Daily Archives: February 3, 2024

Gustatory Rhinitis?

Turns out that I seem to suffer from Gustatory Rhinitis, i.e. a runny nose caused by eating.

Luckily I’m not as bad as this guy.

Mine only occurs when I eating something really, really hot. The hotter the food, the more my nose runs. And at the hottest levels, my bald head starts to sweat.

Bring it on!

Came across this interesting article about a guy with a military air-to-air missile in his garage. He said he bought it at an estate sale from his deceased neighbor.

Turns out it was an AIR-2 Genie, and luckily, it was not fueled, and not armed with its standard nuclear warhead!

This is what it looked like in real life.

The Genie was developed back in the 1950’s to combat swarms of Soviet bombers. The thinking was that rather than trying to shoot them down one at a time, just fire nuclear warheads into the middle of the formation and take out a bunch of them at one time.

Luckily it never had to be used.

What makes this interesting to Jan and I is that Jan’s father, a Senior Master Sergeant in the Air Force worked on these, although Jan didn’t know it until years later. When she asked him what he did one time, he just said he worked in a hangar.

Turns out that the Genie was what he was working on. But it was so secret at the time, he couldn’t talk about it.


Today was pretty laid-back with lunch at our favorite Chinese buffet, Yummy Yummy’s. Located over in an old IHOP over in the Texas City area, it’s been our go-to Chinese buffet place for years. There is also East Star up in Webster, but it’s further away and more expensive.

One dish Jan and I almost always get is the cold-boiled shrimp.

These are always fresh, and have that ‘bite’ to them, and are never ‘mealy’, showing they’re fresh and haven’t been frozen. And another way you can tell that they’re really fresh is that the tips of the feelers aren’t black.


Then it was on to HEB for our weekly stuff, a day early since I’m taking Jan up to Brandi’s for a week or so. So she wanted to stock up.

I had planned to get gas at the HEB station, but found the price had jumped 21 cents since yesterday, now at $2.79. Since I had noted our local CircleK/Valero was still at $2.58, I decided to get gas there. Don’t know what’s happening but a number of stations have made a big jump in the last few days.

As I said, tomorrow I’m taking Jan up to Brandi’s for a week or so to help Brandi out while she’s involved in some other stuff.

Thought For The Day:

Friends come and go, but enemies accumulate.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

February 3, 2011

Biocide and Borders . . .

6 Days and Counting . . .

This morning we started off trying to warm up with a cup of hot coffee. We’re still running on internal water since it never got warm enough or sunny enough to thaw out the water faucet.

And now they’re talking about 1-3” of snow tonight and tomorrow morning.

Yayyyy! Just what we spend the winter in Houston for.

About 11 I headed up to Seabrook to A.E.R. Supply to pick up the 4 bolt to 2 bolt toilet adapter. Hopefully this will once and for all fix the mounting problem for the new toilet I bought in Las Vegas last year.

Leaving there I went next door to Lakewood Yacht Supply to buy a bottle of Biocide. Since we’ve had so much rain I want to treat my diesel tank before we hit the road.

The bottle should last a while. The pint container treats 1250 gallons of diesel. So roughly 10 uses.

Coming home I stopped at Wendy’s for a lunch of Spicy Chicken Sandwiches and Fries.

After lunch I got back to work on pulling up the carpet in the front of the rig. Today I removed the chair by the computer table so I could pull up the carpet underneath. I also started pulling up the carpet in front of the steps. The only thing I have left is what’s under the two front chairs.

Then about 5:45 we headed up to Pasadena to meet our friend Barbara at Border’s Grill & Cantina for dinner. Then we went over to Barbara’s house for some wine, conversation, and working on her stereo.

We finally got home about 11:15pm after a long day.

Jan’s been a little under the weather the last few days fighting off a cold, so hopefully she’ll be feeling better tomorrow.

February 3, 2012

Snow and Rain-X . . .

Today we were up early again, for the third day in a row. Luckily tomorrow we can sleep in.

Our raison d’etre was to take our daughter Brandi to Houston-Hobby Airport to catch a Frontier Airlines flight to Denver. She’s going out for the weekend for a friend’s baby shower.

