Daily Archives: January 17, 2024

The Big One?

Well, we came through the Big Freeze (the Big One, at least until the next one) with no problems, even with it going down to 23° last night. I went out and put us back on shore water about 12:30 and everything’s working fine.

And it looks like we’re good for the next week or so. Of course, this is not the lowest temps we’ve seen in this area. In fact I think we had an 11° temp overnight a while back.

And here’s a recap of our adventures about 2 years ago during our last Big Freeze when the power was off for 3 days.







But none of these temps are the coldest we’ve been in with the rig. That would be 6° in Garrison, MT in 2008.

And then there’s this time in Sturgis, SD, also in 2008.


And of course this one we just missed by a couple of months in Fairbanks during late January 2009.

And during this same time, down the road a bit in Tok, AK it was -80°.


Tomorrow is our monthly RV get-together up in Conroe with Debi and Ed Hurlburt, and hopefully Janice and Dave Evans. This month it’s at the Golden Corral, one of our favorite restaurants in that area.


Thought For The Day:
Ever notice that it seems like the side effects of some of these drugs they advertise on TV are worse than what’s being treated. My favorite is ‘sudden death’ for a pill that treats depression.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

January 17, 2011

Mammoths and Ibises . . .

And the clouds parted…and the sun came out.


We were beginning to get waterlogged.

It was supposed to be even warmer and sunnier this afternoon, so after coffee, I headed out for clients and errands. But many of my errands did not go as planned, since I didn’t remember that today was a Federal Holiday.

Heck, most days I’m not sure what day of the week it is, I’m supposed to keep track of holidays, too?

DayClock2I mean, that’s why we have one of these hanging in the coach.

Of course I have to remember to look at it, don’t it.

I did stop by Kroger’s on the way to get some PowerBall tickets, then it was on to my client’s office.

Looks like I’ll be going back up there tomorrow night while Jan’s at Bingo. I need to install the new 2011 UPS shipping software when the office is closed since I’ll have to take their computers offline for about an hour or so.

Leaving the client’s I stopped off at Home Depot again trying to find an icemaker water filter that will work in place of the one I have now, which has been discontinued. It goes under the sink at the rear of the cabinet, and there’s not a lot of room to mount anything too much different.

Luckily I was able to find something that I think will work, and even better, it costs less money than the original.

Heading home, I stopped by the H.E.B. Market in the Victory Lakes area to pick up some unsalted butter and decaf coffee for Jan, finally getting back to the rig about 3pm.

Just as I was entering the park, our daughter Brandi called to see if we were in her area, and if we could pick up Landon at daycare, and meet her at his pediatrician’s.

Last night he developed an allergic rash on his face that had subsided this morning, but came back during the day, so Brandi wanted to get it checked out.

Unfortunately, it would have taken us about 45 minutes to get back up there, so we weren’t much help.

The doctor gave him some Benadryl and said to see what happens in the next couple of days.

As soon as I got home I started working outside on the wheel well flanges. I was able to get all the old rivets drilled out and ready to mount the new ones.

Air CompressorI also found out I like my new Sears air compressor even more than I thought.

I wanted to top off a couple of tires on the truck, and while I was looking for an extension cord, I noticed that the tank gauge still showed 130#. I found that I was able to add air to three tires and the tank pressure only dropped about 5#. Great!

By the time I was finished, Jan was ready to go out to supper. Tonight it was the Chili’s up in Kemah. Jan had the Margarita Grilled Chicken and I had the Chicken and Green Chile Soup and Salad.

Coming home I stopped off at the O’Reilly’s Auto Parts on SH146, looking for some diesel fuel algaecide, but with no luck.

Getting back to the rig, I had enough light to start mounting one of the new flanges, but the wind had picked up, and with the temp in the low 50’s my fingers started to get numb fast.

So I’ll try to finish up tomorrow, since it’s supposed to be even warmer.

And now to other stuff.

First, I found some more info on the story about cloning a mammoth in the next few years. Check it out here.  More Mammoth Stuff.

I got these photos the other day of a group of birds around one of the ponds around the park.

