Daily Archives: April 6, 2024

A Trademark Bully?

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, and an earlier one, about Momofuku’s Chili Crunch products that Jan and I discovered a few days ago, and really like.

While it seems that David Chang, a Michelin-Starred Chef, and founder of Momofuku Foods, is being accused of being a ‘Trademark Bully’, because he has obtained a for the phrase “Chili Crunch”. And he has sent out cease-and-desist letters to multiple other companies telling them not to use the term “Chili Crunch” any longer.

David Chang Called ‘Trademark Bully’

According to Homiah founder Michelle Tew, whose Malaysian chili crunch recipe was passed down in her family, the paperwork argues that consumers might confuse her chili crunch with Momofuku’s—despite the fact that the products’ labels look nothing alike. The cease-and-desist letter states that Tew’s company has 90 days to stop using the “chili crunch trademark.”

“The ‘chili crunch’ trademark should never have been granted. Just like ‘chili crisp,’ it is a generic and descriptive term for a culturally specific condiment, one that has existed in Chinese culinary culture for hundreds of years,” Gao wrote in a post on social media.

I did notice that the Trader Joe’s version that Jan ordered was called it ‘Crunchy Chili’ instead of Chili Crunch.

I guess now we know why.

Lunch today, as forecast, was at the Yummy Yummy Chinese Buffet, then Wal-Mart, gas, and home.

Easy Peazy.

Despite the almost certain forecast of rain, we’re leaving about 10:30 tomorrow morning for our trip up to Killeen to see the Eclipse, or not see it, as the case will probably be. Our first stop will be at the Buc-ee’s on US 290 in Waller for coffee and kolaches, with another stop along the way before we get into Killeen sometime between 2:30 and 3pm.

Thought For The Day:

If ignorance is bliss, why are so many Americans on anti-depressants?

For a Retro-Preview –

In today’s blog in 2013, I detail our visit to the Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium outside of Phoenix.

In today’s blog in 2018, I relate how I broke my Ford Ranger pickup in half on the Atchafalaya River Bridge in Louisiana back in 1994.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

April 6, 2010

A Take-It-Easy Day Redux…

We hung around the rig all day today just pretty much doing nothing. I worked on some things around the rig and Jan read.

Later in the afternoon, it was nap time.

Retirement is hard work.

We left the rig around 4:30 pm to have the buffet supper at the Boulder Station Casino right down the street. We had finally accumulated enough points to get one of the meals free.

Of course, that ”free meal” only cost us about $50 in slot machine losses.

And of course, Jan had to run one last $5 bill through the slots.

After stopping off at the bank to get some cash, it was home for night.

We’re still trying to firm up our plans on where we’re going in the next few days.

We’ll let you know.

April 6, 2011

I was right the first time . . .

In yesterday’s blog, I posed the question to our readers about what this bird is. When I first took the picture I thought it was a Great Blue Heron, mainly due to the size. He was pretty far away so I could only really see it in the tiny viewfinder.

Bignotti Bird

However, when I got back home, I had second thoughts about it. The bird didn’t look like the other Great Blues I had seen before, mostly at Galveston Bay RV Park in the Houston area where we spend the winter holidays.

I began to think maybe it was a crane of some sort, either a whooping crane, or a sandhill crane. But both of them have a red patch on the top of their heads. So I threw the question out to our readers.

And two of them came through, saying I was right the first time. Judy Bell of Travels with Emma (Jan’s favorite blog) and Ron Olsen said it was a Great Blue.

So I went back and looked at the approximately 20 photos I had taken of Great Blues in TX. And in doing so, I saw the problem. In all the photos I took, none of them showed the Heron with his neck extended like that. In fact the bird guides we have all show the Great Blues as shown below, and the cranes with their necks extended.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron on Mudflat

Anyway, now that that’s settled, back to this morning, which for me started about 10:30 with a big pot of hot coffee. Today’s flavor was Entenmann’s Ultimate Cinnamon Crumb Cake, one of our favorite flavors.

I was beginning to worry because we’re almost out, and I haven’t been able to find it since we left Houston. But I discovered Amazon sells it and I now have some on the way.

