Daily Archives: December 19, 2023

It’s 4 Colly Birds . . .

Today we got a later start on things since we wanted to do our annual Christmas Lights drive tonight, so we headed out about 3:30.

Our first stop was at the Costco up in Webster for some Costco stuff that Jan wanted. Turned out not to be any busier than usual, a surprise here at Christmas.

Then it was on back down to our area to have dinner at Pho Barr, one of our favorite local places. We figured that by the time we finished dinner, it would be dark enough for our Lights tour.

The food was as delicious as usual, but the highlight of the meal was the sunset as we were leaving the restaurant.

Nature’s perfect answer to Christmas lights.

Jan decided that we should check out Lago Mar, a high-end subdivision right down the Interstate a couple of miles. And she did good.

We even managed to get inside some of the gated areas by following cars through the gates

Sometimes simple is best.

It seems like every Christmas has some new type of lights. A while back it was the net lights to spread over your bushes. Then it was the icicle lights hanging down from a string, and of course, rope lights that you can wrap around your trees.

This year’s newcomer seems to be a string of spot-light bulbs shining down from the eaves of the house like this.

No telling what next year’s new thing will be.

A couple of weeks ago I came across an article talking about the song The 12 Days of Christmas, and one paragraph talking about the lyrics, mentioned 4 Colly Birds.

Wait. Colly Birds?

But a little researching showed that Colly Birds was originally correct. The original lyrics date from back in the 1780’s when Colly Birds were another name for Blackbirds, Colly being an English expression for ‘Coal-Black’.

But then somewhere along the lines, it morphed into today’s 4 Calling Birds.

And Now You Know.

Thought For The Day:

I would really like to have the Detonate option on my Where’s My Droid app.


And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

December 19, 2010

Sunday Morning Coming Down . . .

We got up to hot coffee and another beautiful day here in Texas, though the weather in many other parts of the country is pretty nasty.

I finished up one computer and started on cleaning up another one. And I’ve got two more out in the truck. Work, work, work.

But it’s not really work to me, because I enjoy doing it. A long time ago someone told me that if I wanted to be happy in life, I needed to find something I loved to do, and then figure out a way to get people to pay me to do it. For me that was electronics, and later computers.

And it’s certainly worked for me.

About 3:30 we headed up 146 to the Sonic Drive-In in Kemah. Jan had a craving for one of their new foot-long quarter-pound chili cheese coneys.

After Sonic we drove over to Kroger’s to get some groceries. While we were there we got a Starbuck’s coffee. Jan wanted a Pumpkin Spice Latte, but they were out, so we both got our fall-back flavor, Cinnamon Dolce Latte.

After that it was home for the evening. All in all, not a very exciting day, but relaxing never the less.

December 19, 2011

Heady Company . . .

Jan did the early morning thing again a few days ago and got some great shots of the sunrise over Dickinson Bayou.

Galveston Bay Sunrise 4

Galveston Bay Sunrise 5

Galveston Bay Sunrise 6

Galveston Bay Sunrise 7

Galveston Bay Sunrise 8

Galveston Bay Sunrise 9

And because of the way we’re parked out on this spit of land on the bayou, we also get great sunsets too.

Galveston Bay Sunset

GB Sunset 3

Just one of the many reasons we keep coming back here for the holidays year after year.

I headed out on another day of errands and clients about 10:30am, and also trying to finish up the last of the Christmas shopping. Got everything pretty much done. Hopefully my clients will be happy until after Christmas.

We’ll see.

Got back to the rig about 3:30, and then a little before 5pm Jan and I headed up TX 146 a few miles to Bacliff to have dinner at Stomp’s Burger Joint. Stomp’s is the Tookie’s clone that opened while we were here last year.

Tookie’s, having opened in 1974, was severely damaged during Hurricane Ike in September 2008, and never reopened. Water was almost 4 feet deep in the building and the inside was trashed.

Finally last year some Tookie’s aficionados and ex-cooks opened Stomp’s, named after the original Tookie’s premier burger, the Stomp’s Ice House Special.

Stomps 1

Then, this past year, the owner of one of our other favorite places, T-Bone Tom’s, bought the old Tookie’s building and all the recipes, and then reopened it earlier this year.

