Daily Archives: December 26, 2023

My Bucket List . . .

When we were coming home from Conroe last Thursday, just as we were merging onto I-45S, we saw this semi go by. With a definite problem.

But based on his speed he had no idea what was happening. So we followed him for a minute or so, staying the lane to his left, since chunks of tire were still shedding off.

Finally when he showed no sign of slowing down or pulling over, I sped up to come up beside him so Jan could signal him. When she finally got his attention she kept pointing the rear of the trailer and mouthing ‘Tire, Tire, Tire’. He seemed to the message and slowed down. And I saw in the rearview mirror that he was pulling over.

Jan said that when she looked up at him, he was laughing and talking to someone, so he probably had no idea what was happening. Probably ruined his whole day.

Almost certainly going to need two new wheels and two new tires. Probably looking at $3000 to $4000.


Too Close To Home –

This past Saturday, about an hour after we left our local Victory Lakes WalMart, the police got into a shootout with a car thief there, killing him when he turned on police while holding a gun.

Man shot, killed by officer in League City Walmart parking lot was suspect in Houston vehicle robbery

Besides not being there when bullets were flying, Jan and I really lucked out by not being stuck there when the police locked down the parking lot for several hours, with no cars allowed to leave or enter.

Dodged a bullet, so to speak.

Finishing up, I think everyone has a Bucket List.

Here’s mine. I’m up to #4.

Thought For The Day:


And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

December 26, 2010

Happy Boxing Day * . . .


* In the U.K., Boxing Day is the day after Christmas. One of many ‘origin’ stories says that this is the day that merchants gave boxes of food and fruit to tradespeople and servants as a form of Yuletide tip.

At 11 am it’s still 37 degrees here. It’s supposed to get all the way up to 46 today, and then back down to 31 tonight.

As an article in the New York Times said today, “Bundle up. It’s Global Warming.” Of course they blame the pretty much world-wide cold snap on the fact that it’s getting warmer.


So, if it’s getting warmer, it’s global warming, and, if it’s getting colder, it’s global warming.

Yeah, right!  Nothing like covering all your bases.

Jan and I never left the rig today. It was really nice to just sit around, read, nap, watch TV, and enjoy the view, did I mention nap?

And as part of enjoying the view, our friend the Great Blue Heron was back,

Boxing Day Great Blue Heron

Boxing Day Great Blue Heron 2

along with another beautiful sunset.

Boxing Day Sunset

Boxing Day Sunset 2

That was about it for today. Looks like things will pick up again tomorrow. We’ll see.

December 26, 2012

Happy Boxing Day . . .

After our morning coffee, I headed out to a client’s home office to set up the new computer that I got for her before Christmas. But I quickly ran into a problem when I tried to hook up her older model Sony LCD monitor.

The monitor only has a VGA input and the computer didn’t have one. Only HDMI and DVI. Or rather, it had both a VGA and HDMI output on the motherboard, but there were stickers on both ports saying “This Port Has Been Disabled”.

Instead of the motherboard ports, there was a separate video card with an HDMI and a DVI port. And of course, no VGA ports.

So it was off to Fry’s Electronics to pick up a new monitor so I could get back to work. I also picked up an HDMI cable since most monitors don’t include HDMI cables, though it did include a VGA cable. Lot of good that did me.

Then it was back to the client’s, and back to work. I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning off all the junk that comes on new machines, and then started installing support programs like AVG, ZoneAlarm, SuperAntiSpyware, etc.

Finally, a little after 4pm, I wrapped up for the day and headed back to the rig, where I picked up Jan and we headed back out to have dinner at the Chili’s up in Kemah.

Then it was off to Wal-Mart for some groceries before heading back to the rig for the night.

December 26, 2014

A Tale of Two Christmases . . .

Christmas Recap:

We were up Christmas morning about 7am. Luckily for us Landon’s not really an early riser. Unlike Chris and Brandi who were up at 5am, or even earlier.

Brandi's Christmas Tree

Brandi did such a great job decorating the tree, I had to get a closeup.

Brandi's Christmas Tree2

Landon was in charge of distributing the gifts to everyone.

