Lunch today was at Las Rameriz Mexican, our first visit in a while. Always delicious

Then it was on up the feeder for our weekly Wal-Mart visit, then home.

Recently, after I got tired of the dish towels we were using that would not really pick up water if you wiped the counter with one, I ordered these from Amazon.

Cotton Terry Cloth Dish Towels

Where the original ones would just spread the water into a fine film, these new ones get it all.

We’ve been waiting for the new nearby Big Horn BBQ to open. Originally we had heard this past Wednesday the 17th, but that came and went. So now we’ve heard next week, or even June.

It’s a combination BBQ restaurant, meat market, convenience store, gift shop, and gas station. We at the one over in Pearland a couple of months ago, and it was pretty good.

It’s just sitting there, looking all ready to go, so I’m wondering if they’re just waiting for their final inspection before they can open. And from what we’ve heard, that can take a month or more. So they just have to sit there and wait for the inspector to show up.

Monday afternoon I put my 2023 taxes in the mail via a Priority Mail Flat Rate Envelope on its way to the IRS office in Austin. And as expected, it arrived in Austin the next day.

However, since then, it’s been moving from USPS facility to USPS facility, while still in Austin. Originally supposed to be delivered on Wednesday, it’s still in limbo.

Jan wanted to be sure that I passed on how much she likes her new Echo Dot with the Clock. And she discovered a new neat feature last night.

She normally goes to bed before me, and used her old Dot to play music, specifically ‘IHeart Music From The 50’s’. And it seems this latest version scrolls the song title and singer across the clock display at the beginning of each new song.

Our daughter Brandi sent over this photo of Landon (on the right) and his friend Adam heading off to an 8th Grade school party.

Brandi said she tried to comb his hair and tuck his shirt in, but he said he didn’t want to look too DRESSY!

Thought For The Day:

I have a very strict gun control policy: If there’s a gun in the room, I want to be in control of it. – Clint Eastwood

Your Retro-Preview Highlights –

2009- Our Visit To Disney World And The Fort Wilderness RV Park

2010- Our Visit To The Bonnie Hunt TV Show

2014- Our Big Family/Friends Easter Get-Together

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

April 20, 2009

We’re going to Disney World…

Walt Disney World

Actually, we’re already here.

We got in today, but we won’t start visiting the parks until tomorrow.

We’ll be here until May 1st  so we have plenty of time to see everything.

Here are some pics.

Our RV site at Fort Wilderness, Disney’s RV park.

Disney's Fort Wilderness RV Park

Disney’s Fort Wilderness RV Park

Two Beauties

Two Beauties

World Sphere

Spaceship Earth Sphere

April 20, 2010

The Bonnie Hunt Show x 2…

First, a repeat announcement

Our daughter Brandi called from the doctor’s office about 8:30 this morning to tell us that our upcoming grandchild is a boy. And his name is Landon. And he’s due the first week of September.

So now we will have a matched set. One of each.

Landon –

And our granddaughter Piper –


And only 17 years apart.  Landon is due on Piper’s 17th birthday.

Anyway, back to today.

Today was a twofer. We were going to attend the taping of two episodes of the Bonnie Hunt Show at 2pm and 6pm.

The 2pm show will be aired tomorrow, April 21st, and the 6pm show will air on Thursday, April 22nd.

We left the rig about 9 am, because we wanted to have plenty of time to have lunch before the taping, and also allow for any traffic delays.

We decided to eat at a place about a block from the studio called Kay & Dave’s Mexican Cantina. Jan had a two-item combo plate and I had a lunch special, with chicken tortilla soup, salad with lime-cilantro dressing, and a Chile Relleno. The relleno wasn’t as good as Esther’s last week, but it all was good.

We had to check in before noon at gate 2 of The Culver Studios, where The Bonnie Hunt Show is taped.

Culver Studios

The Culver Studios, under various names and owners, has been around since 1918. It has been called RKO, Desilu, and Hughes Studios, among others, and owned by such as Cecil B. Demille, Lucy and Desi Arnaz, and Howard Hughes,

Movies such as Gone with the Wind, King Kong, Citizen Kane, A Star is Born, and E.T.  were filmed here. And TV shows like Batman, Lassie, The Andy Griffith Show, Hogan’s Heroes, The Untouchables, The Real McCoys, and more recently, The Nanny, Deal Or No Deal, Las Vegas, Mad About You, Scrubs, and, of course, The Bonnie Hunt Show were/are filmed here.