On the way to Brandi’s we heard on the radio that Southwest Airlines had suspended all flights into Denver until after 1pm, so we hoped she’d get out OK since her flight didn’t even leave Houston until 12:20pm

Dropping Brandi off at the airport, we headed over to our doctor’s office to correct some problems with our prescriptions. It seems like it’s always easier to get these things straightened out face-to-face.

By this time it was after 11am, and since we were driving right by the place, we decided to have lunch at the Texas Tea Room for some of their delicious soup and sandwiches

After lunch, I made a quick visit to a client before we started for home. Of course, along the way, I made a quick stop at Fry’s Electronics to check on a warranty problem, and then we stopped at Buc-ee’s for cappuccinos and a newspaper.

Then finally it was home for the day.

After a short nap, (too short, but I had stuff to do.) I went outside to work on some more things to get us ready to travel in about two weeks.

First I used a piece of plastic hose to siphon the old windshield washer fluid out of both the rig and the truck and replaced it with Rain-X fluid. I recently bought Rain-X windshield wipers and read that they work better and last longer with the Rain-X fluid. So I thought I’d give it a try.

Next, and while I was in the area, I started to replace the wipers on the rig with the new Rain-X ones. I’d replaced the ones on the truck a couple of weeks ago, but got rained out before I could do the rig. But I didn’t get too far this time either.

The rig wipers are held on the arms by machine bolts and I noticed they were pretty rusty. So tomorrow I’ll stop off at the hardware store and get some stainless steel ones to take care of that problem.

Next up I replaced the outside and the inside water filters. The outside one is a Culligan RV-800 and just mounts on the faucet hose.

Up until last year I had always used one of those blue ones that everybody, including Wal-Mart, sells. But while we were staying at an RV park outside Glacier National Park this past year, my blue one just up and split open one day.

Since the park had a store, I checked to see what they had, and that’s when I found the Culligan. It was about the same length as the blue ones, but bigger around. And even better, it was rated for a lot more gallons than the blue ones. So I decided to give it a try.

And as it turns out, it’s a really good filter, especially in places like Elkhart, IN that have a lot of iron in the water. This year, for the first time, we had no rust stains in the lavatory while we were in Elkhart.

Last thing before I went inside, I dumped a couple of ounces of biocide into my diesel tank. I came into the park with a full tank of fuel which helps cut down on the condensation and water in the tank, which keeps the algae from growing, which keeps the algae from clogging the fuel filters. It’s a vicious cycle.

Then it was inside for the fun one, the one under the sink that feeds the icemaker and the drinking fountain. It’s not easy to get to, even if it has snap-in connectors. The one I bought was supposed to be a direct replacement for the one I had, but it sure didn’t hook up the same.

Once the old one is hooked in, no amount of pulling would release it until you push the button on the connector. However, it didn’t take much pulling at all for the new one to pop loose.

Just picturing in my mind the coach flooded after the new one came loose while we weren’t here, I grabbed my Droid and about 30 seconds later had the correct one on the way from Amazon. It’ll be here tomorrow and I’ll install it then.

About this time Jan heated up some great King Food Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce with Fried Rice, an Egg Roll, and Hot and Sour Soup. Really good dinner.

After a great meal, I got to work on assembling the Kitchen Cart we got from Wal-Mart a week or so ago.

When we had the washer/dryer out of the cabinet for repair around Christmas time, Jan really enjoyed using it for extra counter space, so we decided to find something to replace it. And we found this at Wal-Mart.

Kitchen Cart

Mine ended up looking like this.

New Kitchen Cart 1

I left the towel rack/handle off the left side until we see how it fits.

For traveling and storing out of the way, it looks like this. The wheels lock, but I’ll bungee it in place too.

New Kitchen Cart

I think it’s going to work out pretty well.

About 8pm I called Lowell to see how Brandi did on her flight. He said she made it safely, but took off from here about an hour and 20 minutes late because of the bad weather in Denver.

And bad it is. Lowell said there’s a foot of snow on the ground and more coming. It won’t get above freezing the entire time she’s there, and tomorrow night the low is supposed to 8 degrees. Hope she took warm clothes.

February 3, 2013

The Good News is . . .

the next time I have to replace the seat on our Dometic toilet, it will only take about 30 seconds, as long as I use the same brand of seat.

But instead it took me about 2 hours to get the old one off, due to how tight the nuts underneath holding it on were. I could have gotten it off easier if I had pulled the toilet from the floor, but I was trying to avoid that.

