Daily Archives: December 9, 2023

Posting Problem Fixed. Catching Up.


And Now Just The Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

December 9, 2010

What a Difference A Day Makes . . .

Today we woke up to great weather and a beautiful day. A big change from yesterday’s cold and rain.

Even Mister decided to catch some rays in the front window.

Mister in Window

And with the great weather, it was time to get our walk in again. Since it had been several days since we had walked, we only did a mile.

Later Jan was rearranging things behind the TV in the bedroom, and when she turned her back, Mister jumped from the bed up into the cubbyhole.

Mister in TV Mount

He’s always like to get as high as he can.

Mister Asleep

I came out early one morning and found him sound asleep on top of one of the kitchen cabinets. That’s a jump of over 3 feet, and he’s a 25 pound cat. How he got up there I don’t know.

About 12:30 we drove up to Webster to have lunch and a movie at the Star Cinema Grill. As I’ve mentioned before, Star Cinema Grill is a movie theatre where they’ve taken out every other row of seats and put in small tables. There is a menu on the table and a button that will summon your waiter.  The food is very good, and much like what you find at Chili’s or TGI Friday’s.

The movie we saw was ‘Tangled’, the new Disney version of the Rapunzel fairy tale. And it was very good, with a lot of laugh-out loud humor, and I dare you not to have a tear in your eye at the end. Very recommended.

After stopping off at Kroger’s, we got home about 4:30 and were in for the night.

December 9, 2011

We’re hearing things . . .

For the last several days we’ve been hearing a faint high-pitched tone in the rear of the coach. We can only hear it in the bathroom and just inside the bedroom. It seems to be coming from overhead, but you can’t localize it.

We’ve turned lights and appliances on and off, and listened in the closet and under the bed. I even went outside and checked the bays and engine compartment. You can’t even hear it at all out there. But inside, it’s been there day and night with no change.

So this morning I decided to shut off power to the coach and see if that made a difference. The first thing I did was to shutdown my computer, monitor, and color laser printer. Then I was going to turn off the breakers under the bed one by one, and see what that did. And if that didn’t change anything, I would go outside and shut off the shore power completely.

But when Jan and I went back to the bathroom, the sound was gone.


The only thing I had done was to turn my computer off. So I turned my computer, monitor, and printer back on, but the tone was still gone.

And it’s been gone for about 12 hours now.

So I’m completely mystified as to how my computer could cause a tone that could only be heard in the bathroom, because in doing my checking I had repeatedly closed and opened both bathroom doors with no effect.

Guess we’ll just have to wait and see if it comes back.

About 11:30 I headed out to finish up with the client that I ran out of time with on Wednesday. This second machine was a lot less trouble than the first one, so I made pretty quick progress, finished things up with no surprises, and was able to get back home by about 4:15.

Then at 5:15 Jan and I headed down SH 146 to Galveston to meet Brandi, Lowell, and Landon, as well as Brandi’s BFF, Shawna and her family, at Salsa’s, a Mexican restaurant on the Galveston Seawall. The plan was to have dinner at Salsa’s and then take the kids to see the Moody Garden’s Festival of Lights.

Festival of Lights

But just as we were almost ready to get on to I-45 that would take us into Galveston, Brandi called and said Shawna was running late, and by the time we had supper it would be too late to see the lights. So we decided to meet back up in Dickinson at Monterey’s Little Mexico to eat dinner and they would catch up with Shawna et al., down in Galveston a little later.

As I mentioned yesterday, Jan and I (mostly Jan) are babysitting Landon this weekend at their house, so after a fun dinner we headed back up to Friendswood, while Brandi and Lowell drove on down to Galveston to meet Shawna.

Landon was sound asleep by the time we got there, but woke up a little when Jan changed him and put his PJ’s on. But he started falling asleep again as Jan was reading to him.

About 8pm I headed back to the rig for the night to hold down the fort here. But I’ll be back over there tomorrow for a day of more Landon time.

December 9, 2012

Sunflowers and Ferris Wheels . . .

Today was a “Get Up and Head Out Early” morning, but it was worth it. We got more Landon time.

We left the rig a little before 8am to meet Lowell, Brandi, and Landon at The Sunflower Café down in Galveston.

