Daily Archives: February 7, 2024

Lowell’s On The Mend . . .

Lowell’s on the mend and doing great. They’ve got all the tubes out of him and the monitors disconnected. And after his hoarseness Sunday evening due to being intubated, his voice is back to normal yesterday, so Landon got to talk to him for a bit.

Then today, Brandi came home about noon and took Landon down to see him for a while.

Hopefully Lowell will be well enough to watch the SuperBowl this weekend.

Thanks again for all your prayers.

Tomorrow I’ve got an 11am appointment over at the NTB tire place on I-45. First off I want to get the front end aligned, the front tires balanced, and then swapped side-to-side. Then I’ve got a very slow leak in the passenger rear tire, probably due to a screw/nail that Lowell saw in the center of the tread this past Sunday. Hopefully just a plug.

Plus check the shocks.

We’ve got two trips upcoming, with no firm dates for either, just months.

Sometime in March, we’re hoping to do our yearly Kingsland family get-together at son Chris’ and DIL Linda there. Then in May we’re doing our yearly Alabama trip, catching up with all our family in Athens, and long-time friends in Birmingham, Montgomery, and the Gulf Coast.

So I’ve started putting together an itinerary for Alabama. And as usual, the trip seems to be planned at, least partially, around our favorite places to eat.


Thought for the Day:

Sticking with the SuperBowl mention, I saw an article online about Marshawn Lynch, who plays for the Seattle Seahawks. It talked about how, unlike many NFL players who retire broke, Marshawn still has all of the $49.7 million he’s made in his nine years in the NFL. Instead he’s lived on just his $5 million a year from endorsements and business ventures.

When I told Jan about this, she looked over and said, “He’s not married, is he.”

Truer words were never spoken.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

February 7, 2008

Year One Recap –The Adventure Continues . . .

After finishing lunch at Monterey’s and resolving our airbag issue, we hit the road for real, heading back to the Canyon Trail RV Park in New Braunfels once again. We wanted to visit our now-late long-time friend Gina Ellis who lived nearby and show her our new RV.

Our next stop was the KOA in Junction, TX, and then on to Las Cruces, NM. The trip from Junction to Las Cruces was 487 miles, a distance that we drove regularly in our first few years. But we’ve slowed down over the years, and now try to limit our daily trips to around 250 miles or so. After Las Cruces, our next stop was the Pinal County Fairgrounds in Casa Grande, AZ to attend a rally.

After learning an amazing amount about RV’ing, making a lot of new friends, our next travels took us through a stop in Gila Bend and finally onto the Chula Vista RV Resort where we stayed right on the Pacific Ocean, our fanciest (and most expensive) RV park so far.

At this point our next ‘hard’ date was back in Tucson around the middle of March for our 2nd (and unfortunately, last) Life On Wheels seminar. So we spent a lot of time in the San Diego/Los Angeles area, taking in the San Diego Zoo and Wildlife parks, the Queen Mary, the Aquarium, and many other sights, and staying in places like Escondido, Temecula, and Tucalota Springs.

Finally, by the first week in March, we were at the Boulder Oaks RV Park in Boulder City, NV, overlooking Lake Meade, which was our base to do Las Vegas and the Boulder Dam. Then on March 11th, leaving Boulder City and heading for the Meteor Crater RV about 40 miles east of Flagstaff, we encountered our first major breakdown.

Cruising along on I-40 about 40 miles or so west of Flagstaff, I hear, and feel, a large ‘WHOOMP!”. Quickly pulling over, and assuming I’d had a blow-out (on brand-new tires??), I got out to check. And found nothing wrong.

Both the rig and toad tires were just fine, and the engine, which I had left running, sounded fine, so what caused the noise? Well, getting back into the rig, and starting to pull out again, I then saw the problem. In the few minutes I had been sitting there, the engine coolant temperature was creeping into the red.

Rut Roh!

Turning off the engine and going back outside, I opened the engine compartment and took a look. The radiator on our Cummins 350 ISC is on the driver’s side of the coach, and looking to the left at the radiator fan, I said to myself, “I’m sure there used to be blades on that fan.”

But the 24” diameter fan had been reduced to a few jagged stumps sticking up from the hub. And even worse I could now see antifreeze leaking from a gash in the radiator. So we weren’t going any further today. At least not under our own power.

Before I came inside I went ahead and unhooked the truck to get ready to be towed. Then back inside, and through the miracles of cellphones, GPS, and the Internet, I got busy.

