Daily Archives: April 2, 2024

It’s Not Looking Good . . .

I finally had a chance today to look over the old PowerMax Power Converter that I had replaced on Sunday. And what I discovered is that the cooling fan was completely clogged by dust, dirt, cat hair, etc., so I spent some time cleaning it up and cleaning it out.

And it seems to be working fine, and running a lot cooler. So now I guess I’ve got a spare one, or maybe a light-power tack welder, if I get some cables for it.

This is a 5 Megabyte IBM Hard Drive being delivered in 1956. It cost $50,000 ($575,000 in 2024 $) and weighed over 600 pounds.

This is a Seagate SCSI 10 Megabyte HDD that I paid about $1000 for in 1990. With its enclosure, it was about the size of a shoebox.

And this is a 1 Terabyte Micro SD Memory Card, that costs $120 and is about the size of a fingernail.

So we’ve increased memory size by 200,000 times, decreased the price by almost 5000 times, and the size more than you can track.

Modern Technology at its best.

It’s not looking good for our eclipse viewing up in Killeen this coming Monday. Right now The Weather Channel is showing cloudy with a 48% chance of rain. Not that this will keep us from making the trip. After all, a few weeks back when we made our trip up to Fredericksburg/Kingsland, the weather wasn’t forecast to be very nice, but it turned out to be really good.

Either way, we’ll have a nice drive through the Texas countryside, and almost certainly some good food.

But the city of Killeen is not taking any chances and has made a Disaster Declaration for the time period, so who knows?

Thought For The Day:

Why Be Just Part Of The Problem When With A Little Extra Effort You Can Be The Entire Problem.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

April 2, 2010


We left Las Vegas about 7:45am heading for Albuquerque, NM, on our way to the Trinity A-Bomb Test Site on Saturday.

As I said yesterday, Trinity Site is opened to the public twice a year, on the first Saturdays in April and October. I had wanted to visit the site when I was working for NASA out at White Sands Missile Range in the early 80’s. But my schedule never matched up.

Since we were leaving early, I decided to take the shorter route over Hoover Dam. Later in the day, the heavy traffic of the tourists visiting the dam would have meant a very slow trip.

This time we did have to pull over and get inspected before driving over the dam. They were curious about all the stuff in the back of our truck. But it only took about 5 minutes and we were on our way.

We found that in the last few weeks since we visited the dam, not much more had been done on the bridge.

Hoover Dam Bridge

I still don’t think they’re going to have this bridge finished by August as they promise.

About 5 miles past the dam, we did have a 10 minute delay due to the construction being done on the road approaches to the new bridge.

About 70 miles out of Las Vegas we passed the turn-off to the Grand Canyon Skywalk. The Grand Canyon Skywalk is the glass-bottom walkway built out over the Grand Canyon 4000 feet below.



This is something else that has been on my bucket list, and if we have time I want to visit it on the way back to Las Vegas. I’ll probably have to get Jan a little drunk to get her out on it. On second thought, maybe a LOT drunk.

We stopped off in Kingman AZ about 10 am for Starbucks Coffee and a bathroom break.

On our way toward Flagstaff, we encountered a lot of snow still on the ground along the roadway.

Flagstaff Snow

And even more still on the nearby mountains.

Click to Enlarge

We got into Flagstaff about 12:30 and ate lunch at Coco’s. It was in the high 40’s there and large snow drifts were still piled up everywhere.

One of the reasons there’s still so much snow here is that the elevation is over 7000 feet. We had climbed almost a mile in altitude since we left Las Vegas this morning.

About 35 miles out of Flagstaff we passed the turn-off to Meteor Crater. We visited the crater when we were thru here two years ago. And it’s a really stunning site.

Click to Enlarge

The crater was created about 40,000 years ago when a meteor, about 150 feet in diameter, and traveling at around 30,000 mph, stuck the Arizona desert. The meteor weighed over 300,000 tons and created a crater 4000 feet in diameter and almost 600 feet deep. The rim around the crater was pushed up almost 150 feet high.

A few miles further east we drove through Winslow AZ, as in “standing on the corner in Winslow Arizona” fame. This song, “Take it Easy” by the Eagles, is really Winslow’s only claim to fame. It’s actually a pretty run-down place since the Interstate bypassed the town. Previously, the town was a main stop on the old Route 66, but it had been all downhill since then.

