Daily Archives: April 8, 2024

We’ve Been E-Clipsed . . .

Checking outside around 9am, we saw two ladies in lawn chairs on the 2nd floor balcony, waiting for the Eclipse. One was from Wyoming, and the other one was from North Carolina, both here just for the Eclipse. And like us, they also made their reservations a year ago.

Breakfast this morning was at our next-door Golden Corral at 10am, since we didn’t want to get early enough to make the motel breakfast that ended at 8:30.

You can tell it’s Golden Corral breakfast when you’ve got Fried Chicken and Fried Okra, along with your Scrambled Eggs and Bacon.

We were outside our room about Noon to experience the forecast panic, pandemonium and chaos.

Otherwise known as The 2024 Total Eclipse.

And things were looking up, and so were we.

With the Eclipse supposed to start at 12:19, this is what we had at 12:07. The white areas are the clouds floating by.

Then this is what we had at 12:21.


But things cleared again and we had this at 12:38.

And at 12:54.

At 12:59, 38 minutes before Totality, we had this.


13:17, 20 minutes before Totality.


Closing in, this is 13:24.


At 13:36, one minute before, the streetlights were on.


But then the heavy clouds moved in and the Totality played PeeK A Boo for a while.

I did finally get this shot at 13:39, halfway through the Totality.


We actually saw it with our eyes really well, we just couldn’t get a good shot of it with the camera.

Of course, by 13:42, 1 minute after Totality, the clouds cleared somewhat, and we got this.


And this at 13:46.




Since the rest of the Eclipse continued on until 2:59, at this point we called it a day,

In talking with people today, besides the two ladies from Wyoming and North Carolina, we met folks from Salt Lake City, Colorado, Venezuela, Australia, and heard about two ladies from France. All here for the Eclipse.

And we thought we were doing good to make the drive up from Santa Fe,

When I checked our hotel a couple of weeks ago, it was fully booked. But it sure didn’t turn out that way, I think that what with the bad weather forecast, and the multiple county disaster declarations, many people took a pass.

So many so, that Fredericksburg, told to expect 100,000 extra people or more, had what was called, “just a busy weekend.”

On a personal note, things really worked out for us. We got to see the Eclipse, heard from both our kiddos today, and checked another item off our bucket list.

Now on to August 12, 2045, the next Eclipse visible from the lower United States. Of course, we’ll be in our mid-90’s. But who knows?

I’m marking it on the calendar.

Here’s a much tastier Eclipse, courtesy of long-friend Virginia Hickox,

Just add milk.

About 6pm we headed next door to have dinner at Golden Corral. Just as delicious as this morning.

Then afterward, I got gas at the Wal-Mart right behind us. For $2.85, this is the lowest I’ve seen in months. And we also found this.

The first Wal-Mart Convenience Store we’ve seen. This, even though the full-size WM is right behind it. Makes sense (cents) though when you think about it.

Tomorrow before we leave, we’re making the 20 minute drive over to Kempner to have lunch at the Kempner Brick Oven, a really good German restaurant that our son Chris introduced us to a while back. We plan on getting there right at 11 when they open, so it won’t delay our trip home too much.

A really great time was had by all.

Thought For The Day:

The reason we get total solar eclipses with a corona is that the sun and the moon are the same apparent size in the sky. God made it that way so He could freak us out every so often making it look like the world ended. “Ha! False alarm… this time.” – Frank J. Fleming

For a Retro-Preview –

2013 – My First Crush died today. Also check out the old-time ads in the same blog.

2017 – Snakebit in Phoenix. Again.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

April 8, 2010

Mmmmmm. Bacon!

First off, Jan is on schedule to check off another item on her bucket list.

She really likes Bonnie Hunt of “The Bonnie Hunt Show”. Well, this morning Jan got a call from the show saying that our tickets have been approved for April 20th for the 2 pm show.

And this means we now know when and where we’re going next. We’ll leave Las Vegas Saturday and drive to Barstow to spend the night. Then on Sunday we’ll head over to Lancaster, CA. We’ll probably stay there until right after the 20th before we head north toward San Francisco.

Complete change of subject:

Yesterday driving down the Strip we saw this new billboard and it just illustrates the difference between men and women.

Jan looks at the sign and goes “Ahhhhh. Look at the cute puppy”. I looked at the sign and thought “Mmmmmm. Bacon!”

Then both of us wanted to go get a steak.

