A Good Checkup . . .

I had my two-year follow-up appointment with my neurologist this afternoon and he gave me a clean bill of health on my Cervical  Spinal Fusion. He said my X-rays really looked good, in fact, very good. He said he was surprised at how much bone growth had occurred where the cadaver discs had been inserted.

Finishing up, he said that, unless I wanted to talk more about a possible Lumbar Fusion, we were finished following this procedure.

Done and done.

Coming home, and hoping that the fact it was Veteran’s Day, I decided to take another shot at getting Caramel Pumpkin Brûlée coffees from Dutch Bros. And I lucked out this time.

The line was much shorter, but I also noticed a walk-up window, so I was back in the Jeep in about 5 minutes and on my way. In the meantime, the truck at the end of the line hadn’t reached the order window yet.

Several readers inquired about why diesel generators are required for these charging stations, and why they aren’t just connected to the power grid.

Well, it’s because they draw too much power. One Tesla Level 3 charger can draw over 400 amps, which is over twice as much as the average home. And the new Tesla Level 4 version pulls over 600 amps. So 3 homes worth.

And that’s for just one charger station. Think about that charger station on I-5 in California that has 98! stations. And the system has to be sized so that every station can be in use at one time.

And here’s what’s said about charging the Tesla Semi’s:

“Let’s just take one of Tesla’s electric semis as an example. The truck supposedly has a battery capacity of 900 KWh. So to fully recharge it from 0 in one hour it would require a charger with an output of 900 kW. So let’s say we have a truck stop with 10 charging stations for electric semis. And let’s assume for planning purposes that at some point all 10 will be in use at the same time. That would be an electrical demand of 9,000 kW or 9 MW. That my friends is the same as a small-medium size factory. Multiply that scenario hundreds of times and you can see the potential problem. And that’s just for semis.”

What this is all leading up to is that you just can’t pull the necessary heavy-duty transmission lines into the middle of a parking lot without spending a lot of money and tearing up a lot of real estate. And it’s possible that the local substation doesn’t have enough excess capacity to handle the load anyway unless it’s upgraded also.

And another question looks at the big picture.

For California to meet its goal of only EV’s allowed to be sold in the state by 2035, that’s only 11 years away, they should be bringing online a new solar or wind power installation every WEEK. And of course this is not happening.

Remember that just this past August there were brownouts and blackouts all over the state. What’s going to happen when they have 15x more EV’s in 2035 than they do now?

It does seem like this Tesla owner has the right idea, a do-it-yourself hybrid.

Of course as I posted this the other day,

couldn’t this guy just buy a longer extension cord?

Thought for the Day:

If you don’t have a seat at the table, you’re probably on the menu.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

November 13, 2009

It sure was Friday the 13th…

Today was not a good day, travelwise that is.

It started out pretty good, though.  We pulled out of the Turkey Creek RV Park in Branson right on time at 10 am,  heading for Memphis about 265 miles away.

But things went downhill fast after that.  Less than a mile from the park, we encountered a steep climbing right-hand turn.  I was only going about 25 mph, I mean, I was still in 3rd.  The problem was that, although the turn was to the right, the road actually was banked to the left, because another road came in from the left at an angle.

As I went around the corner, this caused the coach to rock pretty far over to the left for a few seconds. And of course a lot of stuff came loose and went sliding over that way as well.  What we didn’t realize was that this caused the slide to lift up from the floor slightly, just about the time that one of the cat food bowls went sliding under it.  And then the slide came back down, trapping the bowl underneath it.

But we didn’t know this at the time.  We had other problems.

The road I had chosen (Well, the GPS had chosen…) turned out to be much more hilly than I had expected.  The GPS can show you curves, but not hills.  So as soon as I could find a place to pull over,  I tried to find a new route.

I found another way to go that was about 40 miles longer, but didn’t appear as curvy as the original route.  Luckily we had only come about 8 miles, so it wasn’t a big deal to turn around.  And 30 minutes later we were passing back in front of the RV park going in the opposite direction.

Well, the new route was a little less curvy, but turned out to be just as hilly.  The only real plus was that the road was better, even 4 lane in places.

