Daily Archives: December 3, 2023

KAS Kreations . . .

Today consisted of lunch (breakfast?) at Denny’s once again with another of Hugo the cook’s fantastic overstuffed Ultimate Omelets. This is what you get when you regularly tip the cook.

Bacon, Sausage, Ham, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Peppers, and Onions, grilled up to perfection, and then enclosed in 3 eggs.

And here’s Jan showing off some of her new KAS Kreations hand-made earrings.

Kim Scales does a fantastic job coming up with great designs.

Check out the selection at the link above.

Here are the ones that Jan got for Christmas the other day.

Finishing up, it was HEB, gas, and then home.

Tomorrow afternoon I’m taking Jan up to Brandi’s in Katy so she can Landon-watch/dog-sit while Brandi’s out of town on a business trip. Then I’ll pick her up Friday afternoon and then we’ll head down to Cuero for our Christmas In Cuero weekend. Then we’ll come back home on Sunday afternoon.

A couple of readers have asked me how you pronounce Cuero. It’s a ‘K’ or ‘Q’ sound, like ‘Kwer Ro’

Thought for the Day:

You know what the fellow said – in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. – The Third Man (1949)

And Now On To Today’s Retro-BLOGS

December 3, 2009

The Christmas Sweater…

Back blogging by popular demand!  Well, one demand, anyway.

Today I worked on getting two new computers set up for one of my clients. Then tomorrow I’ve got appointments with two more to look at their problems too.  And I’ve got some others to contact also.

It’s going to be a busy time, just like last year.

Tonight Jan and I joined three friends to see Glenn Beck’s “The Christmas Sweater” at a local theater.  But it was not a movie.  It was a live video feed, done the same way they show sporting events there.

I dare anyone to see this production and not tear up repeatedly.

It’s the story of Glenn’s early childhood and is based on his bestselling book by the same name.

Glenn’s father died of cancer when he was 10 and his mother struggled to keep the family afloat. I don’t want to give away any more of the story, because there’s kind of a double twist at the end.

It was shown at over 400 theaters around the country, and there will be an encore presentation next Thursday, December 10th.  You can go here to get more information.

Note that this story has nothing to do with Glenn Beck’s political views. Politics is never even mentioned.  It’s just a 12 year old’s story of love and redemption.

This is well worth seeing if you have a chance. You won’t be disappointed.

December 3, 2010

Tea-Licious and The Maxican . . .

We left Gina’s a little after 10 this morning heading about 65 miles north to Burnet, TX. We were meeting Chris, Linda, Piper, Brandi, Lowell, and Landon (also known as the kids) at the Tea-Licious Tea Room for lunch. The kids have been here since last night when they drove up from Houston, so they didn’t have far to drive to get here.

Tea-Licious is a great little restaurant right on Burnet’s historic town square, and we always make a point of eating there when we’re here at the lake.

Here’s Jan hogging all the Landon time, as usual. But he seems pretty happy about it, doesn’t he?

Jan and Landon in Tea-Licious

After lunch we split up, with Chris and I coming back to the lake house, while the rest of the family ran errands and picked up some groceries at HEB.

The rest of the afternoon was spent playing video games (HALO on the Xbox), napping, and walking down by the lake.

The about 5:30 we all drove over to The Maxican, (yes, that’s the way it’s spelled) our favorite local Mexican restaurant. This place is so good it has already outgrown its first location, and based on the crowd tonight, is well on its way to doing the same for this one.

As usual the food was great, and the company was even better. Here’s Miss Piper getting some time with Santa Landon.

Piper and Santa Landon

After dinner we all drove about 10 miles south to Marble Falls to see the Christmas Light Show along the banks of the Colorado River. This is the second year we’ve done the show, and luckily, this year was shirt-sleeve weather, and not in the low 40’s like last time. Here are some photos of the lights.

Marble Falls Lights 1

Marble Falls Lights 2

Marble Falls Lights 5

Marble Falls Lights 4

Landon enjoyed the first few minutes and then decided it was time for a nap. That’s (l to r) Chris, Piper (barely), Lowell, Landon, and Brandi.

Marble Falls Lights 3

We got back to the house about 8:30, and everyone was pretty well pooped out. We sat around for a while, and then people started drifting off to bed.

And now I’m going that way too.

Tomorrow we’re going to drive about 60 miles southwest to Fredericksburg, TX to eat at Der Lindenbaum, our favorite German restaurant, and do some shopping at all the neat stores along Main Street,

December 3, 2011

Habaneros and Gumbo . . .

This morning started off with a flurry of calls from several clients needing help. Looks like I’m going to be very busy next week.

About noon Jan and I headed up to Kemah to visit our son at the Kemah Farmer’s Market where he’s got a booth selling his very popular Habanero Jelly, Apple Butter, and Banana Butter.