Today a statue commemorates the spot and the song.


And it’s complete with a ‘flat-bed Ford”.


We tried to get up close to the spot but there is so much construction in the area that you can’t get anywhere close to it except by walking three or four blocks.

I had decided to get gas in the Winslow so I had been checking out prices. When we came off the Interstate there was a Shell station with unleaded at 3.099. Ouch.

I decided to wait a while. And I’m glad I did.

While we were at the Flying J we saw a really nice bus conversion, complete with dogs hanging out the window.

Click to Enlarge

The nameplate says it’s called ‘OLROVER”

After stopping for a bathroom break at a Petro Truck Stop about 80 miles outside of Albuquerque, we arrived at our Holiday Inn about 7:30pm.

After having dinner at the hotel restaurant, we turned in for the night. We want to get an early start tomorrow.

More from Trinity Site tomorrow

April 2, 2011

Grey Valves and Faucet Woes . . .

I got up about 10 this morning to find Jan already up and feeling well. It’s good to have her back to normal.

So the first thing was to get the coffee started, check the email, and talk about the day’s plans.

As it turned out, we had none. Isn’t retirement grand!!

Around 11, Nancy Bertling, a former coworker of Jan’s called to say hi and ask for some suggestions for a laptop for her father. We’ve known Nancy for a long time and it was good to hear from her. Hopefully, she’ll keep in touch more often.

About 1 pm Jan fixed a lunch of cheese toast and chips, and of course, homemade bread made it perfect.

After lunch, I replaced the foam air filter in the rear A/C after cleaning the one in the front yesterday. But the rear one was starting to shred so I just replaced it instead of trying to clean it.

It’s amazing how much better the A/C’s work without all the Yuma and Tucson dust clogging them.

About 2 pm I decided to bite the bullet and go ahead and install the new grey tank valve that I got at Camping World before we left Tucson.

Unlike the black tank valve, I installed a week or so ago, the 4 bolts came off with no problems. This of course, warned me that I would have more trouble with something else later. And I was right.

Removing the old valve and seals was no problem, but one soon appeared. The instructions tell you to install the seals on the ends of the pipe and then slide the valve into place. And this worked fine on the larger, thicker black tank valve.

But the grey tank valve is thinner, and no matter how I tried I could not slide the valve body between the pipes without pushing the seals off.

So my next idea was to apply silicone grease to the valve seal area and to the seals, and then stick the seals to the valve and slide it in place. But the first time I did it with the valve open, and when I closed the valve to test it, I could tell a seal had come loose and was in the way.

So the second time I closed the valve first and tried it again. This was much better, but after tightening things down, I had a small leak around the valve handle. So back apart it came.

And the third time was the charm. One of the seals had shifted slightly and was pinched, so I slathered on more silicone grease to hold it in place better, and that worked great. No leaks.

Since it was almost 5 we decided to eat supper at Hog Wild BBQ. But alas, Hog Wild was not to be.

Our friends, Bob Parker and Donna Huffer, were already there and called to say there had been a shooting nearby and the police had the road passing by Hog Wild closed, but they thought we could come in from the other direction.

As it turned out, they had the road closed at both ends and we just couldn’t get there from here. They were letting people out of the area, but not in. So Jan called Bob and Donna and told them to meet us at the Sizzler steakhouse outside the cordoned-off area.

It’s been a long time since we’ve eaten at a Sizzler, but it turned out to be pretty good. I think everyone was happy with what they had. I know my 16 oz. Ribeye was very good, not quite Texas Roadhouse good, but good, nevertheless. And the salad bar, although extra, was excellent.

Oh, yeah, the shooting turned out to be a Suicide by Cop.

April 2, 2012

Last Day in Las Cruces . . .

We hope!

I headed over to Rush Truck Center about 10 this morning to be sure that our air system rebuild kit had been ordered, and I was assured it was on its way. They want the rig there about 11am, but we plan on leaving the RV park about 10:30 to stop off on the way to take on some diesel.