Landon at Sunflower Cafe

Landon really loves the fresh fruit they have here, and was scavenging off everyone’s plate.

Jan and I are really proud of the great job Brandi and Lowell are doing raising Landon. He’s always so good when we’re out with him, even with other screaming kids seated around him.

After a great breakfast at The Sunflower Café (we’ll definitely go back) we got our goodbye hugs from everyone and all headed out. But before we went home, Jan and I decided to drive along the Seawall to check out any new additions to the area.

One place we were interested in checking out was the new Galveston Island Pleasure Pier. Basically it’s a amusement park/restaurant complex built on an 1100 foot pier out in the Gulf of Mexico.

Pleasure Pier Overview 2

Originally built as a recreation area by the military during WWII, it was turned over to the city after the war and called the Pleasure Pier.

Up until 1961, it was a well-known family entertainment destination on the Gulf of Mexico. Top dance bands played the enormous ballroom, while an open air movie theater, concessions,  rides, and even an aquarium added to the fun. But Hurricane Carla damaged it beyond repair in 1961.

Then in 1965 the Flagship Hotel opened in its place.

Flagship Hotel

Earning a place in history as the only hotel in North America built entirely over the water, it lasted until 2008 when it was severely damaged by Hurricane Ike.

Then in May 2012, a new Pleasure Pier opened. Developed by Tilman Fertitta, CEO and owner of Landry’s, a corporation that owns and operates over 35 restaurant chains, it’s now a prime tourist attraction in Galveston.

Pleasure Pier Overview

With a 100 foot high Ferris Wheel,

Pleasure Pier Ferris Wheel

and a 1250 foot long roller coaster that features a 100 foot high vertical climb, a 100 foot high over-vertical drop, and 4 full inversions, it’s a real thrill.

Pleasure Pier Iron Shark

But the one I’m looking forward to riding is the 230 foot high Texas Star Flyer, the tallest swing ride in Texas. Each spoke holds two open chairs that let you see in all directions as you turn.

Pleasure Pier Star Flyer 2

I can’t wait.

It finally looks like our winter weather is finally coming in. Today’s high was 80, and tonight’s low is supposed to be 50. And tomorrow’s high is supposed to be 50 too. And tomorrow night’s low is going to be 35. Nice.

For most of the last couple of weeks, the low at night has been in the high 60’s, so this will be a nice change.

December 9, 2013

Turkey Cranwich and Chicken Chili . . .

Another cold, dreary, dizzily, windy day here on Dickinson Bayou, so it seemed to be a good day to do some shopping. And lunch, or course.

Our first stop was the Target over by I-45 and FM 646 to see if they carried some different brands from Wal-Mart. Jan did find some things she was looking for, but not everything, so it was off to the next-door Staples with not much more luck than Target or Wally World.

By this time we were getting hungry so it was off to Jason’s Deli up in Webster. Jan had a favorite, the Turkey Cranwich, while I had my usual Southwest Chicken Chili and a side salad. Jason’s Deli is one of our favorite places, but not always easy to find while we travel so we try to make up for it while we’re here.

After a nice long lunch, our next stop was Half-Price Books, while I shopped the Office Depot next door. Neither of us had any luck finding what we were looking for, so I ordered what we both wanted from Amazon before we left the parking lot, and it will be here Wednesday. I love Amazon Prime.

Then it was off to get my quarterly haircut at Lou’s Barber Shop, the same place I’ve been getting it cut for over 30 years. Of course I had a lot more hair when I started going there.

Our last stop was at Chris and Linda’s to pick up our mail from Linda. Chris had been called in for some overtime so he wasn’t there.

Earlier in the day, our daughter Brandi emailed over the latest Landon story.

I was driving Landon to school this morning and listening to the radio while Landon quietly ate his granola bar in the backseat. I had already previously tried to initiate a sing-a-long of some Christmas favorites but was promptly “advised” to quit singing, but I digress.

While driving along, minding my own business, I glanced quickly back and noticed Landon had a very serious look on his face. I asked him if he was ok to which I received the “look” so I assumed I should go back to minding my own business, but after a second or two he said, “Momma, is there Electricity?” I then responded with a most intelligent response explaining lights and TV’s, etc.

