I Eat Worms . . .

Well, our planned Alvin Opry group get-together at Saltgrass Steakhouse kind of faded out last night with one participant pulling out due to a medical problem, and others tied up with some family stuff. So we decided to just skip Saltgrass today, especially since we’re eating at the one down in Galveston before our Bernadette Peters concert on Saturday night.

But first up was Jan’s blood draw at her oncologist’s office in prep for her office visit toward the end of the month.

Then it was on back down to our area to have lunch at Dickinson Seafood once again.

We always get the same thing here, starting with Salads with their house-made Bleu Cheese dressing.

Then we both get the Catfish with 3 Shrimp, Jan’s Grilled, and mine Blackened.

Really good.

Then it was on over to the HEB for a few things to tide us over until our regular Sunday visit.

Next week, starting on Monday, we’ve got our annual yearly physicals with our GP. Then Thursday it’s back up to Conroe for our monthly RV get-together with Debi and Ed Hurlburt, this time at the Outback Steakhouse.

I mentioned yesterday that Jan and I are looking at doing a cruise out of Galveston this coming December. Right now we’re looking at a 9-night cruise on Royal Caribbean Line’s Jewel Of The Seas, starting on Saturday, December 7th.

It docks in Progresso, (Merida), Cozumel, Roatan, Bay Islands, Belize City, and Costa Maya. That’s 7 days in ports, and 3 days at sea. And we can get a Balcony room for about $1000/per person.

One of the things we want to do is to take as many of the Mayan ruins tours as we can, Chichén Itzá, Tulum, Coba, etc.

But we’re still looking.

So stay tuned.

Thought for the Day:

This Thought for the Day has been formatted to fit the time slot available and the screen layout.

Some content has been edited for your convenience.

For a Retro-Preview –

2015 – I Eat Worms, BBQ’d of course.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

April 11, 2010

High Winds and Cat Barf…

We left Barstow Calico KOA about 10:45 am heading toward Lancaster, CA.

It’s only about a 100 mile trip so we didn’t have to get an early start, but the trip had a little more adventure than usual.

Adventure #1 Cat Barf!

Although the road wasn’t curvy or roller coastery (Is that a word? If not, it should be.), Emma got sick again, just like she did coming up from Yuma, AZ to Laughlin, NV.

But on that trip, the road was roller coastery (See I told you it should be a word) as we went up and down because the highway went through all the dry washes along the way.

But this time it was probably connected with –

Adventure #2: The Wind.

The wind we encountered along SR58 coming from Barstow was the worst since we were coming into Dawson Creek, BC, Canada in April 2008 on our way to Fairbanks, AK. On that trip, we ran into 60-70 mph winds that came close to blowing us off the highway several times. We even had a problem with our large awning starting to unfurl along the side of the coach.

My first thought was to pull over, but there was no place to pull over. The roads in this part of Canada are narrow two-landed, with no shoulders. So we just had to press on… slowly.

We found out later that the road had been closed right after we came through, after two 18-wheelers had been blown off the road. We ended up staying in Dawson Creek for three days due to the bad weather and low temps. It was in the mid-teens while we were there.

Anyway, I think the weaving back and forth due to the winds today got to Emma. But lucky for me, Emma was sitting in Jan’s lap, not mine.

We arrived at Antelope Valley Fairgrounds RV Park about 1:15 pm and got set up. There was no one at the office, but the sign said to just pick a site and check in with the office later.

Then it was off to have lunch. Our GPS said there was a Shakey’s Pizza nearby so we headed over there. We found the building but it was now something else, that had also gone out of business.

But on the way we passed a place called Crazy Otto’s that looked good, so we headed back there. We both had the soup and sandwich combo, a bowl of chicken tortilla soup, and half a chicken salad sandwich. Both were delicious, and the half sandwich was so thick that I ate mine with a fork. It was too big to hold.

Coming back we saw the office was open so I went in and paid up for a week.

Then it was time for a nap.

About 6 pm we headed out for dinner. After checking their website, we found a  Shakey’s Pizza over in Palmdale, about 10 miles away.

Shakey’s was a pizza place my family and I ate at on our big Western trip in the summer of 1964. It was near Disneyland where we were staying, and we thought the pizza, chicken, and fried potatoes were really good. Back then it was kind of a Vaudeville theme with a straw-hatted piano player doing sing-a-longs. They also had a worker spinning the pizza dough in the air and catching it.

It’s different now, but the food is still good.

