Daily Archives: February 4, 2024

Your Prayers Please . . .

We were on our way up to Katy about 11:30 this morning, with our first stop at the El Pollo Loco off TX-99, i.e. the Grand Pkwy, to pick up some chicken dinners for Jan, and some Tortilla Soups for me.

Their chicken is marinated for 24 hours in a citrus, spices, and garlic mixture, and then grilled over an open flame. Really good.

Since Jan’s going to be staying at Brandi’s for a week or so, she wanted to have some meals for while she’s there. And I wanted some meals for while Jan’s not here.

Since I had placed the order online, we just made a bathroom stop, grabbed our order, and were on our way, this time to meet Brandi and Lowell up at Liana’s Mexican Kitchen, their new favorite Mexican place, and now it seems, ours.

And everything was really, really good.

Brandi had the Birria Taco Platter with Charro Beans.

While Lowell had the Tex-Mex Wrap,

also with the Charro Beans.

It doesn’t look like much there, but from the edge, it looks great.

Jan got her favorite Chilies Rellenos, again with the Charro Beans.

And I went with the Beef Fajitas Poblanos,

again with the Charro Beans.

These fajitas have Beef, Bacon, Mushrooms, Onions, Poblano Peppers, and White Cheese.

Really good, and I had more to bring home than I ate to start with. As did Jan and Brandi.

Now on to why Jan is up at Brandi’s for the week, and why your prayers are requested.

They’re for our son-in-law Lowell.

Tomorrow morning, starting about 7am, he will be undergoing open-heart surgery to replace both his aortic heart valve, and his ascending aorta. Turns out that the problem is probably hereditary, since his father had to be treated for the same thing.

Right before Christmas he started having some dizziness and shortness of breath after almost any type of exertion. That’s when his heart problems were discovered.

His surgery will last 5 to 6 hours, and involve replacing aortic valve with a bovine (cow) replacement. It seems they don’t use the pig parts much anymore. And his aorta will be replaced with a Dacron graft.

He will be in the hospital from 4 –6 days, and due to his age, and otherwise good health, they’re not expecting any problems.

Then once all this has settled down, they’ll have Landon tested for the same thing.

But your prayers anyway, please.

Thought for the Day:

Apparently using the word ‘forecast’ for weather predictions was chosen by a British meteorologist in 1860 because he didn’t like the then-preferred term, ‘prophecy’.

Personally, based on the accuracy of most forecasts, weather prophecy is probably a better term.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

February 4, 2010

Ups and Downs…

First the Ups…

1.  My yearly medical exam went fine yesterday and the doctor said I’m good for another 60 years or so, or maybe she said 6 years. I’m not sure.

2.  Even with the bad weather, I’m still managing to get some things done around the coach.

3.  The weather is supposed to be good this weekend so hopefully I can get the rest of the stuff done.

4.  We picked up our truck from the repair place

Now the Downs…

1.  Driving our truck and rent car back to drop it off at the rental agency, our truck started losing oil pressure, sometimes dropping down to zero. Not a good thing. So it was back to the shop with the truck. Since they only did new shocks, rear brakes, and a tune-up, I don’t think it’s anything they did. Just bad luck. We’ll see.

2.  It’s supposed to get real cold again here next week, maybe even snow. So more nasty weather while we’re trying to get ready to leave.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better…

February 4, 2011

Monterey’s and Mattress Pads . . .

5 Days and HOLDING . . .

Note the HOLDING. Originally we were going to leave here next Wednesday the 9th, but the new job came through, and it’s going to be hard to get it done by then. So we’ll probably leave Saturday the 12th, but we’re not sure yet. We’re paid up here at the park until the 13th so we’ll definitely leave by then.  We’ll see.

Jan’s still under the weather, but slowly getting better. Her cold is really hanging on,

I fixed coffee and then made some calls to clients to set up some appointments for later in the week.

About noon I headed out to Fry’s up in Webster to pick up a scanner for a client and grab a bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup at Monterey’s Little Mexico. Just the thing for this cold weather. Jan wasn’t really hungry, so she fixed something at the rig.

Getting home Jan and I stripped the bed linens so we could install our new heated mattress pad and swap out the spread for a lighter one. We have a heavy one for winter and a light one for summer. And, yeah, it’s not summer yet, and it’s not warm, but we always leave the heavy one here since it takes up a lot of room.

Our old Sunbeam heated mattress pad was on its last legs and I was tired of repairing it. But a new one was $130 at Walmart.

