Daily Archives: April 9, 2024

Kempner Brick Oven . . .

After going rainless all day yesterday despite the forecast, this morning made up for it in abundance. Which meant I had to load the car in the pouring down rain. Emphasis on ‘pouring down’.

‘Pouring down’ as in I still wasn’t completely dry when we finally got home a little after 5pm. Just a little soggy.

But when we left the motel about 10:30, we didn’t head home anyway, but in the completely opposite direction, for a 20 minute driver over to Kempner, TX to have lunch at the Kempner Brick Oven, a somewhat strangely named German restaurant.

We’ve eaten here a couple of times in the past and it’s always good. Not quite Der Lindenbaum good, but better than King’s Bierhaus good.

While Jan started on her Cucumber Salad,

I nibbled on a slice of their fresh-baked German bread.

Jan of course, went with her usual Jägerschnitzel with Spätzle noodles, along with an order of their Red Cabbage.

Staying with our ‘favorites’ theme, I got the Sausage Sampler Plate with Kraut and German Potato Salad, and adding an order of the Red Cabbage.

Delicious, and we both had enough left over to bring home. And I added another order of Red Cabbage to go home too.

Finishing up, we turned back around and headed back into and through Killeen on our way back to Santa Fe. And the rain, which had slacked off, really came back with a vengeance on our way out of Killeen.

We just reversed our stops that we made on the way over, with our first one in Milano, TX for a potty/coffee stop at a CEFCO convenience store. Though they were new to us, there are about 200 stores scattered throughout Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida.

They’re very nice, big convenience stores. Not of course, Buc-ee’s-big, but big.

And they do have really good coffee.

Coming back through Brenham, the stalled traffic that we had on the way up to Killeen, didn’t materialize on the way home. The weekday traffic was a lot lighter than what we encountered on Sunday.

Next up was the Buc-ee’s in Waller for a potty stop and gas. Luckily, it also was not as busy as Sunday.

Coming into the Cypress area, the heavy rain returned for a while, just in time for going through Houston during the going home traffic, but we finally home a little after 5, only to encounter a very upset Karma, who wondered where the hell we had been. And why hadn’t she been getting her canned food every day?

After such a busy weekend, next week doesn’t slow either.

Thursday we’ve got our monthly Alvin Opry group together, again at Saltgrass Steakhouse. Then on Friday, we got the actual Alvin Opry, before going down to Galveston Saturday evening, first for dinner at Saltgrass, before seeing Bernadette Peters at the Grand 1894 Opera House.

Thought for the Day:

Texas' Seasons

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

April 9, 2010

Last Day in Sin City…

Today was preparation day.

Tomorrow we leave on a two-day trip over to Lancaster, CA.  We’ll overnight in Barstow and then head into Lancaster on Sunday.

After lunch at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville on the Strip, I got started on some things I wanted to get done before we leave.

As usual, my driver’s side rear inside dual needed some air so I cranked up the rig and used the built-in air compressor to top off the tire.

Next, I added a 12 volt plug back in the bedroom and wired it directly to the battery. This way it’s easier to run 12 volt stuff when we’re boondocking and not plugged into shore power.

Then I hooked up a tywrap on my PacBrake on the engine to see how it’s working.

About 4:45 pm we headed out to have dinner at Blueberry Hill Restaurant once again. Then, coming back toward the rig, we stopped off at WalMart for some supplies.

Finally, we dropped by Starbucks to pick up a couple of coffees to have tomorrow morning before we leave.

We plan on leaving about 10 am tomorrow. That should put us in Barstow around 1:30 – 2:00 pm. It’s only about 150 miles but we plan on getting diesel along the way, and of course, I normally drive 55 so it will take us around 3 1/2 – 4 hours.

More tomorrow from Barstow

April 9, 2011

Hot Soup and Cold Temps . . .

First off, our daughter Brandi has released the embargo on these photos from Landon’s daycare.

Landon 7 months - Sitting

Landon 7 months - Standing

This morning we had some of the new coffee we got from Amazon yesterday. This was Community Club Pecan Praline. Just opening the bag for the first time was a treat. And it was really needed because we had SNOW this morning and are expecting more.

When I looked outside about 1am this morning before I went to bed, there was a light snow coming down. It wasn’t sticking because it was still in the low 40’s. And it didn’t change much all day as it never got above about 45 degrees.