Finally I just drilled the bolts out from the top, which took a little care so I didn’t accidentally drill into the toilet body. But about 15 minutes work and it was done.

Then a couple of minutes to install the new bolts and then about 30 seconds to mount the new seat, and it was done.

Next up was a quickie job: Mounting a new CO Monitor on the ceiling in the bathroom. That went smoothly for a change.

Then I started looking at the last remaining shade that I need to repair. It’s the one in the living room over the sofa. Unfortunately this one either has a broken string, or at least one has pulled back through the Day portion of the shade.

But it looks like I’ll need to lower the sofa into the bed to get access to the screws at the bottom of the valance. But that will have to wait until tomorrow, because right now we need to head over to Brandi and Lowell’s to Landon-sit for the afternoon, while they check out some more houses.

After dropping Jan off at Brandi’s I ran some errands before ending back there for the afternoon. Landon was his usually sweet self and we had a lot of fun playing with him.

Brandi and Lowell got back about 4:30 and about 30 minutes later we all, along with Aunt Sherry, headed over to King Food for dinner. And after a great meal, we all headed home for the night.

February 3, 2014

It was a Bomb!

Today was another client day, so I headed out about 10:30 to get started. The first one was a little bit of everything, from setting up a new laptop, and cleaning up a desktop machine, to showing him how to use his new Kindle Fire HD. Max is another client who, along with his wife and her business, have been clients for over 10 years, and it’s always good to hear from them when we’re back in town.

Then it was off to my commercial client for a while before finally heading home about 3:30. Then it was back up to Clear Lake with Jan to check out the newest ‘Breastaurant’ in the area.

Like Hooters, Twin Peaks, and Bone Daddy’s, Bombshell’s is the latest in the genre of pretty girls in somewhat skimpy uniforms, cold beer, and dozens of TV screens tuned to every sports channel available.


The place is decorated in a military theme with airplane wings overhead, bomb casings scattered around, and camouflage on the walls.

Bombshell Plane

And of course, the obligatory pretty young ladies.

Bombshell Girls

But for Jan and I the place ‘Bombed’ out. Like Bone Daddy’s that we tried last year right before we left the area, it just wasn’t that good. Ok, I guess, but it just didn’t click with us.

The service was kind of lackluster, the kitchen messed up my order, giving me the same thing Jan ordered instead of what I ordered. And the food itself was just so-so. Nothing special.

Some of this might be due to the fact that they’ve only been open about a week, but it doesn’t bode well for the place. It was pretty busy for 4 PM on a Monday afternoon, but it will be interesting to how it holds up. I think that at least part of that might be attributed to the fact that this place, the second one in a new chain, is owned by the same guy that owns Rick’s Cabaret’s, a string of gentleman’s (read ‘strip’) clubs. So they may have been expecting girls in even skimpier costumes than Hooters or Twin Peaks, but that wasn’t the case.

And just like our only once visit to Bone Daddy’s last year, this will probably our one and only to Bombshells. There are too many other good places.

Tomorrow is a little more client stuff, and then some more work on the new floor.

February 3, 2016

Clogged Up . . .

There was a problem with last night’s blog photos, but I fixed it earlier today, so go back and check them out if you missed them.

We bumped our walk up to a little over a mile and a half this morning, one mile, then coffee and English muffins, finishing up with a final half mile. Tomorrow we’ll try to up it to 1.75 miles, which is where we were at Lake Conroe.

About 3pm Jan and I drove into Columbus for dinner and shopping, with our first stop at the hardware store right off the town square, for some picture hangers, and also to ask about a local welder for our rig’s aluminum screen door hinge. Turns out they had both the hangers and the info.

They recommended Schneider Welding out east on US90, almost to I-10. And looking at their website, it seems they should be able to fix the hinge, so I’ll give them a call tomorrow.

Next up was dinner at Whataburger, always good, as usual. Then it was on to Wal-Mart for a few things. The Columbus Wal-Mart is not a SuperCenter, but an old one where they shoehorned in a limited grocery section with mostly just staples. So after Wal-Mart we stopped off at the Brookshire Bros. Market on the way home for some fresh fruits and veggies, and a few other things WM didn’t have.

Getting back to the rig and getting the groceries put away, I discovered we have a problem, one that we’ve never had before in 9 years of RV’ing. We have a partially clogged black tank.