I call this one “What’s a girl like you doing in a place like this?”

“What’s a girl like you doing in a place like this?”

It turns out this is a juvenile white ibis. It’s the first time I’ve seen an ibis in this area. They apparently become pure white when they reach adulthood.

Juvenile White Ibis

And this is our old friend, the Great Blue Heron. He’s always around here somewhere.

Great Blue Heron

That’s it for today. More tomorrow.

January 17, 2013

Mission Accomplished . . .

or Oops!

Well, I got our Splendide washer/dryer reinstalled this afternoon and so far it’s working fine.

I mentioned yesterday that I was going to put straps on the washer to help me get it out next time. And there will always be a next time.

New Washer Straps

The straps are fastened at the top rear of the washer and run down the back and then underneath and out to the front. I’ll then tuck them behind the retainer strip so it will look like this.

New Washer Straps 2

About 5:30 Jan and I headed to Chris and Linda’s for a meal of homemade gumbo. Chris did the cooking and did a great job, making it with shrimp, crabmeat, and Cajun sausage. Really, really good, served with rice and French bread.

And for dessert, we had homemade bread pudding with rum sauce. Heavy of the rum, very heavy. And very, very good.

And even better, we got to see Piper and her boyfriend Casey since she wasn’t working tonight.

We finally headed home about 8pm after a long, busy day, and a delicious meal. And it looks like tomorrow will be busy too.

As far as the “Oops!”, it seems like in their hurry to ban magazines that hold more than 7 rounds, the New York State Legislature forgot to exempt police from the ban, and their pistols all hold 13 – 17 rounds. After being told by law enforcement that the law applied immediately to civilians, civilians are now trying to perform citizen’s arrests on police officers.

The Legislature says that they will fix the problem in the next week or so. Several people have said that they plan to file lawsuits to force the police to obey the law.

January 17, 2014


There are some really dangerous emails floating around. Here are the From: and Subject: lines.

Amazon Voucher       Amazon Survey Rewards

Walmart Voucher       Walmart Reward

They can be opened safely. but do not open the link to ‘claim’ your reward. Just delete them and then permanently delete them by emptying or deleting your Trash.

Stay Away!

After a 1 mile walk and our morning coffee, I spent most of the afternoon working on the on-going truck cleansing, as well as starting to go through a couple of the rig bays with the same intention.

Then about 2 PM  I drove up to Clear Lake to check in on a client to be sure we were all set for my visit tomorrow night to work on a problem with their Point of Sale system.

Getting back home, we headed out about 5 PM  to meet our friends, Maria and Connie, for dinner at the Kelley’s Country Cooking in Alvin.

Kelley's Trash

Above is a follow up photo illustrating why I wish restaurants still had ashtrays. And, no, this is not all mine, just for 4 people.

Leaving the restaurant about 7 we all headed over to the Alvin Opry for the evening, and finally getting home about 10:30,  after a very nice day.

Since we got home so late, this is all the blog you get.

January 17, 2015

Save The Date . . .

and The Time.

Gate Guarding for Fun? & Profit
Day:  Wednesday, March 11
Time:  11:30

That’s the schedule for the Gate Guarding Seminar that Jan and I will be giving at the upcoming Escapade in Tucson, AZ, March 8 – 12th.

* * * * *

About 3p Jan and I headed down to the Clear Lake area for her annual coworker get-together. Jan’s been getting together with her hospital coworkers ever since we started RV’ing the beginning of 2008, and they always have a great time.

Along the way, our first stop was at Brandi and Lowell’s in Katy to pick up some packages that had come in. They were off at a birthday party so we just made a bathroom stop, let Miss Kitty out to pee, grabbed our stuff, and got back on the road.

We had started early enough that I hoped we wouldn’t have a lot of traffic, especially since it was Saturday. And although our Garmin GPS Live Traffic Alerts system did give us the “Traffic Ahead” warning several times, showing anywhere from 2 minutes to 20 minutes delay, they always evaporated before we got to them.

I dropped Jan off at the Longhorn Steakhouse a little after 5pm. The place was already starting to get busy so Jan wanted to her name on the list for a table for six, before everyone else got there at 5:30.