A little before 12 I called the Sam’s Club down in Mesa to transfer our prescriptions there to pick up Monday when we’re down there getting an estimate on the damage to our coach bay door that happened while we were at the Pima County Fairgrounds in Tucson.

Coach Bay Door

The only thing we can figure out is that it was done by the landscaper/tree trimmers working right behind the coach.

For lunch, Jan decided we needed some good hot soup to warm up our insides. So Jan fixed a box of the Tastefully Simple Potato Cheddar Soup we got from Jeannie Sparks.

And, boy was it good. Wish we’d have bought more.

And to go with the soup, we used our GT Xpress 101 Grill to fix a Grilled Turkey and Pepper Jack Cheese Sandwich.

GT Xpress 101

You just put each half in the individual sections and it grills it up perfectly with meat and cheese all hot and melted. Delicious!

Leaving here I’m not sure how much warmer it will be. When I went outside to take the garbage to the dumpster I was pelted by a combination of very light rain, mixed with sleet and snow. A real mess.

Coming back to the rig I found Jan asleep on the sofa, so I decided a nap was in order.

For dinner, we were going back to La Fonda, the Mexican place right down the road. And it was just as good as the last time. I had the La Fonda Special plate, and had a lot to bring home. It will make a good lunch tomorrow.

La Fonda Special

Coming out after a great meal, we saw this evidence of how much snow the surrounding hills have accumulated. There’s a good 6 inches on this roof.

La Fonda Snow

And, although it’s a little hard to see. the mountains all around are frosted with snow.

La Fonda Mtns

Getting back to the rig, we had the last of the ice cream with hot Apple Crisp.

Really, really good.

It’s probably going to be in the 20’s here tonight so I disconnected our outside water to keep the hose and filter from freezing. We’ll use the water from our internal 100-gallon tank until it warms up.

It’s supposed to be a little warmer tomorrow with a high in the 50’s, and then back to down to the mid 30’s tomorrow night.


April 9, 2012

Last Day of Freedom ??

I was up about 9:30 because I wanted to call the Gate Guard offices down in Corpus Christi to see if we needed to be there at any certain time tomorrow. They said anytime, so we’ll probably head down to Corpus about 8:30 or so.

I asked the other day how soon we’d be eligible for a gate after we handed in our paperwork on Tuesday morning.

Jamie smiled and only half-jestingly said “Tuesday afternoon?”. So I guess today could be our last day of freedom before we’re on a gate.

And on a related note, there are only two rigs left here in the yard as of this morning, us and another one. The two others headed out to their gates today, so I guess that bodes well for us getting a gate soon.

So we decided to have one last treat, and headed out about 1:30 for dinner and a movie. Or rather, a movie and a dinner.

Our first stop was to see Mirror, Mirror, a clever retelling of the classic Grimm Brother’s Snow White, starring Julia Roberts as the evil Queen, who’s also Snow’s stepmother.

The cinematography is amazing and the costumes are fantastic, and the characters are very well done. Jan and I both enjoy the fairytale-based TV shows Grimm and Once Upon A Time, and we enjoyed this movie also.


Leaving the theater, we drove over to San Antonio’s Farmer’s Market to have dinner at another of our long-time favorites, Mi Tierra Café y Panaderia. A favorite Mexican restaurant of ours, we first came here about 30 years ago, and always enjoy it when we get back.

Mi Tierra has been open 24/7 since 1941, starting with a small three-table café. And now it is said to be the highest-grossing Mexican restaurant in the United States.

Mi Tierra 1

Very colorfully decorated.

Mi Tierra 2

Mi Tierra 3

Mi Tierra 4

I had the Mi Tierra Platter with a beef steak, beef taco, pork tamale, and a cheese enchilada.

Mi Tierra Meal

And of course, Tres Leches for dessert. (we ate it before I could get a picture of it.)

Heading home, we got back to the rig a little before 7pm. Really looking forward to our trip to Corpus tomorrow morning.

Brandi sent over this video of Landon in the tub making animal sounds as she talks to him.

Landon in Tub

April 9, 2013

Don’t You Feel Safer Now!

After getting the coffee started, Jan and I headed out about 9:30 for a mile walk. We’ve started using RunKeeper, a free Android/iPhone app that tracks our time walked, distance walked, and calories burned.

RunKeeper - Android

It even tracks your route using Google Maps and keeps a history of every walk/run.

