Daily Archives: January 24, 2024

Well, Duh . . .

A groundbreaking study shows kids learn better on paper, not screens.

The Department of Education’s most recent survey, released in June, was certainly sensational: it found that text comprehension skills of 13-year-olds had declined an average of four points since the Covid-affected school year of 2019-2020, and more alarmingly that the average drop was seven points compared with the 2012 figure. The results for the worst-performing students fell below the reading skill level recorded in 1971, when the first national study was conducted.

Until recently there has been no scientific answer to this urgent question, but a soon-to-be published, groundbreaking study from neuroscientists at Columbia University’s Teachers College has come down decisively on the matter: for “deeper reading” there is a clear advantage to reading a text on paper, rather than on a screen, where “shallow reading was observed”.

For more than a decade, social scientists, including the Norwegian scholar Anne Mangen, have been reporting on the superiority of reading comprehension and retention on paper. As Froud’s team says in its article: “Reading both expository and complex texts from paper seems to be consistently associated with deeper comprehension and learning” across the full range of social scientific literature.

Funny thing about this study is that this has been known in the Graphic Design industry for years. At least 20 in fact.

Back when I was WebMaster at the School of Business at UHCL (University of Houston-Clear Lake) from 2001 to 2008, I took a number of Graphics Design courses. Hey, they were free since the University was paying for them.

And one thing that was emphasized over and over was that people don’t process words on the screen the same way they do on paper. I actually figured this out years before, noticing that it was much easier and more accurate to proofread text on paper.

And it also makes a difference in how you format text on the screen. Grammar rules say a paragraph should have at least 3 sentences in it. Not true on the screen.

That’s why you see short paragraphs on this blog, some with only 1 sentence. And also why I will print out anything that I need to read closely.

Tomorrow we’re getting together with one of Jan’s former co-workers for lunch. And we may try the Big Horn BBQ there, especially since we’ve got a new one going in right down the road from us here in Santa Fe.

Big Horn BBQ Menu

Basically BBQ and Burgers and associated fare.

Looking forward to it.

Since midnight, we’ve had 3.52 inches of rain, pretty much just steady all day, but not really heavy. And it looks like more to come over the next few days.

Thought For The Day:

Why is it some women won’t date a guy that still lives with his mom, but will date a guy that still lives with his wife?

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

January 24, 2011

16 Days and Counting . . .

Our day started off with good coffee from our daughter-in-law’s Christmas present, and then got even better.

About 12:30 Jan’s dentist called with a cancellation, so Jan will get her last appointment done tomorrow afternoon, instead of Feb. 16th.  So this means we can push up our departure date from the 17th to the 9th. Which means we’ve got 16 days and counting before we leave.


The hitch itch is getting bad, believe me.

Later we left the rig about 1:45 to meet our friends Bob & Maria at King Food up in Webster, our favorite local Chinese place. As usual we sat around just talking for a good while. We’ve known Bob & Maria since the mid-80’s and always have fun together.

Finally leaving King Food, we stopped off at Brandi’s to drop off some clothes for Landon that Jan got at Kohl’s yesterday. BabyDaddy Lowell was already home working from there when we stopped by.

As we were heading home, a friend called about a problem he was having with his slides and levelers. Sounded like to me that he was right in thinking that his hydraulic pump system was low on fluid. He said he’d checked the level with the levelers down and the slides out. I told him that on my PowerGear system, the levelers had to be retracted before you can check the fluid level. His HWH hydraulic system handles both his levelers and his slides. Our levelers are hydraulic, but our slide is all electric.

Passing through Dickinson, we stopped at the Sonic Drive-In to pick Jan up a foot-long chili cheese coney to have later for supper, along with some Ched’R Poppers.

We got home a little before 5:30 and were really glad to be in out of the rain. It started raining yesterday evening, and has pretty much rained ever since. All this rain we’re having is certainly not helping me get all the outside jobs done on the RV. Hopefully it will dry up soon.