My first call of course was to Good Sam Emergency Road Service to tell them I needed a tow into Flagstaff. The GPS told me exactly where I was, so I was able to give Good Sam the mile marker where we were, and the exit they would need to turn around at to get back to us.

Next was a hotel reservation in Flagstaff, and with that information I was on the phone to Spartan, our Eagle’s chassis manufacturer, to have a new fan blade overnighted to the hotel. They said it would go out that afternoon.

I love it when a plan comes together.

A  little research on the Internet gave me an idea of where I wanted the coach taken, but I thought I’d check with the tow driver first. And he showed up a little over an hour after I called Good Sam. Great response time

With the driver confirming my choice of repair places, and that that was where he was planning to take us, I put in a call to them to let me know we were coming, what the problem was, and that I would have a new fan for them tomorrow morning.

The driver spent about an hour prepping the coach, disconnecting and securing the driveshaft, and then plugging his truck’s compressor into our rig to supply air pressure to release the brakes. And we were off.

From the time I called Good Sam, it was about four hours until we were parked in the shop’s yard. They let us plug into 120v to keep the fridge running and a heater going to keep rig cats Mister and Emma warm.

By the time I got over there the next morning, they almost had the radiator out. I told them while they were at it to see if it needed cleaning. (it didn’t). They called the next afternoon and said it was ready to go, so I went over and settled up, and told them we’d pick the rig up the morning.

The only thing anyone could figure is that a rock got kicked up by the rear wheels and cracked a fan blade. This unbalanced the entire hub and caused the rest of the blades to shear off, one of the pieces hitting the radiator.

This is what it looked like.

Broken Radiator Fan

By now we were running up on the start of the Life On Wheels, so we headed south, first to Pioneer RV Park north of Phoenix and then Rincon West in Tucson.

Meteor Crater would have to wait until another time.

While we were at the LOW, and knowing a smart husband never tries to teach his wife to drive, Jan took the 4 hour course from The RV Driving School. The gentleman was very patient, and by the end of the course, Jan was comfortable handling the rig, and still drives regularly.

Very Highly Recommended!

Of course a week later, Jan almost ran me over while parking the rig, but that’s another story for another blog.

February 7, 2011

Cat5e and Friends . . .

Got up early this morning, about 9am. (Well, it’s early for me)

First things, first…COFFEE!

I had a busy day planned with a first stop at Fry’s Electronics to pick up 500 ft. of CAT5e Ethernet cable, assorted connectors, wall boxes, wall plates, and an 8 port Wireless Switch. Then it was on to my first client.

As usual he had a laundry list of things that needed fixing so it took me over 2 hours to cover everything. His HP Laser Printer is toast and will have to be replaced, along with an XM radio antenna that had its cable chewed up by a vacuum cleaner. You never know what you’ll run into in this business.

About 1:30 I headed over to my new client’s office in Pasadena. I wanted to get as much of the outside cable-pulling done before it gets cold and rainy on Wednesday. And as it happened things went pretty smoothly and I got a lot of the job done.

I headed back to the rig, stopping off at the house to pick up the mail, specifically a Priority Mail envelope.

Getting home about 5, I checked in with Jeannie and Eldy concerning our dinner plans for tonight. Jeannie was out getting groceries, but as soon as she got back, we headed up to Webster to eat Floyd’s Cajun Seafood. It’s one of our favorite places and we always enjoy showing it off.

After a great meal, Jeannie and Eldy headed back to the RV park, while Jan and I stopped off at Fry’s right across the street. It turns out the the wall boxes I bought this morning weren’t going to work so I traded them in for a different kind.

We finally got home about 8:30 after a long day.

And to think, I thought I was retired.

February 7, 2012

Ribs and Routers . . .

This morning I started out getting ready for the RV Mobile Lube guy who’s supposed to be here tomorrow morning.

I wanted to be sure everything would start and run, so first off I cranked up the generator and let it for about 10 minutes before I shut it down.

Next I lit off our Cummins diesel just long enough to be sure it would start for tomorrow, and also to raise the coach up on the levelers.

Based on what I’ve been told by two different Cummins guys, I normally don’t crank up our engine even when we’ve been parked as long as five months.

I know some people say different, but according to the Cummins people, if you can’t run it long enough to get it up to normal operating temperature, just let it set. It won’t hurt it. And since without a load, just idling, it can take about an hour or more to warm up, I just let it set. And I’ve never had a problem

They did say it was alright to run it for just a few minutes, in this case, just long enough to let the levelers down and raise the coach up. And I wanted to raise the coach to give the RV Mobile Lube guy easier access underneath, and also so I could spray lubricant on the leveler surfaces.