April 11, 2011

Bagels and Stars . . .

Today was the day for our day trip down to Mesa to get an estimate on our cargo bay door damage and to pick up our prescriptions from Sam’s Club, so we were up at the awful hour of 7:30, a time of day that should be outlawed. The day should not start until 10 am.

Jan fixed us a great breakfast from Panera’s Asiago Cheese Bagels, and toasted them with butter. Fantastic.

Then, about 8:30 Jan and I went outside to remove the cargo bay door to take to RV Renovators to get ready to leave, not an easy task, believe me. But we got it done somehow.

After dropping off the garbage at the dumpster, we headed out about 9 am to make the 120-mile trip to Mesa.

We got there about 11, and were warmly greeted by ‘Cinda, who was all ready to take care of us. She turned us over to Levi, who looked over our door, and told us what else he needed to know to give us the estimate. He said he’ll email it when he’s done. RV Renovators certainly lived up to their reputation with us.

Leaving RV Renovators, we headed a couple of miles down the road to El Pollo Loco, our favorite grilled chicken place. Their chicken is fantastic and we always try to eat there when one is nearby.

After lunch, it was just another few miles to the Sam’s Club where we picked up our prescriptions, and a few other things. Between Wal-Mart and Sam’s we never have a problem with getting our prescriptions around the country.

Before heading back to Verde Valley, I decided to make a quick stopover at Roy’s Train World. Our faithful blog readers already know I’m crazy about model trains. (Of course, Jan says I’m just crazy, but that’s a topic for another blog.)

Ironically, I haven’t had a layout since I was 13 and we moved to Colombia, South America, but I still like to visit model train museums and train stores as we travel, and I read a couple of model train magazines each month.

As a side note, I’ve probably visited 20-30 train stores in the last 7- 8 years, and almost none of them had anything in the way of a decent train layout. And I think this is a big mistake. The layouts are what bring the young kids into the hobby. I know it was for me.

When I was a kid all the department stores had large layouts at Christmas time, just the thing to grab a kid’s interest. But now, nothing. Oh well, they didn’t ask me. As a matter of fact, no one asks me. Personally, I think that’s a big mistake of their part, as I always have plenty of advice on just about any subject.

Just ask Jan.

On our way home we stopped at DQ for a cone for Jan and a Moo-latte for me, and then hit the road. We got home about 4:30 and got all the stuff unloaded. Jan had been fighting a bad migraine on and off all day, so we decided to stay at the rig for dinner.

Later, my first job was to change out the 1003 bulb in one of our Smart Light’s. If you haven’t seen these, they’re great.

Smart Light 1000

They replace your patio light with a motion-detecting version that turns on when you approach the rig. Perfect when you come back at night and didn’t leave a light on.

Another thing I did after I got home is look up the mileage we traveled last year, which was about 9800 miles.

This took us from Dickinson, TX to Yuma, AZ, Las Vegas, Lancaster, CA, San Francisco, and then up US 101 to Westport, WA. Then over to Gillette, WY for the American Coach Rally, down through Salt Lake City, to Show Low, AZ.

Next, we headed east through Amarillo and Abilene to Burnet, TX for our daughter’s wedding, down to San Marcos to visit a good friend, further east to Montgomery, AL, north to Louisville, KY for the big Good Sam Rally, then a zigzag northwest to Vandalia, IL to visit Jan’s sister and her family, then back east thru Cincinnati and Celina, OH to Elkhart, IN for another rally.

Our final leg took us from Elkhart to Dickinson, TX by way of Jackson, MS, and Baton Rouge, LA.

All in all a pretty busy year. But with all the talk about high fuel prices, I was curious to see what our numbers looked like.

With all the talk in the RV work about hanging up the keys if diesel goes up too high, just think about it this way.

We traveled for about 9 months, or 36 weeks. Boiling it down, if the price of gas jumped from $3 a gallon to $5 a gallon, our diesel cost would jump about $70 per week, or $10 a day.

Not enough for us to stop traveling.

Wallydock an extra night, don’t eat out, stay in an Elk’s or Moose lodge, it shouldn’t be enough to change your lifestyle for.

April 11, 2012

A Hidden Gem . . .

or No Gate Yet.

About 10 am I walked over to the office to pay the fingerprint fees that they forget to ask for down in Corpus yesterday, and also to see if anything was up on our gate. Was told it would be soon. Hope so.