After eating in for lunch, we ate supper right down the road at the Coco’s Bakery & Restaurant located in the Boulder Station Casino.

Tomorrow is our last full day here in Las Vegas so we have to get started getting things ready.

April 8, 2011

Coonskins and Muffins . . .

I thought we had used the last of the blueberry muffins that our friend Gina Ellis had given us, so I was really delighted to have Jan fix the ‘real’ last two for breakfast this morning. Along, of course, with a big pot of hot coffee.

And the hot coffee was really needed. It was COLD this morning, in the 40’s, and it wasn’t supposed to get that much warmer during the day. And to top it off, it was very windy, with gusts in 30-40 mph range.

Saturday’s weather just gets worse. The high tomorrow will be in the mid-40’s with rain, and the low tomorrow night in the low 30’s with possible SNOW! I want my Global Warming, now!

But I would settle for just some Global Warmer.

Lunch was a little after 12 with a rerun of cheese toast and chips.

I know what you’re thinking. Boring, you say. But it’s quick, easy, and we both like it. And of course, it’s homemade bread.

Later in the afternoon, I drove up to the Guard Shack at the park entrance to pick up a package waiting for me from Amazon. It was our coffee order, and just in time too, since we were about out of our favorite flavors.

A little later, our SIL Lowell sent these pics of Landon ‘Crockett’. I think in this first one, he’s thinking “I’ve got WHAT on my head?”

Landon Crocket 1

Landon Crocket 2

About 5 pm when we headed out to supper at the Sizzler Steakhouse once again. We liked it enough last week, we thought we’d try it again. And still good.

Getting back to the rig, we took the last of yesterday’s ice cream to finish off the evening and the ice cream.

April 8, 2012

Moving Day in Whitsett . . .

Today was moving day here at the Whitsett yard. A 5’er pulled out this morning heading for their new gate, so after double-checking with the office, we moved our rig over to the full hookup area. So now, we also have water and sewer, as well as the 50 amps we had before. We’ll be here until we go out to our gate, probably sometime this coming week.

Gate Guard Site

We’re parked backed up to a scrub brush area, complete with a lot of cacti.

Gate Guard Field

And a lot of blooms.

Gate Guard Cactus 2

Gate Guard Cactus 3

Gate Guard Cactus 1

After we moved, I was talking to Terry here at the lot, asking about some of the utility setups. This large tank is used to deliver water to the individual gates. It holds enough water to fill up three individual tanks.

Gate Guard Water Tank

I also asked about the capacity of the diesel generators that are on the trailers.

Gate Guard Lot 6

I did notice that each one has 2 – 50 amp receptacles, 2 – 30 amp, and 2 – 20 amp ones. Terry said the generators are rated for 13KW intermittent, and 11KW continuous. In comparison, the Onan diesel generator in our rig is rated for 7.5 KW.

Terry said that occasionally gates are so busy that two rigs with two couples are parked at a gate, and the one generator is capable of supporting both.

Later, about 2:30 we headed into San Antonio to have dinner at another of our favorite places, La Fonda on Main.

La Fonda 1

Opened in 1932, it’s the oldest Mexican restaurant in San Antonio. Over the years, a lot of famous people have eaten here, including Generals Eisenhower, MacArthur and Hill. Even American presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson enjoyed La Fonda’s fare. And movie stars like Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Yul Brenner, Veronica Lake, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans have all dined here.

We’ve been eating here since the early 80’s.

La Fonda 2

La Fonda 3

I had the La Fonda Platter with 2 cheese enchiladas, a pork tamale, and a beef tenderloin taco. All very delicious.

La Fonda Meal

And for dessert, Jan and I split probably the best Tres Leches we’ve ever eaten. It was so good, we got another one to go.

La Fonda Tres Leches

Brandi and Lowell sent over some pictures of Landon’s first Easter Egg Hunt.

Landon Egg Hunt 1

Landon Egg Hunt 2

Landon Egg Hunt 3

“I just know there’s one in here, somewhere.”

Landon Egg Hunt 4

Looks like a pretty good haul.

Landon Egg Hunt 5

As a final note, in yesterday’s blog, I talked about Bob Miller BBQ. That was a typo.  It should have been Bill Miller BBQ.

But Bob or Bill, it still wasn’t very good.

April 8, 2013

How Far We’ve Come . . .

My first crush died today.

In fact I think Annette was most guys my age’s first love. This picture from Facebook says it all.