Touch of Class Heated Mattress Pad2

But when I was in Sam’s Club picking up our prescriptions the other day, I saw this one for $40. Checking online showed me Amazon was selling it for $80. A great buy.

And the online reviews were pretty good, so we’ll see how it goes.

By later in the afternoon it was warm enough to hook the water line back up, both to do laundry and fill the water tank back up.

Then at about 9 pm the temperature was down to about 28 so I went outside and disconnected and drained the hose again.

It’s supposed to go down to 23 degrees tonight and then finally warm up into the 60’s for most of next week.

February 4, 2012

Well, I tried to sleep in . . .

and was doing just fine until about 9 am a thunder boomer went off right overhead and was strong enough to rock the coach. It certainly got my attention, believe me.

But since I was up, it was time for coffee while we listened to the rain pouring down. I had hoped to get some more stuff done outside today, but it sure looks iffy now.

Finally about 11:30, during a lull in the rain,  I drove over to the hardware store in Dickinson to get the stainless steel bolts I needed to finish installing the new wipers on the rig. But by the time I got back, it was pouring down again.

Our daughter Brandi sent us some pictures from Denver where she’s attending a friend’s baby shower this weekend.

Brandi in Denver 1

Brandi in Denver 2

Looking at these shots I’m not so upset about all the rain we’ve been having.

About 1 pm there was another lull in the rain so I went outside and finished installing the wipers on the rig. Another item to check off the list before we leave.

Coming back inside, I checked the measurements and decided to go ahead and install the handle/towel rack on the side of Jan’s new kitchen cart.

Kitchen Cart Handle

It should make it a little easier to move around.

Since I wasn’t getting much done with all the bad weather around, Jan and I decided to do a movie this afternoon, so about 2:30 we headed up to Webster to the Star Cinema Grill.

And yes, it is a movie theater, not a grill. Well, actually it’s both. It was originally a 6-screen theater that got put out of business a number of years ago when 30-screen and 18-screen complexes came in nearby.

So about 8 years ago someone bought it up, completely refurbished it, tore out every other row of seats, and put small tables in front of the remaining seats. And on each table is a call button.

There are menus and order slips on each one, also. You write down what you want, press the call button, and hand the slip to the waiter when he shows up. You can order directly from the waiter if you want, but the slips are quicker. And the waitstaff are all dressed in black so they don’t draw attention.

The menu is very much like a T.G.I. Fridays, or an Applebee’s, and it is good food. They also have a full bar so you can have a glass of wine with your dinner if you like.

We always try to get there about 30 minutes before the show starts. This allows us to get in, get seated, and get our order in. Doing it this way means our food shows up just about as the movie starts. Very convenient.

Jan was happy to see one new addition to the menu – cupcakes from the Cheesecake Factory. They come in orders of two, and you can mix and match Red Velvet and/or Marble.


It’s also very nice to decide halfway through the movie that you want some popcorn, and you just push your button. But the really great thing about their popcorn is that it’s fresh, really fresh. Unlike the big theaters, they don’t pop it ahead of time. It’s done all during the evening as they need it. And boy, it is good.

I’d almost forgotten how good hot, buttery movie popcorn can be.

One of the other nice things is No Crying, Screaming, Running Kids. They don’t allow any children under 5 years old, and they only allow 5 to 17 when with an adult. Very peaceful.

The movie we went to see was “One For The Money”, based on the Janet Evanovich best-seller. She’s now up to number 18, and both Jan and I really enjoy her books.

And we both really enjoyed the movie, too. Katherine Heigl turned out to be very good as the heroine Stephanie Plum, and Debbie Reynolds was a hoot as her grandmother. Hopefully “Two for the Dough” won’t be too far behind.

And of course we used RunPee, as usual. For new readers, RunPee.com is a website that lists every movie, and the best time for a pee break. And it also tells you what happened while you were gone. But since this movie was only 1 hour, 46 minutes long, we didn’t need a break.

And now, even better, there’s an app for that. It not only gives you times, but also has a timer that you start at the beginning of the movie. It then vibrates twice two minutes before the break, and once, one minute before the break. Very nice.

We got out of the movie a little before 5:30, and before heading home, I made a quick stop at a client’s office before we headed over to Brandi’s to pick up a package from Amazon, and get in a little Landon time.

Lowell, with the help of his sister Sherry, seemed to have been doing just fine taking care of Landon while mommy’s gone.

