Daily Archives: February 8, 2024

Mammoths And Carousels . . .

Lowell continues to improve, to the point of getting up and around. He may be coming home Friday or Saturday.

I’m not sure what good my 11am NTB appointment did, since I got there about 10:40, and didn’t leave until 1:20. And they didn’t even touch my Jeep until about noon.

Ended up 4 new tires, computer balanced, and a 4 wheel alignment, totaling $735. I was surprised to see how worn the tires were, but then checking I found that in the almost 3 years since I last put new tires on it, we had traveled almost 50,000 miles, so, not bad, I guess.

Then it was on over to the nearby Home Depot to pick up some repair parts and have a couple of Jeep keys made. Last Saturday while we were at WalMart, I checked out their automatic key machine. You plug your key in the slot and tell it what vehicle it was for. Easy Peazy, right?

Then the machine tells you that for the low price of only $29.95 you can get two, count’em, two keys. And these aren’t computer keys of any type, just plain ole keys.

But at HD, the guy plugged my key into the slot, plugged the blank into the other slot, and in about a minute your key is done. Two minutes, two keys, $7.52 total.


Then it was on over to HEB for a few things, especially Coke Zero. I was hoping that with the SuperBowl this weekend, they’d be on sale. And they were.

Normally a 12pk is $8.16, but on sale, they’re 4 for $15. So $3.75 each.

Again, Nice!

Coming home a little later, I made a detour by the Santa Fe Post Office to cancel the PO Box we’ve had since 2017. When we moved down here, our Petticoat Junction RV Park didn’t have any kind of mailboxes, so we got the PO Box.

But then a couple of years ago, Rob, the owner, installed a bank of boxes, so since then we’ve been getting mail in two places. So I filled out a Change Of Address card and then went online this evening and canceled the renewal on Feb. 15th. Saved me $91.

I’ve talked about this before.

We’re Bringing the Woolly Mammoth Back to Life

Yet, despite their familiarity, the woolly mammoth feels like a mythical creature. Sometimes, people put them in the same category as dinosaurs, even though they were separated by 65 million years.

What is hard to fathom is mammoths were walking the earth while humanity was building the pyramids. When you tell people that, it sounds crazy—even the pyramids have a mythical quality to them—and opens their eyes to the true timeline.

Our first mammoth calves will be born in 2028. We’re in the editing phase right now.

We’re big on “parallel pathing”. We don’t wait until we finish one set of work to start another. So alongside the editing work, we’re thinking about animal husbandry, for example. If we did it all in a linear way, it would take much longer to produce calves.

Science is hard. Things could change in the future. But we’re on track for our 2028 goal, which is very exciting.

We’re all in on the mammoth right now and it’s our biggest team.

But we also have incredible teams working on the Tasmanian tiger—or the thylacine—and the dodo. The latter is more of an avian genomics team, and we have aspirations to do other extinct birds at some point, though we’re focused on the dodo right now.

Neat, but if PETA has anything to say about it, they might not like it.

I mean, if they don’t like Merry-Go-Rounds, what are they going to think about reconstituted Mammoths?

PETA targets Kansas merry-go-round maker over animal-themed carousels

Animal rights organization, PETA, urged the largest amusement ride manufacturer in Kansas to end the production and sale of animal-themed carousels.

In the release, the organization argued to Chance Rides, a Kansas-based amusement company, that animal-themed merry-go-rounds celebrate exploitation.

“PETA sent a letter to Aaron Landrum…asking that the company end the production and sale of animal-themed carousels that normalize the use of animals as conveyances and amusements and instead produce carousel figures in the shape of cars, airplanes, spaceships, bulldozers, and other vehicles or more whimsical designs, like shooting stars, rainbows, or brooms,” PETA wrote.

The letter to the carousel-maker said that “times change” and that the animal-themed ride “unintentionally” celebrates animal exploitation.

Thought for the Day:

It’s possible to be clueless without being blonde. Or to be blonde without being clueless.

Take Jan, for example.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

February 8, 2011

Clients And Family . . .

Another early morning.

Thank goodness for coffee.

And after stopping by the Post Office, I headed over to my client’s office in Pasadena.