Our daughter Brandi called about noon, saying she was sending over some new photos of Master Landon for our viewing pleasure. She also sent some videos of him at the park earlier in the day. I’ll get those posted on YouTube a little later.

Later Jan fixed us a lunch from the leftover BBQ from Hog Wild BBQ a few days ago. Still really good.

Later in the day, Brandi sent over these pics of Landon showing off his new spring chapeau.

Landon's New Hat 2

Landon's New Hat 3

Around 5:30 Jan, and I headed out for dinner at La Fonda, a Mexican place right down the road from here on the way to Camp Verde. We had heard good things about this place and they were not wrong.

We all agreed this was as good as Sofia’s Mexican Food in Gila Bend.  Everything was seasoned perfectly, and our server, Missy, was excellent. We said that this is one place we’ll go back before we leave.

After dinner we drove through the nearby Western Horizons – Camp Verde Park, just to get a look around. Nice park with a lot of trees, but maybe not as picturesque as our TT park.

April 6, 2012

Hurry Up and Wait . . .

I was up about 7 this morning so we could have coffee before I tracked down the Gate Guard Services people.

About 7:55 I walked over to the office and found Jamie, the local supervisor, outside in his truck. After talking for a few minutes he directed me into the office to talk with Lori. Lori gave me the phone number of Patty at the main office in Corpus Christi.

Coming back to the rig, I then called Patty . . . and got Lori again. She laughed and said she forgot to tell me that until the Corpus office opens at 9, all calls are routed to the office here at Whitsett.

When we got here yesterday, Terry, the guy who got us settled in, said things had changed and we would have to drive the 90 miles down to Corpus Christi to complete our paperwork and fingerprint cards, and take our Level II Security Guard Test. I was hoping to be able to do that today once we talked to Patty. But that did not work out.

Lori called me about 8:30 and said Patty had told her to go ahead and give us the paperwork to fill out and fingerprint cards to bring with us. She also said that the Corpus office was closing at noon for Good Friday, and they were now handling new hires on Tuesday and Thursday.

So we were in a holding pattern until Tuesday.

I wanted to do what we could to expedite things, and when I ask Lori if we could go ahead and get our fingerprint cards done up here, she said the only place around was over at the Sheriff’s Department in Floresville, about 45 miles northeast of here.

So, after calling the Sheriff’s Office to double-check, Jan and I headed out about 2pm, first to Floresville, and then into San Antonio for dinner and some shopping.

The fingerprint cards only took about 15 minutes and then we were on our way. As far as Floresville, I’m not sure what was going on, but they seemed to be having their own diesel gas war there. Most stations in the San Antonio area have diesel for $4.05 to $4.10, or even $4.15, with a few places at $3.99,

But the HEB station in Floresville was selling diesel for $3.55, and the Wal-Mart had it for $3.57. WOW!

They even had semi trucks in line. As far as I’m concerned though, the 90-mile round trip would probably eat up any savings on the price.


For dinner we wanted to eat at the Magic Time Machine on the north 410 Loop. It’s probably been 30 years since we’ve eaten here, and we were glad to find it still open. We’ve also eaten at the one in Dallas, and the one that used to be in Austin before it closed.

The concept is kind of unique. The wait staff are dressed up as characters from movies, television, and literature.

Magic Time Machine 1b

The place is a warren of little nooks and crannies, a maze of alcoves, hidden rooms, and cul-de-sacs. You can very quickly end up going in circles.

In fact it’s easy to get lost, and almost impossible to find the restrooms without help. But when you ask a waiter or waitress for help, they grab you by the hand and lead you back and forth through the restaurant, loudly announcing that this is the Potty Train and anyone else that needs to go, can hop on board. Sometimes you’ll see a string of 5 or 6 people, all holding hands, being led to the restrooms.

So it’s a good idea to “go before you go”, so to speak.

And of course, they don’t have a salad bar, they have a “salad car”. A 1952 MG TC.  “Soup in the front, Salad in the back.”

Magic Time Machine 2

We saw many characters, like Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Alice in Wonderland, Tinkerbell, Pinocchio, Supergirl, Thor, and below, Ariel, the Littlest Mermaid.

Magic Time Machine 3

We had the beautiful Diana Prince, who fights crime in her secret identity as Wonder Woman.