After standing in line for a few minutes, we were given badges with our seating number on them, in our case, 80 and 81, After about 30 minutes we were led to an outdoor seating area where we stayed until about 30 minutes before show time. At that time we were taken to our seats in the studio. But before that, we had to go through a security check, including metal detectors. This was to ensure that we had no cell phones or cameras with us.

Which is why we have absolutely NO pictures of anything to do with the show.

And they fed us too. As we were walking in, they handed us a hot dog wrapped in foil and a can of root beer.

Then about 15 minutes later, Bill, the warmup guy, came out and got things started by telling jokes, asking questions of the audience, and telling us how the show was going to work.

The show, like most talk shows, is taped in real time, In other words, It takes one hour to tape the show. When it’s time for a commercial, they keep the tape rolling in black, and everyone on stage takes a break for 60, 120, or however many seconds the commercial break lasts, and then the show picks back up.

During the break, people swarm out on the stage, ladies touching up the hair and makeup of both Bonnie and her guests, sound guys checking mics, lighting people checking, well, lights, and other staff talking with Bonnie about things on the show.

Then, poof, about 5 seconds before the end of the break, everyone disappears, and Bonnie looks up at the camera and says “Welcome back”. It’s all very smooth.

The first show’s guest were Brian Austin Green and Yvette Nicole Brown. Toward the end of the show, Bonnie did her regular “Dessert of the Day” segment, which was a Boston Cream Cupcake, And we all got one. Staffers passed out boxes to each of us, but asked us not to eat them till later.

About 10 minutes after the show was over, they set up for a pickup. A pickup is a guest segment to be inserted into a later show. In this case, it was Anthony Anderson from Law & Order who taped a segment with Bonnie that will be used in a show sometime next week.

After that, Bonnie came out in the audience and walked around, thanking people for coming. A really nice touch.

By then it was about 3:30 and we were told to be back for the second taping about 4:45 pm. We decided to go back to the same place where we had lunch and just share an order of nachos and an order of apple-cranberry bread pudding, since we were still pretty full from lunch.

Back at the studio we were led back in right on time. They also tried to give us another hot dog and root beef, but we turned them down.

Bill, the warmup guy, told us that one of the listed guests, Ed Begley, Jr., of Living with Ed, would not be there, but we were supposed to clap when his name was mentioned anyway. Bill said that Ed Begley’s would be taped later and inserted in the show, just like Anthony Anderson’s was done earlier.

The other guests were Patrick Warburton of “Rules of Engagement” and “Seinfeld”, and Robert Keenan, the director of the movie “Food, Inc.”

The other neat thing was we got some giveaways. We each got a T-shirt, a DVD and a book of the nature film by Disney called “Earth”, and a DVD of the movie “Food, Inc”.

Again, after the show was over, Bonnie came out and walked around the audience, talking to people and thanking them for coming. And this time Jan got to shake her hand.

It was about 7:45 pm by the time we were heading back to the truck, and it was about 9:15 by the time we got back home.

A long day, but a fun day.

And tomorrow, still more fun.

We going to take a tour of the movie stars homes. I think we’ll probably just see a lot of big, locked gates, but we’ll see.

April 20, 2011

A Small World . . .

Our travel to Show Low Day began with coffee and muffins about 7:30 and then pulling out of our site about 9:20 heading over to the Maverik Country Store we had scouted out yesterday.

By fueling up in Camp Verde, rather than making the 10 mile round trip into Cottonwood just to save a penny a gallon, we could head straight out on AZ 260 to Show Low. But my finely crafted plan was not to be.

When I got to the station I found a double trailer fuel tanker stretched across the front of the station, right where I planned to pull in. So I had to go past the station entrance and come in from the street to the side of the station. But this left me blocking the tanker from leaving. By the time I got parked the tanker guy was finishing up, and I ask him if he wanted me to move so he could get out.

He said ‘No’, he still had some paperwork to do. He then asked how we were doing. At this point, I thought he looked familiar, and it turns out he was a vendor at the recent Rally in Yuma this past March.

Wow! RV’ing is really a small world!

Once I started fueling up, I still had problems, or rather the pump did. It kept crashing, and then they would have to reboot it. Who knew gas pumps could crash?

I put in 127 gallons of diesel for a total of $525.00. But I probably won’t need diesel again until next month after we leave the Yosemite area, heading for northern California.

