Daily Archives: December 29, 2023

More From SpaceX . . .

Doubling down on yesterday’s Falcon Heavy launch from historic (think Moon Landings) Launch Pad 39A, three hours later SpaceX launched another 23 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket, this one from Pad 40. And this was the 12th time this rocket was used.

Unfortunately, a few days ago SpaceX lost their oldest Falcon 9 to waves and high winds. Shortly after completing its record 19th trip into space and landing on a droneship out in the Atlantic,

bad weather caused it to topple over on its way back to the Cape. New models now have self-leveling legs to prevent this from happening in the future.

It’s interesting to see how SpaceX brings the boosters back to Earth. I’m sure you’ve seen those sci-fi movies where the rocket comes down and lands, with its engines burning all the way down. But SpaceX found a better way.

They just let it fall,

steering it to the landing site using these ‘grid fins’ to orient the rocket into the correct position.

After 2 burns early on, using 3 of the 9 engines, the last one at about 35 miles, it falls the rest of the way, until doing a final 1 engine burn just a few meters before touchdown for a perfect landing.

Finishing up, here’s a great shot of all 27 engines on the Falcon Heavy at engine ignition putting out about 5 million pounds of thrust.

And this is a great time-lapse shot of last night’s Falcon Heavy mission.

You can see the launch on the left and the two boosters returning to Earth on the right. At the very top, you can see the X-37B payload heading into orbit. Then at the end of the arc, you can see the center core booster heading for its splashdown in the Atlantic.

The center core gave its all for this mission.

Tomorrow looks to be Monterey’s Little Mexico for lunch, Wal-Mart for Wal-Mat stuff, and then finishing up with a P.O. stop.

Thought For The Day:

“Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are god. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realize that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods.” ― Christopher Hitchens

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

December 29, 2010

Bless You, My Children . . .

Well, it looks like Jan inherited my foot problems from last week after my foot got better. She woke up this morning with a very painful left heel that made it hard to walk. She also used words I didn’t know she knew. If we had a Swear Word Jar she would have been down all her bingo money and then some.

It seemed to improve somewhat during the day after she took a bunch of Advil and used our Dr. Scholl’s Foot Bath, which usually helps me, too.


Since the left heel was hotter than the right one, it’s probably gout, which Jan gets occasionally, but certainly a lot less than I do. Hopefully, it won’t last too long.

Any hope of getting more things done around the rig was finished off by the heavy rains and wind we had almost all day. But I did manage a trip down to Kemah Hardware and found the stainless steel hardware I need to mount my new wheel well flanges.

But it will have to wait until tomorrow.

That’s Father Greg to you…

Later in the day, Jan was watching Tori & Dean – Home Sweet Hollywood, where Tori Spelling was going to perform a wedding, and to be able to officiate, she got her ordination online. This sounded interesting so I thought I’d check it out.

Five minutes later I was an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church and able to perform legal weddings.

Who knew?

Now I guess all I need to do is to order my Ministry in a Box kit, and I’ll be ready to go.

ULC Ordination

Since this church is also a Monastery, maybe I’m now a Monk too. I’ll have to check that out.

Hope I don’t have to take a vow of silence, though Jan might think it’s a good idea.

We were going to meet Brandi, Lowell, and Landon at Pappasito’s Cantina at 5:45 so Jan started getting ready about 4:30. Things were going all right until Jan tried to put her shoes on. She quickly found that she could not wear any of her shoes, even her Crocs with no heel strap.

So after Jan decided she wasn’t going to go barefoot, and after she made a few more contributions to the Swear Word Jar, I had to call Brandi and tell her we weren’t going to be able to make it.

Maybe we’ll be able to try again tomorrow.

December 29, 2011

Ribs and Haircuts . . .

After yesterday’s kind of laidback day of just reinstalling the washer, today was much busier with a long list of client stops and errands.

My first two stops were with clients.  At the first one, I wanted to get AT&T to change them from a legacy static IP account to a regular dynamic IP account, and also save them $40 a month.