My friend called back a little after 6 saying that his fluid level was low, and that adding a quart of transmission fluid had fixed the problem. Glad he got it taken care of.

January 24, 2012

Katz and Penzey . . .

Our busy day started about 11am when we headed into Houston for the day of shopping and sightseeing.

But our first stop was Katz’s Deli in the Montrose area. Jan and I have eaten here several times. Katz’s is an authentic New York deli that was transported to Texas in 1979 and it’s been booming ever since.


They have Reubens literally 6 inches high, that are delicious, and at that size, really hard to wrap your mouth around.

Katzs Reuben

Along with the fantastic Broccoli/Cheese Soup, Potato Salad, Cole Slaw, and Crunchy Kosher Dill Pickles, it was a meal made in Heaven. Well, maybe not, since the Jewish religion is somewhat ambivalent on the whole Heaven/Hell thing, but, anyway, it was really, really good.

Waddling out of Katz’s, we headed over to the Heights area to visit Penzeys Spices, a mecca of attraction for Jan. They have pretty much any spice or seasoning you can think of, in any size or variety.

Need 9 different kinds of cinnamon from 4 different countries? They’ve got it.

Need 6 different forms of vanilla? You’ve come to the right place.

Of course I just sat in the truck and read my Kindles while Jan spent our money.

Finally leaving Penzeys a few dollars poorer, we headed over to the Galleria area to The Container Store.

Jan and I have been coming here for years, always fascinated by the many containers and gadgets they have. Pretty much any way to store anything you can imagine.

We left The Container Store about 3:30, hoping to get ahead of the going-home traffic. And we made it, but just barely. As we came down off Beltway 8 onto I-45, we started seeing lights, police cars, and fire trucks.

Turns out, an SUV traveling at a high rate of speed on the feeder, had jumped the curb, flipped over, knocked over a light pole, and crashed into 4 or 5 new cars at a VW dealership, ending up upside down on top of the cars.

Bummer! I hate it when that happens.

Back in our area, we stopped off at Brandi’s to pick up our mail, and then drove over to Fry’s Electronics for what turned out to be a fruitful visit.

Since it was now about 5pm and we were finally hungry after our big lunch at Katz’s, we drove over to King Food, which was nearby. Jan and I had our usual great meal.

Finally, after a long, but fun, day, and a quick stop at a CVS, we were back home for the night.

January 24, 2013

It’s Landon Time!

or A Random Act of Kindness.

Today was our day to get some quality Landon time, so we planned to take him to the Bayou Wildlife Park between Dickinson and Alvin, and then spend the rest of the day together.

We left the rig about 8:30 (OMG), but had a few stops first before we picked him up. First up was a Starbuck’s run to get some caffeine in us, since we didn’t make coffee before we left.

Then, after a quick trip through the bank next door, it was across the street to Jack Box’s place for a breakfast sandwich for Jan. Finally our last stop before getting Landon was to the house to get his car seat for the trip.

When we got to the daycare, he was in his Computer Class (he also has Spanish Classes there too) but was ready to leave with us.

I’ve always been impressed by the security at the daycare. First off, you don’t even get buzzed in unless they know you, or expect you. And if you’re not a parent, you can’t pick up a child unless a parent has told them you’re coming, and your name must be in their files ahead of time. Very nice.

Finally getting Landon buckled into his car seat, we headed out. While I was trying to get him situated, he kept looking at me like he was wondering what kind of idiot couldn’t do this.

Hey,  there’s a lot of buckles and straps, OK?

It was only about 20 minutes to the park, and we got there just as it opened. (I love it when a plan comes together.)

The last time we were here was in the early 80’s when Landon’s mother, Brandi, was only about 7 – 8 years old. So it’s been a while.

Bayou Wildlife Park Sign

Paying our admission at the gate, and getting our food buckets,

Bayou Food Bucket

and heading into the park, we were quickly greeted by a welcoming committee. They had figured out that they had the best shot at the food by getting there early.