PJ's Jelly Stand

On the way we stopped off at Chick-Fil-A to pick up some lunch for him, and us. The market was busy and he was doing pretty good.

Leaving Chris we drove over to Half-Price Books so that Jan could look for a couple of things. Half-Price Books is one of our favorites because they have a little bit of everything.

Next up was a client’s office where I installed and set up Carbonite, the online backup system. Although not recommended for RV’ers who use AirCard, WiFi, or satellite Internet, if you’re using a land-based Internet service like cable or DSL, it’s the easiest way to keep your system constantly backed up for only about $60 a year. And no worries about onsite problems with fire or theft.

After finishing that up we headed back home for a couple of hours before heading back up to Clear Lake to meet Brandi, Lowell, and Landon at Floyd’s Cajun Seafood, our other favorite Cajun place. Can’t get enough of their Gumbo and Boudin.

Floyd is Floyd Landry. He and his brothers started the Landry’s Seafood Restaurant chain and then sold it. He now has two restaurants in the Houston area and one in Beaumont, TX.

Floyd is about as Cajun as it gets, and his food shows it. Really good eatin’.

After leaving Floyd’s we drove across the parking to Tuesday Morning so Jan could pick out some more Christmas cards. Then after stopping off at our store room to pick up our Christmas tree, we went by Brandi’s to pick up our mail and then headed home.

December 3, 2012

A Tale Of Two Restaurants . . .

Recapping yesterday (Sunday), our away-from-the-rig time started in the early afternoon with me dropping Jan off at Brandi and Lowell’s so she could get some more Landon time while they ran some errands.

While she was doing this I spent the afternoon at two different clients upgrading software, cleaning the gunk out of a number of computers, and fixing some network problems. All things that are hard to do during the week when they’re open.

About 6pm, I met Jan, Brandi, Landon, Lowell, and Lowell’s sister Sherry, at King Food for our usual great meal. We like the fact that besides the delicious food, they have big round tables in the back that will seat everyone in the family, and also let us kind of corral Landon up. He’s at that point where he doesn’t like to sit in a high chair so this works out good.

We’ve been eating at King Food for 34 years now, and I like to tell people that we’re on our 4th owner. The present ones have been there the longest, and we’ve watched their kids grow up and head off to college, while our kids did the same.

When we started eating there, Chris was 10 and Brandi was only 5. And now they both have kids of their own.

Another tradition with us and King Food is that for about the last 30 years we’ve always eaten Christmas Eve dinner there. I think it originally started because Jan was working on Christmas dinner for the next day and trying to fix another meal in between just didn’t work. And King Food was one of the few places that was actually open on Christmas Eve.

And we’ll all be right back there this Christmas Eve too.

Today started out with more client visits and stop-offs at Home Depot and Lowe’s for a replacement for my under-sink water filter. They keep discontinuing the one that my system is set up for, but I think I’ve found a new one that will fit, but a little more research is needed.

My last stop was Brandi’s to wait for the mail to be delivered, so I won’t be a scofflaw anymore. My South Dakota car tags (and rig tags) expired on Friday and I’ve been evading the law ever since.

I ordered them online the 1st of November and they normally only take about two weeks. But they didn’t arrive at my South Dakota mail service until this past Saturday. But Terri at MyDakotaAddress put them right back in the mail via Priority, and the tracking number says they’ll be here today.

And they were. And I’m legal again.

Getting home, I picked up Jan and we headed right back out to try out a new restaurant in the area called The Herb Café & Market.

The Herb Cafe' & Market

The online reviews were great, and the place lived up to them. Pretty much everything is homemade. They bake their own bread, make their own salad dressings, grow a lot of their own produce, BBQ their own pork, etc. What’s really nice is that it’s only a couple of miles from the park. We’ll be back.

Leaving the restaurant, we headed up to Chris’ to drop off the laptop and visit for a while with Chris, Linda, Piper, and meet Piper’s boyfriend, whose name I’ve suddenly blanked on. Sorry.

Then it was on to Wal-Mart for a few things before we finally headed home.

Another nice day.

December 3, 2013

Nice while it lasted . . .

When we first started RV’ing back in 2008 we always heard about the fantastic support from Fantastic Vent (Fan), never charging people for replacement parts for their products, no matter how old. And this proved to be true for us when I needed a new cover lift motor for one of the fans in our 1999 American Eagle. Even though the fan was 10 years old there was no charge for the replacement, not even shipping.

Then in 2010 when Atwood, the RV water heater people, bought them out I remember commenting, wondering if that level of support would continue.