But because of all the hills and curves, it was still slow going.  Finally about noon we stopped for a bathroom break. Walking back thru the coach I noticed that the slide was tilted back off the floor about two inches. A little hands and knees inspection revealed the culprit…the aforementioned cat food bowl.

And boy was it wedged in tight.  After moving the slide in and out slightly didn’t help,  Jan was finally able to break the bowl with a basin wrench.  Thinking ahead, I had positioned a thick book under the slide so we could clean out the broken glass before letting the slide all the way down.

But now the book was stuck. And nothing we tried would free it.  This was starting to look like an Abbott and Costello routine.

What I needed was a pry bar of some sort to give me enough leverage to lift the slide slightly to free the book and then move the slide out, letting it come off the pry bar. But I just didn’t have anything that big.

After spending about an hour fooling with this, we decided to wait and try to fix it when we got to Memphis…actually West Memphis, AR.

We finally pulled into the the park about 2 hours late, after dark, in fact.  After we got hooked up, I unhitched the truck and drove about 10 miles over the river to a Home Depot in Memphis and bought a 3 ft. long piece of 3/4 inch galvanized pipe.

Getting back to the rig, it took about 10 seconds to free the book and set the slide back in place.  And all it needed was the right tool…a honkin’ big piece of steel pipe.

The slide still works just fine, so hopefully no harm done.

And hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day…

November 13, 2010

Friday Night at the Opry . .

As I posted early this morning, we didn’t get back from the Opry until almost 1 am, so this post is a combination of Friday and today.

We started out Friday morning with a walk around the park before coming back to the rig to get ready to head out.

Jan and Brandi were going to have a Girl’s Day Out while Landon is in Day Care. Brandi starts back to work this coming Monday after her 3 month maternity leave and she’s had Landon in day care for a few hours each day to get him used to it.

I think it’s really more to get her used to being away from him.

While Jan and Brandi were having fun, I got to work on the toilet.

I had two tasks in mind. First I wanted to work on the seals so that the bowl will hold water again, and second, I wanted to work on the mount some more.

Well, one out of two ain’t bad.

I disassembled the bowl from the base and clean the ball and all the rubber seals. Finally I used a tip I saw on RV.Net a while back. Someone had suggested using plumber’s grease. Plumber’s grease is 100% silicone grease, the consistency of Vaseline. It’s waterproof, non-toxic, and unlike Vaseline, it will not harm the rubber seals. I coated all the seals, the mating surfaces, and the ball with the grease.

Then it was on to the second problem. This toilet is pretty new. I replaced it while we were out in Las Vegas this past March.

Thinking the easiest thing to do would be to replace the old one with a new one of the same type. Wrong!

Although the toilet itself is the same, they changed the mounting holes on the base. The original base had 4 mounting bolts, two on the front and two on the back.

The new one has only two mounting bolts, one on each side. I got a new flange that fit over the old one and provided the correct mounting holes, but it also raised the mount up about 3/8 inch. This made it hard to get the toilet seated correctly so it wouldn’t rock. I’ve tried using different types of shims, but the construction of the toilet base makes it hard to get the shims to fit.

After fooling with it for about an hour I made it better, but it’s still not perfect. I have an idea on how to fix it, but it’s going to take some more work, and I ran out of time today.

But the good news is, that after remounting the toilet, it now holds water just fine.

After taking a shower I picked up Jan at Brandi’s about 4:30. I did get some Landon time of my own, feeding him a bottle. By the time he was finished, he was falling asleep again.

Leaving Brandi’s we headed down to Dickinson to eat a light supper at Monterey’s Little Mexico before heading to the Alvin Opry. We usually just have a bowl of their Chicken Tortilla Soup beforehand, because we always go out for a bite to eat after the show.

Which is why we don’t get home until around 1 am.

We were really looking forward to tonight’s Opry because it’s Legend’s Night. This is where the singers dress up like and imitate their favorite stars.

First up was Rhonda Walters doing a dead-on imitation of Kitty Wells. Rhonda is known as “The Queen of the Alvin Opry”.

Kitty Wells

Then we had Abby Gough doing a great Reba McEntire.

Reba McEntire

Next we had Earl Epps doing George Jones (before his hair turned white). Earl looks and sounds like Jones, and has a number of records to his credit, including this cut of Be Bop Blues.