We had llamas,

Up Close and Personal

Feeding the Llama

American Elk,

American Elk


Welcome Committee

and even this evil-looking Emu. It’s easy to see why scientists think birds evolved from dinosaurs.

Emu Evil Look

And they all just came right up and stuck their heads in the car window.

Landon wasn’t too thrilled about this part. He didn’t cry, but he did keep saying “Close window, close window. Go way, go way.”

Next we crossed over a cattle gate and drove out into a wide-open area just filled with animals. Everything from deer, antelope, llamas, alpacas, elk, ostriches, and emus, to kangaroos, swans, and ducks. Oh, my.

Wildlife Herd

Parking at the main building we checked out the Petting Zoo,

Pygmy Goats

and the giraffes in their pen right next door.


After seeing this sign, I told Jan I was going to search her before we headed home. We have two cats. We don’t need a goat.

Buy your own Goats

By now it was time for our tram ride through the rest of the park. They’re completely open so you can get up close and personal with the animals. Sometimes closer than you really want to be, especially for Jan and Landon, as you’ll see a little bit later.

Bayou Tram

As we headed out there were animals everywhere we looked. And what was really amazing was how many of them Landon could name.

Jan and Landon at Bayou Wildlife Park

This guy would have emptied the whole bucket if Jan had let him.

Jan and Her New Friend

These are ring-tailed lemurs. They have two different compounds of them, surrounded by water to keep them in.

Ring Tailed Lemurs

You don’t realize how big swans are until you see them up close. This guy’s about 4 feet tall. That’s a lot of bird.


When the herd of American Bison surrounds the tram, you began to wonder just how sturdy the tram was.

Bison 6

And this Watusi Cow didn’t help things any.

Watusi Cattle 2

I thought this Bactrian Camel (two humps) was going to climb into the tram with Jan.

Camel 4

He took a liking to Landon’s brightly-colored backpack and decided he wanted it.

Camel 5

And came after it.

Camel 6

She kept trying to push him away, but a 1500-pound camel doesn’t push very easily.

Camel 7

Camel 8

I’m not sure if Jan was trying to protect Landon here, or trying to get Landon to save her.

Camel 9

But luckily he finally gave up as the tram pulled away.

They even have gators. But luckily they don’t come up to the tram to be fed.


This is Cleo, their Southern White Rhino. She weighs almost two tons, and is 5 feet high and 9 feet long.

Now that’s a big girl.


A Red Kangaroo.


Getting back to the barn, Landon picked out a new friend at the gift shop. Jan asked him if he also wanted a T-shirt.

He said, “No shirt. Just Monkey.”

Landon and his new friend

He named him Eek Eek.

I think he now has 3 monkeys named Eek Eek.

I saw this sign on the side of the barn, and it is correct.

Alvin, TX holds the record for the most rain in the continental US in a 24 hour period. Tropical Storm Claudette came in from the Gulf and just hunkered down and stayed.

Rain Record

We were very lucky our house didn’t get flooded, and we’re built pretty high.

And it looks like you can start your own zoo here.

Buy your own Zebra

Need a breeding pair of zebras? They’ve got them.

How about a half dozen Scimitar Horned Oryx . . . Oryxes . . .Oryxi?  Whatever.  You’ve come to the right place.

Or maybe you’ve always wanted a pet Water Buffalo?  You can git’em here.

About 12:30 we headed back to the house. We had a great time, and Landon said he did too. Maybe we’ll bring him back next year, so he can enjoy it even more.

On the way home, we stopped at Wendy’s for lunch. For Landon that was Chicken Nuggets and Apple Slices.

While Jan and Landon rested and played, I visited some clients and took care of some problems. And by the time I got back to the house, it was after 4pm, so we all headed out to Barcenas Mexican Restaurant, right outside the subdivision, a place Landon always enjoys.

Landon and Nana at Barcenas

He really likes their Queso.

As far as the Random Act of Kindness, I kept waiting for the waiter to bring our check after we were finished. Finally, I asked him for it, and he said the guy in the booth behind us had paid our check for us.