After a couple of more stops we got home about 7:30 just ahead of more rain.

On second thought that Denver snow is starting to sound better and better.

February 4, 2013

The Clock is ticking down . . .

and we’ve got just two weeks to go here at Galveston Bay RV Park.

After coffee this morning I started back on a few of the small things on my “Do Before We Leave” List

First up was to install the new 26” Denso Wipers on the rig. I did have to modify the mounts a little bit to make them fit right, but I think these will clean the windshield about better than the others. I guess we’ll see when it starts raining.

Next up I installed the AstroTurf Step Map that I bought a while back.

RV Step Mat

These do a really good job of keeping your shoes clean, and the first one lasted for 5 years, so another one was in order.

Changing out the mat consisted of just cutting the 3 zip ties that held the old one on, and then zip tying the new one. Done.

After a few other things, Jan and I headed out about 1:45 for her Ophthalmologist’s appointment for this year. And after about 2 hours she was given a clean bill of health.

Heading home, we made a quick stop at HEB for a few things, including stocking up on a couple of bags of our favorite flavored coffee beans that are only available from them.

Before we left home earlier, we started a slow cooker of homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup and by the time we got home, it was pretty much ready to go. All I had to do was slice up some jalapenos and dump them in the pot.

Really good and we have enough for another meal.

Tomorrow Jan has her yearly Doctor’s appointment at 8am. I have mine next Monday and then we’ll be done for this year.

Later tomorrow I have a couple of client appointments to wrap some things up. I’m glad that my computer work is starting to wind down, so I’ll have more time to get rig stuff done.

February 4, 2014

Save Every Last Inch!

I had planned to print out 1272 address labels last night for a client’s mail-out, but it was not to be. My 6 week old HP printer would not turn on. It was working fine before I packed it away for the re-flooring, but It was dead now.

So I had to get up early and head down to the clients to try and print them out there. The only problem was that he didn’t have a copy of the address label program on any of his computers. I took a copy of the program folder to see if I could get it running on his machine without installing it from scratch.

But as I figured that didn’t work, so before I went down to Fry’s to buy another copy, I thought I’d try online to see if I could buy and download a copy of the program right then. And I lucked out. I could download a free ‘trial’ version that would work 20 times before you had to buy it.

And 10 minutes later I had my 43 pages of labels done.

After wrapping things up there I headed home, with a stop off at Wal-Mart to exchange my dead printer for a live one. I had found the receipt and the serial number on it matched the printer, so I figured I was all set. But not quite.

When I got to the WM Customer Service desk, I told them the printer was dead, showed them the receipt, and waited for them to tell me to go get another one from the back. But it didn’t quite work out that way.

My receipt was torn and the barcode printed at the bottom of every receipt was missing. Although they could confirm that the serial numbers matched and they were able to call up the sale on the computer via the transaction number, they said they could not issue the exchange without scanning the barcode. The computer just wouldn’t let them. So they said there was nothing they could do.

So stubborn as I am, I started climbing the supervisor ladder, looking for the one that could make this happen. Finally after 6 rungs, I came to the Associate Assistant Manager (the 3rd highest guy, behind the Manager and the Assistant Manager). He listened to the problem, said no problem, and told the Customer Service lady how to do it. Then he entered his code and used his special key, and I was done.

Persistence Pays. And remember, save ALL of your receipt. Every last inch.

Getting home, I entered the coach to the delicious smell of the big batch of Crockpot Chili that Jan had been brewing up all day. And it tasted even better than it smelled.

Tomorrow morning Jan and I have our yearly doctor’s appointments, starting at 8:45. Hopefully it won’t take too long.

February 4, 2015

Home . . . At Last

Jan and I were up at 7 this morning to get ready to finally head home. At least as much home as we have while full-timing.

But the other reason we were up early is that we wanted to get the coffee started so we could have it with these.

Terry's Cinnamon Rolls

Luckily for me, the rain had pretty much stopped by the time I went outside to start disconnecting and putting stuff away, so that helped speed things up. So about 10am we headed out.

The only thing a little different this morning was the fact that it took the airbags so long to come up. Our coach has an automatic moisture purge system on it,  and after a period of cold, wet weather, the air system runs through a purge cycle before it comes up to full pressure. So we just have to sit and wait until it’s done.