Coming back to the rig, I picked up Jan and we drove up the road a couple of miles to El Comedor for breakfast. Jan had the Huevos Rancheros and I had the Huevos con Chorizo, both delicious

Coming back to the rig, we detoured by the Pilot//Flying J to check out the best way to get in and out without problems, and of course, we also got cappuccinos, since we didn’t have coffee at home this morning.

About noon, I called American Coach Parts to get a price on a new clear plastic grab bar to replace the broken one on the entry door of our rig. Ours still lights up, but the constant exposure to ultraviolet light over a long period of time causes them to become brittle and ours snapped the other day.

The price wasn’t too bad, about $42 plus shipping. I’ll order one when we’re parked long enough for it to arrive.

The rest of the afternoon was spent doing some cleaning around the rig, and finishing up some projects I’d been working on.

Our daughter Brandi called about 1:30 so she and Jan could rave about how smart and wonderful Landon is. And why wouldn’t they? He is smart and wonderful.

We pretty much goofed off the rest of the afternoon, before heading out about 5pm to have one last dinner at Chachi’s. We’ve had the same waiter every time, and he now remembers our drink order, and how Jan doesn’t want lettuce on her taco. Really on the ball, and he got a good tip.

Getting back to the rig, I spent some time getting things ready to travel tomorrow, hopefully all the way to Balmorhea, and not just across the road to the repair place.

We’ll see.

April 2, 2013

Hippity Hop . . .

Today started out as a work/chores morning with me working on computer/website stuff, while Jan drove down to the park laundry to do some rugs and a quilt that are a little too big for our rig washer.

Lowell sent over some Landon Easter pics. It’s amazing how much he seems to have grown in just the couple of months since we last saw him. That’s Brandi’s BFF, Shawna with him.



Later in the afternoon, I worked on repairing a couple of cables, one was the power cord to my Winegard Carryout Satellite Dish,

Winegard Carryout

There was a locking pin on the 12v power connector where it plugs into the dish that is supposed to keep it from accidentally coming loose. But instead, it makes it very difficult to get it loose when we stow it away for travel. So a little quick work with a pair of needle-nose pliers took care of the pin.

Next up, I resoldered a loose wire on the cable for the Remote Alert System for my BrakeBuddy Braking System.

Brake Buddy Classic

This is what provides the auxiliary braking for our pickup when it’s being towed behind the RV. The Remote Alert lets me know that the BrakeBuddy is activating properly when we’re on the road.

The rest of the afternoon I mostly puttered without really accomplishing a lot, but it was fun.

A little after 5pm we headed out for supper at a local Mexican place called Los Gringos Locos (Crazy White People?). Although our waitress was a little hit or miss, the place was busy, the food was good and, as usual, the conversation was a big part of the evening.

Leaving the restaurant, we drove out of town toward Tortilla Flats for a little ways to check out the RV parking at the local Elks lodge, and get a good view of Superstition Mountain, the fabled home of the Lost Dutchman Mine.

Tomorrow, probably more of the same.

April 2, 2014

And they don’t ship fast anymore, either . . .

Remember the good old days when your Fantastic Vent fan pretty much had a ‘forever’ warranty? Then a few years ago they were bought out by Attwood, and that great customer service went away.

A few years ago, Pre-Attwood, I needed a lift motor for our bathroom fan and they sent me a new one completely free. Then last year I needed to replace the same motor again. Now Post-Attwood, it was $37 plus shipping.

Then last month I needed a new fan motor for the kitchen fan. And it was $69 including shipping. But it did ship out the next day.

Then last Thursday, I ordered a fan for the bathroom unit, because I like the power of the new one in the kitchen. When I called Monday to get a UPS tracking number, they didn’t have one yet. Said it would probably ship out that day, and to call back Wednesday, I.e. today.

So when I called today I was told that there was still no tracking number because . . . wait for it . . . it hadn’t even shipped yet. When I questioned why, I was told that they had changed procedures in the warehouse. When I asked, “To make things slower?”, I got a “Well, ah . . . “ answer.

This means it almost certainly won’t be here by Friday and we leave here to go back to Conroe on Monday. At least I had it sent to our daughter Brandi’s, so I won’t have to track it down back here at Colorado River.

