow Jan and I are making a day trip into San Antonio for some shopping, a movie, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”,  and then dinner at Magic Time Machine, one of our three favorite places in San Antonio.

“Fantastic Beast” is a prequel to the Harry Potter book and movie series, both of which Jan and I really liked, so we’re looking forward to it.

November 30, 2017

A New Ride . . .

Jan and I headed up to the Clear Lake area about 4pm to meet up with Chris, Linda, and Piper at Cheddar’s for dinner. But we left a little early so we could make a stop at Sam’s to pick up a prescription and 6# of JIF Creamy Peanut Butter.

Then it was on over to Chris’ to wait for Piper to get off and meet us at the restaurant. The first thing we noticed when we pulled up to the house was this.

Piper's New Ride

Turns out that this Mazda Miata is Piper’s new ride. Don’t remember what year it is but it only has about 64,000 miles on it. But there’s a problem.

Piper can’t drive a stick, and a 6-speed stick at that. So it’s back to Driver’s Ed for Piper.

I told Miss Piper that she was taking after her PaPa since this is what I was driving when I met Jan down in Florida. Of course this is an Internet photo.

65 Triumph Spitfire

A 1965 Triumph Spitfire. Of course knowing me, it’s not surprising mine was somewhat souped up. (Well, maybe a lot souped up!)

Dinner was just as good as we’ve come to expect from a Cheddar’s meal, with Jan having the Key West Chicken and Shrimp with Bourbon Glaze, and Green Beans and Broccoli-Cheese Casserole

Cheddar's Key West Chicken and Shrimp

while I had the Chicken Tenders, with Green Beans and Broccoli-Cheese Casserole.

Cheddar's Chicken Tenders 2

All as delicious as usual.

I did this group photo after we finished eating,

Cheddar's Group

with everyone in the Christmas Spirit except Miss Piper.

But after I reminded her that there was still room on the Naughty List, she perked right up.

Cheddar's Piper

After dinner, we drove over to the other ‘new’ thing in Piper’s life. To go along with her new ride, she also has a new job and a new apartment.

Piper's New Apt 1

Her new job is here in the Clear Lake area where she does Medical Coding and Insurance Billing for a company that furnishes Hospice services for both individuals and medical Institutions.

Piper's New Apt 2

Piper's New Apt 3

A really nice place, and as she says, ‘Only 4 minutes, 31 seconds from work.”


Piper's New Kat

This is little fellow is Kat, a kitten that Piper rescued during Hurricane Harvey.

Jan and I have been going through the slides that we came across while Chris was cleaning out the attic at the house.

I was able to borrow a slide projector from my client so we’ve been going through them one carousel at a time, picking the ones we want to have digitized by Legacy Box. Looks like we have 5 or 6 more carousels to go.

November 30, 2018

$1.84 A Gallon . . .

Stopped by the Costco this afternoon on my way home from my client’s to fill up before I pick up Jan on Monday.

And the price has now dropped to $1.84. And then on the way home, the HEB that was $2.12 this morning, is now down to $2.01 to match the WalMart right across the Interstate. But as before, still not any real change in the diesel price.

I did stop at the Denny’s down here to have breakfast, just so I wouldn’t have to fix anything myself. Besides breakfast sounded good.

Tomorrow I’m going to get back on looking for the oil leak on our rig’s Cummins 350 ISC diesel engine. To recap, the leak first appeared on our trip up to Illinois back in June. Since it occurred during our first trip after having the engine serviced and the oil filter replaced, and that the leak seemed to be coming from the vicinity of the filter, I called RV Mobile Lube to come back out and replace the filter. And several engine tests, and even a 2 hour test drive seem to show the leak had been fixed. However, when we headed down to Florida this past October, the leak was back.

Coming back to Houston I tried to use my WiFi Endoscope Inspection Camera to see what was happening.

Depstech Endoscope

But there was so much vibration that the picture was just too blurry to see anything. So tomorrow I’m going to lift the bed up again, remove the Endoscope, and then use one of my Wyze cameras

Wyze Camera

mounted on the end of a long rod to just take a look at the area where the leak seems to be originating and see what’s what’s.

It only leaks when the engine is running, and except for needing to add oil, a couple of gallons every 400 miles or so, the engine runs perfectly. So hopefully I’ll see something tomorrow that will shed some light on things.

Looks like things have warmed up down at Disney World.

Brandi et all at Disney 2

Where it was in the 50’s a couple of days ago, it’s shirtsleeve weather now for Brandi, Lowell, and Landon. Looks like they’re still having a blast.

Only two more days until Jan’s back home. Karma and I are both giddy.

And lonely.

November 30, 2019

Still Thinking About It . . ..

I’m still working out what I plan to do next about my oil leak problem, but I want to talk to Cummins again before I try something else. However, before I do anything, I’m going to crawl back under the rig and pull off the filter and the new gasket and adapter head and see if I can see a problem.