Normally we have no problem going two weeks before we empty the black tank. Which means I usually dump the tanks right before we leave a park, and then dump them again two weeks later. We’ve actually gone 18 days between black tank dumps.

The Friday before we left Lake Conroe this past Sunday, I closed the grey tank to have some water to flush the hose. Then Sunday morning I dumped the black tank while I was putting away the satellite and some other stuff.

So I didn’t see how much came out. I do know that it started flowing when I pulled the handle, but then I walked away. When I came back a little later, there was nothing flowing, so I closed the black tank and dumped the grey tank. All this was my standard procedure.

But when we got home this afternoon, the black tank was almost full again. Thinking maybe water was leaking into the tank somehow, I went outside and dumped the black tank again. But, although something came out, it was obviously not enough for a full tank. And checking inside, the level was down, but only a little.

Then back outside I hooked up to the tank’s built-in flush system to see if that would help. Water went in, and water came out of the dump valve, but the level didn’t really change.

So tomorrow I’ll have to look further into the problem and see what I find.

It seems that Karma has decided that this is her new home. She’s made no attempt to escape since we brought her home, and in fact sometimes hides under Moose when she sees us going in and out of the rig. But we still keep a close eye on her then.

We got Mister’s old scratching perch out and Karma took to it almost immediately.

Karma on Cardboard_thumb[1]

It’s made from pressed corrugated cardboard, and makes a combination bed and scratching post. I put her on it a couple of times and she jumped right off, but a little later she was back on it by herself.

Apparently it has to be her idea.

One thing kind of unusual is that she’s fascinated by the sound of running water. Any time she hears the faucet running, she’s right up on the counter almost climbing into the sink to watch. And she even lays down next to the Mr. Coffee when it’s bubbling away.

Strange Kitty.

She’s going to fit right in.

Wrapping up, I came across this video of Hero, the SuperCollie, doing a dance routine with his owner, Sara. Hero is a Border Collie, not a Lassie Collie, and has been on many TV shows, including David Letterman.

Border Collies are supposed to be the smartest dogs, and Hero lives up to that with the 100’s of tricks he knows.

Check it out.

February 3, 2017

The Pixelization of Memory . . .

or Tomorrow for Sure . . . Maybe.

And yes, our rig did not get moved today . . . again. Turns out I have a very narrow window of time to get anything really done during my off hours from the gate.

It’s usually close to 6am before I get back to the rig, and as late as 6:30 before I get to bed. One variable in this is whether or not I was able to get enough signal to upload the blog from the gate. If not, I have to boot up the laptop, upload the blog to the website and then post it to Facebook, a task that can take 10 to 15 minutes.

And since I’ve normally gotten up at 10:30 to 11am all these years, that’s when I still wake up. Whether I really want to, or not. So if anything gets done, it’s in that small time frame from about 11am until around 1:30.

Then I can convince my brain I’m only going back to bed for a ‘nap’. That way I can usually get another couple of hours in before I have to get up and go to work. All in all, not that much different than past years when we were doing 24 hour gates.

Then I would work an 8 hour shift, and Jan would work a 6 hour one. Then I would work 5 hours and Jan finished up with a 5 hour one. So what this meant was I slept for about 4 hours twice a day, which worked fine for me, and I had no problem doing this for the entire 3 months.

But what this all boils down to is the fact that I only have about two hours to really do ‘anything’ before I go back to work. And today’s window was ‘eaten’ up by a #6 Double Meat Whataburger with my name on it. They even had a special sticker printed up just for me, and stuck it right there on top of the wrapper.

It said ‘BACON’!

Jan’s said ‘KETCHUP’ so I knew that one wasn’t mine. You all know how I feel about ketchup on hamburgers and hotdogs. Ketchup belongs on French Fries and meatloaf, and that’s pretty much it.

And of course, on Whataburger fries, it’s their Spicy Ketchup.

The Pixelization of Memory . . .

Pixelization generally has two meanings.

One is the blurring or distorting of a photo or video. You see this a lot on TV where they may blur out a company logo or a risqué T-shirt slogan. Now I always wonder if it’s something we could see walking down the street, why is it so necessary to hide it on TV. And of course you also see it used to hide the identify of children, or even witnesses in a trial. Both of those valid.

