Daily Archives: April 1, 2024

A Good Run . . .

A few days ago I noticed that our rig’s 12 v was hovering around the low 12’s instead of the high 12’s to 13 volts that it should be. And after checking a few things I decided that my PowerMax 55 Amp Power Converter was falling down on the job.

But we’d certainly got our money’s worth. Looking back in the blog I had installed this one in December 2014, so we’ve had a good run. Here’s the blog post for this.

I Give Up.

So I ordered another one from Amazon this past Saturday which showed up the next day, yesterday.

Powermax 110 Volt to 12 Volt DC Power Supply Converter Charger

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the new one was only $129, while the old one was $117. So a $12 price increase in almost 12 years. Not bad at all.

Then last night, with Jan holding the LED flashlight, I made a ‘hot’ changeout of the power converter. By ‘hot’, I mean I only unplugged the AC line and left the 12 vdc lines connected up.

But it all went fine, and a few minutes later we had 14 vdc on the meter, which soon dropped to 13.6, and then later 13.2, the normal 3-stage operation of the unit.

When I get a chance, I’ll take a look at the old one to see if there’s anything obviously wrong with it, so I can possibly keep it as a spare.

I did notice that this new unit seems to be more heavily built than the original, with two 40 amp fuses rather than one 30 amp, plus it weighs more and is slightly heftier.

I thought I recognized that name.

Florida airboat flips sending 9 passengers into gator-infested waters, operator arrested.

An airboat tour in the Florida Everglades capsized sending passengers overboard on Friday, officials say. This happened when the airboat’s driver took a sharp turn to try to see an alligator in the water, according to multiple reports.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said three units responded to a waterway near Coopertown The Original Airboat Tour in the Everglades Friday afternoon. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, nine people and the operator all fell into the water when the boat took a quick turn.

By time MDFR arrived, everyone had climbed out of the water, and only one patient was treated for injuries on the scene.

.And checking back through the blog, I found this was the same tour that Jan and I took back in May 2009.

Check it out below.

Gliding thru the ‘Glades…

Gators 1

Guess we lucked out.

Thought for the Day:

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.

April 1, 2009

Heading Out Again…

After a month, today we headed out from Gulf Shores, AL  to Port  St. Joe, FL. It was supposed to be an easy 175 mile run, through Pensacola, Ft. Walton Beach, and Panama City. We stayed on US 98 all the way down, keeping off the Interstates.

But when we got to the park we had planned to stay at, we found the grass sites so muddy that it didn’t seem like a good idea to park and risk getting stuck, so we headed back out, checking online for another park as we went.

We finally ended up in Carrabelle, FL at a very nice park right across the street from the Gulf. But by the time we got there, it was getting dark, and bad weather was closing in.


I’m glad we were able to get off the road before it got completely dark.

April 1, 2010

Road Trip !!!

About noon we headed over to Buffalo Wild Wings for a lunch of hot wings and potato wedges. I really like their Mango Habanero sauce, but I wish it was hotter.  I had them combine the Mango Habanero, and Blazin’ which is their hottest, but it wasn’t that much hotter and it lost the sweetness of the mango. Oh well.

We also checked out the Lucky Star Chinese Buffet next door. We had seen it when we last ate at BWW. It looks pretty good, so we’ll probably try it out when we get back from New Mexico. Maybe we will finally fulfill our quest to locate a good Chinese buffet in Las Vegas.

Coming home we stopped off at Sam’s Club for some supplies, and then Lowe’s to return some toilet parts that I didn’t need.

But the real news is our upcoming road trip tomorrow to check off something on my bucket list.

Twice a year, on the first Saturdays in April and October, White Sands Missile Range opens public access to Trinity Site,

Trinity Site is where the first atomic bomb was tested on July 16, 1945 at 5:29:45 am. I spent a good bit of time at White Sands Missile Range back in the 80’s and I always wanted to visit the site. But the open house never coincided with my schedule.

But we’re still in Las Vegas which is close enough to make the drive. It’s about 660 miles one way to the site, which is about 30 miles east of San Antonio, NM, which is about  65 miles south of Albuquerque. We’ll leave Vegas tomorrow morning about 8am and spend the night in Albuquerque.

Then Saturday morning, we plan on driving down to San Antonio and then out to Stallion Gate about 12 miles east. The gate will be open from 8am to 2pm for visitors to the site. Then it’s about 17 miles out to the site.

