Daily Archives: December 20, 2023

That’s A Big Jump!

After a long lull, the construction of the new sites here at Petticoat Junction really picked up in the last couple of days. And looks like every site is going to have a full-site concrete pad. They were laying out the forms this morning and then leveling dirt inside the area.

Looking forward to seeing how fast it progresses.

This past Sunday when we filled up the Jeep at the HEB station, gas was $1.37,  a new recent low. But then yesterday (Tuesday) it was up to $2.59, a 22 cent jump. Not sure why though, except for the upcoming Christmas travel weekend. A Big Jump.

Tomorrow we’re heading up to the Conroe area once again to meet up with Debi and Ed Hurlburt at the Torchy’s Tacos there. It’s our first time at this one, and Debi and Ed’s first time at any Torchy’s.

As usual, looking forward to it.

Coming home today, I stopped off at Cowboy Coffee and picked up a couple of Ghirardelli Hot Chocolates with Expresso and Whipped Cream. Delicious on a somewhat coolish day. And we’ll probably stop off there tomorrow on the way back from Conroe.

Thought For The Day:

And Even Better, He Doesn’t Have To Take Them Down.

Ditto Christmas Lights

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

December 20, 2010

Olive Garden and Hooters . . .

I ended up sleeping ‘til a little after 11 this morning since I didn’t sleep very well last night. For the last 4 or 5 days I’ve been hobbling around in the middle of a gout attack, which has also knocked out our walking every morning.

I think I’m on the downside of this, because I’ve got a lot of projects to work on before we leave in February, and I can’t get much done limping around like this.

But a big pot of coffee and keeping my foot elevated helped after a while. Hopefully it will keep improving.

I pretty much goofed off the rest of the afternoon while Jan caught up on the laundry.

Then about 6 pm we headed over to the Olive Garden in Pearland to meet up with Sue and Gene Hofford, the owners of the Alvin Opry, and a bunch of friends. Over 20 people were there and we all had a great time.

Alvin Opry at Olive Garden

We got home about 10 after a pretty quiet day.

December 20, 2011

SilverStar and the Guppy . . .

This morning got off to a fast start with visits to two clients who were having problems. It took a couple of hours to clear their problems and make them happy.

But happy clients are paying clients.

My next stop was Brandi and Lowell’s to pick up our mail and packages that had come in. Getting out of the truck, I saw the Super Guppy flying over and snapped this photo.

Super Guppy 1

Built from parts of a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser fuselage, and first flown in 1965, it has been involved with NASA and the US space program ever since. It is still used today ferrying parts of the International Space Station and other NASA projects.

Super Guppy

Finally getting home I got my tools out and went to work replacing one of my headlight bulbs that had lost its low beam. These SilverStar Ultra bulbs really light up the road, but they have a weak point.

SilverStar Ultra

They trade lifetime for brightness.

In my case this bulb lasted a little less than two years. Since I installed both sides at the same time, I expect the other side to fail soon.

Jan’s had a nagging headache for the last couple of days so she decided not to do Bingo tonight, but about 4:30 we did head over to Dickinson to have supper at Monterey’s Little Mexico for soup and nachos.

I mean, Chicken Soup is supposed to be good for what ails you, so Chicken Tortilla Soup has to be even better, right?

December 20, 2012

At least Mister didn’t eat him yet . . .

Well, the cold front showed up about 3am this morning, and really made itself known.

When I went to bed a little before 2am, the temperature outside was still 72 degrees. But Jan and I were both awakened a little after 3 by wind, rain, and the sound of flapping awnings. In a little over an hour the temperature had dropped to 55 degrees, which was pretty much going to be the high for the day.

The rain didn’t last all that long, but the high winds continued well into the afternoon. About 11am Jan and I heard a loud bang, and looking out, saw our neighbor’s large dog kennel tumbling end over end. It was only stopped when it crashed into our bird feeder and smashed it to the ground.

Tumbling Doghouse

Then a little later, I looked out to see one of our director chairs had almost blown into the bay. Luckily I was able to grab it in time.