He then asked, “Does electricity make the wheels go on the car?” I tried explaining about motors and engines but I think he had already tuned me out so I asked what made him ask me that and he kept looking at the back of the seat near the floor board pointing at something.

When we finally got to school I went and asked what he was looking at and he pointed to the knob that makes the seat go forward. We never use it so I am not sure why it got his attention or how he connected that with electricity but it was a fun conversation.

I still have no idea where he got the word electricity but he said it perfectly!!! No big punch line moment, just a proud mommy moment.

How to Make More than Minimum Wage:

1. Obtain a minimum wage job.

2. Tell your boss you want to work as many hours as possible and that you want him/her to call you if they ever need you to fill in for somebody else’s shift.

3. Show up early for your shift and be ready to work before your shift begins. Maintain a positive and cheerful “can-do” attitude at all times. Never complain and if you must, arrange a one-on-one with your boss in private and have a proposed solution.

4. Once you learn the basics of your job and have it down pat, tell your boss that you are ready for more responsibility. Offer to train your replacement.

5. Once you are promoted (and you will be), master your new job and tell your boss you are ready for more responsibility.

6. Repeat the above until you are running the place yourself.

December 9, 2014

Am I a lucky guy, or what?

She said I could look, but I couldn’t drool.

Since we leave for the Colorado River Thousand Trails tomorrow morning I had some things that I wanted to take care of this morning. First up was to top off my rig tire pressures. With the lower winter temps, I needed to bring them all up about 10# or so, as well as my one inside rear dual that usually needs about 20# or so after we’ve been parked for a week or so. I say ‘usually’ because sometimes I won’t have to add any air for a month or so, and then suddenly I have to again.

I’ve had this Porter-Cable Air Compressor for about 5 years now and it still works great. It has no problem taking big rig tires up to 120 # in no time. Check it out.

PORTER-CABLE 150 PSI Air Compressor

Next up, I checked the water level in the rig batteries. I try to do this once a month or so, but only have to add distilled water every now and then. The engine batteries are sealed so they don’t need any maintenance, just keeping the terminals clean.

One thing I wanted to do before I forgot about it was put my 2015 tag stickers on the rig tags. They expired the end of November, but this is the first time the rig will move since then. And while I was thinking about ‘tags’, I wrapped the truck’s EZ Tag in foil and put it away in the console. We have Toll Road EZ Tags for both the truck and the rig. But when we’re towing the truck behind the rig, we have to disable the truck’s tag, otherwise we’ll get charged twice for the truck, since the system detects that the rig is towing a truck behind it.

After I finished up a few other things, Jan and I headed out about 1pm. Our first stop was back at the Twin Peaks down in The Woodlands, where we just ate about a week ago.

Jan wanted another bowl of their Creamy Tomato Soup, and I got to eat lunch around a bunch of scantily-clad young ladies. And Jan said I could look, just not drool, but that was more difficult than usual. Because tonight is the night for the Annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on TV.

And in honor of that, all the waitresses were dressed in lingerie, and in some cases, not a lot of it.

I did mention that Jan said I could look, didn’t I?

Our next stop was right down the road at the Toys R Us. We were looking over some times for Landon, checking out some things we were interested in, and trying to get some new ideas.

Then it was across the street to the Post Office for some Christmas stamps for the Christmas cards that Jan’s almost finished with. After that, and a stop at Kroger’s, we got back to the park about 5pm.

As I said, about 11am tomorrow, we’ll make the 120 mile over to the Colorado River Thousand Trails at Columbus. We’re scheduled there for two weeks, but hopefully we’ll get a call from the Galveston Bay RV Resort saying they’ve got a site for us before then. Otherwise, we’ll be back here at the Lake Conroe TT on Christmas Eve.

I did mention that Jan said I could look, didn’t I?

December 9, 2015

Almost Finished . . .

but not quite.

I was up about 9:30 this morning, and after coffee, got to work on my first plumbing project, replacing the flush ball and seals on our Sealand toilet.

Actually the problem wasn’t with either the flush ball or the seals, but with the plastic shaft that lets the pedal turn the ball. Over time the square edges of the shaft rounded off until the spring cartridge and the foot pedal could no longer turn the shaft, which means you could no longer flush the toilet.

I guess this is why the shafts are now made of brass.