George Jones

Then Rhonda was back, along with Kim Lanier doing a hilarious take-off on The Judd’s, Naomi and Wynonna. They’ve done this several times before and it’s always a hoot.

The Judds

Ruben Perez is always a surprise because he’s someone different every time. This time he did a great send-up of Little Richard doing ‘Lucille’

Little Richard

Finally we had Julianne McBride as Brenda Lee.  Julianne is only 13, but has a great stage presence, and a fantastic voice. She can really belt out a song.

Brenda Lee

What stunned me about her performance and appearance was that in 1958 I saw Brenda Lee on the stage of the original Grand Ole Opry at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. She was just 13, the same age as Julianne. Pat Boone was the emcee that night, and what’s amazing is that Julianne looks just like I remember Brenda Lee looking then.

After the show we went to the IHOP in Pearland, along Rhonda Walters, her husband Ron, and our long-time friend, Maria Sutton.

That was about it for Friday, a long day and a late night.

Today, Saturday, was a Girl’s Movie Day with Jan, Brandi, Linda, and Piper, going to see the new movie “Morning Glory” at the 11 am showing, and then after the movie, Chris and I met them at Mario’s Italian Restaurant in Seabrook at 1:30.

Before meeting everyone for lunch, I went by the office and paid the rent for the month, and then made a trip to Home Depot looking for new toilet shims. Part of the problem is finding something that will work and still be hidden by the base of the toilet. I’ll keep looking.

Had something real strange happen this evening. Jan and I were just sitting here watching TV and the generator suddenly started up all by itself. Took us a few seconds to figure out what that loud rumbling noise was. There were some pillows kind of lying against the dashboard where the switch is, but I sure don’t think they were close enough or heavy enough to cause the problem.

Will have to see if it happens again.

November 13, 2011

. . . and I didn’t wake up screaming even once!

Since we had a 375 mile trip to Gulf Shores, AL today, we wanted to get an early start. So I was up at about 6 am, started coffee, and then went outside to hook up the toad and stow the satellite dish. Then after checking the air in my tires and letting in the window awnings, I went back inside to wake Jan up, but found her already up and in the shower.

A little later Jan fixed us a breakfast of some of the banana nut and sourdough bread Aunt Virginia had given us last night.

Dee – Licious!

We pulled out of my cousin’s Northgate RV Travel Park about 8am, got on I-65 and headed south.

A little south of Montgomery Jan decided she wanted to drive for a while, so at our next rest stop, we traded places and Jan drove for about two hours until we turned off I-65 onto AL59.  I Kindled and kat-napped for a while, and just enjoyed the scenery.

And Jan did a really good job. As I said, I didn’t wake up screaming even once. But she doesn’t like to drive in traffic on city streets, so I took over for the last 50 miles.

I’d been a little worried about whether we could get a site at the Gulf State Park since it’s very popular with snowbirds this time of the year. But apparently we beat the rush this year because we had no trouble getting a spot.

We got into our site about 4 and got set up. The only problem was when we tried to start the truck and found the battery dead. I guess there must be a problem with my charge wire, as it should keep the battery charged from the rig. I’ll have to check it out.

About 5 we headed out for supper at one of our favorite local seafood places, DeSoto’s Seafood Kitchen. Jan had Shrimp and Oysters, and I had the Seafood Platter. You can’t get seafood much fresher than this.

When we got back from supper we found this email photo from Lowell and Brandi. They said it was an early test run for Landon and Santa.

Landon and Santa 2

Here’s last year’s photo. Santa seems to have aged well.

Landon and Santa

Looks like Landon’s not going to be one of those kids that’s terrified of Santa.

November 13, 2012

A Real Cutie!

We got a photo of our new great-niece, Annisten Morgan Robinson. She’s a real cutie!

Anisten Morgan Robinson

I’ve started getting calls from computer clients wanting to schedule some help when I get back to Houston. So it looks like I’ll be busy again this winter just like last year.

After coffee for breakfast, we heated up some of our Lambert’s leftovers from yesterday. And we still have enough for another meal. At $12.50 for 3 meals worth, that’s a real deal.

It was a busy morning on the phone. We talked with our daughter Brandi a couple of times working out some details of our Thanksgiving trip to Marble Falls, TX. Then we talked with our granddaughter Piper to see if she will be able to join us in Marble Falls.