Tonight was our first time this winter to eat at Stomp’s, and now I have to agree with Jan:

Stomp’s is better than the original!

The onion rings are better, and tonight the burger I had was better than the one I had at Tookie’s a week or so ago. And it’s cheaper too.

Stomps 2

December 19, 2012

Another Day, Another Client . . .

I’m trying to get some of my clients out of the way so I can not worry about them until after Christmas, or maybe even the 1st of the year.

So my first stop was to drop off a laptop at a client’s office that I had worked on. They were at lunch, but luckily I know where the spare key is hidden.

Then it was off to the same client’s home office to drop off the computer that I bought at Fry’s yesterday. I’ll come back after Christmas and get it set up and everything moved over from the old one.

Next up was a stop to another client’s office to figure out why their Carbonite online backup wasn’t. As it turned out, they had started to restore a couple of files, but then decided they didn’t need to. The problem was that when you start to do a restore, Carbonite freezes the backup process to be sure they don’t overwrite a file that you’re trying to restore.

What they failed to do was unfreeze the backup process, so one mouse click and the problem was fixed. I love problems like this.

My last stop was the house to pick up some packages that had come, and then it was back to the rig for the afternoon.

About 4pm Jan and I headed over to Dickinson to have dinner at the local KFC, as I was pining for a Double Down Sandwich.


The Double Down is a sandwich made from bacon, two kinds of cheese, and secret sauce, sandwiched between two pieces of Original Recipe chicken fillets. So you’ve got meat and cheese between two pieces of meat. Now that’s a sandwich!

And it’s delicious!

And now for some completely useless personal trivia about Col. Sanders and KFC.

I had the pleasure of meeting Col. Sanders in 1967, when I started working during the summer at a new Kentucky Fried Chicken that was opening in our area. In fact it was the first one in north Alabama.

Although he sold the company in 1964, he still visited every new store that opened, checking up on things, and being sure that we were trained correctly.

He was very particular about the gravy, and in fact said the gravy was his favorite part. He publicly boasted that his gravy was “so good you can throw the chicken away and eat the gravy,”

He was so particular about this that when Heublein, Inc., the next company that owned KFC, dropped his secret gravy recipe because they thought it was too much trouble for a fast food chain, he described the new gravy as “wallpaper paste with added sludge”.

In 1973 Heublein unsuccessfully sued him for libel, so I guess he was right about it.

Now, as far as the “11 different herbs and spices”, lab tests done in the 1980’s showed no herbs, and only salt, pepper, and MSG in the breading.

This was probably another thing that got dropped by Heublein, along with the gravy. I know that KFC chicken does not taste as good as I remember it. Maybe this is why.

I do know that in 1967 we mixed up the coating in a 30 gallon plastic trash can using a boat paddle. We started with a 50# bag of flour, a large bag of salt, and a couple of cups of black pepper. The 11 different herbs and spices came in a silver foil packet about the size of a paperback book.

When you tore it open and mixed it into the flour, it smelled like a spice shop had exploded. So there was definitely herbs in there in 1967.

One of those guys that tries to recreate recipes came up with this list.

1 teaspoon ground oregano

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground sage

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoon onion salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons Accent (an MSG-based seasoning)

People in the know say this is pretty close.

Now for one last tidbit. At one time, Miss America was one of only 9 people in the world who knew what the 11 different herbs and spices were.

That was Miss America 1971, Phyllis George, who was then married to John Y. Brown, Jr., former Governor of Kentucky. Brown is the one who bought KFC from the Col. Sanders in 1964 for $2 million (He sold it to Heublein seven years later for $287 million. Not a bad deal.)

And knowing that recipe, that Heublein was no longer using, it may only be a fluke that in 1986, she came out with her own line of “By George” chicken fillets. They were apparently so good that two years later she sold the company for a very large sum of money to Hormel Foods.

Coincidence? You decide.

Finally heading home, I made a Home Depot stop to get some more silicone caulk. I’ve got a small leak about a window that I want to take care of.

December 19, 2013

Guitar Man (Men) . . .