But as it turned out I didn’t have all the account info so I’ll have to come back tomorrow and try again. It would be nice if I didn’t have to go to their home to do this, but I’ve found it goes a lot easier if I’m calling from the phone number on the account when I’m trying to make changes.

My next client stop was a quick visit to talk over the two new computers I’m getting for his office.

And now it was errand time.  My first stop was Lowe’s to return some extra duct pieces that I had on hand in case I needed them for the washer install. Then It was across I-45 to Sam’s Club for a few things.

After that, it was time for my semi-annual haircut (no jokes, please.) I’ve been using this same barber for about 15 years, and it’s nice just to walk in, sit down, and not even have to tell him how I want it cut.

Next, after stopping at Kroger’s to pick up some coffee creamer, I went next door to Chase Bank to deposit a check, and also order two new Visa Debit Cards for Jan and me. Our old ones, mine especially, are so worn that they won’t scan reliably anymore. Unfortunately, we can’t keep our old numbers so I will have to update a number of online accounts with the next number.

My last stop was our storeroom to drop off the furniture dolly I had used for the washer repair and pick up the Christmas ornament storage boxes so we can take down the Christmas tree.

Finally, about 4:15 I was headed back to the rig. On my way down I-45 I passed by Spring Creek BBQ and decided I had a hankering for ribs for dinner, so getting back to the rig, we turned right back around and headed out to Spring Creek. And as usual, really good ribs, and the veggie sides are excellent too.

Heading home we stopped off at a nearby PetSmart to pick up a new kitty litter scoop. Then it was back to the rig for the night.

Tomorrow we’re meeting Brandi and Lowell at Texas Tea Room for lunch and then a few more errands, with a side trip back to my client’s home to try AT&T again.

December 29, 2012

In The Outback . . .

We woke up to a clear, but cold morning so it just seemed to be a good idea to sit around, enjoy the day, and do pretty much nothing.

Jan read, watched TV, and napped, and I played on the computer and napped. Like I said, pretty much nothing.

A little after 4pm Jan and I headed up to Webster to have dinner at Outback Steakhouse. We were supposed to meet Brandi there, but she called a little earlier to say she wasn’t feeling well so she wouldn’t be getting together with us.

I had a 12 oz. Outback Special Steak, while Jan had her usual Alice Springs Chicken. Yes, she goes to a steak place and has chicken.

After a really good meal, but so-so service, Jan and I stopped off at King Food to get Brandi some of her favorite Won Ton Soup, kind of like Chinese chicken soup, I guess.

After dropping off her soup, we left Brandi’s and headed over to Sam’s and then Wal-Mart for a few things before we got back to the rig a little before 8 pm.

Tomorrow we plan on doing pretty much nothing again. We’ll see how it goes.

December 29, 2013

Kindles, New and Old . . .

Today started out as sunny and beautiful, but we didn’t have a chance to sit outside with Mister and our coffee because Jan was waiting for our granddaughter Piper to come and pick her up for their Girl’s Day Out with a movie, lunch, and Mani-Pedi’s.

Piper showed up about 11 AM and she and Jan headed up to Webster to see “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, starring Ben Stiller. Later at dinner, they both said that they really enjoyed the movie, although neither Jan or Piper had ever read the original Thurber short story, so they couldn’t say how closely the movie followed the original story. The 1947 movie version staring Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, and Boris Karloff. didn’t either. The reason is that many (most) of the occurrences in the story are very dated, and probably wouldn’t make sense to today’s moviegoers.

Back at the rig, Mister did get to spend most of the day outside in the sun while I caught up on a bunch of small jobs and cleanup chores around here.

Since Jan already has her Kindle Paperwhite, and mine is on order, we really don’t need our original Kindles anymore, so I spent some time deregistering and resetting them to the factory defaults. This brings them back to new out-of-the-box condition so they can be re-registered under a new account.

I did this because we’re going to give them to Chris and Linda for their use. They have their iPods for Kindle books, but these are lighter and work better in bright sunlight. Hope they enjoy them as much as we have.

