Daily Archives: January 18, 2024

More Temu Stuff . . .

Today was our monthly get-together up in Conroe with Deb and Ed Hurlburt. We were hoping Janice and Dave Evans would be able to join us, but it was not to be.

We were meeting at the Golden Corral, one of our favorite restaurants in that area.

Somehow Ed got edged out of the photo.

We really like this GC, everything is always fresh, hot, and plentiful.

Our favorite TriFecta.

Next month is going to be El Palenque Mexico.

I think I’ve decided to just replace my Shurflo Water Pump with the new one, rather than just replace the pressure switch, since the pump has to be pulled out either way. Then I’ll replace the pressure switch on the old one, so I’ll have a spare.

Maybe this weekend. We’ll see.

Back in June, I gave you this warning about TEMU.

By now probably most of you have seen the myriad of ads/commercials for Temu, showing all the cheap stuff they have.

I didn’t install the app just on general principles, like it’s pretty much owned by the Communist Chinese government.

And it seems to be a big security risk as well.

Check out what Tech Guru Kim Komando has to say about it.

Kim Komando On Temu

From the article:

What you need to know before using Temu

First, you’re buying goods directly from manufacturers in China and other parts of the world. That’s why shipping times are often much longer than on sites like Amazon. You might get your stuff in a week, but it could be more like 12 days.

For the most part, the prices are low because the goods are cheap. The pictures of what you see advertised may not be what you actually get.

Temu collects, among other things:

  • The info you provide, like your name, address, and phone number.
  • Details you enter, like your birthday, photo, and social media profiles.
  • Your phone or computer’s operating system and version, IP address, GPS location (if you allowed it), and browsing data.
  • They also gather more about you from third party sources, including Temu sellers, public records, social media, data brokers, credit bureaus, and marketing partners.

    Let’s be safe out there.

But now there’s more. And this time it’s from Time, magazine, that is.

The Truth About Temu, the Most Downloaded New App in America

One of the comments on Lukey’s post, however, was significantly less positive than the rest. Julie Roper Malloy wrote that the package she ordered from Temu containing Christmas gifts never arrived, despite the company’s pledge it would be delivered Dec. 19 at the latest. “Still waiting for my order from November! Thanks Temu, you’ve ruined Christmas!” she wrote.

In a series of Facebook messages with TIME, Roper Malloy says she spent $178 on gifts from Temu for her family, including two drones and some makeup for her daughter. But the items never arrived. Roper Malloy says she has contacted the company several times for a refund, which has also yet to arrive. “I will definitely be more diligent in the future when ordering online,” she wrote. [Update: After this article’s publication, Roper Malloy received her Temu orders and a refund from the company.]

Roper Malloy is not the only one to encounter problems with a Temu order. Temu itself acknowledges that its orders take longer to arrive than those from Amazon—typically 7-15 business days—as they come from “overseas warehouses.” But it appears that Temu also has had trouble delivering inside that larger time window. In October, the Boston branch of the Better Business Bureau opened up a file on Temu and has received 31 complaints about the website.

Temu currently has a C rating on the BBB, and an average customer rating of 1.4 stars out of 5, albeit from only 20 reviews. (Complaints are separate from reviews, which do not factor into BBB’s official rating.) McGovern at the BBB says it’s unusual for such a new company to receive so many complaints in such a short amount of time. She notes that Temu has acknowledged and responded to every complaint posted to the BBB website, but many of those complaints remain unresolved.

Caveat Emptor!

Thought For The Day:

Arguing with your wife can be like getting arrested. Everything you say can and will be used against you.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

January 18, 2011

Bingo and Turkey Vultures . . .

Well, today was supposed to be nice, perfect for working outside on rig stuff. But, once again…

They lied!

It was really overcast when I got up, but after a while, I decided to give it a try.

And, of course, as soon as I got set up and started working on installing the new wheel well flanges, it started raining.

Of course it did.