Tumbling Chair

Later in the afternoon Jan and I headed out for a couple of errands, and then dinner with some friends. But we didn’t get far, just barely out of the park.

As we were turning onto the road looping under the bridge, we saw a small dog running down the highway. There was a car going around the corner, but we didn’t know if the dog belonged to them or not.

Since the dog was running away from any houses, we stopped and picked him up. It took Jan a few minutes to coax him to her, but once he was in her arms, he was shivering, but pretty calm.


After driving around for a while looking for someone looking for the dog, we went back to the rig so I could make some posters.

Found Dog Poster

The lady next door said she thought it looked like a dog that would sometimes chase her when she biked in the area where we found the dog.

While we were at the rig, Mister, our 27-pound cat, discovered the canine intruder and was not pleased at all, except maybe in a “dinner is served” sense.

Mister hates dogs and will attack any dog that gets near him. Here he is going after a poodle that got too close.

Mister's Snack

Luckily for the poodle, I put Mister inside at this point.

With people, kids, and really anybody, Mister is just a big cuddly pussy cat. But let a dog near him and he goes into full attack mode.

His ears go back, he lets out a loud yowl, and then he charges. He’s gone after German Shepherds, Chows, and Great Danes. And so far, I’ve never seen a dog stand up to him. They all turn and run.

He’s got his claws and seems to know how to use them. He even used them on me once.

He was a stray who was living behind one of my client’s offices, and when I brought him home in 2006, I was holding him in my arms as I walked in the front door when our Border Collie/Chow mix ran over and started to jump up to greet me.

Mister’s head whirled around, and with fire in his eyes, his claws came out and he darn near took my nose off, before jumping out of my arms and going after the dog.

But then as soon as I got the dog outside, stopped the bleeding, and sat down, Mister was right back up in my lap, wanting to be petted. Apparently all was forgiven.

Anyway, before we put the posters up, we checked a couple of businesses in the area and no one recognized the dog. Bummer.

Hopefully someone will see the posters tomorrow and call. There is a no-kill animal rescue place right down the road (unfortunately, they’re full) and tomorrow we’ll take him down there and see if he’s chipped. Hopefully so.

Now we just have to keep him away from Mister.

December 20, 2014

Planes, Cars, and Chickens . . .

Finishing up yesterday’s road trip, about 3pm we headed out on the 2 hour trip down to Alvin, Texas to attend the Alvin Opry Christmas Show. But our first stop was at the Kelley’s Restaurant to meet our friend Maria for dinner. We always allow extra time there because they get really busy on Friday nights, and this time was no different. But finishing up dinner, we got to the Alvin Opry a little after 7pm, just in time for the 7:30 show.

It was really great catching up with all our old friends, and meeting new ones. But the show was even better. But besides all the great Christmas songs and music, the highlight of the show for us was John Mark Davis. Here’s what I wrote about him last year.

John Mark is the full-blooded son of a chief of the Adai Caddo Indians of Louisiana, and has performed all over the country. He has opened for Mark Chestnutt and Tracy Byrd, and was offered a slot opening for Dwight Yoakum, but due to a prior obligation was unable to accept.

He was also twice an award winner in the Nashville’s Music City Song Fest, and really knows how to work a crowd and keep you entertained. He’s also know for his hilarious versions of Kaw-Liga, Running Bear, and Please Mr. Custer.

You can go here and download for free, or listen to one of John Mark’s songs oh his website.

John Mark Davis 12-19-14

John Mark Davis 12-19-14a

It’s hard not to like a guy who sings ‘Running Bear”, complete with pow-wow dancing and war whoops from both him and audience. And in the background, the band is singing, “Um Chucka Lucka, Um Chucka Lucka, Um Chucka Lucka . . .”

Politically correct, John Mark is not.

After a great night, we finally got home about 12:15am after I made a stop for coffee since it had been a long day.

