Daily Archives: May 16, 2024

More Catching Up . . .

Catching up on yesterday, Wednesday.

We left Athens a little before 11 heading for Birmingham, about 100 miles south where we’ll be getting together with some more old friends, Bill and Carol, dating back to the early 70’s.

Bill and I both worked for the Alabama Educational Television Network, as well as a local radio station. So it’s been a while.

But first, getting into Birmingham, Jan and I spent some time just driving around, checking out our old haunts, some of which no longer exist. But we’re still around, so it’s all OK.

We met Bill and Carol at our usual Jim N Nick’s BBQ for a great meal, before ending up at their house for the next few hours. Jan and Carol, both being avid readers, spent the time trading book lists and talking over favorites. Bill and I talked music and a lot more. Finally saying our good-byes and already planning next year’s visit, Jan and I headed back to the hotel around 9:30.

Then this morning, as we can’t get enough BBQ, we left our hotel, heading for Montgomery about 90 miles south, but first, we had a couple of detours.

Right down the hill from our hotel is Golden Rule BBQ, which has been in pretty much this same location since 1891. It’s only moved around due to the widening of the original dirt road to the 4 lane divided highway it is now. And it’s listed as the oldest BBQ Joint in the US. Jan and I have been eating her since the early 70’s, and I ate here with my family in the early 60’s, so a long time for us.

We got here right at 10:30 when they open, and as usual, ordered our favorite Jumbo Sliced Pork Sandwiches, mine with a lot of outside meat.

I got mine with Fries and Jan got hers with Fried Okra, and then we split it up.

And of course, we don’t eat here without getting slices of their made-in-house pies, Jan’s their Chocolate Cream,

and my favorite, the Lemon Meringue.

Then after getting our fill of BBQ and Pie (not sure that’s really possible) we headed out I-20 for our next stop, the Buc-ee’s out in Leeds, primarily for gas ($2.98!), but also for coffee for the road.

We’re staying in Prattville, about 10 miles north of Montgomery, but we had in mind to keep driving about 30 miles further south to the Alabama Safari Park where we visited last year, but things intervened and we just went ahead and checked in to our Days Inn here.

Tomorrow evening we’re getting together with another couple, Fred and Susan, who we’ve known since the mid-70’s. Really looking forward to it.

Thought For The Day:

A husband and wife were having dinner at a very high-end restaurant one night when a stunning young blonde walked up to the husband, hugged and kissed him, and then whispered in his ear.

“I’ll see you later.”

Hearing this, the confused wife stuttered,

“Who was that?”

“That was my mistress.”, the husband replied calmly.

Outraged, the wife hissed,

“I want a divorce!”

“Fine.”, the husband said, “But remember our pre-nup. There will be no more $10 million townhouse, no more vacation homes in Aspen and Majorca, no more weekend shopping trips to Paris on my jet, and no more Mercedes S-Class in the driveway.”

As the wife digested this new information, they both noticed a family friend walk into the restaurant with a beautiful redhead on his arm.

‘Who’s that with Jim?”, she asked.

“That’s Jim’s mistress.”

“Ours is prettier.” the wife said.

Jan said that the moral of this story is that if you going to have a mistress, always have the prettiest one. And I added, “And the best pre-nup!”

Your Retro-Preview Highlights –

2009 – Key West and Mallory Square

2013 – Lake Tahoe

2021 – Landon’s Laptop Repair

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

May 16, 2009

Old Friends and Good Times…

Our friends showed up about 4:30pm after driving down from West Palm Beach with their 5th wheel trailer. They’re parked about 3 spaces down from us here at the RV park.

As soon as they got settled in, we headed the 10 miles down the road to Key West and sunset on the historic Mallory Square.

Mallory Square

Mallory Square 1

Mallory Square 2

Sunset Dinner Cruise

From where we were on the pier we couldn’t see the sun set directly, but it was beautiful, none the less.

Mallory Square Sunset

After watching the sunset we walked across the street to the world-famous Hogsbreath Saloon. The food was really good and the drinks were great.

Jan had Chicken Tenders and Jalapeno Poppers appetizers, and I had the Grilled Chicken Sandwich. But the drinks were a whole ‘nuther story.