I spent most of the morning going through some bins and throwing stuff away that had been accumulating since before our gate-guarding adventure. If the weather hadn’t been so sucky I might have worked on the outside bins for a while too. But it was blowing rain most of the day as the front came through.

I recently got a couple of photos of my great-nieces up in North Alabama. First up is Stahlie.

Stahlie Calvin 3

and this is Darby.

Darby Calvin 2

Growing up on a farm and being homeschooled really agrees with them. They’re both smart and beautiful.

When we were at Chili’s yesterday, I found this beautiful Chevy coupe out in the parking lot. Don’t know what year it is. Maybe someone will know.

Chilie's Old Chevy 1

Chilie's Old Chevy 2

A little before 6 we headed up 146 to La Brisa to meet our son Chris and daughter-in-law Linda, along with fellow RV’ers and gate guards, Dick and Judy Mott

Judy and Dick Mott

Besides getting together with family and good friends, we wanted to get Dick and Chris together, because as it turns out, they’re both into building Cigar Box Guitars.

Here’s some of Dick’s.

Cigar Box Guitars

It was really fun to see them trading ideas back and forth at the table, and then later out in the parking lot, showing off their creations to each other.

Hopefully we’ll have a chance to get together with Dick and Judy again before they leave. We all had a great time.

Tomorrow night we’re going to the Christmas Show at the Alvin Opry. We’ve been going since the late 90’s and always have a great time, Seems like the favorite part is always everyone trying to sing “The 12 Days of Christmas” and keep it straight.

December 19, 2014


After coffee and muffins this morning, I went next door to check in on our next-door neighbor Randy, and his batteries.

Yesterday he came over with a problem with his chassis and engine batteries. Although he had been here for several days, and was plugged into shore power, his 12v batteries, both chassis and engine, were going dead.

After spending a little while looking at the setup in his 2001 Monaco Diplomat, the only thing I could see was that his Magnatek Converter was turned off at the control panel. And turning it on seemed to start the batteries coming back up. He said he hadn’t turned it off, so I thought he may have bumped it with his shoulder since it’s in the hallway.

But when I went back over to check this afternoon, he was still having problems. He said later in the evening the converter switched off and the batteries dropped back down. He had been on the phone with an RV Electrical Tech who was having him check all of the big heavy-duty fuses in the electrical bay by putting a voltmeter across them. The tech thought maybe the batteries weren’t being charged because the 250 amp fuse between the converter and the batteries had blown.

If a fuse has power on it and you put a voltmeter across it, the meter should read 0.0 volts. If the fuse is bad, you should read ~12volts. But all of the fuses, especially the big 250amp one, read good. But once Randy moved out of the way, I got a closer look at the fuse and saw the problem.

The 2/0 cable came from the output of the Magnatek converter to one side of the fuse block, just as it should. But the other end of the fuse went nowhere. There was a stud with a nut and lockwasher on it, but nothing was connected to it. And the nut was loose.

So the power converter was not connected to the coach at all. And apparently hadn’t been since he bought the rig a short time ago. I think the only thing that kept him going was the 3 big solar panels on his roof. But the last 3 or 4 days have been overcast and rainy without any sun, so it finally caught up with him.

He has a setup I haven’t seen before. His house batteries are six 12volt batteries, arranged in two banks of three batteries, with these two banks in parallel. But each set of the three batteries are housed in a black plastic box with a set of terminals at one end and two water fill caps for each battery. The internal connections paralleling the three batteries are all internal to the plastic box. No problem, just different.

I then started tracing out cables, trying to figure out where the missing cable was that was supposed to go from the fuse block to the battery, but it wasn’t there. There was no loose or unused cable. But as I was looking, something kept nagging at me about the way everything was wired up. Then it hit me.

The first thing I saw that that both the engine batteries and the house were wired directly together with a big 2/0 cable. Right off the bat, this explained why both sets of batteries were being pulled down. Normally there is an isolator between the two sets to prevent this from happening, so that if you run your house batteries down, you can still start your engine or generator to recharge them. But not wired up this way.