I wanted to be sure that I got all the outside cable pulling done today, since it’s supposed to be cold and rainy tomorrow. And as it turned out, things went better than expected.

I got all the cables run, both inside and out, connectors installed on all cables, all cables tested and hooked up, and two VOIP phones hooked up. All in all, a good day.

Tomorrow all I should have to do is mount the wall boxes, tie up the cables, set up the remaining two phones, and then, best of all, submit my bill. We’ll see how it goes.

Finally leaving the client I got home about 4:45 only to leave about 5:15 to meet everyone for a last get-together dinner at Cheddar’s up in Webster. This is probably our last chance to see everyone before we leave on Saturday. Our next get-together is hopefully going to be in Illinois this coming August when we have a family reunion at Jan’s sister Debbie’s.

Coming home, we stopped off at Kroger’s for some stuff before getting back to the rig a little before 8.

Another long day, with another one coming up tomorrow.

February 8, 2012

Powerball and Water Heaters . . .

First thing this morning while I was waiting for the RV Mobile Lube guy to show up, I crawled under the coach and coated the levelers with silicone spray to keep them lubricated and ready to go for this next year. One more item checked off my “Before We Leave” list.

The lube guy showed up about 9:30 and got right to work. First off he had me start the engine and let the temperature get up to 145 degrees to make the oil drain easier. While he was under there, he replaced the oil filter, both fuel filters, and lubed the chassis and the driveline.

Next up he replaced the coolant filter, topped off the coolant, and then checked the SCA (Supplemental Cooling Additive) in the coolant. Then he pulled the big air filter to check it out. And after looking at it I told him to replace it. It looked like a a bird had built a nest with all the trash inside the filter. It’s hard to see in the photo below, but that’s a pile of dirt/sand underneath it.

Air Flter Birds Nest

Next he serviced the generator by running it for about 10 minutes, and then changing the oil, oil filter, fuel filter, and the air filter.

The transmission was next. He had me start the engine once more, and with the wheels chocked and the air brakes on, put it in Drive. This puts a load on the transmission to make it warm up faster, in this case to 165 degrees. Then after shutting the engine down, he replaced the TranSynd fluid and the transmission filter.

The last thing he did underneath the coach was to check the fluid level in the differential. The level was low, and after looking at the fluid color, I had him pump the old fluid out and replace it with new 85w140.

Wrapping things up, he set the tire pressures to my specs, cleaned everything up, and was on his way by about 2:30. A busy guy.

In between helping the lube guy, I had a project of my own – to finish up installing the replacement power window unit in my truck. Between being so busy and all the bad weather we’ve had recently this is the first chance I’ve had to work on it.

So I went from this

Door Removal 2

to this.

Door Fixed

The installation itself went pretty quickly. Just pull the glass back out, install the motor/track assembly and glass, and then reinstall the door panel.

Which took more time than all the rest put together. If it would fit at one end, it wouldn’t fit at the other. And so on, and so on.

But finally I got it all back together and working. I don’t have to get out of the car at ATMs anymore. Neat!

My next project was flushing the water heater, something that should be done every year.

This is the procedure I’ve always used.

Water Heater 1

Turn off power/gas to water heater. Be careful not to apply power to the unit until it’s full of water. Otherwise you can burn out your unit.

Open faucet and run water until no hot water is left. Leave faucet open.

Turn off water to coach.

Remove the drain plug (the bottom one) and let a few cups of water out.

Replace the drain plug and remove the T&P valve (the top one).

Pour about a cup of vinegar into the top hole.  I use a turkey baster.

Replace the T&P valve and tighten down.

Turn the water back on and check the open faucet. As soon as the water is flowing smoothly, turn it off.

Turn power to water heater back on and wait an hour.

Turn off power to water heater.

2. Open faucet and run water until no hot water is left. Leave faucet open.

Turn off water to coach.

Open bottom drain plug and let water run out.

Use your ‘magic wand’ to flush out all the remaining gunk still inside the water heater.

Water Heater Wand

Don’t know about online, but the water filter vendors at the rallies usually have them. The wand makes it real easy to flush out all the gunk inside. Continue until only clear water is running out.

Replace the drain plug and tighten securely.

Turn on water to coach.

Leave the hot water faucet open until it stops spitting and spurting.

Turn the water heater back.