For my part, I went next door to get a new cartridge for my Moen shower faucet at the Home Depot. Although I found the 1222 cartridge I was looking for, HD does not carry actual Moen parts. Instead they only had a Danco version for $35, as in the Danco Universal Faucet Hose replacement that I got a couple of weeks ago while we were in Conroe. You remember the Danco Universal Hose that wouldn’t fit our Moen kitchen faucet, and when I called the company to complain, I was told this:

Next up, I called the Danco  Co. up in Irving to find out why my Universal Kitchen Faucet Hose won’t fit my Moen faucet, even though the package says that it Fits All Faucet Brands.

The Danco Tech Support guy acknowledged that the hose would not fit my faucet, and that the Fits All Faucet Brands statement didn’t really mean that it fits ALL Brands, just a lot of them. Ironically the picture of the faucet on the box is my Moen faucet.

Yeah, that Danco. So I don’t have high hopes about this cartridge. But we’ll see.

I also picked up some Plumber’s Silicone Grease for the O-rings on the cartridge at the same time.

Then it was across the Interstate to our son Chris’. Since he has a floor jack I wanted to pull the right front tire on the truck to see what was causing a front-end shimmy that started recently. It felt like an out-of-round tire, but when I ran my hand along the tread as Jan slowly drove forward, I couldn’t feel anything. Chris thought it might be a warped brake rotor, so this afternoon we were going to find out.

If it was a warped rotor, I would have to replace both rotors and both sets of brake pads. Only replacing one rotor can cause uneven braking problems, so it’s better to do both. And of course, while you’re in there you might as well put on new pads to go with the new rotors. All in all, not really hard to do on my Dodge Dakota, and only about $125 for the parts.

But as soon as Chris got the tire off, it was very apparent it was not a warped rotor. There was a bubble on the tire thread, but it was on the inside edge of the tire, which is why I missed it when I checked. It looks like a cord in the tire separated.

We went ahead and put the spare on, and I’ll get a new tire later in the week when we’re back in Conroe. Based on what I paid for my last new tire, the complete front-end brake job would have been cheaper.

When Chris and I finished up, Linda had a delicious meal waiting for us, Pork Roast, Broccoli-Cheese Casserole, hot rolls, and sweet tea. Really, really good, and much appreciated. And she sent me home with leftovers. Nice!

Leaving Chris and Linda’s about 7:15, and heading in the direction of the steakhouse, I made a stop at the Baybrook Mall Starbuck’s to pick us up Chestnut Praline Lattes for the ride home. On my way there, Jan called to say to pick her up about 7:50pm.

Leaving the Starbuck’s about 7:30, I decided to swing by the nearby Lowe’s. Surely they carried Moen faucet parts. But no, just more Danco. And they didn’t even have the part at all. But they did have a Moen Cartridge Repair Kit for $2.49 so I grabbed one of those.

Picking up Jan right on time, we had an easy run home with no traffic, and got home about 9:30pm

And no more front-end shimmy, either.

January 17, 2016

Goodbye and Pie . . .

As we’ve done in the past, Jan and I drove into Columbus about 7:30 to have breakfast at Schobels Restaurant before we headed for Lake Conroe about 10am.

When we do this, we get everything ready to roll before we go eat, so when we come back it’s pretty much just bring in the slide, disconnect shore power, crank up, and go.

We had our usual great omelets at Schobels with grits and bacon for me, and hash browns and bacon for Jan. And their coffee’s really good too.

Their breakfast buffet doesn’t start until 8am, so we missed that, but I did check it out before we left, and it really looked good. Chicken Fried Steak and Gravy, Grilled Sausage Chunks, Grilled Ham Slices, Thick Sliced Bacon, Grits, Scrambled Eggs, and a lot more. Maybe we’ll come a little later next time.

Getting back to the park, we were on the road by 10:30, heading east on I-10. As in past trips, I pretty much just set the speed control on 55, and go. We did make a pit stop just east of Brookshire, but that was our only stop.