We finally pulled out of the station about 10:30. As we pulled out on the highway, Jan looked over and said “This feels good”. We’ve been parked for 3 weeks and it’s good to be back on the road.

The 150 mile trip took us through some spectacular scenery, and though there were a couple of hairpin turns, the roads were good and the drive was easy. There were a couple of long, slow climbs, but our rig held its own on the hills.

Show Low Trip 1

Starting at about 3200 ft. in Camp Verde, we climbed to over 7500 ft., before easing down into Show Low at about 6400 ft..

Show Low Trip 2

We pulled into the Elk’s Lodge about 2pm, and after checking in and getting set up, we headed out to have a late lunch at Native New Yorker, an Arizona chain we ate at last year and really enjoyed. They have potato skins, sandwiches, calzones, pizza, chicken wings, and chicken tenders (They call them ‘strippers’, and I got really excited when I saw the sign ‘Today is Stripper Wednesday’), and it’s all good.

Getting back to our rigs, a little later I got the sat dish set up, and we finished up our day watching TV.

April 20, 2013

Our Grandson Landon, the Music Critic . . .

Brandi said that the other night she was in bed with Landon watching one of his favorite shows and singing along with the theme song. Landon reached over, put his hand over Brandi’s mouth, and said, “Calm down, Mommy!”

Out of the mouth of babes, so to speak.

They’re making more progress on Brandi and Lowell’s new house. The first coat of paint is on the walls and some of the kitchen cabinets are installed.


We spent most of the day waiting for the DirecTV guy to get here with our new HD DVR. He was supposed to be here between 8 and 12, but didn’t make it until almost 2 because he got hung up at another job.

We upgraded to an HD DVR, but not for the HD service.

Winegard Carryout

Our Winegard Carryout Satellite Antenna doesn’t work on HD, but since it was free, we wanted to upgrade to the HD model because it holds so many more hours of video, over 400 hours compared to our old R-16 which only held about 70. Plus I can plug in an external HD that will allow it to hold over 1600 hours. Neat.

But we did run into a problem in setting it up. Although the DVR will work just fine on SD channels, it can only be activated while connected to an HD-capable antenna. So he had to take it back to his shop, hook it up to his HD antenna and activate it, and then bring it back here.

Which of course made him late for his next appointment, so I couldn’t complain about him being late for mine.

But finally about 4pm it was up and working. Now we just have to go back and reprogram it for all the shows we want to record.

For dinner, we had the leftover pizza from our visit to Organ Stop Pizza the other night. Still really good and very cheesy.

About 6:45 Jan and I headed out for our walk. We did about 1.25 miles before calling it a day, using RunKeeper to keep track of our time. It’s nice to see that we keep picking up our time a little bit every walk.

If you’re a history buff, I’ve been reading a really good book that you might be interested in. It’s called The Battles that Changed History and is an excellent read. It covers 16 battles from Alexander the Great against the Persians, through Jeanne d’Arc, and ending with the Battles of Vicksburg and Midway.

One of my favorite of literary subjects is Alternative History, where one historical event unfolds differently, and changes things afterward. One famous turning point used is Lee’s Lost Orders.

A copy of the orders, detailing Lee’s battle plans for what became known as the Battle of Antietam, was lost by a Confederate courier and recovered by a Union corporal. This led to McClellan being able to blunt Lee’s attack and force him back out of Union territory. Although not really a Union victory, Lincoln used it to justify his issuing the Emancipation Proclamation which discouraged Britain and France from recognizing the Confederacy.

In Harry Turtledove’s How Few Remain, the first book in a 14 book series, the Lost Orders are not found by the Union, the Battle of Antietam is not fought, the Emancipation Proclamation is not issued, Britain and France come in on the side of the South, and the Confederacy wins its independence. Of course, he takes a whole book to tell you this.

Even a luminary such as Winston Churchill wrote a ‘counterfactual’ as he called it, detailing how Lee won at Gettysburg, thus changing the course of the Civil War.

Sorry. It seems like I took the long way around to get back to talking about “The Battles that Changed History”, but the battles described here are perfect examples of where a small change could have major consequences on history.

Check it out.

April 20, 2014

Easter Party . . .

Jan and I left the rig about 10 am, heading down to Katy for Brandi’s big Easter Party.