So it looks like everything’s a go for tomorrow, and also for when we leave, hopefully next Thursday.

Finishing with this, I headed out about 10 am for a day of fun and frolic, well, maybe work and errands, anyway.

My first stop was right down the road from our house in Heritage Park to pick up a client’s laptop. They want to upgrade it to Win 7 and double the RAM from 2GB to 4.

Leaving there I headed up to Pasadena to get a client’s network straightened out. They recently got an Epson Wireless Printer and couldn’t get all four computers to see the printer at the same time.

Turned out the problem was all their computers weren’t on the same network. It took a while to get it fixed, but when I left about 90 minutes later, it was all working and they were happy. So I’m happy.

My next stop was Fry’s Electronics to pick up the RAM for the laptop upgrade job, and also take back a defective router that I bought a couple of weeks ago and found out the WiFi section won’t work

Then it was over to my client to reinstall the replacement router, and “Eureka”, the WiFi works now. Another problem solved.

I finished up with a couple of errands, including picking up our winter spread at the cleaners and dropping it off at the storeroom before heading home.

After passing Spring Creek BBQ on the way, I had a hankering for ribs, so Jan and I headed back over to the Victory Lakes area to get our rib fix there. Ribs, along with BBQ Beans, Corn on the Cob, Green Beans with Bacon, and Fresh Hot Rolls, just can’t be beat.

February 7, 2013

Cuckoo, Cuckoo . . .

After coffee this morning, I spent some time working on some more rig chores before Jan and I headed out about 2pm.

My first stop was, what else, a client’s office for a few minutes to take care of a couple of problems. Then we headed over to Brock’s Car Care to pick up our truck.

I was happy to hear that they found the fix for my overheating problem. For the last year or so, if we were idling or driving slowly with the AC on, the engine would start to overheat. Turning off the AC fixed the problem.

Turns out that my truck has a completely separate electric fan for the AC condenser and it had pretty much died. Replacing the fan fixed the problem.

Also along with the fan, I had Freon added to the AC, an oil change and lube, and everything checked out overall. So we’ve got a clean bill of health for another year.

Then we headed back down to League City to turn our rental truck back into Enterprise. The Dodge RAM truck we rented was a nice ride, although if I bought one, the first thing I’d do is buy some step rails for it, because getting up into it was a steep climb.

Rental Truck

Dropping off our rental, our next trip was about 20 miles away to Los Cucos over in Pearland. We were meeting longtime friends Bonnie and Richard. Jan and Bonnie worked at the same hospital back in the 1990’s and have remained friends ever since. Bonnie and Richard are always on our get-together list whenever we’re back in Houston.

Bonnie and Richard

After dinner, we drove back to Bonnie’s for coffee, Blueberry Dump Cake, and good conversation, finally heading home about 8.

Tomorrow is the beginning of a Landon weekend. Jan will be taking care of him starting Friday afternoon, and lasting into Sunday, while Brandi and Lowell get a weekend off. I’ll be in and out, but mostly will continue to work on things here around the rig.

February 7, 2014

Now we know where Lucy retired to . . .

I hate Bookbub . . . and Freebooksy, too.

I’m really tired of all these free Kindle books that keep showing up in my Inbox. They just won’t stop, and I can’t keep up. Between the books I buy and all the free ones, I’m falling behind. I figure I’ve got enough books now to last me until I’m 104.

I keep telling myself that it’s just an incentive to live that long, but I’m afraid that with all those books inside, my Kindle will get too heavy to lift

I didn’t get to bed until about 2 AM this morning working on some client stuff, and then made the mistake of telling Jan I would take her to breakfast at IHOP at 9 AM. You’d think I’d learn by now to keep my mouth shut.

After a good breakfast, and catching up with one of our waiter friends that we’ve know for years, we headed back toward the rig, but stopped off at a nearby Goodwill store to drop off a couple of bags of clothes that we were getting rid of during our cleaning frenzy.

Back at the rig, I spent the next few hours getting a laptop ready to deliver this afternoon. The big problem with all the machines I’m delivering now is that they all come with Windows 8 and need to be upgraded to 8.1.

Which is a 3.2 GB download!

And so far I haven’t found a way to download it once and use it over and over. Instead I have to download it separately for every machine. I also install Classic Shell, a free download that makes Win 8 (or 8.1) look just like Win 7, much better for my clients.

I got to the client’s about 2:30, figuring I’d be there about an hour, configuring her WiFi, installing her printers and scanner, moving her files from her old machine to the new one, and going over the features of her new Dell laptop.