I remember glancing at him when I sat down, and Jan said when he left she had looked at him and didn’t recognize him.

Maybe he was just messing with us. A couple of times over the years, I’ve paid the toll for the car behind me, just for the hell of it. But I never bought anyone’s dinner.

I did ask our waiter if the guy had also paid our tip. He smiled and said “No.” So I asked him how much our bill was, $35 as it turns out, and I tipped him on it.

Leaving Barcenas, we drove over to the nearby Wal-Mart for some groceries and a few other things, and then it was back to the house.

By the time we got back, Landon had finally zonked out, after a very busy day.

Worn Out Landon

Brandi and Lowell had used this Landon respite to have dinner at Cheesecake Factory, so when they got home a little after 7pm, Jan and I headed out. We did make a quick stop at the Monterey’s Little Mexico in Dickinson for a call-ahead order of chips and salsa to go with our meal tomorrow.

Hopefully the day won’t start so early tomorrow.

January 24, 2014

30 Days and Counting . . .

Houston Ice Storm 2014

Well, we did survive the storm. Here at the rig it was still 32 degrees when I got up at 10 AM (didn’t go to bed until after 2 AM). By noon it had dropped to 30 degrees and we had an ice film on the windows and icicles hanging from the awnings

At the same time it was 47 degrees in Fairbanks, AK. I think we sucked all the cold air down here from up there. Who ever heard of going up to Fairbanks to get warm?

I had planned to visit a couple of clients today, but since it never really got above freezing around here, and the TV kept talking about icy roads in the area, I just stayed home.

Jan did go outside for a few minutes to feed the birds, but I don’t like birds that much and just stayed inside all day where it was warm.

If we stay on schedule, we will be leaving here 1 month from today. The only problem is that we don’t know where we’re going yet. But we’ll come up with something by then.

The only definite time/place we have planned for this year so far is the 54th Escapade this coming May 12th thru the 17th in Goshen, IN.

And I just found out today that I will be giving one or more of my “Gate Guarding for Fun? and Profit”  seminars at the Escapade, the same seminar I gave last year at a rally in Celina, OH.  And now we’ve got another Gate Guarding experience under our belts. See you there.

Jan fixed a big batch of delicious chocolate chip cookies later in the afternoon. Warm cookies and hot coffee really hit the spot in this weather. It’s supposed to be warmer tomorrow, maybe up into the 60’s, but not for long. The cold weather’s coming back with a vengeance and Tuesday’s low here in San Leon is supposed to be 23 degrees.

Make it stop!

Saw an interesting program the other day that really made me think. Right now car enthusiasts are still collecting 40 – 50 year old cars from the 60’s and 70’s. But 30 or 40 years from now there may be no classic cars from today. Or at least no running ones.

The problem is the computer chips/modules used in the engines for the last 20 years or so. Even now there are some cars manufactured in the 1990’s for which engine computers/chips are no longer available from the manufacturer. So some people are now scouring junkyards trying to find parts to keep their babies running.

So stock up now and corner the market.

January 24, 2015

Almost Fixed . . .

Well, as was forecast, it was sunny, dry, and 61 degrees today. Nice for a change.

About 3pm I set Jan up outside at the picnic table with a power cord so she could use the electric skillet to cook up the 4# of hamburger we got at Wal-Mart yesterday. We try to never cook anything like that in the coach since it really seems to get into the fabrics. Our ceiling is carpeted and the perfect medium to hold the smell. And the vent fan on the microwave doesn’t seem to help much.

I regularly see people cooking things like bacon outside, I guess for the same reason, since they don’t eat outside, but go back in their coach.

Later in the afternoon, I went outside to turn off the water so I could change out the shower faucet cartridge. Pulling it out proved to be more difficult than I figured. I used the puller to get it loose, but it would only come out about an inch and a half and then stop. I finally grabbed the handle with a pair of pliers and twisted it as I pulled, and it finally came out.

But it left large chunks of the rubber parts inside. Here the new and old cartridges.

