Daily Archives: February 27, 2024

‘Panic’ Setting Is Setting In . . .

After leaving the fridge turned off and the freezer door open all night, we woke up to a completely ice-free freezer. So after Jan wiped down the inside, and then we restocked it. I was happy to see that the bags of ice we used to keep the food cold in the coolers were still pretty solid, though I  think I may use dry ice next time to keep things even colder. Our HEB has dry ice in stock.

And we now have a lot more room in the freezer, since as we restocked, we threw out anything we couldn’t identify or name.

Glad that’s done. Until next time, at least.

We’re now a little over a month out from the upcoming April 8th Total Solar Eclipse, and it seems like the ‘panic’ is setting in.

Llano TX city officials suggested residents purchase two weeks of groceries, as well as fuel up on gas, refill prescriptions, run errands, and gather any other necessary supplies at least a week before the eclipse. “Purchasing your supplies by the first of April will allow retailers to reorder and restock supplies before the influx of the out of town visitors,” the post read. “Even at that, the chances of running out of any particular item in the stores is fairly significant.” The city also told residents to prepare to “hunker down” at home for a few days to avoid severe traffic congestion in the area.

Llano isn’t the only place in Texas along the path of totality taking such measures ahead of the once-in-a-lifetime event. Last week, Bell County declared a local state of disaster in preparation for heavy traffic, as well as strains on first responders, hospitals , food, grocery and fuel shortages in the days leading up to and the day of the solar eclipse. Some Texas school districts have also opted to cancel classes for the day as a precaution.

And in talking with our son Chris this afternoon, he said they’re hearing the same thing up in Kingsland, also in the eclipse path.

Below is an interactive map where you can give it your address and it will tell you if you’re in the path anywhere in the country.

Where can you see the 2024 total solar eclipse?

Our plan is to drive up to Killeen on the 7th, spend the night at the Days Inn, and then walk out into the hotel parking lot around 1:15 pm and watch the 1:37 pm to 1:41 pm eclipse from there.

Then later, about 5 pm, we plan on making the 20-minute drive over to Kempner to meet up with Chris, Linda, and hopefully Miss Piper for dinner at the Kempner Brick Oven, a really great German place where we’ve eaten twice before. Then we’ll stay another night in Killeen before heading home the next day.

Regular readers will remember that I made and paid for our Days Inn last April, a year out from the eclipse. When I made the reservation, I paid $250, their normal rate for our 2-night stay.

But here’s what’s going on now.

Our Days Inn       No Rooms Left

Scottish Inn        $  900

La Quinta            $1348

Econolodge        $  850

Premium Inn      $  945

Residence Inn    $1483

In this case, I guess, the early booker gets the cheap room.

They’re making some headway with the new sites here at the park. Yesterday they brought in a lot of gravel to make the ramps up to the new sites.

Curious to see how it holds up in the long term.

February 27, 2010

Planes, planes, and more planes…

Our friends, Al and Adrienne, picked us up at about 10 am and we headed over to the Pima Air and Space Museum.

Arriving at the museum, we found that the landscaping followed some of the planes inside.

First, we have the Fishhook Barrel Cactus.


Next, we have a Saguaro Cactus.


And then, of course, the Stealth Cactus!


I guess you had to be there.

This is a BD-5J MicroJet, the world’s smallest jet plane. And it was a kit!


Another kit, Burt Rutan’s Long EZ.


The Starr Bumble Bee, the world’s smallest plane.


The McCullough Super J-2 Gyrocopter


The HoppiCopter. I’d really like one of these.


It’s a big leap to the SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest plane in the world.


The A-10 Warthog ground attack plane.


A Beechcraft Bonanza. My uncle used to have one of these.


The Grumman F7F TigerCat.


The B-52. This one is one of 2 configured to carry the X-15 aloft.


This is the Douglas MB-1 Genie air-to-air missile. And it contained a NUCLEAR! warhead. It was to be launched into the middle of Russian bomber formations and take them all out at once.  Jan’s father used to work on these when he was in the Air Force. It’s amazing how small they can make an atomic bomb.


This is a B-57 Canberra bomber. I used to work on these. I was amazed to find that it had BUICK! jet engines in it.  Who knew Buick even made jet engines?


The Convair B-58 Hustler, America’s first supersonic bomber.


The Cessna T-37 jet trainer. I also used to work on these.


The RA-5C Vigilante. In its original configuration as the Navy A-5 bomber, it had a novel way of dropping its nuclear bomb load. It spit it out the tail!  So many jokes, so little time.


NASA’s Super Guppy. It’s amazing that this thing could fly.


The Convair B-36 nuclear bomber. It had 10 engines, 6 prop engines, and 4 jet engines!