We pulled into the Lake Conroe Thousand Trails about 12:45 and got checked in. We’ve been here so many times that  Kim, the head ranger, now knows us by name, which makes for a much quicker check-in. Nice.

So 2 hours and 15 minutes for the 120 mile trip, an hour shorter than our ‘shortcut through the countryside last time. And a lot less stressful, and a lot less tiring for me.

Kim said our new favorite space over in the G section was taken, but that a couple of sites over in our old favorite E section. Hey, so I guess we’re fickle. Heading over to the E ring we did find a nice spot there with easy back-in parking, and were quickly in and set up.

Coming up the ring, we did see our friends, Garland and Valencia’s Phaeton as we drove in, so it looks like we’ll maybe have some walking partners again.

We goofed off the rest of the afternoon, reading, napping, and computing, one of the great perks of being a full-time RV’er. Later Jan heated up our leftover Mexican from Los Cabos, and some of our homemade queso and chips. A great meal, again.

Earlier, when I was outside hooking up, I began talking to our neighbor and found out that he runs the MyRVTalk website, with over 3300 members. it’s more on the form of something like RV.net with many different forums areas on a number of different RV’ing subjects. It looks like there’s a lot of good information on there, so check it out.

Tomorrow I’ve got several things on my plate, with a call to Colaw RV Salvage to see if they have any screen door hinges for our coach. American Coach said they don’t have any in stock, and the door company is out of business, so Colaw is my last hope.

They were able to supply a lot of the parts for our blow-out repair in Prescott,  AZ this summer, so I’m hoping they can come to my rescue again. If not, guess I’ll see if I can repair/reweld them somehow.

I’m also going to remove the screen door for now, because the sagging hinge keeps jamming the screen door against the main door, and makes it hard to open and close the door. I’ll just store it in the truck for now.

I also want to check/replace the check valve on my water system. Yesterday afternoon, to get a head start on this morning’s travel, I went ahead and disconnected the water and sewer hoses and stowed them away.. I hate to wrestle with stiff water hoses in 33° weather, and it’s one less thing to do on a travel morning.

I disconnected the shore water and put us on our internal tank, which was full . . . then.  But about midnight, when I went to my shower, I found the pump running and the tank now empty. So I got dressed, went outside and hooked us back up to shore water . . . in 35 degree weather. Otherwise, no shower for me, no shower for Jan tomorrow morning, and no water for general use on the trip today.

But it may have just been the really cold weather, since when I checked it out after we got to Lake Conroe, it was fine. So we’ll see.

I also plan on restarting the screen replacement project on my son’s Galaxy S5. The new screen/digitizer I ordered came in on Friday, so now I’m all set . You can check our my previous adventures on this project here.


Hopefully things will go better this time.

January 17, 2017

Frack By Night . . .

Last night was a little quieter than last night, with only about 20 trucks coming in, so not bad at all.

Except for the rain. And rain. And more rain.

It wasn’t long until the entire pad was flooded, especially the potty trailer area.

PottyTrailer Mudhole

What wasn’t under six inches of water, was just six inches of mud. Very heavy, very sticky mud. Your boot would sink in and it was hard to pull it back out.

But even rain doesn’t stop the frack. Nearby lightning, yes, rain, even heavy rain, no.

Barnhart Day Frack

Otherwise the crane is just one big lightning rod.

And it doesn’t stop at night either. With enough light, they just keep going.

Barnhart Night Frack

It’s looking more and more likely we’ll move over to Westhoff. a town without a traffic light, just a two-way stop sign in the center of town. But instead of a 2 hour round trip back to Kenedy, we’ll only have about 10 minutes. Much nicer.

And much cheaper, with both gas and park rent.

January 17, 2018


It went down to 23° here in Santa Fe last night, our lowest so far this year. But we made it through with no problems. Our water bay, where I installed the heat lamp last night, never dropped before 37°. I also wrapped a towel about our site water faucet, a PVC pipe that extends about 2 feet above the ground, And when I checked this afternoon it was still OK.

The only thing I ‘OOPS’ on was that when I was being sure my truck door wouldn’t freeze up by opening it several times during the evening, I completely forgot about Jan’s side of the truck.