About 1:30 I headed up to Clear Lake to check in on a client that was having some problems. Then after about an hour getting him fixed up, I drove over to my doctor’s office to see about coming in early to my blood work done, before my appointment next Tuesday. So now I have an appointment to go by this Thursday to get that taken care of.

Getting back to the rig a little after 4, Jan and I headed right back out to pick up our granddaughter Piper for Bingo.

As regular readers know, Miss Piper had two wisdom teeth out last Friday and she’s still a bit under the weather, but well enough to play Bingo.

We met our friends Bob and Maria at Garcia’s Grill in Dickinson for supper, and then Jan, Piper, and Maria headed out to play Bingo.

In the meantime, I dropped Bob off at his house and then I headed up to Clear Lake to a client’s office to install the new 2011 UPS Worldship Shipping software.

And, lo and behold, the install went smoothly with no glitches. Very unusual, believe me.

I picked Jan and Piper up about 10:15, and was greeted with the news that the only person that won anything was Maria, and she was one of 13 winners of a $100 pot.

So after taxes, she got a little over $5.  Bummer.

After dropping Miss Piper off, we got back to the rig about 11:00.

Hopefully tomorrow’s weather will be better. At least they say it will. But then they said that today, too.

On a different note, Jan and I have been noticing all the “buzzards” flying around FM517 about half a mile east of I-45.

Late in the afternoon you can see hundreds of them circling overhead, and then they roost the surrounding pine trees. Soon it looks like the trees are decorated with large black ornaments.

A little research told me that there’s really no such animal as a buzzard. It’s kind of a generic name for vultures, and even some hawks and other raptors.

A little more Googling told me that these are Turkey Vultures.


The main difference between Turkey Vultures and Black Vultures is the Turkey Vulture has a red head, and the Black Vulture has a grey head.


It’s hard to tell from the last picture of two vultures sitting in the tree, but their heads are red.

Turkey Vultures 4

Turkey Vultures 3

Turkey Vultures 2

Turkey Vultures 1

I haven’t been able to find anything about why they roost in that area. It’s right along a 4 lane street and next to a city park. I can’t imagine there are a lot of dead bodies in the area.

At least I hope not.

January 18, 2012

Chicken Fajitas and Fry’s . . .

Today was pretty straightforward, with not a lot really happening.

After doing some stuff around the rig, I headed out about 1pm up toward Clear Lake. My first stop was Fry’s Electronics where I was looking for some check printing software.

My client’s website takes checks online and uses the software to print out a check using the customer-supplied routing and account numbers. My client then deposits the check in his bank just like a regular check.

But since we upgraded his main machine to Win 7, the old DOS-based check printing program will no longer run, so I’m looking for a new program for him.

After finding something I hope will work, I drove over to my client’s for the afternoon.

But, by the time the afternoon was over, we had decided to replace the ornery computer with a new Win 7 model, thus taking care of all of our networking problems.

Works for me.

I headed home about 4:30, and then turned around and Jan and I headed up the road to La Brisa for a great dinner. Jan had the Chicken-Stuffed Avocado with Chicken Fajitas and a couple of Shrimp Brochettes, while I had a Trio Combo, with Beef Fajitas, Chicken Fajitas, and Ribs. As delicious as usual.

January 18, 2014

Bins and Booze . . .

Our beautiful weather here on Dickinson Bayou continues with highs in the 60’s and lows in the 40’s. And even better, the long range 10 day forecast shows pretty much more of the same. Yay!

A knock at the rig door this morning introduced me to Lloyd Jackson, a blog reader who’s staying down the road at Green Caye RV Park, and wanted to introduce himself and inquire about my upcoming windshield replacement since he needs to replace his too. Lloyd reads our blog so he’s pretty much up on everything. It’s always fun to meet our readers as we travel around the country.

Later I spent some more time going through some of the rig bays, sorting stuff out. I’ve finally decided what I want to about the stuff stored in the back of the truck.

Rather than store stuff either loose or in a couple of large bins, I’m going to get a number of these plastic file boxes.

File Box

These will allow me to sort things into labeled boxes so I won’t lose things like before. Yeah, right.