Annette and Mickey

I think it was the sweaters. Annette’s very tight sweaters. It was certainly noticeable that she was filling out her sweaters better than the other female Mouseketeers. In fact, the story goes that it was because Walt Disney was so cheap.

The Mickey Mouse Club was run on a very tight budget, especially for the wardrobe. A Mouseketeer would get in a lot of trouble if they damaged, or even got a costume dirty. So the wardrobe lady was very leery about replacing a costume, and as Annette continued to ‘blossom’ so to speak, the wardrobe lady tried to stretch/modify her old sweaters, rather than replace them with new, larger ones.

Walt, busy in trying to get Disneyland up and going, was not paying a lot of attention to the MMC until one day he showed up on the set and almost had a heart attack. He immediately ordered that Annette get larger sweaters as needed.


As the cold front came in last night, the high winds came along for the ride. A lot of debris was blown around the park, palm tree fronds,  potted plants, and even a satellite dish.

So of course Jan decided it was a good day to go shopping, so we headed out after lunch, first over to SanTan Village to the Bath and Body Works, then a clothing store and a couple of others before we finished up at a Fry’s Market for a few groceries and a Starbuck’s Cinnamon Dolce Latte.

The high winds didn’t cause any real problems, but it was raising a lot of dust in the area, enough to make it a real overcast afternoon.

Later, a little before 6, Jan and I drove out for supper. We ended up having a very good meal at a Golden Corral. We both agreed they have the best fried chicken around, and everything else was good also.

By the time we got home it was getting close to 9pm, and past Jan’s bedtime. It was also getting much cooler, in fact it dropped from 59 to 53 in just an hour or so.

Don’t know if any of you watch the Mad Men series on AMC. It’s the story of a 1960’s Madison Avenue ad agency, and there’s been a lot of controversy about a fictional ad for a men’s slacks line called Mr. Leggs.


Viewers are apparently outraged that the show would even think about depicting an ad like this, one so obviously false and unreal.

I can only assume that these ‘outraged’ viewers weren’t around in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. They would have really gotten an eyeful.

Check out these print ads from the time period in question.


Yep, I bet she’ll never buy stale coffee again

Pep Vitamins

Maybe she should try “VitaMeataVegamin”. I’ll bet that would really ‘pep’ her up.

Burn The Beer

But he’s still upset that she burns the OJ every morning at breakfast.


Maybe it was just a really hot day. She might have enjoyed it.


Is this like having a tiger in your tank?


So if you wear a really ugly tie, you’ll get ‘breakfast’ in bed? Or maybe you just need to wear a really ugly tie TO bed.

MB Battleship

This one is the top of the box for Milton-Bradley’s Battleship. Note the wife and daughter in the corner doing the dishes. Apparently playing Battleship is ‘men’s work’.


This one is really more true than most husbands will admit. We just don’t like to see it actually written down. I know if Jan starts crying, I better do something quick, even if it’s wrong.


Well, maybe she’ll follow him after the coughing fit subsides.


Will she polish them while she’s down there?


This one actually has a more modern version.

Scares The Hell Out of Me

Somehow I don’t think a bath is going to fix things.


Yep. A Hoover under the tree. Just what she wanted.


Maybe that’s why they make ketchup in those pop top squeeze bottles now.

And finally, from the WW1 time frame, just what every young man wanted.


April 8, 2014

No Brûlée . . .

We left the park this morning about 8:15 heading down to Clear Lake. Unfortunately, our timing took us through some of the heaviest Houston traffic, but we made up for it by having lunch at Twin Peaks after the appointment. And this time our favorite waitress, Lauren, was there.

Jan got her usual Chicken Ranch Sandwich with the Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce, while I tried something new, the BBQ Pulled Pork Sliders, and of course, my usual Venison Chili.

The sliders were really good, especially the tart slaw on top. The only weakness was that the BBQ sauce could have been a little spicier. But then that’s just me. I think pretty much everything could be spicier.

Twin Peaks Pulled Portk Sliders

After a delicious lunch, we did a few errands, including stopping at the storeroom to drop off the floor dolly that I used for the washer repair last week, and then getting the truck washed at our favorite place.

Next up was a stop at Buc-ee’s for some of their great Cranberry Nut muffins and a couple of coffee/cappuccinos, and then on to Barnes & Noble, for a magazine Jan wanted.

