Daily Archives: December 14, 2023

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy . . .

Lunch today was at the Rudy’s BBQ up in Webster, but on the way we made a P.O. stop to drop off this year’s Christmas cards.

Jan got the Loaded Baked Potato with Lean Brisket, as well as 8 oz. of Lean Brisket, or Dry and Chewy, as I call it. I got 8 oz. of Moist Brisket, with a lot of Outside Bark. Plus there’s a half link of their Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage down in there too.

Plus a pint of their Cream Corn. Jan doesn’t really like corn, but she loves Rudy’s.

And we’ve got plenty for dinner tomorrow night.


Regular readers know how much I like weird facts. Well, really just anything weird, I guess.

But this is a good one.

The last surviving witness to Lincoln’s assassination lived long enough to share his story on TV

Samuel Seymour was 5 years old when he witnessed Lincoln’s shooting on April 14, 1865 at Ford’s Theater. And he was 95 years old when he appeared on “I’ve Got A Secret” in 1955.

Seymour was 5 years old when he went to see the play “Our American Cousin” with his nurse, Sarah Cook, and Mrs. Goldsboro, the wife of his father’s employer.

When Booth shot Lincoln, he pulled the trigger during the biggest laugh of the night so that it wouldn’t be heard. What caught Seymour’s attention was when Booth fell from the balcony after a scuffle with Henry Reed Rathbone.

Chaos erupted in the theater and Seymour was ushered out by his nurse. While they fled he overheard people screaming, “Lincoln’s shot! The President is dead!”

You can check out the segment here:

Other facts along these lines are these –

Cleopatra lived closer to the Moon Landing than the building of the Pyramids.

Oxford University in England is older than the Aztecs. Oxford was established in 1249 A.D., while the Aztecs first appeared around 1325 A.D.


The Wooly Mammoth was still around when the Pyramids were being built.

Finishing up, the latest is State Fair food has been announced.

We’ve had Deep Fried Twinkies, Deep Fried Sticks Of Butter (yes, really), and Deep Fried Bananas.

And now, Deep Fried Bacon-Wrapped Oreos.

You get the feeling that pretty much anything Deep Fried is going to be good. Or Country Fried.

Pretty much anything Country Fried is going to be good, too.

Thought for the Day:

Environmentalists changed the word “jungle” to “rain forest,” because no one would give them money to save a jungle.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

December 14, 2010

Happy Wanderers and De-Virifying . . .

When I got up this morning, Jan said our son Chris had just called and we were meeting them about 11:30 for lunch. That meant we had to get a move on to get our walk in before we needed to leave.

After we got back, and while Jan was in the shower, a lady from the Happy Wanderers, the full-timing chapter of the American Coach Association that we belong to, called to check on our ACA membership numbers. She was trying to reconcile her database with the national chapters, and apparently our numbers weren’t correct. I told her that I would look them up and call her back.

About 11:15 we headed up to Kemah to Stomp’s Burger Joint to meet Chris and Linda for lunch. I’m glad we got there early because by 12 the place was full and people were waiting outside.

Getting back to the coach, I turned around and headed back out to run some errands

After stopping off at the bank to make a deposit, it was off to Fry’s Electronics to pick up some Christmas gifts. Unfortunately, I forgot the refund certificate that I was going to cash in, but I’ll do it another time.

Then it was on to Brandi’s to check our mail and pick up some packages that I knew had been delivered. Lowell was already home so we got to talk for a few minutes.

I got back about 3:30 and a nap seemed to be in order. Then about 5 pm Jan and I drove over to meet Bob and Maria Sutton at Spring Creek BBQ for dinner. Then they headed off to Bingo while I went back to the rig to work on the 4 computers that I’m trying to de-virify for clients.

When I picked Jan up at 10pm she said Maria had won the $750 grand prize for the night. Unfortunately, Jan didn’t win anything this time. But then Bob called right after we got home to say that Maria had stopped and bought a Lotto ScratchOff and won $100. Sounds like she should have been buying PowerBall or Mega Millions tickets, if she’s that lucky.

December 14, 2011

Washer Repair Day . . .

Today was the day.

I couldn’t put it off any longer. Or, at least Jan said I couldn’t.

It was time to tackle pulling the dryer out of its cabinet and checking out the dryer fan motor.

The first step was to remove the retaining strip at the base of the cabinet. It looked like this was the only thing holding the washer in place, and it was.

Kind of.

Washer Removal 1

After removing the strip I found the washer still wouldn’t come out because the screws on the door hinges protruded just enough to block it.

