It Is What It Is . . .

We were on our way at the stroke of 10:30 this morning, heading for our Eclipse Rendezvous up in Killeen, about 220 miles away. Our first stop was at the Waller Buc-ee’s for coffee, breakfast kolaches, and a potty break, not necessarily in that order.

The only real slowdown was coming out the other side of Brenham when the heavy construction brought all the traffic down to one lane, going and coming. So we’ll have it going home too. Lost about 20 minutes through there.

We did see one traffic sign along the way saying, “No Parking For Eclipse April 8th”. Now this was way out in the countryside, 20 miles from nowhere, with wide shoulders on both sides of the 4-lane, the perfect place to park. So what, they want everyone parking in town?

Our last stop was in Milano for just a potty break, and then it was on to the Days Inn in Killeen, getting there a little after 3:15.

Normally, in a case like this, we go eat first and then go to our room so we don’t have to go back out again. But since I had made this reservation a year ago, and pre-paid it, I wanted to be sure we actually had a room, and it hadn’t been given away.

But everything worked out fine. And we have a very nice room.

Then it was on down the Interstate a couple of miles to the Little Italy Family Italian Restaurant. Jan really likes Beef Ravioli and it can be hard to find.

Cheese, yes. Lobster, yes. And even Shrimp. But not Beef.

But when did a Google search, we found it here. Turned out to be a really nice place.

First up was a plate of Hot, Fresh-Baked Bread,

which segued into our Dinner Salads.

With really delicious home-made Ranch Dressing.

Then, of course, Jan’s Beef Ravioli.

Normally when I do Italian it’s pizza or spaghetti and meatballs, but I saw this Sunday Special on the menu, and went for it.

The Pork Chop Carbonara, with two pork cutlets, bacon, mushrooms, and onions, all in a creamy carbonara sauce, over a bed of linguini.

Really good, and I had more than half left to bring home, or bring motel, I guess.

Since the hotel breakfast is over at 8:30, and we don’t want to get up that early, we’ll head next door to the Golden Corral for breakfast at about 10 when they open.

On the Eclipse front, not sure what we’re going to see tomorrow. The weather seems to be all over the map.

Here in Killeen, the Moon is supposed to start nibbling at the Sun at 12:19, with the Totality starting at 1:37 and ending at 1:41. Then everything will be back to normal by 2:59. But we’ll see.

It is what it is.

Thought For The Day:

Always Take Life With A Grain Of Salt . . . And A Slice Of Lime, and a Tequila Shot.

For a Retro-Preview –

In today’s blog in 2018, The aftermath of wrecking my Ford Ranger on the Atchafalaya River Bridge in Louisiana back in 1994.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

April 7, 2010

Hot Wings and Dragons…

About 11:30 am we headed out to lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings for a good batch of Mango Habanero wings. Then it was on to Fry’s Electronics and then next door to Borders Books. I wanted a new computer magazine and Jan was looking for the latest Charlaine Harris “Dead” book.

Coming home we stopped off at Sam’s Club to pick up our prescriptions for this month.

About 4 pm we drove about a mile down the road to the theater at Sam’s Town Casino to see “How to Train Your Dragon” in 3D. We both really enjoyed it, and noted that recently, some of the best movies we’ve seen have been animated, particularly ‘UP” and “Wall-E”. Says something about the quality of most movies these days.

After the movie, we decided to try a new Mexican restaurant we had seen around town called “Macayo Vegas”. And we were pleasantly surprised by the great food, although the service was somewhat lacking. But they were busy with some large groups, and we’re retired, so we didn’t really care.

April 7, 2011

Vacuums and Green Tea . . .

As hoped this morning started our about 10 with coffee and some homemade toast.


Then for lunch, we did it again with cheese toast and chips, again with the homemade bread.

More good.

About 1:30 I drove into Cottonwood to check out a vacuum cleaner store I had seen.

Eureka 71AI was looking for a standard vacuum hose to hook up to my new Eureka 71A Handheld. I had checked online and local stores, but if they had a hose it was more than I wanted to pay, in some cases the hose was more expensive than the vacuum itself. So I thought I might try a small vacuum repair shop.