You’re done!

When I did this after our first year on the road, I couldn’t believe how much stuff I got out of the unit. I don’t think it had ever been flushed in the 8 years before we bought the rig. We had a lot more hot water after that first flush.

About 4:30 Jan and I headed out for dinner at our favorite local burger place, Stomp’s Burger Joint.

Stomps 4

You’re looking at a full pound of Angus Beef there. Makes your mouth water just looking at it.

On the way home we mailed a letter at the Post Office, and then made a stop at Kroger’s for a few things. I got some lottery tickets for tonight’s PowerBall drawing for $250 Million. Unlike a lot of states, Texas makes you pick whether you want Annual Payments or Cash Value when you buy your ticket.

It seems like most people chose the Cash Option, but I always get Annual Payments. As for the reason, check out the stats on tonight’s Powerball.

The $250 million dollar prize taken in 30 annual payments is 8.3 million dollars a year before taxes. The Cash Option is a total of $156 million. That means by taking the money in cash you lose $94 million dollars, or a little over $3 million dollars a year.

I don’t know about you, but I could do a lot with an extra $3 million dollars a year!

February 8, 2013

Landon Sitting . . .

Today started out with another round of “getting ready to roll” chores.

First up was crawling under the rig to spray the levelers with silicone spray. A lot of scrunching around was involved to get all sides of the front and back levelers. I wanted to do this before I retract the levelers and check out my airbag proportioning valve repair in the next day or so.

Next I sprayed silicone on the slide rails that retract and extend the slide, and then also sprayed the retractable step mechanism.

Then I spent the rest of the morning tidying up a couple of the basement storage areas. But that still needs a lot of work.

Jan’s sister Debbie sent over this photo of her newest granddaughter Annisten, along with the proud daddy Jason. A real cutie!

Jason and Annisten

Then about 2:30p Jan and I headed over to Brandi’s so she could Landon-sit for a few days while Brandi and Lowell take a get-away weekend

After dropping Jan off and helping her get settled in with Landon, I headed over to a client’s office for a while to try and figure out why CloudPrint stopped working. Think I’ve fixed it but won’t know for sure until I get home.

On the way back to Brandi’s, I made a Home Depot stop for some wood screws and a couple of sets of drawer slide mounts to replace some broken ones in the kitchen.

Then collecting Jan and Landon, we all ended up at Barcenas Mexican Restaurant right outside the subdivision. Jan and I both had the Ground Beef Taco Salad, and Mr. Landon had his usual corn dog and fries. But, as you can see, he also enjoys the chips and queso as well.

Landon at Barcenas 2

After helping Jan get Landon settled in, I headed back to the rig for the night.

And then it was back to more chores. I did get the living room day/night shade restrung and reassembled, and then tomorrow I’ll mount it back in the valance and rehang it. And that will finish up my blind adventures.

Tomorrow I’m picking up Jan and Landon at 10am for breakfast at The Egg & I, which along with IHOP, is our favorite breakfast place.

February 8, 2014

Flashdrives and Five Guys . . .

First off, a couple of things.

I had several requests for Jan’s Spaghetti Sauce and Chili recipes, so I’ve posted them under the Jan’s Favorite Recipes tab. Give them a try.

I also updated the Gate Guarding Info tab with a link to our gate guarding adventures this past year. And remember, Jan and I will be giving our Gate Guarding for Fun? and Profit seminar at this year’s 54th Escapade May 12 – 17 in Goshen, IN. Check us out.

I headed out about 1:30 back up to yesterday’s client. I had left her old computer copying the 17 GB of photos and other data to my 32 GB flashdrive. Because it was so slow, the computer was going to take 7.5 hours to copy everything to the drive, so I left it running overnight and came back today. The copying had stopped on a duplicate file, but it only had about 15 minutes left so I got it restarted and waited it out.

To show you the difference in the old and new machines, it took only 20 minutes to copy the 17 GB onto the new machine.

After going over the features of her new Windows 8.1 laptop, I headed back down to the rig to pick up Jan. Then it was off to have dinner at Five Guys Burgers and Fries, one of our favorite burger places.