Magic Time Machine 4

And Jan seems to have a real admirer in The Joker.

Magic Time Machine 5

Personally, I like the Jack Nicholson version better.

Our meal was really good, and well worth the trip. Hopefully, we won’t wait another 30 years to visit again.

April 6, 2013

Lions and Tigers and . . . No Bears!

Here’s the photo recap of yesterday’s visit to the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium about 60 miles north of here.

Getting into the park the first thing we saw were these beautiful Black Swans. I’ve heard of them but I think this is the first time I’ve actually seen them.

Black Swan 1

They seem to be a bit smaller than their white cousins.

Black Swan 2

Spider Monkey

Squirrel Monkey

Jan and I almost bought a spider monkey early in our marriage, but in hindsight, it’s probably better we didn’t. Though it might have been easier than raising two kids.

Prevost's Squirrel

This is a Prevost’s Squirrel. Very colorful.

Wildlife World 1

Jan and I were both impressed with the very nice habitat areas for the animals,

Saddle-Billed Stork

A very colorful Saddle-Backed Stork.


And of course, the Lions and

Tiger World Wildlife Zoo

Tigers and . . .

Ocelot World Wildlife

Ocelots? Nope, not a Bear in sight here.

Black Leopard WWZ

But they did have this beautiful Black Leopard.

Next up was Dragon World, one of the reptile exhibits.

Monitor Lizard WWZ

This is a Monitor Lizard,

and this is a Green Iguana.

Green Iquana WWZ

And this is Jan’s encounter with one in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. They will bite, but this one’s mouth is taped shut with clear tape, though I don’t think she knew that at the time.


These guys are Uromastyx.


This is an Albino Alligator or White Alligator. These are pure albino with no color pigment whatsoever.

White Alligator WWZ

In our travels, we’ve also seen Leucistic White Alligators. They are not albinos, but have a little pigment on their mouths, and also piercing bright blue eyes.

Leucistic White Alligator

These three frogs are Poison Dart Frogs.

Poison Dart Frog

Natives in South America used their secretions to coat the tip of their poison darts, hence the name.

Poison Dart Frog 2

Very colorful, but very poisonous.

Poison Dart Frog 3

This is a Veiled Chameleon. I kept waiting for him to change color, but he never did. I was hoping for plaid.

Veiled Chameleon WWZ

This big guy is a Reticulated Python. He’s about 8 feet long.

Python WWZ

Jan’s not really partial to big snakes but our granddaughter Piper is crazy about them. Here she is with one in New York.


And here she is with one in New Braunfels, TX.


After a lunch of Chili Cheese Dogs, we took the Skyride up over the park.

Aerial Tram WWZ 1

Aerial Tram WWZ 2

Aerial Tram WWZ 3

A nice view.

A beautiful Military Macaw.

Military Macaw

A White Rhino.

Rhino WWZ

And these are Warthogs.

Warthogs WWZ

And this is also a Warthog, but the flying version.



A few years back we were surprised to find that hundreds of these are roaming all over White Sands Missile Range and the White Sands Monument.

Oryx WWZ

Zebras, including a baby born a few months ago.

Zebras WWZ

Baby, Mommy, and Daddy Giraffes.

Giraffes WWZ

Giraffe Baby WWZ

Everyone’s favorite mongoose (besides Rikki Tikki Tavi), the Meerkat.

Meerkat WWZ

These are Scimitar Horned Oryx.

Scimitar Oryx WWZ

We took the train ride around the park, and once while we were stopped, this ostrich got closer than anyone wanted.

Ostrich WWZ 1

Ostrich WWZ 2

The Flamingo Pond

Flamingos WWZ

Finishing up with the Zoo, we headed over to the aquarium area.

This is a Pipe Fish.

Trumpetfish WWZ

They did have some very nice display tanks.

Aquarium WWZ

This is an Amazonian Red Tail Catfish. Really pretty.

Red Tail Catfish WWZ

A Ridley’s Sea Turtle that’s missing part of his front flipper.

Ridley Sea Turtle

They also had a number of colorful Sea Anemones.

Sea Anemome WWZ

Sea Anemome WWZ 2

Sea Anemome WWZ 3

This is a colorful Cleaner Shrimp.