On the upside, Brandi called this afternoon and said my slideout shear pin had come in. Jan and I will go over there Saturday afternoon and pick it up. And of course, we’ll use it as an excuse to eat at Little V’s Vietnamese Bistro once again.

* * * *

Today’s project was to pull out our Splendide washer/dryer and reattach the dryer vent hose. It had come loose at the dryer end since I last worked on it in January 2013, and the only way to fix it is to pull the unit out.

First up, both doors have to come off, as well as the top latch hardware.

Washer Hose Repair 1

Next, the bottom retaining strip comes off.

Washer Hose Repair 2

Then I pulled the straps from underneath the unit. The last time I worked on it I installed these to make it easier to pull the washer out of the cabinet.

Washer Hose Repair 3

As you can see there’s really no room to get a grip to pull it out.

Washer Hose Repair 9

And after a lot of tugging, it starts to move.

Washer Hose Repair 4

The floor dolly makes it much easier to handle. The dolly also makes it easier to move the unit out into the kitchen when I actually need to work on it.

Washer Hose Repair 5

Almost out.

Washer Hose Repair 6

The string is used to pull the drain hose out of the way as the unit is pushed back in so it doesn’t get crimped.

Washer Hose Repair 7

Here I’ve re-installed the vent hose on the washer and am using the stick to guide it to the outside vent hole.

Washer Hose Repair 8

And here it is all fixed in place.

Washer Install 2

And all buttoned up. Then to double-check, I started the dryer and checked to be sure I had airflow from the vent.

Washer Install 1

Another repair checked off the list.

* * * *

While I was outside working on the dryer vent, blog reader’s Jim and Perri Dean came by to say ‘Hi’, when they were cruising the park to pick out a space to park their 5’er. We last saw them in Las Vegas in May 2013, and it’s good to get back together again

* * * *

For dinner, Jan headed up the leftover fish and shrimp from last night’s seafood meal. She also did up a can of the Bush’s Grillin’ Steakhouse recipe beans. And along with a salad, it was a really good meal.

Sealand Fish and Salad

Tomorrow, who knows?

April 2, 2015

A Successful Test Nap . . .

Well, after last week’s +1 rig count, it just goes to show that one good week does not an increasing trend make. This week’s count dropped by 48 rigs.

* * * * *

When I got up this morning I opened our new Dream Serenity 2” Memory Foam Gel Filled Mattress Topper and unrolled it on our bed. Out of the box it was about 3/4” thick, but within a couple of hours, it had expanded to its 2” height and was ready to install.

It took us about 45 minutes to get the bed stripped down and the old mattress topper removed and dragged out to the living room.

Around 2 I decided to make the sacrifice and protect Jan from a rogue topper, so I took a nap on our newly topped bed. Turned out to have a different feel, but was very comfortable. You can definitely feel the Memory Foam, but if it’s going to be any cooler in hot weather, I don’t know. We’ll see tonight, I guess.

* * * * *

About 3:45pm we drove over for our antepenultimate meal here and we’d decided we wanted to go back to Joe’s Farm Grill over in Gilbert.

Jan had the Pesto Grilled Chicken Sandwich with the Asian Slaw, while I again did the Mix N Match with a Carolina Hot Dog topped with BBQ Pulled Pork and Coleslaw, and a Sonoran Hot Dog wrapped in Bacon and topped with Beans, Sour Cream, Cheese, and Jalapenos. Both delicious and sating my hot dog craving for a while.

Joe's Family Grill 3a

Jan and I also shared a Grilled Wedge Salad and another order of their Fried Green Beans. The Grilled Wedge Salad was another of Joe’s dishes that was featured on Diner’s, Drive-ins, and Dives, and was really good.

Joe's Grilled Wedge Salad

Joe's Family Grill 4

After dinner, we walked next door to check out their produce stand and coffee shop, before heading home for the night

Tomorrow will be our last time here, since we’re leaving for Verde Valley on Sunday morning.


April 2, 2016

It’s A Small World After All !

Now try getting that tune out of your head.

Jan and I  were up a little after 6 this morning, so we could be on our way by 7. We were meeting up at Brandi’s about 8:15 to head down to Galveston to meet up with Chris and Piper.