On the back of the compartment I saw the isolator mounted on the wall. In this case it looks to be pretty much a standard automotive starter solenoid. And it was wired up, but for some reason it was wired between the two banks of HOUSE batteries, not between the house batteries and the engine batteries.


In looking at the cable length, it looked like the short cable now going from the isolator to the house battery bank should go instead over to the unconnected end of the fuse block. This would get the converter output into the battery banks. Then it looked like the long 2/0 cable going from the engine batteries to the house batteries should instead go to the isolator.

To try and set this right, I disconnected the short cable from the isolator and touched it to the stud on the fuse block, getting the expected spark. And as I held it in place, I could hear the converter whining as it ramped up to try and charge these almost dead batteries. So far, so good.

But then I encountered another problem. The hole in the lug on the end of the cable was slightly too small to fit over the fuse block stud. So wherever it had been, it had not been here originally. But I was able to wedge the lug onto the stud enough to hold it in place, and it was charging the batteries which was the most important thing right now.

And that’s where we left things for now, as I had to get ready for Jan and me to head down to Alvin for the Alvin Opry Christmas Show.

As far as what happened here, I don’t know. Some of the solar installation stuff looks kind of ‘kludgey’, so maybe it got screwed up during that installation.

Or maybe someone who didn’t know what he was doing, tried to change out batteries or something, and got lost and hooked things back up wrong.

Or maybe more likely, the battery isolator circuit or controller had died, and they were trying to make things so that the engine batteries would be charged as well as the house batteries. But they ended up screwing things up so nothing was being charged on shore power, only from solar, the genset, or the engine.

What I want to know is how a dealer let this get off his lot this way.

Oh, and I want to know who the dealer is so I can stay as far away from him as possible.

December 19, 2015

Cornbread and Coconut . . .

Jan and I hit the walking trail again this morning, extending our distance to 0.92 according to the RunKeeper app on my phone. When we come back here in two weeks I’ve mapped out another trail that will push us up to about 1.25 miles.

Looking at the site map it doesn’t look like Lake Conroe TT has any discreet walking/hiking trails. Instead it seems they have a path marked out along the park roads, I guess hoping you don’t get run over by a golf cart or an RV. But if the weather holds, we’ll keep walking while we’re at Lake Conroe, and then back here at Colorado River.

For our post-walk coffee and English muffins, we sat outside for a while enjoying the warm sun, and watching the deer down in the field.

Colorado River Deer 2

We really hope we’re lucky enough to get this site when we come back in two weeks.

Finally coming inside, Jan started putting together a batch of her Famous King Ranch Chicken in the slow-cooker, and I made some phone calls setting up some food for our Christmas dinner.

First up was the Fish Pond Restaurant in Willis so we can pick up one of their great Coconut Cream pies for Christmas dessert, and then I called the Cracker Barrel up in Conroe to order some of their delicious Cornbread Dressing and Giblet Gravy that we’ll pick up Thursday on the way to our Christmas Eve get-together.

With everyone scattered around between Conroe, Friendswood, and Katy, and Lowell’s parents coming in from Oklahoma, we’re trying to keep the whole ‘cooking’ thing as simple as possible.

Next up I went back outside to get a jump on our move to Lake Conroe TT tomorrow morning. First thing, I checked my tire pressures and found them all OK. These Ironman tires that we got after our blow-out in Arizona this past summer, really hold air well. Except for adding or releasing air to allow for summer/fall temperature changes, I’ve never had to add any air since we bought these tires in Prescott, AZ this past summer.

Next up I packed away the chairs and other stuff into the toad, and then dumped the waste tanks. When that was done, I went ahead and disconnected us from shore water and stowed all the hoses. This means that tomorrow morning I will only have to stow the satellite dome and unplug shore power, and we’ll be ready to roll. Finally, having walked almost a mile this morning, and then accomplished so much around the rig, I rewarded myself with a nice little nap.

While I was asleep, our friend Janice Evans dropped by to visit with Jan for a while, but oblivious to everything, I slept through it all. Nice

After that I remembered that I had bought some hooks at the hardware store to use on my truck floor mats. While we were on the gate, I had used my grommet kit to install some grommets on my floor mats.