Earlier in the morning, Chris posted this Easter photo of our granddaughter Miss Piper. Looks like she’s about 5 or so. A cutie then, and a cutie now.

Piper at Easter

Brandi had done a really great job on the several table settings, staying with the Easter theme.

Easter Table Setting 1

Easter Table Setting 2

And our son Chris came with this really neat ‘Peep’ Cake. And it tasted great too.

Peep Cake

We ended up with about 25 friends and family, and probably enough food for a couple of dozen more.

Easter LivingRoom 1

And of course, everyone had fun catching up since last year.

Easter LivingRoom 2

Later in the afternoon, the Easter Egg Hunt was on.

Easter Egg Hunt 1

Easter Egg Hunt 2

And then Landon got to sort through all his loot.

Easter Egg Hunt Spoils

There were some packages waiting for me at Brandi’s, and I think this time I finally got the correct shear pins for our slide. At least they look like they’re the right size.

Shear Pins 1034

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to install it (I got two spares) before we leave here tomorrow morning, but I’ll take care of it before we leave Colorado River.

The other thing I got in the mail was my new Square credit card reader for my phone. If you’ve been using one of these, you need to go online and request a new one. Your present one will not work after June 1st.

Tomorrow morning we’ll make the 120 mile trip back to the Colorado River TT park for a couple of weeks before finally heading north to Goshen, IN for the 54th Escapade starting May 12th.

April 20, 2015

Who’s Watching You?

It was nice to be able to sleep in this morning and not have to get up at 6am like yesterday. But back to work. So after our coffee this morning, I went back to work on my magnetic shades.

Parked where we are, we’re facing due west so we were going to need the solar shades when the temps start hitting 90 next week. So I cut slits in the hem of the two front screens so I could tuck additional magnets into place. I then sealed the slits with a small piece of Gorilla Tape.

Since I’m still in beta test on this, and haven’t fastened the magnets to the inside yet, Jan stuck the magnets on by hand as I put the shades in place outside. The extra magnets seemed to make the screens much more secure, so we’ll see how they hold up over the next few days.

After a quiet afternoon, we left the rig about 4pm,  heading out to have dinner at the Boulder Station Casino right up the road. As I was locking the door, I looked up at the noise of a jetliner passing overhead. But also overhead, about 100 yards away and about 200 feet up, I saw this. Grabbing my Panasonic camera from inside I got these photos.

Phantom Drone 1

Phantom Drone 2

Before I zoomed in, I thought it was probably a DJI Phantom, and so it was.

You can buy one with all the bells and whistles here on Amazon for only $1175.00

Phantom Drone Amazon

DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ V3.0 Quadcopter with Gimbal-Stabilized 14MP, 1080p Camera

One thing that was kind of curious is that as I was snapping photos, I could tell the quadcopter was slowly rotating. When it got to a point where the camera seemed to be pointing in my direction, it suddenly started moving away from me at a pretty quick pace.

As Jan said, “Coincidence? I think not.”

Who knows?

We got to the Buffet restaurant at the Casino a little before 4:30, apparently just ahead of the rush. We only waited a few minutes for a table, but by the time I got back to our table from the buffet, the line was out around the door. Great timing!

After a really good meal for only $10 each (cheaper than Golden Corral), we drove out on Desert Inn Dr. to check out a couple of possible places to fill up with diesel when we leave here in two weeks. Luckily for us the two places with the cheapest diesel prices are right down the road for us, and right on our way out of town. And there’s plenty of room to get the rig in and out.


April 20, 2016

WD 1 TB Hard Drive . . . R.I.P.

When I got up this morning, I was welcomed by a black & white screen on the computer, but worse was what it said.

Can Not Find Boot Device:

Please Insert Bootable Media


Translated, that means it can’t find the hard drive.

And since I’m pretty sure it didn’t run off, that means it’s died.


Jan said she was online this morning, and about 7:40 she tried to go to another website and the computer froze. And when she rebooted, she got the B&W screen. So I turned it off to let it cool down.

Luckily I did a full backup less than a week ago, so I’m pretty good there. But first I needed to get a working desktop PC going again. I’ve got the laptop, so I got it out so we could get online for the day.

Normally the laptop only gets used on travel days for our Delorme GPS map program and Silverleaf engine display. In fact the last time I used it like this was last year on our gate guarding gig

While I was online checking email, I was thinking about what I wanted to do. I had a new 3 TB harddrive that I bought a while back for a client project that didn’t pan out, so I could put the new HD back in it. Or I could put the new HD in a newer computer that I had stowed away.