So, off with the doors.

Washer Removal 2

Then after placing my furniture dolly underneath, I started inching the washer out.

Washer Removal 3

Washer Removal 4

Once the washer was out of the way, Mister had to immediately investigate things.

It was obvious that the cabinet was built around the washer since both the dryer vent hose and the water drain hose were too short to allow the washer to come all the way out, and in fact pulled loose before the washer was halfway out.

I’ll have to add extensions to both before I reinstall the washer.

Washer Removal 5

Jan’s now got that island counter in the middle of the kitchen she’s always wanted, at least until I’m ready to reinstall the washer.

Washer Removal 8

Luckily, only four screws and the top comes off. And even better, the fan motor is right at the top.

And here’s the alleged culprit.

Washer Removal 6

Looking closely it was easy to see what had happened. The circle with the tabs on it is actually a cooling fan for the motor underneath it. The motor bearings had worn enough to let the shaft with the fan on it drop down and start rubbing against one of the motor’s electrical connectors. This caused the noise I first heard for a week or so before the motor finally died.

Washer Removal 7a

A blog reader, Tom Van de Bussche, had already clued me in on where to get a new motor, so I was on the phone to Westland Sales in Clackamas, OR to get one in the mail to me.

As it turns out, it will be shipped out from their Elkhart, IN location. Sure wish it had died a month or so ago, I could have picked one up while we were there.

December 14, 2012

$2.69 a Gallon!

Today was pretty quiet. After an easy morning, I left the rig a little after 1:30pm and headed up to the Clear Lake area for a couple of client visits and a stop at Sam’s Club for a prescription.

Along the way I stopped for gas and was amazed. Yesterday Unleaded was $2.92 at the Wal-Mart up in Kemah.

Today it was $2.69. YES $2.69!

And Diesel is $3.39. Don’t know what is happening, but I hope it keeps up.

Next up was a stop at a couple of clients. One of them had a new Sony Vaio laptop that they couldn’t get to connect to their office WiFi system. It turned out that the problem was that it was locked into WEP encryption mode, but the office system that I set up uses the better, safer, WPA2 encryption.

Normally the WiFi software has a drop-down menu so you can select the one you want to use, or it will even set it automatically based on what your router is set for, but this one was different. I had to go into the adapter settings and enable the other encryptions.

And this was a brand-new laptop running Windows 7. Most people don’t use WEP anymore because it’s so easy to break. Why in the world it would default to WEP I can’t understand.

After checking in with the 2nd client I headed over to Sam’s to pick up a prescription and a case of bottled water. I was kind of dreading stopping by there because of Christmas shopping, and the fact that there’s a Wal-Mart right next door, compounding the problem, but it wasn’t bad at all.

As I tried to get on I-45S to go back to the rig, I ran into a lot of traffic around Baybrook Mall. And a lot of smoke. Turns out there was a car fire in the northbound lane, and a lot of rubberneckers on the southbound side.

I finally got back to the rig about 4:30 and then Jan and I headed right back up to the Kemah Chili’s for dinner. They have a great new soup, Southwest Chicken and Sausage, that I probably could eat every day.

Then heading home, we stopped off at a nearby Walgreen’s for a few things.

And that was about it. A pretty easy day.

December 14, 2013

Blasphemy . . .

Brandi sent over t his latest video of Landon singing Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer. Really Cute.

Landon Sings Rudolph


Landon’s black eye is due to a errant flying Lego at day care.

Also we got this photo of Jan’s nephew, Jason and his beautiful family.

From left to right, that’s Laura, Avery Jane, Ella, Annisten, and Jason.

Jason and Laura Robinson

We always enjoy seeing them when we visit Jan’s sister, Debbie, in Illinois.

About noon we headed out for the afternoon. On the way we checked out the construction taking place on the new section of the RV park here

Galveston Bay RV Construction 1

Galveston Bay RV Construction 2

Don’t know when the new area is supposed to be open, but the 90 new spaces are really needed, since the present 81 spaces stay pretty much full all the time.

Our first stop was our favorite burger place around here, Stomp’s Burger Joint. But I may have called down the anger of the burger gods. I didn’t get a hamburger, one that looks like this.

Stomps 4

Instead I ordered a hot dog. But not just any hot dog.

This was a Drunken Dog. A spicy jalapeno hot dog soaked in beer for 24 hours, then battered and deep fried, and garnished with spicy mustard, sauerkraut, diced onions, crispy bacon bits, and shredded cheddar cheese.

Delicious, and well worth irritating the burger gods.