As far as today, after coffee this morning, I checked in with Randy next door to see how his battery situation was going. Found out that so far the power converter is still keeping the batteries topped off at about 12.8 volts. Tomorrow when we have more time, we’ll take the converter offline and see how the batteries handle some load from the coach.

But today, we wanted to do some tourist things, so about 1pm we made the 30 minute trip west to Schulenburg to visit the Stanzel Model Aircraft Museum. We visited, or rather, I visited here in March 2007 on our very first RV trip in our CruiseAmerica rental Class C.

Since it was a ‘toy’ museum, Jan wanted to stay out in the RV and finish packing things away for our 3 week trip out west. So she never saw it.

But they have added a new building since then and I knew that Jan would want to see the restored 1800’s family home next door, we were back here again.

Stanzel 1

Stanzel 11

The Stanzel brother’s Victor and Joe, were pre-eminent in the model aircraft world from the late 1920’s until the early 2000’s when the last brother died.

The Stanzel Company started out making ‘ornamental’ (i.e. non-flying) aircraft models that were sold to nearby cadets and collectors. Stanzel models were known for their absolute attention to detail, and proved to be very popular.

Stanzel 2

Later in the early 30’s they started selling their planes as kits with 11 different models available. In fact they were selling so fast they had to expand their production and hire more people. . . . in the Depression.

Stanzel 3

A few years later they were building full-size aircraft and rocket ship rides for fairs and carnivals.

Stanzel 5

Next up was a tour of a mockup of their factory.

Stanzel 6

The center display was another carnival ride that the company was working on when the last brother died.

Stanzel 7

This is an injection molding machine that was used to make the many small plastic parts used on the models.

Stanzel 8

At the peak of production, the factory employed over 170 people, and made every part of their many products, including printing and cutting the boxes for the products. Nothing outsourced to China here

Stanzel 4

Next up was Jan’s favorite part, the restored Stanzel family home right next door.

Stanzel Home 1

Originally built in the mid 1800’s, it has been restored and furnished as it was in the 1880’s.

Miss Lillian, our guide, has worked for the family for years, starting out in the factory.

Stanzel Home 2

The kitchen with the coal-burning stove and the dry sink.

Stanzel Home 3

The bedroom with the rope bed.

Stanzel Home 4

And of course the obligatory chamberpot.

Stanzel Home 5

This is a quilting frame for large quilts.

Stanzel Home 6

The baking and food preparation area.

Stanzel Home 7

And an old time washing machine and a bathtub. All near the kitchen since the water had to be heated on the stove.

Stanzel Home 8

The Stanzel Museum is a fun visit, especially if you owned some of their toys over the years as I did. And even better, unlike some private museums, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to visit. Just $4.00 for adults, and $2.00 for seniors. Nice!

There are a lot of other museums around town, but for some reason, Jan didn’t want to visit this one.

Texas Polka Museum

You’d think she didn’t like the accordion or something.

Next up, we turned around and headed back up TX71 almost to La Grange. We had passed Timeless Texas Classics a number of times, but this was our chance to stop and visit.

Timeless Texas Classic 1

As the sign says, they will sell you a restored auto, restore yours, or sell you parts from their own bone yard out back.

We were warmly greeted by Lance Herrington, the owner, and given the run of the place. As long as we didn’t touch anything.

Timeless Texas Classic 9

The sign says that “Buttons and Buckles scratch. So please do not lay on these cars unless you are NAKED!”

Then in smaller letters underneath, it says, “And FEMALE!”

Sounds like he’s serious.

Timeless Texas Classic 10

This is his personal T-Bird that he bought new over 40 years ago, and he still has it. But it can be yours for a price.


Sounds like he really doesn’t want to part with it.

This is a rare 1963 Falcon Sprint Convertible. Not that many were made, and not that many survived.

Timeless Texas Classic 4

Timeless Texas Classic 5

And this Ford Fairlane Victoria can be yours for only $36,000.

Timeless Texas Classic 6

Another rare beauty, this is a 1963 Thunderbird Sports Roadster. Only 455 were made, and it’s NOT for sale.