The trip, in on I-10, south on the Sam Houston Tollway, then south on I-45 to Dickinson. went smoothly, with even some blue skies along the way. At the Dickinson exit, we looped back up the Interstate and parked in the large parking lot next to Monterey’s Little Mexico. I’d been too long without a bowl of their Chicken Tortilla Soup, and Jan loves their Beef Fajita Nachos, so that was our lunch stop.

Finishing lunch, I unhooked the toad and Jan followed me up to the Buc-ee’s on SR96 where I topped off the rig tank for $2.29 a gallon. And if I’d wanted to go a little further, down to the new big Buc-ee’s in La Marque, I could have gotten it for $2.24.

We pulled into the Galveston Bay RV Resort about 2pm and drove right to our spot, site 103.

GBRV Site 103

And at that point things pretty much came to a screeching halt as far as Jan was concerned. We had planned to pull straight into the site, instead of backing in. As Jan said, why have a waterfront site if you can’t look at the water?

But because the pedestals on these new sites are all the way at the end, I would not have enough electrical cord to reach it. In past years we have parked straight in with no problems because the pedestal was about halfway along the site, and my cord would reach the pedestal underneath the rig with no problems. We noticed a couple of other Class A’s around that were using 50amp extension cords, but we weren’t quite ready to try that yet.

Jan said that we should drive around the park and look at some of the cheaper sites, since she didn’t want to pay $625 a month and not see water and birds. We found several of the cheaper, interior sites open, but Jan said why don’t we check out the section where we usually stay.

When I called GBRV last Thursday after finding out the new sites were open, I asked if anyone had moved from the old area to the new area, and was told no. But checking this afternoon, we found two sites in our old area vacant, 76 and 78. And we had stayed in 76 before. Getting back to the office, we found out that 76 was available, so we immediately took it, got the rig parked, and got set up.

So Jan got her wish, her water view out the windshield.

GBRV Site 76

And even better, it’s $100 a month cheaper than the other site.

Later, about 5pm, we met Chris and Linda at the Chili’s up in Webster. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see our granddaughter Piper, who was working at UTMB Hospital down in Galveston in the OB/GYN area. She spends part of her time as a Ward Clerk, and the rest actually assisting with deliveries and other patient care.

Right now she’s working full-time at the hospital, and also going to school, working toward her RN degree, with her ultimate goal of becoming a Nurse Practitioner.

It looks like we will be able to see Piper tomorrow night though so we’re looking forward to that.

February 4, 2016

A Problem Solved ??

or An Unexpected Roadtrip.

Jan and I were just starting on our walk this morning when our son Chris called. He was coming back from Burnet and had stopped for lunch at the Whataburger up in La Grange and noticed the rear tire on his bike was starting to come apart.

He asked if he could leave his bike here at our site while we took him home to Friendswood. Then he’ll come back up here tomorrow with a trailer and take it back home.


Waiting for Chris to show up, we finished up our walk, making 1.1 miles. Getting back to the rig, we finished up our coffee and muffins just about the time Chris showed up.

And about 1pm we were on the road down to Clear Lake, getting to Chris’ a little before 3. Then with his wife Linda, we were off right down the road to Barcenas Mexican Restaurant, one of our favorite Mexican places in the Clear Lake area.

We’ve been eating here since they opened in 1998, and it’s one of our go-to places, especially since they’re only about a mile from our house. And in fact, when we were living in an apartment the year before we started RV’ing, we were right across the street and could just walk over.

Everyone got something different, with Linda getting the Taco Salad, Chris’ Beef Fajita Nachos, Jan’s Tex-Mex Enchiladas, and my Fajitas con Enchiladas.

Barcenas Fajitas_thumb[1]

It had a large piece of Fajita steak, two cheese enchiladas, rice, beans, and Pico de Gallo. Barcenas is known for their fajitas, and it’s easy to see why, Very tender, and very delicious

Our trip down to Chris’ worked out great for another reason, since I had finished cleaning Piper’s computer so I was able to bring it with us. And it gave us a chance to take care of a couple of other errands.

There’s a car wash place down here called Ocean Car Wash that we’ve really liked for years. They give the absolute best car wash we’ve ever gotten anywhere in the US. Their brushes will get any dirt, grime, or grunge off.

In fact, on our 2014 gate, when we got showered by a drilling mud explosion at the nearby drilling rig, it was the only car wash we tried that got it off the truck. And I don’t know what wax they used, but the truck literally glows white afterward. So a car wash was first on our list.

Then it was right across the street to the Kroger’s for a few things, some of which was their coffee. We really like their Private Selection house brands of Toasted Hazelnut and Vanilla Biscotti, and wanted to pick some up since there’s not a Kroger’s near Columbus.

