From Around The Web . . .

Lunch today was at Kelley’s Country Cookin’ once again. We were hoping to see a favorite waitress of ours, Staci, but we got here too early for her to wait on us, but we did get to say “HI” before we left.

And now we’re in a quandary with two of our other favorite servers. Sylvia, our Twin Peaks favorite, has moved next door to the new BoomerJack’s, tending bar in the evenings. Juana, our Texas Huddle favorite, lost her job working the bar when Huddle was closed down by the State of Texas a couple of months ago, due to non-payment of taxes.

So after we ate at BoomerJack’s a few weeks back, we told Juana that she should check there for a job. And a couple of days ago she texted us that she starts training there this coming Monday.

So now, who do we visit when we eat there now? Juana in the afternoon, or Sylvia in the evening?

Decisions, Decisions.

As for Kelley’s today, Jan got the Chicken Breast stuffed with Broccoli Cheese and Rice, along with Fried Okra, Green Beans, and Buttered Carrots, as well as some extra Broccoli Cheese sauce.

Really good, and she had some left to bring home.

I had the Grilled Pork Ribeye with Fried Okra and the Green Beans.

It just gets worse. Now it’s 10-15 years and up to $1 Billion

Here’s Why It Could Take Longer To Rebuild The Baltimore Bridge Than The Whole Transcontinental Railroad

It is unknown exactly how long the bridge could take to rebuild, as officials could expedite the process, but experts warned the DCNF that government red tape, such as environmental reviews filed by government entities or environmental activists, could slow down its construction after debris is cleared from the site and new plans for a replacement bridge are drawn up.

An official cost of a new bridge has yet to be announced, but some estimates are around $500 million up to $1 billion, depending on the size and design of the project, according to the AP. The original bridge cost just $60.3 million to build, according to CNN.

Baltimore Bridge May Take 15 Years and $2 Billion to Rebuild

A similar bridge disaster occurred in 1980, when a freighter struck the Sunshine Skyway in Tampa Bay, Florida, according to The Associated Press. Construction on a new bridge finished 7 years later, in 1987, 19 months later than it was originally projected to be complete and $20 million over budget.

And it seems the Transcontinental Railroad was built in only six years.

Remember the Population Bomb? Well, it fizzled. It was a dud.

It all started with Paul Ehrlich in 1968.

The most famous is Stanford’s Paul Ehrlich, an entomologist whose bestselling book about people, “The Population Bomb,” promised the Earth a grim Malthusian fate, only a decade or so away.

We’d see mass starvation, he predicted, and food riots in American cities before the 1970s were out.

He urged the Federal Communications Commission to use its powers to ensure large families were always portrayed negatively on TV. (Take that, “Brady Bunch”!)

He made a bunch of predictions, and pretty much all turned out to be wrong.

That Ehrlich made a bundle on wrong predictions isn’t such a big deal — we’ve had dozens of doomsaying futurists who’ve cashed in on fears that never materialized.

The problem is people listened to him.

Across the world, governments adopted population-trimming policies, from massively subsidized birth control to promoting two-worker households to China’s draconian “one child” policy, in which each couple was allowed only one child.

Two decades ago, Phillip Longman wrote in Foreign Affairs about the coming “Global Baby Bust”: “Today, the average woman in the world bears half as many children as did her counterpart in 1972. No industrialized country still produces enough children to sustain its population over time, or to prevent rapid population aging.”

Now it’s happening.

“Global fertility isn’t just declining, it’s collapsing,” James Pethokoukis writes.

Check out the article. It’s eye-opening.

And scary, in a way.

Thought For The Day:

Should I be worried that the spider on Caffeine makes a weirder web than the others?
Should I be having a big mug of LSD, Speed, or Marijuana every morning instead?

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

April 4, 2010

Petrified Forest and Great Pie…

Today, after spending the night in Gallup, NM, we headed back to Las Vegas on the tail end of our road trip.

After having breakfast at the hotel, we headed out about 8am to drive the 65 miles to the Petrified Forest National Park. I had visited here with my parents during our Out West trip during the summer of 1964, and was looking forward to seeing it again.