Timeless Texas Classic 7

This is a 1946 Ford Deluxe Delivery Van, complete with the fabled Flathead V8.

Timeless Texas Classic 8

As you can tell, Mr. Herrington is partial to Fords, especially Thunderbirds.

Timeless Texas Classic 11

Timeless Texas Classic 12

Timeless Texas Classic 13

If you like cars, you’ll like this place. And even better, it’s free.

Our last visit of the day was to a Texas icon, one of the most famous places in Texas history. Storied in books, plays, movies, and songs, everyone in America knows exactly what you’re talking about.

And, no, it’s not the Alamo. And it’s not the Houston Astrodome.

This is the former location of the one and only . . .

Chicken Ranch, i.e. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

Chicken Ranch

It’s not much to look at now. In fact, there’s nothing to look at now. In 1977, four years after the place closed, two Houston lawyers bought the place and moved the building and the furnishings to Dallas where it reopened as a restaurant with the former madam, Miss Edna, as the hostess. It closed the next year.

Seems like Miss Edna was better at running a whorehouse than a restaurant, because in its heyday in the 50’s, it was making over $3.5 million a year, with each of the 16 girls averaging over $2000 a week in today’s dollars.

You can read more about the history of the Chicken Ranch here. It’s an interesting read. I think my favorite part is the helicopter that the Army supplied to ferry soldiers to and from the place. Your tax dollars at work.

Tomorrow afternoon we’re driving in to meet Brandi, Lowell, and Landon. And of course, eat dinner at Little V’s Vietnamese Bistro. Can’t miss that.

Finally, I received confirmation the other day that Jan and I will be giving our seminar on gate guarding at the 54th Escapade in Tucson, starting March 8th. Called “Gate Guarding for Fun? And Profit”, it will cover everything from how to get started to how to survive on the gate, the do’s and don’s, and what to expect.

I don’t know the day and time yet, but I’ll let you know.

December 20, 2015

Back in Conroe . . .

Jan and I were up about 7:30 this morning. early for me since this is a travel day. But since we weren’t leaving until around 10am, we relaxed for a while, with Jan fixing us egg and cheese biscuits to have with our coffee, Really good.

I started up the rig about 9:40 and raised the levelers so I could get the pads out from under the rig. About this time Bonnie and Vance Clegg, our next-door neighbors and new friends, came over to say goodbye. They’ll still be here when we come back in two weeks so we made plans to get together then.

We were hooked up and pulling out of the park by about 10:15. Getting out on I-10E we found it had become a very windy day, and stayed that way all the way to Conroe. Not windy enough to be a real problem, but enough that I had to stay on top of it.

We pulled into the Lake Conroe Thousand Trails a little after 1pm, and Kim, the head ranger got us checked in. She said that there were no 50amp open sites in the ‘E’ ring where we normally like to stay, but there were some in the newly-remodeled ‘G’ area. So after we got unhitched, we drove over through that area and quickly found a prime site.

So nice in fact, I kind of wondered why it was empty. But we quickly got backed in and parked. But when I went to get power, water, and sewer hooked up, it quickly became obvious why the site was empty. Probably 95% of 40ft Class A’s couldn’t hook up here.

When the rig is far enough toward the rear of the site so that you can park your toad out in front, the power pedestal is actually about a foot out in front of the rig. In fact I doubt anyone with a standard length power cord could hook up at all. The first owner of our American Eagle ordered it with the optional extra-long power cord, and a couple of times I’ve been able to connect to the power pedestal at the site next to ours during power problems.

But even with my long cord, I was just barely able to connect to power. In addition I had to use two sections of sewer hose because the sewer connection is also way forward. But since we can hook up here, and most rigs probably can’t, maybe this will be our spot from now on.

After goofing off for a while we headed about 3pm. First up was ‘linner’ at one of our new favorite places, Raisin’ Cane’s Chicken Fingers. We first ate at one on last year’s gate near Bryan/College Station, and a few more times since then.

Raisin Cane's Chicken

And it’s always really good.