Cleaner Shrimp WWZ

A Lionfish. One of our favorites.

Lionfish WWZ

These next two are Stone Fish. The bluish one in the center of this photo,

Stonefish WWZ 1

and the one in the lower right in this one. Very aptly named.

Stonefish WWZ 2

These next two are Starfish. The top one is wrapped around a mussel prying it open for dinner.

Starfish WWZ 1

Starfish WWZ 2

And these next two are different species of Moray Eels.

Moray Eels WWZ

Moray Eels WWZ 2

And this guy is the fabled Electric Eel, capable of generating over 600 volts. I’ve always wondered why they don’t short out. They are in saltwater, after all.

Electric Eel WWZ

These are Shrimpfish, a relative of the Seahorse below.

Shrimpfish WWZ

Seahorse WWZ

A Red-Bellied Piranha.

Red-Bellied Prianha WWZ

And finally, a Stars & Stripes Puffer Fish.

Stars & Stripes Puffer Fish

Jan and I have visited small zoos all around the country, and we both agreed this was one of the best.

Check it out if you’re in the area.

As far as today, it was pretty quiet. Around 2 pm Jan and I headed back over to the SanTan Village area for some Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart shopping, picking up some salad fixings for tonight’s dinner.

But on the way home  we ended up back at J & M II Chinese Restaurant, our new favorite Chinese place

But as we were finishing up, we got a surprise. A gentleman and his wife walked up and that he enjoyed our blog.


It turned out to be Jim and Norma Miget, blog readers who had recognized us and came over to say Hi. It’s always nice to meet our blog readers.

After Jim and Norma left, I asked Jan if this meant we were famous or infamous?

She said, “Yes”.

April 6, 2014

Goldilocks Pins . . .

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ve got Goldilocks Shear Pins. I’ve had one pin that was too big, and now I’ve got one that’s too small. So all I need now is one that ‘juussst right’.

Yep, that’s right. The new pin that I picked up at Brandi’s yesterday is also the wrong one, and is too small. In fact it looks to be identical to the one I got at Tractor Supply that lasted about a second before it snapped like a twig. The piece of the original pin shows that it is roll or coil pin. The one they sent me is what’s call a ‘tension’ pin. If you look at it from the end, it looks like a letter ‘C’.

So I guess I’ll be cranking the slide in and out by hand tomorrow.

So it’s back to square one. I’ve contacted Power Gear via email. And apparently, it’s the only way to contact them. The only phone number listed on their website is a Fax number.

So I’ll just wait to hopefully hear from them for a couple of days before I reassess things. If all else fails, the company’s located in Mishawaka, IN where we’ll be in about a month.

* * * *

We did have the forecasted rain this morning, but It mostly cleared up in the afternoon. And lucky for us, it should be pretty clear for our trip back to Conroe tomorrow morning.

But before we leave, we’re going to drive the truck into Columbus to have one last breakfast at Schobels’ Restaurant. Then we’ll come back and head out.

* * * *

For our potluck tonight, Jan fixed her Strawberry 7-Up cake frosted with Cool Whip, and also did a pot of baked beans by combining a can of Bush’s Grilling Beans, using two cans of the Bourbon and Brown Sugar, and one can of the Steakhouse Recipe.

We headed over to Jim and Peri Dean’s about 4:30, and quickly sat down to a delicious meal. Jim had grilled up some great marinated chicken breasts, while Lynette and Gregg McHenry brought delicious potato salad and garlic bread.

Jim and Peri Dean's GetTogether2

After this great meal, we broke up into ‘discussion groups’, I.e. girls and guys, and spent the next 4 hours talking about a little of everything.

The perfect end to a very nice evening.

April 6, 2015

Mister’s New Toy . . .

About 1pm I went up to the park guardhouse to let them know what site we were in and to ask about receiving packages from Amazon.