Stomp's Drunken Dog

And of course we had to have an order of Stomp’s Half and Half, onion rings and fries.

Stomp's Half and Half

After lunch our next stop was to drop off some Christmas cards at the PO before heading down to the Victory Lakes Wal-Mart, a different one than last night, since I wanted to get another printer to replace the bad one from yesterday.

And even better, the same printer was $10 cheaper at this Wal-Mart than last night.

After finishing at Wal-Mart and stopping by a nearby Hallmark store, I came across this conundrum

What to Do, What to Do.

What To Do

Next, after a quick stop at a Family Dollar for some Christmas wrap, we headed up to SR96 to get coffee and muffins from Buc-ee’s.

While we were there I got this shot of a boat ready for tonight’s Clear Lake Christmas Boat Parade.

Clear Lake Boat Parade

We went last year and had a great time with the fireworks and the many decorated boats, but tonight’s weather is supposed to be cold and rainy. So we’ll just have to enjoy some pics from last year.

Boat Parade 11

Boat Parade 12

Boat Parade 13

Boat Parade 15

Speaking of boats, there’s a boat yard near the RV park that we pass by quite often, and it’s interesting to watch the boats come in looking much the worse for wear, and then in a few weeks looking brand-spanking new.

Hillman's Boatyard 1

So over the next few weeks, I’ll try to document the changes.

Later in the evening I set up the new HP 2542 printer that I picked at Wal-Mart this afternoon and had no problems this time. So I’m now back in the printing business.

December 14, 2014

Fish Tales . . .

Jan and I had another nice, slow morning with our coffee and muffins. She read and I did computer stuff, and then I read some. That was pretty much it.

My new Transfer Switch is on its way and should be here Wednesday, but it may be a while until I have a chance to get it installed. But it’s not exactly like we’ll need it anytime soon.

About 3:30, we formed up a convoy of 3 vehicles here at the park and the 8 of us headed to Sealand Seafood in La Grange. We’ve eaten here several times in the past and it’s always been good. And tonight was no exception. You wouldn’t think that there would be an especially good seafood restaurant over a hundred miles from the Gulf Coast, but Sealand is.

Jan and I both had the 2 Catfish, 6 Shrimp, 6 Oysters Platter. The catfish is cornmeal-battered, and light and flakey. the large shrimp and oysters also lightly-battered, have a crunchy crust, and are moist and delicious. It really doesn’t get much better than this. And even better, we both brought half of it home for later.

RV at Sealand Seafood

And here’s our ragtag group. That’s Tom Christian on the left, then the shy one is his wife Lily, next is Donna Huffer and Bob Parker, Jan, of course, and lastly, our new friends, Judy and Ken Bennett.

Donna and Bob are leaving tomorrow for Rockport, and Judy and Ken are leaving for Medina Lake. And hopefully we’ll hear something from Galveston Bay RV Resort in the next day or two so we can firm up our plans too.

One thing I noticed yesterday when we drove up to Peter’s BBQ was that Hruska’s had diesel for $2.84, a nice drop from the previous low of $2.99 I’d seen a week or so ago down in Webster, and the $3.09 I saw last Wednesday right down the road from the park here.

But in La Grange this afternoon, I saw diesel for $2.69 at several stations right off of US-71. The last time I bought diesel just about a month ago I paid $3.39 a gallon at the Buc-ee’s in Madisonville, so this is a nice change. Hopefully, it will keep going down for a while.

As I mentioned yesterday, tomorrow we’re heading over to Austin to visit the Gone with the Wind exhibit at the University of Texas and have dinner while we’re there. Really looking forward to it.

December 14, 2015

Picchu and Pumpkin . . .

Well, today’s journey didn’t get canceled like yesterday’s trip to Galveston, so we headed out for Conroe 120 miles away about 9:30 to meet up with our friend Linda at the Chili’s there. Leaving the park, it was nice to see that the river was no longer running over the bridge leading into the park.

We made a potty stop at the Flying J just after we got onto I-45N, getting to the Chili’s right before noon. Linda showed up a little later, and after ordering, we got down to the serious business of catching up on each other’s lives.

Linda just recently returned from Peru where she was teaching English, and also investigating the possibility of opening her own bed and breakfast there. She spent most of her time near Calca, Peru, which is about 12,000 feet up in the Andes, though she’s visited places all over Peru, including Machu Picchu and many other ruins. Sounds like a lot of fun.

After we finished eating, Linda brought her laptop into the restaurant, and after hotspotting it to my phone for Wi-Fi access, I checked out and fixed a couple of problems for her.