Christmas 2014-1

And here’s Landon’s big gift, a Ninja Turtles bike. His first bike, too.

Landon's New Bike

Chris, Linda and Nigel showed about 10 am to spend the rest of the day. Chris and Landon spent a lot of time checking out some of the online games.

Christmas 2014-2

Landon also got a Mousetrap game and he and Piper had a lot of fun playing with it.

Piper and Landon with Mousetrap

And here’s Piper posing with her puppy, Nigel. Nigel is a Syorkie, a Shi Zhu/Yorkie cross, and a real cutie.

Piper and Nigel

Later in the morning, the tree was reset with the presents for all the family and friends coming over for the big party in the afternoon.

Brandi's Christmas Tree3

We had about 30 people there, with a lot of great appetizers and snacks for everyone.

Christmas 2014-3

Later in the evening they put out a Taco Bar, with ground beef, grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp, pulled pork, and all the fixing’s. And all really, really good.

Christmas 2014-4

Then it was time for the second Christmas for all the kids.

Christmas 2014-5

Everyone had a great time getting together and exchanging gifts. And as usual everyone pitched in to help clean up, so Brandi wasn’t left with a messy house.

Jan and I hung until after 10pm, so we didn’t get home until almost midnight, a long but very fun day.

Today Jan and I headed out about 3:15 for lupper and some shopping. We were both hungry for a good burger, so we ended up at the nearby Culver’s. Jan got her usual cheddar mushroom burger, while I got the Double Pub Burger, and we both got a bowl of their delicious chili. But with a difference this time.

One of my Christmas gifts from Lowell and Brandi was some things from iBurn, a local store that specializes in ‘hot stuff’. And one of the items was this.


Here’s how it’s described on their website:

Tim’s 10 Pepper Flakes – This is pepper flakes on steroids containing; 3 variety of Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper), 3 variety of 7-Pot, Moruga Scorpion, Fatali, Habanero and Scotch Bonnet. This stuff rocks and we know you will love it if you are missing that kick from your crushed pepper.

We both put some in our chili. I used about 4 sprinkles, which gave me about 5 or 6 particles of the peppers. Jan had a couple of sprinkles with about 2 or 3 particles making it into her chili.

Both of us agreed that based on a heat to particle ratio, this is the hottest stuff we’ve found so far. Tim’s 10 Pepper Flakes is now my ‘goto’ hot stuff. And with the size of the bottle vs. how much I’ll use each time, this is a lifetime supply. Thanks, Lowell.

Leaving Culvers, we drove across the road to brave Wal-Mart on the day after Christmas. But it really wasn’t that bad, with only the checkout taking a little longer than normal.

Next up was the Lowe’s right next door. I found that the stainless steel hose that allows us to pull out the faucet handle on our kitchen faucet and use it as a spray nozzle, had started to leak so I picked up a new one.

Our last stop was at the Kroger’s across the Interstate to get gas for the truck. And I got it for 99 cents a gallon. Yep, 99 cents.

We recently bought a lot of Christmas gift cards from Kroger’s and got 4X the fuel points. This means that for the next 350 gallons or so, we get a $1 off each gallon we buy. And that goes for diesel too. Unfortunately you can only get 35 gallons at a time like this.

Tomorrow we head down to the Clear Lake area to try and finish up cleaning out our storeroom before the end of the year, then have dinner with Chris, Linda, and Piper tomorrow night.


December 26, 2015

Just in Time . . .

Jan and I did 1.03 miles today, staying just ahead of the rain. We’ll probably stay at this distance until we leave here and head back to Colorado River TT on Jan 3rd. Then we’ll bump it up, hopefully, to 2 miles or so over the next couple of months.

It was starting to mist when we headed out, but just as we getting back to the rig, it went from sprinkling to downright raining. So we timed that perfectly. Of course it only rained for about 10 minutes and then stopped.

It looks like the small heatwave we’ve been having the last few days is coming to a screeching halt. The high today was 77, and it’s going down to 71 tonight. But after a high of 73 tomorrow, the front comes through and it’s going down to 38 degrees tomorrow.