Well, as it happens, it didn’t. The same motor I replaced in 2009 died while we were working the gate, but I waited until now to get it replaced. And the motor that was free in 2009 now costs $35.00 plus $12.95 shipping.

Well, it was nice while it lasted.

After a nice, quiet day we picked up Judy and Dick Mott at their RV where they’re parked down at Latitudes RV Park down in San Leon. Dick and Judy have been blog readers for a while, and as it turns out, were gate guarding for Gate Guard Services at the same time we were, and only a few miles away from us. But we all had to come back to this area to get together. We had dinner at Floyd’s Cajun Seafood, one of our favorite local restaurants, and spent about 3 hours talking and learning how many friends we have in common.

Judy and Dick Mott

Judy, Dick, Jan, Greg

All in all, a great time was had by all.

Brock’s Car Care called this afternoon and said our truck is ready to go. Told them we’d pick it up tomorrow morning. They had called earlier and said my battery wasn’t holding a charge, and they had to jumpstart it every time they needed to move it. So I guess I’m getting a new battery along with a new front end.

Oh, well.

December 3, 2014

Pines and Cuckoos . . .

Once again our stay-at-home day was interrupted by real-life, or at least the need to get a couple of errands done.

Our first stop was to drop off some pants to be hemmed at a local Willis alteration place, before checking the Kroger’s across the street for Christmas trees, specifically a live Norfolk Pine Christmas tree for the rig. We had seen some there last week, but now they were sold out.

But while we were there we decided to have a Starbucks’ Chestnut Praline Latte, like the one we had the other day down in Webster. But this time I think the barista made a mistake and forgot to put the flavoring in, because what we got just tasted like coffee with warm milk. However, I didn’t take it back because by the time we sat down and tried it, there was a long line of customers and only the one girl/barista at the counter.

While we were sitting there drinking our milky coffee, I looked over at a display of noodles about 3 feet away, and saw the name ‘Essenhaus’ on the packaging.

Essenhaus Noodles

Looking closer, I discovered it was a product of Das Dutchman Essenhaus, an Amish restaurant located in Middlebury, IN, between Elkhart and Shipshewana. We try to eat there at least once whenever we’re in the area, since they have great fried chicken and a really great selection of fresh vegetables. But I didn’t realize until now that they were marketing their products nationwide. Small world.

Our next stop was a local nursery known for their Christmas tree selection. But when we got there and asked about Norfolk Pines, the guy said they get asked for them all the time, but they don’t carry them.

What’s wrong with this picture?

A few days ago I stopped in at a Home Depot down in Houston and noticed in passing that they had Norfolk Pines, so we drove over to the one in Conroe to check them out. And we hit paydirt. Not only did they have good selection, and Jan was able to find one she liked, but even better, though it was labeled $19.99, it turned out to be on sale for only $9.88.

Merry Christmas to me.

Yesterday when I stopped off at the Barnes & Noble down in The Woodlands, I was specifically looking for my favorite computer magazine, MaximumPC. I’ve read it for years and have always been able to pick up the latest copy at Kroger’s, or Wal-Mart, or just about anywhere. But a month or so ago I realized I hadn’t seen it for a while. And I didn’t find it at B&N yesterday either.

At first I thought maybe they’d gone out of business, but checking their website showed they were still around and selling subscriptions. The only thing I can figure out is that Ingram, the big magazine distributor, has quit carrying them for some reason, but the website didn’t say anything about that.

But what the website did mention was a digital subscription, and it looked like a really good deal. I was able to get a 13 month digital subscription for only $10.99. That’s about 85 cents an issue vs. the $4.99 on the newsstand. A really good deal.

And every month the latest issue shows up in Google Play Newsstand on my phone or tablet. Once the January issues of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics are out, I’m going to subscribe to their digital editions too.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Model Railroader is available in a digital-only format.

December 3, 2015

Called on Account of . . .

a 24 hour bug.

Jan and I headed out for Brandi’s down in Katy a little after 2pm. We were going there to have dinner, take a Christmas lights hayride, and then spend the night so we can take Landon to breakfast and then school tomorrow morning. Brandi is having day surgery for a sinus problem, and she and Lowell need to leave to house before it’s time to take Landon to school. So Nana and Papa are filling in.

We didn’t need to be at Brandi’s until 4:15, but we had left early for two reasons. We wanted to be sure that we would miss the going home traffic that seems to start up about 3, and we wanted to make a Camping World stop on the way. CW is just a couple of miles on out I-10 from Brandi’s exit so it was a perfect fit.

I wanted to pick up a new step mat for our rig. I really like this Clean Machine one, but only CW seems to sell them. Not even Amazon carries them.

These mats really do a good job cleaning dirt and mud off the bottom of my boots, which have a pretty deep tread.