After saying our goodbyes, Linda headed out for Fort Worth, and Jan and I drove across the Interstate to pick up a few things at Sam’s Club. Then it was back on the road for the 120 mile trip back to the Colorado River Thousand Trails park.

Out in Katy we detoured by Brandi and Lowell’s to pick up some Amazon packages that had come in during the last few days. Then it was back on the road for Columbus.

We made another stop at the Sealy Oasis at the Bernardo Rd Exit for some Dunkin’ Donuts’ coffee, and a pit stop. Then when Jan discovered that they also had Pumpkin Munchkins, DD’s version of donut holes.

And of course with Jan, it’s all pumpkin, all the time.

We finally got back to the rig a little before 6pm after a really nice day.

Tomorrow I want to get back looking for my shower leak. Hopefully I’ll be able to track it down now since the paneling is open.

December 14, 2016

Pipeline Politics . . .

Well, I guess Verizon was listening in last night to my complaint about how slow the Internet has suddenly become out here.

Because apparently they turned the SPEED knob all the way down to the SNAIL setting, actually more like to the SLOW SNAIL setting. Yesterday I could at least stream iHeartRadio through my Amazon Dot, but not tonight.

But since I couldn’t listen to the radio, I did buckle down and finish my thoughts on the whole Dakota Access Pipeline thing. Sorry it’s so long, but there was a lot to cover.

Let me know what you think, and I’ll try to post this in a cleaned-up version under Greg’s Musings tomorrow.

The Dakota Access Pipeline

As I said yesterday, I mentioned last week that I was going to do an article on what’s really going on with the whole Dakota Access Pipeline kerfuffle. But the research was taking a little longer than I had thought because there are so many different sides to it, more than just for or against.

I’ve read everything from the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, through the right-wing and left-wing conspiracy blogs, down to individual bloggers in the area, and on both sides on the controversy.

In fact, going from article to article, it’s sometimes hard to tell they’re all talking about the same thing. But hopefully I’ve been able to lay it all out for you so that it makes sense.

So I started off with some of the main questions.

The Pipeline Runs Through Indian Land:

First off, and I think the most important fact that I discovered, is that the Dakota Access Pipeline DOES NOT run through Indian Reservation land, or even privately-owned Indian land. The pipeline comes no closer than two miles to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. At this point in the 1,172 mile pipeline, the land is either privately owned or Federal land.

It does not run through any ‘ancient Indian burial grounds’, ‘sacred lands’, or the like. In fact there already is a natural gas pipeline running through this same right of way. It’s one of the reasons this path was chosen. The route was even approved by the State of North Dakota, the State Historic Preservation Office, and a number of independent archaeologists. NO Indian cultural sites or artifacts were endangered.

The project which has been under construction for almost four years, will take crude from the Bakken Shale formation in North Dakota, through South Dakota and Iowa, to connect with already-existing pipelines in Illinois. The $3.8 billion dollar pipeline is 95% completed, lacking only this small section that will run 100 feet under the Missouri River.

So far two Federal Courts have rejected claims that the Standing Rock Sioux weren’t part of the planning. Both the pipeline developer, Energy Transfer Partners, and the Army Corps of Engineers tried to work with the tribe without success. In fact, over 50 other tribes were consulted along the pipeline’s right of way, and more than 140 adjustments were made to the route. And the Standing Rock Sioux is the only tribe that didn’t cooperate. They didn’t want any changes, they just wanted the pipeline terminated.

The Standing Rock Sioux’s Water Supply Is In Jeopardy:

Years ago, the Army Corp of Engineers and the Bureau of Land Reclamation relocated the tribe’s water intake 70 miles downriver from the pipeline river crossing site, so the tribe’s water supply is not in danger. Plus more than a dozen pipelines already cross under the river in this general area, and there’s never been a problem with any of them.

Stopping The Pipeline Will Help Stop Climate Change:

Stopping the Dakota Access Pipeline will not stop the oil from the Bakken Shale from flowing. It already is flowing. Well, not so much flowing, more like riding in 750 railroad tank cars a day. So what’s safer for the environment, long trains of oil tankers, or oil flowing underground?

Google ‘oil train accidents’ and see.

So If There Were No Problems, Then Why Did The Corps Of Engineers Deny The Final Permit?

Well, the only thing I can find is politics. At the height of the protests, Assistant Secretary of Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, ordered the Corps of Engineers to withhold the final permit. But digging a little deeper, you find that the final permit had actually already been given. That’s why all the construction workers and equipment were on site. They were already working on the last segment. So actually the permit was withdrawn.