After a pitstop at the La Marque Buc-ee’s, we met up with Chris and Piper about 11am at the Sunflower Café on 14st in Galveston. We have eaten here for breakfast a number of times and it’s always delicious. And lucky for us, this morning was no exception.

Pretty much everyone went with their favorites, with mine being their Migas, with Fried Potatoes and Refried Beans.

Sunflower Cafe Migas_thumb[1]

Jan had her usual “Small’ Breakfast

Sunflower Cafe Small Breakfast_thumb[1]

though I’m not exactly sure why they call it “Small”.

Lowell and Miss Piper had the Belgian Waffle with Fruit.

Sunflower Cafe Belgian Waffle_thumb[1]

Now that looks delicious.

Brandi had a big bowl of their Sweet Tomato Basil Soup with Rye Bread, while Landon had his Kid’s Pancakes.

Is this a handsome group, or what? Probably because I’m not in it.

Sunflower Cafe Group_thumb[1]

Leaving Sunflower Café around 1pm, we all drove over to check out Miss Piper’s new apartment. She’s on the 3rd floor here,  in an attic efficiency. The skylight on the roof opens to her living room/bedroom.

Piper's Apt 1_thumb[1]

And she’s got a great view of the city.

Piper's Apt 2 View_thumb[1]

And a nice balcony to enjoy it on.

Piper's New Apartment 2_thumb[3]

This is her living room/bedroom. We love the way she’s decorated it.

Piper's Apt 4_thumb[2]

Piper's Apt 5_thumb[2]

The apartment comes with all appliances, including this full-size washer and dryer. The refrigerator is behind me to my left.

Piper's Apt 3_thumb[1]

And it has beautiful all-tile shower, really, really nice.

Piper's Apt 6_thumb[2]

Piper’s place is only a few blocks away from the Seawall, and only five blocks from UTMB Hospital where she works. So she’ll be able to ride her bike to work when the weather is nice.

And her father Chris is very happy her apartment is in a really good neighborhood.

After getting our good-bye hugs, Brandi, Lowell, Landon, Jan, and I headed back to Katy, and then we left for Columbus, getting home about 5

After we’d been back for a while, I went out to the truck to get something, and a gentleman walked over,  introducing himself as Jim. He said he owned the 2005 American Eagle that is parked behind the American Dream that’s right across from us. And since there’s also another Eagle up front, we’ve got a mini-American Coach rally going on.

I think it’s the first time I’ve seen this many American Coaches in one spot since the American Coach Rally we attended in Gillette, WY in 2010, when there were over 120 American Coaches clustered in one place.

We talked for a good while about our travels, and repairs and problems on the road. And then one of those “It’s A Small World After All/ Cue the Twilight Zone Theme” moments occurred.

Yesterday, I posted this on the blog concerning getting help online about my recent AC problem.

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 today, as I started relating this story, Jim started chuckling. And then he said that he was the Jim S, that had posted about his friend’s 1995 Dream, and that was the Dream in question parked right across from us.

Now that’s just spooky!

April 2, 2017

Mmmmm . . . Bacon!

For some reason, I tossed and turned a lot last night, so I didn’t get up until about 11:30, and then got coffee started.

Jan was watching an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives about a place that does specialty waffles. Jan looked over at me and said, “Waffles really sound good.”

And my answer to this was, “Oink, Oink!” So 15 minutes later we were on our way to the Oink Café over in Tempe.

We had eaten at the Oink Café in Tucson a little over a week ago, and really enjoyed it. How can you not like a place whose slogan is “Breakfast, Lunch, Bacon!”

And a spur-of-the-moment trip is not unusual for us either. Years ago, early one Saturday , we were jonsin’ for a good bowl of gumbo. And this was before there were any good gumbo places in the Clear Lake area. So with 15 minutes notice, we were on our way to Mulate’s in Breaux Bridge, LA, 225 miles away. And you haven’t lived until you’ve spent a Saturday night listening to Zydeco music and watching Cajun dancing.

And this runs in my family too. Back in the summer of 1963 after a late lunch, my parents started talking about doing a trip out west, and an hour later, we were on our way for a three week trip, doing Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, and even Disneyland.

Getting to Oink, we had about a 15 minute wait before we got seated, but as before, worth the wait. And of course, we both went with waffles. Jan’s with Strawberries and Whipped Cream, while I went with a Waffle Combo, with an egg.