Their handout says they don’t take USPS mail, but with Amazon you never know how your package will be shipped. It could come via UPS or FedEx, which is not a problem. But often Amazon uses the UPS or FedEx version of Smart Post. This is where the package is shipped via one or the other to the local post office, which then delivers it to the local address. So what I wanted to know is if packages are delivered that way are considered USPS mail and would be refused. But when I asked the ranger about that, he said there was no problem with any USPS mail. So I guess I’ll put my order in and see what happens. During our last visit to Wal-Mart in Apache Junction we picked up a new toy for Mister.Mister's New Toy

It’s made out of recycled corrugated cardboard, and is supposed to be a combination bed/scratching post. Well, he’s got the bed part down, and spends a lot of time on it, but he’s apparently a little unclear about the scratching post part. He’s used it once, but would rather use my leg or the curtain valances. Oh, well.

For dinner tonight we had leftovers again, in this case, the ones from Joe’s Farm Grill. We’ve still got our leftover Famous Dave’s BBQ, but we’ll probably go out tomorrow for dinner so we can stock up on more leftovers.

Looks like we’ve got a run of really nice weather coming up, with days in the low 70’s and nights in the high 30’s. Really nice weather, especially since we’ve only got 30 amp electric here at our site, so we can only run one A/C.

April 6, 2016

Staying Alive!

Cue the Bee Gee’s.

One thing I noticed about Verizon’s XLTE upgrade in this area it that it has apparently spilled over to my 3G AirCard. Where normally I get around 1.5 Mbps day in, day out, now on XLTE, I’m pushing 3 Mbps, usually around 2.75 and up. Very Nice.

When I mentioned still having a 3G AirCard, several readers wanted to know why I haven’t upgraded to a 4G model. The reason is simple.

My AirCard, which dates back from 2007, still has unlimited data. And boy, do I need it.

Here’s my usage for this month.


Yes, that says 45.160 GB!

Now my usual usage is 25 to 30 GB for the month, but we’ve streamed 3 or 4 hour long TV shows this time, so it does add up. But I reset in 2 days, so it’s all good.

I came across an app a couple of days ago that solves a problem that has irritated me for a while on my Galaxy S5 and Tab 4. I hate it went I’m using an app, like Google Maps, and the screen shuts down on me. I’ll be using my phone to navigate somewhere and the screen goes black, so I have to reactivate it. Over and over.

Well, Stay Alive!, a free app, fixes that for you. Yes, you can just set your screen timeout for longer, but only up to 10 minutes, and then it stays on for everything whether you need it or not. Which doesn’t help your battery life.

But Stay Alive! takes care of that problem by letting you pick what apps you want to keep the screen on. For that me, that’s Maps (Google Maps), Sigalert, and Torque. And when you close the app, Stay Alive! turns off and goes to sleep.

Google Maps you know about, and Sigalert lets you check out the traffic data and cameras for major cities around the country, and Torque lets you monitor engine parameters using a Bluetooth interface like this one.

Bluetooth Scan Tool_thumb[7]

Installing Stay Alive! is super easy, but the setup can be a little confusing. After you open the app initially, all settings are done from the Notification dropdown menu. Like this.


Then when you tap on the Stay Alive! tab, it brings up this menu,


that lets you configure the app for the programs that you want to Stay Alive.

A great app.

Let me know if you have a problem setting it up.

Recently when we needed more laundry detergent, rather than getting our usual Tide, we decided to try Persil, the new one that’s being advertised. Actually though, it’s only new here in the US, and it’s been the #1 seller in England for a while.

And here in the US, it has dethroned Tide as the best liquid detergent, as determined by Consumer Reports. However I’m not sure we can really tell any difference, since we don’t really get that dirty, but give it a try and check it out for yourself.

April 6, 2017

Down On The Farm . . .

About 1pm Jan and I drove over to the Gilbert area to have one last meal at Joe’s Farm Grill before we leave for Vegas on Saturday. And this time we went in a little different direction from our usual fare.

After having tried the Garlic Pesto Fried Green Beans last time, and loving the pesto, Jan got the Pesto Chicken Sandwich with Swiss, Roasted Red Pepper, Grilled Mushrooms, and farm-made Pecan Pesto, as well as another order of the Pesto Green Beans for us to share.

Joe's Farm Grill 2

While instead of my usual Sonoran Dog, I got the Gouda Garlic Bacon Burger Stack.

Joe's Farm Grill 2 Gouda Bacon Burger

Made with a half-pound THICK burger (all natural, fresh, chuck, cooked pink), bacon, roasted garlic, imported Gouda cheese, grilled red onion, beefsteak tomato, pickles, house-made Caesar dressing, on a toasted bun, it was a complete feast. In addition, we both got salads as our sides.