The only problem is that the newer one is a full-size desktop model, while the one that died is a mini-desktop unit that sits under the monitor. But since the full-size one was newer and faster, that’s the one I decided to go with.

Digging out the computer and the HD, I put the two together and started to install Win7. I decided to try out the Win7 install on a USB drive that I bought a while back.

Win 7 USB_thumb[7]

Win7 on USB

I got this back last December, but checking on Amazon tonight, it’s no longer available, but it allows you to quickly install a new copy of Win7. Of course, you still need a Microsoft serial number, but I can reuse the old one from the sticker on the side of the case.

The install went very quickly with no major hiccups, and about 45 minutes later I was downloading and installing the necessary drivers and apps. At this point, I put it aside for dinner.

Next, I started downloading and installing the programs that I wanted – Chrome, LibreOffice, Open Live Writer, Total Commander, etc. These will get me back online, and then in the next day or so I’ll hookup my backup drive and transfer the rest over,

But I also may be able to recover some of the last week’s data that didn’t get backed up. When I turned the computer back on, it actually booted up and ran – for about 10 minutes, and then it locked up. So the problem was heat-related. Which means that I’ll probably be able to get some data off using the freezer trick

You do this by putting the drive in a zip-lock bag and leaving it in the freezer for a couple of hours. Then you take it out and hook it up as quickly as possible, and then copy data off as quickly as possible. This works better if you make a list ahead of time of the most important stuff you need.

Tomorrow we’re having dinner with Dennis and Carol Hill at the Fish Pond Restaurant, and we’re really looking forward to it.

April 20, 2017

Not The Help I Was Looking For . . .

Another nice quiet morning. Jan read and I worked on some web stuff before finishing up some rig repairs.

Recently I’ve seen some discussions online about Passport America, both pro and con. Personally, I can’t recommend it more.

We’ve been Passport America users since we first started RV’ing and it’s saved us $1000’s over the last nine years. In fact it’s already saved us $280 with our two week stay at Santa Fe RV Park in Apache Junction a few weeks ago, and next month it will save us over $315 for a two week stay at a very nice park north of Rapid City, SD.

Yes, some parks only allow 1 to 3 days, sometimes not on weekends, or during peak times. For example, the park in Rapid City doesn’t take PA the week before Sturgis and the week after. Otherwise, it’s unlimited.

We’ve even used PA as our out week at Thousand Trail and Encore parks. Back in 2013 we spent a month at the Countryside RV Park in Apache Junction. We stayed for two weeks at $3 a night under our TT membership, one week under PA, and then another week under TT.

The funny thing was we found that different memberships are allotted different spaces, so when we switched over to PA for a week, we had to move the RV one space to the left, and then back one space to the right when the week was up.

The other complaint is that some of the parks are not the best. For that, I use to check them out, as well as Google Maps Satellite View and Street View.

I don’t have any parks scheduled after Rapid City for our trip back to Houston, but I’m sure I’ll find a bunch more PA parks along the way.

A little after 3pm Jan and I headed out, first for a scenic trip down to Boulder City and Lake Mead to drive around a bit through Old Boulder City and check out the lake.

Lake Mead 2017

Coming back into Henderson, we detoured down I-215W to have dinner at Claim Jumper’s, another of our favorite steak places. Claim Jumper is part of Tilman Fertitta’s Landry’s Restaurants chain. Elsewhere in the country, his Saltgrass Steakhouse is similar in menu.

We both started out with their upgrade salads, with Jan getting the California Citrus Salad, with Mandarin oranges, pecans, apples, cranberries, avocado, resins, green onions, and Bleu Cheese crumbles.

Claim Jumper Salad

I got my favorite Wedge Salad with a wedge of lettuce, bacon, tomatoes, red onions, a Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette and Bleu Cheese crumbles.

Claim Jumper Wedge Salad

Then it was on to our steaks, Jan’s New York Sirloin,

Claim Jumper Jan Steak

and my usual Ribeye.

Claim Jumper RibeyeSteak

Both really, really good steaks.

As if we weren’t full enough, we split an order of their Berry Butter Cake.

Claim Jumper Berry Butter Cake

Made with a mini-Bundt cake, butter cream frosting, fresh strawberries, fresh raspberries, and powdered sugar, and served warm with ice cream, it was really delicious.