About 4:30 I headed up to Webster to meet up with Chris, Linda, Piper, and Jan at the Buffalo Wild Wings. Love their Mango Habanero sauce. Sweet and very hot.  But BWW was not to be. Getting there about 5, I was told that there would be about an hour wait.


What’s up with that? The place looked pretty full but there was only about 6 people waiting for a table. Then I realized that there were football playoff games today, and since BWW is primarily a sports bar, people had been camped out all afternoon there, watching football, eating wings, and drinking beer, emphasis on beer.

So after a short conference in the parking lot, we all headed right down the street to eat dinner at Zio’s Italian Restaurant. We used to eat here all the time, but for some reason, we haven’t been in a good while. Dinner was good, and it’s always fun to spend time with family.

The only downside is that Jan seems to be coming down with something. She woke this morning kind of congested, and by evening was starting to feel kind of ‘iffy’ with a bad sore throat.

We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

Lowell sent over this photo of Landon playing in the park, telling his daddy how to climb from swing to swing. Seems to be pretty insistent about it.

Landon at Park 2

Not sure what’s going to be in store for tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes with Jan.

December 29, 2014

I Lost 80 pounds!

or 79.2 pounds, anyway.

Once again today started way too early, as I was up about 6:15 so we could leave for Brandi’s at 7. Jan’s going to be Landon-sitting today through Wednesday, since Brandi and Lowell are working this week while Landon’s out of school.

We didn’t have time for coffee, but we had picked up Supreme Croissants from Jack in the Box last night on the way home, so we just had those on the way.

I had allowed an extra 45 minutes for the normal hour and 15 15-minute trip, assuming we would hit a lot of morning rush hour traffic, but we saw absolutely none. The traffic moved along with no slowdowns whatsoever. Which meant we got there early enough to stop for coffee before we got to Brandi’s

Since I went to bed late and got up early, I decided to take a nap for a couple of hours at Brandi’s before heading back to the rig, getting back home a little after 1pm. Then it was time to get to work.

First up I wanted to install my new transfer switch and power converter under the bed. But first I had to get the Source Manager Inverter/Converter/Transfer Switch out. Which turned out to be a lot more trouble than I figured.

The first thing I did was to disconnect shore power outside at the pedestal. Then I started looking for how the Source Manager was fastened down. The only two bolts I could find were just inside the air vent. But when I removed them I still couldn’t pull it out.

Transfer Switch Install 1

Pulling the cover off the unit, I could see the problem. It was being held down by the wiring coming up from the bottom. In this case, the heavy duty 12 volt cables running to the house batteries. But before I disconnected them, I went out to the battery bay and pulled the 300 amp fuse that’s in the line.

This let me safely unhook the cables without worrying about shorting something.

Transfer Switch Install 2

Next, I removed the end panel to allow me better access to the shore power and generator cables coming into the unit.

Transfer Switch Install 3

So now all the power cables were disconnected and I should have been able to lift it out. But something was still holding it down. It would come up about six inches but that was it.

Reaching all around underneath, I discovered a bare ground wire about the thickness of a pencil that was the culprit.  And after a lot of struggling, I was able to get a pair of lineman pliers under there to cut the wire.

Transfer Switch Install 4

So now it should be easy to lift out, right?


It was like trying to lift a box of boat anchors. Part of the problem was that there was no good way to grab hold of it, but the real problem was that it was just heavy as hell. And taking the screws out and lifting up the relay panel showed me the reason.

This thing had a big, hulking transformer the size of my head that must weigh 40 pounds all by itself.

But finally as I listened to my back scream for mercy, I manhandled the thing out and onto the bathroom floor.

Transfer Switch Install 5

I had to know how much this thing weighs, so I set it on the bathroom scale. This blankety-blank thing is 24 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 14 inches high, and weighs 79.2 pounds.

No wonder I had trouble lifting it. Well, that’s 79 pounds gone, at least it will be when I figure out how to get it out the door and into the truck. And I have no idea how I’m going to get it into the dumpster.