Oink Waffle Tempe

and Jalapeno bacon.

In addition, following up on my Half Flight of Bacon last time, I got another one this time, trying out the other 4 bacon flavors.

Last time I got Applewood Smoked, Honey, Jalapeno, and Pepper,

Oink Half Flight of Bacon

while this time I got the Hickory, Sugar Cured, Pecan, and Apple Cider.

Oink Half Flight Tempe

All were delicious, but I will say that the flavors that stood out the most, that I could identify by taste alone, were Jalapeno, Pepper, Hickory, Pecan, and the Apple Cider.

Getting home, I finally started working on changing out the cartridge in our Moen shower faucet. After removing the coverings, I used a pair of slip-joint pliers to try and pull the cartridge out of the housing. But it wouldn’t budge, no matter how hard I pulled.

But I was prepared for this, having a specialized cartridge puller from my last time doing this.

Lowes Moen Cartridger Remover

But I quickly discovered that sometime since then, the screw tip had broken off, leaving it too short to screw into the cartridge handle. So it was off to the nearby Home Depot to get a new one.

The one they had was completely different, and was a Danco product,

Home Depot Cartridge Puller

a company I’ve not been too happy with in the past.

And getting it home and trying it out, I still don’t like Danco. Despite fooling with it for over an hour, I still wasn’t able to get the old cartridge out.

And in fact, I didn’t expect to have a problem getting the old one out this time since I had thoroughly coated it with Plumber’s Silicone Grease the last time.

So checking the Internet, I found that Lowe’s sells the old one, the one that worked last time, so I’ll pick one up tomorrow and take the Home Depot one back.

Hopefully, it’ll work this time.

April 2, 2018

Doctor Says I’m Normal . . .

Jan says it’s more like Abby Normal.

When the labs came back from my recent doctor’s visit on the 19th of March, I was told that a number of my values were out of whack, I.e. calcium, kidney function, liver, electrolytes, etc., and they wanted me to come back in last week and do a retest. So today I was surprised when the doctor’s office called to tell me everything was fine, I.e., normal.

So now I’m confused. Why were a bunch of my levels way out of bounds last week, but perfectly normal this week? Did they really need my additional $80 that badly?

I’ve had a couple of requests from blog readers wanting further explanation on things I mentioned in the blog.

When I reposted the blog about our visit to the Cat Tails Zoological Park outside Spokane, WA in 2011, I mentioned wiring up a transfer switch bypass, and a reader wanted to know more about that.

And when I posted my list of cars I’ve owned in yesterday’s blog, I mentioned a 1992 Ford Ranger that I broke in half on the Atchafalaya River Bridge in Louisiana in 1994. So another reader just had to know the story behind that.

I’ll post more info on both these in the next couple of days.

BTW I’ve already received car lists from several of you, so get yours in ASAP so I can post them here.

April 2, 2019

Who’s In Charge Of This?

We were out the rig door and on our trip about 9:45 this morning, heading into Houston for the day.

But our first stop was at my client’s to pick up some things and drop off some things. Actually the dropping off was the initial reason, but then the UPS truck pulled up with some things that I had ordered, so it was just serendipity, I guess.

Then it was on up to the Montrose-Westheimer area to have lunch at Katz’s Deli once again. And this visit was much better than the last one, with the waiter that we had just abandoned us. Jaygi, our waitress this time, took great care of us.

We had planned to once again have their great Broccoli-Cheese Soup, but they were out because a delivery didn’t show up. Bummer!

But when I found out that Jan had never had Bagels with Lox and Cream Cheese, I ordered us some of that.

Katz's Deli Bagel and Lox

I first had it in the early 60’s when we were flying back and forth to Colombia, SA where we were living at the time. We (me, my mother, and my little sister) would always stay at a hotel in Miami Beach while waiting for my father to catch up with us. And there were small Jewish deli’s everywhere.

So I learned to love Bagels, Lox, and Cream Cheese, Matzo Ball Soup, Potato Latkes, Chocolate Rugelach, and of course, a big bowl of Chicken Soup.

Howard’s mother would be so proud.