Now heading toward home we made a quick stop for lattes at the Baybrook Starbuck’s, and I got a free one. I asked for Chesnutt Praline, and they were out, so we got Cinnamon Dolce’s. But since they were out, we got one of them free. Neat!

We were back on I-45 heading home by about 5pm, with a quick potty stop at the Brookshire Flying J, finally getting back to the rig about 7:15. We were coming home right in the middle of the Houston rush hour, but we only lost about 20 minutes along the way, so it wasn’t bad.

Wrapping up, I’m about 90% certain I know what’s causing my clogged black tank. As happens sometimes, I woke up in the middle of the night with an idea.

Putting together, all the symptoms, the fact it will drain slowly and then stop, which means it’s not a solid clog, and more importantly, the fact that when you do flush it, it bubbles and gurgles.

So I’m pretty sure I have a clogged vent pipe, causing a vacuum in the tank, keeping it from emptying completely.

We got back too late tonight to fool with it, but tomorrow I’m going to open the black valve and then flush the toilet. This should break the vacuum and let the tank drain.

Then tomorrow I’ll get up on the roof and use a long fiberglass rod I have to rod out the vent pipe.

The only thing to watch out for is that the water in the toilet bowl may kick back when we flush it the first time and erupt out. So I’ll partially cover the bowl with a garbage bag and put the lid down. Hopefully this will contain the problem.

I’ll let you know more tomorrow.

February 4, 2017

And Just In Time Too . . .

Well, I’m sure you’ll all be glad to know that we finally got the rig moved forward this afternoon. So now I won’t be complaining about it anymore on the blog. Now I’ll have to find something else.

Moving the rig forward about 10 feet turned out to be pretty easy. Especially since I was able to get unstuck with no problems.

We didn’t do much to prepare. I just unhooked the water and sewer hoses since they run in front of the rear wheels, and Jan opened the front curtain. Didn’t take down the TV. Didn’t pull in the slide.

I cranked up and waited a couple of minutes for the coach to come up on the airbags while Jan stood outside and watched the position of the rear wheels.

I first put it in reverse and rocked back a little, and then in drive and rocked forward a bit, wanting to break the tires loose from the muck. I did this several times until I was sure I had broken any suction from the mud.

Then putting it in drive again, I started slowly increasing the throttle with as light a touch as I could, not wanting to spin the tires. And slowly, very slowly, the tires lifted out of the rut and we moved forward a few feet.

Jan signaled me when the tires were completely out of the hole and I stopped. Pulling a couple of heavy-duty door mats out of a storage bay, I laid them out in front of both rear duals. Then watching for Jan’s signal again, I pulled forward again until the wheels were squarely on the mats.

Rig in Rut

You can see from the wet edge of the tire how sunk in we were, and if you look carefully you can see the edge of the mat sticking out from under the tire. So now, even if/when we have more rain, I should have no trouble getting a moving start to get on our way in a couple of weeks. Or less, actually.

We’ve actually had these mats from a previous time we were stuck in an RV site, that time at the fairgrounds in Sioux Falls, SD that I mentioned a few days ago. I bought them at a local hardware store to try and get myself unstuck. I tried to dig out in front of the rear wheels to get the mats underneath the tires so I could drive out, but no luck.

So that’s when I finally gave up and called Good Sam’s ERS who sent out a winch truck that was able to quickly pull me out.

And yes, the rig is filthy, from our trip over here from Columbus last October when we had a 10 mile long muddy dirt road construction area along the way. I had hoped to have a chance to get out the pressure washer while we were in Kenedy, but it was either raining a lot, or I was working.

So I’ll wait until we get back to Colorado River to take care of the problem. I had hoped there might be a Blue Beacon Truck Wash along our way, but no such luck.

So far it’s been dead slow today and tonight. They’re switching over from the first two holes to the second two, so all the incoming/outgoing sand trucks are on hold. Nice, but kind of boring, since I don’t have consistent Internet to occupy my time.

Jan finally has a working cell phone again. The old battery died and wouldn’t hold a charge. You could charge it 100%, unplug the charger, and then try to call it. And as soon as the call came through, the phone would shutdown and reboot.

I knew it was the battery since if you left it plugged into the charger, you could make and receive calls. But a cell phone that has to stay plugged in all the time is kind of useless. However locating a new battery proved difficult since her LG Revere flip phone was 5 or 6 years old.