Toilet Seal 3

I had turned the shore water off when I got home last night, so all I had to do before I got started was to turn off the pump, and open the lavatory faucet to drain the system. Then I started out by loosening the band clamp that holds the bowl and base together and then removing the two plastic half clamps.

Toilet Seal 1

At this point the bowl is now just sitting on the base, so don’t bump it.  Now I reached behind the toilet and pulled out the vacuum breaker.

Toilet Seal Vscuum Breaker

Next I carefully lifted the bowl and set it aside on a large plastic garbage bag. Now I could remove the water valve, spring cartridge, and the pedal by taking out the two screws. Then I turned the flush valve upside down, and after removing the screw I was able to pull the flush ball and shaft out.

About this time I decided that maybe having my usual big 32oz mug of coffee this morning wasn’t a good idea when I wasn’t going to have a working toilet for several hours. Note to self for future plumbing projects.

At this point I going to reveal a closely held secret. The directions say to just install the new flush ball and shaft the reverse of how you took the old one out. But that’s impossible.

Oh, installing the new brass shaft is not a problem. Just coat the O-rings with Plumber’s Silicone Grease and slide it in place. But getting the flush valve down through small hole, turning it sideways, and then squeezing it until it snaps into place is a whole ‘nother story.

It can’t be done that way, and a lot of complaints on RV.net back me up. But here’s the secret.

Toilet Seal 4

Use a tie-wrap to pre-squeeze the flush ball, lower it in the hole, turn it sideways, and holding the tie-wrap end so it doesn’t fall in the black tank, just snip the tie-wrap. And now it will snap right in place.

Now just insert the screw that connects the flush ball to the brass shaft and tighten it down. I noticed that they give you an extra screw with the flush ball kit because it’s real easy to drop one in the tank. It has to be inserted at an angle and then straightened up and tightened. And you don’t have a lot of room.

Toilet Seal 5

At this point I was on the home stretch . . . I thought. All I had to do was to install the spring cartridge, foot pedal, and the water valve. But the spring cartridge wouldn’t fit. It’s supposed to slide on the brass shaft, and then you twist it back and forth a little until the square end of the shaft fits in the square slot on the spring cartridge.

But it just wouldn’t snap into place. And after fighting it for 10 minutes or so, I took it back apart and looked it over. And here’s what was wrong.

Toilet Seal 8

The spring on the new cartridge was installed crooked, and looking down the hole you can see that it keeps the shaft from being able to line up with the square hole.

Toilet Seal 9

I pried at the spring for a while with no luck at fixing it. But lucky for me I had saved my old one, and since it still looked good with no wear, right back in it went.

Now everything went back together without a problem, and that part was done.

Toilet Seal 6

And after greasing up the two new seals,

Toilet Seal 2

I laid them in place on top of the ball, and set the bowl on top. Then I put the two plastic half clamps on, and used the stainless steel band clamp to fasten the top and bottom together.

Then plugging the vacuum breaker back in, I turned on the water pump and gave it a try. And it worked.

Water ran in, the ball opened and closed, and two hours later I still had water in the bowl.

Toilet Seal 7

One note here: Although they call that tube at the back of the toilet a vacuum breaker, which it is, it’s also the water supply to the toilet itself. This is where the water that fills the bowl comes from.

Readers may have noticed that I did a lot of describing stuff without a lot of pictures. And there’s a reason for that.

I was working on a toilet!  And in some cases, the inside of the toilet!  I won’t say any more. I’ve read about a couple of RV’ers who were going to do this type of repair for themselves, got it kind of apart, and were so grossed out by the smell and the sight that they gave up and paid someone to finish it.

I spent my junior and senior high school year summers working for an HVAC and plumbing company, and quickly got inured of this by having to crawl around under people’s houses looking for . . . and finding leaky sewer pipes, and wading around in septic tanks in hip boots looking for clogs. You just get used to it.

I’ve included a YouTube video below that details disassembling the toilet, replacing the seals, and putting it all back together. It does not cover the flush ball replacement.

And based on the cleanliness of his toilet, I can only suspect that either this toilet had never been used, or he spent a couple of hours cleaning it up before he made the video. This idea is reinforced by the toothbrush lying on the floor in a few of the scenes.