In fact all of the initial permits were in place 4 years ago when the construction actually started. Yes, there were some changes made along the way, but what company is going to risk billions of dollars only to find out that one permit is going to cancel the project years down the road.

This is kind of like you’re building a house, getting all the necessary permits and inspections as you go along. Then when you get the final occupancy inspection signed off and you start moving in, they come back and say, “Oops. Sorry. We’re canceling your occupancy permit.” And when you asked why, they say, “Well, we want you to build the house somewhere else.”

And that’s apparently what Assistant Secretary Darcy wants. She said she wants them to find a new route that will not cross the Missouri River. Now you look at this map and tell me if that’s possible.


The big ellipse is the Bakken area, the black lines are the pipeline already in place, and the red dot is where they plan on running the pipeline under the Missouri River. You’re either going to go under the Missouri River, or over the Missouri River. But you aren’t going to go around it.

There are over 50,000 miles of pipelines in the US. Probably every river, stream, crick, and soggy ditch has a pipeline under it.


What About The Mistreatment Of The Protesters?

Note I said ‘protestors’, not Indians. Apparently even the Standing Rock Sioux tribe are sick of the protesters, who far outnumber them.

First off I refer you to the Facebook page of Louisiana Sheriff Greg Champagne, President of the National Sheriff’s Association. He traveled to the area to see the situation for himself, and found the reality completely different than what he read in the newspapers and seen on TV. I’m going to excerpt some of his observations, but I encourage to read his entire article for yourself.

This past Thursday, October 27th, steps were taken the morning before I arrived which evicted protestors from private property directly in the path of the pipeline. This “northern” camp was erected just days before and the occupants had been warned repeatedly for several days that their presence there was unlawful and that eviction was imminent. These warnings went unheeded.

Despite the statements coming from the media and protesters that they were completely peaceful and prayerful, it has been a fact that more militant protestors (terrorists) have destroyed property and physically beaten employees of the company in recent weeks. I personally witnessed and photographed what I estimate to be at least a half of a million dollars in damage to bulldozers and excavators. I further learned that many protestors other than Native American groups have descended upon the area such as anarchists and eco-terrorists who are hell bent on committing violence and damage. The police presence in the area to protect farmers, ranchers and other private property interests have been costing the state of North Dakota millions of dollars.

… law enforcement evicted the trespassers form the north camp on private property about three miles north of the Cannonball River. While pleading with the trespassers for a peaceful move, law enforcement officers were met with Molotov cocktails and various missiles such as rocks and logs being thrown at them causing numerous injuries to the officers. The only discharge of a firearm occurred when a protestor fired at the line of officers. Miraculously, none were hit by the bullets. When the protestors were moved south of the bridge, two trucks used to blockade the roadway were set on fire by the protestors. This action now has very possibly jeopardized the integrity of that bridge. News accounts ironically then decried the use of defensive equipment such as “riot gear” and armored vehicles by law enforcement.

Many media sites reported only that “heavy handed” police tactics were used upon the protestors who were only praying and “peacefully” protesting. These same outlets failed to mention the shooting, Molotov cocktails, and extensive property and equipment damage produced by some of the protestors. The protestors even cut fences and attempted to induce a domesticated buffalo herd to stampede through the area. The owners of the herd, whom I spoke with personally indicated that at least of dozen of their buffalo were killed by protestors.

I saw several articles on Facebook talking about how the ‘peaceful protesters’ were being sprayed by fire hoses in freezing weather. These articles failed to mention that the fire hoses were being used to put out the burning vehicles that had been set on fire on the Blackwater Bridge dividing the area, and were only used against the ‘peaceful protesters’ when they tried to charge across the bridge.

There was also an article about the police using grenades and concussion ‘bomb’s against the ‘peaceful protesters’ and a young women being so severely injured that she might lose her arm. This story was really big in the news for a day or so and then quietly disappeared.

And the reason it disappeared was not only the fact that the police didn’t have grenades or anything of the sort, but also that the ‘peaceful protesters’ may have been doing a little ‘bombing’ of their own.

According to reports, about 3am, November 21st, two males and a female were observed by the North Dakota Highway Patrol using one of the barricades on Blackwater Bridge to hid some activity. When they were told to retreat, several protesters, still ‘peaceful’ of course, were seen rolling large metal cylinders toward the police lines. At this point an explosion was heard, and several people ran over and pulled an injured female out from under a vehicle and fled.

The ‘large metal cylinders’ turned out to be 1 lb. Propane cylinders, rigged up as IED’s (Improvised Explosive Devices) and it seems like one of them went off early. If you want to learn how to make one of your very own, Google it.