I could get one from Batteries Plus, but it had to be special-ordered and was $40. Heck, the phone was free when I got it. So I’m not paying $40 for a battery for it.

I did find a genuine LG battery for only $4.80 plus free shipping on Amazon, but it was 2 to 3 week delivery. But finally I bit the bullet and ordered it, hoping it would get to us before we left the area. And it finally showed up yesterday. I quickly figured out why it took so long to get here. It was shipped from China via DHL Global Mail.

But it was worth the wait. After a full charge, Jan’s phone is working great now. But still glad I only spent $4.80 for it.

Looks like we got the rig unstuck just in time since it’s now pouring down rain here at the gate, though I don’t know about the RV park in Cuero.

But at least it’s done.

February 4, 2018

Never Again . . .

Catching up with yesterday, Jan and I left the rig about 5:30 for our evening out. The first stop was for dinner right up the road at Pho 20.

We both started out with our favorite House Crunch Salad with their delicious homemade Miso Dressing.

Pho 20 Crunch Salad

Then we split an order of Shrimp Spring Rolls,

Pho 20 Shrimp Spring Rolls

and I tried a bowl of their WonTon Soup for the first time.

Pho 20 Won Ton Soup

And I’ll have it again. A very fragrant broth, with the wontons filled with a mixture of pork and shrimp. DELICIOUS!

Finishing up we headed up to Pearland and Billy’s Hall to see Tony Booth and many others at Tony’s Birthday Bash.

Billy's Hall

We did enjoy catching up with many of our old Alvin Opry friends that we haven’t seen in a number of years since the Alvin Opry shut down.

We had a great time, but but had to listen more than we observed, since this was our view of the stage a lot of the time. And if you ask them to sit down, more just took their place.

Billy's Hall View

But we did get to see Tony

Billy's Hall Tony

and several of our other favorite singers.

Hopefully we can do this again soon at another show.

Sunday started off quietly before we left the rig about 1:20 to meet our friends Jan and Dale Thompson at Stomp’s Burger Joint over on TX146.

My Jan got her usual Outlaw Burger with Cheddar/jack blend, picante sauce, diced & grilled jalapeños, onion, lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

Stomp's Outlaw Burger 2

Dale’s Jan went to the sweet side with the Jezzabelle Burger, with Cream cheese/ raspberry chipotle sauce, lettuce, and mayo.

Dale and I both got the Hog Wild Burger with a patty with bacon blended in, cheddar/jack blend, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and  mayo.

Stomp's Hog Wild and Onion Rings

Of course all these burgers come with a 8oz hand-formed Angus Beef patty.

And of course you can’t go to Stomp’s without getting an order of their fantastic Onion Rings.

We had a great time once again getting together with Jan and Dale, and will do it again soon.

Finally heading up to Webster, Jan got her hair done at the local SuperCuts with her favorite stylist. Then it was off toward the WalMart on El Dorado. But we passed a Jiffy Lube along the way that wasn’t busy so I decided to get my oil changed.

But never again at Jiffy Lube.  The last time I got my oil changed was in Rapid City, SD this past summer, and I think it was $34.99 at a local oil change chain.

But I would had swallowed my gum if I’d been chewing gum when I went to pay up here.  It was $77 and change.

The oil change itself was $66.99, but to really rub my nose in it, that price DID NOT include the filter and the oil itself.

The filter was $5 and the high mileage oil was $6.99.

So I paid a couple of guys $67 to unscrew and screw back in the drain plug, and to pour oil in the top. I guess that’s why there were no price lists around on the walls.

I think the last time I used Jiffy Lube was about 3 years ago when it was around $35 so I expected it to be more this time, but not twice as much.


After we finished up at WalMart and were on the way home, we stopped off at Jason’s Deli for a salad for Jan’s lunch tomorrow.

February 4, 2019

iBurn . . .

I spent a good part of today at work trying to get the webserver configured to install the new SSL certificate for our credit card processing system. Last year I got a nasty surprise when the certificate expired without me getting any notice from Godaddy. But that wasn’t GoDaddy’s fault, because the previous IT guy had all notices sent to his personal email, not a company one. And since I didn’t have access to his personal email, I never knew about it.

But by the time I got it all set up and ready to go today, it was almost time to head home, and since after I install it, I need to shut down the shopping cart, shut down the server, and then reboot, letting the all the tables and databases rebuild,  I’d rather be there watching over it when it’s happening. So it’s all put off until Wednesday.