About 3:30 Jan and I headed out for some shopping and then dinner. Our first stop was Tallulah’s Treasures in Orange Beach.

Tallulah’s is another of our favorite shops. Formerly known as Tootie’s Yellow Broom, this is another place we’ve been coming for years.


Just a fun place to walk through, even if you don’t buy anything.

Our next stop was for dinner at The Gulf, a new place that just opened last week. Located down at Alabama Point / Perdido Pass, it’s the first business in what’s to be a beach boardwalk attraction.

The Gulf 1

Built from shipping containers, its novel construction frames a beautiful view of the bridge over Perdido Pass and the Gulf.

The Gulf 2

The only problem with this beautiful location is its history. There used to be a large restaurant/hotel on this location, and we ate here a couple of times over the years. But in 2004 Hurricane Ivan wiped it off the beach. The only thing left was the foundation.

The Gulf 3

I hope The Gulf has better luck.

Jan and I both had their Angus Burgers and shared an order of fries. Both were really good, not quite Five Guys good, but good.

The Gulf Burger

And of course the view was fantastic.

Leaving the restaurant, we headed home with a quick stop at a CVS for a few things.

All in all, a very nice day.

November 13, 2014

Thursday Update . . .

There was no blog yesterday because we’re now working out of the truck. It’s so cold with the wind chill, around 15 degrees, that we’ve pulled our truck down in front of the canopy next to the road and are working the gate out of it.

But last night I quickly found that there was no room to type the blog on the laptop in the truck, so No Blog.

And since the temps are just barely making it into the 40’s today, and the mid to high 20’s tonight, probably no blog tonight either. In fact, probably the next real blog will be Sunday night after we leave the gate Sunday morning.

So keep checking back.

November 13, 2015

Happy Friday. . .

Well, today’s promised ‘Mostly Sunny’ never appeared, not even a peek. But it was in the 60’s, and nice enough to finish up reinstalling my outside door handle.

Yesterday afternoon I left the job like this, with the toothpicks sticking out like little spikes.

Lighted Handle Repair 2

I warned Jan about it going in and out of the rig, and then last night I tripped over the doormat in the dark and almost impaled myself. But luckily no skin was broken.

Remember, I do these things so you won’t have to.

So the first thing I did today was to use a pair of nippers (end flush cutters) like these to cut off the bundles flush with the rig.


I was happy to see that it took some effort to cut through the bundles of toothpicks. Then I was on to the next step.

Pilot holes.

So out came my favorite power tool: My WORX Power Screw Driver.

WORX Power Driver

I bought it a couple of years ago, and it’s held up great.

With its lithium-ion battery, it holds a charge for months, so it’s always ready to go when I pull it out of the bag. Plus it’s strong enough, with enough torque to twist it out of my hand if I don’t hold on tight.

The WORX also has two ‘cylinders’ that each hold six screwdriver bits. The cylinders snap into place and allow you to quickly change bits. One cylinder holds standard bits, like slot, Phillips, etc., and the other one holds TORX, and Star type bits.

When I ordered the WORX I also got a set of these, a 1/4-inch Hex Shank Drill Bit Set.

Hex Drill Bit Set

These bits chuck right into the driver, and stay in the bag with the WORX.

I first drilled a pilot pilot hold into the toothpick bundles, using a 5/64” bit and then a pilot hole with the 1/8” bit shown about. I put a piece of tape on the bit as a depth stop, since I didn’t want to drill all the way through the wall and out the other side. That would be bad.

The holes done, I mounted the hardware and started putting in the screws. And I quickly discovered that it was very difficult to screw the #12 screws into the wood by hand. So out came my WORK again.

Unlike a large drill, the WORX is very controllable so I didn’t have to worry about over-tightening and stripping out the screws. Which as I said is what I think happened at the repair place in Prescott.

It turned out that even my driver had a problem with the toothpick-Gorilla Glue combination. Not from too little power to do the job, but from me holding it against the torque. But I quickly had the 5 screws in place and here is the result this evening.

Lighted Door Handle

Today being Friday, it was time for a Whataburger run, with a little Wal-Mart shopping thrown in. Funny, but it used to be a Wal-Mart run with a stop for Whataburger on the way home.