Turck Floor Mat Grommets

They keep sliding forward and scrunching up under the pedals, so I wanted to fix that. I looked around for the right hooks, but they were all either too small, or too weak. Finally I found some coat hooks that look like they’d do the job.

It was quick work to screw them into the floorboard and get them ready to use. I had already checked with a Dodge dealer to be sure there were no wires or hoses running underneath that I might puncture, so I was OK there.

Floor Mat Hooks 1

And here’s what it looks like with the mats in place.

Floor Mat Hooks 2

Although they are kind of ‘white’, they’re actually up under the seat so they’re really not easily visible. We’ll see how they’ll hold up.

Following up with my shower leak repair, it looks like whatever leak I had is gone. Here’s what leaked out after four showers.

Shower Drip Pan

Absolutely nothing.

I’ll keep the foam bowl in place for a while, especially to see what happens after we travel tomorrow.

We’ll plan on heading out to Lake Conroe TT, 120 miles away, tomorrow morning around 10am. Being Sunday, we shouldn’t have much trouble in the way of traffic, but you never know with Houston traffic.

December 19, 2016

A One Cat Night . . .

Our temp made it down to 28 degrees last night, but didn’t cause us any problems since I had disconnected our shore power earlier. I also turned on the lights in our basement compartments to add some extra heat to our water bay just in case.

We don’t use heaters in our bedroom on cold nights, instead relying on our Touch of Class heated mattress pad that we bought at Sam’s Club in 2010, and it’s worth great ever since.

Touch of Class Heated Mattress Pad 3

With its dual controls, we turn it on an hour or so before bedtime so it’s warm and toasty when we slip under the covers. And Karma has discovered that the bed is warm, so she’s already waiting us on the bed and then snuggles up at our feet, or lays on our feet sometimes.

About 1:30 Jan and I headed out for the afternoon. Our first stop was at Lone Star Real Estate to pick up our Amazon orders and also drop off a plate of Jan’s Christmas cookies for Nancy Christian, who also owns our RV park. A really nice lady.

Then it was on to Bella Sera, our favorite local Italian, or ‘EyeTalian’ place as they say here in Kenedy, TX. Besides having another delicious pizza,

Bella Sera Pizza

we also dropped off a plate of Jan’s cookies for Candace, our favorite local waitress.

After our usual great meal, and leftovers for later, our next stop was right up the road at Great Clips for my quad annual haircut, which obviously didn’t take long at all.

After my clip job, it was off to the nearby HEB to retrieve a lost package of Hawaiian Savory Butter Rolls. We purchased a package of them yesterday but they never followed us home. So I went back today to see if maybe they didn’t even make it into our cart.

As it turned out they hadn’t, and had been turned in. So we got our missing rolls as well as a second package for our trouble. Nice!

Then after gas and a car wash, our last stop was at the PO to send off the last of our Christmas Priority Mail envelopes. Finally getting home, we delivered the last of the cookies to our fellow gate guards on either side of us, and we were done.

A couple of things that came in our Amazon orders this afternoon were upgrades to our Ozark Trail Mug.

Ozark Trail Mug

I got a tighter-fitting lid that also seals the drinking spout,

Ozark Trail Lid

Ozark Trail Mug Lid

and a nice handle too.

Ozark Trail Handle

Ozark Trail Mug Handle

Tomorrow and Wednesday we’ll probably just stay around the rig and goof off until I’m back on a gate Thursday night.

December 19, 2017

Have You Seen Enough . . .

Today was pretty much an errand day, with lunch to start it off.

And that lunch was at one of our favorites, King Food. But we had a secondary reason and that was to let them know that we’ll be coming there Sunday, Christmas Eve, with a group of 15 or so family members. We’ll be eating at 4:30 so we can head down to the Houston Magical Lights in La Marque.

Then it was over to my client’s office to drop off some mail in the outgoing box and set up a system image backup on one of the machines. I’ll start it from home later tonight so it will be done tomorrow morning.

Next up was the Supercuts right down the street for Jan to get her hair cut. I was glad to see she had a smile on her face when she came out. That mean she was happy with it. Sometimes she’s not and I can tell by her look.