I mentioned yesterday that Tuesday night we went back to the Fremont Street Experience. We wanted to see the Don McLean/American Pie tribute again, and also see the Queen and KISS shows that we didn’t see the first night.

As before the shows were fantastic.  And here are some more pictures.

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More tomorrow from Albuquerque

April 1, 2011

Buffets and Big Steaks . . .

I got up a little before 10 to find Jan was already up and feeling better. Not 100% yet, but definitely on the mend.

I fixed coffee while Jan tried to catch up on several days of email and blogs, but she tired out before she finished. There’s always tomorrow.

Around 1 Jan fixed us a lunch of cheese toast and chips. She’s still eating light while she’s getting back to normal. And of course, since the cheese toast was made with some great homemade bread, it was all good.

After lunch, I went outside to hang up the two side solar screens before the afternoon sun hit the side of the coach.

Although we can run both A/C’s on 30 amps, we can’t run both A/C’s with the TV and the computer on, so I want to cut down the heat load as much as possible.

I also clean the filter on the front A/C, as I noticed that the airflow from the vents didn’t seem to be up to par. Taking the vent cover off I discovered that the filter sheet was completely clogged. I was surprised to find this since I had just cleaned them less than two months ago.

But in looking closer I discovered the problem. The filters were clogged with dust, lots and lots of dust. Apparently, the six weeks or so we’ve spent in the dusty climes of Yuma and Tucson had taken its toll.

But a quick rinse in the shower took care of the problem, and the A/C started putting out a lot more nice cold air.

Jan said she kind of had a hankering for Chinese, and I remembered there was a Chinese buffet around here somewhere, but I didn’t remember which town, Camp Verde or Cottonwood.

So tracking it down, a little before 5 Jan and I drove over to Cottonwood to have dinner. And it was really pretty good.

After dinner, we drove around Cottonwood, checking out the town and the surrounding area.

After a nice drive, we got home about 6:30, but first drove around the park some, while also looking for a dumpster.

Tomorrow I’m thinking about installing the new grey tank valve I got before we left Tucson.

We’ll see how it goes.

April 1, 2012

Eight Days A Week . . .

This morning we started our eighth day in Las Cruces with coffee and and some of the frozen croissants that our daughter Brandi and her husband Lowell gave us for Christmas.

Galaxy Croissants

They’re called Galaxy Gourmet Croissants and are available by mail. They come in both chocolate-filled and plain, and are shipped frozen in dry ice. And they’re delicious.

After catching up on the email and Internet stuff, I got back on some chores around the rig. That’s one nice thing about being stuck here, I’m getting some things done.

Brandi sent over these photos of Landon et. al., down on Galveston Island this afternoon. It’s amazing how much he’s grown in the 6 weeks we’ve been gone from Houston.

Landon at the Beach 1

Landon at the Beach 2

Landon at the Beach 3

Landon at the Beach 4

Getting back home about 2pm Lowell called us so we could Skype with Landon. Lowell was using his iPad on his end, and I tethered my Droid to my computer so I could use the 4G signal here in Las Cruces.

Unfortunately, though we had a great picture, every time I tried to do a snapshot, Skype would crash and we’d have to reconnect. It did it twice, so after that I just gave up trying to grab photos.

We really enjoyed watching Landon play in the backyard, talking up a storm. And now at 19 months, he’s talking in sentences

We ended up Skyping for about a half hour, and hope we’ll be able to do it again in a couple of weeks.

About 3pm Jan and I headed about 35 miles down to northern El Paso to have dinner at Famous Dave’s BBQ. We had a real hankering for ribs, and Famous Dave’s has some of the best.

Famous Dave's Ribs

And their BBQ Beans with meat aren’t too shabby, either. A really great meal.

April 1, 2013

Home in Apache Junction . . .

First off, a recap of Sunday’s trip from Tucson to Apache Junction.

I’d already done a lot of pre-packing Saturday evening so we weren’t in any real hurry this morning.

And since we weren’t leaving here until around 11am, we headed out to Bruegger’s Bagels about 9 for coffee, breakfast bagel sandwiches, and some relaxing conversation.

Back at the rig a little after 10, we were hitched up and pulling out right at 11. Since it was Easter Sunday morning, we had little traffic, and it was pretty smooth sailing through Tucson.