Next up, was a visit to the Wal-Mart right next door. Being Saturday night, they were pretty busy, and of course I picked a checkout line that quickly ground to a halt. The lady in front of me was paying for $96.22 of groceries with a MasterCard Debit Card that apparently was from her tax refund. But she quickly found out that her card only had $66.11 on it, leaving her $30.11 short. After arguing with the cashier for a few minutes she stormed out without another word, taking her card with her.

Now came the problem. After standing around for a few minutes, the cashier was going to void the transaction so he could check me out and all the people behind me.
But he realized that if he did that, the $66.11 that came off the card would just disappear into the system and essentially be lost. Since he didn’t have the ladies’ card to put it back on, I suggested he try to put it on a Wal-Mart gift card to hold for her in case she came back. But the system wouldn’t let him do that. It wanted the original card.

By this time it had been almost 15 minutes and two managers were now huddled together trying to figure out what to do. I was just about to offer to pay the $30.11 to clear the system so they could check me out, when the lady showed back up, slammed the cash down on the counter, grabbed her cart and took off. Not sure who she was mad at, but it certainly wasn’t the cashier’s fault.

Tomorrow afternoon we’re going to drive up to Brandi and Lowell’s to spend the night. Brandi left for Miami this morning on a four-day business trip, and since Monday is Lowell’s busiest day, we’ll take care of getting Landon to daycare before heading back down this way.

February 8, 2015

An Hour and 40 Minutes . . .

we’ll never get back.

After coffee and Dunkin’ Donuts Munchkins (holes), Jan and I left the rig a little before 10am, heading up to Brandi and Lowell’s in Katy.

Brandi was leaving on a business trip to San Diego early this morning, while Lowell had to take some friends to the airport, and there was not enough room in the car for Landon. So while Lowell et al. headed to the airport, we took Landon over to Katy Mills Mall for the afternoon.

First up was pizza in the Food Court, and Grimaldi’s this was not. Luckily we could buy it by the slice, so we didn’t have to buy a whole pizza. The crust was doughy, and it really had no taste, no seasoning at all.

Next up was Jump Street, an indoor trampoline/bouncy house attraction for the kids. Landon spent about a hour bouncing off the walls and floors, before we headed next door to the movie.

And that’s when it all went terribly wrong. Unfortunately the movie Landon wanted to see was SpongeBob SquarePants. All I can say is it’s an hour and 40 minutes Jan and I will never get back. Landon said he liked it, but he fell asleep, and so did I. Jan said she looked over and we were both asleep, leaning against each other.

Then, after Landon and I woke up, Jan fell asleep.

Leaving the movie, I noticed that the theater had a bar off to the side. I told Jan I wish I’d seen that coming in. Alcohol might have helped.

But the 3D was pretty good.

We got home about 6pm, and after recovering from our recent torment, Lowell drove us over to a new place he and Brandi had discovered, Torchy’s Tacos.

Torchy's 1

Torchy's 3

All I can say is that this is the Little V’s of Tacos. Everything we had was delicious. Landon wanted chips and queso and there was enough for everyone, and we all agreed it was some of the best queso we’d ever had.

And their tacos were unique and delicious too. I had a Grilled Jalapeno Sausage Taco and a Green Chile Pork Taco. Both were fantastic.

Torchy's 4

Jan had a Jamaican Jerked Chicken Taco and Chicken Fajita Taco. She said the Chicken Fajita was delicious, but she fell in love with the Jamaican Jerked Chicken Taco.

Torchy's 5

Everything is freshly made, and they even have their own line of fountain drinks in the dispenser that use only pure cane sugar, not fructose. It’s now on our ‘Definitely Go Back Soon’ list.

Tomorrow Lowell leaves out for work at 6am (it’s his busy day) so Jan will get Landon up and dressed, and then we’ll all go out for breakfast before dropping Landon off at school between 9 and 10.

After that, we’re not sure yet.

February 8, 2016

Another Too Early Day . . .

Turns out I had a last-minute client get-together down in League City this morning so I was up about 8:30, and Jan and I were out the door about 9am. My appointment wasn’t until noon, but we wanted to have time for lunch at our favorite King Food Chinese Restaurant down in that area.

As I’ve mentioned before, we’ve been eating here since 1978, and we’re on our 4th owner. But lucky for us the menu has never changed.