RunKeeper ScreensRunKeeper Screen 2

Getting back to the rig, we had coffee and I spent some time catching up on email and blogs. About noon, a nice lady from the park office showed up with a package from Amazon.

Jan got some replacement earring backs and I got a new holster for the knife I carry on my belt. The old one has gotten kind of frayed and the Velcro is so worn that the flap doesn’t stay closed very well.

So I ordered this Nite Ize Tool Holster from Amazon.

Tool Holster

It’s expandable and fits knives and tools of many different sizes. And it’s very easy to pull and replace the knife even when it’s on my belt.

I’ve carried this CRKT 6813 Combo Edge Knife a number of years now and it’s held up very well. It stays sharp and cuts or saws through just about anything.

CRKT Carry Knife

About 1pm, after dropping off the garbage at the park dumpsters, I drove right next door to the convenience store to get some lottery tickets and a can of beer. Not for drinking though, but to make our own Borracho (drunken) Beans. When we were back in Texas, we would buy canned Borracho Beans from HEB, but haven’t been able to find them out here. So we’ll just make our own.

Around 4:30 Jan heated up our leftover Grimaldi’s pizza from last Thursday. And we both said that it was hard to believe that this reheated 5-day-old pizza was pretty much better than any other pizza hot out of the oven. Just saying.

Well, here we go again.

The Senate is supposed to start debating the ‘‘Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013’’ very soon now. This is the ‘Universal Background Check’ that many people are in favor of.

Here are a few ‘highlights’ of the Bill.

  • Take an unloaded rifle to a friend’s house, for instance, because the friend is thinking of buying a gun and wants to learn more about guns. The friend handles the rifle for a few minutes before handing it back. You’ve both committed a Federal Felony.
  • Lend your gun to your niece, who takes it on a camping trip for the weekend. You’ve committed a Federal Felony.
  • You live on a farm and occasionally take friends or relatives out to a safe area to target shoot using your guns. You’ve committed a Federal Felony.
  • You loan a rifle to your brother-in-law so he can go target shooting. You’ve committed a Federal Felony.
  • Here’s an article from National Review Online by David Kopel, Constitutional Law Professor at Denver University

    Turning Gun Owners into Felons

    A new bill would make it a crime to “transfer” your gun to a spouse for more than seven days.
    By Dave Kopel

    Public-opinion polls about “universal background checks” for gun sales show widespread support. While President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg talk about “gun sales,” the actual legislation moving through Congress aims to regulate far more than sales. It would turn almost every gun owner into a felon. The trick is that the language under consideration applies not only to sales but also to “transfers,” which are defined to include innocent activities such as letting your spouse borrow your gun for a few hours.

    Consider, for example, Senate bill S.649, which the Senate will soon take up for debate. The background-check portion of the bill, Charles Schumer’s “Fix Gun Checks Act,” is based on model language that the Bloomberg gun-control lobby is pushing all over the country.

    To see how the Bloomberg bill makes felons of people who do not sell guns, consider a woman who buys a rifle when she is 25 years old. She keeps the rifle her entire life. Yet over her lifetime, she — like most gun owners — engages in dozens of firearms “transfers.” She brings the unloaded rifle to a friend’s house, for instance, because the friend is thinking of buying a gun and wants to learn more about guns. The friend handles the rifle for a few minutes before handing it back. Another time, the woman lends the gun to her niece, who takes it on a camping trip for the weekend.

    While the woman is out of town on a business trip for two weeks, she gives the gun to her husband or her sister. If the woman lives on a farm, she allows all her relatives to take the rifle into the fields for pest and predator control — and sometimes, when friends are visiting, she takes them to a safe place on the farm where they spend an hour or two target shooting, passing her gun back and forth. At other times, she and her friends go target shooting in open spaces of land owned by the National Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management.

    Or perhaps the woman is in a same-sex civil union, and she allows her partner to take her gun to a target range one afternoon. Another time, she allows her cousin to borrow the gun for an afternoon of target shooting. If the woman is in the Army Reserve and she is called up for an overseas deployment, she gives the gun to her sister for temporary safekeeping.