Jan had the GoomBaySmash, which is pineapple juice and coconut milk mixed with Bacardi Coco Rum. It wasn’t long until she was feeling very, very good.

And I think my Hogarita was made with rocket fuel. The few times I’ve ordered a mixed drink I normally complain about the fact that there seems to be little or no alcohol in it.

A couple of weeks ago Jan and I were eating at a Cuban restaurant in Downtown Disney, a commercial shopping/restaurant area that’s not actually part of the Disney theme parks. Since I had never had one, I decided to order a Mojito, a drink made with rum, sugar, lime juice, soda, and mint leaves.

And I would swear that this drink had absolutely NO alcohol in it whatsoever. I mean it was sugar/lime/mint favored, but I might as well have been drinking iced tea, and it would have been a lot cheaper, too.

However, I think my Hogarita had my drink’s alcohol in it and two or three other people’s drinks.  I certainly got my money’s worth.

And I’ll just say that I’m glad I wasn’t driving us home.

May 16, 2010

First Time in Oregon…

We left Klamath River RV Park about 10 am heading for Oregon.

This was a really beautiful park and we wish we could have spent more time here.

Click to Enlarge !

This is our first time to be in Oregon. The only other state out here we haven’t been in yet is Utah. But that’s coming up.

On today’s trip, we tried combating our continuing cat barf problem by not feeding the cats this morning before we left.

And believe me, they weren’t happy about this, and let us know it.

But it did seem to work. Mister tried to barf once, but didn’t have anything to throw up. Finally, they were both so miserable they just curled up together on the sofa. This from two cats that really don’t like each other.

I guess misery DOES love company.

Click to Enlarge !

Getting into Oregon, we started seeing acres of cranberry bogs. Always thought they grew in the northeast, not the northwest.

We arrived at the Midway RV Park in Coos Bay about 1:45 pm and got set up.

Click to Enlarge !

Note the large pelican carving just to the right of our site.

Click to Enlarge !

I think Jan, who collects pelicans, might be trying to figure out if this one will fit in the coach somehow. I don’t think so.

Click to Enlarge !

A little later we headed out a seafood restaurant called Fisherman’s Grotto that the park manager had recommended to us. And it was great. Jan wants to go back tomorrow.

About 7 pm I fixed coffee and we had the pie we brought home from Marie Callender’s last night. Delicious as always.

Not sure yet what we’ll do tomorrow.

May 16, 2011

Mexican and Muffins . . .

Today was a pretty quiet day, nice for a change. I got up about 10:30 and made coffee. We were still pretty full from dinner at the casino last night so we didn’t have a muffin like usual.

We both spent the morning catching on Internet stuff since we had gotten behind in Las Vegas due to the power being off at the Thousand Trails park the last 2 days we were there, and then being on the road.

About 4:15 we headed up to Oakhurst to meet our friends Dave and Lynn Cross for dinner at El Cid, our favorite local Mexican place, stopping at the bank first on the way.

We had a good time getting together with Dave and Lynn, but we were kind of disappointed in our meal. Don’t know if it was an off-night, or if we’ve been spoiled by La Fonda or Esther’s Taco House, but it didn’t seem to be as good as last year. It wasn’t bad, just not as good.

After stopping off at the Von’s in Oakhurst for some groceries, we got home about 6:15 just ahead of the rain. In fact it’s supposed to rain for the next couple of days.

May 16, 2013

On to Tahoe . . .

We didn’t have a lot to do this morning before we hit the road, so about 8:30 we walked over to the casino restaurant for breakfast. This time I didn’t make the mistake of ordering the Miner’s Breakfast with the enormous ham steak like I got last night. This time I got the Breakfast Skillet with eggs, diced ham, bacon, and cheese, and a biscuit and gravy, while Jan had eggs, bacon, hash browns, and a biscuit. One thing nice was, that unlike many restaurants, this place had really good coffee.