My reasoning is that after I replaced those parts and we headed out on our Kingsland trip a couple of weeks ago, we had absolutely no leakage when we stopped at the Buc-ee’s in Katy. Every other trip we’ve had leakage by then. So something I did worked, at least until we’d traveled another 75 miles or so, and the leak returned, worse than ever.

Because of this I’m going to retrace my steps and see if anything jumps out at me

But none of this is going to happen for a couple of weeks, since this coming Thursday we’re leaving on our Christmas In New York trip. So pretty much nothing is getting done until after then.

As I mentioned the other day, when I got back from Kingsland this past Wednesday afternoon, I found a bad 50 amp breaker in our pedestal. And strangely enough this same thing happened to us back in April of 2018, too. That time it was when we got back from one of our local oil leak test drives.

But this time I had my 50 amp Tester all ready to go. And it worked great.

So I thought I’d repost this part of the blog from April 29, 2018.

A couple of weeks ago when we got back from our RV test drive we found that our pedestal was dead.

And as I was sticking my VOM probes into the 50 amp receptacle, wiggling them around to be sure I making a good connection, it galvanized me to build up the tester that I had mentally designed a few years back.

So to refresh my memory, I sketched it out on a pad and started sourcing out some parts. Then it occurred to me that rather than reinvent the wheel, I might ought to check to see if somebody already sold one, saving me the time and effort.

I didn’t find anything commercially-made but I did come across this home-brew effort.

Pretty much my same design, but I did like the box and the connector he used so I borrowed that idea, and then went all digital with it. Great minds, etc.

And here’s what I ended up with,

50 Amp Tester Finished

based on this design that I drew up.

50 Amp Tester Schematic

It only took about 30 minutes to wire it up and get it put together. So the first thing I did was to take it outside to the pedestal, disconnect the coach, and hook it up.

50 Amp Tester at Pedestal

And it worked perfectly. But in the bright sun the lights didn’t photograph very well. So I connected it up again after dark.

50 Amp Tester at Night

Much more visible on camera.

The two circuit testers check L1 and L2 for open grounds, open neutrals, reversed grounds and neutrals, etc. All of which I have encountered at campgrounds over the years.

I would have used two voltmeters but couldn’t find one narrow enough to fit two side by side. So I just swap the one back and forth as needed.

The green LED on the top left checks to see if you have real split phase 220VAC coming from the pedestal and not just two 110VAC lines coming into it. Again something I’ve seen several times over the years.

Tomorrow I get my Sweetie back home, after I drive up to Brandi’s to pick her up. It’s kind of lonely here because Karma is just not very good company.

November 30, 2020

Family And Fredericksburg . . .

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog about our family get-together up in Kingsland starting Thursday, Jan 1st. But today, Jan and I upped the ante on that trip, booking a night at a Fredericksburg hotel the day before, on the 31st.

So Jan and I will go up to Fredericksburg a day earlier to spend some time checking out some of our old haunts, before making the 90 minute drive over to Kingsland on Saturday morning.

Really looking forward to all of it.

November 30, 2021

Pumpkin, Pumpkin, Pumpkin . . .

We had planned to head down to Galveston about 12:15, but instead I first headed into work about 11am to fix a not-really-a-problem. I did make it back home and we were on our way pretty much on time.

Our first stop was the Mosquito Café for brunch. We’ve passed this place a number of times, because our long-time favorite Sunflower Café is right on the next block.

But Sunflower is closed on Tuesday’s so we thought we’d give Mosquito a try. And it turned out to be pretty good, though not quite as good as Sunflower.

We both had their Plain Ole Breakfast, with 3 eggs, bacon or sausage, toast, and a side. Jan got the Hash Browns and I got the Cheesy Grits.

Mosquito Cafe Plain Ole Beakfast

Jan also started with a cup of their Pumpkin Bisque.

Mosquito Cafe Pumpkin Bisque

She thought it was so good that as she was finishing it off, I told her that I would be on the lookout if she wanted to lick the bowl. To her credit, she didn’t take me up on it. But I think she thought about it.

We both got a dessert from their bakery. Jan got one of their Pumpkin Bars, while I got a piece of their Pumpkin Spice Cake with Cream Cheese frosting.

Mosquito Cafe Pumpkin Spice Cake

I’m sensing a theme here.

The kicker to all this was that we couldn’t even eat half of this, so we had a lot to bring home for tomorrow night’s dinner.

Then it was off to my client appointment. Took about an hour to go over things to find out what they needed. Looks like I will be taking over their website, but I’m not sure yet how much other support they’ll need. We’ll see.

Looks like Branson is prepping for our Christmas visit next week. While this week it’s been in the 70’s there, next week looks to be in the high 50’s in the daytime, and the 30’s/40’s at night.

No snow forecast though.  Yet.

November 30, 2022

Well, I Went And Did It . . .