    One time, she learns that her neighbor is being threatened by an abusive ex-boyfriend, and she lets this woman borrow a gun for several days until she can buy her own gun. And if the woman becomes a firearms-safety instructor, she regularly teaches classes at office parks, in school buildings at nights and on weekends, at gun stores, and so on. Following the standard curriculum of gun-safety classes (such as NRA safety courses), the woman will bring some unloaded guns to the classroom, and under her supervision, students will learn the first steps in how to handle the guns, including how to load and unload them (using dummy ammunition). During the class, the firearms will be “transferred” dozens of times, since students must practice how to hand a gun to someone else safely. As a Boy Scout den mother or 4-H leader, the woman may also transfer her gun to young people dozens of times while instructing them in gun safety.

    Under S. 649, every one of the above activities would be a federal felony, subject to precisely the same punishment a person would receive if he had knowingly sold a firearm to a convicted violent felon. S. 649, like other Bloomberg-model bills, has a few exceptions to the ban on transfers, but none of them apply to the situations described above.

    You can make a “bona fide gift” (but not a three-hour loan) to certain close family members, not including aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, in-laws, or civil-union partners.

    You can let someone else borrow your gun for up to seven days, but only within your home or its curtilage (e.g., the porch or deck).

    You cannot lend your gun to someone on any open space you own. And even your husband can’t borrow your gun for more than seven days.

    You can share a gun at a shooting range, but only if the shooting range is owned by a corporation — not if it’s on public lands or on your own property.

    You can share a gun while out hunting in the field. But back at the hunting camp, you can’t clean someone else’s gun.

    This is not “gun control” in the constitutionally legitimate sense: reasonable laws that protect public safety without interfering with the responsible ownership and use of firearms.

    — Dave Kopel is an adjunct professor of advanced constitutional law at Denver University, Sturm College of Law, and also research director at the Independence Institute, in Denver.

    And here’s the bill itself from the GPO website. -Senate Bill S.649

    Of course, the major part of this bill is the fact that EVERY firearm transaction (selling a pistol to your neighbor, for example) will have to be done through a Federal Firearm License holder for which you will have to pay a fee.

    One kink in this idea is a report that some FFL’s are being told by their insurance companies that their company liability insurance will not cover these transactions. And their lawyers are also recommending that they not process these transactions due to the possible liability in case something happens using a gun they transferred.

    Don’t you feel safer now?

    April 9, 2014

    Maybe, just maybe . . .

    After our long, busy day yesterday, it was nice to sleep in this morning and then enjoy our coffee and a Cranberry Nut muffin from Buc-ee’s. It got down in the 40’s here last night so it was very nice for sleeping, and it looks like it’ll be nice for the next several days.

    * * * *

    One thing we found out at Brandi’s yesterday, was the result of Landon’s recent allergy tests.

    Up top you can see some reaction to various grasses and pollens.

    Landon's Allergy Test

    But the significant one is the lower left. Brandi and Lowell knew Landon had a peanut allergy, but tests showed he’s allergic to ALL nuts, except almonds. And his nut allergy has the chance to be VERY dangerous. So he’ll have to be careful. He also has an allergic reaction to raw eggs, but cooked eggs are OK.

    The other thing I noticed about this photo is how broad-shouldered Landon is. Most kids his age are pretty much straight as a board from waist to shoulders. I see an OU linebacker position in his future.

    * * * *

    Later, I got back on the phone with American Coach to try and track down my missing shear pin. We went between his docs and some of the manuals I have from Power Gear. Finally, after about 45 minutes I think we found it.

    Going back and forth between Power Gear’s manuals, I thought I’d tracked it down to being an 18-1034 coil pin, but when I tried American Coach parts, they had no record of that number. But they did list the other Power Gear numbers that I had ordered before, like 18-1038 and 18-1036, but no 18-1034.

    But finally following up some info that John at American gave me, I was able to find a cross-listing between the Power Gear 18-1034 number and an American Coach number, which was #535919.

    Eureka!  Maybe.

    So my next call was back to American Coach Parts, and they were able to locate the pin using that number. And under that number, it is listed as a coil pin of what seems to be the correct size. But there was no Power Gear number associated with it. Which is why I couldn’t locate it using that number.

    The only downside was that they didn’t have any in stock and it would take about two weeks to get them in. So just to be safe, I ordered 3.

    Hopefully, they will be in before we leave the area.

    A little later I was up on the roof installing the new Fantastic Vent fan motor that I picked up yesterday.

    Everything went pretty smoothly with no real problems. I won’t rehash the install. You can read about the other one a couple of weeks ago here. Fantastic Vent Fan motor replacement

    I did put a strip of Eternabond tape on the 6-inch crack in the other Maxx Air fan cover that I discovered last time, so that’s done.