Transfer Switch Install 8

And it’s all going to be replaced by three boxes this size or smaller.

This one is the new transfer switch, all wired up and ready to go as soon as I put the cover back on. I was running out of daylight so I wanted to get it up and going. I’ll get it mounted tomorrow when I install the power converter. I’ll also fire up the generator to be sure it’s switching over like it’s supposed to.

Transfer Switch Install 7

Tomorrow I’ll finish up with the power stuff, and then install the new bathroom faucet and the kitchen sink hose.


December 29, 2015

A Lot of Nerve . . .

We decided not to walk this morning, mainly because it was 41° and windy. Not exactly conducive to a pleasant time. Tomorrow’s supposed to be a little warmer and less windy, so we’ll see.

I spent the afternoon taking care of some small chores that weren’t squeaking loud enough, and so got pushed to the bottom of the list, just a few quick things to be done.

First up, I wanted to adjust the bedroom sliding door, which has been dragging along the carpet edge where it joins the tile in the bathroom. Many people don’t realize that these doors can be raised or lowered by an open-end wrench (10mm in my case) at the top of the door.

Sliding Door Adjustment

There is a plastic swivel that locks the nut so that it won’t loosen. Just move it to the side and use the wrench to turn the nut and raise the door. There are adjustments at both ends of the door, and they need to be adjusted equally.

Then when you’re done, move the swivels back in place to lock in your changes, and you’re done.

Thought while I was in the vicinity, I’d mention the rods I had installed so Jan can hang up laundry as she takes it out of the dryer.

Curtain Rod 1

I’ve installed two of them, one on the bedroom door and one on the bathroom door. They’re just heavy-duty spring curtain rods, but they wouldn’t stay up under a bunch of clothes without something to hold them in place.

Curtain Rod 2

The secret is to use two of those serrated picture hangers (one at each end) to keep them from slipping down. Works like a charm.

Next up was to readjust the lock on the drawer underneath the refrigerator where Jan stores her pots and pans.

Pan Door Latch

The real problem was the latch plate on the upper edge of the drawer that this lock fits into. It had come loose a little and slipped out of position. So sliding it back into place and tightening the screws took care of this problem.

Lastly, I wanted to refasten the restraining strap on Jan’s lower slide-out pantry. The original screw was just screwed into the thin paneling and kept pulling out, so this time I wanted to use a longer screw and fasten it into the thicker frame of the cabinet.

Pantry Strap

Hopefully this will keep it in place now. But we’ll see.

About 3:30 Jan and I headed out for some shopping and then dinner. The first stop was Lowe’s to get the longer screws I need to finish remounting Jan’s “Oh Sh?t Handle”. As well, I also got a can of White Oak Pickling Stain to refinish the handle, as well as a couple of others.

Then it was right next door to Sam’s Club to pick up a prescription. When the lady rang it up, she said it was $83. I said that’s not right, it only supposed to be $10. She said, “Well, it says it’s $83.”

I said again, “That’s not right. Please check it again against my Sam’s Plus Card.” She sniffed and handed it off to one of the techs. He then spent about 5 minutes on the computer looking up things, and finally told the lady, “He’s right. It should be $10.”

So she sniffed again and rang it up as $10. Nice!

Last up was Wal-Mart for some things. Walking past the Customer Service, we saw a long line of people returning things. No problem, I guess, but it takes a lot of nerve to be returning Christmas trees in their boxes, as well as boxes of ornaments and lights.

A lot of nerve.

Finishing up the afternoon, we went across the street to have dinner at Culver’s. Jan got her usual favorite Double Mushroom Cheddar Butterburger, and I went with my usual Cranberry Bacon Bleu Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette, and a cup of Chili.

Culver's Salad 2

Really love that crispy, crunchy bacon, along with the sweetness of the cranberries and the tartness of the bleu cheese.