Clean Machine RV Step Mat 1

The mat is made from really heavy AstroTurf so it’s much thicker than any other mat I’ve seen.

Clean Machine RV Step Mat

We had one on our rig before the big blow-out this past May, but when they installed our new step, our old mat apparently didn’t make the cut.

After getting our new mat, we were at Brandi’s about 4pm, only to find out there’d been a big change in plans.

Brandi had some sort of 24 hour bug and they had put off her surgery until next Friday.

Landon came home from school yesterday feeling bad, and a few hours later, Lowell had it too. Aches and pains, fever and diar . . .  Well, you get the idea. But by this afternoon they were both feeling pretty much back to normal.

But then Brandi woke up with it this morning, so everything’s been pushed back. But since Landon was feeling better we still wanted to do the Christmas lights hayride that we already had tickets for.

Luckily, we still had time for dinner, so Lowell, Landon, and Jan and I headed over Little V’s Vietnamese Bistro for our usual delicious meal. And for Brandi, we brought back a big bowl of Chicken Pho.

Hey, chicken soup is chicken soup, no matter how you spell it.

The hayride wasn’t as much fun as we’d hoped. We were sitting on hay bales on an open flat bed trailer with nothing to hold on to. And the driver drove like he had a schedule to meet. He rolled just about every stop sign where he didn’t need to stop for traffic, and pretty much kept to the 25-30 mph speed limit all the way, at least according to my phone’s GPS. All this meant that none of the 30 or so pictures I took of the lights were anything more than just a blur. Plus he almost dumped me on my rear a couple of times with his jack-rabbit starts.

All in all, not a really fun time. But Landon enjoyed it, so there is that.

December 3, 2016

Moczygemba and more Musings . . .

Today was my first day at a new gate called Moczygemba, and I even learned how to pronounce it . . . from a family member.

It’s ‘moxie gim ba’ with no accent on anything.

It was a slow rainy day, with only 7 people coming in and out. And it never got above about 55 so I was really glad I took one of my small heaters with me. So far I’ve found that the heater part of these shack’s AC units doesn’t work very well, but I was warm and toasty with my own.

Responding to some recent articles, I’ve come up with another one of my Musings, or maybe rants. You be the judge.

In the next day or so, I’ll post a cleaned-up version in the Greg’s Musings area.

Frederick Douglass, The 3/5 Compromise, and our ‘racist’ Constitution

Since the Electoral College win for Trump, I’ve seen a number of online articles about how the Electoral College is outmoded, outdated, old-fashioned, antiquated, obsolete, and even antediluvian, you pick your favorite, and that the EC should be scrapped and the Presidential Election should be decided by the popular vote.

But the most egregious are the ones saying that the Electoral College should be abolished because it, and the Constitution, are ‘racist’. So by extension, the Founding Fathers were racists too.

Those of you who read my previous screeds under Greg’s Musings, “The Electoral College – Why?” and “The 1960 World Series and the Electoral College” know why the Founding Fathers set up the Electoral College the way it is.

If not, go read those two articles and then come back.

We’ll wait.

OK, now.

So where does the whole ‘racist’ thing come from, besides the fevered imagination of some Beltway pundit? At this point, all the fingers seem to point toward the much-discussed “3/5 Compromise”.

The first ‘Constitution’, the Articles of Confederation, or more properly, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was essentially a war-time Constitution, drafted starting in July 1776. But it wasn’t sent to the states for ratification until in late 1777, and not finally ratified by all 13 states until March 1, 1781.

Things ran slower back then.

While the Articles did OK allowing the government to fight the Revolutionary War and conduct diplomacy with other nations, it quickly started unraveling at the seams after the war ended. Mostly because the Articles did not give the government much in the way of power, leaving the individual states in real control. For example, the government under the Articles could not levy taxes for money to actually run the government. They had to ask the states to ‘pretty please’ give us some money.

You can imagine how well that worked.

George Washington complained that Congress was paralyzed because nothing could be done without the states joining in. And they were never in any hurry to do anything. That’s why it took over 3 years for the Articles to even be ratified to start with. And even The Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War, laid around for months before it was finally ratified by all the states because several state’s representatives just didn’t show up to vote, and there was no way to make them.

Most of this foot-dragging ratification problem of the Articles was due to how much land some states were claiming out west. Virginia, for instance, tried to claim pretty much the height of the state all the way to the west coast, one long 2000+ mile strip. Because of all this contention, it was two years between when the 12th state, Delaware, ratified the Articles in 1779 and the 13th state, Maryland, finally ratified it in 1781. So even before Maryland got around to finally ratifying the Articles, people were already talking about a ‘new’ Constitution.

Finally in 1787 a convention of state representatives was called in Philadelphia to revise the Articles. But what happened was that they ended up throwing out the Articles and starting from scratch. And what they got was more arguing. And compromising.