The Petrified Forest is a 28-mile loop that also takes you through part of the Painted Desert. So it’s a twofer.

And the Painted Desert certainly lived up to its name.

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Then it was on to the Petrified Forest itself. And the colors of the petrified wood almost matched the Painted Desert.

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This area is known as the Crystal Forest and lives up to its name.

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Below is Old Faithful, the largest, most complete petrified log in the world.

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This is the skull of a Phytosaur, a crocodile-like animal that lived in the area when this was a forest during the Late Triassic period 200 million years ago. It was about 17 feet long and weighed 2100 pounds.

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And here’s what it probably looked like.

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And these are some of the other animals roaming here back then.

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And, for what it’s worth, here’s a picture of Albert Einstein and his wife visiting the Petrified Forest. Based on the age of the car, this is his 2nd wife, Elsa. Elsa was Alberta’s first cousin on their mother’s side and second cousin on their father’s side. Talk about the possibility of inbreeding!

Maybe that’s why they never had kids.

Albert Einstein

Leaving the Petrified Forest we passed through Holbrook, AZ, and stopped to get gas. Holbrook used to be a main stop on Route 66, and still seems to be a vibrant tourist town. As we were almost to the Interstate I saw something on the left-hand side of the road that brought back a flood of memories.

A WigWam Motel. And it’s still in business.

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I had forgotten until I saw the place again, but we stayed here during our trip in 1964. It’s good to see that see that it’s still up and running. I also remember staying at the WigWam Motel in Bessemer, AL in the late 50’s, early 60’s.

Coming into Flagstaff, we always enjoy the view of the snow-covered San Francisco Mountains. It’s amazing how much snow is still there this time of the year.

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Passing through Flagstaff, we got into Williams, AZ about 12:30 pm. Based on the recommendation of friends, we wanted to eat lunch at the Pine Country Restaurant. They had eaten there and said the food was OK, but the pies were fantastic. The slices were enormous, and they were delicious, too.

On our way into Kingman, AZ we saw signs saying the route back to Las Vegas over the Hoover Dam was very congested due to Spring Break crowds.

Well, that was just dam inconvenient.

So we decided to come back the slightly-longer way over to Laughlin and then up through Searchlight and home.

Getting back into Las Vegas we decided to stop for supper at the IHOP right down the street from the RV park before heading back to the rig.

Arrived home to find that the rig and the cats were all OK.

Although we enjoyed our trip, it’s good to be home.

April 4, 2011

Third Time’s the Charm . . .

After a frosty night that went down to 35 degrees here in the Verde Valley, it was nice to get up to hot coffee and warm blueberry muffins. And it was really nice to be able to just lounge around the coach with nothing really pressing on the agenda.

About 1 pm Jan and I headed into Cottonwood to pick up some groceries, and for Jan to get a pedicure, both at Wal-Mart. She signed in at the nail place, said she be back in about 30 minutes, and we went off to do our shopping.

Then, while I was checking out and heading to the truck with our stuff, Jan went in to get her toesies done. And while she was doing that, I headed to the Post Office to drop off some mail, and run some other errands. Getting back to Wal-Mart about 30 minutes later, I parked and waited for Jan to come out…and she did about 5 minutes later, which was way too early. Getting a pedicure normally takes about an hour.

It turns out that she hadn’t got her toes done at all.  They had sat her down to soak her feet, and then apparently all the girls went to lunch, leaving Jan not only soaking her feet, but steaming mad. So she walked out.

It was now about 3 o’clock, so I dropped Jan off at another nail place down the street, and headed back to the park to drop off the groceries and get our frozen stuff in the freezer.

Heading back to get Jan about 30 minutes later, we drove over to Hog Wild BBQ for our 3rd try at eating there.

On our first try, this past Saturday, there was a shooting on the same block and the police weren’t letting anyone near. Yesterday was the 2nd attempt and it turns out Hog Wild is closed on Sundays. So today we tried again.