Shower Cartridges

There are two slots located at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock inside the faucet body where the hot and cold enters the faucet, and they were now stopped up with the pieces of rubber missing from the cartridge. But I was not able to get the pieces out with anything I had. I needed something with a sharp hook on the end.

So finally I drove down to Lowe’s and bought a set of picks like this.

Pick Set

With the right tools it just took me a couple of minutes to get the pieces out.

Next I coated the rubber parts of the new cartridge with silicone grease and slid it into the faucet, but when I tried to insert the retaining clip, I found it wouldn’t go all the way in. I played with it for a good while but finally ran out of time when supper was ready.

The faucet is working and I was able to turn the water back on, but because the retaining clip is sticking up, I can’t put the escutcheon ring back on. This means the handle does not hit the stops so you can rotate it continuously around and around. I’ll have to figure out the problem later. But it’s almost fixed.

Jan used part of the hamburger she cooked for tonight’s dinner of delicious Hamburger Mac, and we’ll vacuum seal and freeze the rest of it for later.

Tomorrow, we’re going down to Brandi and Lowell’s in Katy to pick up our mail, help Lowell set up his new computer, and, of course, have dinner at Little V’s Vietnamese Bistro.

Looking forward to it.

January 24, 2016

PEMEX and Power On . . .

Today was a perfect day for a walk with 60 degrees and sun. Our first loop was 1.07 miles, a little further than our normal 1.01, but  I think that’s because I doubled back a couple of times to check out other sites where we might like to park sometime.

While we were walking the first loop, we passed a lady walking the other way and said hi. Then she stopped off while we were having our coffee and bread. Dorothy Weaver and her husband live in a BigHorn 5th wheel right across the street from us. They’re from Houston, and have traveled a lot in the past, but don’t travel as much as they used to. We did have a good time comparing the different places we’d been, though. Fun!

Before we walked our 2nd leg, Jan started a big batch of chili in the slow cooker for tonight’s dinner. Really smells good in the coach.

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that I had finally been able to repair my son Chris’ Galaxy S5 phone.

The problem started with a dropped phone and a cracked glass screen.


As I detailed above, I first tried to carefully remove the cracked glass from the digitizer underneath. A replacement glass is only about $10 so if I could just get it off without damaging the LCD/Digitizer screen underneath, I could save a lot of money.

Chris Cellphone Repair 3_thumb[1]

But after repeatedly reheating the glass and carefully prying it off using playing cards as shims, and about two hours work, I finally was able to separate the glass from the screen underneath.

But that’s when I discovered that LCD/Digitizer screen was already cracked along a crack in the g;ass. and only the glued-on glass was holding it all together. So now the fix was going to be a good bit more expensive than $10.

More like $150.

After finally receiving the new glass-screen combo, I started carefully prying off the busted screen, trying to keep it in one piece so I don’t get little shards of glass all in the phone. But after several hours work spread over a couple of days, I got it off pretty much in one piece.

Phone Repair 1_thumb[2]

But the further problem I found was getting the broken glass from around the HOME button without damaging it or ripping it apart.

Phone Repair 2_thumb[3]

But another hour or so of carefully picking the glass off and then removing the glue residue took care of that problem.

Phone Repair 3_thumb[2]

Once that was done, it was a pretty quick job to remove the film covering the glue strips on the new screen, connect up the electrical cables, and then press it into place.

And a few minutes later, it was Power On.

It’s Alive, again.

Phone Repair 4_thumb[4]

When we were down in the Clear Lake area on Saturday, I saw a station selling Unleaded for $1.399, 10 cents a gallon less than the cheapest station in the area.

Pemex Station_thumb[1]

A second look was even more surprising. It was a Pemex station, Pemex being the national oil company of the country of Mexico.

It’s certainly the first time I’ve heard of them opening stations in the US. I guess when you’re a country, it’s easy to underprice your competition.