Then it was next door to the Home Depot to pick up a 5/8” countersink for my next project that I’ll talk about tomorrow. After that we made a stop at an HEB to pick up a few things, including a couple of their oven-roasted turkey breasts to have for our family Christmas dinner on Friday.

We’re really looking forward to getting together with everyone.

December 20, 2016

A Snow Day for Jingle . . .

Last night only went down to the low 40’s but I waited until this morning to put us back on shore water just in case.

Looks like it’ll stay above freezing for the next week or so, especially nice since I’ll be working nights on a gate Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Much better than in 2013 when we working on a frac gate down here in Whitsett and of course sitting outside under our canopy. The problem was that it was 26° and sleeting, with icicles hanging down from the canopy flaps. Don’t miss that at all.

Landon apparently got a chance to make his own milkshake at the new Willy Burger in Katy. Here he is getting prepped with his gloves.

Landon at Willy Burger

This 4 year old Landon photo recently showed up on Facebook and I’m not sure I’ve seen this one before, but he sure is cute.

Landon in 2012

Why do Amazon ads keep showing me things I already bought? As I move from website to website, including this one, I see ads for products I’ve searched for, both online and on Amazon. But if they know all this why do they show me ads for things I’ve already bought and received, in some cases, weeks ago. And why don’t show me things similar to what I’ve already purchased, not exactly the same thing?

And they even do it for Kindle books. A month or so ago Saxon Andrew, one of my favorite science fiction authors, came out with his latest book and I bought it the same day.

Then yesterday, I got an email telling me that Saxon has a new book out, the same one I bought a month ago. My email address is the one linked to my Amazon account so why don’t they know I already have the book?

It looks like all the votes, absentee, provisional, etc., have finally been counted, and Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by about 2.8 million ballots. So right up until yesterday’s Electoral College vote, and beyond actually, people were complaining that because Hillary won the popular vote, she should have also won the Presidency.

But as it turns out, pretty much all of Hillary excess votes came from California, where she won by over 4.3 million votes. In fact if you take California out of the mix, Trump would have won the popular vote by over 1.4 million votes.

So you would have had just one state that controlled the election, exactly what the Electoral College was supposed to prevent.

So what happened in California? Well, Republican turnout was way down this year. In fact Trump got 11% less votes than McCain got in 2008. And why was Republican turnout so low, you ask?

Well, there was no one for Republicans to vote for. It was a given that Trump had absolutely no chance of winning the state. But unlike many states where there was not a chance of Trump winning, in California there were few, if any Republicans running down ballot to draw the voters to the polls.

There were no Republicans even running for the U.S. Senate and almost none running for the open House seats. And few running for any state legislative seats either.

In fact, looking at the numbers it’s amazing that Trump got as many votes as he did. For a little more info about this, check out this Investor’s Business Daily article.

Anything else possibly involved in Hillary’s large vote turnout? Well, maybe, possibly, probably. Take your pick.

California is one of 12 states that gives driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. And California also has a newly enacted ‘Motor Voter Law’.  When you first obtain or renew your driver’s license, you have to actually opt-out of being registered to vote.

Now the state says that they have safeguards in place to prevent the illegals who get licenses from being registered. But a large number of illegals holding AB-60 driver’s licenses, named for the Bill that made this legal, have shown reporters both the license and voter registration cards in their names, so you decide.

Here’s an interesting document put out by the Immigrant Legal (Illegal?) Resource Center talking about the AB-60 licenses. AB-10 FAQ.

It gives all sorts of helpful hints about what to do if you’ve lied or given a false name or Social Security number to the state before and how to get around that now. And it also warns you not to try and fly using this ID as the TSA may ‘discriminate’ against you. An interesting read.

So, is the influx of ‘new’ voters why California’s the only state where Hillary’s margin of victory was larger than Obama’s in 2012?

Something to think about.

December 20, 2017

We Got Plucked . . .

Not much new happened at work today. I did get a call from my client yesterday evening saying the Shipping area machine was down.