We both had our usual Chicken with Hot Garlic Sauce with Jalapenos, Extra, Extra, Extra Spicy.

King Food Chick with Hot Garlic_thumb[2]

Very spicy and very, very good. And it’s the reason we eat here just about every time we’re down in this area.

Getting to the client’s about noon, my first job was to figure out why a laptop would no longer print to either of the two wireless printers it had been connected to. But it turns out it wasn’t connected to anything, not the Internet, not even the router. But it should have been.

The Wi-Fi was on, but it wouldn’t connect to anything. Well, it couldn’t connect to anything else, because for some reason it was trying to connect to a SonicWall VPN Client. Which is not even a Wi-Fi signal, but is really a virtual hardware device, just like the Wi-Fi itself.

And it wouldn’t let go. The Wi-Fi was hung up on the VPN client and wouldn’t stop. After trying a lot of different things, I finally had to go into the Device Manager and just delete the SonicWall VPN client completely. Then after a reboot, everything worked, the Wi-Fi connected to the router and the Internet, and the printers now worked.

Next up was to set up her new ASUS laptop. This was my second time to get an in-depth chance to play with Windows 10. And so far, operationally speaking, I’m pretty impressed. It was easy to set up and use, and a big improvement over 8/8.1

I was also impressed with how easy it was to connect to the two Canon Wireless Printers. When I originally connected them to the Win7 laptop, it took me about 45 minutes of back and forth to get them working. But with Win10, I just selected each one in the Printer Manager, and then a minute or so later I was printing a test page. Easy Peazy.

Once I had everything set up, I plugged a 64GB flashdrive into the old laptop and started copying over about 18GB of Contacts, Favorites, Documents, Pictures, and Videos over to the new laptop. This took about an hour each way, but since I had my Galaxy Tab with me, I kept busy.

The next part was the only place I had a problem. But the problem wasn’t with Win10, but the Office365 that I was trying to download. But after a lot of starts and stops, I finally got it working too.

By the time I was finished up and we headed out, it was a little after 5pm. And since I didn’t want to spend an hour or more extra in Houston going-home traffic, we decided to have dinner in the Clear Lake area before we headed back to Columbus.

It only took us a couple of minutes to decide on Floyd’s Cajun Seafood, another long-time favorite of ours. And like most places we frequent, we have our favorites. And Floyd’s is no exception.

And we both started out with our usual favorites this time too, with Jan’s Crab Bisque and my Seafood Gumbo.

Floyd's Seafood Gumbo_thumb[2]

Just full of shrimp as you can see.

And then we both went with 1/2 and 1/2 Shrimp and Oyster PoBoy’s.

Floyd's PoBoy_thumb[1]

Just looking at the photo makes me hungry all over again.

As I’ve mentioned before, the ‘Floyd’ in Floyd’s Cajun Seafood is Floyd Landry. He and his brothers started the Landry Seafood chain before they sold it to Tilman Fertitta.

There are now six Floyd’s, five in the Houston area and one in Beaumont. We’ve known Floyd for about 20 years, and all he has to do is open his mouth and you know exactly where the ‘Cajun’ in Floyd’s Cajun Seafood comes from.

Now by the time we headed toward Columbus, it was 6:30 and just a straight shot with no traffic. And after a quick stop at Brandi’s, and nearby Kroger’s, we got back to the rig about 9.

Another long day, but with fun and good food.

February 8, 2017

A Week From Today . . .

We should be parked at the Colorado River Thousand Trails, and we’re really looking forward to seeing all the kids, and our friends.

What with our doctor visits on the 20th and 27th, and a couple of things our son Chris is going to fix on the truck, along with a couple of repairs on the rig, and some general maintenance getting us ready to travel, it’s going to be a busy time.

I’m going to take a break for a couple of days recounting our first year on the road. I’ve found out over the years we have a lot of readers who aren’t RV’ers and I don’t want them to get bored.

Besides I hate ‘theme’ issues. You know, that’s when your favorite magazine does every article relating to the same theme one month. Now that’s great if you happen to like the theme.

But I seem to get ones like “Underwater Water Polo. Everything you need to know about the sport.” Or “Climbing Mt. Everest. Where to Start.”

Or even “Climb inside the new M1 Abrams tank and take it for a spin.” OK, I probably would read that one. But you get what I’m saying.