And I lucked out and found one. Used, of course, but only $5. Just what I wanted.

My next stop was Fry’s, to pick up some Lipton Diet Green Tea, and some ice cream for dessert tonight.

April 7, 2012

It’s Alive . . . It’s Alive . . .

We’ve really lucked on the weather here in Whitsett the last couple of days. When we got here Thursday afternoon it was about 98 degrees, but yesterday and today, it was in the mid-80’s with a lot of clouds, which made it very comfortable.

Landon is pretty much back to his old self

Landon at the Mall

For lunch, Jan fixed us leftovers from last night’s visit to the Magic Time Machine up in San Antonio. Then after lunch, I went outside to talk to Terry, the mechanic here. I wanted to find out where we took our garbage. I could see he was building out the generator and sewer trailers, like this one below.

Gate Guard Lot 8

I said I was surprised to see him working on the weekend. He laughed and said he was worked 7 days a week to keep up with the demand, and said he’d had two days off in the last month.

Certainly bodes well for the gate guard business

I was able to bring my Samsung Color Laser Printer back from the dead this afternoon.

It had been feeling depressed and jumped to its . . . well, actually, I hit a bad bump pulling into the Gate Guard Services lot on Thursday afternoon and it fell off the computer desk, ending up in about 8 different pieces.

So finally this afternoon I decided to take a shot at putting it back together and seeing if I could get it working again.

I finally got it back in one piece and powered it up. And power up it did, which was something. But it would not initialize and give me the green light. I just had a flashing red one. But before I gave up I decided to take it back apart even more and see what I could find.

And after a few minutes I found a connector that had pulled apart. Plugging it in and putting everything back together, I turned it on, and happily got a green light. And pressing the button gave me a test page.

It’s Alive . . . It’s Alive . . .

At this point, I decided to reward myself with a nice nap. I also justified it by figuring I was just resting up for our upcoming gate guarding.

Yeah, right!

About 5:30 Jan and I headed about 25 miles north back to Pleasanton, where we planned to eat dinner and pick up a few things at the HEB. We had seen a whole lot of Bill Miller BBQ places in this area, and wanted to check them out. Well, based on us, it’s hard to see how they have so many locations.

Jan’s Chopped Beef Sandwich was so finely chopped it was like mush, and mixed with a pretty tasteless sauce.

I had the Rib and Sausage Combo Plate with potato salad, Cole slaw, and pinto beans. The sausage was good, but they probably didn’t make it. The ribs were dry smoked, and although, very meaty, were very dry. And even dunking them in the sauce didn’t help things.

And the sauce itself was pretty tasteless, just kind of ‘tomatoey’, with absolutely nothing spicy at all.

The potato salad and Cole slaw were pretty generic, but the pinto beans were pretty good. Or maybe they were only so-so, but stood out next to the bland food surrounding it. It’s hard to say.

But to make the meal even worse . . . they charge 50 cents for iced tea refills. WTH?

All in all, a very disappointing meal.

Leaving the restaurant we drove across the street to the HEB. Our first stop was at the gas station to fill up our truck. Gas was $3.75, about 14 cents a gallon cheaper than the Shell station down in Whitsett. Then after grabbing some cat food and frozen pizzas, we headed back to the GGS lot for the night.

Our daughter Brandi called this afternoon saying Landon was doing fine, and they were taking him to get his first haircut this afternoon.

We were supposed to get pictures, but haven’t seen any yet (hint, hint). Hopefully, we’ll see some soon. (hint, hint).

Not sure what we’re going to do tomorrow. Jan may fix something, or we may go out for dinner. We’ll see.

April 7, 2013

Skype and Chili . . .

I was up at my usual 10am, got the coffee started and then Jan and I headed out for a walk around the park. We did about 1/2 mile before coming back to the rig to a good cup of coffee.

I worked on a couple of projects, then about 1pm we did our first Skype call of this year with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon.

Landon never slowed down so all the pics are a little blurry.