Well, that’s what I figured, but what I didn’t figure on was that she had over 17 GB of photos on her old machine. And it was so slow (I installed it in 2005) that when I plugged in my 32 GB flashdrive and started copying everything over, it told me it would take 7.5 hours to copy it all.

Rut Roh!

So I’ll let it run all night and go back tomorrow afternoon and finish things up.

Getting back to the rig just in time, Jan and I headed over to the Monterey’s Little Mexico in Dickinson to meet our friend Maria and her sister for dinner before we all drove over to the Alvin Opry.

We were going tonight specifically to see one of our favorite singers, Moses Rangel. Singing C&W, Rock N Roll, and Gospel, he’s got a great voice and performs all around the country.

Moses Rangel

Moses, along with John Mark Davis, are two of our must-sees, and can hold their own on any stage.

Finishing up, I think I know where Lucy, of Peanuts fame, retired to. Known for her Help Booth, and first appearing in the comic strip in March 1952 at about age 8, she would be 70 now, and probably ready for retirement.

Lucy's Help Booth

And it looks like San Leon, Texas is where she ended up. But I guess that once helping people is in your blood, you don’t give it up easily.

Lucy's Help Booth San Leon

I found her old booth leaning upside a garage near our RV park. Maybe she and Schroeder finally got hitched, and they’re now living out their golden years here in Texas. I figure Schroeder is probably playing honky-tonk piano at some C&W bar in the area.

There’s not a lot of money in Beethoven.

February 7, 2015

Bigger Tips . . .

Our son Chris was back at work around 9am, starting out by sanding down the high spots on yesterday’s glass and resin work.

Rig Repair Side Day 2 1

Rig Repair Side Day 2 2

Then he used his multifunction tool to trim off any overhanging fiberglass cloth underneath.

Rig Repair Side Day 2 3

Next, Chris used a spreader to trowel on fiberglass body filler to fill in and smooth out the surface.

Rig Repair Side Day 2 4

Rig Repair Side Day 2 5

And after it was dry, it was back to the sanding.

Rig Repair Side Day 2 6

When he finally finished up for the day, he was here.

Rig Repair Side Day 2 7

Rig Repair Side Day 2 8

He’s still got some more to fill in on the front section, but that will have to wait until next Tuesday or Wednesday.

But remember he started out here yesterday with this. He’s doing a great job.

Rig Repari B4 1

While Chris was working on the rig, I installed the new right angle fitting on my air compressor. With the way the hose sticks straight out, it gets banged around a lot in the back of the truck so I wanted to try and fix that.

Air Compressor Repair 1

So I got a right angle fitting to take care of the problem, ending up like this.

Air Compressor Repair 2

Later after Chris had finished up and headed home, Jan and I left the rig about 3:30 to make a Sam’s Club/Wal-Mart run up in Webster.

On the way up, we checked out a new RV park being built at the corner of SR96 and Hwy 3. It looks like it’s close to being done, but the entrance road was blocked off, probably because no one was working on the weekend. We’ll check it out later during the week.

Heading back around 5:30, we decided to stop and have dinner at the Twin Peaks in Webster. Jan loves their Tomato Soup and I really like their Venison Chili.

One problem with eating at Twin Peaks is finding out your waitress’ name. The place is usually kind of loud, and if you don’t catch her name to start with, then you have to look at her nametag. Which is strategically placed in an area where it is impolite to stare for very long. And for some reason the print is kind of small. It’s almost like they want you to spend extra time trying to figure out their name.

Probably think it will make their tips bigger, I guess.

Tomorrow Jan and I are going up to Brandi and Lowell’s in Katy to fill in as Landon sitters. Brandi is going on a business trip to San Diego tomorrow and won’t be back until Tuesday, so we’ll watch Landon while Lowell takes Brandi and some others to the airport. And with Monday being Lowell’s busy day, and his leaving the house early, we’ll get Landon to school before we come back home Monday afternoon.

February 7, 2016

In this corner, weighing in at . . .

Well, it was up and out by 7:30 this morning, on our way to meet Vance and Bonnie Clegg for the breakfast buffet at Schobel’s Restaurant in Columbus. On the way, I did make a quick stop for gas at $1.489 a gallon, the cheapest I’ve seen around here so far.

We thought the buffet started about 8am, but they seemed to be running late today, because it wasn’t up and running until about 8:15. But we were having so much fun talking we didn’t even care.

But when they did get it put out, it was great as usually. Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Ham, Sausage, Chicken Fried Chicken, Fried Potatoes, Grits, and Biscuits with Sausage Gravy. And they even had Bread Pudding for dessert.