I like to break it up a bit.

Jan and I have been trying to figure out where we want to travel this year. Or at least the first part of this year. Because we have to be back in Houston for a big family reunion at the end of June, that means we have about 90 days of travel time starting the 1st of April after the Tucson Escapade.

First off, we want to do our usual Verde Valley and Las Vegas Thousand Trails, then Jan said she wants to the Rapid City/Deadwood area again, where we haven’t been since 2008.

So that gives us this route so far.

2017 Route

Then we’re trying to decide if we want to go west or east.

If we go west then it will be at least as far as the Bend/Sunriver TT in Oregon, and maybe as far as the Long Beach TT.

2017 Bend Route

But Jan’s also thinking about going east after Rapid City, over to the Elkhart area. So that would give us this.

2017 Elhart Route

Strangely enough, with the two completely different routes, there’s only a little over 100 mile difference between the two.

One disadvantage that I see to the east route is that we once again bypass Kansas and Nebraska, the last two states we haven’t RV’ed in. But not a big deal.

I don’t know what it is about gates and sunsets, but we always seem to have to have some good ones.

Barnhart Sunset

February 8, 2018

A Galveston Day . . .

We were out the door about 9:30 heading down I-45 to the Oasis RV Park to meet up with our friends Chris and Charles Yust and their beautiful Integra RV.

We were planning to spend the day in Galveston starting with breakfast at The Sunflower Café, one of our favorite places on the Island.

I mean, where else can you get Oyster’s Benedict, Quail and Eggs,

But Chris is the only one who walked the wild side, getting the Breakfast Quesadilla. With Guacamole, Apple Smoked Bacon, Havarti Cheese, along with 3 eggs and all grilled up between two large flour tortillas, Chris said it was delicious.

Charles, Jan, and I all went plain with the Little Breakfast. Two eggs, Bacon, Ham, or Sausage, Fried Potatoes, and homemade Jalapeno Cheese Bread made a great breakfast.

Sunflower Cafe Little Breakfast

Finishing up, we drove down to the Bolivar Ferry Terminal and got in line. The ferry was just unloading so it was only a few minutes until we were boarded and pulling out.

Bolivar Ferry 3

Along the way we passed the other ferry coming in. On a light day like this they were only running two ferries, but if they’re really busy they can run as many as five.

Bolivar Ferry 1

And of course there are always birds following along feasting on the krill and small fish stirred up by the ferry’s passing.

Bolivar Ferry 2 Pelican

Over on Bolivar we drove out about 20 miles, checking out RV parks and the homes, most of which had to be rebuilt after Hurricane Ike in 2008. We finally turned around at Rollover Pass and the 200-foot-wide canal cut through the narrow isthmus, connecting the Gulf of Mexico, the Intracoastal Waterway, and East Bay on the other side.

I was intrigued to find out that the spot has been called Rollover Pass since the days of Spanish rule in the area. Before the canal was cut through in the ‘50’s, it was just a narrow strip of land separating the Gulf and East Bay, narrow enough for smugglers to be able to ‘roll over’ their barrels of whiskey, rum, and other goods from one side to the other, thus avoiding the customs offices at the Galveston port. And this ‘shortcut’ was still in use during Prohibition.

Getting back on the island, we drove a ways down the Seawall until we finally headed back to the Oasis RV Park, getting there about 3pm.

Chris and I then spent the next few hours going over her laptop and straightening out some problems she’s been having. Then about 5:30 we all headed up to Floyd’s Cajun Seafood to have our last dinner together.

Then after a delicious meal of Gumbo, Fried Catfish, and Grilled Catfish, we finally said our goodbyes until later this summer when we plan on visiting them down in Ft. Myers, FL. They leave tomorrow morning on their way back there.

Tomorrow Jan has an 8:30 Pre-Op appointment at the hospital, prepping her for her laser procedure next Wednesday. Another early morning.

Thought I’d post this. It’s one of the last photos from Elon Musk’s Starman cruising in his red Tesla shortly before it blasted off out into the solar system.


February 8, 2019

The gods conspire . . .

Apparently the gods are conspiring against my rig’s oil leak repair. The weather has been, is, or will be, cold, or rainy, or cold and rainy. And looks to be that way through the next week or so.