I asked if he wanted me to come and take a look at it, but he said no, just wanted me to know for this morning. And I’m really glad I didn’t do it since it only took me about 5 seconds to fix it.

The machine was offline, so I just unplugged the USB WiFi adapter and then plugged it right back in. And Bingo!, it was fixed.

When I got home about 4:30, we turned right around and headed back up to Webster to get Plucked.

At Plucker’s, a wing place that just opened a couple of weeks ago.

Plucker's 1

In fact, I just noticed them a few days ago as I was going into work.

Plucker’s has a pretty varied menu from wings, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and apps, but why would you go to a place called Plucker’s and get anything but the wings.

But we started out with an order of their Fried Pickles, free for a limited time. Really good. And even Jan, who doesn’t like dill pickles, liked them.

Plucker's Fried Pickles

Next up was Side Salads for both of us,

Plucker's Side Salad

with their really tasty home-made Ranch Dressing.

And finally the pièce de résistance, what are advertised as the largest wings available.

Plucker's Ginger Peach Sriracha Wings

And they are big, much bigger than Hooters or Buffalo Wild Wings. Jan got 10 wings, half with Honey BBQ and half with Buffalo Medium.

I got my usual all drums with Ginger Peach Sriracha sauce. along with a side of their Fire in the Hole sauce, the hottest they have. The wings were delicious and Ginger Peach Sriracha is my new favorite sauce, topping Buffalo Wild Wings Mango Habanero, my past favorite.

However I was disappointed in their ‘superhot’ Fire in the Hole sauce. It was not as hot as BWW’s Blazin’ sauce and all I could taste was the vinegar base.  And that vinegar taste why, though I like really hot stuff, I don’t care for any of the standard hot sauces, like Tabasco, Frank’s, Louisiana Pete’s, etc. All I can taste is vinegar.

However I do really like Sriracha. Although it has vinegar in it, it’s not enough for me to taste.

So as it stands now,  Plucker’s is our new favorite wing place, and we’ll go back soon.

Tomorrow is a busy day. I’ve got to stop by Cracker Barrel around 11am to pick up the big pan of Cornbread Dressing that we ordered the other day.

Then in the afternoon, we’ll head into downtown Houston for Jan’s Birthday Present. Although her birthday was back in October, her present starts at 3:30 tomorrow afternoon at the Toyota Convention Center and the

Trans-Siberian Orchestra

We’ve both wanted to see TSO for years but this is the first time it’s worked into our schedule.

And then afterwards, another favorite of ours, Longhorn Steakhouse, when we get back to the Webster.

Looking forward to a great day.

December 20, 2018

The Conroe Bunch . . .

OK, let’s get this straight. I’m not going blind.

We don’t even know if I HAVE Fuchs’ Dystrophy. It’s only a possible diagnosis. The only reason I’m looking into it is because the Sam’s Club optometrist thought I had a cataract.

And I don’t

As far as what I see, I don’t have a problem. My left eye will only correct to 20/50, but my right eye is 20/20. And using both eyes on the eyechart, my total vision is 20/20.

I’m not seeing any glare or halos around lights at night, not any diminishing of my night vision. All in all, it’s not a problem.

Down the road, we’ll have to see.

As far as today, Jan and I headed out about 10am for our get-together with the Conroe Bunch up in Spring at the El Palenque Mexican Restaurant there. We’ve passed it a number of times, but this was our first visit

El Palenque Conroe Bunch

Starting on the left, it’s Ed Hurlburt, Dick Mott, Judy Mott, my Jan, Janice Evans, Karen Headley, Debi Hurlburt, Sandy Mills, Mike Mills, Richard Headley, and Dave Evans.

A motley group if I ever saw one.

We had a great time getting together with old friends Ed and Debi, Dave and Janice, Dick and Judy, and new friends Mike and Sandy, and Richard and Karen. Hopefully we can maybe do this once a month or so.

Finally saying our goodbyes and heading home about 2pm, our first stop was at the Friendswood WalMart for a few groceries, and to pick up the prescription I had dropped off on the way up to Spring.