Speaking of competition, why is it that you find two gas stations, half a block apart, both nice, big and brightly lit , where one, a Valero, is selling Unleaded for 1.499, and the other, an Exxon station, has Unleaded for $1.799?

With a 30 cents a gallon difference, why does the Exxon have any business?

For dinner tonight we had a big bowl of the Chili that slow-cooked all afternoon.

Jan's Chili_thumb[3]

Jan tears up pieces of corn tortillas into the Chili, and then we have other tortillas with it. It’s good every time, and this was no different. YUM !

Tomorrow we’re meeting Janice and Dave Evans, and Debi and Ed Hurlburt for lunch at El Bosque, our favorite local Mexican place. Really looking forward to it.

January 24, 2017

Vehicular Overcast . . .

The first time we drove out to our new gate, we noticed this house high up on the hill overlooking the road. As we got closer we realized how large it was.

OroNegro 3

OroNegro 1

In fact it kind of reminded us of our visit to Hearst Castle out in California in 2010, but with less trees.

Hearst Castle

As we got closer we talked about where they got all their money, and I said, “Black Gold, Texas Tea.” And sure enough it was true.

Here’s the entrance to the estate.

OroNegro 2

“Oro Negro.” Black Gold in Spanish.

And when I zoomed in with my Panasonic Lumix, it was obvious how extensive the place really was.

OroNegro 4

And it turns out that they own all the land around the area, including the 100’s of wells, all pumping out money by the barrel full.

For the second time on my trips back to the pad, I came over a rise and found a skunk ambling down the center of the dirt road. It sometimes takes a couple of minutes of horn honking and light flashing to convince it to pull over.

I definitely didn’t do it the way a friend of mine handled the problem when we were teenagers. No, he didn’t just run over the skunk, he was smarter than that. He decided to carefully drive over the skunk, keeping him centered between the wheels

Big Mistake!

The skunk, obviously irritated by this vehicular overcast, expressed his displeasure by the normal means for a skunk. He pretty much hosed down the entire bottom of my friend’s car.

Did you know that cars aren’t airtight? Well, apparently my friend didn’t, or forgot, anyway. And with all our windows closed, so the skunk smell couldn’t in, right?, the stink wafting up from below was trapped right inside with us.

We rolled the windows down and drove real fast to get away from the smell, which worked until we stopped. Then we were engulfed again.

Rinse, Lather, Repeat.

After about 10 iterations of this, we finally gave up and drove home, still followed by that unmistakable smell. And although the smell didn’t stick to our clothes, it hung around on his car for weeks. Even his girlfriend didn’t want to ride with him.

And his parents made him park his car in the vacant lot across the street.

If only he could have figured out how to dip his car in tomato juice.

January 24, 2018

Tonto’s Horse Was Named . . .

I went into work this morning expecting a nice, quiet morning. I had a bunch of website and catalog price updates to catch up on, so an easy day.

But when I got there I found they had forgotten to tell me that I needed to a postcard mail-out ready to go to the printer next Monday morning, so it can be mailed out Wednesday, using the address list I also have to clean up, eliminating any bad addresses. All this for a month-long sale. They have another sale coming up in July, that one I knew about, but this one was a complete surprise.

So I was quickly elbows deep in my graphics design program coming up with a nice-looking card. I got far enough along that I’ll be able to finish it up on Friday with no problem.

I’ve already got the back done, the side where the address is printed, and I only need to track down a couple of graphics for the ad side.

Coming home from work, I made a last stop at the Webster El Pollo Loco. I say a ‘last stop’ because today is their last day of business. I had tried to do the order-ahead using their mobile app, but they had already deleted that location from the app.

When I got there they were already out of Mac N Cheese, Chips, Queso, and Cole Slaw, but lucky for me they still had their Chicken Tortilla Soup. Or at least enough for two large bowls to go.

And since after our two bowls they didn’t have enough to sell to anyone else, we got extra large servings. Nice.

I was picking these soups up as spares since we already had two in the fridge that we were going to have tonight. I had picked them up this past Monday for tonight, but when I came in this afternoon with the two piping hot ones, they became dinner. Delicious.