And it was well worth the wait. Besides BBQ, they also carry Chicago-style hot dogs and sandwiches, but we both had the BBQ. And it was really good, with a great sauce and good sides. The baked beans were especially good. A great place and we’ll go back.

After dinner, we drove up into the hills above Cottonwood just to do some sightseeing. We passed through Clarkdale and then headed what seemed to be almost straight up, gaining over 2000 ft. in altitude in just a few miles. We ended up in Jerome, a 1870’s mining town reincarnated as one of those artsy tourist towns. But the views of the surrounding valley were spectacular and the way some of the homes, old and new, are stuck to the side of the mountains is just amazing.

Getting back to the rig about 6:30, we found some new Landon pics waiting in our email. This was his first trip to the park, but he doesn’t seem too impressed with it so far. But he is a cutie.

Landon at Park

Tomorrow we’re going to take a drive over to the Sedona area to see the sites.

April 4, 2012

Junction, TX Sucks . . .

This is actually the blog for Wednesday, the 4th of April. I couldn’t post it due to the bad Internet service we had in Junction. Thursday’s blog will be posted later.

We left Saddleback Mountain RV Park in Balmorhea, TX a little after 10am, heading 245 miles east to Junction, TX

But before we left I checked my engine oil and found no sign of antifreeze.

So far, so good.

Just outside of Ozona, we started running into large fields of bluebonnets. I guess all the rain they had here in the Texas Hill Country had been good to the flowers. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the camera upfront so we didn’t get any photos. But here’s a sample from a previous year.


We got into Junction, TX about 3pm and got checked in to the North Llano River RV Park. When we last stayed here in 2007 and 2008, it was a KOA, but now it’s just a Good Sam park.

On today’s trip, we drove 55, but had a lot more hills than yesterday, but traveling 245.5 miles using 24.4 gallons of diesel, giving us 10.1 MPG.

I’m loving this new non-leaking exhaust manifold. I’ve gained about a 15% increase in gas mileage. At this rate, the new manifold will pay for itself fairly soon.

About 4pm Jan and I headed out for dinner, stopping off at the office to settle up and complain about the non-functional WiFi system. Apparently, it got struck by lightning a couple of weeks ago, and Radio Shack? hasn’t been able to fix it yet.

I think I see the problem here.

We had dinner at Cooper’s BBQ just north of I-10. We had eaten here in 2010 and remembered it as being pretty good. But either our memory was faulty or it’s gotten bad, because it wasn’t very good.

So to make up for the bad meal, we make a visit at the DQ on the way home for some frosty goodness.

Getting back to the rig, I discovered how sucky the Internet was here, only 1x and almost none of that. And to make things even worse, although I had 3 bars of phone service, it was impossible to make a phone call that would last more than a few seconds without dropping out.

Did I say Sucky?

We would occasionally get an email to come in, but couldn’t send anything. I could sometimes get a webpage to come up, but mostly I got nothing.

One email that did get through was from our daughter-in-law Linda, telling us that our granddaughter Piper had won a Moody Foundation Scholarship for $2000.00 a year. She graduates from high school this May and wants to be a Physician’s Assistant. She’s been interning at a local hospital for a while as part of her classes and plans to work there after graduation as she continues her education.

Then we got an email that almost stopped our breathing. There was no message, just the subject line that said “Landon being admitted to hospital”.  Nothing else.

We had talked to Brandi earlier in the day while we were on the road, and she had said that she was on the way home to pick up Landon from daycare and take him to his doctor because his daycare said he was coughing a lot and had thrown up.

We tried calling Brandi several times but never had a good connection. So finally at about 9:30 we got dressed and drove down to the Valero truck stop by the Interstate.

Since we still couldn’t make a cell call, we went into the Valero and used a pay phone. Getting hold of Lowell, we found out that Landon’s visit to the doctor hadn’t improved things much, and since he was having trouble breathing, they took him to the Emergency Room where he was admitted immediately.

Lowell said he was doing much better but they were keeping him overnight. The doctor’s kind of suspected an asthma attack, but weren’t sure.

Needless to say, we didn’t sleep very well.