Wrapping up, Sonja, Landon’s other grandmother, sent over this photo of Landon at Chuck E. Cheese, getting a big hug from Chuck himself. And as I mentioned yesterday, he seems to have his usual female follower.

Landon at Chuck E Cheese

Fathers, lock up your daughters.

December 29, 2016

The Good and the Bad . . .

Ah, the mischievousness of Texas winter weather.

Yesterday it was 82° with a low last night of 65. Today was a high of 64° with a low forecast for tonight of 46.

It is nice to have winter back, though.

Thought first I’d finish up yesterday’s hit or miss dinner plans in San Antonio. Since we ate at Magic Time Machine the last time we were there, the obvious choice was our other favorite, La Fonda on Main. But we had said we would get together there with our friends Jim and Peri Dean next time. Turns out they wouldn’t have been able to get together with us wherever we went because they were at an RV rally over in Sealy.

We both decided steak sounded good, but none, neither Saltgrass, Outback, nor Texas Roadhouse, were close enough to be attractive. Finally, I said, “Magic Time Machine” and got a resounding, “YES” from Jan. And then a “How far is it?”

“5 minutes!”

And off we went.

Checking in at the desk, we asked if Lady GaGa was working and said we wanted her. Even though it was 8:30 and they supposedly closed at 9, we still had to wait 15 minutes to get seated, along with a number of other groups.

Lady GaGa remembered us which was nice since it had been almost a month since we were there before.

Lady was a lot of fun, and we enjoyed watching her perform for the kids at the other tables.

Magic Time Machine Lady GaGa 2

Magic Time Machine Lady GaGa 1

Magic Time Machine Lady GaGa 3

And the food was as delicious as always.

My Ribeye was cooked perfectly, Medium-Rare, with char around the edges.

Magic Time Machine Ribeye2

Along with the soup and salad from the ‘Salad Car,

Magic Time Machine Salad Car

a 1952 MG TD Roadster, and of course, the hot fresh bread, it’s a $25 meal that’s hard to match. And since there’s enough food to eat half and take half home, it’s actually a $12 meal. Neat!

One thing that’s always impressed me about MTM is the fact that it DOES have such good food. The reason I say this is that MTM is essentially an entertainment venue, especially for the kids, not just a restaurant. And those kind of places don’t have a reputation for good food. Think Chuck E. Cheese.

The only exceptions I can really think of are Tilman Fertitta’s Rainforest Café and Aquarium restaurants. But he insists on top quality in all his locations and is known for showing up unannounced at locations all over the country to check things out.

I mentioned in last night’s blog that I had finally gotten a chance to check out Sam’s Club’s new Scan & Go app. First up you link your Sam’s Club card number and the credit card(s) you want to use. You can link more than one credit card.

In my case, it already knew my Sam’s Club card number from my email address

Then as you shop the store, you use the app to scan the bar code of each item. The app identifies the item and the price, and puts it in your app shopping cart, giving you a running total as it goes.

When you’re done shopping, you just hit the Check Out button. The app gives you the Total with tax, and then you hit the Pay Now button. If you have more than one credit card on the account, it asks which one you want to use. Then a bar code shows up on your phone.

As you’re going out the door, you show your phone to the checkout person there. She scans your bar code and then a receipt shows up on your phone. All fine and dandy.

Except . . . there’s always an Except.

Except the bar code scanner function doesn’t work with this app on my phone. The square box that shows your phone’s camera view that you center on the bar code just stays black. So every item that I buy I have to manually type in the bar code. But even with this, it’s still better than standing in line, taking everything out of your basket, and then putting it all back in again.

Now my camera works fine by itself, and on other apps like the QR Code Reader. But strangely enough, the one other app it doesn’t work on, at least now, is the scanner on the Wal-Mart app that you use to scan your receipts for the Savings Catcher Rebate Program.

The Wal-Mart app used to work, and then it quit for a while, and then it came back. And then it died, never to return. I always thought maybe that this was due to getting a new WM app update. But with Sam’s app doing the same thing, I’m rethinking that.