It was for the steroid drops that I’m supposed to be putting in my left 4 times a day, but they didn’t have the saline drops I’m supposed to use 5 minutes before the steroid drops.

Then it was next door to the Sam’s Club for another prescription, plus they had the saline drops, so I was all set for the eye stuff. Then it was back home by 4:30.

A really nice, fun day.

Today I sent this photo over to Brandi, threatening to buy this for her for Christmas.

Unicorn Pool Float

The only problem I see is that she’s gonna need a bigger pool.

For her part Brandi sent over this photo of the Gingerbread House Landon built for school. Unfortunately it didn’t survive the trip home, so of course Landon had to rebuild it better.

Landon's Christmas Gingerbread House

Tomorrow it’s back to work before the upcoming 4 day Holiday weekend.

December 20, 2019

Friday, December 6th in NYC

Since nothing much happened today, I thought I’d jump back two weeks to our NYC trip.

Friday December 6th was our first full day in NYC after we got in yesterday morning. But before we headed out, first we checked out the hotel breakfast buffet. And we were happy to find that this was no ‘make your own waffle’, cold cereal, and stale muffins buffet, but a full-blown one with eggs, two kinds, bacon, sausage, basmati rice, as well as baked beans. And of course, all the fruit, cereals, etc.

There were also a lot of other ‘unusual’ breakfast dishes, or at least unusual to us. We did recognize the ‘baked beans’ as being an English breakfast dish, since we saw it on the menus in London. But we don’t know who was eating rice, at least for breakfast.

But the most confusing one was laid out with the oatmeal. They had all the standards, fruit, brown sugar, honey, etc., but strangely never any bananas. What they did have that was different was ‘peanut butter’. Not sure who normally eats that way, but since I really like peanut butter, I might try it sometime.

Leaving the hotel, we Ubered over to the first place Jan wanted to see, and that was Rockefeller Center.

Rockefellow Tree Daytime

Our driver let us off pretty much right in front of the big tree, which even in the daytime is pretty impressive.

Walking over to the side we looked down on the famous ice rink.

Rockefeller Ice Rink

I guess I was expecting something a little more grand, but it’s not nearly as big as the indoor rink where Landon plays hockey up in Sugarland.

Noticing a Lego store right next to the rink I took a look inside. Landon’s a big Lego fan so I thought I might find something for him for Christmas. But the only thing that really caught my eye was this Millennium Falcon.

Lego Millineum Falcon

At least until I saw this price.

M Falcon Price

I mean I love the kid and all, but I wouldn’t buy that for me, much less someone else.

Sorry, Landon.

Jan also wanted to look in the window to the Today Show set,

NYC Today Show

but unfortunately they were just doing camera setup shots, so Jan didn’t get to see her favorite, Hoda Kotb.

Exploring further, we walked around the corner and found the entrance to the Tonight Show,

Rockefeller Tonight Show

and, although I didn’t get a photo, we also saw the Saturday Night Live entrance.

I enjoyed seeing all the many Art Deco ornamentations inset into the Rockefeller Center buildings.

NYC Art Deco 1

NYC Art Deco 2

Reminds me a lot of the decorations on the Empire State Building.

Finally, after several hours we headed back toward our hotel. But this time we just walked. I had noticed on Google Maps that we were actually only 5 or 6 blocks from our hotel. It took longer for our Uber because of the one-way streets. I think we were able to walk it quicker than we Ubered.

And cheaper, too.

Rockefeller Balls

We checked out a few gift shops as we walked back, and then took a nap in our room for a while.

Then about 6:30 we went back downstairs to have dinner at the hotel buffet. And once again ran into the international cuisine offerings. Among other items we had our choice between Lamb Ragout and Fried Calamari. Neither is on our Favorites List.

We finally settled on hamburgers. Pretty good, actually.

Then we walked back over to the Rockefeller Center to check out the tree at night.

Rockefellow Tree NightTime

Really beautiful!

And of course, a lot of other Christmas on every corner.