But unfortunately we were once again back to the same routine with the same cashier. I tell her I want a #6 with Cheese with only these ingredients, Ketchup, Mustard, Tomatoes, and Grilled Onions. She looks at me and says, “You want lettuce on that?”

“No. Only these four things.”

Finally it looks right on the little screen and we moved on to my burger. And  after I tell her my order, once again stressing the ‘only’, she looks at me and says, “So, no lettuce?” Sheesh!

Back in the early 70’s when Jan and I were both in college, we worked together as the Grill Team at the then busiest McDonald’s in the country, which was in Birmingham, AL. They had the first playground, the first Ronald McDonald Birthday Parties, and we were one of the 4 locations that tested the Quarter Pounder before it was rolled out to the rest of the country.

It was really a great job, Jan did the buns and fish sandwiches, and I ran the grill. There was no breakfast then, and they didn’t open until 10:30am. Jan and I would walk in the door a few minutes before 11am, put on our aprons and paper caps, and hit the grill area. Then at 2pm, we would hang up our aprons and walk out the door. So no cleaning, no mopping, etc., Occasionally on weekends we would work other hours if there was a University of Alabama game in town that weekend. Then it was a real madhouse when multiple buses would pull into the parking lot.

Anyway the Whataburger cashier wouldn’t have lasted 10 minutes at that McDonald’s, or any other place I worked over the years in college.

One thing I picked up at Wal-Mart was some more of these Hot Hands Hand Warmers.

Hot Hands Warmers

I discovered last night, when it was 43 degrees, that I didn’t have another package like I thought. So that was a necessary item to pick up.

But while I was doing that, I also found these, much to my joy.

Hot Hands Foot Warmers

These are adhesive foot warmers. You just peel off the film, put them on the floor and then step on them in your socks (they warn you not to put them on your bare feet).

And boy, do they work. My feet have been warm and toasty all night. The only problem is that I only picked up 2 packages to test, and since it’s supposed to be in low 40’s every night until we leave next Sunday, I want some more.

So it looks like another Chicken Express run is in my future.

With a stop at Wal-Mart.

Wrapping up, Brandi and Landon say, “Happy Friday!”

Happy Friday from Landon and Brandi

November 13, 2016

Back to College . . .

The Electoral College, that is.

or they didn’t tell me there would be math on the test.

Several people commented on Facebook about yesterday’s dryer repair. Our friend Chris Yust suggested that I just buy a new dryer.

Well, as long as I can fix the old one for a $2.65 fuse and 3 hours of work, I figure I’m making $333/hr for my time, since a new one costs around $1000.00. And it gives me something to blog about.

Our friend Donna Huffer suggested we just go to the laundromat and be done in an hour and a half.

First off, I’m pretty sure Jan would get rid of me before she would get rid of her washer/dryer. She delights in throwing a load in, getting it started, and 5 minutes later she’s back on the sofa with her Kindle, 40” TV, and the computer.

Plus those times we have gone the laundromat, it’s usually 3 or 4 hours, not one and a half. I guess maybe if you go at 3am, but not any time we’ve been.

Jan and I headed out about 1pm to have the Turkey & Dressing/Fried Chicken Lunch Buffet. Just as delicious as usual. If we have one complaint it’s that they don’t have mashed potatoes enough. If you have gravy on the menu, today’s Turkey & Dressing, Chicken Fried Chicken, Chicken Fried Steak, etc., there should be mashed potatoes.

Just sayin’

When we got back a little after 2, I took a nap for a couple of hours since I’ll be on a gate tonight, 6:30pm to 6:30am. So back to work.

Now to the Electoral College:

Like in 2000, in 2016 one candidate won the popular vote and another candidate won the Electoral vote. And the losing side now wants to eliminate the Electoral College. And you’ve got to figure if the results were flipped, so would be the protesting.

First a little history. George W. Bush and Donald Trump are not the only two Presidents to lose the popular vote, but win the Electoral Vote and the Presidency. And believe it or not, Bush and Trump aren’t even the most controversial.

The 1824 election of John Quincy Adams was the first one. And he didn’t win the popular vote OR the Electoral Vote. Andrew Jackson received the most popular votes AND the most Electoral votes. So how did he lose?

