Daily Archives: January 9, 2024

They Had Me At PB, and Bacon too . . .

Hopeful News –

Self-checkout is doomed’: Major supermarkets to scrap technology in huge overhaul

A consumer specialist is forecasting a grim conclusion for two contentious supermarket policies that could reshape shoppers’ habits. He claims self checkouts will be scrapped at Costco, Walmart, and Wegmans.

Supermarket Guru, Phil Lempert has projected retail tendencies for a quarter of a century, and his recent predictions might come as good news to some shoppers, including one who is threatening to sue after a self-checkout altercation at Walmart.

From a security standpoint, what’s happened is the retailers with self-checkout have had to add employees, whether it’s security or other employees to help people at self-checkout.

“So, you know you’re not accomplishing anything. You’re not reducing labour, you’re not getting a better shopping experience.”

From this article to God’s Ear.

Sonic had gone and done it. They’ve come out with a Peanut Butter and Bacon CheeseBurger.

And, even better, a Peanut Butter and Bacon Shake.

The reviews have been pretty good, with one of the shake reviews saying that the shake needs more pork.

Not something you often hear about a shake.

Of course, there’s my other favorite PB Bacon Cheeseburger, also with Jelly, from Texas Huddle


A guy in Wales noticed stuff being moved around in his shed every night so he set up a camera.

And it seems he has a mouse who doesn’t like mess, so he tidies up every night.

And has every night for over two months.

Check it out here:

Thought For The Day:

There is nothing so aggravating in life as being condescended to by an idiot.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

January 9, 2011

And the rain came . . . and the wind blew . . .

Well, today certainly got off to really rough start.

Rough, as in 60mph + winds and rain so heavy you couldn’t see out the window.

About 4am the cold front rolled in, and I thought the wind was going to roll the coach over. This was the worst storm we’ve ever been in since we started living in the coach. And it pretty much raged until about 10am.

When Jan got up, she said she was glad to find the bay water right where she left it…in the bay, and not up over the banks.

The weather map shows what it looked like, with us right in the middle of this mess. And even worse, it wasn’t moving. It just sat there right on top of us.

Weather Map 20110108

The wind was gusting so hard it was trying to suck the vent covers off the roof fans. They kept jumping up and down. And as you can see in the photo below, the neighbor’s sat dish bit the dust…er, grass, too.

Storm 1-9

And the whitecaps were really something, too. We’ve never seen the bay this rough.

Storm2 1-9

This photo from about a month ago shows the bird feeder being blown about. Well, this morning the feeder blew off the pole completely and ended up about 30 feet away.

High Wind 2

After surviving the storm we left the rig about 10:15 heading up to Friendswood to meet all our kids at the Texas Tea Room. We really like this place and let Chris and Linda check it out too, since they’re the only ones who hadn’t tried it.

Here’s Brandi with Landon showing off his new shirt. Now we’re gonna have to decide if he’s going to play for OU or Alabama when he grows up. And then, of course, he’ll play for the Steelers like my uncle, Tom Calvin.

Landon at TTR

After lunch Jan went back to Brandi and Lowell’s to Landon-sit while they went to the movie. They saw ‘True Grit’ and really liked it. Which is pretty much what everyone seems to be saying.

I went back to the rig and worked a number of different projects getting us ready to travel in a month or so.

Lowell called about 4 to say they were home so I headed up that way. Coming home, since it was after 5pm, we decided to stop for supper at King Food for some Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce, XXXXX Spicy with Jalapenos. Hmm, hmm, Good. I can always tell when a dish is hot enough when my nose starts running and the top of my head starts sweating.

January 9, 2012

A Rough Night . . .

and even rougher next day.

This has been a wild and wooly day. It started about 1:30 this morning, when out of the blue, a thunderclap seemingly right above our heads, shook the coach and rocked it side to side. Jan was in bed and let out a scream as the thunder rolled on and on.

And then the rain came. And came and came…

By the time the storm front passed through, parts of Houston had over 6 inches of rain.

This photo from the Houston Chronicle shows some of the results.

Houston Flooding

And this is what the weather radar showed as we hunkered down in the rig.


