Daily Archives: January 16, 2024

We Survived . . .

We live through the 21° night, and it made it all the way up to 33 today, so I went out about 12:30 and hooked us back up to shore water for the afternoon/evening.

Then about 1:30 we decided to have lunch over at Yummy Yummy’s Chinese Buffet, but due to the freeze, I guess, they closed. And so was Gator’s, Monterey’s, and Wendy’s. But lucky for us, Los Rameriz Mexican was open.

While I got my usual Beef Fajita Taco Salad,



Jan went in a new direction with their Grande Combo Platter.

A little bit of everything, and both delicious.

I got some more questions about replacing the Pressure Switch on my Shurflo Water Pump. Apparently, this is a popular subject. So here’s a neat video detailing a complete tear-down and rebuild of the pump.

Hopefully this will explain everything, but let me know if you have any more questions.

Tomorrow looks to be a little warmer, with a low of 24° tonight and 48° tomorrow.

Looking forward to a little warming. At least for a while.

February is still ahead.

Thought for the Day:

Sometimes the first step to forgiveness is to finally realize that the other person is just a complete idiot and not worth your time.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

January 16, 2012

Spicy Chicken and RunPee . . .

Today was a fun day for us.

After a relaxing morning of coffee and conversation, we headed out about noon to our first stop, lunch at King Food. Then after a delicious meal of Hot & Sour Soup and Extra Spicy Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce, we drove up I-45 to the AMC Cinema 30 for a 2pm movie, in this case, Twilight – Breaking Dawn, Pt 1. Jan’s a big fan of both the books and the movies, and though I’ve never read any of the books, the movies are pretty good.

Of course we used RunPee to check out good times to make a bathroom run. RunPee also lets us know if there other scenes after the credits, and in this case, there was.

The movie was really good, and we’re both looking forward to Part II.

Leaving the movie a little after 4pm, we stopped off at my client’s office for a few minutes to be sure everything was working with the new equipment I installed last night.

Finding everything OK and everyone happy, we headed down I-45 to Dickinson to have dinner at Monterey’s Little Mexico, before getting back to the rig around 6pm.

It was nice to have a day pretty much to ourselves.

January 16, 2013

Completely Unexpected . . .

We woke up to something completely unexpected this morning, something we haven’t seen in almost two weeks.

A bright sunny morning. Even Mister wanted to go outside.

Still cold, at 39 degrees, but bright and sunny anyway. And it should stay that way for the next 10 days or so.

Of course the same people that are telling us that, originally told us that it would be cloudy and rainy for the next 3 days,

After a nice morning Jan and I headed out about 2pm for some errands and dinner. My first stop was at a client’s office to take care of some orders, and then I walked across the street to a friend’s Heating & Air Conditioning office. He only does HVAC now, but used to do appliance repair as well, and I thought he could give me a lead on getting a replacement thermal fuse for our dryer.

My friend sent me to another place that he thought might have it, and those people sent me to a third place that didn’t have it either.

Well, they didn’t have the exact part, but I did find a substitute that I think will work.

New Thermal Fuse

The only difference is that it blows at a slightly lower temperature, which should work OK. We’ll see

Our dinner stop was at Jason’s Deli, our favorite soup and sandwich shop. We’ve eaten here for years and always enjoy it. Jan had a 1/4 Turkey Muffuletta and a cup of Broccoli Cheese soup, while I had my usual Southwest Chicken Chili. Always delicious.

Next was a stop at the house to pick up our mail and a couple of packages, and then it was on to Wal-Mart for a few things.

Finally getting home a little before 7, and after we got things put away, I installed the new part in the washer/dryer and put the top back on. I’ll install it tomorrow morning.

I did do something different this time that should help me get the washer out easier next time. I fastened two straps to the washer inside the top, one on each side.

Dryer Straps

I will pull them down the back and under the washer, and leave them out of sight underneath the front of the washer. Then the next time I have to pull it out of the cabinet, it should be a lot easier. Time will tell.

January 16, 2014

Is Your Refrigerator Spying On You?

I spent most of today completely emptying the back of our Dodge Dakota, sorting stuff, throwing away stuff, saving stuff, and then trying to put it all back in some logical order.

I did find some things I’d been looking for, but what’s really funny is that I not only found things I didn’t know I was missing, but I also found things that I didn’t even know I had.

I guess these were things that I bought either right before or right after we started RV’ing 6 years ago, but in some cases I don’t even remember buying them.

Oh well, that’s what Spring (early) Cleaning is for.

After commenting yesterday about how our old gate was still going strong, I must have jinxed things. Our fellow gate guard, Orlyn, called this evening to say that our replacements, Jim and Linda Mossman, were released from the gate this afternoon, and Orlyn and his wife will be leaving their railroad crossing gate as soon as new warning signs are made up and installed. Hope they get a new gate soon.