All really, really good.

And as I said, so was the conversation. Turns out we have a lot in common with our travels, military stuff, and music. Both Vance and I were in bands, He was in the Marines as a RIO (Radar Intercept Officer) in F-4 Phantom Jets at MCAS Beaufort. And I was a DOD contractor working on F-4’s at MCAS Beaufort, although I don’t know if we ever nailed down the timeframe.

We talked well after we were finished eating, until we finally had to relinquish our table to the busy restaurant. Hopefully we’ll be able to do this again soon.

Getting back home I checked in with Brandi about our visit this afternoon, since we had just remembered about the Super Bowl today. We figured Lowell might not want to go out and miss part of it, so we were going to offer to come tomorrow night. But it turned out, Brandi was cooking dinner so we would be staying in anyway.

Weighing In:

We headed out a little before 3pm for Brandi’s house in Katy, about an hour away. We did make one small detour along the way, circling through the Oasis Truck Stop about 15 miles east of Columbus. We had noticed that they have CAT Scales in the back and we wanted to check them out for weighing our RV.

Getting a straight front/rear weight is no problem. Just drive onto the scales and tell them on the intercom that you want to weigh. No problem. But with an RV, it’s also important to get your side to side weight too. In other words, how much weight is on each individual wheel?

For example, our coach is rated for a maximum of 12,000 pounds on the front axle and 20,000 pounds on the rear axle, for a total of 32,000 pounds. But it’s important to know how much is on each front tire, and each rear dual tire set.

In our case, ideally there should be approximately 6000 pounds on each front tire and 10,000 pounds on each rear tire set. I said ‘ideally’ because it’s usually not quite the case. Due to the weight of slides on one side, batteries on the other, waste tank locations refrigerator, etc., it’s sometimes hit or miss. But you want to get it as close as possible.

And to do that, you need to be able to get a normal front and back weight, and then a one side only weight. So you need to be able to pull onto the scales so that only your right or left tires are on the scale platforms. Then you can just subtract the single side weight from the total axle weight, and then you know the weight on each tire.

So that’s what we were checking out here at Oasis. Can we pull onto the scales with only side registering? And here, as seen below, the answer is ‘yes’.

Oasis CAT Scales_thumb[1]

But over the years, we have seen CAT scales with guardrails alongside that prevent this. This is done to keep truck drivers from ‘fudging’ their weights the same way.

But here it looks like we’re good to go, so we’ll probably stop here this Sunday as we head back to Lake Conroe.

When we got to Brandi’s, she was whipping up a delicious meal of Pork Tenderloins, Roasted Parsnips, Carrots, and Pearl Onions, Wild Rice, and French Bread. And homemade Brownies and Blue Bell Ice Cream for dessert.


And as soon as Brandi said ‘Come and Get It!’, Miss Kitty assumed her position under the table.

Kitty Ready For Dinner_thumb[1]

Everyone knows that anything that hits the floor belongs to Miss Kitty, and she doesn’t want to miss anything.

This was certainly evidenced back in August by Landon and Miss Kitty bumping heads, knocking out two of Landon’s front teeth. When they hit the floor, Kitty ate them.

You can read all about it again here:


After a really great meal, we all curled up to watch the Super Bowl, including once again, Miss Kitty who also has her place on the sofa too.

Kitty Watching Super Bowl_thumb[1]

We all watched the game until a little after the start of the 3rd quarter, when Jan started nodding off. So we headed home, getting back to the rig about 9pm.

A very long day, but a very nice one too.

Wrapping things up, as far as the SuperBowl goes, here’s a couple of interesting facts.

1. There are five friends who have attended every Super Bowl since SB 1


Tickets for that first contest were only $10.

2. There is only ONE known recording of Super Bowl I. But no one is allowed to see it.

Played on January 15, 1967, it was broadcast by both NBC and CBS, one holding the rights to AFC games and other the rights to the NFC games. Neither one saved their tapes, recycling them after use.

This was before any type of home video recording, with everything saved on large 2” reels recorded on large RCA VTR’s (video tape recorders) like this.

RCA TR-60 VTR_thumb[1]

Not something found in the average home.

Check out the link below to find out why this recording may never be seen.


(Hint: It’s the lawyer’s fault)

Maybe Shakespeare was right.

February 7, 2017

It’s A Date . . .

First, I’ve finally got a date and a time for our Seminar “Oil Field Gate Guarding for Fun? and Profit” at the upcoming 57th Escapade starting March 19th in Tucson.