After a quick Wal-Mart stop, we headed up to Katy to Brandi’s to pick up my new Fantastic Vent fan, and an Amazon package that had come in. And of course, our visit had to include dinner at Little V’s Vietnamese Bistro.

As a special surprise, Brandi’s BFF, Shawna, and some of her family were able to join us. Brandi and Shawna have been best friends since the early 90’s, before either of them were married, and with Brandi and Lowell’s move to Katy, they now only live a couple of miles apart.

Little V's Shawna

Little V's Shawna 2

Little V's Shawna 3

Some of us had a little something different this time. Jan had the Fresh Pan Grilled Tilapia, and Brandi had the Crispy Salmon, while Lowell and I stayed with our favorites, Pho, and Shaking Beef Bowl, respectively.

Why mess with perfection?

While last time the owner had us try the Grilled Artichoke Hearts, this time it was the Curried Prawns. And this coconut curry was probably the best I’ve ever tasted. Along with the huge prawns, the dish had onions, green peppers, red peppers, and broccoli, plus steamed rice. A really fantastic dish.

When it came to dessert, we were disappointed to find out that they were out of Crème Brule, but this Crispy Fried Banana and Walnuts dish, more than made up for it. The perfect end to another great meal.

LIttle V's Banana Dessert

Finally, about 7:30, after saying our goodbyes, and getting Landon hugs, we headed north to Conroe, getting home about 9pm

A long day.

Tomorrow, fan replacement up on the roof.

April 8, 2015

Sealing the Deal . . .

This afternoon I got back on my magnetic shade project (my cheapie version of the Magne Shade product. I had been trying to come up with a good (easy) way to hold the magnets in place.

I thought about sewing them in place (a pain in the rear), or stapling them in place (might scratch the glass or the trim), but after a test, I decided to glue them in place using Permatex Black Silicone Adhesive Sealant.


I had tried some other glues, but this was the first stuff I found would stick to the shade fabric. So I positioned each magnet in the correct position and then worked the adhesive into the fabric with a small paddle and then let it dry.

Magnetic Shade magnets

Next I’ll fasten a couple of magnets down the sides and then glue some pockets on the corners to lift the shades in place.

Later in the afternoon I went online and made reservations for the Verde Canyon Railroad Train Ride for next Monday afternoon. It’s a four hour ride and everyone says it’s worth the trip, so we’re really looking forward to it.

We had planned to do the Out of Africa Wildlife Park tomorrow, but we couldn’t get one of the tours we wanted, so we’ll probably wait until next week to avoid the weekend crowds. We visited the park when we were here in March 2011, really enjoyed it, and are looking forward to going back.

Tomorrow I think we’re going to make the drive up to Jerome, have lunch at the Mile High Grill, and then do some sightseeing in the area.

For dinner tonight we finished off our Famous Dave’s BBQ leftovers from last Saturday night. Guess now we’ll have to eat out again and collect more leftovers.

Don’t know if I’ve mentioned it yet, but if you shop at Wal-Mart, you might want to check out their Savings Catcher Program. Just download the Wal-Mart app for your phone and then use it to scan your Wal-Mart receipts.

There is a QR Code at the bottom of every Wal-Mart receipt that looks like this:

C&C Marketing QR Code

Just use the Wal-Mart app to scan the code and then WM will compare what you paid to prices at other stores in the area. If they find a lower price, they credit you with the difference.

So far in the last several months, we’ve gotten a little over $17 back. You can collect it by printing out an e-card at home and then use it at the checkout.

So, check it out.

April 8, 2016

The Fifth Time’s the Charm . . .

After coffee this morning, I headed over to Barbara’s 2001 National Seaview to take a look at her taillight problem.

But first I want to check out her new residential refrigerator. A Haier, it’s the only one she could find that would fit in her 60” x 24” x 24” opening. Although the reviews for it weren’t terribly great, several blog readers like theirs, so hopefully it will work out for Barbara.

It certainly looks nice,

Barb's New Fridge 1_thumb[1]

and certainly has a lot more room than her old Dometic.

Barb's New Fridge 2_thumb[1]

Barb's New Fridge 3_thumb[5]

Getting on the taillights, Barbara had told me that the rear driver’s side lights were dead. But when I checked, I found that the taillight worked, but the turn signal didn’t.

Of course, the first thing I checked for was a bad bulb, but it was OK. I even swapped bulbs with the taillight with no change.