Propane Bomb 1

The FBI supposedly confiscated the clothes from the young women at the hospital, and also the ‘shrapnel’ removed from her arm to compare it with the blood and tissue on one of the cylinders.

Propane Bomb 2

If they match up with the canister, she could be charged with attempted murder and domestic terrorism.

So much for ‘peaceful protesting’, I guess. Note all of this was taking place on either private land or Federal land. Not Indian land.

Now for the ‘fun’ part – The Conspiracy Theories.

So who’s behind all this, the Knights Templar, the Illuminati, or The Tri-Lateral Commission?

Take your pick. But the two big names that keep coming up are George Soros and Warren Buffett.

George Soros?

Well, he seems to have his fingers in a lot of chaotic pies. He supposedly backs Black Lives Matter and funded the whole Occupy Wall Street thing. It has been said that a lot of the pipeline protesters are being paid, and he’s the Daddy Warbucks behind the whole thing. Several North Dakota news outlets found Craigslist ads offering to pay for pipeline protesters.

And why is he doing this? That’s where it all gets a little fuzzy.

Apparently, just because he likes to stir up trouble.

OK, what’s up with Warren Buffett?

Well, this one, although still far-fetched, actually makes a little sense.

Warren Buffett owns BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) railroad, the 2nd largest freight railroad in the US, with only UP (Union Pacific) being bigger. But BNSF hauls more oil, you know, like the 750 cars a day I mentioned earlier, than the UP does. So every new pipeline that goes online means less money for him. And just to sweeten the pot, ole Warren is supposedly behind the Keystone XL cancellation as well.

Now, one last, well, not actually a conspiracy theory, but maybe just a theory theory that’s going around.

Why, out of over 50 tribes, are the Standing Rock Sioux so against the path of the pipeline when it’s not even going through their land?

Well, the theory is, because it’s not going through their land!

The Stand Rock tribe is broke. They received a $48 million settlement from the Federal Government in 2012, but spent it all. They had a $6 million deficit in their 2015 budget. So now the tribe is playing hardball.

Stay with me here. It’ll all make sense in a minute.

The pipeline took the path it did, following an already-existing pipeline, because that’s where the Corps of Engineers said it should go. It would be the least disturbance to the environment, and bypass the Indian lands completely.

But remember those 50 other tribes? Many of them got millions of dollars because the pipeline right of way went through their land. But because of the Corps of Engineers’ decision, the Standing Rock Sioux got left out. So the theory goes that when enough zeros show up on a check, suddenly they’ll be perfectly fine with the pipeline.

After all, the Standing Rock Tribal Chairman, Dave Archambault, owns a convenience store and gasoline station on the reservation and is happy to sell gas to both protesters and police alike.

Of course the more cynical among us might say that the entire problem with the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Keystone XL Pipeline will be made moot sometime during the afternoon of January 20th.

December 14, 2017

It Was The . . .

Jan and I left the rig a little after 1pm heading up to the Clear Lake area.

Our first stop was King Food for our usual delicious meal of Hot & Sour Soup and Extra Spicy Chicken with Jalapenos in Hot Garlic Sauce. We’ve been eating here for so long that when we walked in this afternoon, the owner asked, “The usual?”

While we were eating, I got a text message from Amazon saying my new Echo Dot had been delivered to my client, so after we were done, we went by to pick it up.

Then it was on to Staples to make a return of some card stock we didn’t need and then it was on up the Interstate to the Wal-Mart for some gifts and supplies.

I had hoped to get home early enough to install the new awning, but didn’t quite make it. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of daylight to finish the job in one session. So now it’s put off until Saturday morning sometime. I hope.

Getting home I set up the the new Echo Dot and installed it in the bedroom. Besides the usual Alexa stuff, we’ll also be able to use it as an intercom between the Echo in the front of the coach and the Dot in the bedroom. It’s called Drop-In, and once it’s set up you just say, “Alexa, drop in on the bedroom” and you’re in communication.

I mentioned a couple of times in earlier blogs about the video/audio blackouts that I was experiencing on our Direct TV DVR/Samsung TV.

Since the blackouts weren’t recorded, but only seen on live TV, I pretty much eliminated a problem with the DVR. And I eliminated the HDMI cable between the DVR and TV by plugging and unplugging it, and wiggling it along the entire length with nary a glitch.

So I was narrowing it down to the TV itself. I did try swapping inputs but the problem still occurred. But before I looked into replacing the TV under our Wal-Mart extended warranty, for some reason I swapped out the HDMI cable with the longer one that connects my computer to the TV.