Then it’s low 50’s and low 30’s for the next 10 days or so. It’s going to be nice to actually have winter again.

Later, after our coffee and cranberry bread, I got back to work on re-installing Jan’s “Oh Sh$t Handle” right by her chair. If you missed the earlier posts. you can check it out here: Livingston Bound and BBQ

I first drilled pilot holes in each of the wooden dowel rods that I had glued in last week, but when I went to put the #14 x 2” wood screws in the handle so I could screw it in, I found a problem.

When I used a smaller screw to measure the length I would need, I apparently used the bottom hole in the handle. But as it turns out, the top hole in the handle doesn’t go into the wood as far as the bottom hole. So while the bottom screw extend out about 1”, the top screw only stuck out about 1/2”.

So while I went ahead and temporarily mounted the handle, I’m going to get a 2-1/2” screw to replace the 2” one.

Oh Shit Handle Repair 5

When I get the larger screws, I’m also got to get a can of White Oak Pickling Stain to refinish all the handles.

But I was happy to see that the handle is now locked down very firmly with no movement at all. So once I replace the screw and re-stain the handle, I should be finished with this project and ready to move on to others.

There’s always others.

Before I finish this up, I thought I’d answer several inquiries where the handle’s name came from.

The actual name for the ‘Oh Sh$t Handle” came from a hilarious book called “Queen of the Road: The True Tale of 47 States, 22,000 Miles, 200 Shoes, 2 Cats, 1 Poodle, a Husband, and a Bus with a Will of Its Own” by Doreen Orion. Jan read this book about the time we started RV’ing and adopted this name for the handle that’s right by her chair at arm level.

It’s what she grabs when someone cuts us off, or pulls out in front of us and then stops. But over the years, after a lot of use, she finally broke it off completely. And when that happened, whatever held it in place fell down in the wall, so I had to come up with a new way of mounting it.

Wrapping up, regular readers will remember how in the past I’ve had trouble with multiple hacking attempts trying to log in to this blog. But in the last couple of months, the attempts had dwindled away to almost nothing.

And since most of the attempts came from Europe, and recently stopped, it may be that this is the reason why. – Botnet Attacking WordPress Sites

Hopefully this will eliminate the problem once and for all.

December 26, 2016

If It Weren’t For The Rattlesnakes . . .

This might turn out to be a pretty decent gate.

But then I’ve only been told about the snakes secondhand. But the scrub brush terrain is perfect for them, so it’s quite possible. I’ll definitely keep my eyes, and my ears, open.

This seems to be a new gate that’s just getting started up, and coincidently it’s only a couple of miles away from our very first Marathon drill rig gate back in 2012.

Besides the snakes, the only other problem is with the Verizon phone and data service. When I got here at 5 pm the guard I was relieving said that he had no service inside and sometimes a little outside. And my phone showed pretty much the same thing. And of course no signal on my AirCard. Bummer!

I did make a call to Jan from outside with some success, but the voices were crackly. But then about an hour later I looked at my phone and had 3 bars of 4G and good data service. But still nothing on my AirCard.

So then I moved my AirCard antenna to a different side of the shack, rebooted it, and now I have good 3G data.

So now I only have to worry about the rattlesnakes.

Jan and I are to the point in our lives where we really don’t need more ‘stuff’, especially living in an RV. So our Christmas presents are pretty laid back. Like for her birthday this past October I got her a new electric can opener because that’s what she wanted. She said she was giddy.

So for Christmas I got her one of these Silicone Non-Stick Baking Mats.

Silicone Cooking Mat

Silicone Cooking Mat 2

You bake right on it, it spreads the heat evenly, and channels away any grease from the food. Neat.

For lunch today we had the second half of our Barth’s Christmas Turkey & Dressing meal.

Barth's Turkey & Dressing Xmas

All delicious, especially the green beans like I said yesterday. You can tell that their cornmeal mix is only cornmeal and not this half cornmeal/half flour mix that a lot of places use. Their cornbread ends up having the texture of cake. No, this is good ole coarse-ground cornmeal.