April 4, 2013

Four Down. Thirty Three to Go . . .

This morning started out waiting. Waiting for the FedEx truck to show up with my new DirecTV DVR. But it was about 1:30pm when the FedEx guy showed up in front of the rig with my package. It’s nice when they deliver right to your front door, instead of me having to traipse down to the office.

When I first opened the box I was happy to see what I thought was the upgraded model R22 that I was hoping to get. But instead, I got the R16 which is a one step upgrade from the R15 that I was replacing.

The reason I wanted the R22 is that out of the box it holds more than 3 times as many hours of video as our present one. And it also lets you connect an external HD for much more space. In addition, it lets you record more than the 50 series that my old one does.

So I was kind of bummed out. But I may have gotten a reprieve. After getting the new unit installed and activated, I started to enter the programs we wanted to record on a regular basis.

And that’s when I found the unit was not working correctly. Normally when you go to the program guide and want to record a program, the first press of the record button records that particular program. Pressing the record button again sets it to record every show of that name on that particular channel. This lets you record Big Bang Theory every Thursday night until you tell it to stop. Pressing the record button a third time cancels all recordings.

But the new machine doesn’t let me record a series. The first press records that show, and then the second press cancels it.

I spent about 30 minutes on the phone with DirecTV Tech Support, but ran out of time. So maybe I’ll have an excuse to send it back and get the one I want. We’ll see how it goes.

Around 5pm we headed over to SanTan Village so we could introduce them to our favorite pizza place, Grimaldi’s Pizzeria.

Grimaldi's - SanTan Village

Although we got seated immediately, the place filled up fast and there was a wait with people standing outside.

Once again the pizza was delicious. Hopefully, we’ll be able to go back again before we leave the area.

After first eating at the original one in 2009 in Brooklyn NY, located under the Brooklyn Bridge, we’ve now eaten at one in San Antonio, one in Tucson, and now one in Gilbert. That means we only have 33 more to go to be able to say we’ve eaten at all of them.

Everybody needs a goal in life.

April 4, 2014

Bacon and BBQ . . .

After I mentioned meeting Tom and Brenda Shaughnessy in yesterday’s blog, it turns out that Janice and Dave Evans know them too. And this is certainly not the first time we’ve had this happen. Considering that there are several million RV’ers, it’s amazing how small a community it really is. It’s kind of playing the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, except using RV’ers.

About 2:30 I called Fantastic Vent again to see if my new fan motor had finally shipped, and if so, to get a UPS tracking number. Turns out it had finally shipped yesterday and should be here Tuesday. At least it finally shipped.

About 4:30 Lynette and Gregg McHenry came by to pick us up for dinner. Then we drove around the park to hook up with Jim and Peri Dean to all head up to Peters BBQ for their great Friday night BBQ/Seafood Buffet. By going that early we beat the oncoming crowds. By a little after 5 the place gets pretty full.

And just like last week, the buffet was really great. BBQ Brisket, Sausage, Ribs, Catfish, Shrimp, and all the great sides and desserts. All for $10.99 and that includes your drink. We ended up eating and talking for about 2 hours before heading back to the rig for a couple of more hours.

Mister really bonded with Peri and spent a lot of time in her lap.

PeriDean and Mister

We finally broke up about 10, planning to get together for a potluck Sunday afternoon. Really looking forward to it.

Tomorrow we’re going to head into Katy to have dinner at Little V’s Vietnamese Bistro with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon, and also pick up my slideout shear pin that finally came in..

April 4, 2015

Last Day in Apache Junction . . .

Today is our last day here in Apache Junction. We’ve been here for a little over two weeks and we’ve had a great time as usual.

After some preliminary packing stuff away, Jan and I headed out about 1pm to the Wal-Mart over on Signal Butte for a few items. Getting there we realized we were at a Wal-Mart on the Saturday afternoon before Easter. Certainly not the best idea, but it turned out not to be too bad. The only thing was that they were out of stock on a couple of things we needed, but since we were passing the WM on Apache Trail on the way home we stopped off there too and found our missing items. So, all is good.