    * * * *

    About 6 pm Jan and I headed out for dinner with two couples that are parked near us.

    The closest couple is Garland and Valencia Scott. He’s a 30 year veteran cop and Valencia worked for Chevron. The other couple is Gordon and Merlyn Pendergast. He worked for SYSCO Foods, and I missed where his wife worked. They’re originally from Jamaica, and still have some of that lilting accent. The other neat thing is that they’ve only been retired for a week. Real newbies!

    Garland and Gordon at El Bosque

    Unfortunately, both couples are heading out tomorrow morning, so we’ll have to catch up with them down the road.

    * * * *

    If I’m really lucky tomorrow will be a do-absolutely-nothing day.

    I can hope, can’t I

    April 9, 2015

    It’s Like Déjà vu All Over Again . . .

    We had planned to drive up to Jerome today but Jan was a little under the weather so we put off the trip until maybe tomorrow. So we’ll see.

    Later in the afternoon I was back outside working on my magnetic shades. Today I wanted to glue the corner pouches on the shades that I will use to lift the shades into place.

    Magnetic Shades Corners

    Then, about 4pm Jan and I headed over to our favorite local Mexican place, La Fonda

    La Fonda 1

    If you check out the reviews on Yelp, they’re kind of mixed. People either love it or hate it. But we’ve always enjoyed it, and today was no exception.

    I had the #3 Special Dinner,

    La Fonda 2

    while Jan had the Chile Relleno Special Dinner.

    La Fonda 3

    Both really good.

    Even better, for a Mexican Restaurant, the chips and salsa were both excellent too.

    While we were at La Fonda, I noticed that I had received a phone call earlier in the afternoon that I had missed. I didn’t recognize the number except it was a 907 Alaskan area code. Googling the number, I found that the caller was the Material Girl Fabric Shop in Fairbanks AK.

    When I told Jan this, she immediately said, “I bought quilting material from them”. That was in 2008 when we spent five months up there from April through September. So curious, I called them back. The lady laughed and said she guessed it was a wrong number. She said she had 4 Jan White’s in her contacts, and just called the first one on her list. I guess it’s always something.

    Before coming home, we drove down around the Camp Verde area to check things out around there, and confirm that Crusty’s Pizza, an Italian restaurant we enjoyed in the past, is still open.

    Thought I’d post this photo on how tight our site is, complete with the aforementioned sharp, pointy trees.

    Verde Valley Site H46

    Later this evening, I was going through the blog posts from our last visit here in April 2011 and discovered, that in one of those weird coincidences, April 9th, 2011, 4 years ago today, Jan and I ate dinner here at La Fonda  And even weirder, I ordered the exact same Special Dinner.

    When we were here 4 years ago, it was even colder than it is now, with temps in the 20’s rather than the 33 degrees we had last night, and there was snow on the cars in the area.

    La Fonda Snow

    Glad it’s a little warmer now.

    April 9, 2016

    In Your Pocket . . .

    I had hoped to have some information on the armrest fuse box on Barbara’s 2001 National Seaview by today, but no luck.

    As I said yesterday, this is the way the guy who installed Barbara’s running lights did things. He got power for the lights by pulling a fuse, putting the wire down in the socket, and then plugging the fuse back in.

    Barb's Fuse Panel_thumb[3]

    Then he just put the cover back on, leaving the wires and the switch hanging out loose.

    And Barbara wonders why her left turn signal AND her running light no longer work. But to have a chance of tracking down the problem, I really need the layout of the fuse panel. And so far I’ve come up empty.

    I posted a cry for help on RV.net and IRV2.net, as well as Ed Hurlburt’s RV Tips group on Facebook. But although I got some suggestions, nothing panned out. So I’ll keep looking.

    Since we’re leaving tomorrow for Lake Conroe, I told Barbara that I was going to keep researching things, and hopefully would have something when we come back here in two weeks. Told her I might even try driving around the Lake Conroe TT looking for another Seaview.

    Hey, I’m getting desperate here.

    Well, after a couple of days of XLTE and almost 50 Mbps data, I’m still back stuck at 3G and 3 Mbps. At least before, I did have 4G here, but since the ‘upgrade’ and the initial burst of speed, we’ve been hung up at 3G.  Hopefully, it’ll be fixed permanently when we get back here in two weeks.