Jan got her usual Open Face Tuna Melt and Steamed Veggies,

Katz's Deli Open Face Tuna Melt

while I had the Reuben Dog with their made-to-order potato chips.

Katz's Deli Reuben Dog

Both really good, especially the pickles. Jan always used to give me hers, until I insisted she try one. Now I only get mine.

Next, it was on around the loop to the IBurn store on Bellaire,  a place we don’t visit enough, because they’ve always got new stuff. Hot stuff.

IBurn Supplies

Jan got some Habanero Salsa and a new bottle (a big bottle this time) of her favorite Marie Sharp’s Belizean Heat, her go-to hot stuff.

I got a new bottle of my fav, Volcanic Pepper Dust, that’s now been upgraded with Carolina Reaper peppers, and a jar of their Scary Cherries, with the cherries soaked in Carolina Reaper-infused syrup. My son-in-law Lowell turned me on to these, so it’s time for a new jar.

Jan and I had a nice talk with the young lady owner, especially about the ‘fabled’ Pepper X, which is supposedly more than twice as the Carolina Reaper. I had hoped to buy some, but they didn’t carry it. She said that they think it’s all hype.

It has not been officially tested and rated yet, it’s just all hearsay. And the company wants a VERY large order guarantee. So they’ve passed for now.

And of course, as I mentioned before, it’s not being sold on Amazon.

Hell, everything’s sold on Amazon, so I guess I’ll wait and see what happens.

Next, we headed over to the Museum District and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts to see the Vincent Van Gogh exhibit. But this blog’s running long and I have a lot of photos for you, so I’ll save our visit for tomorrow’s blog.

Finishing up for today, I wish that whoever is in charge of these things would come up with a pronunciation and stick with it.

Back in college, I took several Art Appreciation classes for electives, and it was always Vincent Van ‘Go’. And this was from French guys with doctorates in Art History. And yeah, I know Van Gogh was Dutch, but it’s just the next country over, and he did most of his painting in France anyway, and died there too, so don’t confuse things.

But now it seems like it’s Van ‘Goff’ or even Van ‘Goth’. And this is not the first time they’ve pulled this stunt.

Leading up to 1986, everyone was talking about how Halley’s comet was coming. And it was always pronounced ‘Heylee’s Comet. Then suddenly one day it was Hallee’s Comet.

Who decided?

And there was when Your-Anus (Uranus) suddenly became Urine-Us

Like that’s a real improvement?

And don’t get me started on why for 76 years Pluto was a planet, and suddenly it’s not.

April 2, 2020

Almost Done . . .

Jan and I went out about 11:30 to get in some work on the shed.

The first step was easy. Just screw the two pieces of the gable together and then fasten it to the rear wall.

RubberMaid Shed with Rear Gable

Off to the left, you can see the on-the-site supervisor keeping a close eye on things.

But after the gable, everything slowed down, a lot. After fastening the two black roof sections together along the ridge, I then started to assemble the metal frame that strengthens the roof. But no matter how I tried to fit it together, it just wouldn’t line up.

I twisted and turned the pieces trying to make it match the manual without a lot of success. Until I finally figured out that the diagram in the manual was printed as a mirror image, instead of the way it actually should be. Once I figured that out it went pretty smoothly and we ended up with this.

RubberMaid Shed with Rear Roof

We went in for a while when the sun came out, but then later in the afternoon, the clouds rolled back in so we headed back out to work on the front part of the roof, the part that will slide back and forth on a track. And we ended up with this.


Next up, for this weekend if it doesn’t rain, is to install those tracks and get the roof working. Then all we’ll lack is putting the doors and latches on.

So hopefully the weather will hold.

April 2, 2022

It Turned Out To Be ‘The Other’ . . .

First off, I mentioned a while back that we were planning a trip up to Alaska later this year. In most cases, we’re going to be revisiting old haunts from our cruise in 1998 and our workcamping there for 5 months in 2008, but we also want to visit Soldotna and Homer, where we’ve never been.

So I thought I’d throw this out to our many readers.

What things do you recommend that we see/do in that area?

And nothing to do with fishing, please.

I said in yesterday’s blog that we were going to eat at Pho Barr today, one way or the other. In other words, we were going to eat at the new one if it was open, or go on up to Webster to eat at the old one.