Video call snapshot 1

Brandi said Landon is growing like a weed, a tall weed. He’s 26 months old and now wears 3T clothes. Looks like he’s going to be tall like his father, Lowell.

Video call snapshot 4

Video call snapshot 5

Video call snapshot 9

Video call snapshot 10

Video call snapshot 14

Kitty, their Black Lab is the only one that sat still for her photo.

Video call snapshot 13

After about 15 minutes we said our goodbyes for this time. We’ll try to do it again in a couple of weeks.

About 2:30 I headed out for a few errands. After dropping off the trash at the dumpster, I drove down to the Camping World to pick up some new Leveler Pads and then it was right down the road to a RadioShack to pick up an LED panel light to finish up my Taillight Test Box.

Getting back to the rig I worked on some website stuff until about 5 when Jan and I fixed a supper of Chili Taco Salads using Skyline Chili. Really good.

Then about 6 we headed out for another walk, this time for a mile, since it was cooler outside than this morning.

Hopefully, we’ll be able to walk every day unless it gets too hot. We’ll see how it goes.

April 7, 2014

Well, Isn’t This Helpful . . .

Yesterday, after finding out that I still did not have the correct shear pin for my slide, I emailed Power Gear the following email on their website.

My 1999 American Eagle NS has a single Power Gear slide. A month or so ago, due to a loose floor tile under the kitchen cabinet, we popped the shear pin on the motor end of the slide.

I have gone back and forth with American Coach since then, trying to get the correct replacement pin.

The first one they sent was labeled this: 238957 PIN, 1-1/2″ SLIDE, PART OF POWER GEAR B50-0240. This one, at 1/4″ diameter was way too large.

Based some of your docs I assume this is a 18-1038 or 1039.

The next time they sent me an 18-1036. It’s not only too small, but it’s not a roll or coil pin, but a tension ‘C’ shaped pin. I actually tried one just like this from Tractor Supply. It lasted about a second.

So the only one that seems to be left is a 18-1034. American Coach doesn’t have any in stock and says it will take 3-4 weeks. PPL here in Houston also is a no go.

I’ve also called several other suppliers listed on your website, also with no luck.

Part of the problem is that even American Coach can’t give me the actual model number of my slide unit.

I can’t find any number on the slide itself, but I have found the following numbers.

The Inside Control Panel Part #530052
The Current Limiter under the slide Part #510116

Can you tell me what model slide I have, and what pin I need?

And who has them in stock without waiting 3-4 weeks.

Thanks for your help.

Greg White

And then early this morning, I got this ‘very helpful’ email back from Power Gear.

We wouldn’t know what system Fleetwood installed on the coach, only they can tell you this sorry.  We don’t have info on who stocks what, I doubt any one will stock shear pins.  Thank you.


Power Gear/Kwikee Technical Service

No. Thank you.

So Power Gear is basically telling me to go away and leave them alone. And note that they completely ignored my question about where to find a 1034 pin, and apparently don’t care if my slide ever works right again.

You can be sure that if we ever buy a new coach, I will pick one that uses Power Gear products. And yes, in case you missed it, that’s sarcasm.

Several people have mentioned checking out McMasters-Carr or Grainger and finding some the right size. And I may end up doing this as a last resort.

The problem is that according to the Power Gear docs I do have, the same size pins can have different tensile strengths, and thus, different breaking points. They’re kind of like mechanical fuses, and PG warns you to be sure and get the correct pin for your model slide.

So tomorrow it’s back on the phone with American Coach.

After Jan and I had breakfast one last time at Schobels’ Restaurant this morning, we left the Colorado River TT park about 12:30pm, heading back to the Lake Conroe TT for two weeks.

The 125 mile, 2-1/2 hour trip went very smoothly with no problems, not even with Houston traffic. We just came in on 1-10, turned north on the Sam Houston Tollway, and then got on I-45 north.

With the weather getting warmer, we definitely wanted 50 amp and were lucky to get a nice level 50 amp site, right next to where we were two weeks ago.