And now for something completely different. Well, maybe a few things.

First off, for all those stars who botch the singing, or forget the words, to the National Anthem, check out 7 year old Rhema. A couple of the notes she hits are amazing. This should be required watching for all prospective National Anthem singers.

Rhema sings the National Anthem

Next, if you’re of a technical bent, here’s the first detailed explanation of how the Target credit card data theft was done. Turns out the malware was actually installed on the credit card terminals themselves, which explains how they were able to also get the PIN numbers.

And here’s an article that talks about how your cat thinks you’re just another big, lazy cat. This can’t be right. Mister thinks he’s people, just like us.

Well, maybe not just like us. Mister thinks he’s smarter. And in some cases, I think he’s right.

Lastly, your TV, thermostat, or refrigerator may have been infiltrated. Basically, anything that now connects to the Internet is open to hackers. In this case, more than 100,000 devices were under hacker’s control and used to send out malicious emails.

Could your water meter be next?

January 16, 2015

Well, It’s A Start . . .

After my call to American Coach yesterday about my leaky shower, I decided to give Moen a call to double-check about the leak. I had asked American if it was possible that a faulty cartridge could cause the leak. They didn’t think so, but couldn’t be absolutely sure.

I replaced the cartridge back in February 2011 when we were in Yuma for a rally, but for a different reason. It didn’t want to turn off completely.

So just to be sure I called Moen who said, yes, it is possible for a defective cartridge to leak out the back without showing any leakage from the front. So I’ve got a reprieve from cutting a hole in the wall, al least until I try a new cartridge.

I’ll pick one up when we’re down in the Clear Lake area tomorrow.


They’re about $40 or so, but if I don’t need it, I’ll keep it for a spare. I did find my cartridge puller in one of the bins outside this afternoon, so I’m all ready to go.

Moen Cartridge Puller

I’ll probably pull the old cartridge out Sunday morning so I’ll have the entire day to work on it.

Later in the afternoon, I got the ladder out of the truck and had another go at the drilling mud on the roof. The white semicircle is from my first vinegar test.

Drill Mud Cleaning 1

I sprayed the front area down, and was hoping to see the stuff start running off. But it didn’t quite work like that. II still took a lot of scrubbing with a brush, but it did start to come off. One problem was that the sun was out enough to dry up the vinegar before it really had time to soak in. So it was squirt and scrub, squirt and scrub. But I did make some progress.

Drill Mud Cleaning 2

It’s a start, I guess.

I’m kind of thinking about getting some old towels, soaking them in vinegar, and then laying them on the roof so that the vinegar will have time to do its work. Then I can just spray the towels to keep them wet. So I’ll see how that works.

About 4pm Jan and I headed up to Peter’s BBQ for their Friday Night BBQ Buffet. At $11.50, including drink, it’s a real bargain. Unfortunately, it may be our last visit for a while, since we head back to Conroe this coming Wednesday. And hopefully down to Galveston Bay RV Resort soon after.

Tomorrow afternoon, Jan’s having her annual coworker get-together dinner at the Longhorn Steakhouse down in Webster, so we’ll be heading down that way about 3pm.

January 16, 2016

Last Time For A While . . .

Well, our walk this morning was rained out again. 52° and wet is not very conducive to a pleasant walk in the countryside. So I guess we’ll pick it back up at Lake Conroe on Monday. Hopefully in our next two weeks there, we’ll be able to bump our 1.5 miles a day up to 2 miles. But I guess it depends on if the weather holds.

Last night/this morning I got on the phone with Godaddy to move the last of my web hosting accounts from Superb.net over to Godaddy. The means that they will now host all my domain names, websites, and blogs. And it will be nice to have everything in one place.

When I first started doing websites for clients back in 1997, GoDaddy had only gotten off the ground, and I don’t think I had even heard of them at the time. At that time there was only one place to register domain names and that was with Network Solutions. And there weren’t a lot of hosting companies either.

And most of the ones that were, were pretty expensive. But finally I found Superb.net, a company that was formed to support small business users. So I was able to bulk-buy 500 megabytes of host space where I could set up as many websites as I needed.

I started out with one hosting account, and eventually added a second one, where I hosted over 40 websites at the peak. But over the years, as more host companies came online, rates started dropping, and as they dropped I started moving more and more stuff off Superb and over to Godaddy.

But I kept the last two domains on Superb because they hosted a very busy online shopping site and was protected with an SSL certificate to allow safe credit card processing. But recently I bit the bullet and started moving the last of it over.

And last night was the last of the last. All that was left was one domain, which was only being used as an email forwarding address site. So I wanted to get things moved over to Godaddy quickly to be sure no emails were lost. The domain name itself was already hosted at Godaddy so it was just a matter of changing out the DNS addresses to move it over.