So when I went out this morning it took me about 5 minutes to get it open. Of course it wasn’t as bad as in 2008 in Sturgis when it took me over an hour to get in then.


I did go outside about 8:45, cranked up the truck, and then turned the defrost and heater on High, so the windows were clear and the inside was toasty when we were ready to go.

Originally before the storm came through, we had planned to leave the rig about 9:45 for Jan’s 10:30 appointment this morning. But with this weather, we left home a little after 9am. Based on all the reports, I was expecting a real mess on the roadways, but zero, zip, nada. The roads were clear and dry.

I wasn’t planning on taking I-45 north due to the many overpasses along the way, and the news reports of all the wrecks this morning. I just had to get over the FM646 overpass and over to Hwy 3. I figured then I’d be home free with no overpasses.

And if I couldn’t get over on 646, I had a backup route to turn around and then take FM517 up to Alvin and then into Clear Lake on FM528 with no overpasses along the way. But this would take a lot longer so that’s why we left so early to allow for this reroute if necessary.

But the 646 overpass was heavily sanded and not a problem, and it was clear sailing the whole way to the hospital.

Jan’s procedure was scheduled for 12:30 and it all went pretty much on schedule. They have a really neat service where they text you as things happen during the procedure.

For instance, I got one when she was taken into the Operation Room, another when the procedure actually started, and another when she was taken to the Recovery Room.

Everything went fine with the lithotripsy, and we were on our way home by 5pm. She said that she was really surprised that she was not having any pain or soreness and probably wouldn’t need any further painkillers.

On the way home we made a Jason’s Deli stop for a couple of large Broccoli-Cheese soups for Jan to have over the next couple of days.

She’s got a follow-up checkup on Feb. 2nd and then hopefully will be done.

January 17, 2019

The Eyes Have It . . .

We were out the door a little after 6:30am, heading for the Bay Area Surgicare Center adjacent to the Clear Lake Regional Hospital, where Jan used to work before we started RV’ing.

By coming in at 7:30, Jan was in the ‘second wave’ of cataract surgeries, so, after all the pre-op stuff. she was finally taken in a little before 9am. And as on her left eye, she was out in post-op, and ready to leave by about 9:45.

However, unlike last time when we went out for breakfast afterward, this time Jan was very nauseous and didn’t want to eat, so we just headed home. Then as we got closer to FM646, Jan decided that she would like a Broccoli Cheese Soup from Jason’s Deli, so I made a slight detour for that.

Back at the rig, and since neither of us slept very well last night, Jan had a little bit of the soup and then we both went back to bed. When Jan got up later she was feeling fine, so a little before 5pm we headed out to have dinner at Chili’s.

We both had our long-time favorite Grilled Chicken Caribbean Salad, something we’ve been eating there for years.

Chili's Grilled Chicken Caribean Salad

In fact, when they stopped carrying it about 15 years ago, we stopped going until several years later, when they brought it back. Guess they missed us.

Recently I noticed that the hot water from our Atwood 10 gallon Water Heater didn’t seem to last as long as usual. Normally the amount of hot water is not a problem for us, since I usually take my shower at night and Jan takes hers in the morning.

So I figured it needed to be flushed out. So when Jan got her shower that morning I had her turn off the water heater beforehand, so I wouldn’t have to dump a lot of hot water down the drain before I worked on it.

When she was done, I opened the faucet to drain the rest. Then I went outside and turned the water off. Then I removed the T & P valve and opened the drain plug enough to dump out a couple of gallons of water.

Atwood 10 gallon RV Water Heater

Next, using a funnel, I added about a 1/2 gallon of vinegar to the water heater and then replaced the T & P Valve. Back inside I opened the hot faucet and flushed the air out until the water heater tank was full. Then I turned it back on and let it percolate for a couple of hours.

Back at it, I turned the water heater off and drained the hot water out again. Then outside again, I turned off the water and opened the drain plug to empty it.

Water Heater Wand

Then using my water heater wand hooked to a hose, I used it to flush out the heater by directing it in through the drain plug hole and twisting it around until nothing lumpy came out.