And after two days the problem had not reoccurred. And then when I swapped the original cable back in, it no longer worked at all. For about 30 seconds, and then it started to work again.

And again, shaking the cable and twisting it didn’t make any difference.

Then that evening when we came home the screen was pink with no audio. And once again, no amount of plugging, unplugging, twisting, shaking, wiggling, etc. made any difference to the picture.

So I swapped the long cable back and ordered a new one from Amazon which should be here tomorrow. So it was the cable.

What I still don’t understand is why the cable was acting like this. There are no active components, just wires. And if there’s a problem, it should be sensitive to any kind of vibration. But every now and then you come across something that makes you say WTH?

Then you just accept it and move on.

December 14, 2018

Jan Feels Better Now . . .

Today was Jan’s 2nd checkup after her left eye cataract surgery last Thursday. We left the rig a little before 8am for her 8:35am appointment up in Alvin. And it took a bit, but she feels better now.

As I mentioned yesterday, Jan was really unhappy with the remaining blurriness in her eye, and was afraid that the operation had gone awry. Not exactly the words she used, but I can’t use those words here.

Part of the problem was the number of our friends that were apparently seeing perfectly the next day. And Jan wasn’t. I told her she just needed to give it a little more time, and then get new lenses for her glasses once her eye had stabilized. And the doctor pretty much told her the same thing. And what he said explained what the problem really was.

The problem was not with her eye. He said her eye was doing fine, and would finally settle down in 2 or 3 weeks. He said her real problem, the blurriness, was actually being caused by her glasses.

Once the cataract was removed, the prescription in her left lens was about 10X more powerful than she now needed.

So, of course it was blurry. Just like wearing someone else’s glasses. But I don’t think she really believed this until we got back to the rig and did what the doctor suggested, and just removed the left lens from her glasses.

The doctor said that, of course it wouldn’t be perfect, but it would be much, much better. And that with the correct lenses in a month or so, she would have 20/20 vision in that eye. In fact, in both eyes, once she got the right eye done.

So Jan feels better now.

She’s got another checkup on January 9th which is when she should get her final prescription. Then we’ll just order a new lens, and get started on the right eye.

I spent most of the day at work going back and forth with UPS International trying to arrange the pickup of two 20# packages in Edmonton, AB, Canada, to be shipped back here to us. We do this fairly often, even from overseas, but this is the first time we’ve really had any problems. And it’s still not worked out.

I guess that’s what Monday’s are for.

For dinner Jan was in the mood for Chili’s ribs again, so we headed back over there around 4:30. Jan got the Full Rack this time so we could share,

Chili's Full Rack Ribs 2

along with my Grilled Chicken Caribbean Salad.

Chili's Grilled Chicken Caribeean Salad

Jan gets the Honey-Chipotle sauce which has a nice little kick to it. Really good.

Finishing up, maybe it’s just me, but it sure seems like that if you’re going to go to all the trouble to get a domain name and a website to advertise your house for sale, you could put a little more effort into the sign announcing that fact.

646House Sign

But, again, maybe that’s just me.

December 14, 2019

Cart X 2 , , ,

Today was our first real day to just zone out and do nothing since we got back from New York. But as Jan says about me, ‘I don’t do nothing well.’ So after goofing off in the morning, I spent some time in the afternoon finishing up a project that I kind of started before we left on our trip.

Back in 2014 we bought this Chrome Kitchen Cart on Amazon.

Chrome Kitchen Cart

It resides in the area where the slide occupies when it’s pulled in. So we roll it into the bathroom and bungee it in place when we travel. Since we’re always looking for more storage space, recently I checked online to see if a taller one was available, or maybe an extension for this one, but no luck.

But in looking the cart over, I pulled off the plastic caps that covered the top of the 4 support rods and found that they were hollow inside, and about 12” deep.

Grabbing a 7/16” dowel rod I had, I found it a perfect fit, and this gave me an idea, so I ordered a 2nd cart from Amazon, a great deal for only about $33.

But since it only came in a few days before we  NYC’d, today was the first day I’ve had a chance to get back on it.

The included wheels screw into a threaded insert at the bottom of the rod. So I purchased a couple of hanger bolts like this, in the same 1/4” – 20 thread as the wheels.

Kitchen Cart Hanger Bolts

Then I drilled a starter hole in the two dowel rods and screwed in the bolts, giving me this.

Kitchen Cart Dowel Screws

I only did this on two of the support rods, using long machine bolts for the other two, figuring this will lock everything in place, and also save me buying another dowel rod.