And we’ve still got two more meals to go because of the large portions.

I mentioned last week that we used the RV park’s free laundry to do some heavy rugs, and while we were there I saw this notice.

RV Park Washer Notice

I can only guess that when times are slow in the ‘patch’, people start taking in laundry to make ends meet?

December 26, 2017

Merry Boxing Day . . .

Jan and I really enjoyed our day at home, feasting on some of the Christmas dinner leftovers we had.

We caught up on some TV shows we’d recorded recently and also got in a nice nap somewhere in there. Really nice.

I’m still trying to figure out what’s going on with Social Security next year. According to the letter I got from them, we got a 2% increase this year, which for me should be about $30 per month. But on my checks next year I’m getting $3 a month.

Now my first thought was, that as has happened in the past, the Medicare charge had increased. But according to the web, the Medicare Part D charge for 2018 is the same $134 it was in 2017.

So where’s my other $27?

Even stranger is the fact that Jan’s check, even with the 2% increase, will be exactly the same as last year.

What’s up with that?

Looks like the USPS is still working at their peak efficiency. Well, peak for them, anyway.

Last Monday I mailed off three Flat Rate Priority Mail envelopes; one to Athens, AL, one to Vernon, IL, and one to Ashville, NC. All three were supposed to be delivered by Friday, December 22.

But by the next day, tracking said the delivery date for all three had slipped to Saturday. And if that were how it turned out, it would have been OK. But no, that’s not what happen.

The two going to IL and NC did make it on Saturday, but the one going to the closest destination, Athens, AL, just disappeared for six days, somewhere between Houston, TX and Birmingham, AL, with no tracking whatsoever, only to show in Birmingham early this morning and to be delivered in Athens late this afternoon.

Great Service! /sarc

If you’re in the whole Alexa thing, you know, Alexa, Dot, Echo Show, etc., well you can now add a new device to that lineup – The Alexa Wand.

And even better, it’s free.

Alexa Wand

It’s pretty much a handheld Alexa, so you can ask it  questions, interact with it, etc., just like its big brothers and sisters. But it’s optimized for adding things to your shopping list, and even ordering items directly from Amazon. It even has a built-in bar code scanner for that purpose,

It’s $20, but when you make your first order through it, no matter what, you get an instant $20 credit.

Check it out.

Jan and I have gotten to the point that we don’t give each other much in the way of physical things for Christmas, but instead, things like our Trans-Siberian Orchestra tickets a few days ago. But this year I got her a small item, almost a gag gift. But it turned out to be one of her all-time favorites.

It’s a LumiLux 16 Color Motion Sensing Toilet Bowl Light.

Toilet Light

When you walk into the bathroom in the middle of the night the light switches on for two minutes and starts cycling through the 16 colors. Or if you like you can set it for your favorite. And it makes it easier to find in the dark.

Jan says she likes all the colors, even the bright red that she says makes it look like the Bowels of Hell. Bowels, get it. Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink.

December 26, 2019

Boxing Day Notes . . .

After a quiet post-Christmas (Boxing Day) morning I spent some time trying to figure out why our new Samsung TV won’t see my computer, since my old Samsung TV had no problems with it.

It has 3 HDMI ports and I can put my DirecTV DVR to any of the 3 ports and the TV recognizes the DVR and shows the video. So I know the ports are good.

But though the TV recognizes the PC as a PC on any of the 3 ports, it only shows a blank screen. I’ve swapped the cables around with no luck either.

The cable that works fine on the DVR still doesn’t work on the PC, and the HDMI cable that doesn’t work on the PC works fine on the DVR.

So I thought maybe there was a problem with the screen resolution I’m using on the PC. But, according to the 177 page for the TV, (Yes, a 177 page manual!) the 1920 x 1080 60Hz should be acceptable to the TV.

So I got on Samsung Support Chat and told them my problem. But as usually happens they had to read from their script, completely ignoring what I had already done. I don’t think they even read it.

But I finally ran out of time before we left for lunch, so I’ll try again later.

While we’re on the subject of Samsung, I’m thinking maybe it’s about time to think about upgrading my phone since I usually try to upgrade every 3 new models.