About 4:30 we headed out to have dinner at El Bosque, a place we’ve eaten at before and really liked. And we still like it.

Jan and I had the Fajitas Poblanas, with Beef and Chicken Fajitas, with onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and bell peppers, all grilled up with chunks of crispy bacon and covered in melted white cheese.

HMMMMMM   Bacon!

El Bosque Fajitas Plobanas

We also ordered their special ‘mucho caliente salsa’ like we got last time. Made with smoky chipotle peppers, it was hot and delicious.

Finishing up, we picked up some stuff at the Wal-Mart across the street before heading home for the night.

Tomorrow we’re going to head down to the Clear Lake area and then on the way back pick up some UPS packages at Brandi’s.

We might even have dinner again at Little V’s. You never can tell.

April 7, 2015

Going Hog Wild in Cottonwood . . .

It got down to 35 degrees last night, and it’s supposed to be about the same tonight. But it’s going up into the mid 70’s in the daytime, so it’s been really nice. And fortunately for us, it looks to stay that way.

We have run into two problems here at the park though. The first is what’s happening with the water pressure. In the morning, when Jan takes her shower, and the rest of the day, the pressure is fine, about 80# according to my gauge. But by the time, I take my shower, usually between 1 and 2am, the pressure is much, much lower. Low enough so that I have to turn on our rig water pump to get a decent shower. Then the next morning, the pressure is back to normal. What’s up with that?

I haven’t gone out at 2am to actually check the pressure at the faucet, since I’m not sure my neighbors would appreciate me skulking around in the dark between the rigs. But it’s happened now two nights in a row.

The second problem is with the sewer connection. The sites in this section are side by side pull-thrus, with the rigs facing the opposite directions, and the hookups are between the rigs. The electric pedestal and the water connection are in the center, but the sewer connections are on the far ends.

I guess they figure you will not pull all the way to the front of the site, but stay toward the back. But if I did that, then I would not be able to open our slide due to the conveniently-placed sharp, pointy trees.

Verde Valley TT H46

So the 20 feet of sewer hose that I have came up about 10 feet too short. But ever prepared, I had an unopened box with another 20 feet of hose in the back of the truck. I bought it last year when I thought I might need it for one of our gate guarding gates, but never did.

The only small problem is that it comes without the connectors installed, but that only took a few minutes, and we were good to go.

About 3pm Jan and I headed out to drive around for a while, and then have dinner. We drove all the way out to Clarkdale to check out the Verde Canyon Railroad, since we plan on taking the 4 hour ride while we’re here.

As we were driving out that way, we passed Hog Wild BBQ, and the delicious smells emanating from it, and decided then and there on our dinner location when we came back that way.

And it was well worth the stop. We had eaten here in 2011, the last time we were at Verde Valley, and it was on our list of repeats.

Jan had the Pulled Pork Sandwich with Cole Slaw, and I had the Beef Brisket Plate.

Hog Wild BBQ

Really good, and we both love their hand-cut fries.

Finishing up and heading home, we made a Wal-Mart stop for a few things along the way.

Fortunately, there were no parking lot shootouts while we were there.

April 7, 2016

I Forgot . . .

Well, that didn’t last long. Apparently Verizon is tweaking (or maybe twerking?) the new XLTE installation here, since for the last two days, the signal on my phone has alternated between 1X and 3G, with not a 4G bar to be seen.

But the increased 3G speed that I’ve been getting on my AirCard hasn’t dropped off, with the 2.5 Mbps still the norm, so that’s still working out OK

I mentioned yesterday about how much data I’ve used so far this month – a little over 45 GB, noticeably higher than our normal 25 GB or so. I attributed the increase to the 3 or 4 TV shows we had streamed, but this morning I suddenly realized the real reason for the increase.

I forgot that Jan recently got hooked on the HBO series Big Love. On the air from 2006 to 2011, it details the life of a fictional fundamentalist polygamist Mormon family, Starring Bill Paxton, the series revolves around Bill Henrickson, his three wives (Barb, first/legal wife; Nicki, second wife; and Margene, third wife) and their (combined) nine children.