Today was another of those days at work where I didn’t do anything actually work-related. Things like soldering a broken lead in a Nissan Altima key fob, replacing a bad circuit breaker in the office breaker panel,  repairing the AC power plug on a heat sealer unit, or using my Bluetooth Code Reader to read a trouble code on the previously mentioned Nissan Altima. (It was P0442. A loose gas cap)

Well, I finally broke down and did it.

For the first time in almost 20 years, I have a credit card.

No, not another debit card, but a real-life, actual credit card.

We got rid of our credit cards (I think we only had two or three) back in 2005 or so. Debit cards were well accepted, and I kind of like being forced to keep everything on an essentially cash basis. And it was a big help when we started prepping to go full-time RV’ing in the 2006-2007 time frame.

And until very recently, like last week, I haven’t needed a credit card. At least until Enterprise Rent-A-Car changed their rules and will no longer rent me a car with a Debit card.

So since Capitol One is always sending me these credit card pitches, I went online and 5 minutes later I had a credit card on the way, and a virtual one to use in the meantime.

Doubt I’ll ever use it for anything except car rental. And that’s usually only once a year or so, so it’s not going to get a lot of use.

Tomorrow it’s lunch at Twin Peaks with some errands afterwards. Then on Friday we’re meeting up with long-time friends Peri & Jim Dean, and his sister and brother-in-law. They’ll be down in this area getting ready to leave on a Carnival Cruise on Saturday. So it’s a perfect time for a get-together.












Not Much Happened . . .


So It’s On To The Retro-Blogs.™

Thought For The Day:

Don’t be part of the problem. Be like Me. Be the entire problem.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

November 29, 2009


Today was another nice quiet day, complete with sleeping-in, turkey leftovers for lunch,  and a nap.

What more could you ask for?

Our daughter Brandi called about 2 pm, during nap time, so we didn’t call her back until around 4.

About 5 we headed out for dinner, and ended up at Monterey’s Little Mexico again, for their great Chicken Tortilla Soup.

After that it was back home for Amazing Race and Desperate Housewives, at least for Jan.  I read in the bedroom.

November 29, 2010

Monterey’s and Monday . . .

Jan and I left the rig about 12:30 heading for lunch at Monterey’s Little Mexico, but as soon as I cranked up the engine, I noticed I had a “Check Engine” light, or at least my truck’s equivalent, which is the outline of an engine. It wasn’t flashing which meant it wasn’t immediately serious. I checked my oil level and added a quart, though it wasn’t low enough to be a problem.

I then decided to get out my code meter and check what the code that caused the “Check Engine” light in the first place. I keep my meter in the center console so it’s always handy, it was just a few seconds to hook it up and check the code.

And the code was . . . P0442.

Well, that tells me a lot. But a quick look in the accompanying guide told me it was: “Evap leak monitor, Small Leak Detected.” And that jogged my memory. The last time I saw this code it was a gas cap problem.

One time it was a defective gas cap and the other time the cap was just loose. A quick check showed that my cap was loose this time too. I last got gas about 4 days ago so I guess I just didn’t get it tight enough.

While the code reader was still hooked up I went ahead and cancelled the “Check Engine” light. It would eventually go out by itself but it might take 3 or 4 engine starts to do it.

And starting up the engine showed the code was gone, so that was the problem.

Then leaving Monterey’s I discovered another problem. I was missing one of my credit cards. I had not used it at all today, but I had used it yesterday. I thought I might have left it at Mackey’s where we ate lunch yesterday, but remembered I had used it later at Wal-Mart.

But since I was already close to my client’s office I decided to go ahead and take care of him before heading down to Wal-Mart.

Finishing up with my client and getting down to Wal-Mart, I went straight to Customer Service to see if they had my credit card.

And they did!

I’m still not sure how I lost it. Normally I put it right back in my billfold. The only thing I can figure is that when I was putting up my $40 cash back, either it fell out or I dropped it.

I guess I just lucked out.

Right now as I’m posting this I see it’s –30 degrees in Fairbanks, and the high tomorrow is supposed to be a blistering –19.

Isn’t Global Warming wonderful just wonderful?

That’s about it today.

November 29, 2011

Clear Lake and Crater Lake . . .

Today was another work day (Hey, I thought I was retired) so I was up at 10, and after coffee, worked outside going through stuff in the back of the truck and rearranging things in the bays.

About 1pm I headed into Clear Lake and back to my client from last week They’re back from their trip and had some other things for me to look at. While I was there I got them set up on so they can log into their computers at home from their iPads and laptops while they’re on the road.

I got back to the rig about 5 pm to find we have a new neighbor in the site next door. They’re in an older, but nice Rexhall. That means the park only has 2 vacancies out of 82 sites.

Jan and I headed out to the Ryan’s in Texas City for our Fried Chicken fix. We were also hoping to see Helen, a waitress there that we’ve known for years, but it seems like she’s moved back to Louisiana.

Right after we got here I happened to check the park WiFi on my Android phone and saw the signal levels were much stronger than last year so stop off at Fry’s Electronics last week and picked up a USB WiFi adapter for my desktop.