It’s going to be Wednesday, March 22, at 11:30am in Old Pueblo Rm 4. That’s really a great time for us since it backs up into the lunch period, and people can hang around and ask more questions without us having to vacate the room for the next speaker.

February 7, 2018

Not Done Yet . . .

Jan had her checkup this morning, first to take X-rays to see if anything remains of her recent kidney stone, and then remove the stent if the stone appeared to be all gone.

But it wasn’t all gone. Unfortunately a large chunk was still there. So the decision was to either do another lithotripsy, which might or might not get all of it once again, Or be a little more invasive and use an internal laser to blast it to dust.

Since the laser is 100% effective, and the effectiveness of the lithotripsy depends on the density of the stone, Jan decided to just get it over with.

So she has her Pre-Op this Friday and the procedure next Wednesday. And hopefully that will be the end of it.

Leaving the doctor’s office we head over to the nearby Sam’s to pick up a few things. Going down one of the rows I came across this.

Food Storage

It’s a 25# bucket that holds 30 days of meals for one person at 1800+ calories a day. Just add water. And it also includes a stove and a water filtration bottle. Costing $99 that makes it a little over $3 a day.

Not bad and the meals look pretty good. Heads up to all you preppers out there.

After Sam’s we went next door to WalMart for a bunch of stuff. And after criss-crossing the store a couple of times we were both kind of pooped so we sat down at one of the benches next to the Customer Service area for a couple of minutes.

Just as we were getting ready to head out to the truck a lady walked by glancing at us. Then she stopped and came back.

“Are . . .  are you Greg White . . . and Jan?”

My first thought was that she doesn’t look old enough to be an old girlfriend, so that’s OK. So maybe they finally got my picture up on the Post Office wall?

But she then cleared things up by saying, “We read your blog.”


Turned out to be a nice lady named Arlene Harrison, who along with her husband David, have been reading the blog for about a year.

Arlene Harrison

And it turns out we have a lot in common, just a little behind us. They’re also full-time RV’ers, but for 9-1/2 years to our 10. And they’re getting ready to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary, where we had ours back in September.

And they’re going to be spending a month in Rapid City, SD this summer, where we spent 3 and a half weeks last summer.

Hope she and David will keep in touch.

A little after 4pm we drove over to the Jimmy Changas on I-45 to meet up with Chris and Charles Yust for dinner. And after a great meal, and talking until the place started to fill up, we all went back to Chris and Charles’ RV and talked some more.

And we’ll do it again tomorrow when we meet to spend some time down in Galveston.

Really looking forward to it.

February 7, 2019

I’ll Have What She’s Having . . .

Jan and I were on our way up to Houston about 10am. But what we anticipated being a really nice time,  turned out to be somewhat disappointing.

We got to our first stop, Katz’s Deli, a little before 11am, and got seated immediately.

So far, so good.

Now Katz’s is really known for sandwiches like this Reuben.

Katz's Deli Reuben Sandwich

But we both started with a cup of their delicious Broccoli Cheese Soup.

Katz' Broccoli Cheese Soup

Glad I didn’t get the bowl. This cup was big enough.

Jan then got their Open Faced Tuna Melt sandwich,

Katz' Open Faced Tuna Sandwich

while I got their Fire Dog done New York Style, i.e. with sauerkraut and grilled onions.

Katz' Fire Dog

For our sides, we both got the Mixed Veggies, really good, because they were done al dente, and not cooked to mush like a lot of places.

Katz' Veggies

Jan wondered what kind of tuna they used, saying it was the best she’d ever tasted.

My Fire Dog seemed to actually be a Polish Sausage dog, and pretty spicy. And very good, especially when I added their Spicy Deli Mustard to the mix.

Then for a to-go dessert, we got a couple of their famous Coconut Macaroons, mine plain, and Jan’s Chocolate Dipped.

Katz' Macaroon's

But after this things went sharply downhill. We couldn’t get our check. We waved, we “Sir”’d, we did everything but trip him as he walked by. It was like he was deliberately ignoring us.

Don’t know why  He only had about 5 tables, including us. He did stop by a couple of times during the meal, and we told him how good everything was. But that was it.

Finally, after we waited almost 30 minutes, I flagged down the hostess as she was coming back from seating someone. We told her how long we’d been waiting and she just shook her head, and went and got our check from the computer.

Coming back, she apologized like it had happened before, and then signing my credit card slip, I did something I haven’t done in a long time.

I left a $0.00 tip and wrote on the slip why.