About 4pm Jan and I drove over to SanTan Village to have one last meal at the Famous Dave’s BBQ there.

Our waiter, Ethan, remembered us from our last visit just from what we ordered. (Not sure that’s a good thing.) By getting there about 4:30 we avoided the crowds that showed up by 5.

As usual, I got the Ribs N Meats platter which gives me enough to take home. And by taking half of it home, it leaves room for Jan and I to split one of their Bread Puddings, really, really good.

Getting back home about 6, I started packing stuff away in the truck and getting us ready to roll tomorrow morning. One of the things I did was to fasten the front license plate back on where I’d painted the bumper a few days ago.

Rig Bumper with Tag2

It really looks good, so I may just put another coat of the Rust oleum Protective Enamel on, and not try to change the color to a lighter one. It certainly looks better than it did when our son Chris started on it.

Rig Repari B4 3

Rig Repari B4 2

Rig Repari B4 1

Great Job, Chris!

As seems to be our habit, once we’re ready to roll tomorrow morning, we’ll run out and have breakfast, probably at the IHOP down on Southern.

We are looking forward to the cooler weather up in Verde Valley compared to here. For the next week or so, it’s supposed to be sunny, with low 70’s in the daytime, and low 40’s at night. Really nice.

April 4, 2016

A Bucket on every Table . . .

After some of Jan’s delicious Homemade Bacon and Egg Biscuits sandwiches, Jan and I headed east about 11:15am to meet with a client in Pasadena about 1pm

Before we left, I configured the Waze app on my Galaxy Tab 4 for our route. Waze is a free GPS mapping program for your phone or tablet, Android or iPhone. Developed by an Israeli firm, and bought up by Google in 2013. it now ties in with their map databases for much better coverage. But the really neat thing about Waze is the crowd-sourced map updates. in fact your Waze map display is connected to all the other Waze users in your area.

The way it works is that as Waze users encounter road hazards, obstacles, or situations, they mark it on their map. They do this either manually by touching the map at their location, and then selecting the applicable icon from this list. Or you can even do this by voice command, I believe.

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The Waze map display is a little less ‘mappy’ and a little more ‘cartoonish’ than other programs, but still very usable.

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Note off to the left, ‘2’ people have reported a police presence, and at the top, ‘2’ people have reported a traffic jam.

It’s really neat to see a police car icon ahead of you, and then you top the hill and there he is. A neat program.

Check it out.

We got to my first client’s just about 1pm, and spent some time catching up. Tricia’s been a client/friend since before we started RV’ing, and today’s visit is my usual yearly checkup on her computers.

Last year we replaced her desktop unit due to the hard drive dying. With the age of the computer, it made more sense to just upgrade to a new one rather than put $$$ into an old one. But this year everything is fine, and she’s doing a good job keeping her system scanned for viruses and malware.

We did talk about possibly adding a Wi-Fi range extender to her system for better coverage in the front of the house. In the back bedroom where the Wi-Fi router lives, shows a good 15 Mbps on my Galaxy Tab. But at the front of the house, the speed has dropped down to about 7.5 Mbps, and she seems to have more trouble streaming movies up there. So I’ll give her some ideas and let her know.

Before I left I also reconfigured her My Passport backup drive for continuous, rather than timed backups. This will give her a little extra security at no noticeable loss of performance.

As we were leaving, I mentioned I was going to another client’s just a few miles away, and in another of those ‘Small World’ things, it turns out they know each other.

We got to my next client a little after 3pm, and after catching up with Jean, another pre-RV’ing client, I got to work fixing up a number of small problems on her ASUS laptop. She was worried about malware, so I downloaded and installed SuperAntiSpyware  and Malwarebytes, my go-to programs for this problem. Or at least I tried to.

I started the 29 MB download of SuperAntiSpyware, and when it wasn’t done in a minute or so, I looked closer, and the download time was going to be 32 minutes.


So I stopped the download and went to to check out their speed  And it was hard to believe what I found.