About an hour down the road, we made a stop at Bowlin’s at Picacho Peak Plaza, a chain of 10 gas station/gift shops in New Mexico and Arizona, and one of Jan’s favorite stops. Somehow she always manages to find a piece of jewelry, a neat shirt, or something else at their gift shop.

In this case, she found a ring, a shirt, and a pair of socks.

I got a coffee. Funny how things work out like that.

On the other hand, if I had room in the rig I would have liked to have taken this with me. Well, room in the rig and $600 to blow up.

It’s a 4th of July in a box. It’s about 6 feet tall, 3 feet wide, and a foot deep. And it’s chock full of mortars, skyrockets, firecrackers, and pretty much everything else that goes bang. swoosh, or flash.

4th of July in a Box

It’s not called The Big Bang for nothing.

After a smooth trip the rest of the way, we pulled into the Countryside RV Resort in Apache Junction about 2:15. The office was closed, but they had a check-in packet waiting for me in a box by the door

CountrySide RV Resort

Containing almost 500 sites, Countryside is just one of many RV parks in the area, necessary to accommodate all the snowbirds who swarm into the area every fall.

Luckily our packet contained a good map to our site, and after unhooking the truck, we found our site and got parked and set up.  Once we were squared away, we went out for supper.

We ended up at JM Chinese, a small Asian restaurant that we’d heard about. And boy was it good. Jan said her Pan-Fried Noodles were some of the best she’s had. And my Schezwan Garlic Chicken was delicious. Very hot and spicy.

It was interesting to see some of the unique desert landscaping in the area. This yard is right across the street from us and shows what can be done. And even better, there’s no mowing.

Apache Junction Landscape

We got back to the rig and about 7:30 and that was it for the day.

During the day my wrist had been hurting me a lot, not sure from what, maybe arthritis, maybe gout. But it hurt like hell, so much so that I didn’t feel much like typing.

Today we stayed around the rig all day, though about 11:30 I did drive down to the park office and turn in my registration form.

For dinner, Jan fixed Chili Taco Salads using a can of Skyline Chili, If you’ve ever been in the Cincinnati area and had Skyline or Gold Star Chili 5 Ways, you know what I’m talking about.

Using Spring Mix salad greens, jalapenos, cilantro, grated cheese, salsa, hot Skyline Chili, and some tortilla chips, it makes a delicious meal. One we’ll certainly have again.

April 1, 2014

Like a Real Wal-Mart, only smaller . . .

They just opened the High Roller in Las Vegas.

At 550 feet, it’s the highest Ferris Wheel in the world, higher than the one in London, or in Singapore.

It doesn’t have open cars (some people would say “Thank goodness), but instead it carries pods that can hold up to 40 people at a time. It takes about 30 minutes to make a full rotation and costs $25 in the daytime, and $35 at night.

Here it is under construction, so the cars (pods) haven’t been installed yet

Las Vegas HighRoller

Las Vegas HighRoller 2

Las Vegas HighRoller 3

Las Vegas HighRoller 5

Las Vegas HighRoller 4

Jan and I can’t wait.

Around noon Jan and I headed down into Columbus for lunch and a little shopping. Our first stop was the Sonic Drive-in for a couple of hot dogs. Jan always gets a Chili Cheese Dog, while I usually get the New York Dog with mustard, sauerkraut,, and onions, my favorite dog. And unlike our stop at Jack in the Box the other day, today’s visit to Sonic was as delicious as usual.

Then we made a stop at the HEB and Wal-Mart, which conveniently, are located side by side. But it was kind of a useless trip, because both of these are small stores, especially the Wal-Mart. They only stocked about half of the things we were looking for, things that we normally find at the larger stores.

After a nice, quiet afternoon, about 5pm we headed up to La Grange to have dinner at Sealand Seafood, where we’ve eaten a couple of times before. And it was just as good this time.

We both had our usual 2 fried catfish, 6 fried shrimp, and 6 fried oysters.

Sealand Seafood Platter

It’s hard to say enough about how good this place is. My family was in commercial fishing and shrimping on the Gulf Coast for years, and I like to think I know good seafood. And this place is good.

Everything is delicious, and I would swear it’s all fresh and not frozen. Even their fries, the double-battered type, are really good.

Did I say this place was good?

Coming home, we stopped off at the bigger Wal-Mart in La Grange to pick up the stuff we couldn’t find in Columbus. Oh well.