We later found out that a small tornado touched down at Mall of the Mainland less than 5 miles away. And a bigger one hit up in Houston tearing the roofs off a number of houses.

Sounds like we really dodged a bullet.

But as bad as the storm was, we stayed warm and dry, and only had one quick power glitch. But the storm just kept coming and coming.

Finally, about 3:30 the storm started to slack off and clear out, and we actually saw the sun and a little blue sky before the clouds rolled back in. But at least this time, it didn’t come with rain.

About 5pm Jan and I headed up to Seabrook to have some XXX hot wings at Hooter’s. Then we made a stop at Home Depot before heading home.

Regular blog visitor and Landon’s honorary uncle Butterbean, sent this photo of what Landon would look like as a real Texas cowboy.

A Real Cowboy

As Brandi said, “That’s TOTALLY Landon!”

And the Thunder

or if it’s not one thing, it’s another.

Well, the rains came back today, and pretty much didn’t stop all day. Here’s what it looked like at the height of the storm. Note that it stretched from Alabama to west Texas.

20120109 Storm 2

20120108 Storm 1

One thing the rains did do was tell me that my recent caulking job had some effect. Although the rain was much heavier today, I had a lot less water coming in. So when things dry out I’ll get back up there and take another look.

I mentioned on Monday that I had ordered a new door switch for our Splendide washer/dryer, and that I would be able to install it without pulling the washer out of the wall.

So of course, the karma gods wreaked their revenge. Last night when I did a load of laundry I found that the dryer doesn’t. So it looks like I’ll be pulling it out anyway. But I need to check the schematic before I’m sure. I guess it’s possible that this is a further problem with the switch. I’ll have to investigate a little more.

A little after 4pm Jan and I headed out for dinner. We ate at Chili’s again, but just to mix it up, we ate at a different Chili’s this time.

Wouldn’t want to get in a rut, now would we?

When we parked at the restaurant, I noticed a black Suburban right next to us with “Dove Island Lodge – An Alaskan Experience” painted on the side, and in addition, it had Alaskan tags.

A long drive, I thought.

The place wasn’t very busy, and there was only another couple seated behind us. And as they were leaving, I noticed the woman had an Alaskan jacket on so I asked her if they drove all the way from Alaska.

She said they hadn’t driven all the way, but had taken the ferry down the Alaska Marine Highway System from Sitka, AK to Bellingham, WA.

As it turns out, the Dove Island Lodge is a hunting/fishing lodge located on a private island near Sitka.

Dove Island

They were down here for the winter, along with another couple, making the rounds of the sports and fishing shows and conventions. They were in Houston for the Houston Safari Club’s Sporting Expo & Convention that starts this Friday.

We talked about the temps in Alaska right now and how we’ve seen –50 shown for Fairbanks this winter. They said it doesn’t get that cold in Sitka, usually in the 30’s, and occasionally in the teens. But that was about it.

After a nice conversation, and finishing our dinner, we made a quick stop at the PO to mail a letter, and then went by the house to pick up our mail. Then, it was a quick stop for some groceries at H.E.B., and finally, a quick visit with Chris and Linda to pick up a circular saw.

January 9, 2014

Vanilla Heat . . .

or Target strikes again.

For the second time in 3 months, this time due to Target’s recent credit card security breach, I’m getting a new Chase VISA debit card, whether I want to or not.

While we were gate guarding last October, I got an email from Chase saying they had seen suspicious activity on my account and they were sending me a new card. Which meant I had to go through all my accounts online and change them over to the new card. On top of that, I never saw any problems with my account in the first place.

And now because of Target I have to do it all again. The only time we’ve been to Target in the last five years and it had to be during their security breach.

The weather was finally warm enough and dry enough, so we got in a walk this morning for the first time in a couple of weeks. Afterward, we had planned to sit outside with our coffee, but it turned out to be too windy, although Mister was happy outside for a while.

About 12:15 Jan and I headed up to Pasadena to check in on a long-time client. Jan often goes with me on some of these calls, especially when we’re going to eat at Longhorn Steakhouse afterwards.