    I’ve come across another neat app called Pocket that works across your PC, Smartphones, and Tablets, in the same vein as Dropbox or Evernote. It allows you to save a complete webpage with just a click.

    After setting up your free account, and installing the program on all your devices, you then can install the ‘bookmarklet’ in the Bookmarks Bar at the top of your browser.

    Pocket Icon_thumb[6]

    Then when you want to save a web page, you just click the Pocket button on the bar, and Bazinga, the complete page is saved to your account. And it looks like this.

    Pocket Screen_thumb[1]

    You can also save pages via email by emailing the page link to your account using the address [email protected]. Since it comes from your email address, the page gets saved to your account.

    One thing to note is that what is saved is the complete page, so it can be read offline. And everything is saved, photos, links, and text.

    Check it out.

    April 9, 2017

    The Shimmy Shake . . .

    Jan and I have both been kind of under the weather for the last few days, Jan more so than me.

    Not serious, but more like just ‘blah’. Plus I’ve had one of those ‘tickle’ coughs for the last week or so. I never cough anything up, and I’m not congested or stopped up. Nor is my nose running. And strangely, even the cough seems kind of psychosomatic.

    I’ll be doing something and suddenly think,” I haven’t coughed in a while”, and within a few seconds, I’ve got to cough. I took an allergy pill a couple of times, but it seemingly had no effect.

    And it’s not helping that Las Vegas has even less humidity than Tucson or Apache Junction, and because I tend to sleep with my mouth open, I wake up several times a night with my mouth so dry it cracks when I try close it. So I have to keep a bottle of water by the bed.

    Since we didn’t go out anywhere today, my one job was to shimmy under the rig to hook up the sewer connection. The reason?

    This is a really strange site.

    Las Vegas TT Site 214

    Note how we’re parked, at a different angle than the RV to our left. That’s because the site is not quite long enough for us. But it was all they had left when we got here. In addition, the power/water pedestal for our site and the one to our left is directly behind us. But if we parked that way the site would be too short for us to fit without sticking out in the street a bit.

    Plus we were told to park our truck right across from our site.

    Las Vegas TT Site 214 Parking

    Well, I see a problem with that.

    So my solution was to park to the right of the pedestal. But if I went right just enough to miss the pedestal, my wheels would be sitting ON the sewer connection. Not very helpful.

    So I moved even further right which meant the connection was between the rear wheels. Hence, the ‘shimmy’ thing.

    Las Vegas TT Site 214 Sewer 1

    Las Vegas TT Site 214 Sewer 2

    The TV show ‘Elementary’ is one of Jan and my favorite science-fiction shows. It’s about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in modern New York City. But this time Dr. Watson is a woman, Joan, not John, as in the Doyle books.

    Well, last night we got to watch the pilot episode, one we’d never seen before, and it was interesting to what actors didn’t make the cut when it finally went to series.

    In another of our favorite shows, ‘The Big Bang Theory’, the original pilot was never aired, and then the show was completely revamped. You can check out some of it here.


    Sheldon and Leonard are played by the same actors, but Penny was a completely different actress. And Sheldon’s character was nothing like what it is now.

    A good thing they revamped it.

    Oh, you don’t think ‘Elementary’ is a science-fiction show? Then explain how you’ve got a British ‘Consulting Detective’ working with the police who has a companion named Dr. Watson. In addition, he plays the violin and has been on drugs. All this, and not once in any episode in 5 years, has anyone ever mentioned how this is exactly like the Sherlock Holmes books.

    This can only mean that the TV show takes place in an alternate universe, one where Sir Arthur Conan Doyle never wrote the Sherlock Holmes books.

    And if an alternate universe doesn’t make a science-fiction show, I don’t know what does.

    April 9, 2018

    My First Love . . .

    Well, besides Jan, of course.

    I may have made a mistake at work today. My client found out that I can ‘fix’ things. Well, things other than computers. Things like electronic devices and doodads

    When I went in the back to ask him a question, I found him trying to check the output of a power transformer . . .  with his meter set to DC. And before I knew it I was elbows deep in an epilator (electrolysis) machine trying to figure out what was wrong with it.

    EP-1000 Epilator Repair

    It did take me a few minutes to trace out the circuit and find a broken wire up inside the unit on the back of a socket where one of the circuit boards plugs in.