It’s a TL-WN722N and I like the fact that it has an external antenna so I can add a bigger antenna if necessary.

But a bigger antenna is certainly not necessary here. Along with a better signal, it looks like they’ve also upgraded to ‘N’ routers on their Access Points. This morning when I checked my speed with, I was showing 7.59 Mbps download and 5.32 Mbps upload. That’s getting into 4G speeds!

In comparison, my Verizon AirCard that works on 3G here normally gets me about 1 Mbps download if I’m lucky.

When I checked the WiFi speed this evening when more people were using it, I was showing about 2.5 Mbps download. Still very good.

November 29, 2012

My nose was running and my head was sweating . . .

After our usual morning routine, Jan and I decided to have lunch today at King Food, our favorite local Chinese place, and they really did it up right today.

We always order the Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce with Jalapenos, and get it XXXXX spicy. And the cook was on his best game today. Readers know how much Jan and I like spicy food, and me more than Jan.

And when a dish is really spicy, my nose starts running and the top of my bald head starts sweating. And my head was sweating so much today I would swear I was back on the gate when it was 116 degrees.

After toweling off, we headed off to a client’s so I could drop off my monthly bill and double-check that they had received the online orders that I had faxed over.

Then it was on to Lowe’s to check out their lumber prices for my upcoming trim project. And it looks like I’ll be getting it here as they have a better quality of lumber at a cheaper price. You can’t beat that.

Our next stop was Wal-Mart to get some Wal-Mart stuff, and then next door to Sam’s Club to pick up Jan’s prescriptions. Ended up having to wait for about 20 minutes because they had trouble getting one of them transferred up from the Wal-Mart in Pleasanton, TX that was last filled while we were on the gate.

Then after a stop by Brandi’s to pick up our mail, we headed home for the day.

Yesterday I listed the network shows we watch, so Jan said I should also list the non-networks. So here goes.

Shows we both watch:



Warehouse 13

Dr. Who


Rizzoli & Isles

And these are shows that just Jan watches.

Sister Wives

Pioneer Woman

The Fabulous Beekman Boys

Welcome To Sweetie Pie’s

Trisha’s Southern Kitchen


Rachel Ray

Paula Deen

Not My Mama’s Meals

Home for Dinner with Jamie Deen

November 29, 2013

Post Turkey Day . . .

As I said yesterday, today was going to be a do-nothing day. And it was. In fact we never even went outside the rig at all. Just hot coffee and warm sausage balls for breakfast.

Speaking of sausage balls, I posted a couple of new recipes in Jan’s Favorite Recipes area. The first one is an update on her Sausage Ball recipe, this one adding cream cheese for the creamier, cheesier version of this great treat. As usual yesterday, the first thing everyone asked as they arrived was, “Where’s the sausage balls?” And everyone liked the new version.

The second new recipe is Cranberry Christmas Cake. With only 6 ingredients, its tart, sweet, buttery taste is a real treat. Easy to make, with no topping or icing needed, it was a big hit at Thanksgiving dinner, and we had almost none left to bring home. Check ‘em out!

I also added some new info under the Gate Guard Info tab. A blog reader told me about another Gate Guard company called Guard 1 Services, and they are presently advertising for Gate Guards.

I also posted under my Other Interesting Blogs a link to Workers on Wheels, a website listing jobs for RV’ers. Looks pretty neat.

Tomorrow all 11 of us are heading about 70 miles north to the Texas Renaissance Festival, the largest one in the country. The last time Jan and I went was 2007, but we attended many times over the years when the kids were younger. So we’re really looking forward to it again.

November 29, 2014

Almost Home . . .

but not quite.

I left the rig about 1pm this afternoon, expecting a smooth, easy trip down to the Clear Lake area from Conroe. It was after all, Saturday. But of course, it was after all, Houston.

There were two bad accidents on I-45N coming out of downtown Houston, and of course, everyone on my southbound side had to slow down and gawk. Then south of downtown, my Garmin GPS’ Traffic Alert system warned me of a 45 minute delay on the 3.5 mile stretch between Sam Houston Toll Way and FM 2351. But luckily I was able to detour off and bypass the problem.

As soon as I got to Chris’, Jan and I headed out for a couple of errands, first to the storeroom to go through some Christmas stuff for the rig. Jan’s decided to do a live tree in the rig this year, using a small Norfolk Pine, so she wanted to dig out her moose Christmas ornament collection. She actually has enough moose ornaments to decorate the 9 1/2 foot tree we had in the S&B. Luckily that won’t fit in the rig.

Chris has done a great job cleaning out the storeroom, so hopefully we can get rid of it by the end of the year.

Our next stop was to drop off some pants to be hemmed, but it turned out they closed at 3pm, so we’ll try again another time.

Our last stop was to check out the new Fresh Market that recently opened across from Baybrook Mall. It looks to be a combination of a Whole Foods and a regular Grocery Store, pretty nice with a lot of fresh-made salads and stuff. We’ll check it out further when we have more time, but now we needed a Starbuck’s fix. So we headed across the parking lot to the nearby one. And due to an order screw-up, we both have a new favorite Starbuck’s favor. But it looks to be short-lived.