Like this past election, there were four candidates in the running, but in 1824 ALL were from the same party – The Democratic-Republican party.

Betcha didn’t see that one coming.

And although Andrew Jackson had the most over-all votes, with only 99 Electoral votes, he did not have the minimum required votes, 131, to win the Presidency. So the election was thrown into the U.S. House of Representatives, who then selected Adams.

Feeling he had been royally dissed, Jackson stomped off and started his own party, the Democratic Party. Yeah, that one, making it the world’s oldest active party. And under the Democratic Party banner, Jackson was elected President four years later in 1828.

The election of Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876 was even more controversial. Samuel Tilden won the popular vote and had the majority of Electoral votes, 184 to 165. But 20 electors from 4 states, Florida, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Oregon, were in dispute.

This led to the Compromise of 1877, in which the Democrats (Tilden) let the 20 votes go to Hayes, in return for the removal of all Federal troops from the South, thus ending Reconstruction.

The election of Benjamin Harrison in 1888 was relatively calm by comparison. Grover Cleveland, a Democrat and the incumbent President, was running against Harrison, the Republican, with the main fight being over tariffs. Harrison wanted high tariffs, supported by industrialists and factory workers, while Cleveland wanted lower tariffs, supported by consumers. High tariffs won.

Harrison won the Electoral vote while Cleveland won the popular vote, but by less than 1%. Pretty like the 2016 election.

History lesson over, let’s talk about the why?

Why do we have an Electoral College?

The really basic answer is that we have an EC for the same reason that we have a two-body legislature, i.e. the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Many people think of the US as a democracy. But we’re actually a Representative Republic, or a Federal Republic. We elect representatives to then represent us in the law-making bodies.

Pure democracy, also sometimes called ‘mob rule’, is where everyone votes on everything, and the most votes win. Not always good if you’re in the minority. And so the Founding Father’s were worried about the larger, more populous states controlling things to the detriment of the smaller, less populous states.

So we have the House of Representatives, based on population, and the Senate, where each State has two votes. And all laws have to work their way through both Houses, thus giving the smaller states something of a veto on any legislation.

And we have the Electoral College for the same reason. Take a look at this map.

Population Electoral Vote Map

The blue patches contain 50% of the US population. Think everyone in all the gray areas are going to be happy about their vote being essentially meaningless?

On a state basis, four states, New York, California, Florida, and Texas, contain more than 50% of the voting age population. So just campaign in the 10 most populous state to be safe, and forget about the rest.

And here is a map of the 2016 vote by county, with Republicans in red and the Democrats in blue. Note the similarities with the previous map.

Population Vote Map

Now to the call for the elimination of the Electoral College. It’s almost certainly not going to happen, at least any time soon.

Since the EC is part of the Constitution, and not just a law, to drop the EC would require a Constitutional Amendment. And that would require approval by 2/3 of both the House and the Senate, and approval by 3/4 of the State Legislatures, i.e. 38 states.

So if 13 states say no, the Amendment fails. And since 15 states, ND, UT, NV, NM, SD, MT, WY, NH, WV, VT, DE, RI, ME, NB, AK, all have 5 or less Electoral Votes, they’re probably not going to want to give up their power. And some larger states may not go for it just on principle.

So don’t hold your breath.

And just to throw gasoline on the fire, it’s possible Hillary Clinton did not win the popular vote. And we’ll probably never really know for sure.

Remember the cry, “Count Every Vote”?  Well, EVERY vote is almost never counted.

According to the New York Times, there are probably about 7 million uncounted votes in this election. And many almost certainly won’t be counted.

Why? Because they won’t make any difference. If the uncounted votes (usually absentee and provisional ballots) don’t exceed the vote total differences between the two candidates, then many states stop counting to save time and money.

For example, if one candidate leads the other by 300,000 votes, and there are 100,000 absentee/provisional ballots left, why count them. They won’t make any difference.

Right now Hillary Clinton leads the popular vote by 1/2 of 1%, about 630,000 votes. So 7 million votes might increase Hillary Clinton’s lead, or put Donald Trump in the lead.

But it would just be for bragging rights.

At this point, what difference does it make?