And of course, we both got one of their homemade Strawberry Lemonades.

Joe's Farm Grill 2 Strawberry Lemonade

One thing we’ve noticed is that one of the family members is always circulating around, talking to the customers. and being sure they’re happy. Good business.

Our last stop before heading home was the nearby Sam’s Club to pick up a prescription and a few other items.

After a nice nap on a full stomach, a little before 6pm I went outside and dug out my Porter-Cable Air Compressor to top off the tires on the rig and the truck.

Sears air-compressor_thumb

I’ve had this one since January 2011 and it’s still going strong, and has no problem taking my front tires up to 105#, while I run the rears at 100#.

However Sears no longer sells this under their name, but you can buy the Porter-Cable version from Amazon for about $110.

Porter-Cable Air Compressor

A great deal!

Everything went fine until I tried to finish up with the rear dualies on the driver’s side of the rig. For some reason my locking air chuck wouldn’t fasten tight enough to keep air from leaking out around the valve stem, letting air out faster than it was going in.

So tomorrow I’ll have to pick up a new air chuck at the nearby O’Reilly’s.

And along with that, we’ve got a 1pm lunch date with Dick and Phyllis Schell at Oregano’s, an Italian place over in the Tempe area.

Really looking forward to it.

April 6, 2018

A Short Trip on a Long Bridge, Part One . . .

When I recently posted the list of cars that I’ve owned, I made a comment about my 1992 Ford Ranger, and how I broke it in half on the Atchafalaya River Bridge near Breaux Bridge, LA. And a couple of our blog readers wanted to know the rest of the story.

From the middle of 1992 until 2005, I made the 700 mile trip up to Birmingham from Houston every month to look in on my mother. My father had died in January 1992 and since my mother, then 73, no longer drove, I would buy her groceries, fix things around the house, take her to appointments, etc.

I would leave Houston about 10am on Friday, stop for lunch at Mulate’s in Breaux Bridge, and then get into Birmingham around 10pm But one trip in 1994 didn’t quite work out as I had planned.

When I left Mulate’s it had started raining, not really heavy, but steady. And about 10 minutes later I was approaching the ramp onto the Atchafalaya Bridge as the rain really started coming down. In the right lane, I was being passed on the left by an old model Lincoln with so much junk piled up in the seats I couldn’t even see the driver. Even worse he was passing me at about 1/10 mile per hour,  with a line of cars stacked up behind him.

As he finally got past me, he cut right back over in front of me, so close I couldn’t even see the rear of his car, just the truck lid and the top of the continental kit, so I let off the gas to open a little space between us.

Then, just at that moment I crossed over one of those metal expansion joints in the road surface, and my truck broke loose and started skidding down the road. Later I discovered that one side of the joint was about 1-1/2” higher than the other, and the jolt was what caused the truck to start sliding.

My first thought was to keep the truck in my lane and stay away from the vehicles that were beside me, hoping to keep this a one vehicle accident. Finally, I managed to get the truck up against the concrete guard rail trying to scrub off speed. Unfortunately about this time my rear bumper edge caught in one of the guard rail expansion joint gaps, ripped off my bumper, my tailgate, part of the rear bed, and my right rear wheel, tire, and part of the axle.

This also started me spinning, doing several 360’s down my lane, and slamming my head against the door pillar and the seatbelt mounting bolt, leaving me somewhat stunned. I again managed to slam the truck up against the guard rail again, but this time I as sliding in reverse, and shedding more pieces along the way.

When I finally slid to a stop there was a line of truck parts stretched out behind me as far as I could see. Several people stopped to see if I was OK and one called the police using one of the emergency call boxes along the bridge. For my part I did a quick concussion self-check, and though I had a headache I didn’t see any concussion symptoms.

(FYI You alternate covering each eye back and forth. If you see any difference in brightness between your eyes, there’s a good chance you’ve got a concussion of some severity.

The Breaux Bridge police showed up a few minutes later, followed quickly by two wreckers. One to tow the truck back to Breaux Bridge and the other to gather up all my discarded parts. The police officer said someone had wrecked in almost the same spot about a month before and had gone over the edge and into the water about 50 feet below. He said they never found the driver.