Getting back to the rig, I caught up on some maintenance chores, cleaning AC and fan filters, stowing some stuff away, and just getting ready to travel on short notice.

For lunch, we had more leftover Rudy’s BBQ. I’m not sure we brought enough home. We might have to go back to Corpus for more.

Later in the afternoon, I took a nap, or tried to. I got two calls that woke me up, one a wrong number, the 3rd time in 3 days, and one a political call.

A little before 6 Jan and I headed about 25 miles north to Pleasanton to have dinner at China Garden. Right next door to the ill-fated Bill Miller BBQ, we noticed how busy it was then, and wanted to give it a try.

And it turned out to be a hidden gem.

Pleasanton China Garden

Housed in a pretty nondescript building, the parking lot seems to be always crowded, certainly a good sign.

And waiting for our food after our order was taken, we noticed a steady stream of take-orders leaving the restaurant, again a good sign.

We ordered our usual Hot & Sour Soup, Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce, Extra Spicy, and the House Special Fried Rice. And it was really good.

Good enough that hopefully we’ll be able to go back before we leave the area.

Our next stop was right across the street at the HEB for gas and a much-needed car wash. Then it was home for the night.

Here’s hoping for a gate tomorrow.

April 11, 2013

Wanted In Texas . . .

According to the State of Texas, my beautiful wife Jan is a scofflaw, a nefarious individual, a shady character, even a fugitive from justice. For the last 5 years, she’s been evading her civic duty.

She hasn’t been showing up for jury duty. For the last 5 years.

Of course, we no longer live in Texas. We’re South Dakota residents. We have SD Drivers Licenses, we vote in SD. we have SD carry permits, and we have SD tags on our vehicles. What part of this does Texas not understand?

I’ve called Harris County a number of times over the years when we got jury notices, but today was the first time they told me I was supposed to cancel our voter registrations. Huh? Who knew?

I didn’t have to cancel our Texas Drivers Licenses. Didn’t they notice we haven’t voted since 2006? If we die, are we supposed to cancel our voter registration first?

Even more importantly, has someone been voting in our place? I mean, if dead people apparently vote in Chicago, why not absent people in Texas?

Jan and I did another walk this morning, for 1.25 miles this time. Since the temp was still in the 60’s, it was a nice walk. And once again we used Runkeeper to track our progress. A really neat program for your smartphone.

We spent the afternoon doing pretty much nothing. Jan napped and read, while I worked on several projects, both physical and digital. But later in the afternoon, even I got in a short nap.


Although we had all originally planned on eating at home this evening, Jan decided she had a hankering for Chili’s, so we headed out for the Chili’s a couple of exits west on the freeway.

As usual our food was good, but as usual, it seems, we got seated in the screaming/squalling baby section. The kids a couple of tables away behind me never stop fussing and whining.

Growing up, our kids (and our granddaughter Piper) got one, and only one, outcry. Then it was out the door. I spent a lot of time out in the parking lot with Piper, believe me.

Unfortunately, these parents weren’t as considerate.

After dinner, we made a stop at Home Depot for some screws I needed for a couple of projects, and then it was on to Fry’s for a few things, including finishing up with a Cinnamon Dolce Latte from the in-house Starbucks.

Getting back home, it was cooler, and since the sun hadn’t gone down yet, we decided to do another walk, but only a mile this time. But still a nice walk.

April 11, 2014

How Cold Can It Be . . .

After a nice, quiet morning, about 1:15 Jan and I headed out for the 1:45 showing of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The second movie in the Captain America franchise, this one continues the non-stop action of the first one, as well as the plot tie-ins with the other Marvel movies, like Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, and The Avengers. And even better it also directly ties in with the Agents of SHIELD TV show. If you go for this sort of thing, don’t miss it. And lucky for me, I have a wife who likes these movies as much as I do. In fact, she even likes Dr. Who.

After the movie, we headed a couple of exits south on I-45 to have dinner at Ryan’s, one of our favorite buffet places. We both love their fried chicken.

But the first thing we noticed walking into the place, was how warm it was . . . no, not warm, HOT!  We assumed that maybe their AC was on the blink. But when we asked our waitress, a young lady named XXXX, she laughed and said, “Well, that’s the story they’re using today.”  When we inquired further, she said that starting a month or so ago, all Ryan’s restaurant thermostats are now controlled from the corporate offices . . . in Eagan, Minnesota!  Where it was 57 degrees today. Apparently, they’re only allowed to control the temp by 3 degrees at the restaurant.