I got a Samsung S5 in 2014 while we were in Elkhart, and then upgraded to an S8+ when we were in Las Vegas in 2017. And now the S11 is coming out next February.

Samsung S11

It seems to take at least 3 iterations before there’s enough improvements to make it worthwhile to spend the money to upgrade to a new phone. But this one has a lot of great new stuff.


  • 5G Support
  • A 108 megapixel camera
  • A Ultra Wide Angle Lens
  • A Telephoto Lens with 5X Optical Zoom
  • A 120Hz AMOLED Screen
  • And a Whopping Big 5000mAh Battery!

Sounds like it will be a worthy upgrade.

And Jan’s happy because she’ll get my hand-me-down S8+.

December 26, 2020

Christmas Day 2020 Catchup . . .

Jan and I left the rig about 8:45am Christmas morning on our way up to Brandi’s in Katy for our family Christmas

We were going up so early because Brandi had promised us a very special breakfast. And it was.

Christmas 2020 Challah Creme Brulee French Toast

Challah Bread Crème Brûlée French Toast and

Christmas 2020 Maple Bacon

Maple-Infused Bacon, as well.

And continuing with the Maple theme, we had Bourbon Maple Syrup to put on the French Toast.

Christmas 2020 Bourbon Maple Syrup

All well worth getting up that early.

As usual Brandi and Lowell had done their usual beautiful job of decorating the house. And it’s different every year.

Christmas 2020 Before

Christmas 2020 Dining Room

Christmas 2020 Dining Room 2

Christmas 2020 Dining Room 3

And even outside.

Christmas 2020 Front Door

Christmas 2020 Brandi House Outside

But when Jan saw this Advent Calendar hanging on the wall between the kitchen and the living room, she teared up. And it has a lot of family history, over 50 years worth, in fact.

Family Advent Calendar

My mother gave this to Jan for our first or second Christmas together, and somewhere along the line it got passed on to Brandi, probably when we started RV’ing in 2007. But apparently it then got tucked away until this year, when Brandi rediscovered it and pulled it out.

Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, 4 of the little ornaments disappeared. So wanted to surprise Jan, Brandi asked her mother-in-law Sonja to make new ones. So the calendar is now a fusion of the White and Morrison families.

But what really made the calendar even more memorable was the fact that Jan remembered during the Christmas of 1974 when she was working on it, and she looked up to see Brandi stand up all on her own and walk for the first time, from one side of the living room to the other. Don’t think she’s slowed down since.


We all sat down for Christmas dinner about 5:30, and as usual when Brandi cooks, it was not your typical ‘pedestrian’ meal.

We had Spare Ribs done in their smoker, BBQ’d Pork Belly chunks, an Asparagus and Cheese Casserole, and a Crawfish Etouffee Casserole, courtesy of Sherry and Steve. and Baked Beans from Jan.

If that doesn’t just scream ‘Christmas Dinner’, I don’t know what does.

Christmas 2020 Dinner

From left to right, we’ve got Jan, Lowell, Brandi, Master Landon, Steve, Sherry, Lindell, and Sonja.

A really great meal.

And of course, Jack and Baxter didn’t want to be left out either.

Christmas 2020 Dinner Jack and Baxter

Apparently not enough Christmas dinner found its way to the floor to satisfy them, so they came begging.

Finally heading home about 7, we checked out some more lights along the way.

Christmas 2020 Lights 1

Christmas 2020 Lights 2

Just beautiful.

Well, that about wraps up Christmas at the White/Morrison households, or at the Houston/Oklahoma part of it. Next weekend we’ll be getting together with the Texas Hill Country part of the White clan.

Can’t wait.

December 26, 2021

Happy Boxing Day 2021 . . .

With all the food we brought home yesterday, both from our meal at King Food Christmas Eve and leftovers from Christmas dinner, we decided to just hunker down at home today. So we never left the rig.

Nice and quiet.

Not only did we all get a lot of nice gifts yesterday, but so did Brandi and Lowell’s dogs, Baxter and Jack. They got a Furbo Dog Treat Dispenser.