At this point, we took a break and went down the road to a great little Mexican place called Poco and Mom’s.  And the food was great.  My Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas was the best I’ve ever had.

Coming back to the museum, we began touring some of the displays. This is the Altair 8800 computer, probably the first practical home computer. It was a kit and was my first computer.


This is a photograph of Grace Hopper’s logbook showing the first computer ‘bug’.  It was a moth that got caught in a relay, and is the origin of the term ‘computer bug’. This was from the time when computers filled whole buildings.


This is a Grumman F-4U Corsair of ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep” fame.


This is a German V1 ‘Buzz Bomb”.


The ‘Columbus’, an updated version of the Grumman J2F-2 Duck.


After a great time at the museum, we headed back to the park, passing Davis-Monthan AFB, America’s aircraft boneyard. Thousands of aircraft are mothballed here.


This satellite photo shows just a small portion of the planes stored there.


On the way home, we stopped by Fry’s Supermarket to pick up some groceries. Fry’s is Kroger’s here in Arizona.

This is our last full day here in Tucson. Tomorrow we’re heading over to Gila Bend for a few days before moving on to Yuma.

February 27, 2011

A Very Rude, Very Early Awakening . . .

Yes, very early . . . 2 am, to be exact.

And to add insult to injury, it happened again at 9:30 am.

The circuit breaker popped. Twice.

For no good reason. The floor heater was the only thing on. All I can figure is that several other things all came on at the same time. The heater, the water heater, and the refrigerator, for example.

Hopefully, it won’t happen again this morning.

I tried to go back to bed, but ended up just making us coffee and getting off to a slow and slightly grumpy start.

Then a little after 11 I went back over to the gun show. I wanted a new holster for my Ruger LCP and I had also seen a disassembly manual for my M1 Carbine that I had my eye on.

Right after I got back, Jan and I headed out on some errands. But as we were leaving the fairgrounds, this Boeing 787 Dreamliner on landing approach passing overhead. I had first seen it a couple of days ago and was curious why it was here.

The 787 is still in testing phase and won’t be available commercially until later in the year. It turns out that the Yuma area is one of a couple of places around the country that has a lot of good flying weather so they’re doing it here.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner


Here’s a better photo.


If you’d like some more information concerning the 787 from a pilot’s view, click here.

More 787 Stuff.

Leaving the fairgrounds we first headed east toward the Fortuna area, about 9 miles away.

Fortuna is a very nice shopping area that’s essentially a suburb of Yuma. Our first stop was a couple of dollar stores looking for some cleaning products.

Then since it was lunchtime, we stopped in DQ. Jan had a Chili Cheese Dog and I had a Grilled BLT. Both very good.

Outside in the parking lot I saw this neat-looking car for sale. It turned out to be a 1934 Mercedes 500K replica, but very well done. At first, I thought it might be on a VW chassis, but it turns out to be something much better.

Mercedes 500K 1

It’s got a Ford Boss 302 engine, automatic transmission, AC, power steering, and power brakes, all on a custom-built frame. Only $26,500 or OBO.

Very nice. I wonder how it would look being towed behind our rig?

Our next stop was right across the parking lot, at Al’s RV Supply. This is a really good RV supply place, with a lot of parts and gadgets you just can’t find at Camping World. Stop by if you can.

Then we walked next door to Fry’s. No, not the fun one, Fry’s Electronics, but Fry’s Grocery Store. But for what it’s worth, they were both started by the same family.

I wanted to buy some lottery tickets and we were looking for some other stuff.

Next, it was back in the truck and back into Yuma to the Yuma Palms shopping area. Our first stop was Kohl’s where I was looking for a new vacuum cleaner. Then, when I didn’t find it there, I tried the Target next door, also with no luck. But I did come back to the truck with Cinnamon Dolce Latte’s from Starbucks, so Jan was happy.

Our next stop was Sam’s Club to pick up some vitamins and other things. Sam’s can be a dangerous place, at least dangerous to the bank account. If you spend too much time there, you can always find something you absolutely don’t need, but just have to have.

Finally, it was down the road a piece to Home Depot to get the Moen cartridge puller tool that I mentioned yesterday. I’ll probably wait till tomorrow to use it since there’s a chance the old cartridge will break coming out and I want to be sure I have time to get a new one before Home Depot closes.

We finally got home about 3:30, and by the time we had everything put away, it was time to eat.

So a little after 4 pm, Tom, Barb, Jan, and I all headed over to the local Golden Corral for dinner. However, when we got there the line was almost out the door, and wasn’t moving either.

So Barb called the Texas Roadhouse right next door and found out they had no wait, so we all scurried across the parking lot, (well, some of us scurried, some of us kind of waddled) and were seated in a booth ordering our drinks five minutes later. Neat!