Barb's Taillights_thumb[2]

So next I removed the turn signal housing to check the plug behind it. And when I tested it with my digital VOM, it sure looked like I getting some on-off voltage there, but only a couple of volts. Unfortunately this is one test that an old analog meter is better for, but my old one died awhile back.

So now I was pretty sure that the wiring was good going back to the light so I went inside to check things out there. One thing I had noticed was that the flasher speed was the same for both right and left sides, since normally the side with a bad bulb or other problem blinks faster than normal. So obviously something else was going on here.

And when I got the cover off the fuse panel in the driver’s seat left armrest, I got the idea that I might be on the right track.

Popping off the cover I found this.

Barb's Fuse Panel_thumb[1]

And, yes, the wires and the switch were hanging out in the open like that.

Somewhere along the way, a guy installed some front and rear running lights for Barbara, and this is how he hooked them up.

Some people should not be allowed near anything electrical, or pretty much anything else, really.

Since the fuse block wasn’t marked, and there was no diagram on the inside of the cover – like there should be, I started going through all Barbara’s manuals looking for one. And completely struck out.

There was a photo of it, but nothing that told me what fuse was what.

So that was pretty much where I stopped for the day. When I got back to the rig, I posted on RV.net to see if anyone had a diagram of the fuse panel, but nothing so far.

So if anyone out there has one, let me know.

The Fifth Time’s The Charm!

After three previous failures, and one almost-landing – a landing gear leg broke, SpaceX did what some people said was impossible.

They launched over 3 tons of supplies up to the International Space Station, and after the first stage separated, it returned to earth and landed (oceaned?) safely on a wave-tossed barge in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.

They made a safe touchdown on land previously, but this is the first time on the water. They’re practicing this, since with some launches and some orbits, they won’t have enough fuel to return to the launch site.

Check it out!

April 8, 2017

Snakebit . . .

We were hitched up and on our way by about 8:15 heading for Las Vegas 320 miles away. As Jan says, maybe we’re just snakebit.

But as in the past, one of the things about getting out of Phoenix is . . . getting out of Phoenix. The metro area just goes on and on. Once we got off Loop 101 at Sun City about 9:30, and on to US60 heading northwest, it became bumper to bumper. And by bumper to bumper, I mean this.

Sun City Wreck 1

I was in the far right lane (of 3) when signs started saying, “Right Two Lanes Closed Ahead.” Checking my side mirror and rearview camera, I saw I had clear lanes to my left and started moving over, pausing a little in the middle lane before moving into the left-through lane. There was a left turn lane just to my left, with several cars passing me to queue up at the light.

Just as I was moving into the left lane, a maroon truck starts to pass me on the left and then just cuts to the right into my lane, or almost into my lane. Since I was coming up on a red light I was only doing about 10mph so it was just a ‘crunch’. In fact Jan wasn’t sure we had actually hit together.

Sun City Wreck 2

But on a positive note, isn’t the rig nice and shiny from my wax job?

Sun City Wreck 5

We had to move our vehicles before the Highway Patrol got there, but I got a bunch of photos of the scene. And when the Highway Patrol came over to talk to me and I told him what had happened and told him I had photos, he asked to see them.

As I clicked through photos, the officer said, “Uh-huh, Uh-huh, Uh-huh, Uh-huh,” When I said if she had just gone a little further she could pulled in front of me with no problem, he said, “Yeah.”

What was kind of funny is that when the lady got out of her truck, I lowered my window to be sure she was OK, and before I could say a word, she started yelling at me. My first thought was that maybe she was kin to the guy in the Ace Hardware parking lot a week ago.

But unlike the Ace Hardware guy who sulked the whole time, within about 10 minutes the lady was very friendly and asking questions about RV’ing.


After we were there about 40 minutes the officer gave us our ID and stuff back and sent us on our way with each other’s insurance info. Neither of us got a ticket and no blame was assessed, I think due to the fact that I didn’t have any real damage and she had very little.

Sun City Wreck 3

I’m just gonna need a lot of spit to rub it out.

Sun City Wreck 4

But the trip stayed snakebit, with the rough roads causing two of our bin doors to pop open. Then somewhere we started hearing a banging noise that sounded like it was coming from underneath the rig about six feet back from the door.

I stopped twice to get out and look under the rig but saw nothing. I even checked all the awnings, again finding nothing.

Heading north out of Kingman, a truck pulled alongside and the passenger yelled out that the TV antenna on the roof was flapping up and down. He pulled on past me and before I could find someplace to pull over, I saw in the rearview mirror something small and white fly off and land in the roadway. Luckily no one was behind me.