Tricia had two machines for me to check out. The first one, a desktop unit I installed a couple of years ago, didn’t really have any particular problems, so I just gave it a general checkup, cleanout, and update. The second machine, a laptop, had a bigger problem. A Conduit Search problem.

Conduit Search is a pesky piece of malware that users usually bring on themselves by clicking something they shouldn’t. Email works fine, but any time you try to go online, it intercepts your request and first takes you to their own search page.

But in this case, the search link was broken so you couldn’t go anywhere. I spent about 45 minutes trying to clear it using some of the easiest methods, but nothing worked, so this one goes home with me for a more in-depth cleaning.

Our next stop was at another client’s to pick an office key so I can get it duplicated. I don’t want a repeat of last weekend when I couldn’t get in the office to work after he changed the lock since last year.

But before we got the key duplicated at Lowes, we stopped at the Longhorn Steakhouse next door for dinner. And after a great meal of steaks and potatoes, we’ve decided that Longhorn is our new favorite steak place, beating out Texas Roadhouse, Longhorn is a little more expensive, but not by much, and has a better atmosphere, not quite as noisy. All in all, a nicer experience.

After dinner we stopped at the Lowes next door to get my key duplicated and I came across one of these, a Minute Key machine. And it was fast, and pretty neat.

Minute Key Machine

You press the Start button on the touchscreen, then select House or Car key. Next you insert your key in the slot and the machine tells you if it can duplicate it. You then select from a number of different colored and patterned blanks, and tell it how many copies you want. It gives you the price, you insert your credit card and off it goes. And in just a couple of minutes you’ve got your key. And in less time than it usually takes to just track the key guy down to start with.

Really neat.

After dropping off the master key at the client’s, we headed home with a stop off at Kroger’s for a few things. And I found my new favorite product.

And no, Vanilla Heat’s not a new rap group. It’s International Delight’s new creamer flavor, Vanilla Heat, a vanilla-flavored, spicy creamer. I think I’m in love.

Vanilla Heat Creamer

I tasted it when we got home, and the heat seems to come, not from any type of peppers, but from cinnamon oil, the same ingredient that makes Red Hot’s hot. And the slight cinnamon taste that goes with the heat, along with the vanilla, just adds to the flavor. A great new product.

January 9, 2015

Is it Wet and Cold, or Cold and Wet?

After another cold, wet morning, and another wet, cold afternoon (it never got out of the 30’s all day), about 4pm Jan and I headed up to Peter’s BBQ in Ellinger to have the Friday night BBQ buffet, always a favorite of ours. I mean how can you not like all the Beef Brisket, Sausage, Ribs, Fried Catfish, Fried Shrimp, Fried Chicken, Fried Froglegs, Hushpuppies, ten different vegetable sides, and eight different salads. and three or four different desserts, you can eat. Plus a soft ice cream machine.

And our total bill, with drinks, was only $22.07. Nice!

Finally waddling away from the buffet, we dropped a letter off at the Ellinger PO, and then drove up to La Grange to get a few things from the Wal-Mart there, finally getting home about  6:30.

Tomorrow we’ve got a round-about trip down to the Clear Lake area, leaving here about 9:30am. Along the way we’ll stop off in the Pasadena area to pick up a client’s dead computer, before finally heading down to Webster. Among the plans, lunch with our kids, make the last payment and close out our storeroom account, get a haircut (both of them), and check out a new RV park in the area. Then heading home later in the afternoon, we’ll stop off at Brandi and Lowell’s for dinner, and also to pick up the client’s new computer that should be delivered there tomorrow.

So all in all, a busy day.

We have had a little bit of encouraging news from Galveston Bay RV Park. It sounds like they’re actually making some progress on the electrical situation with the new sites, so maybe we’ll get down this year after all.

I’ve mentioned some of this before, but for you Photoshop aficionados, or you Photoshop newbies, or wannabes, I’ve come across some great tutorial sites for you to take a look at.




Don’t have a copy of Photoshop and think it’s too expensive? You can go here:


and download a free, licensed version of Photoshop CS2 for either Windows or Mac. It’s about 340 MB and took me less than 30 minutes to download on a 3G connection. Be sure and grab the License Serial Number further down the page.