Somebody needs to tell them this is Texas, not Minnesota.

Our waitress also said that over the last few weeks, a bunch of customers have asked for their money back and left because of the temperature.

On another note, ever taste or smell something and have it bring up an old memory? It’s happened to me before, and it did again today at Ryan’s. And strangely enough, it was caused by a Rice Krispies Treat, like the one below.

Ryan's Rice Krispy Treat

I’ve always liked them, and usually get one when we’re at Ryan’s. But these were different. When I saw the colored bits, I figured they were just Rice Krispies dyed with food coloring. But one taste told me differently and took me back.

They were not Rice Krispies, they were crushed TRIX cereal.

And suddenly, for a few seconds,  I was 10 years old, sitting at the breakfast table in our house on the Bon Secour River near Gulf Shores, AL.


After Ryan’s, we hit the Wal-Mart next door for a few things, and also the 99cent Store across the street before getting home about 7pm.

BTW,  I XXXX’d the name of our Ryan’s waitress to keep her from getting in trouble. We’ve had a couple of cases where I’ve mentioned a place here on the blog and have been contacted by the company. Just being careful.

April 11, 2015

The Worms Crawl In . . .

Right before we left Apache Junction, we bought a new Memory Foam Gel-Filled Mattress Topper and installed it on our bed. And as much as we liked our old mattress Topper, we both agree that we sleep better on the new one.

Of course, to install the new topper we had to strip the bed all the way down to the bare mattress, which meant removing and re-installing our Touch of Class Dual Control Heated Mattress Pad. We haven’t needed it since we were in Houston back in February, but since we got to Cottonwood, we’ve had nighttime temps in the low 30’s. But when we tried to start using the heat again, only Jan’s side was working.

So after a few cold nights on my side of the bed, I decided to take a look at the problem. The first thing I did was to use my ohmmeter to check the resistance at the connectors on both sides of the blanket, and then compare them. As it turned out, both sides read the same 120 ohms. So it wasn’t the wiring in the pad itself, which was a good thing.

So next I swapped the controllers between the sides, and my controller worked on Jan’s side, but her controller didn’t work on mine. So it wasn’t the controller. And then swapping them back didn’t help either.

So it must be the connector at the bottom of the blanket, so I tried plugging and unplugging the connector a number of times, again with no luck. So now it was time to bring out the big guns, Strike-Hold.

Strike-Hold Bottles

So I sprayed both the connector and the plug and let them soak for a while. And plugging in the controller about 30 minutes later, I had heat on my side. Strike-Hold has resurrected a number of my devices, including a Kindle Fire, and a laptop.

As I’ve said before, Strike Hold, The Magic Fluid. Give it a try for what ails you.

I mentioned a while back that when we stopped at the Bowlin’s Picacho Peak on our way over to Yuma to visit our friends, Chris and Charles Yust, I bought a box of these Larvet’s.

Larvets Packages

Larvets Sampler Gift Pack- BBQ, Cheddar Cheese, & Mexican Spice

Yes, these are BBQ’d worm larvae.

Jan finally told me that she was tired of seeing them on the counter, and if I didn’t eat them, she was going to throw them out. So eat them I did.

Larvets 2

Larvets 3

Actually, they were kind of a letdown. There was no taste to the larva, not even of chicken. They were like a hollow crunchy straw that just melted away in your mouth. The BBQ taste was like a BBQ potato chip, but with more heat. I tried to get Jan to try one, but she just shuddered and looked away.


Remember, I do these things so you don’t have to. Or want to.

Later for dinner, after my worm appetizer, Jan fixed up some the Rudy’s BBQ that we bought before we left Houston and froze.

Rudy's At Home 1

So we had Rudy’s Moist Brisket and Jalapeno Sausage, Broccoli Salad and Loaded Baked Potato Salad from Wal-Mart, and Firecracker (Hot) Sweet Pickles from Famous Dave’s BBQ. A very good dinner, believe me.

As it stands now, we’re going to do our Jerome trip tomorrow, but we’ll see how that turns out.

April 11, 2016

Passing The Torch…y

About 4pm Jan and I headed down to The Woodlands to have dinner at the new Torchy’s Tacos there. We’ve eaten at the one in Katy several times with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon, But it’s our first time for this one, since it only opened a couple of months ago.

Torchy's Woodlands 1_thumb[1]

And as usual, it was delicious.