And you sometimes see it used on ‘reality’ shows like ‘Naked and Afraid’ to hide people’s ‘naughty bits’. Now there are probably 4 or 5 people on the other side of the camera. There’s the camera guy, a sound guy (you can often see the boom mike), the director, and probably a general flunky.

So they get to see all the ‘naughty bits’, why not us?

Or are there really any ‘bit’s to be seen at all? For all we know it could just be bikinis and speedos under there, and it’s all just hype. I mean, think about it. You’ve got a show with ‘Naked’ in the title, but there’s no ‘naked’ to be seen.

What’s the point?

Note I put ‘reality’ in quotes, because if you know anything about television production, you know there’s nothing ‘real’ about any of this. There could be an entire crew of twenty behind the camera, including a catered buffet table setup, filming a guy lost in the wilderness.

I remember an episode of ‘Building Alaska’ a year or so ago. They had the 2×4 walls up and then everyone left for the night, except for one guy. Now he knew he was not supposed to work on a ladder with no one else there, but he did anyway.

They started out with a long shot of the guy on a rickety ladder nailing on top of one of the walls. Then the ladder goes flying out from under him and he starts to fall. The next shot cuts to a view underneath him, looking up as he falls down toward the camera. The final shot is from the top of the wall looking down on him sprawled on the ground, groaning in pain with his leg twisted funny.

Yeah, right!

The second meaning of pixelization comes into play when you zoom in on the digital photo on your computer. As you get closer and closer you start seeing the blocky pixels that actually make up the image. And in talking with Jan today, it occurred to me that our memories operate in the same manner as the digital zoom effect.

Or at least mine do.

Now memory is a funny thing, and overall, not very reliable. Police will tell you that if they have four witnesses to a crime, they will have five different descriptions of the criminal. It’s amazing sometimes how much faith juries and prosecutors put on ‘eyewitness’ testimony, since so many studies show how unreliable and easily influenced our memories are.

Often in college sociology classes they demonstrate the fallibility of our memory by staging some sort of incident in the middle of the class. It may start with the classroom door slamming open and two guys entering, yelling and shoving each other. Then a women carrying a small dog runs in and starts screaming at the men while they’re still pushing and taunting each other. Then she turns and runs out, closely followed by the men. The teacher then hands out a pre-prepared questionnaire for the students to answer in class. And the results were amazing, and all over the map, mostly because of the way the questions were asked.

By using the right questions, the teacher was easily able to influence the results.

1. What color dress was the woman wearing?

2. What did the 3rd man say when he entered the classroom?

3. What color purse was the woman carrying?

4. Was the woman wearing high heels or flats?

5. What color beard did the guy wearing the red shirt have?

But most of the questions were misleading, or ‘leading’ as the case may be.

1. The woman was wearing jeans and a T-shirt.

2. There was no 3rd man.

3. No purse, just the dog.

4. The woman was barefoot.

5. No beard, no red shirt.

But the majority of the class answered the questions describing the woman’s dress, what the 3rd man said, and the color of the purse. Strangely few people noticed the dog.

But when another class saw the same incident and were just ask to describe what happened, they did much better. But not ‘better’ enough that I would want to risk a prison sentence on their ‘eyewitness’ testimony.

Ok, my digression seems to have digressed, but I’ve finally circled back around to my initial thoughts about memories. So hang on, I am going somewhere with this.

Believe it or not, Jan and I were talking about an old girlfriend of mine this morning. Now Jan’s pretty good about this. She has been known to point out a well-proportioned young lady in a bikini, and I’ve been known to point out a well-muscled guy in tight biker shorts.

I guess you could call it ‘tit for tat’. Or maybe ‘tit for lats’, maybe. Anyway, we’ve always had a ‘You can look, but you can’t touch’ philosophy that’s worked for us for almost 50 years.

I’ve mentioned in the blog before, how when we visit my relatives in north Alabama, part of me is looking around for old girlfriends when we’re in a restaurant or store. But then it dawned on me that I’m looking for them as they were at 14, 15, or 16, not as they would be in their 60’s now.

But we were specifically talking about a girlfriend I had when we were living in Colombia, South America and I was 13 and she was 14. Though actually she was just a few months older than me.

Yeah, I know. What kind of girlfriend can you have at 13? But we were close, considered ourselves boyfriend and girlfriend, and spent a lot of time together.