So far I’m not really impressed with my new Digital Thermostat that I want to use for my refrigerator.

WiFi Thermostat

I contacted the manufacturer yesterday describing the problem and got an email back today asking “to kindly send us a video showing the problem.”

Here was my reply:

I guess I’m confused.
What is there to video?
I downloaded the app to my phone.
I plugged in the temperature probe to the unit.
I then plugged the unit into AC power.
The unit started displaying temperature information and the Red indicator light came on.
And after trying everything in the manual, I was never able to get the Red light to flash, either slow or fast, so I could
Is the unit defective, or is there something else to try?
Should I return the unit to Amazon?

So now I wait to hear back.

Lately we’ve had a problem with Miss Karma playing “Kitten On The Keys”, i.e. lying, sleeping, dancing, etc., on the computer keyboard. Yesterday she cratered the Desktop somehow, and I had to reboot in Safe Mode and run Repair to get it back. So I looked for some kind of cover to go over the keyboard, but after a little Googling I came up with a (cheaper, i..e free) software solution.

And that solution is Keyboard Locker, a free app for your PC or laptop. Just download it and run it. Then when you want to lock your keyboard, type CTRL+ALT+L. And when you want to unlock it, just type “unlock”. Easy Peazy.

And Cheap.

Sometime in the last few months the Google Calendar on my Samsung S8+ phone no longer syncs up with the Google Calendar on my Samsung Tab 4 tablet. If I enter an event on my phone, it doesn’t show up on my Tab. But if I enter an event on my Tab, it does show up on my phone.

Nor does anything from my phone show up on the PC version of Google Calendar.

BUT if I post an event on the PC version, it shows up on BOTH my phone and my tablet.

What’s up with that?

I’ve gone through and compared all the settings and everyone is talking to the same Gmail account, with the same calendars selected. I’ll keep working on it.

At yesterday’s RV show, I did notice a satellite dealer carrying Winegard domes for both Dish and DirecTV. And he was noticeably not mentioning that the DirecTV version will be useless in the next few months when DirecTV starts dropping SD channels to replace them with HD and 4K channels. And he didn’t look real happy when I called him on it in front of several other customers.

He did say that Winegard should have an HD version of the CarryOut dome on the market by April. Will be checking it out.

Tomorrow looks to be do-nothing day, except for brunch at The Egg and I about 1:30 or so, with a stop by my client’s to check a hard drive cloning job I left running on our webserver there.

Then Sunday it’s back up to Sugarland to watch Landon play hockey, along with lunch at Floyd’s Cajun Seafood.


February 8, 2021

The Washed Up Old Guy . . .

No, not me.

Well, our wayward toilet showed up this morning, just as I pulled into work. So I had them just set it right into the back of the Jeep. But as I said, it’ll be Thursday before I get a chance to do the install.

That’s because we’re heading up to Conroe to meet up with some RV friends at China Delight, one of our favorite places up there. Really looking forward to it.

For dinner tonight we had the El Pollo Loco meals we picked up Saturday after our great meal at Babin’s with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon. Perfect since it was only a block away.

Then we finished up the last of the fantastic Bread Pudding we got for dessert at Babin’s. Still great even after being reheated.

Babin's Bread Pudding

Our granddaughter Piper is getting settled into her new job with the Austin Police Department’s 911 division as a Psychological Counselor.

Here’s a Austin Chronicle newspaper article that talks more about it.

Really happy to see Tom Brady and Bucs win the Super Bowl yesterday, 31 to 9. A pretty convincing win. Didn’t watch any of it, but very happy to see the ‘old’ guy win his seventh SB ring.

When the Patriots were 12 and 4 last year with Brady, and then 7 and 9 this year without him,  and Bucs were 7 and 9 last year without Brady, and then 11 and 5 with Brady, and of course the Super Bowl win, kind of shows that Brady’s not the ‘too old, washed up’ player that the Pats thought he was.

Bet they wish they had him back again. It will also be interesting to see how much longer Brady wants to play. He’s got another year on his 2-year $50 million deal with the Bucs, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he hangs up his cleats after that.

He’s certainly shown he’s a franchise player and he’s got nothing left to prove,

We’ll see.