About 4:15 Jan and I headed up to Webster where I dropped her off at Carrabba’s Italian Grill about 5. Jan was there for her yearly get-together with her former hospital coworkers. They’ve all gotten together like this every year since we started RV’ing in 2008.

They had their usual great time, until a lady sitting behind Jan slung her glass of wine over Jan and a couple of the other ladies. Without even much of apology either. When I picked her up about 8, I told her she smelled like she had a really good time.

While she was partying, I grabbed a couple of steak fajita tacos from Taco Cabana before heading over to a client’s office to work on their Point of Sale Cash Register System. They had been having a problem with one of their remote units and I figured that the problem might have been caused when they changed to a new Internet provider who also changed some things on their internal network.

As it turned out I was right, and I got things reconfigured and back up and running pretty quickly. Then I spent the rest of the time updating the machines and cleaning out the gunk.

And with her usual perfect timing, Jan called to be picked up just as I finishing up.

Tomorrow morning Jan and I are going to get together with our long-time friends, Bobby and Maria, for breakfast at the IHOP up in Kemah. We’re really looking forward to it.

January 18, 2015

Gosh Darn It . . .

Another beautiful day today, sunny with a high of 69, and a low of 39 tonight. Pretty much perfect weather for us.

I spent most of the early afternoon working on a website problem with Godaddy and the maker of a software package I’m using, going back and forth between the two, trying to figure out why I’m getting an error message instead of being redirected to the Thank You page.

Part of the problem is the time lag going back and forth between the two. But we’ll get it fixed eventually.

While I was waiting to hear back from anybody, I got back working on installing the new Moen kitchen faucet hose that just came in yesterday. It actually turned out to be pretty easy since the connection under the sink was a quick-disconnect. It was the ‘getting’ under the sink part that was the problem.

But I got it hooked up and then tested it. And Gosh Darn It (insert your own words here) the new hose leaks exactly like the old one did.

At the faucet end of the hose there is a ball-joint where the hose screws into the spray nozzle. Water is leaking from out around the ball-joint in the connector.

Moen Faucet Hose Joint

So I guess the trouble must be with the spray nozzle, but I sure can’t see any problem with it. The screw ring tightens down on the threaded end of the nozzle just fine. So it’s back on the phone to Moen tomorrow.

About 4:30 Jan and I drove around the circle, picked up our friend Randy at his RV, and then headed up to La Grange to introduce him to Sealand Seafood. You wouldn’t think that a place like this would have great seafood, but it does.

And lucky for us, Randy agreed.

Jan and I had our usual 2 Fish, 6 Shrimp, 6 Oysters platter, while Randy had the Blacken Tilapia with Crawfish Etouffee. Ours was as delicious as usual, and Randy said his was the best he’d ever eaten. And the servings were big enough that we all had leftovers for another meal.

It looks like things are maybe getting closer with Galveston Bay RV Resort. They posted a photo this afternoon and said the new sites were very close to being done.

Galveston Bay 20150117

Hope so. It would be really nice if when we leave here Wednesday morning, we could go down to Galveston Bay, instead of back to the Conroe Thousand Trails.

January 18, 2016

When One Door Closes . . .

Jan felt kind of ‘blah’ this morning so we didn’t walk. But she did fix us great breakfast sandwiches, using the biscuits and the leftover omelet from yesterday’s breakfast at Schobels in Columbus.

Jan's Breakfast Sandwich_thumb[1]

Toasted up in the oven, it’s made for a very tasty breakfast.

After a lot of computer stuff, I took a look at my screen door problem. I had planned to remove the door and store it in the back of the truck, but that didn’t work out. Due to the fact that the door is almost 7 feet tall. It sure didn’t look that tall, but a measuring tape told the tale. It wouldn’t fit.

But I still wanted to take it off to look at the hinges, even if temporarily.

Screen Door Removal 1_thumb[1]

I sprayed the 4 screws with WD-40 and let it penetrate for a while. After about 30 minutes I used my large #3 Phillips head bit and long extension to get the screws loose.