Jan had the Trailer Park Taco with Fried Chicken strips, and the Jamaican Jerked Chicken Taco, both her favorites.

Torchy's Woodlands Jan's_thumb[1]

I had my usual Grilled Jalapeno Sausage and the Green Chile Pork, both really good.

Torchy's Woodlands Greg_thumb[1]

Torchy’s actually started as a Food Truck operation, but now has grown to over 40 stores, and one visit will tell you why.

There’s also a new Torchy’s opening soon at the Baybrook Mall, down in our old stomping grounds, so we’ll have to try that one soon too. You can’t have too much Torchy’s.

As we were leaving, we noticed this motorcycle in the parking lot just as the owner came out. Jan asked him if the seat was comfortable, and he said it was. Also said it was a Franken-Bike. He started out with the engine from an old  Honda 750 and combined it with a bunch of junkyard parts from a lot of different bikes.

Torchy's Woodlands - Motorcycle_thumb[1]

He described it as a “Work in Progress”, and it looks like it.

Getting back to the Conroe area we made a quick Wal-Mart stop to drop off some prescriptions, and pick up a couple of things from the grocery section.

Tomorrow, maybe a movie.

April 11, 2017

Up On The Roof, Again . . .

About 2pm Jan and I drove to the Buffalo Wild Wings down south on Sunset. We’ve eaten here a couple times before and it’s always been good.

Buffalo Wild Wings Remains

Didn’t get any pics of the ‘Before’, but this is the ‘After’, the remains of 20 wings, (10 each), mine with Mango Habanero Sauce (Their 3rd Hottest) and a side of ‘Blazin’ (Their Hottest). and Jan got hers with Bourbon Honey Mustard and a side of Hot (The 4th Hottest).

Even better than the great wings, it was 1/2 price Wing Day.

On the way home we made a stop at an O’Reilly Auto Parts to get an air filter for our Dodge Dakota truck and then it was back to the rig.

We left the windows open and our Fantastic Vent Fans running when we headed out for lunch at BWW,  but when we got back around 4pm the kitchen fan was no longer running. The lid was still open and would close when I hit the button so I knew it had power.

My first thought was the plunger switch that keeps the fan from running until the lid is open, but normally it acts up by sticking close and not letting the fan start up went you open the lid, not while the fan is running.

I did try using a stick to hit the switch from inside, a ploy that’s worked in the past, but no luck this time. So it looks like tomorrow I’m up on the roof, again,

The last time we were in Las Vegas, in 2015, we discovered an abandoned RV park just south of the Vegas Thousand Trails. You can check out our visit at the link above.

Abandoned RV Park OV

It looked like it had been a really nice park in its prime, but the only thing it housed now was a bunch of vagrants living in lean-to and piles of boards.

Blog reader Reg commented on this:

We tried to stay at that park about 10 years ago but they only accepted class A less than 10 years old. It soon closed after that. The cost was too high for TTN at that time and the bulldozers leveled it. The car wash next door also went with it, and it had a bay to wash motor homes.

Looks like they got too uppity and too picky.

Now it looks like it’s going to be either high-end apartments or houses. I’ll try to get some photos tomorrow.

I was finally able to park across the road this afternoon when we got back from BWW.

Las Vegas TT Site 214 Parking

The dolly just to the left of red trailer was gone so I fit in there. The guy in the rig next to us was hoping we could move tomorrow, in the morning at least, since he has a crew coming in to wash his rig.

So it all worked out.

April 11, 2018

Scoping It Out . . .

Work today was only about half-machine repair, so I guess I lucked out. I have come to the conclusion that these boards are not designed very well. There are two boards in this model of machine, a power supply board and an oscillator board. But every board will not work with every other board.

I started to notice that I would swap out what seemed to be a bad board with another one that would work. But the supposedly bad board would work in another machine with a different board. So each machine has to be ‘tuned’ by swapping out boards until you get a set that works.

This is a symptom of boards that are designed with sloppy tolerances, tolerances so wide, I.e. + or – 30 % instead of +- 5%. So that if the tolerances of a particular set of boards go the wrong way, they don’t work together. But each board might work with another one. It’s just the luck of the draw.

At some point, I’m probably going to have to start repairing the actual bad boards. And to do that I’m going to need an oscilloscope of some sort. I sold off mine a long time ago so I’ll have to get something new. Luckily digital scopes are a lot cheaper than they used to be, $100’s instead of $1000 of dollars.