AT&T was giving them a blazing 0.45 Mbps download speed. And even better, a 0.02 upload speed. And no, those aren’t typos. My 9-year-old Verizon 3G AirCard gives me over 6 times what their AT&T hardwire system is giving them.

I might have blamed the router, but they actually have two routers in their house, and both gave the same results. I wish I had had an Ethernet cable with me to check out the direct connection speed, but I doubt it would have been any different.

I told Jerry he needs to get on the phone with AT&T and give them a stern talking to.  Tricia, only few miles away, is also on AT&&T and as I noted, gets 15 Mbps, over 30 times faster.

To take care of my download situation right now, I hotspotted my Galaxy S5 to the laptop and downloaded both files in less than 30 seconds total.

Jean also wanted to update a Dell laptop running Vista to Win7, which is about as far as you can go, since Dell never published any drivers for it for Win8/8.1 or 10. But looking at the computer, I suggested we do a clean install of Win7 instead of laying it on top of her old Vista OS, so she’s going to make a list of what she wants to save off, before we do that.

By the time we finished up, it was almost 5pm, and not wanting to get stuck in Houston going-home traffic, Jan and I had a nice leisurely dinner at a nearby Texas Roadhouse.

Texas Roadhouse Ribeye 3_thumb[1]

Both our steaks, Jan’s Sirloin and my Ribeye were delicious, and the company was great too.

Besides the good steaks, another thing I like about Texas Roadhouse is the buckets on the table. Every restaurant should have a bucket on the table.

Texas Roadhouse Bucket_thumb[1]

Now at Texas Roadhouse, the bucket is primarily for your peanut shells, but it’s also the perfect place for your empty sweetener packets, used lemon wedges (I don’t like to drop them in my tea), the papers encircling your silverware, the little cups for your salad dressing, and butter, and the coffee creamer containers, in other words, all the flotsam and jetsam that ends up littering your table as the meal progresses.

In the good old days you had an ashtray on the table that would somewhat fill the void, but that’s no more. So I want a bucket.

Or I’ll just start bringing my own.

By the time we finished up, the traffic had subsided somewhat, so we headed home. Well, headed home with a stop at the Katy Wal-Mart, before finally getting back to the rig about 9:30.

Tomorrow is definitely a stay-at-home-do-nothing day.

April 4, 2017

Worth The Trip . . .

Since we were heading out about noon, I was up about 10am, just in time to shut down most of the rig’s electronics

The knock at the door was a power company guy here to replace our electric meter. When I ask whether it was bad in our favor. He said neither, but it was dying, so it had phoned (emailed) home so they could come and replace it.

I had already shut down the computer, the TV, and the Sat Receiver, so it only took him about 30 seconds for the changeout.

We headed out for Gila Bend about noon, with a quick stop for gas and breakfast sandwiches at Jack’s before we got out on US 60 and headed west and then south.

The 100 mile trip took us about two hours so we were pulling into the parking lot of Sofia’s Mexican Restaurant at 2pm.

Sofia's 2

We’ve been eating here at Sofia’s since our very first year, 2008, when we passed through on our way to Yuma and San Diego.

Jan got her usual Shrimp Burrito, the same thing she always has, and the reason we came here. But this time she also added an a la carte Chile Relleno.

Sofia's Shrimp Burrito

I had the 3 Enchilada Combo, Cheese, Chicken, and Beef, and an a la carte Carne Asada Taco.

Sofia's Enchilada Plate

Great food, great service, and big enough portions that we had plenty to take home. The perfect trio.

After a great meal, we headed over to Holt’s Shell and RV Park, a place we’ve stayed many times passing through. Jan was looking for a T-shirt she thought had bought here in the past, but no luck.

But we did find a good source of dinosaurs, snakes, and Gila Monsters.

Holt's Shell Dinosaurs

Holt's Shell Gila Monster

The dinosaurs go for about $3000 a piece, and the workmanship is amazing. Tack welded together from sheet metal, the skin is textured and even shows the musculature of the body.

By now it was about 3:30 so we headed over to the other reason we came to Gila Bend, the local Elk’s Lodge, so I could renew my membership. And then a few minutes later we were heading home, finally pulling in about 5:30.