I ordered my usual Cinnamon Dolce Latte, but due to the cashier’s bad handwriting on the side of the cup, the C dl looked like C pl to the barista, not the first time this has happened, she said. So what I got was a Chestnut Praline Latte, one of their Christmas Special Flavors. The barista quickly realized her mistake and gave me my Cinnamon Dolce, and I got to keep the Chestnut Praline too. And Jan and I both thought it was delicious. At least for as long as the Christmas season lasts.

About 5:45 we met our friends Bob and Maria at King Food for dinner. We’ve known them since mid-80’s when we met in a computer store, so it’s always good to get back together when we’re in town. And Bob had another batch of his fresh-roasted Peruvian coffee for us. Always great.

I mentioned that Jan was dog-sitting here for one of Chris and Linda’s dogs, PJ

PJ the Dog

and the two guest dogs, Walker

Walker The Dog

and Coco.

Coco The Dog

Jan said they’ve all been pretty good, with no real problems. But apparently Walker’s a chewer, so he and PJ go outside when we leave for a while.

Tomorrow afternoon we’ll head back to the rig by way of Brandi and Lowell’s. Hopefully our South Dakota tag stickers will be there, especially since my current ones expire tomorrow. Here’s hoping.

Wrapping up, I just realized that tonight will be the first time I’ve spent the night in this house since we moved out January 1st, 2007. We moved into an apartment down the street so we could remodel the house prior to selling it as part of our journey toward full-timing that began January 6th, 2008. But plans changed along the way, and we ended up keeping the place with Brandi moving in first, and then Chris, Linda and Piper last year.

Both of them made nice improvements along the way, and the house looks great.

As I was typing this, I realized that I keep calling this place our house, and not our home, even though it was our home for 30 years. But it’s not our home any longer.

Our rig is our home, and will be for the foreseeable future. We just enjoy the vagabond lifestyle too much to give it up.

November 29, 2015

Crusty’s and Cradlepoint . . .

With another cold, rainy day on tap, it was perfect for just staying home, bundled up with the heater going all day. Nice, but still putting a crimp in the outside stuff I want to work on.

I spent a good bit of time working on the new website that I hope to take live in a few weeks. I’ll be telling you more about it as the time gets closer.

I do have a couple of things here in the coach to work on. I want to mount a 12v socket inside one of the kitchen cabinets to connect a small inverter to run our Amazon Echo for music while we’re on the road, and another at my computer desk for power my Cradlepoint Router/AirCard combo, also while we’re on the road.

Our last day at the Verde Valley Thousand Trails this past July we had dinner at Crusty’s Pizza down in Camp Verde. While we had pizza, we also got a couple of their Baked Spaghetti Dinners to go.

Crusty's Pizza 1

The dinners also came with salads, which we had with our pizza, since those don’t store, but back as the rig we divided the dinners in half, and then we vacuum-sealed and froze them for later.

And for tonight’s dinner, it was now a ‘later’. The nice thing about these dinners is that even cut in half, it’s enough for both of us, especially when paired with cheese sticks and hot garlic bread. And since it’s been vacuum-sealed, it was just like it came from Crusty’s yesterday.

Tomorrow we’re probably going to drive down to The Woodlands to see “The Martian” movie, and have supper at the Grimaldi’s Pizzeria there. On the way, I plan on dropping off the defective transfer switch at the UPS store to be returned to the manufacturer.

For some reason after about six months my first one would only transfer to the rig’s generator if we were still hooked up to shore power. Not real useful in most cases. I installed the replacement while we were on the gate, and it worked perfectly, so now the bad one needs to go back to Michigan.

Yesterday I showed Landon working on his Gingerbread Farm House at his grandparents up in Oklahoma.

Landon's Gingerbread House 1

And now here’s the finished version.

Landon's Gingerbread House 2

Looks like he did a good job too.

November 29, 2016

Patsy and Karma . . .

For Black Friday I did get another new toy, something I’ve had my eye on for a while, but didn’t want to pay the $70.

It’s a cup holder mount for a cellphone or tablet.

iKross 2-in-1 Tablet and Cellphone Extended Cup Mount Holder

Although I really haven’t had a chance to try it out, so far I like it. It’s sturdy and heavy, considering it’s made of plastic.

CellphoneTablet Holder 1

CellphoneTablet Holder 2

We have a GPS in the truck, but often use my Galaxy S5 phone to find someplace local. Then Jan has to hold it, or I set it up on the dash or down on the console. Plus when we’re traveling a longer distance I like to use my Samsung Tab 4 tablet to run Waze to monitor accidents and other problems in front of us. So this looks perfect.

Mounting in the truck, I found that rather than keep up with two different size holders, the tablet holder turned vertical holds my S5 from the top and bottom with no problems.