Featuring stars such as Ellen Burstyn, Sissy Spacek, Harry Dean Stanton, Mary Kay Place, and Bruce Dern, it received critical acclaim during all its five seasons.

Anyway, about a week ago, Jan started watching the series, streaming it for free through Amazon Prime. She’s now up to Season Two, Episode 9 now, so that’s 21 episodes of HD video Jan has streamed in the last couple of weeks.

So that’s where my extra GB’s have come from.

I  also forgot to mention in yesterday’s blog that for dinner we drove into Columbus to get our Whataburger fix. And this time we both with something a little different. Jan tried a Chop House Burger with two patties, bacon, tomato, grilled onions, melted shredded cheese, and creamy steak sauce. while I sampled the A-1 Thick and Hardy Burger burger, with two patties, bacon, tomato, grilled onions, cheese, and of course A-1 Steak Sauce.

We both liked our choices, but agreed we really liked our normal Whataburger Jr’s better. We did get a Root Beer Shake to go to have later as dessert. All in all, a nice meal.

For dinner tonight, we had our leftover steak from Monday’s night Texas Roadhouse visit, which Jan sliced thin and put it some of the rolls we also brought home. Along with a baked potato, it made a really good meal.

I talked to Barbara Spade, the park ranger, this afternoon, She said they had got her new residential refrigerator installed and she really loves it. I’m going over to her rig tomorrow to take a look at her taillight problem. And then maybe a carwash/rig wash using my pressure washer may be in the cards.

April 7, 2017

What? I Don’t See Anything . . .

After a nice, slow morning, about 12:15 Jan and I headed out for our lunch date over in Tempe with our friend’s Dick and Phyllis Schell.

They had picked Oregano’s, an Italian place in the heart of the Arizona State University campus, that was about halfway between where we were in Apache Junction, and where they are parked in Sun City.

We started off by splitting a half loaf of their Cheesy Garlic Bread.

Oregano's Cheesy Garlic Bread

Then everyone went in a different direction with Dick getting a small Cheese Pizza.

Oregano's Cheese Pizza

Not sure where the rogue piece of pepperoni came from.

While Phyllis got one of her favorites, the Big Chicken Salad.

Oregamo's Big Chicken Salad

After talking with our waitress, Hallie, Jan got the Big Chicken Parm with Alfredo Sauce.

Oregano's Chicken Parm

Wrapping up, I got the 16” Meaty Pizza with Pepperoni, Sausage, Meatballs, Canadian Bacon, and Mushrooms.

Oregano's Meaty Pizza

Big enough to have plenty to take home for both of us.

Although they have a deep dish, thick crust pizza, their specialty is a thin crust, even thinner than Grimaldi’s. But unlike many really thin crusts that snap like a crisp cracker, Oregano’s stays soft and flexible. Really good.

For dessert, Dick and Phyllis ordered us a Hot, Gooey, Chocolate Chip Cookie topped with Ice Cream.

Oregano's Cookie

Really great finish to a great meal.

Dick and Phyllis Schell

Oregano’s is really great, and goes on our list for places to visit again.

Saying our goodbyes until next time, we headed home. Getting back to Apache Junction, our first stop was at the O’Reilly’s for a new air chuck. Rather than get another locking one, I went with a straight line that I knew it would work.

Straight Line Air Chuck

We finished up with a few things from Fry’s before getting back to the rig a little before 5pm.

About 6pm I went outside to finish up the last of the tires with the new straight chuck. Of course, it means that I have to stand hunched over to hold it on the valve stem, but I’ve only got two tires so I’ll work through the pain.

Finally, I topped off the four tires on the truck. If you have a 150# compressor like this one. be aware it only takes a few seconds to raise the tire from 25# to 35#. And only a few more seconds to . . .  BOOM!

I could have backed the output setting down to 40# but then I’d just have to raise it again. Rather just leave it alone and be careful. I finished up by packing away the chairs and the hoses in the truck so I don’t have much to do before we leave tomorrow for Vegas.

Totaling up, I never heard back from any of the awning companies I called and left messages with, including several recommended by blog readers.