Googling the problem shows I’m not alone on this. But I’ve got some ideas and I’ll get back to you on it.

The Good is that gas prices are up and things seem to be booming in the Oil ‘Bidness’. The Bad is that gas prices are up and it hurts more to fill the tank in the truck.

Yesterday morning coming home from the gate at 5 am, the gas price at Wal-Mart was $1.99. Then when we stopped to fill up there on our way to San Antonio about 1:30 pm, the price was $2.05. Then this afternoon it had jumped to $2.09. Ouch.

And back in November it got down as low as $1.74. That’s 35 cents a gallon in just a couple of months. Ouch, again.

Finishing up, one thing I forgot to mention yesterday, was that as we were coming out of the Rogue One movie last night, Jan called our son Chris to tell him how much we had enjoyed it.

And in one of those strange coincidences that’s when he told us that Debbie Reynolds, Princess Leia’s mother, had died.

December 29, 2017

Glad This Didn’t Happen The First Time . . .

Feeling much better, I was back at work today, with a lot of catching up to do after being out two days this week, one my fault and one the calendar’s fault.

Getting home about 4:30 Jan and I were back on the road about 4:45 with our first stop at Pho20 right down the road for dinner.

But I’m glad this wasn’t our first time there, or we might have never gone back. Or even worse, if we had taken some friends there after telling them how great it was.

Now don’t get me wrong, the food was as delicious as usual . . . when it finally showed up . . . over 45 minutes later. And even then it dribbled out in bits and pieces over the next 30 minutes.

Jan, still working her way down the Chicken menu, had the Chicken Teriyaki, which she liked so much that the owner, who showed up toward the end of our meal, gave her a jar of the sauce. And we noticed the food started coming out of the kitchen a lot faster after she arrived.

Then it was on to the Wal-Mart across i-45 to pick up some stuff before we headed back home.

When I got to work this morning my new Amazon Alexa Wand was waiting for me. But since it had to be set up on my home WiFi I had to wait until I got back to the rig before I configured it.

Alexa Wand 2

And the setup was Easy Peasy, and only took a couple of minutes. I just had to install the 2 AAA batteries, go to the URL www.amazon.com/wandsetup, press the button on the wand until it turns orange, tell it to connect to our rig’s WiFi, and about 30 seconds later it was done.

The Wand is magnetic so that it can be stuck to a cabinet, or using the stick-on hook, you can hang the wand with the loop on the end.

Otherwise it acts just like a full-size Alexa except you have to press the button before you say, “Alexa.”

I’ll have more info as I fool with it.

December 29, 2019

Sunday, Dec 8th in NYC . . .

Today we were all up and down Manhattan Island, and that included TWO boat rides.

After breakfast at our hotel, we Ubered down to the 9/11 World Trade Center site, now called One World Trade Center, or the Freedom Tower.

1WTC- Building

When we were here in 2009 it was all pretty much just a big hole in the ground, only visible by looking through peepholes in a tall fence. But now it’s all finished.

The former footprints of the Twin Towers are now marked by reflecting pools,


surrounded by a border marking the names of the 3000+ people killed on 9/11.


Off to the side we could see some of the many old buildings that miraculously survived the Twin Tower’s collapse.

1WTC- St Pauls Chapel

We had planned to do the 9/11 Museum, but found there was a two hour wait to get in, so since we had firm plans for later in the day, we decided to save it for our next visit to NYC. So our next stop was the Oculus, the entrance to the subway system underneath One World Center, combined with a shopping mall.


The building design is said to symbolize a dove with clipped wings.

And the inside is just as amazing.

1WTC- Oculus Inside

We spent some time walking around inside checking out all the shops on the several levels. While we we on the lower level, we noticed the subway stop and realized we could take the subway directly to our next planned stop, the Staten Island Ferry terminal.

And rather than the $20-$30 Uber ride we had planned, we could ride the subway there for 2 $3.00 Single Ride passes. So after walking around a little more, we bought our passes from the ticket machine and off we went.