After that it was a quick stop by our son Chris’ for our mail, and then it was over to the Lego Store in Baybrook Mall to buy a Lego motor repair tool. Or at least the parts to make one. Brandi gave me Landon’s Lego motor to repair this past Sunday so I wanted to get it fixed before Christmas.

Lego Motor

It has a broken wire where the power cable enters the motor housing. It looked to be easy to fix . . . if I could get the motor apart. So I went to the ultimate resource – Google. And I found a number of videos illustrating just the type of repair that I needed.

But . . . there’s always a ‘but’, right? But all the videos used other Lego parts to get the motor apart.

Lego Motor Repair Tool

They use a gear with 3 axles to press into the motor housing which releases the internal tabs and lets the motor case come apart. So I figured the Lego store would have the gear and the axles that I needed.

But turns out they didn’t have them. The reason is that all the motors and gear stuff are actually Technics parts and not ‘Lego’ parts. And the store sells Technics motor kits and other things, they don’t sell individual Technics parts like they sell Lego parts.

So I’ll have to improvise something.

Next up was a haircut for me at Lou’s Barber Shop where I’ve been going for about 30 years. I don’t even have to tell him what I want. I just sit down.

Kroger was our next stop, right down the street, for a few things, plus a couple of Lottery tickets for the upcoming PowerBall and Mega Million drawings. Both are over $220 Million, with the PB at $269 million and MM at $223 million.

I’m feeling lucky.

Our last stop was Cracker Barrel, not to eat, to order a big pan of their delicious Cornbread Dressing to be picked up Thursday for Christmas dinner on Monday.

With the urging of my SIL Debbie, I finally finished the Family Group Shop from this summer’s family reunion at Brandi’s. Jim, my BIL, and I weren’t in the photo because we were both taking pictures, and Annisten was down for a map. So I wanted to add us all in later.

I started with this.

Family Group Shot 468

And ended up with this.

Family Group Shot - New Finished Arrows 468

Of course the finished version doesn’t have the arrows.

A couple of nights ago we DVR’d the ‘A Christmas Story’ musical on FOX, and tonight we thought we’d start watching it. I figured we probably wouldn’t get all the way through it since it was 3 hours long, but at least make a start

We had heard the reviews weren’t very good, but thought we’d give it a try ourselves. But as it turns out, the reviews were right.

We were 6 minutes in when Jan said, “Have you seen enough?” I laughed and said I was done at 4 minutes, but I just wanted to see how long she would last.

One of the online reviewers said he was going to have to watch all 24 hours of the ‘A Christmas Story’ movie marathon to get the musical out of his memory.

December 19, 2018

I’ve Been Fuch’d . . . Maybe

Yesterday we started off with brunch at our favorite The Egg and I about 1:30 and then it was on up to the Coastal Eye Associates office in the Almeda Mall area just inside the Sam Houston Tollway.

We got there about 2:45, unsure if my appointment was for 3 or 3:30. The appointment card they gave me at my last visit said it was at 3:30, but the robo-call I got on Monday said it was for 3pm.

And the receptionist confirmed it was for 3pm, so of course they didn’t call me in until 20 minutes till 4. Then I spent about an hour being cycled through just about every diagnostic machine in the large office. Then it was back to the waiting room until the doctor could finally see me.

But when he did, he didn’t like the way the scans were done. So it was back around the track again, this time with some gunk in my left eye that felt like heavy weight bearing grease. My nurse, Jennifer, said the doctor sometimes liked to do the tests himself, and he did several this go-round too.

Then it was back out to the waiting room for a while. By now it was after 5pm and we were still going strong. Finally I was called back into the doctor’s office to get the diagnosis.

And it was Fuchs’ Dystrophy . . . possibly . . . maybe?

Fuchs’ Dystrophy is a problem where some of the cells of the thin endothelial layer on the inside of the cornea start to die off. This can cause swelling of the cornea leading to blurriness and problems with glare.

And of course I have to buck the trend, since it normally affects more women than men, and usually affects both eyes,  And it’s usually inherited and smoking is a factor. But, as far as I know, none of my parents or grandparents had the problem.