Screen Door Removal 2_thumb[1]

Using a small hammer, I tapped the driver bit a few times in each screw. This did two things, it helps break the screws loose, and it sets the bit into the softer screw metal, making it grab better and not wallow out. And it worked. When I used my ratchet with the extension and driver bit, the screws broke loose with a snap and came right off.

About this time our friend Rudy Legett called and said he was in the area, and wanted to come by and say ‘Hi’. We last saw Rudy and his wife Carolyn last July up in Fort Smith, AR while we were heading back to North Alabama after our two month sojourn in Prescott, AZ for our blow-out repair. Rudy and his wife were heading north for the summer and our paths crossed for a couple of days.

We were staying at the Springhill COE park, and they ended up parked right across from us. We first met Rudy and his wife several years ago when we were staying down in the Dickinson area, and went out to lunch with them.  So it was good to get back together for dinner here too.

Rudy is an Aqua-Hot technician, and services their hydronic systems that act as both a water heater and heater for your coach. A really nice system.

After Rudy left, I took a quick look at another door problem that I’ve had. When the rig is up on the levelers, the door is torqued slightly, and it’s sometimes difficult to get the door to lock correctly.

Door Lock 1_thumb[1]

What I found is that the latch just barely clears the bottom of the hole, keeping the bar from engaging and locking the door. So I thought for a few minutes and decided the quickest way to fix the problem was just to ‘brute force’ it.

So breaking out my recip saw, and chucking a metal blade, I cut a couple of notches in the bottom and ended up with this.

Door Lock 2_thumb[1]

Now the door locks just fine, with no binding. I’ll dig out a file tomorrow and even out the cuts, to neaten it up. But for now the problem is fixed.

Tomorrow it’s back to the screen door.

About 4pm Jan and I drove into Conroe to have dinner at Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, a chain that we first encountered in the Bryan/College Station area in 2014 when we were gate guarding about 20 miles east of there.

Cane's Chicken Fingers_thumb[1]

We’ve also eaten at several of them on the road, and this one in Conroe. It’s a simple menu, with only chicken fingers, fries, Cole slaw, and Texas toast.

But simple is good, especially when you do it right. And they do.

Really good.

Coming home, Jan wanted something sweet, so we stopped at a nearby Panera Bread where Jan picked out a Chocolate-filled Croissant and I got a Cranberry Orange Muffin. Both really good several hours later for a late-night snack.

The weather should be nice tomorrow morning so maybe we’ll be able to get a walk in. I’ve mapped out a new route for here at Lake Conroe since we’re walking further now since we were here two weeks ago.

But we’ll see how it goes.

January 18, 2017

Rigging Down?

We still don’t know exactly when yet, but they’re supposed to start wrapping this part of the pre-frack up tonight or tomorrow.

Maybe. You never know when they’ll break something, and then it’ll be a couple of extra days. But hey, more money for us.

This will probably be an even shorter blog than the recent short ones, since I’m typing it on the laptop sitting in the truck on the pad. So we’ll see how long the battery lasts.

Although we like the money with both of us working, this 2- 1/2 hour round trip out here from Kenedy is really eating into our sleep time. So before the actual frack starts in the next week or so, we’re definitely moving over here to Westhoff from Kenedy. This will make our commute time less than 10 minutes each way. That will be much nicer.

The only downside is that Jan and I will be working opposite shifts at the same gate, so the whole ‘two ships passing in the night’ thing. But it will only be for a couple of weeks or so before we leave here for the year on the 15th of February.

This morning on the way home a little after 5am, we stopped at The Donut Palace in Yorktown, one of a number in the area. Seems like every little town has one. Picked up hot, fresh breakfast kolaches for the trip home, and a couple of donuts for later. Plus a couple of breakfast biscuits for tonight’s dinner on the gate. All still warm from the oven.


After getting about 5 hours sleep we were up and out the door. Jan had prescriptions to pick up at Wal-Mart, and we wanted to have what might be our last meal at Bella Sera. Then after getting gas (driving 100 miles a day eats it up) we were back at the rig for about an hour nap before heading back out about 3:30pm.