We’ve never been disappointed by a meal at Claim Jumper’s.

I’ve been a member of Good Sam’s Platinum Roadside Assistance for years, and one of the perks of the Platinum membership is being able to call an RV Tech if you have a question. But all the time I had the membership I’ve never called, so I didn’t know the phone number.

So I went to the Good Sam website and found this brochure for the Platinum Service.

And on the second page, it gives you this phone number.

GS Platnium Tech Help Phone

But when you call that number, you get a sex talk line, and not a fun one for me, but one asking if you girls want to talk with hot guys.

Not the help I was looking for.

April 20, 2018

They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To . . .

The replacement fuses for the electrolysis machine came in today, so I installed them and turned it on. And it stayed on and worked with no problems.

But after I buttoned it up, it didn’t. So I took it back apart, and now it worked fine again. WTH?

Clareblend MiniBlend

But a little investigation showed the problem. Because on the way two of the cables were laced together, they pulled another cable partway off its socket. And then when you opened the case back up it seated back into place. So I retied the cables and the problem was solved. And after thoroughly testing out the unit it was shipped to a customer this afternoon.

When I got home about 4:15 we turned right back around and headed back over to the Whataburger at Victory Lakes for dinner, I.e. Whataburger Jr’s, hot and juicy. One nice is that Whataburger has free drinks for seniors. Sometimes you have to ask, but usually, like today, they volunteer. Nice.

Then it was across the parking lot to the Lowe’s to take back some of the project parts that I got yesterday that didn’t work out, and replace them with some different ones. Hopefully, these will work out better. I’ve still got one part coming in from Amazon next week so I can finish it and up and then tell you about it.

Next, it was right next door to the WalMart for a few things that we found we needed. Finally heading back toward the rig we made a gas stop at the HEB along the way, before getting home a little before 7pm.

One thing I’ve noticed in the last few years is that replacement parts we’ve bought for the rig don’t seem to last nearly as long as the original ones.

After our blowout in May 2015 both our passenger side outside mirror and our retractable door step were replaced due to damage. The step died about a year ago, and this past Sunday I noticed that my passenger side mirror no longer works. So that’s another thing to fix.

And both of our original Fantastic Vent Fans worked for over 15 year before I needed to replace the motors/gearbox. The replacements only lasted about 3 years before I had to replace them again. And that’s maybe why FF no longer gives a lifetime warranty. Strange how that works out.

On the other hand, our Sharp microwave, our Dometic NDR-1292 fridge (which has never had a recall), our Attwood water heater, our Coleman rooftop air, and our Splendide washer/dryer, all 19 years old, are all still hanging in there. Of course, most of these I’ve had to patch now and then. But I could fix them.

The newer stuff not so much.

April 20, 2019

I Tried, I Really Did . . .

But I couldn’t get my phone to sync up with my laptop, so I have no photos to post.

About 10:30am, Jan and I headed up to Brandi’s in Katy to spend Easter weekend, our last time together until the end of May.

Jan made her world-famous Sausage Balls, while I went with Lowell to get the dogs washed at a nearby do-it-yourself doggie wash. I dog-sat with one of them in the car while Lowell did the first one and the other. Otherwise the one left in the car by himself gets jealous and creates havoc.

Normally Lowell takes one from home and then comes back and takes the other one, so this just saved him a trip.

Brandi 8

Tomorrow we’re having a whole horde of folks over for a combo Easter dinner/pool party, with at least two dozen or more people here.

Should be fun

April 20, 2020

No, but possibly, maybe . . .

Well, I had my WuFlu antibody test this morning, and the results are No, but Possibly, Maybe.

Well, that was helpful.

My test was negative, but had a couple of side indicators that said kind of yes. The problems are apparently several.

The length of time since I was sick, almost two months in my case, and which of the 8-10 different strains I had. Different strains leave different levels of antibodies, which also explains why there have been reports of some people catching the WuFlu more than once.

Plus the other possibility is that the tests are actually defective.

UK government admits Covid-19 antibody tests don’t work.

April 20, 2021

King Food and Sous Vide . . .

We sat outside this morning with our coffee, enjoying the nice weather and talking about upcoming events. Then I took care of some maintenance chores like changing out a water hose with a pinhole leak, and getting a bucket of sand so I could relevel and set the pavers that I put in between the rig door and the patio area.