The base expands to fit pretty much any size vehicle cup holder, even the large ones in our truck. And it’s still only $20.

We’re going into San Antonio for the day on Thursday so I’ll let you know how it works after that.

I mentioned last week that our Dodge Dakota truck was approaching 250,000 miles and that we might hit that mark on our trip back to Katy for Thanksgiving, but we didn’t quite make it.

But I did watch it roll over coming back from my gate last night. So 250,000 miles and still going strong. And that 250,000 doesn’t include the 75,000+ miles being towed behind the rig, since when it’s in neutral tow mode, the odometer doesn’t register.

The only real problem is a broken exhaust manifold bolt. When you first start it up you can hear it chuffing slightly due to the exhaust manifold leak. But in about 5 minutes, the leak seals due to the heat expansion and it’s fine. When I asked my mechanic how much it would take to fix it, he said between $300 – $800, depending on how many other bolts broke off during the repair, and recommended just leaving it alone until it got much worse. And so far it hasn’t changed.

Miss Karma continues to surprise us. She has several different cloth fuzzy mice of diverse colors, including mouse-brown and pink stripes. Although at times she will bat one or more of them around the rig, usually she has them all in a pile on the floor in the kitchen.

Karma mice

If you try to tidy them up by putting them all in a small box, she will get them all out again.

So this morning right before I left for the gate at 5am, Jan was packing up my lunch and I looked down at the mouse pile and noticed that Karma now had two brown mice.

And one of them was moving.

She had caught a mouse in the rig and apparently decided it should be stored with all her other mice. Then looking down at it, Karma reared up and came down on the mouse and it moved no longer.

And she seemed somewhat upset when I then threw the no-longer moving one outside. I guess she planned on saving it for a snack later, since she had just been fed. I assume a container of Meow Mix Shrimp and Tuna tastes better than mouse.

Still don’t know if I should put out the traps or just let Karma have all the fun.

Today’s (and tomorrow’s gate) are a little busier than yesterday, but not by a lot. At least right now. A Marathon guy came in about 3pm and said there would be 60! trucks coming in as a convoy and to just let them in without logging so they don’t back up onto the highway and for a mile down the road.

Sounds good to me.

I guess I didn’t make Todd too mad yesterday getting lost on my way to a new gate, since he texted me another gate for this Sunday. Nice

Unfortunately it’s still on Day shift but I’ll take it.

Wrapping up, Patsy, my old babysitter, has a new book out that was just released today.

The Whole Town’s Talking: A Novel

I call her Patsy, but you probably know her better as Fanny Flagg.


And yes, she was my babysitter when both our families lived in Gulf Shores, AL in the late 50’s. Patsy’s parents owned a small amusement park there when my parents had their motel there.

She’s about 4 years older than me, and when our parents would get together, Patsy (Patricia Neal, her real name) was tasked with keeping me in check. I doubt she was too successful, knowing me as well as I do.

Check it out.

November 29, 2017

Lemonade . . .

I spent most of the day at work working on our paper catalog, trying to correct a lot of problems left by my predecessor.

In going through the catalog I found 5 or 6 blank pages scattered through the book. Since they still had page numbers I assumed that products had been deleted, leaving the blank pages.

At first I couldn’t figure out why he would leave the blank pages since InDesign automagically repaginates when you add or delete pages. So that shouldn’t be a problem.

But after checking a few other things I saw the problem. When the previous guy set up the catalog, he failed to set up the Index to also auto-update. Which means that as you delete pages the pages behind that page to change page numbers.

When means the Index would no longer be correct. At this point I don’t know if I can convert the Index to auto-update or not. So in the meantime, I converted the blank pages to page-size ads for specific products we have on sale.

Making lemons into lemonade.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that if you had bought $100 of Bitcoins in 2010, it would then be worth $72 million. That was when Bitcoin was worth $6000. So today when it peaked out at a little over $11000, your $100 investment jumped to about $130 million.

You can never find a time machine when you need one.

Looks like USPS is slowing down with the Christmas rush. I had two packages that were supposed to be delivered on Monday, but according Tracking Details they were just sitting in the local PO.

Then they finally showed up on Tuesday, but I didn’t get the text message that they’d actually been delivered until this afternoon. That’s the first time in a long time that Amazon Prime has missed a Two Day Delivery.

Since our pre-Thanksgiving dinner last Wednesday was aborted by our bad tire experience, we’re doing the post Turkey Day thing tomorrow night at Cheddar’s.

Really looking forward to it.

November 29, 2018

The War Continues . . .

I met the beautiful Miss Piper this morning about 10 for breakfast at Snooze, her first time, my second there. There were tables available outside where Jan and I sat last time, but it was just in the high 60’s and windy, so I waited about 10 minutes for one inside

And as it worked out Piper showed up just a couple of minutes after I got seated. Actually I was surprised to see how busy they were on a weekday morning, but it may just be the ‘new restaurant ‘ syndrome. We’ll see in a couple of months.