February 8, 2022

The Early Bird . . .

Jan and I were on our way this afternoon about 12:45 with our first stop at the Lowe’s over on FM646 to pick up a Rubbermaid white shelf board for a project we’re working on in the rig. Then it was on up to Webster to get my X-rays done in prep for my 3 month evaluation with my Neurosurgeon, or more likely his P.A., Alexandria.

We always try to get to our doctor’s appointment about 15 minutes early, even though we’re probably just going to sit there for 15-20 minutes after our appointment. But today, the Early Bird got the . . . early appointment. After I signed in at the receptionist’s window I turned to walk over to the chairs, but just then the door opened and the X-ray was calling my name. I was surprised, since no one had even had a chance to see that I had signed in.

So I was in and out in about 10 minutes and we were leaving the parking lot even before our 2pm appointment.


Because our next stop was right up the road at Pho Barr once again. And once again I asked about when the new Pho Barr down in our area was going to open. And once again I was told ‘next month’. But when I reminded him that last month he told us ‘next month’, he just shrugged.

Oh, well.

And after our delicious lunch we stopped by the office for a few minutes before heading home.

Food For Thought:

Recently I was reading an article about the Electric Vehicle revolution, and came across some surprising facts that foreshadow a lot of problems.

With an Executive Order and an associated Action Plan, the administration recently called for 50% of all new vehicles sold in America by 2030 to be EVs.

That means an additional 50 million new EVs on the road in the next nine years. And the administration calls for 500,000 new charger stations to be built as well.

All fine and good, I guess.

But what’s missing in all this is where to power to charge all the new EV vehicles is going to come from.

It seems that the average EV uses 3000 kWh per year. So for 50 million new EV’s we’ll need an additional 150 Billion kWh of generating capacity.

Think that solar and wind farms might save the day?

Well, the largest solar farm in the country generates about 1.3 billion kWh per year, and the largest wind farm generates about 6.6 billion kWh of useable electricity per year.

Even the average fossil-fueled power plant only generates about 7.7 billion kWh of useable electricity in one year.

So we’re looking at building 20 new fossil fuel plants or almost 50 solar/wind farms in the next 8 years. But there’s a problem.

Due to environmental objections, permitting, and other evaluations, it can take 5 years before you can even think about starting to build a new plant of any type. And even then it can take 10 years before a new plant comes online.

So where’s all this electricity going to come from?

And even if you have the power, will you be able to charge your EV?

Apparently people are stripping the charging stations of their cables to sell the copper, leaving this when you pull in to charge.

Tesla Cut Cable

Tesla gets all its Supercharger cables stolen at brand new station

That’s reassuring.

February 8, 2023

He Gave His Life For Tourism . . .

Before I left for work this morning, I checked out the one remaining fire ant mount in our yard. It was still active yesterday so I treated it again with the Spectracide Fire Ant Killer. I was hoping that the upcoming rain would finish them off.

But it seems the rain wasn’t needed.

When I looked it over this morning, it was dead.

Dead, Dead, Dead!

And there were a lot of little ant bodies scattered around the mound to prove it.

Dead Fire Ants

That Spectracide really works.

Looks like we’ve got our next family get-together scheduled for this coming March. We’re all meeting up in Kingsland March 24-26 at our son Chris’ for the weekend. However Jan and I plan to go up the day before to spend Thursday night in Fredericksburg. Then head over to Kingsland Friday morning.

This evening I made our reservations at the Houston Museum of Natural Science for the King’s Tut Tomb Experience.

King Tut's Tomb Experience

Thursday, February 23rd, we’ll have lunch at Katz’s Deli once again before checking out the Boy King at 1:15.

And to get us all in the mood, here’s Steve Martin on SNL.

We’re getting typical Texas winter weather today, with a high of 80 at 2pm, dropping to 66 at 3 and 58 by 4pm when I got home. Then we’re looking at 42° for a low tonight. Then in the 30’s and 40’s for the next week.

Like I said, typical Texas winter weather.

Tomorrow we’re getting together with our Alvin Opry once again, this month at Kelley’s Country Cookin’ over in Alvin. Really looking forward to it, especially since hopefully we’ll see some special guests/old friends this time.

Really looking forward to it.