A little thinking told me it was this.

Winegard Digital ClipOn Antenna

A Winegard Wingman Digital UHF Booster that clips to your standard crank-up TV antenna and boosts the signal on the new digital UHF channels. Since it just clips on, I figured at some point it had ‘unclipped’ and started banging around until it came loose.

But strangely it never sounded like it was coming from the roof. And as soon as I saw the piece fly off, we never heard the sound again.

We got into the Vegas Thousand Trails about 3:30 and got parked and set up. And which point Jan gave a big sigh of relief.

She had told me before we left Apache Junction that she was really nervous about this trip, since we’d had two big breakdowns in this area over the years. But I reminded her that both of them had been coming BACK from Vegas to Flagstaff, and not going TO Vegas. Plus the fact that we were going nowhere near the part of I-40 where we had our breakdowns. So we were perfectly safe, right?

The first one was in 2008 when our radiator fan decided to shed its blades and puncture the radiator too.

Broken Radiator Fan

And the second, of course, was our big BlowOut in May of 2015.

BlowOut Tire

So this was going to be a smooth trip, right?

I must say though that Jan was much nicer with her ‘I told you so” than I expected, and used a lot less naughty words, too.

There had been some talk of high winds along the way, but except for about 10 miles on either side of Kingman, and then as we started the climb up and over the Colorado River and the Dam area, it wasn’t bad at all.

At least something went right.

April 8, 2018

Sunday Morning with Friends . . .

Unusual for us on a Sunday morning, we were up by 7am and out the door about 8 heading over to the IHOP on Marina Bay Dr. to meet up with our friends Tom and Barbara Linklater for breakfast.

It takes a lot to get me out of bed that early on a Sunday, but breakfast at IHOP, and getting together with Barb and Tom will do it.

While I went with my usual Two Egg Breakfast, Over Easy, with Bacon, Grits, and an English Muffin, Jan did the build-your-own-omelet thing, putting together one with Mushrooms, Cheese, Onions, and Avocado,

IHOP Jan's Omelet

and an order of her favorite (glass) burnt Bacon.

IHOP Glass Bacon

Barb’s thinking about getting a website to sell her large inventory of vintage clothing, jewelry, hats, and other collectibles, so we spent a lot of time talking over web stuff.

One thing neat was we were waited on by our long-time favorite waiter, Dean. We’ve known Dean since before we started RV’ing. My mother was in an Independent Living Facility nearby, so we’d pick her up and come hear for breakfast quite often.

And then after we started RV’ing and were staying down TX146 at the Galveston Bay RV Resort we came fairly often too.

Coming home we made a Kroger’s stop for a few things before getting back to the rig about 11am, ironically the time I’m normally just getting up.

It never even made it to 60° today, so we both had to dig some winter shirts back out of the closet.

But with Texas weather, you never know.

April 8, 2019

Bluebonnets and BBQ . . .

Except for the usual mess coming across the bottom of Austin on 290/71 it was a pretty smooth trip today coming home from Kingsland. We stopped at the Bastrop Buc-ee’s for coffee and BBQ sandwiches about 11, and then after a La Marque Buc-ee’s stop to top us off with diesel, we were parked back at Petticoat Junction by about 3pm.

Everyone had a really great time, and we’re all looking forward to doing it again.

And everyone really enjoyed all the Indian Paintbrushes and Bluebonnets everywhere. Though we didn’t drive through any of the areas where there were entire fields and hillsides of blue and orange, we see them everywhere lining the roads and covering people’s yards. However, in some cases, it looked like it was just an excuse not to have to mow the yard.

Landon in the Bluiebonnets

Someone should have mentioned to Piper that when you’re posing with your black dog, it’s probably not a good idea to also be wearing a black shirt, since all you can really see is Violet’s tongue.

Piper and Violet in the Bluebonnets

And of course, there’s the metal one we brought home from Pottery Ranch. It’s going to look great on our patio.

Chris' Metal Bluebonnet

Wrapping up, I’ve been researching VPN (Virtual Private Network) services for use on our Europe trip, since in many/most/all cases I’ll be using public WiFi. And no matter where I checked ExpressVPN came out on top, or near the top of every list.

They’ve got over 3000 servers in 93 countries, they don’t log, and they support pretty much every device, or at least all that we have. And on a month to month basis, it’s $12.95.