When I got my new glasses back in September, the best my left eye could be corrected to was 20/100, while my right eye corrected to 20/20 with no problems. But as the doctor mumbled something about Sam’s Club optometrists, he said that when he checked it, it was corrected to 20/50.

He also said that the problem is very slow progressing, and might not be a real problem before I . . . well, die.

For people who have severe problems with it, i.e., they’re blind, there are only two real solutions – A cornea transplant using a donor cornea, or Descemet’s membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) which is a less-invasive method of just replacing the endothelial layer itself through a small slit in the bottom of the eye.

As for right now, I’ve got some steroid drops for my eyes 4 times a day for a couple of weeks to see if that affects the swelling at all. There’s also the possibility of a soft contact lens that might alleviate the problem somewhat. But that’s all down the road.

For my part I’m just hoping the problem progresses slow enough that I really don’t have to do anything about until it . . . well, I die.

Tomorrow morning Jan and I are heading up to the Spring area to meet up with Debi and Ed Hurlburt, Janice and Dave Evans, Judy and Dick Mott, and maybe others, at the EL Palenque Mexican Restaurant there.

Really looking forward to it.

December 19, 2019

The Power Of Peppers . . .

I woke up feeling a lot better today, hardly coughing any last night, so I slept a lot better than last night. And whatever was in my head seemed to be breaking up.

Personally I attribute it to ‘The Power of Peppers’.

Normally we would have eaten at home last night, but with my fuzzy head, I managed to come home from work minus my cellphone. Usually, before I turn out the light in my office I take one last look to be sure I’m forgetting anything. But somehow I didn’t see it laying right there on my desk.

So I called Jennifer to ask her to bring it home with her, since she lives close by. But when I thought about going by her house a couple of hours later, I decided that I needed more encouragement to leave the rig,

So I told Jan to get dressed and that we would pick up my phone and then head on over to Yummy Yummy’s for dinner. When we got to Jennifer’s and I got my phone, I invited her to go with us, but she already had dinner on the stove.

Usually here I have a plate of the boiled shrimp, but the way my throat felt, I thought some Hot & Sour Soup would hit the spot. Emphasis on the ‘HOT’. So before I filled my bowl, actually a large cup, I dumped in some of their Hot Spicy Chicken before ladling the soup on top of it.

And if that wasn’t enough, I dumped some of my Carolina Reaper flakes into the cup. At this point I think my soup was pretty much just bubbling all on its own. It burned like crazy going down, but my throat quickly felt better.

Or maybe just numb.

But it did feel so good, that I had a second bowl.

And it’s not just me. Check this out.

Eating Chili Peppers May Save Your Life

And whether it was the peppers, or just time, I did feel much better this morning and seemed to be pretty much back to normal.

For lunch today, Jan wanted her Turkey & Dressing fix so we stopped off at the Webster Cracker Barrel on our way out. It looks like we’ll be having a non-traditional (no Turkey & Dressing) Christmas Dinner at Brandi’s this year, so Jan didn’t want to miss out.

For me, I had a House Salad, and then a plate of their Beans & Greens. Always good and one of my favorites.


December 19, 2020

Can You Die Of Loneliness?

As I mentioned in today’s earlier post, my Aunt Virginia died this morning, from, as my cousin said, probably loneliness and a broken heart.

And that ‘loneliness’ I heard in her voice on the phone, is why we had planned to be up in Athens this past week. She had been begging us to come up and see her since late summer, but we held off hoping the flu situation would slack off. But when it didn’t we were planning to make the trip anyway.

But when she mentioned that we were coming up to see her to her doctor, he really chewed her out about it. And when she called to tell us, she was so upset she was crying.

And now we’re so sorry we canceled.

Virginia (I always called her Ninny because I couldn’t pronounce Virginia when I was little) was an amazing woman.

Ninny Buddy and Baby Greg

Yes, that’s me, with Virginia and my uncle Theo. This was the summer of 1949 when I was about 9 months old. See I did have hair once upon a time.

She was about 21 at the time.

How many women with a high-school diploma do you know that could start out as the secretary to a bank manager, and then end up many years later as President of the bank and Chairman of the Board of Directors, with a college degree?