In fact our Constitution is one big compromise. It’s interesting to read the records of the discussions and see how things went back and forth. Depending how it had played out, we could have ended up with a much different looking government than we have now, including as you’ve perhaps heard, making George Washington the King, and not the President.

So now we’ve circled back around to the ‘racist’ 3/5 Compromise.

Let’s start off with what it actually says:

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”


So let’s parse this out.

Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned …

‘Representatives’ refers to the number of seats that a state gets in the House of Representatives, based on the population.

‘Direct taxes’ refers to the original method of the U.S. Government to tax people. Basically a state was assessed an amount to be paid to the Federal Government based on the state’s population. So if a state was assessed $10 million, and they had a population of 50,000, then each person owed $200 to the state for their Federal taxes. Note this is not an ‘income’ tax. This ‘direct’ tax was the only way for the Federals to tax the people. This was one reason that much of the early government’s income was from tariffs and import/export fees on physical goods. This didn’t change until the 16th Amendment was ratified in 1913, giving the government the right to tax income directly from an individual. Some would say it all went downhill after that.

Next –

. . . respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.”

So the number of Representatives a state gets in the US House of Representatives, i.e., the power it has, is determined by the population of the state. And this population is the number of free persons, plus the number of indentured servants.

It could be said that indentured servants were slaves, but for a limited time period, usually four to seven years. In many cases, they worked side by side with actual slaves doing the same work. But the actual life of an indentured servant could be all over the map.

It could be a young boy apprenticed to a tradesman, e.g. a blacksmith, a tailor, a silversmith, etc., for seven years to learn a trade. The tradesman got help in his business and the boy learned the trade and then could go out on his own. Or it could be a person in England who bound himself to a landowner in America in return for passage here for him, and perhaps his family.

Now the ‘excluding Indians not taxed’ part. What does this mean?

Well, your guess is as good as anyone else’s. The phrase was never really defined in the law. But the directions given to the census takers in that time took it to mean that Indians living on a tribal reservation were not to be counted. But who had taken up ‘white men’s ways’ (an actual phrase used) were counted. And there were a number of them. And many were very wealthy and owned black slaves.

So now we’ve covered the ‘free persons’, the indentured servants, and the Indians, leaving us with the ‘three fifths of all other Persons.’ In other words, the actual slaves.

First off, some background. The Founding Fathers were not racist, at least not in today’s terms. In fact they loathed slavery. If you don’t believe me, read the Federalist Papers. We had to in High School, but is seems that they’re no longer on the reading list.

Thomas Jefferson called slavery a “moral depravity” and a “hideous blot,” and believed that slavery presented the greatest threat to the survival of the new American nation. All this, of course, while actually owning slaves, most of which he inherited. During his lifetime he only bought about 20 slaves, in most cases to reunite families.

George Washington also held slaves, and like Jefferson’s, obtained mostly by inheritance. In fact he inherited his first 10 slaves when he was only 11 years old. And although Benjamin Franklin owned slaves, he regularly published Quaker pamphlets and his own essays on the abolition of slavery. Then beginning in 1787 he served as President of the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery.

The problem that the Founding Fathers (FF) faced was that they didn’t know how to get rid of slavery without tearing the nation apart or devastating the economy. Jefferson said that maintaining slavery was akin to holding “a wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go.” To emancipate slaves on American soil, Jefferson thought, would result in a large-scale war that would be as brutal and deadly as the slave revolt in Haiti in 1791. And of course history proved him right.

But the Founders did try to abolish slavery, even if it was in baby steps. The Slave Trade Act of 1794 prohibited American ships from use in the slave trade, essentially limiting the trade to foreign-flagged vessels. While The Slave Trade Act of 1800 outlawed American citizens’ investment and participation in the trade, and even U.S. citizens working on foreign vessels involved in the trade. Violators even had their ships confiscated.

Finally in 1808 the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves of 1807 prohibited the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States. It even regulated the movement of slaves from state to state via coastal shipping. Of course like today’s drug laws, it couldn’t stop the importing of slaves completely. But it did make a big dent in it, and drove it underground. A later change even instituted the death penalty for violations if arrested.

Yeah, yeah. We’re working our way back around to the whole 3/5 Compromise thing.

So we’ve established that the FF would have made slavery go away if they could, or even outlawed it completely which they knew they couldn’t. But they start nibbling around the edges as much as possible, as shown with the above Acts. But they actually laid the groundwork for the abolishing of slavery with Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3 of the new Constitution, with the whole 3/5 of a person thing.

But note, that’s not what it says. The FF did not say that slaves only counted as 3/5 of a person. The 3/5 actually refers to counting 3/5 of the total number of slaves in the Census. Some might call this ‘a difference without a distinction’, but it was done for a good reason.