Miss Piper at Snooze

Miss Piper had the Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Tomato Soup,

Snooze Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

while I again went with the Shrimp & Grits and fruit.

Snooze Shrimp & Grits 3

My Shrimp & Grits was as good as last time, with just perfect spicing. And Piper said hers was really delicious. I guess so, since she ate every bite.

I really enjoyed getting together with Piper, since it’s been a good while since I had her all to myself.

The gas war continues. Costco and Sam’s are now at $1.89, while yesterday our local HEB dropped from $2.12 to $2.01, to match the WalMart across the street.

Unfortunately diesel doesn’t seem to be enjoying this drop. It’s pretty much at the same price it was back in October when we were last traveling in the rig.

And of course if the price of oil goes too low, then it starts to hurt the drillers/producers. Supply and demand.

Landon got his first ride on the Space Mountain roller coaster today and LOVED it.

Brandi et al at Disney

Brandi also remembered that Space Mountain was her very FIRST roller coaster ride back when she was a little girl visiting her grandparents in Titusville.

Finishing up, don’t know if this guy disconnected his airbags, or they got used and not replaced, but he definitely doesn’t like them.

No Airbags

What’s kind of funny is how the whole airbag thing came about. First up were seatbelts in the late 60’s/early 70’s. But people weren’t using them enough to satisfy the government.

So they required automakers to install seatbelt interlocks, where the car wouldn’t start if there was weight in the seat and the seatbelt wasn’t fastened. So you had to belt in bags of groceries or suitcases. Or even to back the car out of the garage to wash it.

So people started just fastening the belts and tucking them into the seat, or just disconnection the interlock altogether.

So then the government had a better idea. Let’s set off an explosion in your steering wheel or glove compartment to inflate a canvas bag at 200mph, and hope it won’t kill you.

But it did kill people, in many cases by decapitation, especially children and small adults. So now we’re back to airbags AND seatbelts, so you can’t end up too close to the airbag when it goes off.

And just in case, all small children (in fact under the age of 13) are supposed to be in the back seat. But this causes problems too, especially with mothers of babies. They find it almost impossible to not keep checking the rearview mirror, or even turning around to look at them. So more accidents.

And it’s also maybe what’s led to the recent increase of babies in the backseat left in hot cars to die. In many cases this seems to be a parent who normally doesn’t drop the baby off at daycare, going in to work and literally forgetting that the sleeping baby is back there. And this is possibly acerbated by the high/wide headrests that many cars now have, again for safety reasons.

I know on the 2018 Chevy Impala we recently rented that it was very difficult to see anything in the back seat due to the width of both headrests. And it was also a problem when I would look back over my left shoulder to double-check the blind spot before I  changed lanes. The headrest was wide enough that It showed up in my peripheral vision, making me think for a second or so that there was a car there.

Such is the Law of Unintended Consequences.

And don’t even get me started on the ‘safety features’ that the government has now required on new gas cans.

November 29, 2019

A Nice Thanksgiving . . .

As you know, Jan has been at our daughter Brandi’s up in Katy since last Sunday. For the first part, until Wednesday, she was Landon-sitting while he was out of school for the week. And now since Brandi, Lowell, and Landon went up to Cleburne, TX to have Thanksgiving with friends, she’s been Kitty, Baxter, Jack, and Moshi-sitting, while I’m back at the rig in Santa Fe. But of course, we couldn’t miss out on Thanksgiving together so I drove up to Brandi’s Thursday morning so we could have Turkey Day Dinner at the Katy Cracker Barrel.

We got there early, about 10:30, and I dropped Jan off at the front while I went and found a parking spot in the back. I figured we’d probably have a long wait since pretty much all of the front porch rockers were occupied and there were a lot of people milling around.

By the time I got back to the front, Jan was just getting to the front of the line to check in. When we were told 15 minutes, Jan asked again because she was sure the young lady must have said 50 minutes. But she said 15 again as she entered our info on her iPad.

But then just as we turned around to go back outside, we heard, “White, party of 2”. And it was the us Whites, too.

And the kitchen was really pumping out the food, because we had our plates in only about 10 minutes.

Cracker Barrel Thanksgivig 2019

It was as delicious as usual, with of course, the only ‘real dressing’. In case you’re wondering, that’s Cornbread Dressing. And Cracker Barrel’s version is so good we occasionally get a couple of pans of it on other holidays

We were full and done in less than an hour. And it was only $12.99, and that included our drink and dessert. And no dishes to clean up, either.

Brandi and Lowell managed to get their Christmas trees up before they left, though they’re not decorated yet. In fact Jan says that there are 8 big tubs of decorations stacked around.

And I did mean ‘trees’ plural.

There’s the big 16’ foot version in the living room,

Brandi 2019 Big Christmas Tree

and the smaller, white one in the dining room.

Brandi 2019 White Christmas Tree

Quite a setup.

I’ve gotten a LOT of comments, emails, and suggestions concerning my continuing oil leak problems. Too many to really answer them separately.