Today a friend asked us where Jan got the Padded Bowl Holders that we talked about in the blog recently,

Escapade Bowl Holders

and wanted to know where we got them.

Jan bought them at the recent Escapade from Mac The Fire Guy’s wife, and you can contact him at [email protected] if you would like to purchase them.

April 4, 2019

Just In Case . . .

First thing up this morning I put in a call to the Granite Rock RV Park up in Kingsland to get our site number. That way we can just pull right in tomorrow and get parked without stopping by the office which is a separate entrance.

Then I swapped over the refrigerator circuit breaker from the bad breaker to the spare one under the bed.

Rig Fridge Circuit Breaker Repair 1

There was a wire already connected to the bottom breaker that I planned to use, but I assumed it wasn’t really connected to anything since that breaker has always been off all these years and everything still works.

So I just disconnected the bottom wire and pushed it out of the way, and then moved the top wire down.

Rig Fridge Circuit Breaker Repair 2

Easy Peazy and now I can remove the outside extension cord that I was using to power the fridge.

I spent the late morning and the rest of the afternoon washing and waxing the rig, finishing the wheels/tires, topping off the coolant with my green antifreeze that came in yesterday,  and then finishing up by doing a trial install of my ‘Just In Case’ windshield cover to keep off the oil leakage that I’m hoping I won’t have.

Just In Case Truck Windshield Cover

But Just In Case.

We went ahead last night and booked the 3 extra-charge excursions that we had picked out. And as we said, there’s not a Hike, Bike, or Hill in the bunch.

We’ve still got a couple of tours that we’re looking at in London, but we’re holding off until we have a handle on how long we’re actually staying, I.e. the initial four days, or the seven days if we extend. So we’ll see.

Wrapping up the afternoon we drove over to Pho20 for pho, salad, and shrimp rolls, our usual great meal. Then it was on down the Interstate for the Kroger’s for a few things, and finally, a quick stop by the storage room to drop off the pressure washer and pick up the BrakeBuddy for tomorrow’s trip.

We’ll head out tomorrow morning between 8:30 and 9am, depending on what the traffic looks like on SigAlert. Our first stop will be at the Buc-ee’s in Katy for coffee and breakfast kolaches about 70 miles along the way. I should also know by then whether or not my oil leak problem is fixed. Fingers crossed.

Then we’ll make a second stop at the Buc-ee’s in Bastrop (sensing a pattern here?) about 170 miles along, with about 90 more miles to go until Kingsland.

I figure the 260 miles will take us about 6 hours, due to all the non-Interstate roads, and also making our way around the bottom of Austin, always a mess no matter when or how you go.

Really looking forward to seeing everyone.

Finishing up with some more Van Gogh stuff, here’s a great version of Don McLean’s Starry, Starry Night, illustrated with Van Gogh’s paintings.

And also an interesting video on “15 Things You Didn’t Know About Van Gogh”. And there were actually a couple that I didn’t know. Check it out.

April 4, 2021

Happy Easter . . .

I made sure I was up about 8:30 this morning since Brandi had said breakfast was at 9. And breakfast was going to be her famous Challah Bread French Toast.

Brandi's Challa Bread French Toast

And on the plate, with ButcherBox (The same place last night’s Prime Rib came from) Sausage and Bacon, it looked like this.

Easter Challa Breakfast

But what makes it extra-special is this Bourbon Barrel-Age Maple Syrup.

Brandi's Bourbon Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup


Afterwards some of us (not Jan. Again) headed out to the pool, where Landon tried out his Velocity Speedboat.

Landon's Speedboat

But capable of 20mph speeds, he never really got to open it up. However, it was fun to use it to annoy Jack as he chased it around the edge of the pool, and even jumped it after it a couple of times.

Jack The Dog

Yesterday I recounted Landon’s put-down to Brandi about how he got his artistic talent from his Uncle Chris, and not his mother, and Landon mentioned the amazing windchimes he makes.