I did receive my 1/2” extensions from Amazon for my oil filter removal/install.

half inch extensions

3 pc. 1/2” Extension Set

With a 3”, 5”, and a 10” one, I will have an 18” reach to get my filter wrench into position. I was also able to dig out my 1/2” ratchet handle from the bay underneath our slide. My normal socket/ratchet set is 3/8” and 1/4”, but I have the 1/2” for when I have to manually crank the slide in and out.

I’ve only had to do this twice over the years, once for a broken shear pin due to a loose floor tile under the kitchen cabinet jamming the slide, and the one due to a broken screw that was jamming the gears. So it’s easier to just leave it in the bay where I always know where it is.

Looks like Jan and I will be attending the Houston RV Show this Thursday. It starts Wednesday, and it’s a BOGO ticket day, but with the tickets only $12, and the fact it seems like all the vendors aren’t set up the first day, we thought we’d hold off a day.

While we’re up there, we’ll make a day off it with lunch at Katz’s Deli in the Montrose area, before coming back down by iBurn, our local all-things-hot store. This should get us to the RV Show about 1pm.

Really looking forward to it.

February 4, 2020

The Big Salad . . .

Some of you may get this.

About 1pm we headed out, with our first stop at the nearby self-service car wash. This was the first time I’ve had a chance to get the oil off the truck since our recent failed test drive up to the Buc-ee’s in Katy. And I’ve found that the full-service car wash often won’t accept an oil-covered vehicle because they don’t want to get oil on their brushes. And it only took me about 10 minutes to get the remainder of the oil off.

Then it was off to the nearby Black Bear Diner for lunch. Jan, who seems to be on a new dish roll lately, got their Crispy Chicken Cobb Salad, which along with their homemade Bacon Ranch Dressing, made Jan’s new favorite dish.

Black Bear Diner Crispy Chicken Salad

Of course next time she may have another new favorite. You never can tell.

In my case, when I find something good, I tend to stick with it. I mean I’ve been with Jan for almost 53 years, right?

Of course that means I once again got the Bacon Cheeseburger Salad, also with the Bacon Ranch dressing. You can’t have too much Bacon, right?

Black Bear Diner Bacon Cheeseburger Salad 2

I don’t know where they get their hamburger meat from, but this is probably the best-tasting meat I’ve ever had. Of course, it’s even better since I got them not to cook it well-done.

The first couple of times I got this, the meat was so well done it was down right crunchy. So now I always remind them to make it medium, and it’s delicious.

After that I dropped Jan off to get her hair done while I drove over to a nearby full-service car wash to get the truck cleaned up again, also well as doing a thorough vacuuming of the inside.

Then it was a WalMart stop, a Kroger stop, and then finally home.

Tomorrow will be my last day at work for a while, but I may not actually do a lot AT work. I’ve got to install both a Ring doorbell at my client’s home, as well as a new Sound Bar on their TV

In this case it’s the same one that I got last year.


TaoTronics Sound Bar

It can be hooked up either directly, or by Bluetooth or Optical. And it has a great sound.

Check it out!

February 4, 2021

We Can Hold It . . .

Jan and I headed up to Clear Lake about 1:30 this afternoon for another run at Eggcellence,  the new Breakfast/Brunch/Lunch place across from Baybrook Mall.

We first tried it about a week ago, and really liked it, especially Jan’s favorite, their Greek Omelet.

Eggcellence Greek Omelet

Then we made a stop at my client’s to drop off an Amazon return for this afternoon’s UPS pickup. And while we were there we waited around for about 15 minutes for an Amazon delivery.

Then getting back to the Santa Fe area we stopped by Joe’s Hwy 6 Automotive to get an estimate on new struts and shocks for the Jeep. But, though they were supposed to be open until 5, they were locked up tight. So we’ll try again another time.

Finally, our last stop was at Cowboy Coffee so we could sit out on the patio and listen to the windchimes with our Pumpkin lattes, Jan’s cold and mine hot.

Recently I’ve been collecting all the needed parts to to rebuild our Sealand 510H toilet . . . again.

I replaced the original one while we were in Las Vegas in 2010, our 3rd year on the road. And I’ve rebuilt it a couple of times since. And it looked to be that time again.

But taking it all apart and rebuilding it takes pretty much all day, or at least it has in the past. And to complicate things, unlike a lot of parks, ours doesn’t have any bathrooms, just a laundry. So I had arranged for Jan to spend this weekend up at Brandi’s while I did the toilet.