Besides mine, I’ve worked on three other RV toilets, and they all look more like mine, than his. Just saying.

I wonder if his wife knows that’s her toothbrush?

Next up was Job #2. Replacing the lavatory faucet.

I had worked on this several months ago, pre-gate, but ran into a problem. The water connections came loose with no problem, but getting the hold-down nuts loose, the ones that fasten the faucet to the countertop, brought things to a halt. I could not get them loose.

But now I had this faucet wrench,

Husky Faucet Nut Wrench

and I was all set . . . I thought.

I again disconnected the water supply lines with no problem, and then the hot water side nut also came right off using the new wrench. But when I tried it on the cold water side, I heard a ‘snap’ and all three of the little ears on the plastic nut broke off. I don’t understand why these are so tight. I installed this American-Standard faucet 5 or 6 years ago, and I know I just hand-tightened them.

I spent the next hour trying a whole lot of different ways to get the nut off, but then finally went with one of my old standby favorites.

Brute Force!

I cut into the top of the faucet, peeled it back, and then used a hammer and a punch to break off the plastic nut from the top, and now the old faucet was free.

Faucet Removal 1

So all I had to do now was install the new one, connect the water lines, and I was done. But nothing in these plumbing jobs could be that simple.

The water supply lines coming down from the new Moen faucet hang down about two inches further than the old ones. And the rigid plastic supply lines from the coach stick up too high, so they don’t line up.

So I was going to need new connectors from the hardware store in Columbus, but it was after 6pm and they were closed. And since the coach water supply lines were still unconnected, I resigned myself to no shower tonight.

But thinking on things for a few minutes, I came up with a couple of good ideas. The first was just to connect the new faucet to the water lines temporarily inside the cabinet. Of course I couldn’t use the faucet, but I could take a shower.

Faucet Removal 2

The second good idea was, rather than cutting the plastic supply pipes shorter and installing new connectors, all I need to do is buy a couple of 18” flexible supply lines, and these will let me just hook the new lines up and route them around inside the cabinet. Easy Peasy.

So, tomorrow morning I’ll make a hardware store run,  get the faucet finished up, and then it’ll be time to cut in the wall behind the shower and find the leak. Maybe it’ll be something as simple as a loose connection.

Yeah, Right!

December 9, 2016

Moose and Grinch . . .

It only made it down to 35° here last night, despite the 32° that was forecast. Today wasn’t much better with the temp finally crawling up to 45°, and tomorrow looks to be more of the same.

However we’re a lot better off than the dozen or so global warming protestors out in Denver CO waving signs in front of the Department of the Interior office there. They’re calling for the US to abandon ALL fossil fuels, and I guess, freeze to death. As for them, they’re walking around in 4” of snow, and it was –10° last night. This is called “The Al Gore Effect”.

We finally got a chance to try out the Cranberry Orange Nut Bread Jan baked yesterday morning. So we had a couple of slices for breakfast this morning, toasted with butter. Really delicious.

Jan's Cranberry Orange Nut Bread Sliced

Here’s the recipe for now. I’ll post it later in Jan’s Favorite Recipes.

*    *    *    *    *

Cranberry Orange Nut Bread


2 cups Flour
1 cup Sugar
1-1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
3/4 cup Orange Juice
1 Tbsp grated Orange Peel (orange zest)
2 Tbsp Shortening
1 Egg, well beaten
1-1/2 cups coarse chopped, Fresh (or frozen) Cranberries
1/2 cups Chopped Nuts (Jan used pecans)


Preheat oven to 350°. Grease up a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan

Mix together all dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Mix in egg, shortening, orange juice, and orange peel until well blended. Mix in cranberries and nuts.

Bake for 50 minutes (start checking at 45 minutes) until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely. Wrap and store overnight.

Continuing in Jan’s Happy Homemaker mode, she did another batch of her Chicken Vegetable Soup this morning. Perfect for this cold weather.

Jan's Chicken Vegetable Soup2

The recipe is already posted in Jan’s Favorite Recipes

But for us, Jan adds some heat by substituting a can of Hot Habanero Rotel tomatoes in place of the can of crushed tomatoes.

Jan started working on our Christmas cards this afternoon so I printed up a couple of pages of return address labels for her. I custom make them every year, using a different graphic.