After I repeatedly told the glass people that we were leaving for Vegas this weekend, they finally called me back Tuesday afternoon and were surprised to find out that we weren’t available this weekend for them to come by and look at the windshield. We’ll try again in Vegas, I guess.

And so far, my parking lot adversary has not filed a claim with my insurance company. I guess it might be hard for the claims adjuster not to laugh in his face.

Fiat Scrap Before 2

Fiat Scrap After 2

Blog readers will remember that while the police officer was watching, I wet my fingers, and in about 30 seconds, rubbed the smear almost completely away.

As one blog reader, said, Spit, the new rubbing compound.

We plan on heading out for the Las Vegas Thousand Trails about 8am, hoping to make the 320 mile trip in about 6 hours and get in around 2pm. We wanted to go this early so it will stay cool, since I still haven’t had a chance to work on our transfer switch.

Yeah, yeah, I know,. It’s on the list.

This means that we won’t have the generator available to run the AC’s. But when we leave here at 8am, the temp is supposed to be 66, and only 73 in Vegas when we get in at 2pm.

Here’s hoping.

April 7, 2018

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

When we last left our hero, that would be me, I was in a cab on the way to the Lafayette, LA airport to rent a car. After my Ford Ranger did a RUD, a Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly for you space fans, on the Atchafalaya River Bridge in Louisiana, I had decided to continue my trip to Birmingham to look in on my mother.

While I was waiting for the cab at the wrecker yard, the 2nd wrecker showed up with all my discarded parts. As the two guys piled them into what was left of the truck bed, I realized that there were more parts in the bed than left on the truck.

While I was waiting I managed to find a bottle of aspirin in what was left of the truck’s glove compartment and took a couple. And by the time the cab arrived, my headache was gone.

Walking into the airport I found a pay phone and called Jan who was at work. I told her what happened and that I was fine. I said I was going to rent a car and continue on to Birmingham. I also said I wanted her to meet me at the Lafayette airport Sunday afternoon so I could get home. I then called my mother and told her I was going to be a few hours late, but didn’t tell her why since I didn’t want her to worry.

I decided to visit the restroom before heading over to the rental counter and as I was washing my hands I looked into the mirror. And I suddenly knew why people in the airport had been looking at me funny. Well, funnier than usual, I guess.

From the half golf ball-sized lump on my head about an inch behind and two inches above my left ear, blood had flowed down the side of my head and was caked from my ear down onto my collar and had soaked my shirt with a large red stain.

No wonder people had been looking at me funny. Well, funnier than usual, I guess. But you would have thought that someone, one of the tow truck drivers, or the cab driver, would have said something to me. Thanks a lot, guys.

Using paper towels soaked in warm water, I cleaned off my head and neck as well as I could, and pulled a windbreaker out of my overnight bag that I had grabbed from the remains of the truck to cover my bloody shirt.

The remainder of the trip to Birmingham was uneventful and I managed to conceal my shirt from my mother when I got there. And likewise, my trip back to Lafayette went just as smoothly.

Meeting Jan at the airport we drove back over to the tow yard to retrieve any remaining personal items from the truck, since I was sure that all the king’s soldiers and all the king’s men were not going to be able to put it back together again. Or anybody else, for that matter.

When we got to the yard and saw the truck, Jan said her knees got weak and she felt faint.

Me too.

It was easy to see that the frame was cracked open and the body was bent in a slight U shape. The rear axle was gone, as was the tailgate, bumper, and the right rear part of the truck bed. The windshield and the rear window were both cracked as was the passenger side window. And walking around to the other side the right front wheel was broken and tilting at a 45° angle.

Two weeks later, I got the check from the insurance company and went right out and bought a new Ford Ranger, this time a new 1994 Ford Ranger Crew Cab 4 Door. I figured that since the first one held together long enough to keep me in one piece, another one was in order. And I guess that I had gotten a really good deal on the 1992 since my insurance payout, based on book value, was only $200 less than I paid for it new two years before.