I pulled out of the Tonopah Station RV park about 9:45 with Jan following in the truck. Yesterday while we were driving around, I scouted out a filling station with an easy in/out right on our way out of town. While I was filling up, Jan waited about a block down the road. I took on 72 gallons of diesel at 3.86 a gallon, about 40 cents a gallon more than we paid a couple of weeks ago in Apache Junction.

When I was finishing fueling, Jan followed me about half a mile down the road where I stopped and hooked up the toad. Then we were on our way to South Lake Tahoe, CA, about 260 miles away.

For a while, out in front of us, we could see a line of snow-covered mountains off in the distance. Based on the map, I think these were in the Yosemite area.

Tahoe Trip 1

Tahoe Trip 2

From the time we left Tonopah, it was overcast, and it just got messier as we went along.

Like yesterday’s travels, we had a lot of long, straight runs, always climbing, but mostly staying in the valleys.

Tahoe Trip 3

Coming into Hawthorne, we started to get some light drizzle, which pretty much stayed with us for the rest of the trip, but never caused any problems.

Finally, just south of Carson City, we turned onto US 50 for the 30 mile run to South Lake Tahoe. Climbing to over 7100 feet from the 5000 feet of Carson City, it was the curviest road of our entire trip, but it certainly was a scenic one.

Finally peaking out on the ridgeline, we started back down, and taking a turn, there was Lake Tahoe out in front of us.

Tahoe Trip 4

Due to the drizzle, wind, and low-hanging clouds, the lake was dark and choppy, with some white caps.

Tahoe Trip 5

We got to the Tahoe Village RV Resort a little after 4pm, only to find the office had just closed at 4. But we found our paperwork waiting for us, so we found our site and got set up.

We’re parked among Ponderosa Pines, and it took a little positioning to get a satellite signal, but I finally got it working.

Around 6pm we headed to try Jalapeno’s Taqueria, a nearby Mexican restaurant that was recommended to us. Turned out to be very good.

Coming up here, we were hoping to get away from the triple-digits we had in Apache Junction and Las Vegas, and we certainly got our wish.

When we got here today it was 50 degrees and is going down to 35 degrees tonight. Tomorrow it’s going to be 59 and 32.


May 16, 2014

Drownproofing . . .

We started out the morning meeting Jan’s sister Debbie, husband Jim, son Jason, and granddaughter’s Ella and Annisten at Denny’s for breakfast.


Ella Eyeglasses


Annisten at Denny's

Both real cuties.

After that, we all went back to Debbie’s for the rest of the afternoon. We got to spend a lot of time with Ella and Annisten, and then later Gwen when she came in from school.

We also got to see Debbie’s daughter Christina for the first time, since she’d been working before.

About 6pm we all headed down to Los Amigos, a really good Mexican restaurant here in Vandalia. It’s unusual to be able to get this many together at one time because of everyone’s schedule. And even then we were missing Jason who had to work.

Vandalia Wrapup

(LtoR) That’s Debbie with her back to the camera, Annisten, Avery Jane, Gwen, Jim, Ella, Laura, Kurt, Tana, Christina, and Jan.

Landon’s been taking swim lessons the last two weeks. Or rather drown-proofing lessons. Today was graduation day, and Landon passed and got his diploma.

Landon Swim Graduation

But he sure doesn’t look too happy about it. Maybe it was that Pass/Fail Sink or Swim Final Exam that upset him.

On another note, I got a call at 7am this morning from Gate Guard Services in Whitsett, TX, the office that we work out of. They are desperate for Gate Guards and wanted to know if we were in the area.

So if you’re interested in giving Gate Guarding a try, get Diane a call at 830-570-1319 to see about getting started.

Tomorrow Jan and I say our goodbyes here and make a 340 mile run up to Elkhart for a while.  We’re really looking forward to it.

May 16, 2015

Edelbrock and Stromberg . . .

Well, after two days of cold rain, today was pretty sunny. Still cold, but sunny. At least we didn’t get snow like some areas around here, but we did get a little sleet yesterday morning on our way to breakfast.

About 4 Jan and I headed over to the Golden Corral to have dinner. The place was pretty busy, but that meant the food was fresh and hot. And just like last time our visit was really good. I imagine we’ll go back again before we leave the area.