And after a great meal, we got back to the rigs about 6 pm and settled in for the night.

Tomorrow Jan and I will start making the rounds of businesses soliciting door prizes for the upcoming rally that starts next week.

Busy, busy, busy!

February 27, 2012

Back to Work . . .

It was really nice to be able to just get up and relax this morning without having to pack up and travel somewhere. But after goofing off all morning we did have chores, rally chores.

So about 1 pm Jan and I headed out to start soliciting gift certificates to give away as door prizes at the nightly get-togethers. But our first stop was the Der Wienerschnitzel right across the street from the fairgrounds.

Jan and I both really enjoy a good hot dog, and Der Wienerschnitzel always fills the bill. Even their Cheddar Poppers are hot and spicy.

After lunch, we began working our way down the list of last year’s donors. After a slow start, we got donations from Applebee’s, Texas Roadhouse, Famous Dave’s BBQ, and Mimi’s, and several requests to come back tomorrow to pick gifts up.

We got back to the rig a little after 4:30, and a little later, Mister and I sat outside for a while. I was watching the Marine AV-8A Harriers doing T&G’s, while Mister was on coyote patrol.

As we were parking here yesterday, someone said they saw a coyote run through the grassy area behind us, and then later we heard about a coyote attacking a small dog belonging to a gun show attendee here at the fairgrounds.

At about 27 pounds Mister outweighs most coyotes I’ve seen, and his favorite pastime is chasing dogs, large dogs like German Shepherds, Chows, or Rottweilers. Everyone turned and ran when he came after them

At Home in Yuma

A little after 5 pm Tom, Barb, Jan, and I headed over to downtown Yuma to have dinner at Da Boyz Pizza, One of our favorite local restaurants, their pizza, and everything else for that matter, is fantastic.

Jan had her favorite Meat Ravioli and I had their Spaghetti and Meatballs. We also got a small Pepperoni, Sausage, and Mushroom Pizza so we would have plenty of leftovers.

The manager remembered us from last year, and gave us a very nice door prize donation. Or maybe it was just a way to get us out of the place.

On another note, I found out that mounting the 12-volt satellite power plug in the outside bay has another advantage besides convenience. Since I can now keep power on the satellite all the time, this means that if the antenna is moved or jostled for any reason, like this evening’s high winds, the antenna instantly realigns itself and doesn’t lose the signal.


February 27, 2013

I’m sorry, but I dabbled . . .

I didn’t mean to. It just happened. I got bored and started back on my To-Do List. Mostly just a bunch of small things that had been hanging around on the list.

Tomorrow I’m going to drain and flush out the water heater for this year. Normally I get it done before we leave Houston, but I ran out of time this year. But now it’s bubbled to the top of the list, and its time has come.

About 1 pm I got the slow cooker out and started up a batch of Chicken Tortilla Soup using the chicken breasts that I poached yesterday. Two boxes of chicken broth, two poached chicken breasts, two cans of Rotel HOT Diced Tomatoes with Habaneros, one can of black beans, two diced fresh jalapenos, and a handful of chopped fresh cilantro. And of course, shredded Monterey Jack Cheese on top, as well as a generous supply of tortilla chips.

On another note, a while back when I did several posts about “assault weapons” and “high” capacity magazines. One of the things I mentioned was the fact that banning so-called high-capacity magazines was useless.

I mentioned that I could change a magazine out in about a second and several people took issue with that. They said that most people couldn’t do this.

Well, check out this video demonstration put on by an Indiana Sheriff with an experienced male shooter and an inexperienced female one. Check out the link below.


In a couple of cases, they both were actually faster on the smaller mags, probably because they were easier to handle. So much for a “high” capacity magazine ban.

Tomorrow we’ll probably make a run over to Boerne to pick up some things I need for my projects.

February 27, 2014

. . . like a Red Rubber Ball!

Well, after 3 days of cold, nasty weather, today it warmed up and the sun came out. And it looks like it’ll stay that way for the next few days. Mister will certainly be happy, being able to go outside again.

I once again spent most of the morning going through more boxes and bins, and even started on some of the things from the truck.

Slowly, but surely.

Later in the afternoon, I worked on a client’s email problem. His webmail account would no longer receive any email. Nothing had come through since this past Wednesday afternoon, and everything bounced back to the sender.

A little research showed me the problem. The client had never emptied his trash folder, and had finally exceeded the mail account’s total size limit. Emptying the trash folder permanently deleted the old emails and got the account working again. Unfortunately, any emails that came in during this outage were lost. He’ll know better next time.


I also set him up with an iDrive online backup account. His Carbonite account had run out a couple of days ago, and rather than renewing Carbonite, I switched him over to iDrive. They’re cheaper, and also allow you to backup all the machines on your network, not just one. But even more important, iDrive saves the last 30 versions of every file. This would have helped a lot in the past when a corrupted database file was backed up by Carbonite before the damage was known, so the backup file was corrupted too. Luckily I was able to repair it and recover the data.

About 3 pm Jan and I drove down a few spaces and picked up Debi and Ed Hurlburt, and we all headed into La Grange to have dinner at Sealand Seafood and Steak.

Sealand Seafood turned out to be very, very good. Much better than you would think for a place 100 miles from the ocean. All of us had some combination of fried catfish, fried shrimp, and fried oysters. All good, especially the catfish. We’ll definitely go back.

Debi has a very popular blog called Debi’s RV Cooking, while Ed has one called Ed’s RV Tips, In addition, they both have Facebook areas under the same names. And I’ve added their blogs to the Blog List on this site too.

After dinner, we stopped off at the HEB in downtown La Grange for a few things before we headed home about 7 pm, finishing up another very nice day.

February 27, 2015

Four Generations . . .

When Jan and I were going through some old papers recently, we came across this photo showing four generations of our family.

Four Generations

On the bottom right, that’s Jan’s mother Trudy, then Jan to her left, top left is our daughter Brandi, and then our son Chris’ daughter Piper to her right.

Unfortunately, this picture is not dated but it looks to be around 2003 or so, since Piper looks to be 8 or 9. Jan’s mother Trudy died in 2007 while visiting her daughter Bev down in Florida.

For those of you who tried the Outrigger’s link yesterday, there was a problem with it. Here’s one that works correctly. Outrigger’s

Even though it never got much above 40 degrees today, I did manage to get some stuff done outside, including crawling under the rig and spraying levelers with silicone spray, and a few other things, before I started to lose the feeling in my fingertips. Coming back in, I rinsed out the foam filters for the ceiling AC intakes, the first time since right before we started gate guarding this year.

Heading out about 4:30, we stopped by the park office to remind them we’ll be leaving Sunday morning so we can settle up on the electric usage. Wanted to check because in past years the office wasn’t open on Sunday, but now it is, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

After the office, we headed over to Monterey’s Little Mexico in Dickinson to meet our friends Bob and Maria for one last dinner together before we leave.

But finally, we had to say our goodbyes and headed out. I needed a few things so our next stop was the Home Depot right up the road, and then the Fry’s Electronics a little further up the road.

Then heading home, we stopped at Kroger’s and HEB to stock up on some of their whole bean coffees before we leave here.

Tomorrow morning we’re meeting Chris, Linda, and Miss Piper for breakfast, after which Jan and Piper are going to do the Mani-Pedi thing. For my part, needing neither a mani, nor a pedi, I’ll be getting the truck washed and waxed, and a tire changed.

Jan got these shots of some of the birds she feeds out in front of the rig. If she doesn’t get out there early enough, they stand around and squawk and quack.

Jan's Birds 1

Jan's Birds 3

For her part, Jan is convinced they’re all going to starve when we leave.

February 27, 2016

The Cat with No Name . . .

I was up early this morning hoping to get my new washer drain pump configured and installed. Or at least configured. Thanks to Jan’s bright idea about rolling the washer into the bedroom when we travel tomorrow, I don’t have to get it re-installed today.

As I stood there staring at the pile of parts I bought at Home Depot yesterday, I tried to remember what I had worked out in my head, but when I did, I didn’t like it anymore. So I started holding parts together until I came up with a new way to do it, and one that was actually better.

Starting with the old pump input/output manifold,

Pump Input-Output_thumb[2]

I cut off the input end to use,

New Washer Pump Install 2_thumb[1]

along with the original drain hose.

New Washer Pump Install 1_thumb[2]

By cutting the hose down, and then inserting the plastic piece into the hose end,

New Washer Pump Install 3_thumb[1]

it gives me something to clamp down on. Then after soaking it in boiling water, I slipped a ring of heavy vinyl hose over the end to bulk it up,

New Washer Pump Install 4_thumb[1]

so that it would closely fit into the rubber hose coupling shown before.

New Washer Pump Install 5_thumb[1]

This finished up the input part of the pump.

Next, I cut off the small end of the I/O manifold and inserted it into the end of the drain hose that exits the washer.

New Washer Pump Install 6_thumb[1]

This let me use another piece of the black rubber hose to make a new coupling for that also. Then I placed it into the washer to check it out. There will be clamps on the smaller coupling as well.

New Washer Pump Install 7_thumb[1]

Then to check out the placement, I temporarily mounted the pump in place to the angle stock and hooked up all the hoses. At this point I couldn’t go any further because the screws I had to mount the bar stock with weren’t big enough so I planned to pick some more up this afternoon while we’re out to dinner.

New Washer Pump Install 8_thumb[1]

But right now it looks like it will work, but I was out of time.

While I was working on this, Jan was outside bailing out the backset floorboards in the truck. On our trip home last night we both remarked how fresh the newly washed laundry in the backseat smelled.

But as it turns out, it wasn’t the laundry, but the laundry soap, liquid Tide to be exact, that had leaked out onto the floor. So Jan was trying to scrape up as much as she could and funnel it back into the jug. I’m still not sure how we’re going to get it all out of the carpet. But I know when I do, it will be really, really clean.

About 4:15 we left the park, followed by Brett and Frankie O’Neal, all heading into Conroe to have dinner at El Bosque Mexican Restaurant.

Finally, I was able to get my Fajitas Fix with an order of their delicious Fajitas Poblanas.

El Bosque Fajita Polbanos 2_thumb[1]

And it was $4 cheaper than my Fajitas at La Brisa the other day, for a lot more meat.

La Brisa Fajitas_thumb[1]

And this time we had a big group, the infamous El Bosque Nine shown below.

The El Bosque Nine_thumb[1]

Left to right: Rick and Janice Binns, my empty chair, Brett and Frankie O’Neal, Debi and Ed Hurlburt, and Randy Lazarine.

After our great meal together, Jan and I drove over to the nearby Wal-Mart to pick up some prescriptions, and a couple of other things, including the new bolts I need for the washer repair.

Karma the cat doesn’t know she’s Karma the cat. She has no recognition of any name, Karma, Emma, the name on her second-hand tag, Hey You, or anything else. This, even though we use her name every time we talk to her, or feed her.

She does respond when she sees me making coffee, because she knows that creamer is in her immediate future. Or if she hears the “Squuaakk” noise of whipped cream, but that’s about it.

Well, she does understand “NO!”, mostly I guess because when she starts to scratch on our leather captain’s chairs, I yell “NO!” and squirt her with a spray bottle.

Tomorrow we’re heading back to the Colorado River Thousand Trails for another two weeks. Looking forward to it. Of course, I’ve still got my ongoing washer repair to finish up, but I’m actually looking forward to that too.

February 27, 2017

On The Road Again . . . And Again . . . And Again . . . And . . .

Once again we were out the door and on our way back down to the Clear Lake area, getting to the Monterey’s Little Mexico in Dickinson, our lunch stop before Jan’s oncologist appointment at 1:45.

We’ve been eating here for about 20 years, with many of the same people working here for more than 10 years, which really tells you about how a place is run.

Julie, our favorite waitress has been here for almost 15 years,

Montery's Julie and Jan

way before we started  RV’ing in 2008.

We both ordered our usual bowls of the delicious Chicken Tortilla Soup to start off.

Monterey's Chicken Tortilla Soup

And when they say ‘Chicken’ they mean it. This soup is chock full of big chunks of chicken, not just a few shreds.

And unlike a recent bowl at Los Cabos here in Columbus, Monterey’s version DOES NOT have any veggies in it, like the zucchini and carrots in Los Cabos’ version.

Next up we split an order of Beef Fajita Nachos, which didn’t last long enough for a photo

But here is where it would be.

Finishing up and heading north we made a quick detour to the Bucee’s on 96 to pick up a few of our favorite Cranberry Walnut muffins for breakfast on the road. Then it was on back up to Webster and Jan’s doctor’s appointment.

Normally her oncologist’s visits go pretty quickly, but this time the doctor was running late so Jan was in there for a little over 2 hours. No problems, just a slow doctor.

Then it was back on the road heading home to Columbus, and hoping to stay ahead of the going-home traffic, which we mostly did.

We did make a quick stop at the O’Reilly’s Auto Parts in Columbus so I could pick up a new blower motor speed control module for the truck.

Blower Speed Control Module

The old one has cracked and we presently only have one blower speed for the AC, so this should fix the problem.


And guess what? Tomorrow morning we get to make the same trip back down to the Clear Lake area once again, this time for our GP appointments. Oh Boy!

Blog reader Tom Cheshire asked about how we keep our diesel tank filled on the road, and any problems we’ve had.

First off, we’ve got a 150-gallon diesel tank so we can go about 1000 miles without topping off, still leaving ourselves a 250 mile ‘cushion’. And we only occasionally fill up on the road during our travels.

Normally when we’re parked somewhere for a few days and want to fill up, we’ll scout out places as we’re driving around, looking for a place we can get in and out of with no problems. It may be a Wal-Mart, a Sam’s Club, or even a convenience store with diesel and easy access.

And if it looks like it will be easier, Jan will just follow me in the truck to the station, and then we’ll hitch up afterward.

If we do need to fill up on the road, we usually just stop at a Pilot/Flying J/Love’s/TA, etc. Many of them have separate pumps for RV’s with both diesel and gas, so you can stay out of the truck lanes.

Hope this makes sense. If anyone has any more questions, let me know.

February 27, 2018

My Eyes, My Eyes !

I spent the morning finally getting a chance to install my new LED headlights. And after a small glitch, it went really smoothly.

The headlight units came out pretty quickly once I had the correct size socket.

LED Headlights Upgrade 1

Then the old bulb came out and I was ready to install the new one.

LED Headlights Upgrade 2

But here is where the glitch came in. The locking ring that holds the bulb in place would not fit over the fan unit. Digging into the footnotes in almost too small to read manual, I found that I had to disassemble the bulb unit by removing the O-ring and two small screws.

LED Headlights Upgrade 3

This lets me place the locking ring between the fan and the bulb and mount it in the headlight unit.

LED Headlights Upgrade 4

Once I got the headlight back in place I turned on the headlights and took a look.

LED Headlights Upgrade 5

The difference between the old and the new was amazing, and the photo doesn’t really show the difference. It actually hurt my eyes to look directly into the new one.

Since I now knew the trick, the 2nd light only took me about 10 minutes to finish it up, and I was done. Unfortunately, it’ll probably be a few days before we can try them out at night.

While I was outside I took care of a few other things, like checking the truck’s oil and water, finally installing the rig’s 2018 tag stickers, and digging out my water heater cleaning wand, so I can flush out our water heater in the next few days.

Later, about 2 pm, Jan and I headed out for the afternoon. Our first stop was for linner at the Cheddar’s in Webster, a local favorite of ours. Jan got her regular Key West Chicken and Shrimp, and I got the Veggie Platter with a bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Great as usual.

Then it was on up to the I-45/Sam Houston Tollway interchange to check out a new RV Park. A few weeks ago, coming back from Brandi’s in Katy, we looked down from the high exit ramp from SHT onto I-45 south, we looked down and saw an RV park down there, a big one.

We were going to check it out coming back from Brandi’s this past Sunday, but it was pouring down rain so we put it off.

Since the park is so new it didn’t show up on any apps, so we didn’t even know the name of it, which turned out to be USA RV Resort I-45, one of several that they own in this area.

Turned out to be a very nice park, with 157 all-concrete sites,

USA RV Resort 1

a lake, a pool, a walking path,

USA RV Resort 3

and a clubhouse with a fitness room and a laundry.

USA RV Resort 4

But with all these nice amenities comes a high price – $675 + Electric for the 50 x 20 Back-In Sites, and $795 + Electric for the 80 x 20 Pull-Thru Sites.

Yikes! That’s almost twice as much as we’re paying here.

Think we’ll stay right where we are.

Our next stop was WalMart for a lot of stuff, and then down to Dickinson to see if they were doing work on the Monterey’s that got flooded out in Harvey. The answer is NO.

Finally, coming back up to Victory Lakes, we made a stop at the El Pollo Loco there to pick up soups and salads for later meals.

Tomorrow Jan has what she hopes is her last checkup as part of her kidney stone episode.

Fingers crossed.

February 27, 2019

Yesterday I talked about buying something online from WalMart and picking it up at our local store, using their ‘Pickup Tower’. What we ordered was a couple of 18 fl. oz. bottles of ACT Cinnamon Mouthwash that Jan likes and can’t seem to find locally. Or, at least that flavor.

And when I looked on Amazon, I found two bottles for $15.79 with ‘FREE’ Prime Shipping. But when I looked online at WalMart I found the same two bottles for $7.71. With free shipping and pickup at our local store.

And even better, I get to play with the Pickup Tower.

So I’ll start looking for stuff more on WalMart now, before I order from Amazon.

The other day I showed you what our actual room, #110, looks like on the Viking Longship Skirnir.

Viking Skirnir Cabin 110 - Category E - Standard Stateroom 110 on iCruise.com

But this room diagram will give you a better idea of the actual layout of our 150 sq.ft. room.


Pretty much like a regular hotel room, but with a better view, and much better food.

Speaking of the view, besides the two Explorer suites on our ship that go for $10 – $15,000/person, there are two other room choices – the French Balcony ones, and the Veranda models.

Apparently, the French don’t really have balconies I guess, because these rooms don’t have a balcony either.

Viking French Balcony

They just have a sliding glass door that opens onto a railing, so all you can really do is stick your head out and look to the bow and stern of the ship. And for this great ‘perk’, you get to pay an extra $3000/couple.

And, even better, at 135 sq.ft., your extra $3000/couple, gets you a room that’s 15 sq. ft. smaller than ours.

Such a deal!

Now, if you want to pay an extra $4200/couple for a Veranda room, you get an actual balcony big enough to hold two chairs.