Furbo Dog Treat Tosser with Camera

Not only can you see your pets and toss them a treat, you can also hear them and talk back to them.

Online several people wanted to know if you could use it for cats. Some said that they had tried, but the cats tended to just eliminate the middleman by jumping up on the counter and knocking the Furbo off onto the floor, and waiting for the treats to fall out.

Smart cats.

Several readers wanted to know what a hoverboard was, like the new one Landon got for Christmas. This is a hoverboard.

Landon's MotoTec Hoverboard

You balance on it and lean in the direction you want to go. You can go forward, backwards, and even turn in place. And Landon rolls around the house like he was born riding it.

Last Tuesday I put a couple of Priority Mail envelopes in the mail, one going to Athens, AL, and one to Vernon, IL. Containing gift cards for cousins and nieces, the one going to AL was supposed to arrive by Friday the 24th, and the IL one by Monday the 29th.

However the one going to IL made it early and arrived by Friday.  But the AL bound one ended up in FL, orbiting around between Lakeland, Tallahassee, and Orlando for 3 days before finally heading back toward Athens.

It should be delivered tomorrow. But we’ll see.

This is post-Christmas day in Houston, TX.

Christmas 2021 in The Pool

December 26, 2022

Dog Gone Wrong . . .


Recapping yesterday:

We got to Brandi’s right on time at 9am, and very quickly gathered by the tree in the living room to open presents after Landon handed them out.

Brandi Christmas Tree 2022 A

Brandi Christmas 2022 - 1

Brandi Christmas 2022 - 2

One of Jan’s favorite gifts was this flamingo that our son Chris carved and painted for her.

Chris' Carved Flamingo Christmas 2022

Really great!

Later Chris whipped up a big pot of his famous gumbo.

Chris' Gumbo Christmas 2022

He spent some time working on off-shore oilrigs out of Louisiana and a Cajun taught him how to make a great roux, the secret to great gumbo.

And along with all the other delicious eats, we spent the afternoon munching and grazing.

As I said, my afternoon was spent assembling Landon’s big Christmas gift, an Ender 3 Pro 3D printer. And finally about 4pm I let Landon press the switch and we watch it boot up with no problems.


After a couple of false starts due to the bed height not being correct, we started a 6 hour print of a piggy bank. When Jan and I left for home it looked like this.

Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer Pig 1

And when they went to bed, it looked like this.

Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer Pig 2

And when they checked it this morning, it looked like this.

Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer Finished Pig 1

Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer Finished Pig 2

But then this morning they started another print, a dog, and then left for lunch. But all did not go well while they were gone. And when they got back it looked like this.

Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer Dog Gone Wrong 1

From the look of things, and where the dog is positioned on the bed, it came unstuck from the bed and moved around. But when all the spaghetti was cleared away, it looked like this.

Ender 3 Pro 3D Printer Dog Gone Wrong 2

So it got pretty far along before it broke free.

Apparently this is a common problem with several different solutions.

More fun to follow.

Jan has had an ongoing battle with one of the three washers ( well, really two, since one’s already been dead for a while) in our park’s laundry. Every now and then it works just fine, I think just to keep her off balance, but mostly it lights and then just sits there and does nothing, until eventually just shutting off.

So this morning when she came back to the coach using some very naughty language, I decided to take a look at it in person. And after putting another $4 ($2 x 2) I discovered that the real problem was that the door lock solenoid seems to be out of alignment, and when door won’t lock, the washer won’t start. But if you wiggle the door handle just right, sometimes, sometimes it would start.

So I texted Rob, our park owner, to let him know, and he said he’s planning on replacing all three front loaders with top loaders this year due to all the problems he’s had with the front loading ones.

Jan’s 7” Kindle Fire up and died yesterday, so after checking it out and administering last rites today, I ordered her a new one about 1:45 this afternoon. And it showed up at 4:15pm. Now that’s service!

Looks like our cold snap is pretty much over with temps in the mid-70’s by Wednesday and lows in the 50’s, so I hooked us back tup to shore water this afternoon, until the next freeze.