    With that one done, he set another one down in front of me and said, “Try this one.” And in short order I’d gone through 6 machines. Thinking I was about done, I asked him if he had any more. He beckoned me to follow him into another back room. It was filled with dead machines.

    I want more money.

    Of course, with me and electronics it’s like throwing Brer Rabbit in the Briar Patch. Or to mix metaphors, I’m in Hog Heaven. I started playing around with radios and electronics when I was about 10, devouring every issue of Popular Electronics, Electronics Illustrated, Radio-Electronics, and others. Plus ordering parts from Allied, Lafayette, Burstein-Applebee, etc., as often as I could afford it.

    By the time I was about 14 or so, I was repairing neighbor’s radios and TV’s in my garage shop. I think I wore out the tube tester at the drugstore. CB radio, Ham radio, I was into anything and everything electronics. And now look where it got me.

    I want more money.

    This past Saturday we made another visit to Plucker’s, our new favorite chicken wing place. This time we went earlier so we didn’t have a wait.

    Jan got a Garden Salad,

    Plucker's Salad

    and an order of 5 wings with their Ginger Peach Sriracha sauce.

    Plucker's Wings

    I had the Grilled Chicken Salad,

    Plucker's Chicken Salad

    and Jan gave me one of her wings.

    I just wish they had hotter sauces. Their hottest, Fire In The Hole, is not nearly as hot as Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin’ sauce. And the Ginger Peach Sriracha is not as hot as BWW’s Mango Habanero, my favorite there.

    But it’s all good.

    They do have a challenge that if you eat 25 Fire In The Hole wings, you get your name up on the wall. Well, I can handle the sauce just fine, but there’s no way I can eat 25 wings.

    So I guess I’m just doomed to obscurity.

    I mentioned the other day that we were going to take the rig out for a little test drive this weekend to be sure everything is working OK since we’ve been parked here for 5 months now.

    Well, tomorrow I thought I’d do a pre-test test by starting up the engine and letting it come up on the airbags just so we don’t have any surprises later.

    Then tomorrow afternoon we’re meeting Rudy and Caroline Leggett at the Monterey’s up in Pasadena for lunch. Really looking forward to it.

    April 9, 2019

    It’s A Done Deal . . .

    After a lot of back and forth, we were finally able to get everything lined up to give us an extra 3 days in London, with us now flying home on the 26th of May instead of the 23rd.

    This will let us add a couple of extra tours, like one of Henry VIIII’s Hampton Court, and also one of Dr. Who episode filming locations.

    Jan’s always been fascinated with Henry the VIII’s life, and I’m related to Catherine Parr, his sixth and last wife. My father’s mother was born in England, and could trace her line back to Sir Thomas Parr, which also makes me a direct descendent of King Edward III.

    So please bow the next time you see me.

    We spent some time this morning ordering some more items for our trip, magnetic hooks for the cabin walls to hang things from. and a couple of travel adapters for powering things.

    Between trying to get our London extension nailed down, and working to check off some items that I want to get done before our trip, I never got a chance to put a call into Cummins on my oil leak problem.

    On our trip this past weekend we hit 88,000 miles that we’ve put on the coach since we picked it up February 6, 2008, and that gives us about 152,600 total miles on the coach. Just getting broken in.

    Several readers commented on my choice of ExpressVPN over NordVPN. FWIIW both were on my shortlist, but the consensus online seems to be that ExpressVPN has the edge in Europe, probably due to having a lot more servers over there.

    April 9, 2021

    An Alvin Opry House Night . . .

    More tomorrow night about tonight’s Opry show, but I did want to mention one of the hits of this evening.

    This is 5 year old Blair Kudelka. (Love her little high heels!)

    Alvin Opry Blair Kudelka 1

    This was her first time performing on stage, and you would swear she’d been doing it for all five years of her life.

    Alvin Opry Blair Kudelka 2

    She sang Dolly Parton’s ‘Coat of Many Colors’ and ‘May The Circle Be Unbroken’.

    Alvin Opry Blair Kudelka 3

    She didn’t seem to have a problem with stage fright, and never missed a cue.

    She’s really something.

    April 9, 2022

    And Poof!, Now It’s Gone . . .

    or The Wait Is Over.

    Catching up on last night:

    We got to the Alvin Opry about 6:15pm, luckily just ahead of the big crowd, so we only had to wait in line a few minutes to get our included jumbo BBQ sandwich, chips, and drink, as well as a dessert we bought extra.