It was only about 20 minutes later when we were walking into the Ferry terminal, and luckily for us, right on to the next ferry. We had already done Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty when we were here in 2009, so our plan was to ride the ferry over and back, just for the views.

Going over, we passed Ellis Island, once the nation’s busiest immigration inspection station from 1892 to 1954, processing over 12 million immigrants during that time.

Staten Island Ferry - Ellis Island

Then it was on past the Statue of Liberty, with some more great views.

Staten Island Ferry - Statue of Liberty

Staten Island Ferry - Statue of Liberty 1

And looking back toward the city, we got a couple of great shots of the New York skyline,

Staten Island Ferry - NYC Skyline

and the Freedom Tower.

Staten Island Ferry - 1WTC

When we got to Staten Island, we had planned to just stay on board and ride the same ferry back, but had to disembark because the crew was taking their lunch break.

But in about 45 minutes we were on our way back on another ferry.

We had next planned to Uber up to Bryant Park, near Rockefeller Center, so Jan could check out the Christmas Market that was set up at one end of the park. But noticed that taking the same subway train back in the opposite direction would drop us off just a couple of blocks from the Park. And for just 2 more $3 passes. Nice!

Bryant Park - 1

Jan found a number of Christmas gifts as we made the rounds, including some unique one-of-a-kind items.

Bryant Park - 2

And we finally got to see snow in NYC. Tucked off over in a shady corner was this.

Bryant Park - Snow

Finishing up, we decided to Uber back to our hotel since we had already done so much walking, almost 5 miles total, according to Jan’s Fitbit. Plus we only had a couple of hours to get dressed and down to the Chelsea Pier area for our Bateaux Holiday Lights Dinner Cruise.

Bateau Cruise - 1

We had paid extra for a window table, but looking at some of the online photos I was afraid we might be at a table with other couples, but no, we had our own table with a great view, and a beautiful lady waiting for me.

Bateau Cruise - Window Table

The table was elegantly set, and strewn with rose petals, which turned out to be special for us, because I had listed this as an anniversary cruise for us, which it was, but just a couple of months late.

Bateau Cruise - Table Setting

The ship looked to be almost completely full, with everyone having a good time.

Bateau Cruise - Room

The menu was much like our recent Viking River Cruise with several choices each for an appetizer, entrée, and a dessert.

After we ordered our meal, I saw a drink that I thought Jan might like on the menu, so I ordered us two Poinsettias.

Bateau Cruise - Poinsettia

Made with Champagne, Cointreau, and Cranberry Juice, they proved to be pretty potent. Much more so than most of the restaurant drinks we normally get around here.

Bateau Cruise - Room 2

Our meal was delicious and to top it off, toward the end of our meal, the hostess brought out a bouquet of red roses for Jan, also in celebration of our anniversary.

Bateau Cruise - Roses

Along the way, we got some great views of the NYC skyline,

Bateau Cruise - Skyline

And a really close-up view of the Statue of Liberty.

Bateau Cruise - Statue of Liberty

To make sure that everyone gets a fantastic show, the captain stations the ship as close as he’s allowed to get to the Statue, and then uses his bow and stern thrusters to just rotate in place, I think about 4 times around.

Bateau Cruise - Statue of Liberty 2

Finishing up our 3-hour cruise, yes, I know, I had expected to have a problem getting an Uber to come down into the dock area since it’s a roundabout way and there’s a fee. But an enterprising gypsy cab was waiting at the dock, looking for customers. And his fee to take us back to our hotel was less than our Uber ride there.

Tomorrow, Monday the 9th of December, will be our last full day in NYC, and we’ll be visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) and also Serendipity, a restaurant that Jan’s really looking forward to.

December 29, 2020

Toast And Yolks . . .

Heading out this afternoon, our first stop was the new Toasted Yolk brunch place that just opened out on the Interstate. Another restaurant in the Snooze, The Egg and I, First Watch genre, we were looking forward to trying it, especially since it’s so much closer than Snooze up in Webster.