After dropping Jan off at the front gate and driving into the pad which is almost 5 miles further in, I caught with a Waterbuck antelope just running down the side of the road along the fence line.


Waterbucks are always easy to identify by the white ring on their rear ends.

Asking around, I found out there are a whole lot of game animals around here, zebras, other antelopes, and more.

January 18, 2018

I Depend On The Kindness Of Strangers . . .

We only got down to about 30° last night, much better than yesterday’s 23. And it finally made it into the 40’s today.

And as of yesterday, there was snow on the ground in all 50 states.

Jan continues to feel good, with absolutely no pain whatsoever as a result of her lithotripsy. Hopefully that will continue. Now she just needs to get all her stamina back.

About 3pm I went outside and reconnected us to shore water. Even though it had been in the 40’s for a while I still had icicles hanging off the rig. I also turned off the heat lamp but left it in the bay since we almost certainly have more cold weather to come.

I finally got tired of cleaning calcium buildup and debris out of the flow restrictor in our Oxygenics shower head.

Oxygenics Shower Head

This low pressure problem was recently aggravated by using the rig water system for the last couple of days, so I took care of the problem permanently. I took my drill and drilled the offending disk out.

Oxygenics Restrictor

No more problems now and the water pressure is great.

This year’s flu is looking worse and worse, especially since this year’s vaccine is said to be only about 10% effective against the N3N2 version that’s causing all the problems. However some authorities say it might be effective as much as 30% of the time. And it MIGHT make the symptoms of the other flus less. Oh Boy!

I have not had a flu shot since 1965-66, and I don’t plan to ever have another one. Jan got them regularly when she was working at area hospitals (it was required), and occasionally since then.

When Jan was in the hospital recently, her doctor asked me if she had had a flu shot this year and I said No. So he ask if she wanted to get one while she was in the hospital and I again said No, especially since it wasn’t very effective this year,

He nodded his head and said that he was hearing that from a lot of people this year.

In fact I’ve only had two flu shots in my life, the one in the winter of 65-66 and the winter before, in 64-65. And the reason I had those two was that I didn’t have choice either. I was attending Columbia Military Academy and it was required.

After the first one I was so sick that I missed classes for four days. But the next year I didn’t fare nearly as well. I was in the hospital for almost two weeks. And based on that history the doctor told me that if I ever got another one it might possibly kill me.

So you tell me, would you take that chance?

So as I tell everyone, I depend on the kindness of strangers. If EVERYONE else gets vaccinated like they’re supposed to, then I won’t have to worry about the flu because there will be no one for me to catch it from.

So you all know what you have to do.

January 18, 2019

Jan’s A Happy Camper . . .

We arrived at the Alvin office of Jan’s ophthalmologist about 7:15am for her 7:35 checkup on yesterday’s cataract surgery.

Only to find the parking lot empty and the office dark. Which was completely unlike her last visit the day after the surgery on her left eye, when the parking lot was more than half full and the place was bustling.

But at 7:30 people pulled into the parking lot and the lights came on.

The doctor checking her was someone we hadn’t seen before, but we both really liked him. He said Jan was doing fine, and to come back in a week for another checkup. Then in a month, she’ll come back for her final visit and her new eyeglass prescription. At that point she should be done and done.

For her part Jan’s much happier with the short-term results on her right eye than her left one. She says that right off the bat she’s seeing much better with her right eye than she did after a week or so after her left one. The doctor said that this is not unusual at all.

Jan got a pair of readers a week or so, and so far, they’re working great for her, letting her read her Kindles, laptop, and the desktop.

Last Sunday I crawled under the rig to take another look at my oil leak problem. I had planned to use my Wyze camera on the end of a rod to get a look. But, like when I tried this same thing from under the bed, I just couldn’t get it into position.

But I could get my cellphone up in there and got this.

Rig Oil Leak Cell Phone Photo 1

That’s the oil filter on the right and the coolant filter on the left. The long hose on the right side is the slobber tube. The small metal tube in the center seems to be part of the coolant system.