Last year it was a candy cane, so this year I decided to go in a different direction.

Grinch Christmas Labels

Jan however, decided that was the wrong direction and suggested strongly that I reorient my aim and try again. So now it looks like we’re going with these.

Moose Christmas Labels

Sometimes Jan just has no sense of humor.

I mused a couple of weeks ago under the Greg’s Musings tab about how we seem to be losing our history. In the article “Are We Erasing Our Past?”, I talked about how Political Correctness is causing us to change names of buildings, and even move or tear down decades-old monuments.

Well, this has come back to bite Yale University in the butt with a vengeance. Like many colleges and universities around the country, there have to calls to rename or remove statues, buildings, or entire colleges. In Yale’s case, the object of derision is the John C. Calhoun Residential College, part of the overall university.

John C. Calhoun was a Yale graduate, class of 1804, where he was valedictorian. During his years of political service, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, a U.S. Senator, Secretary of War under President James Monroe, and Vice President under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson.

So all in all, it seems he would be the perfect candidate to have a Yale college named after him, and that’s what happened in 1933.

But in 2016 ole John has a problem. You see, besides all his other qualities, he had some other ones. He was also pro-South (being from South Carolina, probably not unexpected) and pro-slavery, the real deal breaker.

So recently Yale established a procedure for students and others to demand the renaming of any university facilities that don’t meet their ideals. Like for example, Styles College, named for Ezra Styles, the 7th President of Yale, and a founder of Brown University.

But, even though Ezra condemned the cruelty of slavery in the United State, he owned slaves, a contradiction found among many in that time period. But now Yale has a real problem.

You see, Elihu Yale, for whom Yale is named, was also involved in the slave trade. As an official of the East India Company, he oversaw the operation of an important node of the Indian Ocean slave trade and certainly profited from slavery.

So get your vote in now for your choice for the university’s new name.

Maybe the safest choice would be No Name University. It would probably cut down on a lot of arguments..

December 9, 2017

Old Friends . . .

After a quiet morning we headed out about 12:15 to meet our longtime friends, Bob and Maria, at the IHOP over in Seabrook.

We’ve known them since the mid-80’s when we first met at a local computer store and have been fast friends ever since.

Bob snd Maria Sutton at IHOP

Besides a good breakfast, we spent about 3 hours catching up from our last get-together, and we plan to get back together again soon.

Coming home a little before 5pm we realized we were a little hungry, but not a lot. So, passing Pho20 we stopped for a light supper of one of their delicious House Crunch Salads and a Shrimp Spring Roll, just the perfect amount of dinner.

I forgot to post this photo of my Sweetie last night at Chuy’s,

Chuy's with Jan

showing off her Christmas sweater and Christmas earrings.

While we were there, I also found the ceiling in our dining room kind of neat.

Chuy's Ceiling


I’ve mentioned that we’ve been going through a lot of old albums and photos and I came across a couple of really old ones.

Jan and I in FL 1968-3

This is Jan and I in the Spring of 1968 when we were visiting her parents down in Titusville, FL. Jan’s about seven months pregnant with our son Chris.

And here’s my Sweetie in 1964, she says probably at Westover AFB in MA.

Jan - 1964

Beautiful even back then. She sure hasn’t changed a lot in 50 years.

I mentioned in Thursday’s blog that the Galveston County Animal Control truck had come by checking out the house, yard, and dog next door. We didn’t call them, but someone did.  And apparently someone across the fence saw the Animal Control truck also,

So Jan was happy to see someone next cleaning up the dog’s area, drying out his shelter, redoing his slide line, and putting down a couple of bales of hay to make a bed and dry things out.

Made Jan’s day.

Tomorrow afternoon we’re driving down to Galveston to meet up with an old friend at the Original Mexican Café on 14th St. Looking forward to seeing Linda again.

December 9, 2018

Still Thawing Out . . .

it never really got above 50­° today, and still trying to thaw out from last night, we never left the rig today.

Instead Jan made up a big batch of slow-cooker soup using a recipe she found on Facebook. Several cans of Dark Red Kidney Beans, a couple of cans of Diced Tomatoes, including a Habanero Rotel, a can of Bold Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce, a can of Minestrone Soup, and a pound or so of cooked hamburger.