Strangely enough the FF would have been happy to not count the slaves at all. It was the powerful southern slave states that wanted to count the slaves just like free persons. Of course they still wanted them as slaves, but didn’t want to count them that way. The southern states wanted to count the slaves to give them more representatives in the US House so that they could protect slavery.

So the FF wanted to not count the slaves at all, and the southern states wanted to count them the same as ‘free persons’. If slaves were not counted at all the southern states threatened to pull out from the Constitution and go out on their own. If they weren’t counted at all, some of the powerful northern abolitionist-leaning states also threatened not to join. So the 3/5 Compromise was just that. A number that both sides, the abolitionist states and the slave states could live with. But it helped set the country on the road to ending slavery.

It was the old ‘carrot and the stick’ premise. As the southern states freed their slaves, then each freed slave would go up in representation value by two-fifths or 40%. And if the South refused, the northern states would theoretically hold the advantage in Congress and might possibly end slavery legally that much earlier.

But even with all this it still took a war to do it.

Now to Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave who became a national leader in the abolitionist’s movement, and was noted for his fiery oratory and anti-slavery writings. He toured around the country, and later around the world, giving speeches and meeting with both pro and anti-slavery advocates.

Originally Douglass was told that the Constitution was a ‘pro-slavery’ document by his mentor, William Lloyd Garrison, a prominent abolitionist, social reformer, and suffragist. But when persuaded to look for himself, he quickly changed his mind saying that the 3/5 Compromise was “a downright disability laid upon the slave-holding states” that deprived them of “2/5 of their natural basis of representation.”

Wrapping up, I think people today tend to look at history through a prism of their own lives and experiences, applying their own values, and overlaying them on the past. And then criticizing the people in the past for how they lived, and how they looked at things.

The Cherokee’s had it right with their proverb, “Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes”, or maybe moccasins, I guess.

Or my favorite from Harper Lee in To Kill A Mockingbird, “You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

Both profound AND creepy, so my kind of quote.

But by doing this with our past, we run the risk of having the same thing done to us by our future. Think about this.

Right now scientists are making great progress growing ‘meat’ in the lab. Beef, chicken, pork, all being cultivated. I mean, you can give a cow grass and water and get back milk and meat. So at some point we’ll be able to duplicate that process in a factory and we won’t need cows anymore. And ironically, this will very possibly mean that cows will go extinct, except maybe for zoos and ‘wildlife’ parks. Why would you keep one around otherwise?

And our descendants 200 years from now will look back in absolute horror that we once ‘ate’ animals, and talk about how ‘uncivilized’ we were back then and why didn’t we know better.

So where do you go to get measured for a skin suit?

December 3, 2017 U

Oh, Well . . .

Still working on my Direct TV problem, I put in a call to DTV to double-check on any possible problems on their end, though since the video/audio wasn’t being recorded, that seemed to eliminate DTV and the DVR.

After I finally got past Roger from Bombay, I talked to Will, a Tech Support guy who actually knew something. He suggested I try changing a couple video display settings, turning off Native mode, and setting Screen Format to Original Format.

This was about noon when I changed the settings and when we left the rig about 2:15 the problem hadn’t resurfaced. So we’ll see.

As I said we did head out a little after 2pm, heading up to the Potatoe Patch Restaurant on1960. Although in yesterday’s blog I said we were meeting Janice and Dave Evans, we were really meeting Debi and Ed Hurlburt who were driving down from the Lake Conroe TT to meet us.

I got Janice and Dave stuck in my mind, because looking back in the blog for the last time we visited there, so Jan could see what she had, it was Janice and Dave that we met there then.

That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

I was expecting a lot of extra traffic due to the fact that I-45 was closed through downtown Houston because of construction. So we took the 610 Loop around to the Hardy Toll Rd. and then north to 1960, and it was smooth sailing all the way.

Jan and I both had the Chicken Fried Chicken with Baked Potato and salad. Really good, along with the great homemade rolls, fried okra, and fried green tomatoes they give out as free appetizers.

And as usual with Ed and Debi, we talked for almost 3 hours before we all finally headed home. Before we left the restaurant I checked the weather here in Santa Fe, and it said there was heavy rain and lightning.

But it only sprinkled all the way home, until we got in the League City area when it started pouring down. But even with that we were surprised to see all the flooded yards and streets as we got close to the RV Park, though lucky for us it had stopped by the time we got to the rig.

And checking my La Crosse Weather Station it was easy to see where all the flooding came from. They had had almost 4 and a quarter inches of rain in just those few hours. WOW!

Oh, well. After we got home and I was watching TV, the video/audio glitched several times, so the DTV display fix didn’t.