Rig Oil Leak Cell Phone Photo 2

Rig Oil Leak Cell Phone Photo 3

What you can’t see in the photos is that everything right above this area is tan-colored and dry. So I guess my next move is to drop the filter myself and see what I can see. I wish I could come up with some sort of plug to cap off the filter location and then run the engine for a while to see what happens.

Just a reminder to any new readers. The filter gasket has already been changed out without fixing the problem. But I’ll keep after it.

January 18, 2020

Bits And Pieces, Odds And Ends . . .

I recently came across a couple of new cables for charging all the many devices we seemed to have accumulated, one very useful and the other one just neat.

We have a couple of devices that stay plugged in and charging pretty much 100% of the time, which of course is not good for the batteries.

One of them is our Verizon MiFi which runs all our many WiFi-controlled devices here in the coach, from our Wyze security cameras to our SmartBot coffee pot controller, and the number of WiFi switches we have. So it needs to stay plugged in all the time

The other one is Jan’s Samsung Galaxy S5 phone. It’s mainly used so that I can call Jan when I’m at work or out and about. Otherwise it just sits on the counter. And if it gets unplugged after it’s 100% charged, it often gets forgotten until it runs down and shuts off.

I’ve tried using timers to shut them off on a schedule, but they always seem to still get overcharged, or they run down. But then I came across these cables.

Auto Off Cables

Cable Auto Disconnect Smart Charging Male to Male USB C Cable

They charge the device up to 100% and then shut off until the charge drops to about 90% and then turn back on. Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

The other cables are just neat, and very colorful.

Light Up Charge Cables

Light Up Charging Cables

This evening I went online and reserved seats for Knives Out at the theater up in Webster for tomorrow afternoon. Using Flixster on my phone, I was able to reserve our seats and pay for them through the app.

This is the same theater where we saw Downton Abbey a few months ago, and it has the new very comfortable recliners.


Movie Recliners

So comfortable, in fact, that you have to be careful not to fall asleep. Or at least Jan does.

Though I guess it depends on the movie. A few years ago we somehow ended up taking Landon to see the SpongeBob Square Pants movie and all 3 of us fell asleep. And that was without recliners.

At the time Jan and I both agreed that that was an hour and 40 minutes we would never get back.

And we still haven’t.

January 18, 2022

So Now It’s Jan’s Turn . . .

We had planned to meet friends Debi and Ed Hurlburt and Janice and Dave Evans at the Olive Garden up in Spring. But last night it was Jan’s turn to start feeling under the weather, with a bad headache and an upset tummy. All that continued into this morning, so unfortunately we had to cancel. But she was starting to feel a little better by this evening.

Now back to our weekend Kingsland trip.

We left the rig about 8:30 with our first stop about an hour away at the  Buc-ee’s in Katy for Kolaches and coffee. And since their gas was pretty cheap, I topped off the Jeep before we left. And when we did, Jan took over the driving for a while.

Heading out I-10 we got onto US71 at Columbus. Then after a quick bathroom stop at Hruska’s, we got on US77 at La Grange and took it all the way up to Giddings. The only hitch was a 15 minute holdup because construction had made a bridge a one lane crossing.

Getting into Giddings, we made another Buc-ee’s stop where I noticed this sign.

Buc-ee's Hiring

Wow! Three weeks vacation the first year, healthcare, and a 401K. They are really looking to hire.

Then with me driving again, we got on US290 taking us into and through Austin and out on SR29 over to Burnet, and then down US281 to our Motel 6 in Marble Falls, getting in about 2:30.

A nice, easy trip.

Since Brandi had to wait for Lowell to get off work, they wouldn’t get into Marble Falls until about 8:30, so they told us to go ahead and have dinner with Chris and Linda without them.

So we ended up at Alfredo’s about 5pm.

Jan had a really good Chile Relleno Platter,

Kingsland Alfredo's Jan Chile Rellano

while I got, well, I forget what it was called, but it was really good too.

Kingsland Alfredo's Greg

Finally, it was back to the motel for the night, looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow.