He’s Home . . .

To everyone’s joy, Lowell was discharged from the hospital this morning and was home a little after noon. And amazingly he’s up and around and doing great.

Brandi and Jan were worried about their 3 big dogs, who love to jump up on everyone, but they seemed to understand they shouldn’t do it with Lowell right now, and they stayed pretty calm.

Jan’s going to stay at Brandi’s until Sunday when I’ll pick her up about noon. Right now we plan on having lunch at our favorite Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, and then a Trader Joe’s stop for Jan, which is right next door. Then coming home, we’ll make an HEB stop for the next week.

Jan and I have a reservation for Valentine’s Day down at the Saltgrass Steakhouse down in Galveston. Originally we made it for 5:30pm, but then this afternoon at 4:04, I got an email with the Subject – Our Saltgrass Steak House – Galveston Reservation Change.

And when I checked it, it seemed to show that our reservation had been changed to 5pm. Then 2 minutes later I got another email changing it back to 5:30 again. So I’m not sure where I stand now. I guess I’ll have to give them a call tomorrow to see where things stand.

Finishing up, Sunday, Feb 11th happens to be Lowell’s Birthday, so I guess getting this serious health problem fixed makes a really nice present.

Today In History:

February 9, 1964

Reviewers at the time said this:

“Visually they are a nightmare: tight, dandified, Edwardian-Beatnik suits and great pudding bowls of hair.  Musically they are a near-disaster: guitars and drums slamming out a merciless beat that does away with secondary rhythms, harmony, and melody.  Their lyrics (punctuated by nutty shouts of “yeah, yeah, yeah!”) are a catastrophe, a preposterous farrago of Valentine-card romantic sentiments.”

And this:

They are are not merely awful; I would consider it sacrilegious to say anything less than that they are god awful. They are so unbelievably horribly, so appallingly unmusical, so dogmatically insensitive to the magic of the art that they qualify as crowned heads of anti-music, even as the imposter popes went down in history as “anti-popes.”

And who are they referring to?

Why, The Beatles first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Wonder if anyone even remembers who the reviewers were?

Thought for the Day: 

According to the Flat Earth Society’s website, “The Flat Earth Society has members all around the globe.”

Think about that for a minute. Shouldn’t it be ‘all around the flat disc?”

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

February 9, 2011

Tastefully Simple And Armadillo Eggs . . .

Still another early morning.

And still more coffee.

But hopefully this is the last early one for a while as I should be able to finish up my computer job today.

I left the rig about 9:45 heading up to my client’s office in Pasadena, driving in the pouring rain. Boy, am I glad I got all the outside work done yesterday.

It took about 4 hours to finish up checking out all the lines, mounting all the wall boxes, hooked up the last two VOIP phones, and neatened up all the cable runs. Then, after a walk-through with the client, I got my check and headed out . . .

to another client’s. But this one only took about an hour to finish up. Then it was by the house to pick up my forgotten camera, but with a bonus.

Brandi was home early due to the bad weather coming in, and Lendell and Sonja, Lowell’s parents, down from Oklahoma, were there, and of course, Landon too.

Speaking of Landon, here’s the obligatory Landon photos from King Food the other night

Landon Asleep at King Food

He looks like he was not too happy to be woken up. But he did cheer up pretty quickly.

Landon Awake at King Food

Leaving Brandi’s, I stopped off at the dry cleaners to pick up our winter bedspread and then dropped it off at the storeroom for use when we return next winter, and while I was there I paid the rent on the storeroom. Normally I do this by automatic bill pay through my bank, but since this is a change due to getting rid of our 2nd storeroom, I wanted to be sure the payment got done for the correct amount.

Finally it was time to head back to the rig. The rain had disappeared, but the front had come through and it had gotten COLD. When I got back to the rig about 5:30 it was already 32 and falling. It’s supposed to be about 26 tonight, so I’ll disconnect the water just to be safe.

Getting back to the rig I found Jan still under the weather. She’s had a sinus headache for several days now. She finally got rid of the cough, but the stuffy head just hangs on.

When I left she was planning to walk up to the clubhouse about 11 to check out the Tastefully Simple party our friend Jeannie Sparks was having, but the fact it was pouring down rain, in combination with the sinus headache, put the kibosh on that.

Jan didn’t feel like going out for dinner, so I just had my left-over Armadillo Eggs from T-Bone Tom’s the other night. Still great.

Jan eventually fixed herself a microwave dinner, and that was about it for the evening.

February 9, 2013

It’s Dead, Jim . . .

I was up about 8:30 this morning for no good reason. I could have slept a whole 30 minutes longer,  but I was awake, so what the heck.

About 9:30 I headed up to Brandi’s to pick up Jan, Landon, and Aunt Sherry to have breakfast at The Egg & I in Webster.

Landon Jan and Sherry at EandI

After a really good breakfast, and a pot of their delicious Hazelnut coffee, I dropped everyone off back at Brandi’s while I headed back to the rig with a quick stop at Fry’s Electronics to pick up an HP Deskjet 1000 for a client.

If you need an inexpensive inkjet printer that produces excellent quality output, check one out. I bought one last year while we were gate-guarding after my Samsung Color Laser died. I was looking for something at Wal-Mart that was cheap and small, and the 1000 fills the bill.

I paid $49 for it and was very surprised to discover how good the print quality was. So good in fact, I didn’t replace it when we got back on the road.

But the reason I was getting one for a client was that, unlike many other printers, the 1000 still works with Windows XP, which is why my client wants it. And even better, the one at Fry’s was only $29. Nice!

After Fry’s it was back to the rig, and back to work. I’ve still got a long list of chores to get done before we leave on the 18th.

My first job was done before I even went inside the rig. And that was to install the new Rain-X wipers on the truck. I first used them last year, and liked them enough to use them again this year.

Next was to finally check out my airbag repair of a couple of weeks ago. To do this I had to crank up the rig and raise the levelers. First off, it was nice to hear the diesel start right up after being unused for 3 months. You always wonder.

After starting it up and waiting about 30 seconds, I put it in High Idle and went outside. I could still hear the Low Air Pressure alarm for a couple of minutes, and then about 15 seconds later the rig came up on all the airbags. Great! Ready to hit the road.

The funny thing was that when I came back in the rig, both cats were sitting side by side staring up at the large box I had stored on Jan’s seat. That’s where they usually ride in Jan’s lap when we travel, and when they hear the engine start, they expect their chair to be ready.

Next up I finished reinstalling the valance/shade combo in the living room and got it adjusted correctly. Now all the shades are good for another 14 years.

My final chore was some cabinet work. I needed to replace the drawer slide end mounts on two of the kitchen cabinet drawers. The only difficulty was the fact that I only had access to the back of the cabinet through the drawer openings, but I finally got it fixed.

That was about it for jobs today. Jan was just going to order pizza for her, Sherry, and Landon at the house, so I didn’t go back over.

Well, it’s not really dead, but it is defective. My Globe Helicopter has a problem.

Globe Helicopter

No matter how I steer it, it only goes in one direction. I flew the one at EPO with no problem, and it didn’t do this. I tried to see if I could trim it out somehow but didn’t have any luck. So back to Amazon it goes. I’ll order another one when I get a chance.

Tomorrow it’s back over to Brandi’s for breakfast with Jan and Landon. Brandi and Lowell should be back sometime in the early afternoon, so I’ll hang around until then.

February 9, 2014

Shaky Beef and CorrosionX . . .

I spent the morning working outside on my coach batteries, pulling all the cables off, wire-brushing the terminals, and then spraying CorrosionX on all the connections. I also topped off the water while I was at it.

We got these Interstate U2400 batteries in March of 2008 to replace the Trojan T-105’s that were original to our 1999 coach. And after 6 years they seem to be still going strong.

About 3 PM Jan and I headed up to the Katy area to Brandi and Lowell’s to spend the night. Our daughter Brandi is at a business conference in Miami this week and we’re going to help out with Landon. Monday is Lowell’s busiest day and he needs to leave the house a little after 5 AM, earlier than Landon’s daycare is open.

So we’ll get him ready and drop him off at his normal time. Then after lunch at the nearby Grimaldi’s Pizzeria, (YUUMM!),  we’ll head back down to the Clear Lake area for Jan’s 2 PM eye appointment.

A little before 5 PM, Lowell and Landon, and Jan and I drove right down the road to the Little V Vietnamese Restaurant.

Little V

Lowell said it was his and Brandi’s new favorite place. And for good reason.

It was GREAT!

Lowell had his usual Pho, while Jan and I tried a couple of other dishes. I had the Shaky Beef Wok,

Little V Shaky Beef

while Jan had the Chicken Vermicelli dish.

Little V Chicken Vermicelli

Both really, really good.’

My beef dish came on a bed of noodles, as did Jan’s. The beef was marinated and very tender. And they had a homemade hot sauce that was really good.

We’ll definitely go back when we’re in the area.

Little V Landon

Landon didn’t eat much, but pretty much entertained himself with his iPad, and was really good.

February 9, 2015

Just to Get the Taste out of our Mouths . . .

Jan was up at 6am this morning to wait for Landon to wake up. Lowell had to head out to work about that time, so Jan wanted to be up when Landon got up, which was about 30 minutes later.

Brandi is out in San Diego at a business conference. I don’t know though.

Does this look like work to you?

Brandi in San Diego

Lucky me, I got to sleep in, all the way until 8am.  Then about 8:30, Jan, Landon, and I headed out for breakfast at the Denny’s over on Fry Rd. Landon had pancakes, fruit, bacon, and chocolate milk. Lowell said Landon’s going through another growth spurt, and sometimes really puts it away, and then doesn’t eat much the next day.

About 10am, we dropped Landon off at The Goddard School where he goes. Landon insists it’s not daycare, “It’s School!” And he’s right.

One thing we thought was funny was that as soon as we walked into the classroom with Landon, three little girls piped up in unison with “Hiiii, Landon!”

Getting back to Brandi’s, Jan read and I took a nap while we were waiting to see if we we would be needed to help with Landon later in the day, but Lowell got free on time, so a little after 3pm Jan and I headed out.

We had already decided to have dinner at Grimaldi’s Pizzeria to get the taste of yesterday’s food court pizza out of our mouths. But it doesn’t pay to get there before 4pm, because they shut down the coal-fired ovens between 3 and 4 to shovel out the ash, re-stoke them with coal, and then light’em up again.

Grimaldi's Woodlands 4

Grimaldi's Woodlands 5

We got our usual small house salad, which is a bowl big enough for both of us, and a large pizza (18”) with mushrooms, pepperoni, Italian sausage, meatballs, and extra cheese.  As big as this is, we can only eat half, so we have the rest to bring home. Heats up great in the convection oven.

Getting close to home, we stopped in at the Kroger’s in Dickinson for a few things, and I bought $10 worth of Powerball tickets for Wednesday night’s $450 million dollar drawing.

Ya can’t win if ya don’t play.

February 9, 2016

Cough, Cough ?

We did get our first 1 mile walk in this morning, but like the other day’s walk, we called the second loop on account of wind. Very high winds. But at least we got a mile in.

Just as we got back, I got a call from our daughter Brandi giving us a heads up because she had come down with Strep Throat. For us the incubation period is 2 to 5 days with an average of 3.

We haven’t seen Brandi since Super Bowl Sunday so we’re coming up on the middle of the period with no symptoms so far. But we’ll know more in the next couple of days, I guess.

Getting back to the rig, we had a breakfast with our leftover omelet on leftover biscuits from our recent Schobel’s visits. Along with our coffee, a really good breakfast.

Later, about 2pm, I put in a call to Schneider Welding to see if my screen door hinge was done. ‘Henry’ said it was not finished yet.

I assume that this meant he hadn’t even started it yet, since I figure it shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes at the most. Just clamp it into a vise, grind down the old welds, bend it back to a 90° angle, and weld it up.

I reminded him I needed it by Friday since we were leaving Sunday, the 14th, and he said he’d have it ready.

We’ll see.

We’re getting our usual Texas winter weather about now, with a low of 33 degrees last night, and then today, with the bright sun, the AC’s were coming on in the rig.

Could be much worse of course, with multi-feet of snow, or even down in Florida where it’s raining every day.

Tomorrow we’re going on a roadtrip over to Fredericksburg, about 190 miles away. It’s not exactly close, but of course, closer than if we did from Lake Conroe. Normally we’ll visit on our way out west, but since we’re going east this year, this may be our only chance.

One thing we definitely want to do while we’re there is to have lunch at Der Lindenbaum, a really good German restaurant, and a must-eat on every visit. Then we’ll wander the streets for a while, checking out all the shops.

Then at some point we’ll take a side trip out to Wildseed Farms, about 5 miles east of Fredericksburg. We always enjoy walking the grounds and checking out all the cats that live there.

My National General insurance policy through our agents Chris and Charles Yust of C and C RV Insurance  renews next month, and I was kind of antsy anticipating what my new rate was going to be. After our $20,000+ repair bill last summer resulting from our blowout in Arizona, I could see my rate going through the roof. But it only went up about $30 a month. Not bad at all.

Great agents and a great company.

February 9, 2017

Is There Anything This Stuff Can’t Do?

Our DirecTV satellite system went down yesterday afternoon about 4:20 and we didn’t get it back until I got home about 5:30 this morning. Turns out that it was partially DirecTV’s fault and partially mine.

Jan and I were watching the news a little bit before I went in to work when suddenly the video froze and we got a ‘Signal Loss’ error message on the screen.

And when I checked the ‘Signal Meters’ on the receiver, I had nothing coming in. Figuring something had maybe bumped or moved the dish, I checked outside.

Nope, it was still there and still upright. So just to be safe I checked DirecTV’s website to be sure they weren’t having any problems. And Nope on that.

So as a last-ditch effort since I had to leave in just a few minutes, I unplugged and then plugged power back into the dish. This started it rescanning the sky to lock onto the correct DirecTV satellite.

But when I got to the gate, Jan emailed me that she still didn’t have any signal.  On a hunch I once again checked DirecTV’s website, and found that they now said they had had problems starting at 5:20pm ET, exactly when our problem occurred. But the problem was now fixed.

So now I knew what had happened. When I reinitialized the dish, it started scanning for the correct satellite. But couldn’t find it, so it shut down.

I tried to email Jan on how to fix it but about that time I lost the phone signal here at the gate, so I wasn’t able to tell her. But when I got home this morning, all I had to do was to reinitialize it once again and in a few minutes we had TV again.

After I posted my map graphics showing our possible travels the rest of this year, several readers asked me what program I was using. It’s called Delorme Street Atlas and I’ve been using it since the DOS days.

I have it on my desktop where I use it to plan our travels. But it also runs on the laptop I have by the dashboard. Then it acts as a GPS mapping program guiding us as we travel.

The really neat thing about the program is the overlays it lets you do.

Like this one.

Delorme Map

This shows the location of all of the 290 parks that we’ve stay in since we started RV’ing.

Delorme Map TT

And this one shows all of the Thousand Trail parks that are available to us.

I also have a number of other overlays, PassPort America parks, Pilot/Flying J locations, and even Places to See.

It’s very easy to use, and lets you quickly map out a route from Point A to Point B in just a few seconds.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the program seems to be falling by the wayside. For years every January I would get a notice that the latest version of the program was available for purchase.

But last year, along about March right before we were ready to travel for the year, I realized I hadn’t gotten my update. And going to the Delorme website told me why.

Pretty much everything concerning the Street Atlas program was gone. All the blogs, support forums, FAQ’s, everything just ‘poof’.

Turns out that in January 2016 Garmin, the GPS manufacturer, had bought Delorme lock, stock, and barrel. And supposedly the only reason they wanted Delorme was for their highly-regarded satellite phones, so most everything else has been dropped.

So as it stands now, the only version of Street Atlas still available is the 2015 version, which is the one that I’m still using.

At this point, since Microsoft dropped Streets and Trips a few years ago, as far as I know, there is nothing else available that will do what Street Atlas will.

But I’ll keep looking.

Looks like our frack is winding down tonight and they should be finished around 2am. Then they’ll start rigging down and moving out with coiling tubing coming in in the next day or so. When I asked one of the Company Men this evening he said we’ll definitely be busy until Jan and I leave here next Wednesday.

Coffee: The Magic Elixir

Coffee helps Jan sleep better. At least when she drinks it at the right time of day.

Jan’s a morning person, usually getting up around 7am. I’m a night person, normally going to bed between 2 and 3am, and getting up around 10-11am.  So this gives Jan four hours of computer access, and time to watch HER shows she’s recorded, i.e., cooking shows and contests, shows about families with a lot of kids, and shows about polygamist families.

Then she starts to doze off around 7:30 in the evening, and later I get her up about 11pm to send her to bed. But after now having had 3 or 4 hours of good sleep, she sometimes has a problem getting back to sleep.

Ever since we’ve been RV’ing I get up at 11 and make coffee. I make 8 cups, 2 cups for Jan’s large mug, and 6 cups for my 34oz Bubba Keg. And that’s it for the day.

But since I’ve been working nights on the gate, I’ve been fixing our coffee about 4 in the afternoon, giving Jan her cup then, and taking mine into the gate with me.

So now, after having her coffee in the afternoon, she has no problem staying up until 10 or 11 before she goes to bed, and then no problem falling asleep. She’s actually added several hours to her day.

Is There Anything This Stuff Can’t Do?

Guess we’ll be having afternoon coffee from now on.

February 9, 2018

Catching Up . . .

Today was a busy morning, first with Jan’s 8:30am Pre-Op conference at the hospital for next Wednesday’s Laser Lithotripsy. And then getting her home about 10:30, I dropped her off and headed right back up to Webster for work.

Luckily Jennifer, the office manager, was back at work today. Actually she came back this past Wednesday while I was out with Jan having her checkup. Glad to find out that she didn’t have the flu, but a case of Norovirus that she seems to have caught from family members who had just returned from a cruise and brought it with them, getting sick just as they got home, and just in time to infect Jennifer.

Spent the morning catching up with all the catalog/website updates and changes that had accumulated since I was there on Monday. The afternoon was occupied by taking photos of used/refurbished equipment and emailing them out to potential customers, and then handling the numerous follow-up questions. Very time-consuming.

So far my oil pressure problem has not reoccurred, so I guess a defective filter was really the cause. What does bother me however, is that I can’t figure out any way that the filter could have caused my problem.

I mentioned that I had read online about someone else that found the same fix for a similar problem, and several other readers said that the filter couldn’t possibly be the problem and it must have been something else.

Well, like I said, the problem was gone when I pulled out of the Jiffy Lube parking lot, so I don’t know what else it could be.

We’ve been on the go so much this week that tomorrow and maybe Sunday too, are going to be stay-at-home days. Very nice.

But if the weather cooperates just enough, I go outside and take down the last remaining awning to take over to Sundowner Canvas.

February 9, 2019

It’s A Conspiracy . . .

We headed out for The Egg & I up in Webster for breakfast, expecting our usual great food and service. Well, one out of two isn’t bad, I guess.

Or maybe Eric, our waiter today had been talking to Raziel, our waiter at Katz’s Deli on Thursday. Or maybe conspiring together.

We had to wait about 10 minutes for a table, which was kind of unusual for this late, only about 45 minutes until they closed at 2pm. But I noticed that even though they were on wait, the rear dining room was almost empty. So either they were trying to keep the kitchen from getting overrun, or maybe they were short on wait staff.

Either way, even though we ordered our meal along with our coffee. But it was over 30 minutes before we got our food, even though people who were seated after us had already gotten theirs.

Maybe it’s just us.

But at least the food was as good as usual.

Next I went by my client’s to check on the hard drive cloning job I had left running since about noon yesterday. I was making a full backup of the webserver to a second HD I had installed on the computer. I have it backed up daily with iDrive, but I wanted to have a local backup too.

But I was kind of concerned about the time it was taking. It had been over 26 hours since I started the backup. So getting to the office I opened a second command terminal and ran the ‘pkill’ command which told me where the job was. And ‘pkill’ said the job had only copied a little over 200GB of the 1TB drive, and was only moving along at about 2 MB/s, very, very slow. Why, I don’t know.

But I didn’t think to check on how much data is actually on the source drive. So it could be almost done, or still have a lot to go. I guess I won’t know until I get back to the office on Monday.

After that we stopped off at Sam’s Club to pick up a prescription and few other things, and also got on their Shingrix list. Jan and I had our first Shingrix Shingles shot back around the middle of November, so we’re now in the 2 to 6 month window to get our second one.

We always ask both WalMart and Sam’s if they’ve got any in every time we’re in the store, which is how we got the first shot. But now they’ve both got a list where they will call you when they get some in.

Tomorrow we’re heading up to Sugarland to take in Landon’s hockey practice again, and then on to Floyd’s Cajun Seafood, of course.

February 9, 2020

Old Homes and Old Friends . . .

Jan and I moved from Birmingham down to Montgomery in January 1975, right after she had graduated with her Medical Records degree. And as it turned out, both of us already had jobs when we got here.

Jan had already been hired on at Jackson Hospital and was scheduled to start just a few days after our move. She had gone to a job fair and was pretty much hired on the spot.

We had already rented an apartment in a brand-new complex right off Atlanta Hwy and East Blvd on Burbank Dr.

Montgomery Burbank Dr Apts

We were in the bottom unit to the left of the breezeway. It was a large 2 bedroom, 1 bath model. At the time our son Chris was 7 and Brandi was about 16 months.

And as it turned out I also already had a job when we got here. I had been working full-time as a Broadcast Engineer for WBIQ Channel 10 PBS television in Birmingham, part of the Alabama Public Television Network, where I had been since July 1972.

When Chris, being only 5 at the time, wanted to know where I worked, Jan ‘simplified’ it by telling him I worked on ‘Sesame Street’. From this Chris decided that I must be Big Bird, so he told everyone that I was Big Bird on Sesame Street.

Maybe I wasn’t Big Bird, but I was busy. Besides the WBIQ job I was taking 21 hours at college, working as a part-time weekend Broadcast Engineer job at WENN radio, and was the Chemistry Lab Assistant at school, setting up the experiments for the Chemistry classes.

And earlier, before Brandi was born in September 1973, Jan worked a part-time evening shift at Newberry’s 5 & 10 at Eastwood Mall, AND, if that wasn’t enough, Jan and I were the grill team at what was then the busiest McDonald’s in the country, the one at Eastwood Mall.

We came in a little before 11am, and with me running the grill and Jan toasting buns and making fish sandwiches,  we made burgers as fast as we could until 2pm. Then we hung up our aprons and walked out the back door. So no cleaning, wiping, or scrubbing.

Pretty much the perfect McD’s job. At least as far as McD’s jobs go.

Looking back it was amazing that we could keep this up, But we were in our early 20’s, so it all worked out I guess.

Anyway circling back around, while we were down in Montgomery in early December so Jan could get all her paperwork filled out before we moved, I had a list of Montgomery TV stations so I could see if any of them were hiring.

My first stop, being the closest to Jan’s hospital, was WCOV Channel 20, then the local CBS affiliate (now FOX). And like Jan, I was hired on the spot. In fact, when the Chief Engineer found out I wanted to work the night-time sign-off shift, he wanted me to start that evening!

When I said I couldn’t start for a couple of weeks until we moved down here, AND that I wanted to check with the other TV stations first, he kept offering me more money, Enough so that I accepted, still saying that I couldn’t start until after the first of January. But the money he was offering was a substantial increase on what I was making in Birmingham, so I took the offer without looking further.

For us, the move and job changes were a novel concept. We were each only working one job.

After our year lease was up at the apartments, we moved into a small 3 bedroom, 1 bath rent house closer to both of our jobs.

Montgomery Matterhorn Dr House

But Jan says the real reason we moved was the rowdy bunch that moved across the hall from us and would ride their motorcycles up and down the breezeway.

Somewhere in here I heard that a cable TV company was coming to Montgomery, the first one in our area, so I tracked them down and went in to talk to them.

And suddenly I had a new job as Chief Electronics Tech for Alabama and Georgia for Storer Cable. (later to become TCI, and then parceled out into Comcast.)

But the look on the face of the Chief Engineer at WCOV when I told him I was leaving, (I thought he was going to cry) made me accept his offer (his begging) to continue to work 3 or 4 nights a week as an Engineer, for even more money again.

So suddenly I was back to two jobs again.

And I’m not sure exactly how it happened but somewhere in here, I ended up as the replacement Saturday and Sunday late-night DJ on WCOV AM radio, located in the same building. This lasted about six months until they could hire a new DJ.

So make that three jobs for a while.

Also around in here, we bought our first house.

Montgomery Brookwood Dr House

Located in a neighborhood near our rent house, it was 1500 sq. ft. 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with a big back yard and 3 or 4 pecan trees. We lived here until we moved to Houston in December 1978.

Driving around yesterday we were really happy to see that all three of our old homesteads were still in good shape.

Working at Storer is where I met Fred and his wife Susan, who was a school teacher.

Fred and Susan 2020 visit

Fred worked the outside ‘plant’, the cabling/amplifiers on the poles feeding the signal to the homes, while I mostly took care of the ‘inside’ stuff, the headend (the distribution hub for the system), the big 10-meter satellite dish, and pretty much anything electronic that wasn’t out on the poles.

Fred and I hit it off right away and spent a lot of time working in the other’s areas. Jan knew that if a big storm came through and knocked out part of the system, I was going to be out in the storm helping Fred out. And vice versa.

So we always get together when we’re back in this area, and last night we got to their house a little after 6pm for one of Susan’s delicious lasagna dinners. We’ve learned that this works better since we don’t have to worry about having the restaurant close down around us like has happened in the past.

And this was a good thing since we didn’t finally head back to the hotel until almost midnight.

But we had a great time catching up and reminiscing.

This afternoon we’re getting together with one of Jan’s old coworkers from Jackson Hospital for dinner at the Longhorn Steakhouse up north of Montgomery in Prattville where they live.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 40 years since we left Montgomery for Houston.

February 9, 2021

Not A Volcano . . .

Jan and I were on our way up to Conroe for our get-together by about 11am. But our first stop on the way was at the WalMart up in Webster to pick up a prescription. We were hoping it would be ready yesterday afternoon, but it wasn’t ready.

Then for some reason, I got a text at 5:21 this morning saying it was ready. So who’s filling prescriptions at 5 in the morning? Though I guess they could have had to order it from their big warehouse up in north Houston.

Anyway we got to China Delight about 10 til 1pm, and made a mad dash to the restroom. Hey, there was morning coffee, and it’s a hour and 15 minute drive, OK?

When Jan and I came out, Rick and Janice Binns were already at the table, and then a few minutes later, Debi and  Ed Hurlburt showed up.

Here’s the happy group.

Hurlburt Binns China Delight 20210209

That’s the Binns on the left, and the Hurlburts and Jan on the right.

Somewhere in all the conversation, we managed to order, with both Jan and I getting the Volcano Chicken. And I used the term ‘Volcano’ sarcastically.

Very Sarcastically!

China Delight Volcano Chicken 20210209

It was listed in RED on the menu, which meant it was supposed to be ‘Spicy’. But even after ordering it Extra, Extra, Extra Spicy, it had no heat whatsoever.

Really good, though.

As usual, when a bunch of RV’ers get together, we talked for about 3 hours before Jan and I finally headed home about 4pm, hoping to get ahead of the going-home traffic. And by taking the Hardy Toll Road, and bypassing downtown Houston completely, we pretty much did, finally getting home about 5:30 after a pretty much mandatory stop at Cowboy Coffee along the way.

An Update: Toilet Thursday has now become Toilet Saturday. Jan got a call today moving one of her doctor appointments to Thursday afternoon.

This is the time of the year when we try to get all of our medical stuff out of the way, and it’s always a juggling act coordinating stuff between us.

February 9, 2022

Not Much Today . . .

On my way to work this morning, I got a call from Joe the mechanic telling me that our Jeep is ready to go. He replaced the faulty alternator, of course, and also one of the O2 sensors, which I’m hoping will fix my decreased gas mileage problem.

And Joe also found the cracked hose that was causing a Small Evap System Leak code on the Check Engine light.

So getting back to the rig after work and picking up Jan, we drove up to Joe’s to pick up the Jeep. Jan drove it back home and said no more Check Engine light.


Tomorrow we’re meeting long-time friend Tricia up in Pasadena at the Pine Street Café, a breakfast/brunch tearoom. We’ve never been there before, but the menu looks good, as well as the reviews.

Looking forward to it.

February 9, 2023

It Didn’t Blow Up . . .

Today was our monthly Alvin Opry Group get-together, this time at Kelley’s Country Cookin’ over in Alvin.

Everybody got something a little different, Jan got the Grilled Fish Fillets that was on the Thursday Specials menu, along with Fried Okra, Glazed Carrots, and Green Beans.

But I didn’t manage to get a photo of it, but Jan said it was delicious.

I did do a repeat of my last visit, the Chili & Eggs with Grits, and ‘Cornbread’.

Kelley's Chili & Eggs

Just as good as last time. I really like their Chili.

Did remember to get to a group photo this time.

Opry Group 20230209

Next month is back at our Webster Saltgrass. Always good.

In prep for a hoped-for March launch, SpaceX fired up all 33 Raptor Engines in their Super Heavy Booster for the first time. The Super Heavy is the first stage booster for Musk’s Starship.

SpaceX Starship Test

When asked if they considered the test a success, SpaceX said, “Yes, it didn’t blow up.”

That’s always good.