Kitchen Cart Dowel Bolts

Screwing the dowels into the support rods gave me this.

Kitchen Cart Rods with Dowels

And then putting it all together gave me this,

Chrome Kitchen Cartx2

complete with our Moose On A Shelf.

Moose on A Shelf

And Jan’s really happy with all the new space, and that’s the important thing.

I’m still going through all our NYC photos, so stay tuned.

December 14, 2020

A Full Deck . . .

I took a dive into Privacy.com this morning to give it a try. For you latecomers, Privacy.com is a (free) service that allows you to create one-time credit cards, or cards lock to a particular account. You can also set weekly, monthly, yearly, or even overall total charges.

Starting out, I set up 5 cards for particular accounts, our two storage rooms, our EZ-Tag account, and our Acorn TV, and CBS All Access streaming services.

This took me about 10 minutes total. Then I went to each of the accounts and entered the card information and save it off.

Easy Peazy!

Then as a test, I created a one-time card and then immediately used it to buy something online. And it went through fine.

But when I tried to use that same number a few minutes later for another charge, it was declined. Just like it should be.

So far, I’m very impressed with Privacy.com, especially since I’m using the free. This one lets me create 12 cards, of any type, per month. Then for $10 per month I can create 36 cards per month, plus I get a 1% cashback refund on purchases

So far I’m very impressed. But I’ll keep you informed.

Last up, a Miss Piper update.


When I told you about her graduating from college tomorrow, I forgot to mention that she’s graduating from the University of Houston, and she has a 4.0 GPA.

Way to Go, Miss Piper!

December 14, 2021

Katfish Kountry . . .

Jan and I were out the door this morning about 9:15, earlier than I like, but for a good cause.  We were meeting friends Debi and Ed Hurlburt, up at Vernon’s Kountry Katfish in Conroe.

We used to eat here quite often when were regularly staying at the Lake Conroe Thousand Trails, but according to the blog we haven’t eaten there since January 2016. So it was good to get a chance to try it again.

Jan got the Combo Platter, with Fried Catfish, Fried Shrimp, and Fried Oysters, along Sweet Potato Fries and Fried Okra.

Vernon's Combo Platter

Plenty left to take home.

I went old-school and had the Small Catfish Plate, along with a cup of their Seafood Gumbo.

Vernon's Katfish Plate

And as is usual in our previous get-togethers, we spent over 3 hours before we all headed home.

Always great to see Debi and Ed, and we’ve already scheduled for next month.

And, is there anything it can’t do?

Taking Viagra cuts the risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 69 percent

Taking Viagra slashes Alzheimer’s risk by two-thirds, research suggests.

Scientists claim the love drug may help boost brain health and cut levels of toxic proteins that trigger dementia.

Experts analyzed data on 7.2 million US adults and found regular users had a 69 percent lower chance of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s over the next six years.

Medics say the findings, published in the journal Nature Aging, suggest the little blue pill could soon be prescribed to tackle dementia.

They are planning a fresh study to test the benefits of sildenafil — the generic version of Viagra — in early Alzheimer’s patients

December 14, 2022

A Christmas Interview . . .

Our grandson Landon called me this evening to interview me for a class project. He wanted to know about my Christmases as a child, i.e.,

My all-time favorite gift – My Lionel .027 gauge Train Set when I was 10.

Other favorite gifts over the years

A Winchester .22 Semi-Auto Rifle
Geniac Analog Computer Kit
Allstate Moped

How Christmas is different now from when I was a kid – When I was a kid Christmas was for me. Now Christmas is for Jan, our kids, and grandkids.

How was Christmas celebrated back then as opposed to now – It seemed more family-oriented back then. More decorations and lights in the towns and homes. Big department stores downtown with animated displays in the windows. And the Sears Wish Book Christmas Catalog.

Biggest change in Christmas decorations – LED Lights and Blow-up Yard Decorations.

What are your thoughts?

Earlier this evening my HP printer started printing out recipes for Christmas eats. Microwave Peanut Brittle,  Chocolate Covered Cherries, and Saltine Toffee Cookies. But I wasn’t the one doing the printing.

Looks like going to have to password protect my printer WiFi. Never had a problem before though.

I do wonder though why they kept printing out recipes when nothing was happening on their end.

But they do look tasty.

Tomorrow we’re heading up to the Spring area for our monthly get-together with Debi and Ed Hurlburt at El Palenque Mexican Restaurant. On our way by about 9:45.

Really looking forward to it.