November 13, 2017

Monday, Monday . . .

I spent a good part of the weekend and all of work today on the phone with Godaddy trying to straighten out my client’s email problems. If I had any hair left, I wouldn’t have any hair left.

And I’m really glad I have unlimited minutes on my phone. I was finally able to get our incoming email working again, but not our outgoing ones. It all just bounced back, so customers were not getting their order confirmations.

I’ve done a clumsy work-around using a Gmail account, but I need to get this fixed. Of course, my ultimate objective is to get the email completely off our in-house server, but to do that I need to get root access to it, which I don’t yet have. It’s the only password I haven’t figured out, but I’m still working through all the different combinations of the list I found on one of the machines.

Then I’ll not only move the email, but also the shopping cart itself, completely eliminating the in-house server and then everything will be up on Godaddy.

Tomorrow Jan and I are heading over to Kemah to have lunch at Stomp’s, another of our favorite local hamburger places. We’ve been eating here since they first opened six years ago. And their burgers look something like this.

Stomps 4

And their fries and onion rings are great too.

After that we’ll check out Sundowner Canvas on up 146 in Kemah to see if they can make our new window awnings. It would be nice if they have some large pieces in several blue colors, so we bring them home and drape them over the old awnings to see what they look like on the coach.

Assuming they will do them, I’ll have them make two of the small rear window awnings, then I’ll take the two bigger awnings over and have them duplicated.

So we’ll see how it goes.

November 13, 2018

The Run Around . . .

Today was my day for getting my head BBQ’d, so we were out the door about 9:15, heading for the Dermatologist’s office up in Webster.

At least that’s where we were told to go when we made the appointment last month at their League City office. And the text I got yesterday morning confirming my appointment said to go to the Webster office.

But when we got to the office about 9:50 for our 10:15 appointment, we were told that we were at the wrong office, and should have been at the League City one. She offered to reschedule our appointment, but I said, “No, call them and tell them we’re on our way.”

And by pushing the Malibu a little more than usual, we made the 10 mile run from the 3rd floor of the Medical Building at Clear Regional Hospital down to the League City office just off FM-646 in just over 15 minutes, arriving at 10:13, two minutes before our 10:15 appointment.

Only to be told that the first receptionist was wrong, and our appointment WAS at the Webster location. So while she called the other office to tell them, Yes we were supposed to be up there, we turned around and headed back up to Webster, a little more sedately this time, much to Jan’s relief.

Getting back there once again, they took me back to a treatment room, and after wiping my head down with acetone to prep it, the Physician’s Assistant used what looked like a large Sharpie pen to cover my scalp with the photo-reactive solution.

Then instead of the 30-60 minute wait for the solution to dry that I had read, I found out that it was a 2 hour one. Luckily I brought my Galaxy Tab 4 and Jan brought her Kindle Fire to keep us occupied out in the waiting room.

Back in the treatment room, the technician wheeled the Blue UV Light over and positioned it over my head.

Blue UV Machine

She said it was on a timer, and noting it was set to 16:40, I said, “So 16:39 is not enough and 16:41 is too much?” She said, “Well, we don’t want your head to burst into flames.”

See I told you that might happen.

And then, after giving me a pair of goggles to wear, she turned it on.

And I would have sworn my head WAS on fire. I didn’t realize they had it set on ‘Extra-Crispy’

PDT Extra Crispy 468

The tech said that some people said it felt like a million angry fire ants were feasting on their head.

That was an understatement.

But finally it was over, and after getting the post-op instructions, and getting an appointment for a second shot at immolation a month from now, we headed up to Bay Area Blvd. to have brunch at Snooze, only to find that it wasn’t really open yet. That’s tomorrow.

What we had been seeing was a series of pre-opening meals given for community leaders, so we headed right up the road to once again have breakfast at The Egg and I.

Coming home about 2:30 we first made a stop at the Santa Fe PO to check the mail. I was hoping my new permanent SD driver’s license had come in, and it had. So now, thanks to the revised Vision Statement I got from the ophthalmologist last week, I can now legally drive at night.

And while on the subject of ophthalmologists, I’ve got my follow-up appointment with a cornea specialist to check out the slight yellowing of my left cornea that the Sam’s Club optometrist mistook for a cataract.