But at least for your $4000+, at 205 sq.ft., you do get a slightly bigger room than ours. But you pay about an extra $75 per sq.ft. for that privilege.

In addition, I find it interesting, and reassuring also, is that the online reviews have travelers saying that they wouldn’t pay for these room upgrades next time, since they either spent their time on deck, on excursions, or asleep in the room.

Or even better, they were staring at a close-up view of the side of the dock where they were moored.

Last night Jan and I watched the premier episode of Whiskey Cavalier, ABC’s new spy action, comedy series. And it was really good.

A lot of action, a good storyline, and great chemistry between the stars, a male FBI agent, codename ‘Whiskey Cavalier’, and a female CIA agent, codename ‘Fiery Tribune’.

Along with 3 other team members, they’re forced to work together, while spitting and sparring with each other along the way. Kind of reminds me of Moonlighting, I guess.

They could use a better advisor concerning some of the tradecraft, but you can’t have everything.

Check it out.

Tomorrow we’re making the trip up to Trinity, TX to visit our long-time friends, Janice and Dave Evans, and see their new home since they came off the road. Also joining us will be the other third of the Conroe Bunch, Debi and Ed Hurlburt of RV Tips fame.

Really looking forward to it.

February 27, 2020

The Big 300 . . .

I guess I’m pretty much back to normal, or at least as normal as I’m likely to get anyway. My head is still a little stuffy, but I feel good, my cough is gone, and my stomach muscles are only slightly sore.

I did get my 16GB of RAM for my new computer installed yesterday and the speed is noticeably faster. In fact maxing out your computer’s RAM is the cheapest/quickest way to get a speed boost.

Jan and I headed out about 1 pm for lunch at Yummy Yummy’s once again, and 4 miles after we left home we hit the big 300.

Our Dodge Dakota’s odometer went from this:


To this:


And this doesn’t count the 88,000+ miles being dragged around behind the RV.

It just keeps going and going and going . . .

Now on to 400,000.

After lunch, we drove over to the big HEB on League City Pkwy to stock up on a few things, especially some more Lola Savannah Texas Pecan Coffee.

HEB Lola Savannah Texas Pecan Coffee

Yes, their Texas Pecan coffee has large chunks of real pecans in it. In fact I have seen complete halves as I’m pouring it into the grinder. Really good, and the checkout clerks always comment on the smell when we’re checking out.

Really good.

February 27, 2021

5th Times The Charm?

After I got caffeinated this morning, I went outside to remove the hose splitter on our water hookup. I had tried to replace it a while back with a new, high-flow model.

Outside Faucet Repair 1

But I found it stuck, and was afraid to brute-force it in case I snapped off the plastic feed pipe.

But when I turned it back on after the Big Freeze, it was dripping slightly, and I couldn’t get it to stop.

So today I decided to just cut it off by using my handy-dandy Harbor Freight Cut-Off tool.

Harbor Freight Cut-Off Tool

I carefully sliced a groove in the coupling trying not to cut in the faucet threads. Then once I got the cut made, I used a big screwdriver to pop it open enough to get it off.

Outside Faucet Repair 2

Before I put the new one on, I coated both sets of threads with silicone grease, so hopefully I won’t have this problem again.

Outside Faucet Repair 3

With Jan a little under the weather this morning, I was on my own for our errands today, so I was on the way up to the WalMart in Alvin to once again try and pick up an order I had placed online yesterday.

And this time it all worked. I pulled into Pickup #5 slot, used the app to tell them I was there, and about 10 minutes later they were putting the stuff in my car. Finally, it worked.

Then it was on over to our dry cleaners on FM528 to pick up the quilt we had cleaned there. Next up I stopped off at the office to pick up an order that had come in for Jan. And before I put in a pickup order for the Jason’s Deli down in our area. Their Broccoli-Cheese soup is Jan’s goto under-the-weather food, so I got that, and a 1/4 Turkey Muffuletta for her, and a couple of bowls of their Spicy Tortilla Soup for me.

I normally get their Southwest Chicken Chili, but it didn’t show up on the online menu, so I got the Tortilla Soup instead. However when I picked up the food, I asked and found out that they did still have the Chicken Chili, but for some reason, it didn’t always show up online. So next time I’ll know.

After Jan and I had our lunch, I went outside to take a look at the new toilet that’s been still sitting in its box on the patio since it was delivered. And as soon as I lifted it out, I saw a possible problem.

The original toilet in our RV was a 4-bolt model, but the new one we replaced it with in 2010 while we were in Las Vegas, was a 2-bolt model. I kludged it together at first, but then Dometic finally came out with an adapter plate for it.