Or if you sign up for a year, you get 3 free months, making it $6.67/month. Not bad pricing.

Glad to be back home.

April 8, 2021

New Toys . . .

Jan and I left the rig about 2pm, first heading up to Webster to pick up a prescription at Sam’s, and also to get gas while we were there. While I was there I asked why they were still requiring masks and WalMart wasn’t. They said they didn’t know, but they wish they’d hurry up and drop them too.

Then before we decided our next destination, I checked the Amazon app on my phone to see where my orders were. And seeing they were 6 Stops Away from the office, we headed over that way to pick them up. And the Prime van showed up about 10 minutes after we got there.

Then it was on down El Dorado to FM646 and the Denny’s at I-45 for a late lunch. Our Ultimate Omelets as usual. Then after a quick HEB stop, we headed home.

But as we were getting close to Hwy 6, Jan reminded me that we hadn’t picked up our mail at the PO, so we made a quick detour by there, and it was a good thing, too.

When I turned the key in the box, the mail literally exploded out onto the floor. Guess we shouldn’t wait so long next time. But in my defense, a lot of the mail is for the previous box holder, even though we had the box for over 3 years.

For the first 6 months or so, I wrote ‘Not For This Box’ on each piece and dropped it back in the slot. A number of times I even took it up to the counter. But all to no avail. So now I just dump it in the garbage can at the PO with the rest of the junk mail.

Getting home I started going through my new toys.

First up was a new Foodsaver VS3150 Vacuum Sealer. Our old one would no longer lock closed since the latch on one end had broken off.

Foodsaver VS3150 Vacuum Sealer

It seems to have all the bells and whistles, both Dry and Moist functions, one for Marinating, and one I especially wanted – Pulse.

Pulse lets you start and stop the vacuuming manually, so you can vacuum seal something delicate without crushing it. In addition, it has the external hose for vacuum sealing containers, as well as internal storage for a roll of bag material and a built-in bag cutter.

Unpacking it, the first thing I tried was to vacuum seal the half head of lettuce that was left over from last night’s wedge salads. And using the Pulse button I was able to do it without crushing it into Cole Slaw.

But the real reason we got a new Foodsaver is because when we’re using our new Inkbird Sous Vide Cooker, everything has to be vacuum sealed before cooking it.

Inkbird Sous Vide 2

And speaking of our new immersion cooker, I plugged it in and then connected it to the Inkbird Pro phone app so I can control it remotely. The app lets you set the time, and the cooking temperature, and then it tells you when it’s done.

It also helps you figure out how long to cook different foods, and suggests a lot of different recipes.  Looking forward to trying it out soon.

We talked to our son, Chris, this afternoon to catch up. They’re in Clovis, NM today visiting Linda’s relatives, and plan to be home in the next day or so. Looking for to hearing more tales of their adventures.

Jan and I are going to the Alvin Opry House for the show so we won’t be home until late, so probably little or no blog tomorrow night.

We’ll see.

April 8, 2023

Beef And Bird . . .

A number of blog readers got back to me to say that yesterday’s tip about holding down the SHIFT key while clicking on the Refresh icon showed them the latest blog. Try it for yourself.

Lunch today was at Torchy’s Tacos once again. And there was something new.


Torchy's Tracker

Every time we’ve been here before they’ve had these little metal trees on your table that you would hang the number tag they gave you at checkout. Then the person with your food would wander around the dining room until they found your table.

But now they give you one of these.

At first I thought it was one of those beepers for when your table (or food) was available. But looking closer, I figured out that it was actually a table tracker. And in fact that’s what it’s called.


Each table has a small RFID sticker underneath the table. Then the unit reads that and transmits the location back to the kitchen, displaying it as a list –

Torchy's Tracker Display 1

or an actual table location.

Torchy's Tracker Display 2

Tomorrow Jan and I are heading up to Brandi’s for an Easter get-together/dinner.

And it looks to be Beef and Bird meal. After brining the turkey in a saltwater marinade, she’ll be smoking it in their wood-fired smoker, while at the same time she’s also doing a brisket.

Double Yummmm!

For her part, Jan fixed up a Jiffy Corn Casserole and a Green Bean Casserole, both of which be found under Jan’s Favorite Recipes. Plus we’re bringing some of those fantastic Keto Blueberry Muffins we like so much.

Should be a real feast.

BTW I was just checking, and since 2017 when I set up her Recipe Page, over 10,000 people have checked it out.

Way to go, Sweetie!