Rockefeller Lights

Rockefeller Building Lights 2

Then it was back to the hotel to rest up, so we could do it all over again tomorrow.

December 20, 2020

Gave My Wife Away . . .

Well, not so much as gave her away, but loaned her out for a couple of days.

Jan and I left the rig a little before 11 heading up to Webster to meet up with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon at Floyd’s Cajun Seafood for lunch. Then Jan was going back with them up to Katy to Landon-sit for a couple of days until I pick her up on Tuesday morning.

Then on Thursday night, Brandi, Lowell, and Landon, plus Sonja and Lindell, Lowell’s parents, and his sister, Sherry, will all be back down here to have our annual Christmas Eve family dinner at King Food, something we’ve done for over 30 years, with only a few misses.

The next day, Christmas, Jan and I will drive up to Brandi’s to spend Christmas Day with everyone all over again.

Our meal at Floyd’s was just as delicious as always. I started off with my usual Shrimp Gumbo,

Floyd's Shrimp Gumbo

just full of shrimp.

Jan, Lowell, and Brandi all got the Chicken Fried Chicken with Mashed Potatoes.

Floyd's Chicken Fried Chicken 20201220

Part of the secret of how good this is is the gravy. Maybe the best we’ve ever tasted.

And yes, those are mashed potatoes, just artfully dished out. And delicious.

For me, I tried something a little different, at least for what I usually get here, the Blackened Chicken Breast with Grilled Green Beans.

Floyd's Blackened Chickenn Breast 20201220

The Green Beans are a new addition to the menu, and grilled with onions and bacon, I’ll certainly have them again.

Landon had a Salad with Fried Chicken Tenders, with Ranch Dressing.

Floyd's Landon 20201220

The kid likes salad, who knew?

December 20, 2021

Busy In Branson . . .

Today was another day in the 50’s, going down to the low 40’s again tonight. But by Christmas day it’s going to be back in the 80’s again. Not exactly Christmas-like.

And certainly not like December 2017, just a couple of months after we moved down to Santa Fe from Conroe.

Snow in Park

But not much chance of that this year.

December 20, 2022

Who To Believe?

AccuWeather’s forecast, or The Weather Channel’s

AccuWeather says Thursday we will have a high of 73° and a low of 16°, a 57° temperature swing, But The Weather Channel says that Thursday will be a high of 66° and a low of 21°, a 45° swing.

But, except for this difference, the next four days leading up to Christmas are only a few degrees apart.

And even if it goes down to 16°, that won’t be the coldest we’ve seen while RV’ing, even around here. About 10 years ago we had a 19° while we were staying at Galveston Bay RV Park down on Dickinson Bayou.

Galveston Bay View Site 77 2013 Update

But our absolute lowest temp was in late March 2008 with 6° in Garrison, MT on our way up to Fairbanks, AK. So we should be able to handle a 16° or a 21° temp. I did top off our rig’s water tank the other day, so I’ll disconnect us from shore water Thursday morning, and we should be good to go.

Lunch today was at Pho Barr once again. Though it’s a favorite of ours, somehow it kind of fell off our radar, but it’s back now.

And our waiter remembered us from their Webster location.

We started with our usual Grilled Pork Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce.

Pho Barr Grilled Pork Spring Rolls 3

Then Jan got the Grilled Chicken Vermicelli Bowl,

Pho Barr Vermicelli Bowl with Grilled Chicken

and I got the Pho Ga, which is Pho with White Meat Chicken.

Pho Barr - Katy Pho Ga

Delicious as always. It’s back on our list.

Next up was WalMart, and amazingly, we survived the place 5 days before Christmas. Actually it really wasn’t that bad. And, incredibly, they had more than the usual one full-service checkout open. So even checking out went pretty quickly.

With this, and Amazon, our Christmas chores are pretty much done. Whew!

I’ve mentioned before that we have a heated mattress pad on our rig’s queen-sized bed, and we turn it on about 30 minutes before we go to bed. And Karma knows this so she’s usually waiting for us to come to bed, having already staked out her spot.

Karma In The Bedroom