And every time I’ve driven over the Atchafalaya Bridge since then, I always glance over at the spot where I almost became gator food. The scars are still visible on the concrete guard rail.

As Jan has said many times, it’s a miracle I’m still alive.

In that vein, maybe next time I’ll relate the tale of my best friend and I, and our homemade airboat, involving an old VW engine, an Army surplus propeller, and a leaky rowboat with a rotten transom.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like trapped inside a Cuisinart?

April 7, 2019

Last Day In The Texas Hill Country . . .

Our last morning with all of us together started at 8:30am (UGH!) at El Bracero, a local Mexican favorite of Chris and Linda’s. And it was easy to see why. But I’m going to talk about all our great food on this trip in a later post.

Brandi, Lowell, and Landon were heading back to Houston this morning since they all had to be back at work/school tomorrow. But they did plan another stop at yesterday’s Pottery Ranch for something they had their eye on, and decided to go ahead and get.

El Bracero Group

And with Miss Piper heading out this afternoon this was our last get-together.

As I mentioned before, Chris and Linda are living in one of those private airport subdivisions. And of course, that means their place comes with a hanger. Or Boy’s Toy’s Heaven, as I call it.

Chris' Hanger

So here, in case you’re counting, you’ve got an ultralight plane, two Corvettes, three motorcycles, and a Sea Doo. Plus a complete shop with sandblasting, welding, and pretty much anything else you want to work with.

And for Chris, it meant he had a place to take this Jeep carcass

Chris' Jeep 1

that had been rotting away in the woods for years, combined it with bits and pieces of other junked Jeeps, and after rebuilding the engine, et al, ended up with this.

Chris' Jeep 2

Of course, this is nothing new for Chris. A while back he took a hulk of a boat that had been laying out in a field with a TREE growing out of it, and turned it into this.

Century Arabian 1

Century Arabian 2

Not only did he rebuild and re-fiberglass the hull, he also rebuilt the inboard engine and transmission.

In case you’re keeping score, it’s a 1977 16 ft. Century Arabian, with a Ford 351 Windsor (Mercruiser) engine, and a Velvet Drive inboard/outboard drive unit.

And more recently he took a pile of old drill pipe and turned it into this oversized set of wind chimes.

Chris Wind Chimes

And it’s even tuned correctly.

Chris even built Linda a Salad Bar, or at least a Salad Bar supply source.

Linda's Salad Bar

The chain link fence is there to keep the herds of deer out of the salad.

Of course, Chris’ hanger is not the only one that’s full of goodies. His friend Don’s hanger across the street, or taxiway, has 6 planes in it.

Don's Hanger 1

Don's Hanger 2

Including, on the left, an ICON amphibian like this.


Which fits nicely in the hanger because the wings fold like this.

ICON Winds Folded

After such a great time this weekend, getting to see everyone, and seeing what Chris and Linda have done with their place, it’s our turn to head back home tomorrow morning.

We’ve been staying at the Granite Rock RV Park, only a few miles from Chris and Linda’s, and we’ll definitely stay here next trip.

Granite Rock RV Park 1

Granite Rock RV Park 2

It’s a small (only 8 sites) family-owned park, convenient to everything here, and has great free WiFi. Well recommended.

We plan on leaving as early as we can tomorrow, hoping to avoid the going-home traffic south of Houston tomorrow afternoon. But we’ll see how it goes.

April 7, 2020

It Aged Out . . .

I mentioned that I might go out and get the plywood for our shed base this afternoon, but decided to just stay at home and wait until Thursday when we have to go out anyway for groceries.

With our RV-sized refrigerator, it’s hard to go very long without stocking up again at least as far as fresh salads, meats, and veggies go. Which is pretty much most of what we eat.

Turns out I also need to get a new CO/Smoke Alarm. One of ours started beeping twice every 30 seconds, so I replaced the batteries, which didn’t help. But reading the very tiny print on the unit, I discovered that the CO monitor part had ‘aged’ out and so the alarm needed to be replaced.

So that’s on the WalMart/Home Depot list too.

April 7, 2021

Getting A Wedgie . . .