Now normally when you do this, it can take from minutes to hours to days for the switch to be actually be made. This can be a problem here, because until the switchover is made, I can’t set up the email forwarding addresses, so emails can be lost. But this time Godaddy surprised even me. It literally took seconds.

I made the DNS changes, clicked SAVE, and then opened a new tab, typed in the URL, pressed RETURN, and the changeover was complete. Literally seconds.

Well done, Godaddy!

We were driving back into Katy to once again have dinner at Little V’s Vietnamese Bistro. Of course we were just here last night, But it’s good enough to eat at two nights in a row. And it’s not like Jan and I had a problem with that either.

And neither did Brandi, Lowell, and Landon, either. And Lowell’s sister, Sherry joined us too.

After a great meal, and a great time, we said our goodbyes. But before heading home, we made a stop at a nearby Lowe’s to pick up a new drinking water faucet.

We finally got home about 8:45 after a very nice last day here at Colorado River. Tomorrow we leave for Lake Conroe.

January 16, 2017

First Night on the Gate . . .

Well, Jan and I survived our first night shift on the gate, her as Gate Guard out by the highway in the guard shack and me working out of my truck on the pad, 5 miles inside the gate.

The night went fairly fast, with the only downside when it rained for a bit and turned my little corner of the pad into a mudhole.

Barnhart Gate

The route into the pad is very convoluted, with a lot of turns, Y’s, T’s, and deadends. There are maybe 40 pads spread out over miles of roads, none of which are on any map or GPS.

I’m really glad I drove out there on Saturday in the daylight, otherwise I might have had a problem too. But, although no roads show up on the GPS, it does leave a trail of blue dots on the screen that I can now follow in and out.

One guy left the pad about 7:30pm heading home for the night. Then he showed back up about an hour later, lost and bewildered. I guess I got him back on track because he never showed back up.

Of course he could just still be driving around out there somewhere.

The whole phone thing continues to confused me. I was happy to see that we have a good signal and can make calls from the proposed new RV park, so that’s a plus for moving.

But on the strange side, apparently, although I can’t make calls from that area, I can receive them.

And of course I still have text and data.

Landon’s doing the flag football thing this year.

Landon Flag Football

Looks like he’s having fun.

Since I can’t do the blog from our gate right now, new blogs may be kind of intermittent.  But I’ll get them up when I can.

January 16, 2018

A Three Dog Night?

We don’t have any dogs so it’ll be a 3 heater, one cat night.

Well, last night’s low was 31°, and the high today creeped up to 40° and that was about it. And then tonight we’re looking for either 21° to 23° depending on which weather service you want to believe, Of course neither one is ideal.

With these upcoming temps I had planned to set up my heat lamp in our water bay to keep things warm. But I found my heat lamp bulb hadn’t survived storage in the basement and the lamp wasn’t much better so around 11:30 I drove over to the Santa Fe Tractor Supply to pick up a new set.

The temp was about 37° so I had no problems with ice on the roads, but it had rained last night and again this morning so as the temp drops it’s going to get messy.

In fact, based on the predicted dangerous road conditions tomorrow morning I’m worried about whether or not we’ll be able to get to the hospital tomorrow morning for Jan’s lithotripsy procedure.

And with all businesses and schools already closed tomorrow, when a call came in from the hospital around 11am, I was expecting a cancellation, but it was just a confirmation call. But I wouldn’t be surprised to get a call tomorrow morning.

They’re saying tonight will be the coldest in Houston in 22 years. Yikes!

I know Jan just wants to get it all over with, but we’ll have to see. Hopefully it will work out.

By the time I went out to set up the heat lamp in the bay, it was 31° and ice was everywhere. I even had trouble unscrewing the hose connections so I could disconnect us from shore water. I also put a remote thermometer in the bay so I can monitor things.

I was happy to see the temp in the bay quickly climb from 30 to 39°, so hopefully that will take care of things.

About 8:30 I went outside to check on the truck for tomorrow morning. Rime ice was already coating things so I unstuck the wiper blades and left them folded out so they won’t be froze to the windshield tomorrow. I also got the truck door unstuck and open. But it did take a bit. I went out for a couple of hours and repeated the process, and I’ll do it again before I go to bed. Hopefully we’ll be able to get in the truck tomorrow.

Stay warm out there.

January 16, 2019

A Reprieve . . .

This morning started off at the Post Office. We had a package that tracking showed as out for delivery on December 28th at 11:07am.

Then sometime later that day an Alert popped up saying that ‘due to an unforeseen operation issue’ delivery was rescheduled for the next business day. And at that point it just disappeared. Never to be tracked again.

After letting the Holidays pass, I called the PO on Monday the 7th, gave them the tracking number and left my name and phone number. And then did it again on the 9th when I hadn’t heard anything.

And when I still hadn’t heard anything on Friday, I called again, and then let the phone ring for about 15 minutes with no answer. And then again this past Monday, I made two more unanswered calls for 10-15 minutes each.