December 3, 2018

Got My Jan Back . . .

I spent most of the day at work replenishing our stock of instructional DVD’s, copying the ISO files to the DVD’s, and then printing up the DVD labels on Avery’s Design & Print program and pressing the labels onto the DVD with a label applicator.

I did order a new monitor for my desk at work today. I have two monitors, one for the webserver that runs the CentOS version of Linux, and my personal machine running Win10.

The webserver’s monitor died last week, and when I found a old one in the back storage area, it ran for about two days before it followed the first one into oblivion.

I found this one on Amazon, an Acer 19.5” monitor for $71, plus an additional 4 year Extended Warranty for $1.76. Should be here Friday.

Acer Webserver Monitor

Since this new one is better than the one I’m using on my Win10 machine, I’ll take the new one and move my old one over to the webserver.

I headed up to Katy about 3pm, wanting to get up there and back down here, staying ahead of the going-home traffic. And it worked pretty well.

Jan said Brandi, Lowell, and Landon got back about 12:30 this morning, completely bushed, but happy. They had a great time, and are already planning to go back in a couple of years.

Getting back to the Clear Lake area, we stopped off at Floyd’s Cajun Seafood for a dinner of a dozen Raw Oysters for us to split, Grilled Catfish for Jan, Shrimp Gumbo for me, and Grilled Veggies for both of us.

Coming home we saw a lot more Christmas decorations along FM646, including this yard that’s been lit up like this for a couple of weeks, the first one we saw.

Cherry Picker Christmas Lights

As Jan said, someone owns a cherry picker crane. Very nice!

And when we got back to the rig, I was able to surprise Jan with the fact that I had decorated the rig while she was gone.

2018 Rig Christmas Lights

Unfortunately the photo doesn’t do it justice. The lights on the ground are cycling through 16 different patterns, as is the string draped between the window awnings. Plus there’s the large white-lit wreath on the front and the multi-color one hanging on the side.

Best decorated RV in the park. Of course it’s pretty much the only one.

December 3, 2019

Two More Days . . .

Today was a day of errands, so we were out the door about 12:30pm, trying to get a bunch of last minute stuff done before we leave for NYC Thursday morning.

VERY early Thursday morning.

Like up about 3am, our car service pickup at 4:30, at the airport about 5, with our SW flight leaving at 6:40am. With a flight time of 3:15 minutes we’ll get to LaGuardia at 10:55, losing an hour to the time change.

However our first stop this morning was Snooze for breakfast about 1pm. Then it was a stop by my client’s to pick up some Amazon stuff that came in, and also drop off our Christmas Cards in our Outgoing Mail box.

Next was a WalMart stop for stuff, and then a quick hair trim at my barbershop. Jan then did a Target and Old Navy shopping stop for some outfit stuff. Then we were homeward bound.

When I mentioned yesterday about taking the rig up to the Cummins dealer up on the north 610 loop, several readers wondered why we didn’t leave the rig there while we’re in NYC. We kind of thought about it, and even my client suggested it. But there was just too much of a time crunch.

Trying to arrange an appointment, get the rig up there, getting a place to stay and leave our stuff there would mean that we would be paying for a place for a week while we’re gone. It just wouldn’t work.

I did get some great info from reader Richard King who gave me the name and phone number for the RV Repair Manager at the Cummins place. Gives me a great place to start. But nothing’s probably going to happen until after the first of the year.

Jan and  I want to add a 6’ x 8’ storage shed on our RV site. But no one else has one here, and it seems like we remember something about that they’re not allowed.

But it can’t hurt to ask, right?

Right now he’s got 3 empty sites out of 17, and the 5th Wheel next to us is leaving in a couple of weeks. Plus a lot of other resident RV parks in the area allow storage buildings.

So to help out with his decision and show him what it would look like, I took this photo of the shed,

Arrow Newburgh 2a

and this photo of our rig site,

RV Shed

and put them together for this.]

RV Shed 2

If I had wanted to take more time, I would have put an adjustment mask over the building to darken it down some so the brightness/contrast would match the rig photo more closely.]

I ordered Jan this new sweat shirt that, unfortunately, won’t be here for our NYC trip,

Moose Christmas Ornaments Sweat Shirt

But Jan’s really looking forward to it getting here.

December 3, 2020

Cold, Wet, and Colorful . . .

Today was quiet, and cold. Very cold, at least for south Texas. It stay overcast all day, with a few sprinkles, and just barely made it up to 55°

So we just hung around the rig all day until about 3:45 when we headed over to Victory Lakes to have dinner at the Denny’s there. But I think the real reason Jan wanted to eat there so she could update her mask and earring collections from our favorite waitress, Staci.