April 1, 2015

At Least It Wasn’t Beer . . .

This is the second morning we’ve made coffee with the water coming through our new Camco EVO Premium Water Filter.

It may be our imagination, but we both remarked how much better the coffee tasted the last couple of days. Before this, we used one of those foot-long blue Camco filters you see everywhere. And along with that, we have another filter under the sink that feeds the water fountain dispenser. This one uses an ice maker type of water filter, and this is where we get our coffee water each morning.

According to the literature, the new filter takes out a whole lot more stuff than the little one, so maybe it really does make a difference.

Jan and I headed out about 1pm for a couple of stops. Leaving the park, I finally remembered to get a photo of these two cacti growing out of the rain gutter of one of the park models here.

Gutter Cactus 1

Gutter Cactus 2

I guess if they’ll grow in the desert, they’ll grow just about anywhere.

Our first stop was the Wal-Mart up on Apache Trail to pick up one of the Mattress toppers we looked at the other day. We wanted the Dream Serenity 2” Memory Foam Get-Filled one that we saw the other day. But the one Queen that they had in stock then, was now gone. Bummer.

But the Wal-Mart over on Signal Butte wasn’t too far away, so we drove over there. And lucked out because they had one in stock.

Then later we drove over to Organ Stop Pizza. We ate here when we were in Apache Junction several years ago, and we wanted to go back again.

Organ Stop is pretty much a pizza place built inside the world’s largest Wurlitzer organ. I say built inside because you are surrounded on all four sides by some of the many instruments connected to the massive keyboard.

Organ Pizza 1

Organ Pizza 2

Organ Pizza 3

Organ Pizza 4

Organ Pizza 5

Organ Pizza 6

Organ Pizza 7

Organ Pizza 8

Organ Pizza 9

One of the things really surprising about this place is that the pizza is actually very good. Plus they have pasta dishes, lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, etc., and a very good salad bar.

The organist plays for about 45 minutes each hour, with a 15-minute break in between. And they take requests besides their standards. So we finished our meal and wanted to wait around for a little longer to hear more of the next set. But that was not to be.

We had really good seats only about 8 feet from the stage, and we had noticed a very tall guy walking back and forth between us and the stage, carrying a tray with four glasses on it. He must have gone by 4 or 5 times. We were sitting at long tables with benches for seats, and the seats on the other side of us didn’t really have a great view. Which is probably why no one was sitting there. But then another guy asked if the seats at the far end of our table were taken, and we said ‘No’. So he pushed past me to get by and then ‘told’ me to get up so he could move the bench. Note, told, not asked, or said please.

I happened to looking at Jan who was sitting right across from me, and suddenly out of nowhere the guy with the four glasses started to move behind Jan. I have played this over and over in my mind since then, and I would swear that the guy didn’t trip or anything. He just let the side of the tray fall and dumped the four glasses of ice water right on top of Jan, also splattering me too.

The guy didn’t even apologize, he just mumbled something and walked off. Jan jumped up and ran for the bathroom to try and wring herself out. I started getting our stuff together and suddenly the guy shows back up, still never apologizing, or saying anything, actually, and starts using his hand to wipe the ice and water off the table.

The suspicious part of me thinks that he and his friend were walking around looking for someone with a good table who was almost finished, and we were it. Or Jan was, anyway. At the time, she thought it was funny.

Funny, but very cold.

Luckily we had a long-sleeve denim shirt in the truck she could wear, but she still made a squishy sound when she walked.

She said she was just glad it wasn’t Coke or Beer.

Organ Stop Pizza is well worth a visit if you’re in the area. But bring a change of dry clothes, just in case.

As for me, remember my motto: Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean someone’s not out to get you.

Words to live by.

April 1, 2016

Blahish . . .

We were both running kind of slow this morning, Jan nursing a migraine, and me still feeling kind of ‘blahish’. But as usual, after coffee, we perked up a little, at least enough for Jan to read, and for me to get back to looking at my AC problem.

As I  related yesterday, I’ve narrowed the problem down to something in the rig wiring between the thermostat and the AC unit itself. In fact, with a little creative rewiring, the AC is working fine, which was nice yesterday when it got up to 88 here.

Post-coffee, I got back on the phone with American Coach trying to get some information on the wiring. They did email me the schematics for the rig, including one that shows the position of all the junction boxes in the rig, measured from the front axle.