Then it was out and about for lunch and errands, with the lunch stop being long-time favorite King Food for Hot & Sour Soup and Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce with Jalapenos.

King Food Chcken Garlic 4

Then after a quick stop at WalMart for some landscape items, we filled up with gas at the Sam’s next door. Seems like gas prices have steadied at about 90 cents over what it was in November. Hopefully, it won’t start taking off again.

Then coming home, we made an HEB stop for a few things, one of them being a Styrofoam cooler to experiment with setting it up as a Sous Vide cooker enclosure.

Then of course we had to make a Cowboy Coffee stop so we would have another excuse to set out on the patio some more. Always nice.

I had seen Styrofoam coolers used as Sous Vide cookers on the Internet, but I was curious about how the Styrofoam would stand up to the hotter temps used for slow cooking ribs, etc., I.e. 160° or so.

So I cut a hole in the cooler lid just large enough to hold my Inkbird Sous Vide Cooker and gave it a try.

Styrofoam Sous Vide Cooker 1

I filled the cooler with tap water to the high water mark on the cooker, set it for 160°, and turned it on.

It took about 55 minutes to bring the 69° tap water up to 160, and then I let it run for about an hour. At that point, I turned it off, let it cool down a bit, and then dumped the water out in the sink.

And when I checked out the inside of the cooler I found no indication of too much heat, and the outside of the cooler never even became warm. So I guess we’re good to go for Ribeye’s next weekend. Maybe.

It will take a little juggling, because I like my steaks Medium-Rare and Jan likes hers between Medium and Medium-Well. So what I plan to do is to do them Medium-Rare in the cooker, and then take Jan’s out and put it on the gas grill for a bit to bring it up to Medium-Medium-Well. Then I’ll take mine out when hers is almost done and put it on the grill for a few minutes too.

The Sous Vide cooker is supposed to be able to hold steaks at a certain temp for a while without overcooking, so I’ll see how that works out.

And tomorrow’s another day.

April 20, 2022

Playing Hooky . . .

I played hooky from work today.

Sometime during the night I rolled over and got a VERY sharp pain in my lower back and right hip. And when I got up about 8am, I was still having a lot of pain when I moved.

But just because I was home didn’t mean I wasn’t working. I continued with my usual online stuff, emailing out invoices, processing PayPal payments, and sending out our Bank Wire Transfer info to customers making large purchases, >$1000.

April 20, 2023

It was a R.U.D.

We were out the the door and on our way up to Conroe by about 9:45 this morning, to meet up with Debi and Ed Hurlburt for our monthly lunch get-together.

And just like last month, we were meeting at La Pizca, a newish Mexican restaurant there. We were back again because it was so good last time.

This time, not so much.

Both Ed and Debi’s orders were not correct, with Ed’s so wrong they gave him another dinner to take home as a replacement. Debi’s was also wrong, but they brought out replacements.

Jan said her Chile Relleno was so tough that she had trouble even cutting it.

My Chicken Tortilla Soup was OK, but not nearly as good as last time, and my side of ‘Grilled Veggies’ that I ordered consisted of a cup of grilled onions.

Well, onions are a vegetable, I guess.

When we asked our waiter why all the screwups, he admitted the cook was new, didn’t know the menu very well, only spoke Spanish, and had trouble reading the tickets since he (the waiter) only wrote in English.

We told him they needed a new cook, or at least the old one they had last month.

RV Group Ed & Debi La Pizca 20230420

Next month, it’s obviously going to be somewhere else, in this case, the Outback Steakhouse in The Woodlands.

The Starship Heavy launch today got off to a good start, lifting clear of the pad and heading out. Making it through MaxQ (Throttle Back and then Back up) when then about 23 miles up, going over 1000mph, it experienced what’s known in the business as a R.U.D., a Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly.

The problem occurred about the time of MECO (Main Engine Cut Off) and Stage Separation. The 33 engines didn’t shut off and the stages didn’t separate.

Then about 4:00 into the flight, it all went BOOM! Actually, I think it was deliberately destroyed. But we’ll know more in the next few days.

But SpaceX considers the test a success since it didn’t blow up on the pad and made it that far. After all, Musk said he thought this first flight only had a 50% chance of success, and both the booster and the Starship were going to crash into the ocean, even if the flight had been a complete success.

Here’s a video of the launch and RUD, starting about 40 seconds before liftoff.

It will be interesting to see how long before the next attempt.