Even Amazon has a nice selection of scopes, even some kits. Since I don’t have any schematics for most of these units, what I’ll do is to use the scope to start recording waveforms at key points on each board which I can then use to diagnose bad boards.

Tomorrow I’ll take care of some chores before our planned jaunt in the rig this weekend. I want to check the pressure in the rig’s tires, and the water in the house batteries. The engine batteries are sealed so I don’t have to worry about them. I’m also going to untie the anemometer pole from where it’s zip-tied to the ladder on the rear of the rig.

As it stands now we’ll probably do this on Sunday since it looks to be stormy all day Saturday. I’m thinking about just making a 40 mile loop, heading south on Hwy 6 down to where it joins up with I-45, then back up north to FM517 where we’ll take that back over to Alvin, and then back down Hwy 6 to Santa Fe and home.

We may make a stopover at the La Marque Buc-ee’s to top off on diesel, and then another stop along the way to fill up on propane. We’ll see.

I noticed yesterday that my Texas Lottery app had been updated, and I was happy to see that they’ve finally fixed the problem with the lottery ticket scanner function not working. That makes finding that winning ticket a lot easier.

As it stands right now we’re getting together with our son Chris and his family for dinner tomorrow night. Really looking forward to that..

April 11, 2019

We’re In B.C. – A.C. Mode . . .

I spent the morning working on a lot of cruise-related items, trying to cross off a bunch of things off our B.C list. That’s B.C., as in Before Cruise.

And of course, A.C. is for all the After Cruise things we’re putting off until we get back. Things like the rig’s oil leak, the rig’s generator problem, etc.

I first sent out quote requests to 3 car services for transportation to and from Houston Intercontinental for our flights. We want to leave the truck here, plus not having to worry with parking. And by the time I got all the quotes back in later in the day, I was surprised at the wide range of prices.

The highest one was $227.50 each way, for a total of $455. The middle one was $190 each way, for a total of $380. But the one we went with, and one that our daughter Brandi uses when she travels. came in at $166 for a total of $332.

This is for a Lincoln MKT SUV, taking us right to our terminal gate. Our flight on Lufthansa leaves at 3:55pm, and since it’s recommended that we get there 3 hours early, that would be 1pm, so I’m shooting for 12pm, to allow for traffic, etc., getting there. And considering what 31 days of long-time parking would cost, it’s a real bargain.

Next, I went online and booked the two additional London tours that we want to take on two of our extra 3 days, one a walking tour of Dr. Who Film Locations, and the second one, a visit to Hampton Court, Henry VIII’s residence. This will still leave us two free days for anything else that comes up.

Then I put in calls to Chase, Capital One, and PayPal to have them flag our card accounts for overseas travel, so we don’t have any nasty surprises. I’ve tried doing this online in the past but I found that it works much better talking to a real person, though it did sometimes take a bit to talk to someone.

Last up for the morning was to go online with LegalZoom and update our wills. Actually only took about 20 minutes to do mine, and I’ll finish up Jan’s this weekend.

Later, heading out for lunch and shopping, we stopped by the PO for our mail, and also to double check that they’ll just hold our mail until we get back. Turns out that when our box fills up it is automatically moved into an overflow box until we return.

After lunch at Cheddar’s, and shopping at WalMart, we got home just in time to watch the second launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy. And it was amazing to watch not only the two boosters, but also the central core return to earth and stick the landings, the two boosters at the Cape, and the core on a droneship barge in the Atlantic.


Tomorrow it’s back to work, and then tomorrow night we’re attending the newly resurrected Alvin Opry for what’s sure to be a great show.

April 11, 2020

Bingeing . . .

Over the weekend Jan discovered that our CBS streaming service has every episode of Frasier available, so she’s been binge-streaming it, starting with the very first show. It’s amazing how well it’s held up, and how funny it is/was.

I went outside about 2pm to get our new shed installed on the plywood base I got at Home Depot on Thursday.

After getting the base into position, I used my RV leveler to level the board side to side, with a slight tilt to the rear for drainage. I did this by adding or removing larger rocks from underneath the board.

Rubbermaid Shed Leveled Base

Then I used these 10” screw-in anchors and polypropylene strapping to fasten the base to the rock gravel.

Rubbermaid Stakes

And as hard as they were to screw into the dirt/gravel/rock mix, they’re not coming out any time soon.