    The sandwich was really good, as well as the homemade dessert.

    And by the time we were finished with our meal, the BBQ line was wrapping around the dance floor.

    Turns out that the line was so long that by the time everyone was served and seated, it was finally about 7:15 before the show started.

    Alvin Opry Easter Stage

    And this was the reason for the slowdown.

    Alvin Opry Easter Crowd

    The largest crowd we’ve ever seen here.

    And as usual, Shalane Colston, the Event Coordinator, and long-time friend, always goes all out on the table decorations.

    Alvin Opry Easter Table

    A great show, with both old and new talent.

    And because it started late, it was after 11:30 when we got home.

    And now for today:

    Leaving the rig about 12:30, we had planned to check out the Three Acre Food Park out on FM 1764 where they were having a Market Fair with about 30 vendors as well as a number of food trucks for lunch. BUT . . .

    There’s always a BUT.

    We decided to double-check to see if the new Pho Barr down in our area had opened by any chance.

    It was supposed to open last Saturday, but ended up having to wait for their final inspection. And they weren’t open yesterday afternoon either.

    BUT . . . there’s that word again.

    They were open this afternoon, and so that’s where we had lunch, of course.

    Just as good as the one up in Webster, and very nicely remodeled.

    Pho Barr - Dickinson Restaurant

    We used to eat here a lot when it was Pho20. But it didn’t survive the WuFlu shutdowns.

    So it’s nice to have a good Pho place in our area again.

    So The Wait Is Over.

    Finishing it up it was right down the road for a few things from the nearby HEB.

    And Poof!, Now It’s Gone.

    I mentioned a few days about the faux Buc-ee’s that appeared out in Marathon, TX in the Big Bend area.

    Marathon TX Buc-ee's

    Well, now it’s gone.

    Buc-ee's That Didn't Last Long

    I also found out that a while back, there was a Target for a while in this same location.

    Who knows what will be next?

    Tomorrow we’re heading to the Katy area to meet up for lunch with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon at their favorite place, Pho Barr, of course. And yes, that means we’ll be having Pho Barr two days in a row.

    What’s your point?

    April 9, 2023

    Family Easter Meal . . .

    Jan and I were on our way up to Katy about 10am, getting together with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon for our family Easter dinner.

    And Brandi went all out with her brined and Cajun Seasoning Rubbed Smoked Turkey,

    Easter Turkey

    and a nice brisket.

    Easter Brisiket

    On the vegetable front, Brandi also did Garlic and Herb Roasted Potatoes,

    Easter Potatoes

    to go with Jan’s contributions, her Jiffy Corn Casserole

    Easter Corn and Green Bean Casseroles

    and Green Bean Casserole. Both were great!

    Brandi also did a loaf of really delicious Hatch Green Chile Beer Bread.

    Easter Hatch Green Chili Bread

    All of this ended up on a plate like this.

    Easter Dinner Plate

    Once we sat down for the meal, the dogs staked out their spots under the table, waiting for any ‘manna from Heaven’.

    Baxter picked me.

    Easter Lap Baxter

    I’m a sucker for that face, so though I didn’t drop anything ‘accidentally’, somehow a few tidbits of brisket and turkey managed to escape my plate.

    And for dessert, Brandi really outdid herself with a batch of our favorite Junior’s Mini Cheesecake Bites.

    Easter Dinner Junior's Cheesecake Package

    Easter Dinner Junior's Cheesecake Bites

    Junior’s is our all-time favorite in NYC. It’s right off Times Square, and it’s the first place we eat when we get there and the last place before we leave.

    Later, resting up from that great meal, we all sat out around the pool and watched Landon and Jack look for the Easter Eggs.

    Easter Egg Hunt

    Landon being 12, the Easter Bunny now hides eggs filled with money and lottery scratch-offs. And it was fun doing the warmer, colder thing running him all over the yard.

    Finally, after a great meal and even better family time, we got home a little before 4pm with plenty of leftovers to remind us of that great meal, and plenty of time for one of those ‘after-turkey’ naps.

    Next week looks to be another busy one. Jan has labs for her Oncologist visit and then her Mammogram on Tuesday afternoon. Then Thursday we’ve got our monthly get-together with our group of Alvin Opry friends, followed by Friday night we’ve got the Alvin Opry itself.