Then it was on to Snider Transmission to check up on our Dakota. Kenny said it was done and they’d done a short test drive, but that he still wanted to do a longer one, maybe an hour or so, to double-check everything. So I told him we’d pick it up tomorrow afternoon.

November 13, 2019

Just In Case . . .

My main accomplishment at work today was to order a new high chair for my client. Well, not him personally, but for his baby.

I did leave work about a couple of hours early since I wanted to wrap up all the outside travel-prep this afternoon, rather than do it tomorrow morning like I usually would. But since it’s supposed to be 40° and a 90% chance of rain tomorrow morning, I wanted to get pretty much everything down now.

(Weather Update: It’s not going to 40° with 90% chance of rain tomorrow morning. It’s now supposed to be 38° with a 95% chance of rain.)

OH Boy!

It only took me about 90 minutes to get everything packed away, disconnected, and tarped. The whole ‘tarped’ thing was a ‘Just In Case’ job. As in ‘Just In Case’ the oil leak is not fixed.

Truck Tarp Cover

This way we don’t have an oily mess to get off the windshield before we can drive around in Kingsland.

And since it’s supposed to be in the low 40’s overnight I also plugged in our engine block heater so the oil will be all warm and toasty tomorrow.

Our first stop tomorrow will be at the Buc-ee’s up in Katy, about 90 minutes on the way, for coffee, and we should know then if the problem is fixed. Or at least we already had oil on the truck by then last time. So we’ll see, I guess.

I plan on pulling out of our site by 8am, and hooked up and on the road by at least 8:30, but hopefully earlier. We want to get up to and around the bottom of Austin before the rush hour gets going.

November 13, 2022

Huddle Up . . .

For Two Reasons.

Though it got up to 82° on Friday, that night it went down to 42. And the last two days it never even made it to 60. And we’re looking at low 40’s at night for at least the next week or so. So it was finally time to deploy both of our space heaters and turn on our heated mattress pad for the first time this season.


And lunch today was at Texas Huddle once again, though we didn’t have Juana, our usual server, since she was working the patio area. And though we like her a lot, it was not enough to sit out in the open patio, even with a bunch of those big propane heaters scattered around.

Jan got her usual Cheddar Mushroom Burger with a side salad, the Keto version with no bun.

Texas Huddle Cheddar Swiss Keto 20220626

But I went a little different this time with 10 wings, half Flaming Raspberry and half Mango Habanero, their 3rd and 5th hottest sauces.

Texas Huddle Wings 20221113

But I did want to try their hottest, Flamethrower, which is what is in the small container at the very bottom. It was hot, but not as hot as the Blazin’ sauce at Buffalo Wild Wings.

And I wasn’t a big fan of how it actually tasted. Just kind of strange.

The past Friday a string of dump trucks started bringing a lot of fill dirt for the new area of the park.

Petticoat Junction Fill Dirt

Turns out that due to new floodplain regulations, the entire new part of the park has to be raised about 2’, which explains why the new garage is built up so high.

Petticoat Junction Garage Finsihed Up

So I guess there’s going to be a ramp up from the street into the park, and a retaining wall between us and the new part.

What’s funny about this is that none of this area flooded even during Hurricane Harvey back in 2017. In fact as far as anyone remembers, it’s never flooded in this area.

Jan and I watched A Christmas Story for the first time this season, and probably not the last. But Jan and I both agreed that something’s changed with the narrator’s voice. Parts of it sounded OK, but other sections just sounded funny. Like maybe they had to redub part of it with another actor.

And for a little bit of trivia, Bob Clark, the director, only got to make A Christmas Story because his previous film, Porky’s was such a big success. So without Porky’s there probably would be no Christmas Story, since every studio had turned it down.

Also Bob Clark is in the movie as Swede, the neighbor who’s out on the street looking at the leg lamp with Ralphie’s father.

And Jean Shepherd, the writer/narrator, is in the movie as the man who points Ralphie to the end of the line in the toy store.

On that note, WalMart will be happy to sell you your own personal Red Ryder Carbine BB Gun, complete with a compass in the stock. But WalMart’s version is better, because, according to the movie, Ralphie’s model only held 200 shots, while this one holds 650.