So figuring that the Post Office had started the Government Shutdown early, by not answering the phone, I stopped in on the way into work. And, in a ‘new’ twist, they took my name and phone number and said they’d call me.

For some reason I’m not really hopeful. But that’s probably just me.

And in a related note, I also handled another missing 1st Class package, this one we sent out to a customer in Bogota, Colombia, where as it happens I used to live in the early 60’s.  And in a ‘strange’ coincidence, it also disappeared on the 28th of December. But in Bogota, this time.

And even the tracking was funny. It left Houston on the 13th of December and then took 4 days to get to Chicago. Why Chicago, I don’t know. That’s kind of in the wrong direction.

Then, it sat in Chicago from the 17th to the 28th. Doing what, I don’t know. Finally on the 28th, it left Chicago, went to Atlanta, and then on to Bogota. All on the 28th.

And then it too disappeared. Something strange about the 28th, I guess.

Landon’s just started his 3rd year of Hockey, and he’s ready to go.

Landon Hockey 2019

We’re going up there on Sunday to see him play, and then have lunch with them at Floyd’s Cajun Seafood. Really looking forward to it.

And even better, Miss Piper may be going up with us.

Finishing up, we did get a little reprieve on Jan’s cataract surgery tomorrow morning. Last time we had to be there at 5:15am. But we get to sleep a couple of hours extra tomorrow since we don’t have to be there until 7:30.


January 16, 2020

And Now We Wait And See . . .

I was outside and under the rig a little after 1pm to reinstall our rig’s gasket/oil adapter head/filter combination, and hopefully finally fix this long-term pesky oil leak.

The only problem I had was keeping the gasket aligned with the adapter head.

Oil Rig Adapter Gasket

It’s hard to tell from the photo but the gasket and the adapter head are keyed and the bolt holes only line up in one position.

When I installed it the last time the gasket was stuck to the adapter head with the Permatex stuff so I had no problem with it shifting around. But without the sealer I had to just get one bolt started very loosely, and then used a long screwdriver to move the gasket into the right spot and then installed another bolt.

After I had all four installed and snugged down with my standard ratchet, I set my torque wrench to 20# and tighten the bolts until the ‘click’.

Oil Filter Adapter and Gasket Installed

Next, after I took a break, I filled my new oil filter with oil and back under the rig, I lifted the filter into the place and got it started after a few tries. The real problem with this is that the filter + oil weighs about 10 pounds, and holding it overhead with one hand is not exactly easy. But finally I did get it started and tightened down by hand.

Then I used my filter strap wrench to do the final 3/4 turn to snug it down tight. And I was done.

A couple of our blog readers suggested that I let things set for 24 hours or so before I crank it up for a leak test. So since I’m not in any real hurry I’ll wait until tomorrow to give a high-idle (1000rpm) test for 30 minutes or so.

I had originally planned to do our 120 test drive this coming Sunday, but now I think will wait until Sunday week, the 28th.

And then we’ll see.

If it all looks well, we plan on heading up to Alabama for a family and friends visit. Really looking forward to it.

January 16, 2021

East Star . . .

Today was pretty slow, with lunch at East Star Chinese Buffet up in Webster. Very busy, probably the busiest we’ve seen it post-CoVid. Diners still have to use the disposable plastic gloves when serving themselves at the buffet.

Then after a stop at the office to pick up something, we drove around the Clear Lake/Kemah area before heading back toward Santa Fe, ending up with Dollar General stop for a few things, and finally a stop for conversation and Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate at our favorite Cowboy Coffee kiosk.

A very nice day.

January 16, 2022

A Great Time Was Had By All . . .

We had one last get-together for breakfast this morning at Tequila Jalisco in Kingsland. We’ve eaten here several times for lunch and dinner, but this was our first time for breakfast.

Really good.

Last night Chris set up a fire in his firepit, but it didn’t do much to overcome the low temps and the wind.

Chris' Patio Firepit 20220115

And it didn’t take long for everyone to give up and come in.

Jan and I got back to the rig about 4:30pm after a great time.

I’ll catch up on all this starting tomorrow.

January 16, 2023

Patient Circumference?

I spent most of today at work trying to convert the manual for a new product we’re carrying into something that approximates American English. Made in Poland, the manual they supply is in English.

But even though all the words are in English, when they’re arranged in sentences something seems to be lost in the translation.

For example, tell me what this means.

“automatic control of patient circumference”

I dare you.

But I’ll figure it out eventually.

Here’s a couple of more photos of yesterday’s Falcon Heavy launch,

Falcon Heavy Launch 2

showing the power of the 27 engines.

Falcon Heavy Launch Closeup

And they’re not even at full power yet. That doesn’t happen until after MaxQ.

Tomorrow looks to be Snooze, Aldi’s and WalMart.