Then dump it all into the slow-cooker, and spice to taste. Cook for a couple of hours on HI and then a couple on LO.


Really good, as well as quick and easy.

I’ll post the full recipe to Jan’s Favorite Recipes later.

Jan’s eye is doing better every day, and even better, she’s learned to do her own eye drops so I don’t have to worry about being bit, like when I’m doing it. She also got her a sleep mask that she uses at night instead of the uncomfortable plastic shield.

I did play kind of a dirty trick on her though, right after we got home from the eye doctor the other day.

When she got everything taken care of and sat down, she turned on the TV and found this.

Pink TV Screen

The entire screen was pinkish.

She looked over at me, terrified, and said, “Is there something wrong with the TV, or is it me?

So I looked up and said, “What? I don’t see any problem.” But before she could panic completely, I went over and the DVR off and back on, and the problem cleared.

I’m glad she didn’t have anything close by to throw at me.

Those of you who have WordPress blogs either have already or will have gotten the WordPress 5.0 update. And those of you who use the WordPress built-in editor may find yourselves completely lost.

The new editor, called Gutenberg, is totally different from the old one, both in concept and usage. Everything is done in ‘blocks’ which is the new rage in website programming. But it can be very confusing, especially if you’re just trying to post a simple blog with a couple of photos.

But you can go back to the old ‘Classic Editor’ if you like. From the Dashboard, just go to Plugins, Add New, and search for Classic Editor. Then install and activate that plugin. And now you’re back on the old editor.

I thought I’d post the last of the 2018 Clear Lake Boat Parade photos from last night. We did not stay until the last board passed by because we were so cold we were shivering. And even wearing gloves my fingers were so stiff and numb I was afraid I would drop my phone into the water.

2018 Christmas Boat Parade 08

2018 Christmas Boat Parade 10

2018 Christmas Boat Parade 17

2018 Christmas Boat Parade 19

2018 Christmas Boat Parade 20

2018 Christmas Boat Parade 21

2018 Christmas Boat Parade 23

Hopefully next year it won’t be so cold, or we’ll just bundle up more.

December 9, 2019

Frrrozen Hot Chocolate . . .

Waking up to the expected rainy day,

NYC Rainy Day

after another nice breakfast here at the hotel, we lay around the room for a couple of hours, waiting for The Met (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) to open. Then we Ubered over to the other side of Central Park to The Met.

There we made a beeline to the 2nd floor and the Nineteenth Century European Paintings area, Vincent Van Gogh, in particular.

Some of the display paintings we had seen before, in the traveling exhibit that visited Houston a while back. Others we had only seen as reproductions in museums in London and Paris.

Van Gogh Irisis

Van Gogh Wheat Field with Cypress

Van Gogh Daisys

Van Gogh White Flowers

And of course, one of our two favorites, the other being Starry Night, Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait in a Straw Hat.

Van Gogh Straw Hat

Starry Night is part of The Met’s 16 work Van Gogh collection, but is out on loan right now.

Unfortunately Jan forgot to bring her T-Shirt, that pays homage to Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait, his Sunflowers, and of course Jan’s love of cats.


We also took in several other very interesting exhibits that I’ll talk about in another blog.

Next up, we again took an Uber, this time over to Serendipity, a restaurant on Jan’s long-time Bucket List.

The place has a kind of eclectic, whimsical feel to it, with fun things to read and look at in every direction.

Serendipity 3

Since we were saving room for dessert, Jan just got the Chicken Tenders,

Serendipity Chicken Tenders

which she said were really crispy and delicious. And she especially liked the dipping sauce.

I went with the Foot Long Chili Dog,

Serendipity Foot Long Hot Dog

though it looks like the bun shrunk somewhere in the process. But really, really good.

And you can’t eat at Serendipity without trying, or in this case, splitting one of their World-Famous Frrrozen Hot Chocolates, in our case, the Peanut Butter version.

Serendipity Peanut Batter Frozen Hot Chocolate

This thing is enormous, delicious, and both hot and cold at the same time.


And after we took a group photo for the family at the next table, they took one of us.

Serendipity Jan and Greg 3

Tomorrow we’ve got about a half day left before we head back to Houston about 4:55, getting into Hobby a little after 8pm.

We’ve had a blast!