Jan got her usual, their version of Avocado Toast,

Toasted Yolk Avocado Toast 20201229

Yes, there is Avocado Toast under that egg.

She said it was really good, but not quite as good as Snooze’s version.

I had the Double Decker Omelet, with ham, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, and jalapenos.

Toasted Yolk Double Decker Omelet 20201229

Along with Cheese Grits, Fruit, and an English Muffin. Really good.

And because it was their Grand Opening, we got free Cranberry Mimosas.


Then it was on up to WalMart/Sam’s/Kroger’s for a few things before finally getting home a little before 5pm.

A Question for our Readers. Does anyone know what this decal on the rear window of an SUV? Just curious because we couldn’t figure it out.

Jack's DriveThru Decal

December 29, 2021

Typical Texas . . .

Since nothing much happened today, I thought I’d recount some of the things we bought from Amazon recently.

This is an RV water hose WiFi remote-controlled switch. It allows you to turn your shore water on and off without going outside. From anywhere in the world.

WiFi Hose Controller

WiFi Hose Controller

Just hook it up in line with your water hose, plug in the repeater unit, download the app, and you’re ready to go. Much more convenient to be able to turn the water on and off when I’m doing a plumbing repair in the rig.

This is a solid-state mini-fridge that holds 6 cans of soda and keeps them just a couple of degrees above freezing. And gives me a frosty can of Coke Zero whenever I want one.


Solid State Mini-Fridge

Apparently it’s also used to keep makeup cool in hotter climes.

This is a 2000 piece screw assortment, with one tray for SAE, one for Metric, and one tray for Wood Screws. And the 3 trays connect together as one unit.

Screw Assortment

Screw Assortment

No more digging through a coffee can for that one screw or nut you need.

We use this for quickly frothing up milk/creamer for our morning coffee.

Milk Frother

Milk Frother

If you’re like us, you always have those little slivers of soap left over from the big bar that you hate to throw away, or those little hotel bars you bring home from your travels. These are the perfect answer for that.

Soap Bag

Sisal Soap Bag

Just stuff all those little pieces into the bag, pull it tight, (we also use a stainless steel safety pin) and you have a great soap-filled scrubby. And we’ve been using the same one for over 6 months so they last a long time.

This weekend we’ll have some more typical Texas winter weather, with a high on Saturday of 85° and a low that night of 35. That’s a 50 degree temperature swing! And then down to 32° Sunday.

Welcome to Texas.

December 29, 2022

Another Day, Another Fairy . . .

After a nice quiet morning Jan and I were on way out to have lunch at Stomp’s Burger Joint over on SH146 about 12:30.

Stomp's Burger Joint

One of our favorite burger places, we used to eat here all the time back when we usually stayed at the nearby Galveston Bay RV Park right down 146. But now that we live a lot further away in Santa Fe it’s been a good while since we’ve been back.

However, our absence didn’t mean we didn’t still have our favorites. Jan got the Outlaw,

Stomp's Outlaw 20221229

with cheddar/jack blend, picante sauce, diced & grilled jalapeños, diced & grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

I got my usual Hogwild burger,

Stomp's Hogwild 20221229

which has bacon blended into the patty, with a cheddar/jack blend, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and mayo

Those are 8 oz. hand-formed patties that hang over the side of the wheat buns.

And of course we got an order of Half & Half, Thick. Which are Thick onion rings (they also have the usual thin ones) and Fries.

Stomp's Half & Half 20221229

It’s really cruel that they give you 3 rings for two people. Fights start like that.

Then it was back over to our WalMart for a few things before heading home.

Getting back to the park, we stopped off at our mailbox since we’d gotten a notice that the cover for Jan’s new Kindle Fire had been delivered.

Jan's New Fire Cover

Another Day, Another Fairy.

First we had the Almond Fairy, then the Produce Fairy.

Then today we had the Fruit Fairy.

When we got home today we found two large bunches of green bananas on one of our patio chairs.

Still waiting for the Steak Fairy though.