But they also told me that there was no junction box for the control wiring, but then couldn’t explain why the wire gauge and insulation type changed between the AC unit and the thermostat.

I did get some help from my posts on RV.net and the Yahoo American Coach group. One guy said that on his friend’s 1995 Dream, they found the front junction box in the same overhead cabinet as the Slide Control Panel, Tank Level Display, and Inverter Panel. He said they found a removable panel there. The problem is I don’t have a removable panel there. I may try removing a couple of the control panels to see if there’s anything behind them.

The guy also said that the one for the rear AC was located in the back of the TV alcove in the bedroom, but I’ll wait till I need that one before I look for it.

And of course, now that I’ve got the AC working, a cold front has moved in. Yesterday, the high was 88, while today it was 71, with tonight in the low 40’s. Nice.

If I hadn’t got the AC working before the heat started back up, as usual, I had a backup plan. Right now we’re parked pointing directly east, so we get the sun through the front windshield all day long. So I was going to turn the rig around and point in the other direction.

We used to do this when we stayed at Galveston Bay RV Park and parked in one of their 5’er sites on the water. All our utilities could be pulled under the rig and connected up with no problems.

And even better we’d have a really nice view. Right now we’re just looking at the rigs across the street. But turned around, we’d be in the shade and looking at this.

A10 New View 1_thumb

A10 New View 2_thumb

Tomorrow we’re meeting up with our daughter Brandi and her family, and we’re all going down to Galveston to check out our granddaughter Piper’s new apartment.

Really looking forward to it, except for the ‘getting up at 6:30 to leave at 7 to be at Brandi’s at 8:15’ part.

That part I’m not looking forward to.

April 1, 2017

WooChi . . .

Today was another nice, quiet, cool day with not much going on, though the excitement did pick up later in the afternoon.

I  had thought that I might get around to replacing the cartridge in our leaking Moen shower faucet, but life, I.e. doing nothing, intervened.

A little before 2pm Jan and I headed out to have lunch at one of our two favorite Chinese places here in Apache Junction, #1 Eastern Buffet.

But as we had heard, #1 was now under a new name, and I assume, a new owner, since the place has undergone a major renovation.

Woochi 2

Now known as Woochi Super Buffet, it seems like even the food has been upgraded.

Their Hot & Sour Soup was really good, almost King Food good, and everything else seemed hot and fresh.

Woochi 1

In fact there were 4 or 5 young women roaming the food aisles, apparently calling in needed food on their cell phones which was then passed out through a window.

Our next stop was the O’Reilly’s Auto Parts to pick up some Tire Black to finish off my recent wheel cleaning, and also check to see if they had phosphoric acid, but they didn’t, so it was on to the Ace Hardware right down the street. And that’s when things got interesting.

Turning into the parking lot, I followed a black Fiat Pop and parked right next to him. As I got out, a really strong gust of wind grabbed the door from my grasp and my door edge scraped along his right rear wheel well edge.

With no hesitation, the Fiat driver jumped out and started yelling at me, saying I damaged his car and he was calling the police. Which he did.

As we waited, I gave him my insurance card, which as it turned showed my National General Insurance had expired 13 days ago. It haven’t of course, I just hadn’t yet put the new card in the truck after printing it out. And now he started ranting about how I didn’t really have insurance and I was lying to him.

He was calling National General when the police officer, and after about 30 seconds, he told the officer that they said I didn’t have insurance.

So I now called Nat Gen for myself, and noted that it took me  almost 3 minutes to work my way through the phone tree to talk to a person who could confirm that I had insurance in force. So at this point I handed the phone to the officer who after talking to the agent, glared at the guy who had lied to him. It was obvious that he hadn’t really talked to anyone since he didn’t have time to get through to Nat Gen.

While we were standing there, I looked carefully at the paint smear, about the size of a silver dollar, like this.

Fiat Scrap Before 2

Wetting my fingers I rubbed the smear, noting that there was no damage to the metal. And as I rubbed, the paint smear just disappeared, ending up looking like this.

Fiat Scrap After 2

And this was with only about 15 seconds of rubbing.

30 more seconds with a dab of rubbing compound, or even toothpaste, and you couldn’t tell it had ever happened. When I showed it to the officer, he just grunted and again stared at the guy.