Not much happened today, so not much blog.

I’ve mentioned before how much Jan and I like Wedge Salads, so tonight I tried my hand at making our own.

Homemade Wedge Salads

Half a head of lettuce, cut in half, diced tomatoes, blue cheese crumbles, chopped crispy bacon, and drenched in dressing, in this case, Jan’s favorite Dorothy Lynch.

Really good,  and a lot cheaper than the restaurant’s version.

See, I told you it was going to be a short blog.

April 7, 2022

A Sign Of The Times . . .

We were on the road up to Webster about 12:45, heading for long-time favorite King Food for lunch. But that included a drive-by of the new Pho Barr location to see if they were open yet. But no luck.

Looks like they’re still waiting on their final inspection.

So King Food it was.

King Food holds a special place in our lives. It was where I ate with my new co-workers on my very first day at my new job at Johnson Space Center on December 18, 1978. And it was so good that I took the family there a couple of nights later.

It was that good.

But it was a few years before Chris and Brandi were ready to enjoy the food there. At that time Chris was 10 and Brandi was 5, so we had to stop off at Burger King for a Kid’s Meal for each of them. But finally, they tasted what we were eating, and from then on, we had to share.

So now we’ve been eating here for more than 43 years, and we’re on our 4th owner. And the menu has never really changed.

I guess it was a Sign of the Times when they brought out the menus.

King Food Price Change

This is what you have to do when you’ve got a fancy 10-page printed menu.

As usual, we started off with bowls of their delicious Hot & Sour Soup. So good that we’ve compared all other versions as we’ve eaten around the country, and King Food’s always comes out on top.

King Food Big Bowl Hot & Sour 3

Then we moved on to our usual Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce with added Jalapenos, Fried Rice, and an Egg Roll.

King Food 3

After lunch, Harbor Freight was our next quick stop for a couple of tools, and then a nearby UPS store Amazon return drop-off, before heading home.

A nice day.

Tomorrow night, we’ve got the Alvin Opry once again, so there may not be much of a blog Friday night since we get home so late. And this time our tickets include a BBQ Sandwich dinner. Looking forward to seeing all our friends again.

Then Sunday we’re driving up to the Katy area to meet Brandi, et al., at their Pho Barr location, before heading back to their house for a while.

It will be our Easter get-together since they’re going to be up in Oklahoma with Lowell’s parents on Easter weekend.

April 7, 2023

Looks Can Be Deceiving . . .

It seems a few of you are having trouble seeing the new blogs each morning. And so far the problem has occurred with people who visited the blog by going directly to the website, I.e.,, and not for people who received the blog via email.

ISP’s tend to ‘cache’ (save) websites that you tend to visit regularly, so they don’t have to download the website again, saving time and bandwidth. But the caching algorithm is supposed to detect changes in the website, and then redownload to get the new stuff.

But this doesn’t always work correctly. And just clicking on the Refresh icon doesn’t help because your browser just redownloads the cached version from your ISP.

But if you hold down the SHIFT key and then click the Refresh icon, this forces the ISP to download the latest pages from my server.

So if you’re having problems, try the SHIFT-Refresh trick and let me know.

Well, as I said was possible, the SpaceX Super Heavy Starship’s O.F.T. (Orbital Flight Test) launch has been pushed back a week to the 17th of April, with backup dates of the 18th through the 21st.

SpaceX Super Heavy Starship

We’ll see.

Tomorrow we’ve another busy day of lunch and errands.

Marina’s Bakery to pick up Easter dessert, Torchy’s Taco’s for lunch, the office to drop off some stuff, Kroger’s to pick up some prescriptions, WalMart to pick up a prescription that got sent to them by mistake, a drive up to the La Porte to pick up a free RV A/C, and back down to our local HEB, and then home.


Sunday we’re going up to Katy to have an Easter get-together with Brandi, et al. Looking forward to that.

Wrapping up, here’s a new photo of Miss Karma, looking all big-eyed and innocent.

Karma on Table

But as they say, looks can be deceiving.

Very deceiving.