I noticed recently that ABC is doing their version of Dallas, but updated and now set in the Bakken shale area of North Dakota.

It’s called ‘Oil’ (catchy title, huh).

While I’m on the subject of TV shows, Jan and I were disappointed to learn that one of our favorite shows, ‘Forever’ did not get renewed for next season. Last time I looked it was doing OK, but I guess it didn’t keep up the ratings.

Forever was about a New York City Medical Examiner named Dr. Henry Morgan who for reasons he didn’t understand, was immortal. Born in 1779, he was shot in 1814 aboard a ship and thrown overboard. But he didn’t die then, and he can’t die now. It was very well acted with Judd Hirsh, of Taxi and Numbers fame, playing his adopted son, Abe. Henry and his then-wife Abigail rescued Abe from the Belsen concentration camp as a baby, and raised him as their son. Of course now, Abe is in his 70’s and Henry still looks 35.

We’re sorry to see it go.

While we were leaving the Fry’s yesterday afternoon, I saw this nice -looking ‘31 Ford in the parking lot. Based on the discoloration on the exhaust pipe, it looks like it’s driven on the street regularly, and not just a show car. And also it doesn’t look like a lot of ‘muffling’ is going on there, so it’s probably pretty loud too.

But then that’s what straight pipes are for, aren’t they?

1931 Ford

Looks like he also did a nice job on the engine too. Not to be picky, but the tag says it’s a 1931, but I don’t think the engine is.

1931 Ford 2

That sure looks like a Flathead V-8, and they didn’t come out until 1932. Nice looking Edelbrock head and Stromberg carbs, though the 3 Stroms can be hard to keep sync’d up. But not as bad as the twin SU carbs on my ‘65 Triumph Spitfire.

Coincidently, right across the row was this ‘work-in-progress’. Looks like he’s still got a ways to go.

Chevy 1

Not sure what we’ve got planned for tomorrow. Probably just thinking about everything we need to take when we leave for Illinois on Wednesday.

May 16, 2016

Karma Update . . .

Jan and I were up at 4:30am and out the door by 5. God, that was early. We were supposed to be down in La Marque by 7:00, and though the trip should only take about an hour and 40 minutes, I was allowing two hours.

You never know when a wreck will cause things to grind to a halt, and we didn’t want to miss our drop-off window. But as it was, we only lost about 5 minutes and got there about 6:45, and then had to wait for 15 minutes until they opened at 7.

Animal Alliance is a non-profit organization that only does spaying, neutering, and shots for dogs and cats. And the non-profit part certainly makes a difference. When I called around the Conroe area, I found one vet that wouldn’t even quote me a price unless we came into the office, and another place that wanted about $300. Ouch.

But our son Chris told us about Animal Alliance down in La Marque that spays cats for $55 plus $14 for the legally-required rabies shot. So that’s a total of $69 vs $300. Well worth the 180 mile round trip.

They have a very nice facility with separate entries for dogs and cats. But what’s kind of strange is that the two separate entries open out into the same large counter area.

Animal Alliance

Inside it’s a very efficient operation. After filling out a short form, Karma and I were called in so she could be examined by the vet. And it turns out she weighs 7.1 pounds and is in really good shape.

Jan and I were back on the road by 7:30 and headed up to the IHOP on the Interstate, for coffee, English muffins, and some nice conversation. By the time we left the place was getting busy, so we just sat in the parking lot, listened to the radio, and napped a little. It was very overcast and a little rainy, so we were comfortable.

About 10:30 we headed up to Webster to have lunch at our favorite King Food. Always great, and enough to bring home leftovers. Then it was over to the Harris County Public Library where we spent the rest of the afternoon reading and Interneting in comfort. While we were there, I was amazed at the speed of the library’s in-house Wi-Fi. With a 5 ms ping, 28+ Mbps download, and 18+ Mbps upload, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any faster.

Finally about 3:30, we drove back down to La Marque to pick up Miss Karma. And after some brief post-op instructions, we were on our way home. With our trip occurring in the middle of the Houston rush hour, I took some precautions that turned out to really be needed.