But what was unique about her was that she was from England, and her family (and her) were somewhat well-known. As least as far as having a hereditary family title dating from the late 1600’s, and the ancestral manor to go with it, gets you known in England.

Jan asked me if I had ever followed up on her, to see what happened to her? I mean, she would be in her late 60’s now and would certainly have inherited the ‘Duchess’ title from her mother long ago.

I told Jan No, I had never followed up on her, or any of my past girlfriends for that matter. I don’t want to find out they were killed by a drunk driver while in their 20’s, raped and killed by an intruder, or even died in the World Trade Center.

I prefer to keep my memories of them intact, when they were beautiful young teenagers in the prime of life, and not possibly moldering in the ground somewhere. But that’s when I discovered the pixelization problem.

I found that, although I could visualized the future duchess generally, red hair, green eyes, I could not zoom in on her face in my mind. As I said it was like zooming in a digital photo, with her face becoming more and more blocky and distorted the closer I got. I couldn’t see any details. And it wasn’t just her.

The rest of them were the same way. I could see them generally, but not in detail. Now it’s different with Jan. I met her when I was 18 and we’ve been together ever since. And I can see her, see her face back then, with no problem.

But then she hasn’t really changed all that much. I swear she has a picture in an attic somewhere.

Well, as you can tell if you made it this far, my train of thought jumped the tracks once again. I started typing on one subject and then end up wandering all over the landscape before I finally made it back to my topic. It’s kind of a stream-of-consciousness-runs-wild sort of thing.

As Kandi said, it’s kind of like a kangaroo driving a car. He’ll run up on the curb a few times, but he’ll get you there eventually.

February 3, 2019

You Know You’re In A Country-Western Joint When . . .

After a do-nothing morning, Jan and I headed out about 12:30 to once again have breakfast at The Egg and I. Love their Hazelnut coffee.

Then it was on over to my client’s office to install some new software. UPS has recently released their Worldship 2019 software, but it takes about 30 minutes to install, which would tie up the main computer during the day, so I came in today to take care of it. Then while I was there I also tracked down and repaired another problem with our Point of Sale software’s remote terminal.

Finishing up and heading home, we made a Costco gas stop at $1.75/gallon. Up a penny since last week.

Catching up on last night,

You Know You’re In A Country-Western Joint When . . .

There’s Cornmeal on the dance floor to make slide-stepping easier.

Billy's Event Hall Cornmeal

BYOB means a bottle of Crown Royal on the table.

Billy's Event Hall Crown Royal

And you pee in a trough in the Men’s Room.

Thankfully no photo for this.

After eating dinner at the Monterey’s Little Mexico in Alvin, we headed on up SR35 to Pearland and Billy’s Event Hall, a country-western venue that we’ve been to twice before, both times Tony Booth–related.

The music started right on time at 7:30 and the crowd hit the dance floor.

Billy's Event Hall Stage

Billy's Event Hall Dancing

Tony gave us his usual great show and we had a chance to catch up with him during the break.

Billy's Hall Tony

Strangely enough none of our Alvin Opry regulars were there, except for one we have not actually seen in years.

Billy's Event Hall Miranda

We first saw Miranda preforming at the Alvin Opry in the late 90’s when we first started going there. And she was great.

We told her we still remembered her at one of the Alvin Opry’s Legends shows. These were where the performers dressed up as their favorite stars and then sang their signature songs, mimicking them as closely as possible.

And some of them were dead on. One guy did a perfect job as Johnny Cash, and another one was a walking, talking, singing George Jones. After his “He Stopped Lovin’ Her Today”, you had tears in your eyes.

But in one Legends show, Miranda brought down the house. The first set she came out as Tina Turner, complete with the gold fringe dress. She proceeded to strut the stage, belting out “Proud Mary” to the point that when she was done, the audience was stunned to the point that it was a few seconds before they burst into a standing ovation.

But believe it or not, she topped it all when she came out for the 2nd set as Dolly Parton!

She said she still sings at clubs, but mostly jazz now. That’s certainly country music’s loss.

Even nicer, she asked me for a dance.

February 3, 2021

We Came This Close . ..

Jan and I finished up the last 3 episodes of Grimm last night. Still a great series.

So now we’re looking for a new one to replace it.