Then all I had left was to reinstall the drain plug, turn the water back on, and checked for leaks. Last up, I flushed the air out from the hot water faucet, turned the heater back on, and I was done.

Be aware that if you do this, be very careful not to turn the heater back on while the tank is empty of water. If you do, you will burn out the heater element in just a few seconds. So be safe out there.

Tomorrow morning, Jan has her checkup for today’s operation, then we’ll head off for breakfast before I head into work.

January 17, 2020

Nary A Drip Nor A Drop . . .

After I got home this afternoon I went to the back of the rig while Jan cranked up the engine. I wanted to be outside when she first started up, so I was on the phone with her in case there was a catastrophic failure so she could shut the engine off immediately.

But when nothing untoward had happened after 5 minutes, I came back inside and bumped it up to high-idle and let it run for about 35 more minutes. Then after shutting down, I went back outside to take a look.

And I was very happy to see nary a drip nor a drop.

Of course I never found any leaks the four other times I’ve done this while working on the problem. I guess we’ll know for sure when we do our test drive next Sunday.

Crossing my fingers.

This weekend looks to be a quiet one for a change, with maybe a movie on Sunday. Probably Knives Out which is getting really good reviews.

January 17, 2021

Really, We Only Planned To Eat Half . . .

Today being sunny and in the mid-60’s, it seemed like the perfect day for another visit to the Three Acres Food Truck Park.

Along with our usual Clam Chowder and Fried Mushrooms, we tried  a  couple  of new things, a Chicken, Cheese, and Bacon Quesadilla,

NE Lobster Cheese Chicken Quesadilla

and an order of their Chicken Tenders.

NE Lobster Chicken Tenders

Both really good, as usual.

And of course we had to finish up with a Deep Fried PB&J, mine with Grape Jelly, and Jan’s with Strawberry.

We cut them in half, planning to eat half and take half home, to have with all the rest of our meal that we took home for later. But it didn’t work out that way.

Though we had plenty of Friend Mushrooms, Chicken Tenders, and Chicken Quesadilla left over, none of either of the PB&J’s made it home.

Then it on over to the HEB for a few things before heading home.

A very nice end to the weekend.

January 17, 2022

If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Another . . .

Well I had planned to go back and start posting all the fun we had this past weekend. But it was not to be.

I woke up this morning with a really bad reoccurrence of my BPPV (Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo).

So not only am I already having trouble walking as it is, now whenever I stand up, my head spins like I’m on a TiltAWhirl. So much so that I didn’t go into work today.

But by evening it had mostly faded away.

So maybe tomorrow. We’ll see.

January 17, 2023

Boy, Is It Fast!

Lunch today was at our other breakfast favorite, Snooze AM.

And Jan always gets the same thing, their Bravocado Toast.

Snooze Bravocado Toast 20230117

However I tend to wander around the menu, but today I was back to the Shrimp & Grits.

Snooze Shrimp & Grits 20230117

And we split an order of their Bacon But Different,

Snooze Bacon But Different 20230117

which is Thick Bacon, with Brown Sugar, Cayenne Pepper, Chili Flakes, and Black Pepper Maple Syrup.


Then it was on over to the nearby Aldi’s so Jan could pick up a few things, before heading back to the WalMart in our area for a few more things.

It seems like we never have enough ‘things.’

My Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, my faithful companion since 2014, finally gave up the ghost this morning. Well, it didn’t actually die, it just would no longer boot up, hanging about halfway.

I tried all the tricks, holding the power and volume down buttons down for a complete reset, holding the power button down for 2 minutes, etc. But nothing helped.

So after 8 years it was finally time to upgrade to something a little newer. As in 2023.

After doing some research, and wanting to stay with a Samsung tablet, I chose a Galaxy Tab A8 like this.

Samsung Galaxy Tab A8

And even better it would be here this afternoon. And it was waiting for me when we got home from our lunch/errands.

And boy, is it fast!

I had forgotten how much faster these newer tablets are compared to 8 years ago.

I’ve gotten most of my favorite apps installed, and the rest I’ll just install as I need them. This helps me weed out apps that I don’t use anymore.