You may also be familiar with the original Katz’s Deli in New York City. It was the setting for the famous scene in When Harry Met Sally with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal.

When Harry Met Sally

“I’ll have what she’s having.”

Since we were now running late, we decided to skip iBurn and go straight to the Houston RV Show at the NRG Center. And following the theme of the day, we were again disappointed. After paying $12 to park, and $24 to get into the show, we found . . . not much. At least not much of what we were looking for.

Not being in the market for a new RV, we were mainly hoping to cruise the many vendor booths, just to check out all the new, neat stuff. But unlike the many RV shows that we attended in 2006 and 2007, leading up to our RV purchase at the end of 2007, there was one row of vendors, maybe about 40 total. And only about half of them were really RV-related.

There were several home remodeling companies, new windows for your home, etc. Probably the largest number were for RV parks around Texas, including the Thousand Trails locations.

The one thing we did find was one of the Candied Nut vendors, so Jan got a couple of tubes for $10.

We did walk around a bit looking at some of the rigs though. We did like this 44 foot Newmar Ventana.

Newmar Ventana

At $279,997, it was marked down from $363,224. And after $56,000 down, and only $1604 per month for 240 months (that’s 20 YEARS), it can be all yours.

So wrapping this all up, we paid $36 to buy $10 worth of nuts.

But at least the Macaroons were delicious with our evening coffee.

February 7, 2020

Sonny’s BBQ . . .

After a light breakfast at our Slidell, LA La Quinta this morning, we were on our way toward Montgomery AL by about 8:45. We only had about a 280 mile run but we had a mini breakfast and left a little early because we wanted to stop off outside of Mobile to have lunch at Sonny’s BBQ, one of our long-time favorites.

And by ‘long-time’ I’m talking 53 years or so. Sonny’s, along with Fat Boy’s, were two of our favorite places down in the Titusville/Cocoa Beach area when Jan and I first started dating in 1967. Fat Boys’ mostly faded away with only a few left scattered around Florida, but Sonny’s is still going strong. So a lot of good memories.

And really good BBQ.

The last time we were here was about 3 years ago, but we still knew our favorites, with Jan getting her 2 Meat plate with their BBQ Beans and Fries.

Sonny's BBQ 2 Meat Plate

While I always get the Pork 3 Ways, this time with Beans and Beans.

Sonny's BBQ Pork 3 Ways

We had thought we might have enough BBQ left over to have for dinner at the hotel tonight, but somehow it didn’t work out that way. LOL.

We got into our hotel, an Extended Stay America, in Montgomery about 3:45 where things didn’t get off to a great start. First I had to wait about 10 minutes for someone to show up at the front desk because they ‘were out on the property helping another guest’. But finally someone showed up and we got checked in for our 3 night stay here.

But when I got around to the side entrance, my key cards didn’t work. So it was back to the office for more cards. This time we got into the building and then tried to get into Rm #209. The door did unlock, but the safety latch was on the door. The room was dark, so it took me a few seconds to realize that someone might actually be in the room. Then the door opened and there stood a sleepy-looking black guy.

So it was back to the office to get a new, hopefully unoccupied, room. And we ended up with #210, right across the hall from our first one. And of course, our new key cards didn’t work in our new door locks. So it was back to the office for new ones.

Which did finally work. Yah!

Our beautiful daughter Brandi checked from her 2020 Leadership Conference out in San Diego. That’s her in the middle.

Brandi at Conference in San Diego

Have you ever noticed that these conferences are never in places like Detroit, Newark, or Omaha? No, they’re always in places like Miami, San Diego, or even Honolulu.

Why is that?

February 7, 2021

Sometimes They’re Just Too Efficient . . .

Jan and I headed up to Snooze for breakfast about 1pm this afternoon with Jan going for her usual favorite Bravocado Toast.

Snooze Bravocado Toast 20210207

And although recently I’ve been going for the Shrimp and Grits, this time I went back with the 3 Egg Classic Breakfast.

Snooze 3 Egg Classic 20210207

I don’t know what kind of bacon this is, but it’s probably the best I’ve ever had. This comes with hash browns, but I always substitute fruit.

Then it was on over to the WalMart for a prescription and some grub stuff and on down the Interstate to the HEB for more stuff, and then home by 5.

The only thing that could have made it better was Cowboy Coffee sitting out on the patio listening to the windchimes. But unfortunately they’re closed on Sundays.

Sometimes Amazon is just too efficient and jumps the gun. My new toilet was originally scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. But instead, they tried to deliver it this morning about 10:45. Even though the delivery instructions on my account say “M-F 9:30 am to 4:30 pm”. But hopefully it will show up tomorrow.