Rubbermaid Shed Strapped Down Base

So now I was ready to slide the shed off the patio and onto the base. I did have to use a large pipe to lever the shed up on the base, but then it just slid into place with no problems.

Rubbermaid Shed Almost Done

I still have to use these metal bars to fasten the shed to the base through the shed floor,

Rubbermaid Shed Metal Straps

but I’m going to wait and hear from the park owner to be sure he’s happy with where it’s positioned. Hopefully, I should be able to screw it down tomorrow, and then we can get started sorting stuff in the bins and moving things out there.

For dinner tonight Jan rewarded me for all my hard work today by insisting I take her over to our nearby Whataburger for dinner. As before we did online ordering and then ate it in the WalMart parking lot across the street.

April 11, 2021

Two. Count’em. Two.

Today was a quiet one for a change, with lunch at Los Ramirez and then a quick stop at the nearby HEB.

Jan got her usual Pechuga Rellena, with a grilled chicken breast, grilled shrimp, and grilled broccoli,

Los Ramirez Pechuga 1-05-20

while I got my usual Beef Fajita Taco Salad.

Los Ramirez Beef Fajita Taco Salad

It’s easy to see why we both get our usual ‘usuals’.

You can now add O’Reilly’s Auto Parts to the list of companies that have made masks optional, at least here in Texas. No more masks signs when we stop off there on the way home.

And, although they still have the signs up, HEB didn’t seem to be policing the lack of masks at our local one this afternoon.

Well, after not grilling anything since about 2012, somehow, we’re now a two-grill family.

When we were getting ready to start RV’ing in 2007, our kids, Chris and Brandi, gave us a very nice Weber Q200 gas grill,

Weber q200 Grill

and we used it a lot as we traveled around the country the first 5 years or so. But the last time I can remember using it was while we were gate guarding in 2012, when we did hot dogs. And that was it.

Then a few years ago, we loaned it to Brandi and Lowell who’ve had it ever since. But since we’re redoing our patio area, we wanted to start grilling outside, so when we were up there visiting over Easter, we brought it back home with us. Their poolside area has a big built-in BBQ grill, so they hadn’t used ours in a while, anyway.

But while we were up there, we saw an ad on QVC for the new George Foreman Inside/Outside 15-serving electric grill.

George Foremand Inside Outside Grill

So since Jan wanted something that would also let us grill inside as well as outside, so I put in an order for one. Which showed up this past Friday.

After I got it all put together out on the patio, I cleaned up the Weber, getting the dust, dirt, and a dirt dauber nest out of it, and then used a wire brush on the grill surface. And it came out looking really nice.

So my next step was to connect up a new propane tank, and hit the igniter button a couple of times. And amazingly, it fired right up.

So we’re now a two-grill family, I guess. Jan says the first thing we’re going to do is hot dogs, and then some ribs.

But with two grills I guess we could do both at the same time.

I mentioned a while back that all of the Texas Bunch is heading up to Illinois the 2nd week of June for a big family reunion with her sister Debbie and the rest of the Illinois Bunch. Then on our way back home, we plan on detouring down through Alabama to check in with family and friends.

But since we’ll be gone about a week and a half, Jan was worried about her patio hibiscus not getting enough, or any, water. So I came up with a computer-controlled watering system to keep it watered while we’re gone.

I’m going to use an empty kitty litter bucket for the water reservoir, a small submersible pump, some plastic tubing, and a smart plug like this to control it.

TanTan Alexa Computer Switch

I can set it to automatically turn on for several minutes a day to keep it watered, or even control it manually from anywhere. I’m going to set it up in the next week or so, and let it keep the plant watered until we leave so I can get some idea how long it needs to run each day.

Hopefully, we won’t come back to a dead plant.

April 11, 2022

Finally, Something Drone-Worthy . . .

I finished booking all the hotels along our route on our upcoming Alabama vacation.

We’ll leave here the 26th of May, spend the night in Slidell, and arrive in Athens, AL on the 27th, where we’ll be for the next 5 days, catching up with relatives and friends.

Then it’s on down to Birmingham where we’ll stay for one night, again seeing long-time friends. And the next two nights after that, we’ll be in Montgomery seeing a couple of more old friends, before ending up down at Gulf Shores on the 4th for the next week.

We’ve got a 7-bedroom condo right on the Gulf, room enough for the 22 people that make up the Texas branch and the Illinois branch of Jan and her sister Debbie’s families.