We normally have four series in rotation, so now we need a replacement.

One thing that does frustrate me with our new streaming lifestyle is that there is no consistency between how all the different streaming services handle fast forward and reverse.

Some you have to pause first and then you can go forward or back. Some you don’t have to pause, but you can. Some show you a little preview window, while some don’t.

It’s always an adventure.

A couple of weeks ago, we came this close (picture fingertips really close together to becoming ex-RV’ers. Though in a way we have already hung up the keys, so to speak.

I had been talking about getting back under the rig to take another shot at my oil leak problem, when Jan said that she had been thinking about us moving out of the rig and into an apartment.

Now this was a big surprise, since two years ago, before we sold our house, she was pretty adamant that she loved living in the rig, and didn’t want to move back into the house and just use the RV when we wanted to travel. Of course she very possibly could have changed her mind in that period of time.

Or at least that’s what I thought.

So we started looking at apartments online, checking out locations in the Clear Lake/Webster area. And also checking out the reviews. And it did not go well.

Places that looked nice had horrible reviews – Roaches, Bedbugs, Break-ins to cars and apartments, shoddy maintenance, loud music, marijuana fumes, etc..

A few of them we drove by, but didn’t visit Since Jan wanted a 1st floor unit with a patio, that did restrict our choices a little since many places did not have ground-floor units available.

But finally we found a place that seemed to meet all of Jan’s requirements. (Hey, Jan’s requirements are my requirements. That’s why we’ve been happily married for 53+ years. If Jan’s happy, I’m happy.) It was called the Ravello at Tuscan Lakes, and it was the only one we actually toured.

It was a 2BR, 2BA, ground floor unit with a patio. At about 1250 sq.ft., it was only about 75 sq.ft. smaller than our 3BR, 2BA house. And at $1430 per month it was at the very tippy-top of what we wanted to pay.

The problem was that tippy-top was rock bottom on what it would actually cost us per month. Because the add-on’s will kill you, as one review said about another complex.

To the $1430, you have to add a $ 47 valet garbage fee (which means they pick it up at your door), $20 for Karma, and $10 for something else. So now we’re at $1527 a month.

But wait, there’s more, as they say. Next we have about $75 for water, $125 for power, and about $100 for Internet.

So now we’re a little over $1800. Ouch. That’s almost 3-1/2 times what we pay here.

Plus we’re looking at about $2000 of deposits, and a house full of furniture, since we kept nothing from our house. We either sold it or gave it to the kids.

As our son Chris said, “It’s expensive living out here in the real world.”

Our site rent is $430, and that’s up $30 since January 1st, the first increase since we got here in October of 2017. And that includes water, and high-speed WiFi internet. Year-round our bill averages about $525 a month. For instance February’s bill was $539, since we’ve been having to run the heaters a good bit.

So after I put pencil to paper, and ran the numbers, I told Jan we could certainly do it, but we would have to cut back on our lifestyle somewhat, I.e. eating out 4-5 times a week, day trips to places, etc.

Then Jan said, “But I love our lifestyle!”.

So I told her then we’d have to start pulling some money out of savings every month to make up the difference, instead socking away a little every month like we do now. But she didn’t like that idea either.

But as we talked it over, I began to pick up on little things she was saying, and then it all became clear.

Jan was wanting to get out of the RV because she just didn’t feel safe traveling in our now 22 year old American Eagle anymore. She was afraid that something would happen to us because it was so old.

And apparently she started feeling this way somewhat, after our big blow-out in May 2015. She said it was like a bomb going off right under her seat when it happened, and she’s never really gotten over it.

So once I knew what the problem was, the solution was very simple.

We’re just not going to travel in the RV anymore. We’ll continue to do cruises and car trips, but the RV is staying put. Or if we really get hitch itch we’ll just rent a Class C from CruiseAmerica like we did in 2007 for our first RV trip.

So I guess you could say we’re now living in a ‘Parked Model’.

And it makes sense in other financial ways too. If I have to put the rig in the shop to fix the oil leak (assuming my latest upcoming attempt doesn’t fix it) I’m looking at $2000-$3000 for sure. And I had already figured on replacing our 6 year old tires the end of 2021, which would be another $3000+.

And when you look at it that way, it’s hard to justify putting $6000+ into said 22 year old rig.