When I called Nat Gen around 8 this evening, no claim had been entered, and they said they would call me back if one was. Told them they shouldn’t pay any claim because there was no damage.

So we’ll see.

April 1, 2018

SC vs. WM . . .

I spent part of the morning going through our new prescriptions, comparing Sam’s Club Extra Value List prices with WalMart’s $4 / $10 List, and Sam’s Club won out.

In fact, using Sam’s Club over WM directly saves $44 a month. And that’s just for drugs on both lists. And when you figure in Sam’s Club EV List prices against WM’s regular non-list prices, the gap becomes even bigger, approaching $70 per month.

Of course, to get the SC’s Extra List drug prices, you have to be a PLUS member, which is a $30 upgrade to the regular $69 membership. So for $30 a year, I get to save ~ $70 a month.

Sounds like a really good deal to me.

I spent the rest of the morning/afternoon working on a new website for a client, and correcting spelling errors. I started with this.

Tom 2

And after a little correcting, touching up, and brightening, I had this.

Tom 1

I also had a question about the spelling of ‘collectables’, but although the ‘I’ version is used more, either way is acceptable. (Or maybe I should say it’s ‘acceptible’.)

Last week I was talking with my client about the cars we’ve owned. (he owns two Studebaker Avanti’s)


In talking about this I realized I had lost track of a few of ours, so Jan and I talked it over and finally came up with this list.

1965 Triumph Spitfire                                             1967
Raced in SCCA races

1964 VW Beetle                                                       1968

1964 Chrysler Simca 1300                                     1969

1970 AMC Ambassador Station Wagon             1970 New
Our First New Car

1978 Plymouth Horizon                                         1978 New

1980 Plymouth Champ                                          1980 New

1983 Chrysler LeBaron                                         1983 New

1990 Plymouth Acclaim                                       1990 New

1992 Ford Ranger                                                 1992 New
Broke this one in half on the Atchafalaya
River Bridge in Louisiana

1994 Ford Ranger Quad Cab                               1994 New

1999 Saturn SL2 Sedan                                         2001

1996 Chevrolet Caprice Classic Police Car        2000
Bought this from a retired officer friend of
ours. Full-blown police car with the 9C1
package, LT1 Corvette engine, and all the
bells and whistles.

1998 Dodge Intrepid                                              2004

2004 Dodge Dakota Quad Sport                          2007
What we have now

What’s On Your List?

For dinner tonight I whipped up another batch of my Veggie Soup, but added some grilled chicken breast and more carrots this time. Really good.

Tomorrow it’s back to work.

April 1, 2019

It’s On Fire . . .

I put in a call to Verizon this morning and found out that we’re good to go on being able to use a European SIM card in both my S8+ and Jan’s S5. So another item checked off our travel list.

Tomorrow morning we’re heading downtown to make a day of it, with our first stop at Katz’s Deli for lunch about 11. Then it’s on down to the iBurn store on Bellaire to stock up on the latest in hot stuff. Since I recently got some Carolina Reaper powder off Amazon, now I’m looking for some Pepper X, which is supposedly over twice as hot as the Carolina Reaper. I’m always ready for another challenge.

Then it’s our long-anticipated visit to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and their new Vincent Van Gogh exhibit. Hopefully, they will allow non-flash photography so I can get some shots for the blog.

Amazon is having a great sale on their 7” Amazon Fire tablet. Normally it’s $49.99, but right now it’s on sale for $34.99

Amazon Fire Tablet

Jan has had one for a couple of years, and loves hers. So at this price, I had to have one too.

And in keeping with our upcoming Vincent Van Gogh exhibit, I also ordered this Starry Night cover for it.

Starry Night Fire Cover

Wrapping up, I finally found some green diesel antifreeze on Amazon and ordered a couple of gallons. I did stop off at O’Reilly’s Auto Parts this morning and found they not only didn’t stock it, but they can’t order it either.

Hopefully, these two gallons will hold me until I can either have it drained, flushed, and refilled with red, or do it myself.

I did check the RV Mobile Lube website, but they don’t list any coolant-related services except for a coolant filter change, or coolant testing. But I’ll call them later to make sure.

I mentioned a while back that when I found out how much my client was paying for simple 72” banana plug Electrode Cords, which was about $17 ea., I told him I could make him up top-quality ones with soldered connections (the other ones are crimped on) for about $6 each, including packaging. And here’s the first example.