For Christmas, I got Jan what I thought at the time was kind of a joke gift, but she says it’s become one of her favorite.

Toilet Glow Light

LumiLux Toilet Bowl Light

Its motion sensor turns on as soon as you come into the bathroom from either direction and stays on for two minutes, although you can program it for longer.

Makes it really easy to find in the middle of the night when you’re half asleep.

Scout. Tonto’s horse was named Scout.

January 24, 2019

It’s in the TRUNK!

We were out the door about 8:30 this morning, eventually on our way up to The Woodlands’ area. But we had a couple of stops on the way.

I knew had been in the low 30’s last night, probably our lowest temps so far. But I didn’t expect what amounts to a freeze with frost on the grass

Grass Freeze Jan 2019 - 1

and a hard coating of ice on the truck windshield and windows.

Windshield Freeze Jan 2019

Our first stop was at my client’s to pick up my battery charger that he’d borrowed. Then it on to Miss Piper’s to get her Mazda Miata started. However my client neglected to tell me that one of battery charger clamps had broken off.

I tried to get it reconnected, but could never get a good enough connection to get a charge on the battery, so I finally had to resort to jumper cables. I had not done this to start with because I didn’t have room to get the truck close enough without blocking other vehicles, many of who were leaving for work. But by the time I gave up on the battery charger, I now had clearance to get my truck in position.

Luckily my son Chris had clued me in on the battery location in Piper’s Miata. Otherwise, we might still be looking for it.

It’s in the TRUNK!

Shades of our ‘64 VW, where it was under the back seat. Of course the engine was back there too, so it kind of made sense. But the Miata’s engine is in the front.

Since the battery was completely dead, no blinky, no buzzy, Chris and I suspected that she had left something on, rather than a dying battery. And after I let it charge for a few minutes I had Piper try it, and it started right up.

So before we got on the way, I told her to drive it around for about 45 minutes or so, and then come back home, turn it off, and try it again. And as she texted later, it started right up again.

The battery looks pretty new, so hopefully it didn’t sustain any long-term damage. But we’ll see, I guess.

Then it was on up I-45 to The Woodlands and the Longhorn Steakhouse to meet up with some of our favorite RV friends.

Longhorn Woodlands Group 1

From the left, we’ve got Ed Hurlburt, of Facebook’s RV Tips fame, my Jan, Debi Hurlburt, of Debi’s RV Cooking, Janice Evans, and Dave Evans.

Though we both like Wedge Salads, Jan hasn’t like Longhorn’s version since it’s actually done with Romaine stalks, rather than Iceberg. And Jan’s not a big Romaine fan.

Longhorn Woodlands Group Wedge Salad

But after she saw, and tasted mine, she’s changed her mind.

After a great time, and a plan to do it again in a few weeks, we all headed out, with Jan and I stopping at the HEB right down the feeder, looking for some of their Lola Savannah Texas Pecan Coffee. But they didn’t stock any whole bean coffees.

Then it was on back down to the Alvin area for Jan’s one-week checkup on her right eye cataract surgery. Her doctor said her eyes look great, and to come back in 3 weeks for her final checkup and a prescription for her glasses. Which should wrap all this up.

Leaving the doctor’s office we made an Alvin WalMart stop for some things before we got home a little after 5pm.

A really fun day, especially with the good news on Jan’s eyes.

And good friends, of course.

January 24, 2020

It’s Always Something Else . . .

It’s always something else.

As part of yesterday’s undone prep work, I went outside after I got back home from work this afternoon to check out our rig’s outside lights. I was worried about the right rear turn signal which sometimes goes on the fritz. But then as soon as I take the lens cover off.

But this time both turn signals were working perfectly. However, what wasn’t working now were the rig’s tail lights. So tomorrow I’ll pop the cover off the cover on the fuse panel that’s on top of the dashboard in from of the steering wheel. Hopefully it’s just a fuse. But you never know.