And this wasn’t some podunk local Alabama bank, but First Federal Savings & Loan, a nation-wide banking system.

Theo And Virginia2

Jan and Ninny at Rosie's

Ninny was just one of those people that everyone liked, or loved.

My cousin Marjorie said that Ninny was really upset Friday when she found out about Aunt Janis passing, but Marjorie finally got her calmed down and she seemed OK.

But when she went by Ninny’s house this morning to see her, there were police, an ambulance, and more telling, the coroner’s van outside her house.

I don’t know for certain, but I assume that the lady who looks in on her several times a day found her this morning. And no word yet on what happened.

Maybe just as my cousin said, “Loneliness and a Broken Heart.”

She was 92.

Much loved, and greatly missed. A remarkable women.

December 19, 2021

Braving The Crowds . . .

After yesterday’s front came through, bringing rain, thunder, and lightning, and much colder temps, today stayed in the 50’s with a lot of sun. Very nice!

We headed out for lunch a little before 1pm, with Gator’s on our menu. Jan got the Grilled Chicken Sandwich rather than her usual Strawberry Walnut Salad.

Gator's Grilled Chicken Sandwich

I did a repeat on our last visit, getting the Egg in the Hole BLT Bagel.

Gator's Egg in the Hole Bagel 20211219

And of course we both got their Sweet Potato Fries.

As usual we finished off by sharing one of their Keto Blueberry Muffins, heated of course.

Gator's Keto Blueberry Muffin

Then it was on up the feeder to WalMart.

Yes, we were braving WalMart during Christmas week. And it wasn’t all that bad. It was busy, but not a lot busier than a typical Sunday. And on the plus side they had a lot more checkouts open.

Even more on the plus side, this was our first WM visit where I was actually able to get a parking space in a handicapped space.

Next up it was right across the Interstate to HEB for a few more things. And again I was able to get a handicapped space for the first time there too.

It’s the little things.

It became pretty obvious that once she sat in it that I was going to have to share my new chair with Jan.

Respawn Chair

But now it looks like we’re both going to have to share it with Karma.

Karma in Gaming Chair

It has become her new favorite place to nap.

December 19, 2022

It Was A Fraud . . .

I made a couple of phone calls this morning before I went into work.

The first was to Medicare to report the bogus? charges to my Medicare account.

And they were bogus.

And it turns out that they already knew about the guy.

They did want to know if I have received anything from the company, which I haven’t.

And have I received any ‘odd’ phone calls about it?

No. At least I don’t think so.

I told her that I don’t normally answer my phone unless I recognize the number, or they come up in my Contacts. If they want to talk with me, they can leave a voicemail. And I had had no voicemail messages from them.

They thanked me for calling and to let them know if I received anything further from the perp.

My second call was to Roland, the guy who is rebuilding my Jeep engine. He said the last parts, the pistons and rings, should be in today, and they hoped to have the engine rebuilt by Thursday. Then, since they’re closed Friday and Monday, it will be next week before they have it checked out and back in the Jeep.

So, hopefully by next Thursday, since they’re going to be closed on the Friday before New Year’s weekend too.

I heard from my neurosurgeon’s office today, and the first time they can see me to evaluate my recent MRI/X-Rays is Monday, Jan 9th.

So now we wait.

Tomorrow lunch looks to be at Pho Barr once again, and then we’re going to brave WalMart 5 days before Christmas.

Are we brave or crazy?

Two years ago, the 18th and 19th of December, 2022, I lost two of my favorite aunts, my Aunt Janis on the 18th, and my Aunt Virginia on the 19th.

This is her with my Uncle Theo and me in the summer of 1949 in a photo I colorized.

Ninny Buddy & Greg - Colorized

She was amazing!

How many women with just a high-school diploma do you know that could start out as the secretary to a bank manager, and then end up many years later as President of the bank and Chairman of the Board of Directors, with a college degree?

And this wasn’t some podunk local Alabama bank, but First Federal Savings & Loan, a nation-wide banking system.

And this is the two of them in 2015.

Theo And Virginia2

Two years later they’re both still missed.