TES Electrode Cord RED

Came out pretty good.

April 1, 2020

We’re All Good . . .

Jan and I got our test results back from our doctor yesterday, and things look pretty good, for both of us.

Our A1C levels were in the mid-5’s, very good. HDL was high, LDL was low, also for both of us. The only small glitch was with the Levothyroxine that Jan takes because she doesn’t have a thyroid anymore.

Our doctor always gives us our prescriptions when we leave the office, but we’ve learned to wait until our tests come back before we fill them. A couple of times in the past, the doctor had prescribed something fairly expensive, only for her to change it up after our tests came back, leaving us with medicine we can’t use and can’t return.

But this time she just wanted to adjust the amount of Levothyroxine that she takes each day, so no problem.

I’ve noticed that Amazon seems to be doing a good job catching up on shipping. Twice in the last couple of weeks, I ordered things for work that were scheduled for 4 or 5 days out, but ended up coming earlier, in one case, only two days.

A couple of days ago while I was unpacking our Rubbermaid shed, Jan was sitting out in the shade ‘supervising’. But she quickly discovered she was getting bit by fleas in the grass.

So I got a sprayer of Black Flag Flea & Tick Spray to take care of the problem.

Black Flag Flea Spray

And yesterday afternoon I took a few minutes to hose down all the grass and rocks surrounding our site. It only used up about half the bottle, so I’ll do it again in a couple of weeks.

Regular readers know that Jan’s and my favorite artist is Vincent Van Gogh. In fact we’ve seen his paintings in Paris, London, New York, and Houston. And our favorite painting of his is definitely ‘Starry Night’

Starry Night

Of course, this is the ‘animated’ version.

And here we have our personal ‘Starry Night’ collection.

Starry Night Stuff

That’s a Samsung Tab 4 case, an Amazon Fire cover, a checkbook cover, a set of luggage tags, and a tote bag.

So now, Jan, who normally hates spiders, has one she kind of likes.

Starry Night Peacock Spider

This is a Maratus constellatus, an Australian Peacock Spider, one of a number of Peacock Spiders.

And here are some more examples.


Though these are very colorful, they’re also very small, ranging from 0.005 inches to 0.33 inches.

Tomorrow is supposed to be cloudy and in the mid-70’s. perfect to get some more work done on our shed project. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get the roof in place, and maybe a little more.

April 1, 2021

Good News . . .

Jan and I are still among the living, and our doctor says we’re liable to stay that way for a while longer.

But to find all this out, we were out the door about 7am, getting to the doctor’s office about 7:35. We waited about 10 minutes before calling to let them know we were there, and they said to come on in. And everything was very different from our last visits.

Before they only let Jan and I in one at a time, and no one was able to wait in the waiting area, but had to wait in their car until they called you.

But today they let both of us come together, as well as a couple of other patients. And the nurse in the reception area who checked us in and took our temperature, wasn’t even wearing a mask, though most of the other staff was.

The other thing that was unusual was that we were both done and out the door by 9, only an hour after we got there, and not the usual two hours. Nice, but it was kind of a problem with our lunch schedule.

Figuring we would be done between 10 and 10:30, we had planned to make a Harbor Freight stop which would get us to our lunch destination right about 11. But now we had an extra hour to kill.

So we decided to head on down to the League City area for a car wash/vacuum, and then a quick stop by the HEB for some hibiscus food for Jan. And by the time we were done with that, a quick stop at HF and we were at the Texas Huddle Grille just a little before 11.

But on the way down to League City, we did see something new. A General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper drone. It passed over us as it landed at Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base, nee Ellington AFB. it was moving too quickly for me to get a photo, but it looked like this.

Ellington MQ-9 Reaper Drone

What was kind of funny was that as it passed over us, the next aircraft in the landing pattern right behind it looked to be a Cessna 172.

Ellington Field JRB is home to the 147th Attack Wing, who fly Reapers, and before this, MQ-1 Predators, on surveillance/attack missions around the world, but particularly, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course, the ones they’re flying here are for training.

Getting to Texas Huddle, we found a very nice, sports bar-themed place, with the usual ubiquitous TV’s lining the walls.

Texas Huddle Grille

Jan got a Mushroom Swiss Bacon Cheeseburger, but for her it’s a Mushroom Cheddar Bacon Cheeseburger, with Wedge Fries.