Originally it was going to be Toilet Tuesday for the install, but now it looks like Toilet Thursday

Tuesday is now a get-together up in Conroe at the China Delight with Debi and Ed Hurlburt, past owners of our Jeep, and Janice and Rick Binns. And it’s kind of a reunion since the last time we saw Rick and Janice was almost 5 years ago, also up in Conroe.

Looking forward to it.

I mentioned the other day that we had finished rewatching all 6 seasons of Grimm and were looking for something to replace it.

Right now it’s Warehouse 13, Pandora, and Murdoch Mystery.

While Murdoch was off for so long before they started filming again, we had started the series back over, seeing some of the early seasons that we had never seen.

But with the new season now starting February 20th, we’ve gone back and started rewatching Season 13, so that when 14 starts in a couple of weeks, we’ll know where we are.

And it looks like our Grimm replacement is going to be The Mandalorian on Disney+. It’s one of several Star Wars spin-offs and takes place about 5 years after the 3rd movie, Return of the Jedi. Which of course is really called Episode VI.

If you don’t know, don’t ask.

The Mandalorian is a bounty hunter in the Boba Fett genre, again, if you don’t…, wearing a similar suit. Except for some reason he doesn’t have a nifty jetpack like Boba.

If you’ve heard any of the hype about ‘Baby Yoda’, this is where it comes from. And although it’s called Baby Yoda, it’s really not, but just a baby of Yoda’s race. Obviously since the adult Yoda was in the 2nd SW movie, Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.

Again, don’t …

We’ve watched 2 episodes so far and it’s pretty good, though hard to figure out what’s going on so far.

February 7, 2022

For A Monday . . .

Work today was pretty good, at least for a Monday. As usual there were a lot of orders over the weekend, but only a few of them were through PayPal, which are the only ones that I have to worry with. So nice.

As I mentioned before, tomorrow afternoon I have an appointment with my Neurosurgeon to get more X-rays on my neck in prep for my 3 month checkup next Monday. Hopefully I’ll be able to take Advil again. Since my cervical fusion, I’ve only been able to take Tylenol, which has never worked for me.

And supposedly I’ll be released from the 20# weight limit on what I am allowed to lift. But unless something changes I’ve still got another 3 months to go with my Bone Graft Stimulator.

But before that, we got a busy day tomorrow.

On the way to my appointment, we’re making a quick stop at Lowe’s to pick up an order, and then after the appointment, it’s lunch at Pho Barr once again. And hopefully an update on their new location opening down in our area.

Then next up is a stop by the office to use a Bluetooth Code Reader on my boss’ truck.

I’ve talked about these before. They plug into the diagnostic port on your vehicle, and then using a free phone app you can read any fault codes, and then clear them if necessary.

Bluetooth Code Reader

These work great and are only about $15.

Then after dropping off an Amazon return at the Webster UPS store, we’re making a Costco stop, and wrapping things up with a stop at the PO for our mail.

Like I said, a busy day.

February 7, 2023

They’re Dead, Jim . . .

Well, at least one of them is.

Today was Black Bear Diner once again, getting the same dishes once again.

Jan’s was the Roasted Turkey with double Broccoli and a side salad.

Black Bear Roast Turkey 20230122 Mirrror

Mine was the Meat Lover’s Omelet with Fruit and Grits.

And a ‘Cornbread’ Muffin. Not really cornbread cornbread, of course. But better than Cracker Barrel’s and Kelley’s, mostly because it wasn’t as sweet.

Next it was on over to WalMart for our week’s stuff. Then it was home for the night.

Recently I noticed we had a couple of fire ant mounds in our yard, one of them right up against Jan’s Flamingo Flamboyance. So I got a bag of this Spectracide


The instructions said to sprinkle 1/2 cup of the granules on and around the mound out to about 2 ft. Then you lightly water the area with about a gallon of water. And then you wait.

I did this part last Thursday, but when I poked it this past Sunday, the mound was still active, though it didn’t look well. But today it was stone-cold dead.

So I used the hose to completely eliminate the dead mound.

However the one out by the street was still active, I think mostly because I really couldn’t get close enough to give it a good soaking because the hose wouldn’t reach. So I treated it again today, hoping that our upcoming forecasted rain will take care of the problem.

Sometime in the next month or so Jan and I will be heading up to the Houston Museum District to take in their new King Tut’s Tomb Exhibit.

King Tut's Tomb Experience



And in case you’re interested in seeing it when it comes to your area, check out this video.