As far as my ‘To Do’ list goes, it looks like Monday and Tuesday should be halfway decent with no rain, and temps in the 50’s, so hopefully I’ll be able to get some stuff done outside. But we’ll see.

January 9, 2016

PowerBall and EZ Tags . . .

Although the weather this morning wasn’t bad, our walk was called on account of migraine, Jan’s to be exact, so we stayed in.

Since her migraines often run in threes, i.e. three days in a row, with decreasing pain each day, tomorrow is possibly out also. So we’ll have to see how it goes.

The weather here is apparently cycling back through winter again, with day temps in the 50’s and night temps in the 30’s, or even the 20’s, like tomorrow night’s forecasted 29°.

And as far as weather goes, we lucked up yesterday. They had hailstorms all around north Houston, with golf-ball-sized stones damaging auto paint jobs and breaking out windshields.

Really glad we weren’t at Lake Conroe this week.

With Jan under the weather, I headed into Columbus about 4pm to pick up Whataburger for dinner. And again had no problems with my order.

Regular readers will remember my running battle with the Carthage Whataburger. We ate there about once a week for 3 months, and almost every time it was like pulling teeth to get my order correct.

Here’s a sample.  Whataburger Order Problems

But the first part of December at the Katy Whataburger, and today in Columbus, I rattled off our order with absolutely no problems. And they got it perfectly.

So it really was that cashier.

While I was in Columbus I also picked up some PowerBall tickets, but I probably didn’t need to. I decided not to win this time, but save my win for next Wednesday when the prize will be over $1 Billion. Now that’s a Jackpot.

Here’s a website with a lot of good information about what to do before and after you win the lottery.  You can check it out here.  Lucky You

One of our blog readers asked about using an EZ Tag on Houston’s Toll Roads when driving your RV,  She saw that we used one when we traveled back and forth between Lake Conroe and Colorado River.

We already had one for our truck, and then got one for our RV right after we bought it in 2008. Having one makes your life a lot simpler, and cheaper, driving around the Houston area.

1. It doesn’t cost anything to get one. They’re free.

2. There is no monthly fee.

3. Some toll roads (i.e. the Westpark Tollway) and some exits only take the EZ Tag. No cash is accepted.

4. It’s cheaper on tolls. If you drive the toll road and pay manually at the booth, the toll is $1.75. But with the EZ Tag, it’s only $1.50.

5. This also makes it faster. During rush hours, the lines at the toll booths can be long.

The only slight downside is how you have to handle the tags themselves. As I said we have tags for both the truck and the RV. The one in the RV is permanently mounted on the windshield, but the one for the truck is not.

If we are driving the RV and not towing, the rig registers as 2 axle vehicle and we’re charged $1.50, just like a car. But when we’re towing, the system is smart enough to register us as two 2 axle vehicles and we’re charged $3.00. But if we have the tag permanently mounted on the truck windshield, we will also be registered as an additional 2 axle vehicle, and charged a total of $4.50.

So when we’re towing the truck, we keep the tag wrapped in aluminum foil and tucked away in the center console. Then when we’re driving the truck, we unwrap the tag and lay it out on the dashboard. Easy Peazy.

With Jan’s migraine sequence still in progress, tomorrow’s antics are up in the air, so we’ll have to see how it goes.

January 9, 2017

Missed It By That Much . . .

Well, we tried to see the movie Passengers down in Beeville this afternoon. After making a Wal-Mart run, we picked up our Amazon orders at the Lone Star Real Estate Office, and then dropped the groceries off at the rig.

Then, turning right around, we were about 5 minutes away from the rig when I got a text from Todd to see if I wanted to pick up a gate where a guard had called in sick. Of course I said, “Yeah” and we turned right back around.

Turns out to be a gate I’ve been to a couple of times before, but unfortunately it’s one of the two with no cell service, but OK data service and text. And getting to the gate a little before 5pm I found that the phone situation had not improved one bit.

Our friend Barbara of Barbara and Tom Westerfield fame suggested that I try Tango, an app that lets you make calls over your Wi-Fi signal. So I gave it a try and installed it on my phone.

And it works . . . kind of . . . sometimes.