You’ve seen the one he made for Jan for Christmas,

Jan's WindChiimes

And  here’s the ones he made for Brandi a while back. Note that the pendulum is a wine glass.

Very apropos.

Brandi's Wind Chimes 2

Very impressive!

Also in yesterday’s blog I mentioned how Landon said he wanted one last Easter Basket, since next year, he figured he be too old for one. And here’s what he found this morning.

Landon's Last Easter Basket

Looks like that oughta hold him.

After a really great get-together, Jan and I headed home about noon, with a ‘what looks to be an every trip’ stop at the El Pollo Loco in Pearland for chicken on the way, before finally getting home about 1:30.

Loved our visit, but it’s nice to be back home.

And Karma was glad to see us too.

April 4, 2022

Faster Isn’t Always Faster . . .

Yesterday I downloaded the latest update for LibreOffice, the free alternative to MS Office. At 322 MB, it took about 7 minutes to download the file at our park WiFi’s 20 Mbps.

So when I went to download the same update on our office machines this morning, I expected it to download much faster due to the fact that we average about 110 Mbps on our office Internet service.

But it took the same 7 minutes. So what’s up?

This is something I’ve noticed often in the past as local WiFi speeds have gotten faster. It’s not on your end, it’s on their end.

The limitation in this case is in the LibreOffice servers.

The data flow is being throttled on their end, not yours.

So just because you’ve got a faster signal doesn’t mean things will be faster in the real world.

A couple of our readers wondered how to move the data from my old 1TB HDD to the new 4TB one.

Well, I used this IDE 3.0 to SATA and IDE Interface.


It lets you plug any of the standard drives into your computer via a USB connector. And even better you can hook and access 3 drives at one time.


And you can copy data from one drive to another very fast, without going through the computer. Perfect for this job.

And it’s only $32,

One thing I’ve noticed about ordering from Amazon is how they sometimes handle you wanting two of an item. Often when I click on something, they will tell me that I will get it tomorrow. But then when I select 2 of the item, they sometimes tell me that delivery will be in 2 or 3 days. At first, when this happened, I thought maybe they only had 1 in stock at a local warehouse.


A little playing around told me differently. I found that in every case, I could order 1, and then order 1 a second time, and I would get them both the next day.

Don’t know why. It just works every time.

Most of you know my propensity for fixing things, and now Samsung is doing its part, making parts available to repair their phones. Starting now with the S20 and S21 phones, and the Tab S7 tablet, they expect to expand it to their entire line eventually.

After my posting my BLT from Twin Peaks, with six slices of bacon,

Twin Peaks BLT Open Sandwich 20220331

long-time friend Dick Schell sent me this photo of his BLT from Brewer’s Sports Bar in Yuma, with 8 to 10 slices of bacon.

Richard Schell Yuma BLT

Told him it looked like a BLT with a Bacon Side Salad.

He did say that I won the Best Waitress Award though.

Well, not me, I guess.

He probably means Sylvia.

April 4, 2023

Six Degrees . . .

Jan and I are big fans of The Closer, and its star, Kyra Sedgwick. I think we’ve watched the entire 7 seasons several times. So we were interested to see a YouTube interview with Kyra and her husband, Kevin Bacon.

Yes, as in The Six Degrees Of.

And the first thing that jumped out is that her Brenda Leigh Johnson character’s Georgia accent in The Closer, is just acting. (And being from Alabama I know a Georgia accent.))

As was her entire characterization, it seems.

I’m sure we’ve all seen actors who just seem to be playing themselves in every role. But the interview showed that the Brenda Leigh character was just acting. From the accent to the mannerisms, to the way she walked.

And I’m sure we’ve all seen actors that we liked on the screen, but turned out to be jerks in real life. But it seems that’s not so in Kyra’s case. Both she and her husband Kevin, who she’s been married to since 1988, seemed to be laidback, easy-going people.

Nice to see.

Following up on yesterday’s blog about SpaceX’s Super Heavy Starship upcoming launch. It seems the ‘unofficial’ word is that the launch is now scheduled for Monday, April 10th.

In other words, next Monday.

Hope so. Looking forward to it.