Right now I’m thinking over how to proceed from here, and I’ve got a couple of new ideas that I’ll go over with you, probably in tomorrow’s blog. And I’ll also try to answer everyone’s questions then too.

November 29, 2020

Family . . .

After a quiet, do-nothing morning Jan and I drove over to Dickinson to have lunch at Los Ramirez Mexican.

And that was it for outings today. However we did get our trips booked for the next couple of months.

Saturday, December 12th Jan and I making the two-day trip up to Athens, AL to visit relatives, mainly my Aunt Virginia, who has been wanting us to come for several months. We’ll spend the night going and coming in Slidell, LA like we did last time we made the trip.

Coming home, we’ll get back the evening of Sunday, the 20th.

Then January 1st, we’re all heading up to Kingsland for a big family weekend get-together at Chris and Linda’s. And it looks like they’re all ready for us.

Chris Christmas Tree 2020

Chris Christmas 2020

Chris Christmas 2 2020

Even the dogs.

And speaking of dogs, looks like Landon has also gone to the dogs.

Landon Asleep with Jack and Baxter

Jack certainly looks comfortable, with Landon laying on Baxter.

Several people have asked how Jan and I like our new 3” mattress topper. Well, we like it a lot.

It’s much cooler than our old 2” version, which not only was thinner, but also didn’t have the gel-infusion, the thing that is supposed to keep it cooler. And it sure seems to work.

Plus the extra thickness is really nice too. And unlike what some of the reviews said, it’s not so thick that it’s hard to ‘climb out of’, as one review said.

Classic Brands 3-Inch Cool Cloud Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper With Free Cover, Queen

And even nicer, it doesn’t ‘travel’. Though our old one had ‘non-skid’ rubber fabric on the bottom, it still would move over time. So much so that we ended up safety-pinning it to the box springs underneath. But this one stays right in place with no pinning.

A great buy. And it was only $68.

November 29, 2021

Some Good News . . .

Our daughter Brandi met with my neurosurgeon, Dr. Wang, this morning so he could talk about her neck problems. And the good news is that she doesn’t need surgery . . . for now.

He thinks that her problems can be treated with steroid injections and some special exercises. And he also threw me under the bus, telling her that she probably inherited the problems from me.

Well, my question would be why did my problems take 73 years to show up, while hers took a lot less time to appear. Seems like she had something to do with it too.

He does want her to get some further X-Rays/MRI’s on her lumbar region to get a better look at possible problems there.

That’s probably going to be my fault too. Just watch.

Got our Jeep back from the mechanic’s this afternoon, and she’s ready to go for our Branson trip that starts this Saturday.

When Joe, my mechanic, asked about my limping, I told him about recent surgery, and in just a couple of moments we were comparing scars. He also had a 3-Level Fusion a while back, though his scar is on the left and only about half the size of mine. I think he was jealous.

Tomorrow Jan and I are heading down to Galveston tomorrow to have lunch at Mosquito Café, and check out a possible new client while we’re there.

November 29, 2022

I’m Cheap . . .

But then you knew that, didn’t you?

Almost exactly 3 years ago we got this SOWTECH Cordless Vacuum after Jan saw them using one at Black Bear Diner.

SOWTECH Cordless Vacuum

But yesterday it just up and died.

So after checking on Amazon and finding this one is no longer available, I decided to tear into the carcass of this one to see if I could find a fixable problem. And after removing umpteen screws, this is what I had left.

SOWTECH Cordless Vacuum Inside

Poking around with my multimeter and a small screwdriver, I first checked the battery voltage and found it OK. Then I turned the switch on and started wiggling wires. And it came to life.

At first I thought that the problem was a bad connection on the switch, but a little more investigation revealed it was the switch itself. I could short across the switch contacts and the motor would run.

Luckily for me, these switches are fairly standard so I was able to find a pair of them on Amazon for $5.

Round Rocker Switch for Vacuum

Should be in Friday.

So I saved a $120 vacuum for 15 minutes of my time and a $2.50 switch.

Like I said, I’m cheap.

Though I really prefer Thrifty.

Last night, Jan and I had our ante penultimate Thanksgiving leftovers, and yes. we had cornbread dressing. Not Cracker Barrel of course.

After seeing a couple of good reviews we picked a couple of boxes of Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing. And after adding the Chicken Broth supplied by CB, along with some extra Sage and Thyme, it was really very good.

Not quite CB good, but at least it was here.

Then tomorrow night we’ll finish it off.

For lunch today it was back to Dickinson Seafood once again. And as usual we both got the Blackened Catfish with 3 Shrimp, and double Steamed Veggies rather than Rice and Veggies.

Dickinson Seafood 20221129

And along with a nice Salad it was really good.

Longtime friend and blog reader Phyllis Schell sent Jan these lovely Christmas earrings a few weeks ago.

Jan's Christmas Earrings-500pp

She’s going to get a lot of use out of them this season.

Thanks, Phyllis!