When I asked “Why?”, he just looked at me and said, “Gators.”


I rode back to the wrecker yard with the tow truck and then got a taxi to the nearby Lafayette airport so I could call Jan and then rent a car to continue my journey to Birmingham.

I’ll stop here for tonight and finish up in tomorrow’s blog.

Stay tuned because the story’s not over yet by a long shot.

April 6, 2019

Too Much Food !!

Today was another long and fun day, emphasis on the long. So I’ll just give you the highlights and flesh out things later when we get home Monday night.

The day started with breakfast at 9am at The Dam Grill. Now this is WAY too early for breakfast. For Jan and I, breakfast is more like an afternoon or early evening thing.

Anyway, we met at The Dam Grill, which is right down the road from Reverend Jim’s Dam Pub, the Dam Vet Clinic, and across the road from the Dam Car Wash. Are you sensing a pattern here?

Apparently, it’s a requirement that if your business is located anywhere near Buchanan Dam, you have to have ‘Dam’ in your business name. But that said, The Dam Grill was damn good.

The Dam Grill Group

Landon had some asthma problems last night due to all the pollen in the air up here, so they slept in. So it was just the White’s, sans Morrison’s.

Later we headed over to the Comfort Inn in Burnet to meet up with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon, who was feeling much better. Then we all headed down toward Marble Falls, with our first stop at the Pottery Ranch.

Picture several acres, both inside and out, covered in pottery, large and small, metal sculptures, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

Pottery Ranch 1

Everything from rows of Mexican pottery,

Pottery Ranch 2

Pottery Ranch 3

and from a T-Rex,

Pottery Ranch T-Rex

to flying pigs and a red elephant. (Exactly how drunk do you have to be for your pink elephants to turn red.)

Pottery Ranch Pig

And even a field of metal bluebonnets.

Pottery Ranch Bluebonnets

And one of the small ones found its way home with us for our patio.

Then it was back to Chris’ for the afternoon, with Chris teaching Landon to drive on the golf cart. And he only ran into a few things.

Chris’ Backyard. Now with more daylight.

Chris' Backyard

Then around 4pm we all headed off to the tiny town of Kempner for dinner at the Kempner Brick Oven, and one of the best German meals we’ve had in a long time. But more about that later.

But here’s the entire group including me this time.

Kempner Brick Oven Group

Then it was back to Chris and Linda’s about 7, wrapping up with Linda’s delicious homemade Peach Cobbler with Bluebell Natural Bean Vanilla Ice Cream.

And we get to do it all over again tomorrow, but unfortunately starting even earlier, with breakfast at 8:30am.

April 6, 2020

A Shed Update . . .

First up, Brandi sent this photo over this morning, of Landon and Jack checking in to his online school class.

Landon and Jack in his Online Class

Looks like Jack is just as interested as Landon.

Tomorrow I plan on running over to our nearby Home Depot to pick up a 4’ x 8’ sheet of pressure-treated plywood to make the base for our new shed. I’m also going to pick up a couple of pieces of flat steel bar to use on the shed flooring to bolt it to the plywood.

I’ve already got the screw-in anchors and canvas strapping that I’ll use to strap the plywood to the ground. So hopefully in the next couple of days, we can start moving stuff into it.

April 6, 2021

A Sous Vide Of Our Very Own . . .

Jan and I headed out about 8:15 for Jan’s last medical appointment, a final run-through from her oncologist, going over the results of her recent mammogram. Which was negative, so it’s just a formality.

Originally her appointment was for 1:30 this afternoon, but they called yesterday and changed it to 9:15 this morning, so we were out the door early this morning.

She was finished up about 10 so we on over to Snooze for breakfast, the earliest we’ve ever been there. So much so that one of our regular servers noticed.

Next up was a quick stop at a nearby Dollar Tree for some things Jan wanted, and then it was on over to WalMart and then Sam’s for a few more things.

Finally heading home, we made Cowboy Coffee stop for Cold, Blended Sugar-Free Hazelnut Lattes so we could have them to sit out on the patio when we got home.

After enjoying the fruits of Brandi’s Sous Vide machine, I went ahead and ordered one for us.