For some reason, which works out OK, I can only call Jan, and not any of my other contacts. It reads them all in and displays them, but when I tried to call Brandi or Chris, nothing happens. It doesn’t even try.

And then every now and then, it won’t call Jan either. It does try, though. But it just never actually dials.

On another note, I did heard from Molly Pinner, the seminar planner for the upcoming Escapade this March in Tucson, and Jan and I will be giving our Gate Guarding for Fun? and Profit seminar this time.

I don’t have the scheduled time yet, but I’ll let you know.

Some of you may not yet have seen the new LG ‘Wallpaper’ OLED TV that was debuted at the recent CES (Consumer Electronics Show)

lg-thin-tv 1

lg-thin-tv 2

It’s 0.1” (2.57mm) thick, flexible, and sticks to the wall with magnets. The OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) screen produces one the best images in the industry. And you can pre-order the 65” version for only $8000.

Of course, next year it will only be $800, but it’s worth it to be the first in your neighborhood, or RV park.


January 9, 2018

I Guess It Wasn’t Meant To Be . . .

Tomorrow afternoon is Jan’s Pre-Op consultation preparing for her lithotripsy on Friday morning.

She’ll be meeting with the anesthesiologist who will be taking care of her during her procedure.

Hopefully after Friday she’ll be done with all of this.

About 2pm I went outside to reinstall the new rear window awning. Turned out to be pretty easy except for a couple of missteps along the way. So I started with this.

Awning Install Start

I first slid the awning fabric into the top frame and then slid the frame/awning into the window frame and locked it down. Next I slid the lower torque tube onto the bottom of the fabric.

Starting with the left side which still had the spring installed, I fastened my locking pliers into the spring end and cranked it 16 times, the number of turns that it took to unwind the spring. Then I slid it on the awning arm and locked it in place with the screw.

Awning Install Start 1

Then it was on to the right side where I had to drill out the rivets and remove that spring end so I could slide the fabric out.

I put the spring in and was ready to pop-rivet it in place when I remembered the pull strap. It has to be slid in the bottom groove on the torque tube opposite the fabric groove. Luckily I remembered it.

Then after adding the strap and riveting the spring end in place, I locked the pliers into place and cranked in the 16 turns and then slid it on the awning arm. But when I went to remove the pliers I ran into a problem.

Awning Install Start 2

Due to the way I had placed the pliers, I could not unlock and remove them. Apparently when I did the other end I had locked the pliers in place the other way around. So now I had to get the spring end back off the arm, and after using a screwdriver to stop it from unwinding, remove the pliers, turn them over, and then lock them back in place.

Now I could rivet the spring end in place and I was done.

Awning Install Finish

Hopefully tomorrow or Thursday I’ll be able to take down big passenger side awning and take it over to Sundowner Canvas so they can make a new one. And while there I’ll pick up the rear awning for the other side.

About 4:20 Jan and I headed over to Bacliff to meet up with Wil and Cyndy Olsen for dinner at La Brisa Mexican Restaurant, where we’ve met them before.

Wil and Cyndy at La Brisa

We were once again hoping to get Wil and Cyndy together with our other friends Jan and Dale Thompson. But a family illness took its toll and they had to drop out.

I guess it was not to be.

Jan had the Pechuga Monterey with a Grilled Chicken Breast.

La Brisa Perchuga Monterey

I got a regular favorite for me, the Tortilla Soup.

La Brisa Tortilla Soup

Wil and Cyndy hope to have their truck out of the shop later this week and then move up to the Katy area for the repairs on their 5th wheel. All this due to a wreck that they were involved in several months ago where two vehicles collided, and then hit them.

Wrong place, Wrong Time.

January 9, 2020

Guys, it’s Not That Your Wife Is Ignoring You . .

We were out the door a little after 1pm today, heading up to Webster, first for brunch at Snooze once again. Then after a quick stop at the office, it was on over to WalMart for some shopping.

Next up we crossed El Dorado to the Sam’s Club right next door, with a first stop for gas. Since I last filled up a week or so ago, the price has jumped about 10 cents, up to $2.05. But still not too bad, and probably due to the Iranian thing.