Staci’s mom makes the masks and jewelry and Staci’s regular customers come by and shop. Jan was looking for Christmas-themed stuff and Staci had a whole full of stuff.

Here’s what Jan picked out.

Masks From Staci

Actually though, the one on the bottom right is mine.

Jan also picked out a pair of snowflake earrings that she really liked as well.

Earrings From Staci

I’m not sure about ‘green’ snowflakes. I know to stay away from the ‘yellow’ snow, but I’m not sure about the ‘green’ stuff.

And today turned out to be a surfeit of Christmas earrings for Jan. Coming home we stopped off at the Santa Fe PO to pick our mail, which contained the new tags for our Jeep.

Also in the mail was another set of Christmas earrings, these from long-time friend, Phyllis Schell,

Earrings From Phyllis

who sent these really cute Santa earrings to Jan.

And on the subject of car tags, it’s looking like soon there will be no more yearly trips to the DMV to renew your tags. It looks like Digital License Plates are coming soon.

Digital Car Tags

You can apparently update your tags using your cell phone, and also use it to track your car.

Of course, I wonder how long it will be before people’s tags are getting hacked, with cuss words showing up, crooks changing the tags on their getaway cars, etc.

There’s always Unintended Consequences, no matter what.

December 3, 2021

Almost On Our Way . . .

I spent most of today wrapping up things at work, prepping for my being gone next week. Then coming home I stopped off at Costco to top off the Jeep.

Then we just waited for Jennifer, my client’s office manager to get home so we could go by her place and drop off Miss Karma. Jennifer is our go-to cat-sitter, and is the only person Karma has ever stayed with. We know she’s in good hands.

Our next stop was at the Santa Fe McDonald’s for dinner. I had been jonsin’ for  McRib, and Jan wanted one of their Chicken Sandwiches. Still good.

Then after a quick Dollar General stop, we finished up at Jack Box’s for a couple of Breakfast Sandwiches for tomorrow morning.g

We plan to head out around 8-8:30ish, with our overnight at the Wyndham Garden in Texarkana, the same place we’ll stay on the way back to Santa Fe next Saturday.

More From On The Road Tomorrow.

December 3, 2022

More New Friends and A New Record . . .

Getting back to yesterday’s fun.

We met up with long-time friends, Peri and Jim Dean, and his sister and her husband, Melinda and Chris King at Jimmy Changas at about 4:30pm, early enough to be the rush. By 5 or a little after, they’re on a wait.

Jimmy Changas seems to have become our new meeting place for getting together with old/new friends, since we were just here a couple of weeks ago with our new Canadian friend’s, Ron and Anne Fortier.

Ron & Anne 3 Turkeys

We’ve known Jim and Peri since we first met up in Las Vegas in 2011. They had been blog readers for a couple of years and wanted to get together while we were all there. And we’ve been getting together whenever we can ever since.

This time Jim, Peri, Chris, and Melinda are boarding a Carnival cruise this afternoon, taking them to Key West and the Bahamas. So since they were staying in Texas City, this was the perfect time to get together.

Jan and I both had the same thing we had last time, Jan with the Plato Soldado,

Jimmy Changas Plato Soldado 20221202

while I again got the Rio Grande.

Jimmy Changas Rio Grande 20221202

We had a fantastic time getting back together with Jim and Peri, and getting to know Chris and Melinda.

Jim & Peri Dean et al at Jimmy Changas

We’re all RV’ers, and it was amazing how many of the same places we’ve all been to, and had a great time reminiscing about it all.

And we set a new record. We got there at 4:30 and didn’t leave until a little after 9pm. That’s more than 4-1/2 hours. And of course as we did last time, we well compensated Martha, our server, since she could have probably had 3 or 4 other groups at our table.

Hopefully we’ll be able to get together again when they get back from their cruise before they all head home.

Today was an easy one, with lunch at Denny’s (or breakfast, anyway). And it’s amazing the omelets that you get when you tip the cook as well as your server.

Denny's Ultimate Omelet 20221203

Almost more than we could eat. I told Jan that if we ever tip Hugo the cook again, we’re going to need a bigger plate.

Next up was right down the Interstate to the Tanger Factory Outlet Mall. Peri Dean showed Jan her new Vera Bradley purse that she had just bought. And Jan, having kind of outgrown her smaller one, thought this one would be perfect for her.

So a quick stop at the Vera Bradley Outlet Store netted her this one.

Vera Bradley kauai floral Little Hipster Purse

She likes that it’s bigger and has a longer. heavier strap.

Yesterday, our Old Reliable 2004 Dodge Dakota truck hit 310,000 miles.

Dodge Dakota 310014 Miles

And of course, it’s got another 90,000+ miles being dragged around behind the RV that didn’t register on the odometer.