Inkbird Sous Vide

Inkbird Sous Vide Cooker

Looking forward to giving it a try.

Wrapping up, Linda sent over some more pics of her and Chris’ Utah trip.

She said that she and Chris walked up to some high lookout point, while one of their friends decided to do the ‘rock crawling’ thing and take their Jeep up over all the big boulders.

Chris said he didn’t do it because he didn’t want to break his Jeep.

Chris' Utah Trip 15 Repair

Looks like Chris had the right idea. It took them 3 hours to get it fixed.

A lot of neat sights.

Chris' Utah Trip 17

Chris' Utah Trip 16

Looks like a fun trip.

April 6, 2022

Thirty Years Ago Today . . .

After talking about our visit to the Buc-ee’s down in La Marque yesterday, I came across this article illustrating how much some places want a Buc-ee’s in their area.

Marathon TX Buc-ee's

Marathon, TX Buc-ee’s

So much so that they even build their own. And even stranger, no one seems to know where it came from. It just appeared one day out in Marathon, TX, out in the Big Bend area.

When I got up about 4:30 this morning for a potty break, I told Alexa to turn on the fan in our bedroom because it was kind of warm. And Alexa gave me the red ring light and said she couldn’t connect. So not thinking anything about it, I turned the fan on manually and went back to bed.

But when I got up about 8am, none of the Alexa’s were working, and Jan was complaining that she actually had to use the remote to turn the TV on.

Oh, the horror!

Our Alexa system uses our Verizon MiFi, and when I checked my phone, I found Verizon cell system was down, with no bars, nothing showing on my phone. And it stayed that way until around 9:30, when it suddenly popped back on.

And Jennifer, our office manager, said it was out at the Dollar General where she stopped on the way to work. Their credit card machines were only working occasionally, so the checkout line was long.

Thirty years ago today, on April 6, 1992, Microsoft moved on from the DOS environment, released Windows 3.1, and launched their domination of the computer world.

Windows 3.1 Screen

Though there were Windows 1.0, 1.01, 2.0, 2.01, 2.03, and 3.0, 3.1 was the version that really worked and began to come preinstalled on new machines.

Tandy PC Ad

A Tandy/Radio Shack ad from 1993

All this setting the stage for Windows 95, three years later.

And so it began.

April 6, 2023

Two Sticks . . .


We were out the rig door by 7am this morning heading up to Friendswood for our yearly checkups with our GP. We always get early appointments since we usually get in and out faster. And it worked this morning.

And so far all the results were good. My BP was 121/68, my HR was 74, and the doctor was happy to see that I’m down about 25#. And Jan’s results were good also.

And we were done and on our way by about 9:15. But our first stop before lunch was at a nearby Quest Diagnostics so Jan could get stuck again.

Yes, that’s two sticks in just a couple of hours for Jan.

And needles and blood were why she decided not to be an R.N. and went into Medical Records instead. So she was not a happy girl.

This 2nd draw was for her endocrinologist’s. Now you would think that these doctors would be able to trade lab test results, but apparently not.

But then after a quick stop at the bank, we were on our way over to our lunch destination, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. A place we’d been looking forward to after our Doctor’s appointments.

And it didn’t hurt that since we had to fast for our lab work, we hadn’t eaten anything since yesterday afternoon. So when the Spinach Salad arrived we pretty much attacked it.

Grimaldi's Katy Spinach Salad 220906

And we didn’t slow down much when our pizza arrived, either.

The 18” Don, with Italian Sausage, Meatballs, and Pepperoni, to which we add Bacon, Mushrooms, and Jalapenos.

Grimaldi's Pizza 20201227


And we had plenty to take home for later. Then it was on up to the WalMart for this week’s WalMart stuff, finishing up with getting gas at the Sam’s Club for $2.99/gallon before heading home.

But of course, since we didn’t have coffee this morning, we made a Cowboy Coffee stop for Cold, Blended Sugar-Free Hazelnut Lattes.

The perfect end to what turned out to be a nice day.

Just when you think Winter has faded away and spring has sprung, we’ve got a week of cloudy, rainy days in the 60’s and night’s in the 50’s. Of course, we’ll look back on it fondly with it’s 99° in July.

We’re just never satisfied.