Leaving Jan in the truck, I ran into Sam’s to pick up a month’s supply of her Joint Juice. Sam’s recently started carrying it again after dropping it for a while. But apparently they got so many complaints, including from us, that they got it back in stock. Better and a little cheaper than ordering it from Amazon.

Heading toward home, we made another stop at WalMart, this time the one in League City. I wanted to get a refund on Jan’s prescription that I picked up yesterday. As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, when I got home I found that though I had paid $65.26 for it, if I had known to ask for the GoodRx price, I could have only paid $31.55. A big difference.


So I stopped by to get a refund. What they did was to first refund the $65.26 back to my credit card. Or at least they tried to.

For them to do this, I had to put my card in the machine, but each time they tried to process it, my card was declined.


When I asked, was my card declining to accept the refund, or was their system declining to give it to me, they had no idea. And trying two more times didn’t help. So finally they just refunded me in cash.

Then when I went to pay them the $31.55, I gave the young lady 2 $20’s and 2 $1, part of the refund cash she had just given me. She just looked at the money, looked at me, looked at the money, and then back at me.

Turns out that because of the way she was doing this, she couldn’t just enter what I  had given her and have the system tell her what to give me in change.

Finally taking pity on her, I told her that she should give me $10.45 in change, but I’m not sure she believed me. Then the lady at the next register, much closer to my age than the young lady, came over, looked at things, and told her I was correct.

Then she looked at me and said, “Nobody knows how to count change any more.” I smiled and said, “That’s because we learned math B.C.”

The young lady, now more confused, asked, “B.C.?”

I said, “Yes, Before Calculators.”

Guys, it’s not that your wife is ignoring you, it may be that she’s just ‘lazy listening.’ At least that’s what Jan told me this morning when I was telling her something, and then waited for her response.

She had been working on her shopping list, but looked up when I stopped talking, waiting for her answer. She looked sheepish and asked me to tell her again.

When I commented that I thought she WAS listening, she said she was, but that she was ‘lazy listening’.

And I thought I was just being ignored. I feel so much better now.

January 9, 2021

Jan Says I Speak ‘Band’

After a nice quiet morning Jan and I headed back down to the Three Acres Food Truck Park to have lunch. But this time we had more than Clam Chowder.

New England Lobster & Chowder Food Truck 2

Of course, we did get Clam Chowder from the New England Lobster and Chowder truck,

Clam Chowder 2

Fried Mushrooms,

NE Lobster Fried Mushrooms

and of course a couple of their Deep Fried PB&J Sandwiches for later.

NE Lobster Deep Fried PB&J

But while that order was working we walked right next door to the Sauce Time truck (or trailer, I guess)

Sauce Time Food Truck

Jan wanted an order of their Boneless Wings,

Sauce Time Boneless Wings

while I got one of their Gourmet Hot Dogs with a side of Loaded Tater Tots,

Sauce Time Hot Dog w Loaded Tots

along with their Jalapeno Ketchup.

A lot of food, yes, but it meant we had a lot to take home for tomorrow, and the next day, too. And it was all delicious.

We had a great time at the Alvin Opry last night with a number of great performances, but I always enjoy watching the band, and what’s going on kind of behind the scenes. On stage, of course, but stuff that you probably don’t notice since you’re watching the performer.

And in the case of the Alvin Opry, it’s always fun, because there are always new performers on the bill, performers who have never sang with the band, and have had no rehearsal, either.

Now most of the band have been professional musicians for years, playing in both the studio bands and touring bands of famous acts you’ve heard of. So they’re pretty quick to pick up on what’s what.

But every once in a while things go off track, I.e. the performer asks for the song in one key and then starts singing in another key. Or the steel guitar guy down at the far end didn’t hear correctly what the song was, and starts playing a different one.

Or as happened last night, the singer wasn’t clear when he gave the sign for the band to go around again, I.e., do another verse, and the band thought he wanted to wrap it up at the end of the present verse. So he kind of got left hanging.

I’ve even got Jan noticing the little problems over the years, and she’ll lean over and say, “Tell me later what happened there.”

That’s why Jan says I speak ‘Band’.

Which is true since I was in a band in high school and another one in college, playing lead guitar and a little keyboards. And high school orchestras and marching bands, playing trumpet, baritone, and French horn.