Although there’s only about a 20% change of rain tomorrow, unfortunately we’re looking a 50% chance on Sunday, when we’re supposed to be heading up to Katy and back for an oil leak test drive. After we get up there we’ll park at the Buc-ee’s for a while and go out to lunch with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon before heading back home.

Here’s hoping we’re leak-free.

I mentioned yesterday about my uncle Tom turning down the first contract offer that he received from the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1951. But then the legendary Art Rooney, owner of the Steelers as well as the Pittsburgh Pirates, lured him back with a better offer.

Jan reminded me that a few years ago Tom told her that the offer he accepted was for $8,000. When Jan commented to Tom that it didn’t seem like a lot, he laughed and said that in 1952 it was a lot of money.

And in checking it I found out he was right. $8,000 in 1952 was the equivalent to about $80,000 today. While not a lot compared to what NFL players are making today, this is when a top-of-the-line Chevy ran about $1,800, and a Cadillac convertible was about $3,400.

So yes, $8,000 was a bundle of cash in 1952.

January 24, 2021

Laptops and Scenic Views . . .

Jan and I headed up to Webster to have lunch once again at Twin Peaks.

Hey, Good Eats and ‘Scenic Views’. What more can I say?

We were also meeting up with long-time phone friend, Donna. I’ve worked on her computers remotely for a number of years, but this was the first time to actually meet in person. And the reason for the meeting was to hand off a new Dell i7 laptop.

I had spent the last couple of days setting up and configuring the laptop for her daughter Alex, who needs this new one for college. And of course Alex had to come to pick it up in person.

We had so much fun talking that we were there almost two hours, and had a lot of fun getting to know Donna better. Later this week she’s going to drop off her own laptop for me to clean up too.

Coming home we made an HEB stop and storeroom stop before finally getting home about 5.

Nice end to a very nice weekend.

January 24, 2022

An Update To Yesterday’s Update . . .

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog that I had heard from the granddaughter of Robert McGowan, the man that my ex-coworker, Dr. Pat Doyle, was convicted of beating to death in 2003.

She was correct in that he recently died in prison, on January 18th, 2022. And she even found his obituary, along with a very strange photo of him.

Patrick Doyle Obituary – Lagrange, KY
Obituary of {subject.fullNameWithPrefixAndSuffix}

He looks like he’s about 30 in this photo, years before I ever met him.

And I love the heading underneath the photo.

Celebrate the life of Patrick Doyle, leave a kind word or memory.

Nothing to say that he had spent the last 19 years in prison.

Tomorrow’s going to be my chance to take Arby’s Diablo Dare, supposedly the hottest sandwich on the market.

Arby's Diablo Dare

I think I’ll probably try the Brisket version, rather than the
Chicken one. But we’ll see.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

January 24, 2023

Flamingos Down . . .

Lunch today was the Torchy’s Tacos up in Webster once again.

Jan got her usual two Chicken Fajitas version,

Torchy's Chicken Fajitas 20230124

while I digressed from my usual two Republicans (with a Cheese Jalapeno Sausage) to one Republican (They also have a Democrat)and one Brushfire.

Torchy's Republican & Brushfire 20230124

The Brushfire is made with Jamaican Jerked Chicken and Mango. And they’re both delicious.

And nice and spicy.

It was raining a little when we left the rig this afternoon, but it got worse as time passed. In fact, after lunch and a stop at the office, we decided to adjourn the rest of our errands and head home. And I’m really glad we did as the bottom dropped out along the way, as well as the obligatory Tornado Warning for our area. Yikes!

And when we got home we had to sit in the car for a while to let the rain die down. And getting out we found the storm had proceeded us.

The patio was a mess.

Flamingos Down

There were downed flamingos everywhere. And we were very surprised to see that even the umbrella went down.

That base is very heavy.

Our LaCrosse Weather Station showed that we had steady winds of around 25mph, with gusts to over 35mph.

And while the temp was 72° when we got home, with the passing front it was down to 52 in just couple of hours.

And down to 40 tonight.