Gulf Shores Condo 1

Gulf Shores Condo 2

Gulf Shores Condo 3

We’ll be there for a week, with Jan and I finally getting home on Sunday, June 12th.

Really looking forward to it.

One thing about visiting Brandi is that the dogs, Jack and Baxter, are always happy to see us, and bring us toys to play with.

“Did someone say Treat?”

Did Someone Say Treat

What’s unusual about this photo is that Baxter still has his kerchief on. For some reason, Jack doesn’t like Baxter to wear anything around his neck and does his best to pull it off.

And this is Landon and Jack checking in on his Zoom school class back in the day.

Landon and Jack in his Online Class

Linda Sand, a long-time blog reader, said that a few years ago when they were passing through Marathon the Buc-ee’s/Target mini-store there was a Prada store back then.

So what’s next? A Chick-fil-A?

It looks like that’s what happened up in Wharton, TX. Somebody got the whole town riled up by posting a Chick-fil-A Coming Soon sign.

Wharton police said they are looking for the “heartless individual” who placed a sign promising a Chick-fil-A coming soon at a major intersection. The issue with it is, it was done as a prank and there are no plans for the restaurant there.

“A witness said this act was ‘Udderly heinous and heartless,’”

I’m sure everyone’s heard about Amazon working on drone delivery of their products. And in fact they’re starting it up in places around the country with a $65 charge.

But finally, someone’s starting to deliver something’s that really drone-worthy.

Blue Bell, the Texas Ice Cream maker, is starting up ice cream deliveries by drone up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Now that’s something I’d pay extra for.

April 11, 2023

Got The Glasses . . . And The Shirt

With Jan’s two medical things today, brunch was at Snooze, since it was really close by both offices. And since the weather was so nice today, with partly cloudy, low 70’s, and a nice breeze, that we sat out on the patio for the first time this year.

Jan on Snooze Patio

We both got our usuals, Jan’s Bravocado Toast and my Shrimp and Grits, and shared an order of their Bacon, But Different. Always delicious.

Her first appointment was pretty quick, just a blood drawing at her oncologist’s office, but then things went off the rails.

When she got to her Mammogram appointment, they had her down for a standard mammogram, not the diagnostic one she’s supposed to get since she had breast cancer back in 2014. And for some reason, they couldn’t do a diagnostic one today.

So somewhere between her oncologist’s office sending over the order for the diagnostic mammogram and the mammogram receiving the correct order, someone dropped the ball.

So now she’s got a new mammogram appointment for next Tuesday. Hopefully, they’ll get this one right.

Coming home we made a quick HEB stop before getting back to the rig a little before 3pm.

Since I got my hotel reservations for the big total eclipse next April, I next decided to order the special glasses that you will need to safely observe the eclipse. And once again I’m glad I got ahead of the curve.

I first ordered a set of ten of these.

Solar Eclipse Glasses

Solar Eclipse Glasses – CE and ISO Certified Safe Shades for Direct Sun Viewing – Made in the USA (10 Pack) by Soluna

I got the set of 10 for about $17, a good deal since according to the reviews back during the last big eclipse in 2017, this set of 10 was going for over $120. Supply and Demand, kind of like the hotel rooms in Waco that I talked about yesterday.

I got 10 which will let me give out 1 to everyone in the family.

If you buy any glasses for this purpose, be sure they have the NASA ISO certification number 12312-2 on them. This tells you that they are safe to use for eclipse viewing without blinding you.

Kind of an important thing, if you ask me.

And while I was looking at glasses, I came across the perfect apparel for Eclipse Day.

Solar Eclipse T-Shirt

America Totality Spring 4.08.24 Total Solar Eclipse 2024 T-Shirt

I’ll probably end up getting Jan one too before the big day.

And speaking of the big day, if you miss this Total Eclipse next year, then you only have to wait until 2044 for the next one.

BUT you can see an Annular Eclipse passing through Texas this coming October 14, 2023.

Annular Eclipse Path

An annular eclipse is when the moon and the sun line up, but the moon appears smaller than the sun.

Annular Eclipse

This makes the sun appear like a bright ring.

Several of our readers wanted to know Brandi’s recipe for the Hatch Green Chile Beer Bread. Turns out that it was the one thing she did from a mix.

You can find it here at Soberdough.com. At least it’s sober dough until you add a can of beer.

They’ve got everything from Hatch Green Chile Cheese Beer Bread to Mimosa Muffins (with Champagne) to Cheesy Garlic or Cinnamon Swirl.

Check it out.