I do want to try and get it running, even if it leaks oil, in case we want to dodge an incoming hurricane, but otherwise it’s down for the count.

But stay tuned. You never know.

February 3, 2022

IHOPing . . .

Got a couple of photos from family this morning.

Chris' Backyard Snow

This is Chris’ backyard up in Kingsland where right now at 7pm it’s 24° going down to about 19 tonight.

And up in Lowell’s hometown of Pauls Valley, OK, it looks like this at his parent’s house.

Lowell's Parents Snow 20220203

Glad it’s up there, and we hope it stays up north. However right now my weather app shows that it’s sleeting/snowing up in Katy, but Brandi says they don’t see anything yet.

Jan and I headed out for lunch about 1:30pm. Or at least we tried to.

About 10 days ago while we were out and about in the Jeep, the Battery light on the dash came on. Now normally when that happens it means that the alternator has stopped ‘alternating’, or the voltage regulator has stopped ‘regulating’. Back in the day these were two separate thingies, but nowadays it’s all one unit.

But when I shut the engine off and restarted, the light went away. And stayed away.

For a few days, at least. And then it came back. And then went away again.

So I used my Torque phone app to check the engine codes and found nothing. I got a Cigarette Lighter Voltmeter and left it plugged in.

Cigarette Lighter Voltmeter

And when we were driving it showed the normal 13.6 volts alternator output.

But then the problem stayed away for about a week.

Until this morning, when we left for lunch, and the Battery light came on from the get-go, and stayed. And the voltmeter showed 11.6 volts. So no alternator output. And shutting down and restarting made no difference this time. So we’ll probably drop it off at my mechanic’s tomorrow morning.

So we switched over to our old faithful Dodge Dakota truck and headed out again.

Jan had been wanting to have lunch at an IHOP since she saw a TV ad for their new, limited-time, Cali Roasted Turkey Melt sandwich. With roasted turkey breast, bacon, cheddar cheese, roasted cherry tomatoes, fresh avocado & mayo on multigrain bread, it was right up Jan’s alley.

IHOP Cali Melt

This photo is from their website, since when I took a picture of Jan’s, it looked like this.

IHOP Cali Melt 2

Not very revealing.

I went with breakfast, with a very tasty Spicy Poblano Omelet.

IHOP Spicy Poblano Omelet

And as my side, I got an order of their New York Cheesecake pancakes.

IHOP Pancakes

There are strawberries under the whipped cream. They were fluffy and tasty, and good, but not very ‘cheesecakey’.

We had planned to make a WalMart stop after lunch, but by the time we came out, it was 35° and windy, with a 28° wind chill, so we headed home.

Tonight we’re looking at a low of 28° here in Santa Fe, the coldest so far this year, but no snow.

To help protect our pedestals from the cold, I noticed the other day that Rob, our park owner, had installed these Freeze Mister Faucet Protectors on the extra hose bib on our pedestal.

Freeze Mister Faucet Protector

When the temperature gets down into the mid-30’s, the plug automatically starts leaking, or dripping as it were. And then stops when it warms up. So no more leaving your faucets dripping full-time overnight.

February 3, 2023

Skynet Is Amused . . .

Just saw that Mt. Washington, NH set a new record record wind chill temp of -109°F.

And that’s not Mt. Washington’s only record.

Mt. Washington also holds the world’s record high wind speed of 231 mph, set in 1934.

Mt Washington Sign

That’s the highest wind speed not associated with a tornado, hurricane, or cyclone.

And notice that the Gift Shop is actually chained down.


Lucky for us, when we visited there in August 2009, it wasn’t that cold or windy.

That makes it two out of three.

Georgia’s version of groundhog weather predictors, General Beauregard “Beau” Lee,

Groundhog General Beauregard Lee

did not see his shadow yesterday morning so he disagrees with Punxsutawney Phil, but agrees with Staten Island Chuck, that we’re looking at an early spring.

Here’s hoping.

Some of you may remember the Terminator movie with the T2 Terminator made of liquid metal. And how he could walk through jail bars.

T2 Through The Bars

Well, it seems like some scientists have kind of duplicated the feat by having the little robot change from a solid to a liquid, oozed through the bars and then come back together.

Somewhere Skynet is smiling.

Tomorrow morning I’m heading up to Katy to pick up my Sweetie and bring her back home.

Can’t wait.