Then this morning, Jan asked why I just didn’t buy a new toilet. And after thinking it over, and totaling up the $75 in parts I had ordered from Amazon, I started looking at toilets online.

I found that I could pick one up from PPL here in Houston for $350, but I found an online place that had it for $278 and it would be here early next week. And after entering my zip code it showed $0.00 for shipping.


But when I went to checkout and pay, suddenly there was a $55 shipping charge.

Not Nice!

So then I decided to check out Amazon and found a 510+ for $298 with Free Prime Shipping, and it will be here this Monday.

Nice Again!

And since I’ll be able to pull out the old toilet and set the new one in place in about an hour, we can hold it that long.

I hope.

February 4, 2022

Well, Maybe Not So ‘Old Faithful’ . . .

After dropping down to about 28° last night, it finally crawled up to 33 by about noon. And it looks to be warming up a little over the next few days, at least up to the mid-40’s.

I mentioned yesterday about the alternator in our Jeep going out, so we used our ‘old faithful’ Dodge Dakota truck. But when I tried to go into work this morning, it wasn’t so ‘old faithful’. At least at 28°.

It would crank and start up, but it would only run for about 5-10 seconds before it shut down. So after about 5 tries, I gave up and went back inside to get warm.

But when I called into work, no one was there. Turns out that Jennifer, the office manager, who lives in our area, still hadn’t gone into the office because she was waiting for the roads to clear.

So I guess I wasn’t missed.

I got a call from my neurosurgeon’s office yesterday to schedule my 3 month checkup after my cervical spine fusion back in November. But this time it’s a 2 parter.

I go in this coming Tuesday afternoon for a series of X-rays. Then on Monday, Valentine’s Day, I go in for the consultation with Alexandria, my P.A. Don’t know why it’s different this time, but for my 2 month checkup, they did both at the same time.

One thing I’m looking forward to is that supposedly I can start taking Advil again, and my 20# lift limit will go away. Right now I can only take Tylenol, which has never worked for me.

One thing I want to discuss with her is about getting the lumbar fusion sometime in the near future. In other words, fixing the problems with my lower back.

Originally I was hoping that all my problems were caused by my cervical stenosis and bone spurs. But while my hands and arms are improving steadily, my legs have not improved much over the last few months. They still feel rubbery and weak, and I’m not comfortable walking very far without having my walking stick in hand.

Walking Stick

Note, it’s not a cane. It’s a walking stick. Just sayin’.

What I really worried about with the fusion is the recovery time, i.e., how soon I can be up and about, drive again, etc.

Guess I’ll know more next Monday.

February 4, 2023

Family Eats . . .

First off, Jan and I both want to thank everyone for the many kind emails and comments about how you’re enjoying reading the Retro Blogs every day. It’s a lot of fun for us too, reliving our RV Adventures of the last 14 years.

Thanks, everyone.

I was on my way to Katy to pick up Jan this morning by about 11, getting there a little after noon. Brandi and a neighbor were out training Brandi’s dogs, Jack and Baxter, to walk on a leash.

Walking Jack and Baxter

Baxter, on the right, got the hang of it pretty quickly, but high-strung Jack took a little more patience. And by the end of their 1 mile walk, had settled down. Or maybe he was just tired, since as soon as they were home, he plopped down on the floor and didn’t move for a while.

They’ll see how it goes next time.

Afterwards, Landon and I talked 3D Printing for a bit, while Jan and Brandi went out to do some shopping.

Then they called when they were almost done, so Lowell and I loaded up Jan’s stuff and headed up Mason Rd. to meet them at their new favorite place (and ours, now) Ray’s Mexican Restaurant.

Brandi and Lowell split the Beef Fajitas for Two.

Ray's Mexican Beef Fajitas

We all commented on how much beef there was on the platter.

Jan got one of her favorites, the Relleno Poblano, a poblano pepper stuffed with ground beef and then battered, fried, and then smothered in cheese and red sauce.

Ray's Mexican Rellano Plobano

I got the Tampiqueña, basically a Fajita Steak with a Cheese Enchilada and Charro Beans.

Ray's Mexican Tampiquena

Everything, starting with the warm chips and salsa to the entrees was delicious. And the service was great too,

We’ll be back.

Finally, saying our goodbyes and getting our hugs in, Jan and I headed home, getting back to the rig a little before 4pm

Karma and I are both really glad to have her home.