But this new one is back to being a 4 bolt model, so guess I’ll also have to remove the adapter first. I don’t think I had to permanently modify anything to install the adapter, but we’ll see.

Very funny article about a guy who decided to try RV’ing, in the middle of the winter, in Pennsylvania.

I stayed at a campground for the first time in a camper van during the off-season, and I didn’t think it was worth the price

When I first rented the van, the owner quickly walked me through the process of plugging the van into a campsite’s amp, but in practice, I couldn’t figure it out. I ignorantly figured that the amp setup was just an optional choice since the van already had solar panels, so I decided to forgo plugging in the vehicle.

Later, I learned just how wrong I was.

February 27, 2022

Soup’s On . . .

Well, the whole Black Bear Diner didn’t work out. Jan was a little under the weather today, so I did the HEB shopping this afternoon and then brought her home her version of Chicken Soup.

Jason’s Deli’s Broccoli Soup,

Jason's Broccoli Cheese Soup

along with a 1/4 Roasted Turkey Muffuletta Sandwich.

Jason's Turkey Muffuletta

But since Jason’s discontinued my fav White Chicken Chili a while back, I passed on anything from Jason’s and had one of the fresh Meal Simple soups that I picked up at HEB.

HEB Meal Simple Soup

They have a whole line of these, and everyone we’ve tried has been delicious.

My favorites are the Corn Chowder above, the Loaded Baked Potato, Chicken and Sausage Gumbo, Chicken Tortilla Soup and

. . .  Well, actually everyone I’ve tried has become a new favorite. And there’s about two dozen more for me to try.

Since I installed my new La Crosse weather station out in the living room yesterday, I decided I wanted something back in the bedroom to keep an eye on the nighttime temps. I thought about moving my old La Crosse unit back there, but it was just more than I wanted.

So I ordered this one last night and it came in this afternoon. And it gives me just what I want.

La Crosse Small Weather Display

La Crosse Personal Weather Station

It’s about the size of a large cell phone and fits on the wall right next to the bed.

These are the 20 most common passwords leaked on the dark web.

  1. 123456
  2. 123456789
  3. Qwerty
  4. Password
  5. 12345
  6. 12345678
  7. 111111
  8. 1234567
  9. 123123
  10. Qwerty123
  11. 1q2w3e
  12. 1234567890
  14. 0
  15. Abc123
  16. 654321
  17. 123321
  18. Qwertyuiop
  19. Iloveyou
  20. 666666

If you use any of the above passwords for any of your online accounts, you’d be wise to swap them out for something more secure. Cybersecurity experts often recommend picking something longer than the minimum number of recommended characters, and using uncommon characters – like punctuation marks or other symbols – in place of letters and numbers, to make your password harder to guess.

Lookout also noted that the majority of people reuse passwords for multiple accounts, which is a practice you should avoid whenever possible. If hackers can get into one of your accounts, you can at least make it harder for them to get into the rest of them.

In this same vein, I’ve received two emails this last week, one from Amazon, and another from one of my banks, Chase. Or at least, they said they were from them.

Both of them said that my account with them had been suspended. And both gave me a link to log in and fix the problem.

Yeah, right!

The real giveaway was the email address.

Amazon-Support.Center. [email protected]

Note that the address has nothing to do with Amazon. And the link I’m supposed to click to restore my account goes here.


Again nothing to do with Amazon.

And it was the same with the one from CHASEBANK. At least that’s how it was listed in the From: area. But all my actual emails from Chase just say they’re from Chase.

CHASEBANK [email protected]

And also, though these emails came through about 12 hours apart, the base address, cents.com, is the same.

And of course, the link address has nothing to do with Chase either.


Yeah, that looks like something I’d want to click on.

As they used to say on Hill Street Blues –

‘Let’s be careful out there.’

February 27, 2023

Old Faithful Rides Again . . .

This afternoon we dropped off the Jeep at Roland’s Precision Machining up in Alvin so he could look at the Oil Pressure light again.

To recap: When they got our Jeep put back together at the top-end rebuild, the light was stuck on. They knew the oil pressure was fine since they measured it directly with a gauge. They next changed out the oil pressure sensor. Twice.

All with no luck.

Occasionally it would go away for a bit and then pop back up. But it never stayed away long. So after a lot of wire tracing with no luck, Roland was going to bring in an automotive electrical specialist to take a look.

So Jan and I are back in Old Faithful, our 2004 Dodge Dakota with 311,000+ miles. But it always cranks up first time, every time.

Tomorrow we’re heading up to Pasadena to meet up with long-time friend Tricia at Jimmy Changas for lunch. Looking forward to it.

Found this on the online menu for China Delight where we ate up in Conroe yesterday.

Low-Cat Menu

Don’t know about you, but I always prefer my Vegetable Lo Mein low in Cat.