And the ‘old one’ it was.

When we got to the new one, we found this notice on the door.

Waiting For Reinspection

And according to Theresa, the owner of Cowboy Coffee, that’s a regular problem in this area. She spent weeks waiting for the inspectors to come by after she called them. Then they would finally show up, look at something for a minute or so, scribble their name,  and then leave.

Then it was on to wait on the next guy.

So now we’ll be checking every day next week.

When we got to the Webster location,  Daniel, our usual waiter, said he was worried that we might be upset that he had ‘misled’ us. We laughed and reassured him that we weren’t mad.

And of course, the food was just as delicious as always. Just hope it’s closer to home soon.

Finishing up for the day, it was on to our local WalMart for our weekly stuff and then home.

This is Pink Floyd, the African flamingo.

Pink Floyd The Flamingo 500

Also known as No. 492 due to the number on the leg band, the flamingo, and another one, No. 347, escaped from a Kansas zoo in 2005 after the zoo forgot to clip their wings that year. And though No. 347 disappeared soon after, No. 492 has been on the lam ever since.

And, identified by the leg band, the flamingo has been seen as far north as Wisconsin, but has apparently wintered over in south Texas for the last few years.

Pink Floyd The Flamingo 2 500

A really beautiful bird.

I spent some time this evening upgrading one of the hard drives in my Dell computer here at home. The C drive is a 500GB SSD (Solid State Drive) with contains the Windows operating system, and my D drive, or Data drive was a 1TB regular hard drive, that contains all my other libraries and files, like the Documents, Pictures, and other standard folders. But it was starting to get full.

So I got a new 4TB HDD, hooked it up externally, copied the entire old drive over to it, and then swapped them out. Only took about 30 minutes.

So now I have plenty of space.

Until I fill this one up, I guess.

April 2, 2023

A Lazy Day Home . . .

So lazy in fact that we didn’t even go out to eat. And we really enjoyed it.

And I did use the time to take care of a couple of chores.

One of my first jobs was to replace the bedroom A/C’s thermostat. Don’t know what happened to it, but since we came back from our Hill Country weekend, it won’t stay set. Over a period of a couple of days, the set temp will gradually increase up to the maximum of 85°.

Now in the past when it went ‘wonky’ (a technical term) replacing the two AA batteries fixed it up. But now this time.

So it was time to just replace it with one I found at WalMart. Another Honeywell model, in fact.

And this is 3rd Honeywell thermostat we’ve had in the rig.

When we bought the rig at the end of 2007, it had those round Honeywell models for both A/C’s.

Honeywell Round Thermostat

So while we were up in Alaska in 2008 I replaced both with these Honeywell digital models.

Honeywell Thermostat

And they’ve both worked fine until now, 15 years later.

So now I’m replacing it with another Honeywell model.

Honeywell New Thermostat

And it only took a few minutes, since the mounting holes from the old Honeywell lined up exactly with the new one.

Honeywell New Thermosta Wires

And in just a few minutes I had this.

Honeywell New Thermosta Wired

And then this.

Honeywell New Thermosta Finished

Finishing up our Hill Country trip, as I mentioned yesterday we made a Pottery Ranch stop

Pottery Ranch 1b

And the first thing she saw as we got parked was this guy.

Pottery Ranch Big Flamingo

I told her that if it would fit in the Corolla, she could have it. Well, at least until I saw this.

Pottery Ranch Big Flamingo Price


Well, maybe not.

But she did find some other (smaller, cheaper) things she wanted.

Including this Roadrunner for Brandi.

Pottery Ranch RoadRunner

They had a little bit of everything.

Pottery Ranch 4

Pottery Ranch 5

Including this flock of flamingos.

Pottery Ranch 6

And Jan almost brought home this hippo, but couldn’t figure out where she’d put it.

Pottery Ranch Hippo

Finally, on our way home, we did stop for some photos of a nearby abandoned stone farmhouse in the middle of a field of Bluebonnets.

Just beautiful.

BlueBonnet Field & House Marble Falls

BlueBonnet Field & House Marble Falls 2

BlueBonnet Field Marble Falls

As is this Bluebonnet close-up.