While I got my long-awaited PB&J Bacon Cheeseburger.

Texas Huddle PB&J Burger

I’ll admit it doesn’t look very appetizing, but it was just as delicious as I hoped. Actually maybe, more so, since I had them bump the cheese up from Cheddar to their Ghost Pepper Jack Cheese, and then I added some of my Carolina Reaper flakes to bump it up a little more. Maybe a lot more.

Jan and I each took a bite of our respective burgers, and almost simultaneously said, “We’re coming back.”

And we definitely will.

Chris and Linda sent back some photos from their Utah trip. They got to their condo a little before 2pm our time and got settled in.

Chris' Utah Trip 1

Note the name on the hood of his Jeep. “Franken Jeep”

Chris' Utah Trip 2 Franken Jeep

As I mentioned yesterday, he pretty much built it using parts from a lot of other Jeeps.

Chris' Utah Trip 3

Chris' Utah Trip 4

Looks like they’re going to have fun.

April 1, 2022

One Way Or The Other . . .

Catching up on a few things –

I mentioned at the end of yesterday’s blog that we were going to attend the Alvin Opry tonight.

I was wrong. Somehow I lost a week. The Opry is next Friday, not tonight.

When I was trying to install my new water tank fill valve the other day, I found that with the shorter ball valve, the water line wouldn’t quite reach, so I got these two adapters that I’ll use to make up the difference in length.

Half inch NPT Connectors

Should work.

Another thing I forgot to mention yesterday was that while we were at Twin Peaks yesterday, our server, Sylvia, told Jan that her favorite Tomato Basil Soup was going away. Really upsetting for Jan.

And for both of us, it’s just another in a long line of our favorites that Twin Peaks has discontinued over the years.

Average Joes – A 3 Mini Hot Dog Platter
Pork Sliders – A 3 Mini Pork Slider Platter
Greek Salad

and more recently –
Venison Chili
Half Wedge Salad

and now –
Tomato Basil Soup

I guess we can hope that they’ll introduce something new that’s better.

I told Jan tomorrow we’re eating at Pho Barr one way or the other.

By that I mean we’re going to try the new one near us to see if it’s now open as promised. But if it’s not, then we’ll head up to the one in Webster instead.

When I drove by there this morning on my way to work, I did notice that they had taken down the white film covering all the front windows, hopefully a good sign.

But we’ll see.

April 1, 2023

No Cops or Gunfire . . .

Lunch today was at our local Monterey’s Little Mexico once again.

Jan got the Pollo Hacienda, with a Grilled Chicken Breast, Charro Beans, and a Side Salad.

Monterey's Pollo Hacienda 20230401

And I got the same thing I’ve pretty much always gotten here, a bowl of their Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Monterey's Soup 20230401

Then it was on up the feeder to CostCutter’s for haircuts, and then right next door to HEB for our weekly stuff.

Then home.

This past Sunday, our last day in the Texas Hill Country started (and ended) with breakfast at Hooper’s (nee Grand Central Café).

Grand Central Cafe

Besides the really good food, the building’s other claim to fame was that it was a primary filming location for 1974’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre when it was located in Round Rock, TX. Then in 1998 it was moved to its present location here in Kingsland where it’s been a series of restaurants since then.

Then late last year the café was sold to a new group and was renamed  Hooper’s after Toby Hooper, the director of Texas Chainsaw Massacre. But luckily, the food is still delicious.

Jan got her favorite Avocado Toast,

Hooper's Avocado Toast

while I got my usual omelet, with meat, meat, meat.

Hooper's Omelet

And cheese.

The only other meal I was able to get a shot of was Derek’s Eggs and Chicken Fried Steak with Hashbrowns.

Hooper's Derek

Looks good.

And by about 10:30 we were getting in our last hugs and saying our goodbyes, and all headed home.

Hooper's Group

Chris and Linda right down the road, Piper and Derek back to Taylor, and Brandi, Lowell, Landon, Jan and I back toward Houston.

All in all, a very nice, fun, and successful family reunion.

In Texas, at least, that means no cops and no gunfire.

But along the way, our first stop was at Pottery Ranch, just north of Marble Falls. A favorite of Jan’s.

Pottery Ranch 1a

Pottery Ranch 2

Pottery Ranch 3

But more about this tomorrow.