And the one in college (Nashville) was pretty successful on the college/small club circuit, even getting some interest from a couple of the record labels. But all of us were just playing for the fun of it, (and the girls, of course) so we never really pursued it.

But I guess our biggest gig was when we won a Battle of The Bands contest and got to be one of the two opening acts for The Mamas and The Papas.

And what is interesting about this is that backstage everyone except Michelle Phillips seemed stoned out of their minds, and I wondered how they were going to perform. But when it was time for them to go on, their manager pretty much just shoved them out onto the stage.

Then the curtain went up, and like someone had flicked a switch, they were ON, and did a perfect set with no problems.


January 9, 2022


Today started with lunch at Gator’s once again with Jan getting their Strawberry Walnut Salad with Grilled Chicken,

Gator's Bar & Grill Strawberry Walnut Salad with Chicken

while I had the very best bowl of Baked Potato Soup I’ve ever eaten. And a bowl is a full meal, believe me.

Gator's Baked Potato Soup 20220109

Then it was back up the feeder to WalMart for a few things we forgot yesterday, and then on to the HEB across the Interstate for a few more things.

Later, coming home, we made a PO stop for our mail. I had been expecting some additional medical bills from my spinal fusion, and I wasn’t disappointed.

But I was very surprised at the total cost of the entire thing.

HPH Surgery Bill



Luckily that’s not my cost.

So far I’ve paid $1,365.04, and I’ve received a bill for $92.07, and another for $140.96

Not bad at all, especially considering the total cost.

But I was not happy with the other bill I got. It was from DJO the company that made and supplied my bone graft stimulator.

DJO Bone Graft Stimulator

When the company rep delivered it, he said it had been approved, otherwise I would have had to pay about $900.

Well, today I got a bill for $905.00.

So tomorrow I’ll be on the phone to find out what’s going on

January 9, 2023

Prognosis: Wait And See . . .

I had my evaluation appointment with Dr. Wang, my neurosurgeon, this morning and it looks like we’re going to Wait and See some more on my lumbar problems, specifically L4, L5, and S1. However he said the biggest problem is between L4 and L5.

He saw no significant changes between my MRI/X-Rays taken in October 2021 and the ones done last month. So I guess that’s good to hear.

So, I guess we’ll see how it goes.

Lunch today was at King Food once again, always great and we had the same waitress that waited on the entire family back on Christmas Eve.

I got a call this afternoon from Roland saying our Jeep was ready to go.


I told them we’d pick it up tomorrow.

Then I got another call about 30 minutes later saying the oil pressure Check Engine light had popped up again during one last test ride.


I know from personal experience how difficult these electrical bugs can be to track down.

Back in the day, I had a 1965 Triumph Spitfire like this, except mine had a roll bar and a white racing stripe.

1965 Triumph Spitfire2

British cars back then (and maybe still) had a reputation for weird electrical problems. And my Spitfire was no different.

In fact Lucas Electrical, also known as Lucas: Prince of Darkness, has entire websites devoted to their problems. And jokes like these:

* The Lucas motto: “Get home before dark.”
* Lucas is the patent holder for the short circuit.
* Lucas – Inventor of the first intermittent wiper.
* Lucas – Inventor of the self-dimming headlamp.
* The three position Lucas switch – Dim, Flicker and Off.
* The Original Anti-Theft Device – Lucas Electrics.
* Lucas is an acronym for Loose Unsoldered Connections and Splices

And even products like these:

Lucas Wiring Harness Smoke

With my Spitfire, turning on the radio would also start the windshield wipers. And, about every 3rd time, turning on the headlights also turned on the left turn signal. And the left turn signal only worked about half the time.

So for the next few months after I bought the Spitfire, I gradually completely rewired it until everything worked right.

So I guess we’re lucky that the Jeep doesn’t have Lucas Electrics.

One thing I forgot to mention about Saturday’s visit up at Brandi’s is that in addition to the great Charcuterie Board she laid out for lunch,

Brandi Charcuterie Board

she later made a delicious dinner of BBQ’d Chicken done in the smoker, along with Roasted Yukon Potatoes and Buttered Corn.