As we headed north, Jan was monitoring the traffic using the Sigalert app on my Galaxy Tab 4. And as we got into downtown Houston, we saw a complete traffic stop on I-45 north that quickly built up from a 30 minute delay to a 2 hour delay as detailed on our Garmin GPS’ live traffic info. That would mean that our 1:40 trip was going to take 3 hours and 40 minutes.

But Sigalert showed me that I could exit I-45 and go east on I-10, then north on US 59. Then at I-610 I came back west until I could get on the Hardy Toll Road and head north again.

Surprisingly, all this zig-zagging only added about 3 miles to our trip, but cut down the delay to only about 20 minutes over the normal 1:30 trip. Later, on the 10pm news we heard that traffic was completely stopped for 3 hours, not just 2.

We really dodged that bullet.

May 16, 2017

When is 3G not 3G . . .

It has been really windy all day, as high as 30mph. And since the temps just barely made it up to 45°, the wind chill stayed down in the low 30’s.

We had more snow forecast for this evening, but it came early, around 2pm this afternoon, It only lasted about 10 min, and since it was 41°, it didn’t stick. So we’ll see how it goes this evening.

And now a little before 8pm it’s snowing hard, and sideways due to the high winds. So far it’s been going on for almost 45 minutes. And some of it actually stuck. A little.

Bend Sticking Snow

I spent the morning adjusting our upcoming travel schedule, adding a day here, deleting a day there, to try and match up our PassPort America stays with the valid PPA days for that park. Mostly this consists of staying away from Fridays and Saturdays. But there are a few that are different.

About 4pm we headed into Bend to have one last dinner at Baldy’s BBQ, whose large servings will give us leftovers for tomorrow night’s dinner in Hermiston, OR. Nice since we’ll be in a long pull-thru and won’t have to unhitch.

On the way I was glad to see that the weigh station was closed to trucks, so hopefully, it will be available for us tomorrow on our way into Bend.

One thing I did along the way was to pick up a bottle of Diesel Kleen from Auto Zone. Since we’re getting diesel at Fred Meyer’s tomorrow before we leave Bend, I wanted to add it then.

One thing that jogged my memory to do this, which I do about every 3rd tank, was a radio ad that said that Cummins now approves and recommends Diesel Kleen for its engines. So I assume that’s the same for you people running CATs too.

I’ve been using it for 4 or 5 years since several oil field truck drivers recommended it to me and said their company used it in all their trucks.

At Baldy’s Jan got her usual full rack of ribs,

Baldy's Jan Ribs

while I changed course and went with the Beef Brisket Platter with Salad, Chipotle Potato Salad, and Baked Beans.

Baldy's BBQ Beef Brisker Plate

Just as good as always.

Coming home we stopped by the Fred Meyer’s to get gas for the truck and double-check our routes in and out for the rig tomorrow when we fuel up and hitch up. But getting gas reminded me of one of the few reasons I don’t like Oregon.

You can’t fill your own tank. In this case, it took us over 20 minutes to fill up. They only had two guys handling 24 pumps (4 lines x 3 pumps per line x 2 sides to each pump), and since they had the lanes coned off, there was no way to pass around the rear vehicle still gassing up, so you got to sit there and watch the two front pumps set empty.

In Texas I would have been in and out in 5 minutes. Just stupid.

The other thing I find frustrating concerns Bend itself, and the problems with the signage they allow. Apparently, their zoning only allows very small signs, and none in store windows it seems, Which makes it very hard to find the address you’re looking for, especially since many streets are lined with trees, making it even more difficult.

We drove past one place 3 times before we were able to see the small sign.

Readers will remember that about three weeks ago, right before we left Las Vegas, I upgraded my Galaxy S5 to an S8+, and my 3G aircard to a Jetpack 4G MiFi, all with unlimited data.

Of course, everyone knows that ‘unlimited data’ only means 10GB at 4G before you are throttled back to ‘3G’ for the rest of your billing cycle. But I have this covered because once my MiFi maxes out at 10GB, I switch over to my S8+ for another 10GB, and then Jan’s S5 for another 10. So I’m covered for a total of 30GB.

Now that should be more than enough because on my old 3G aircard I normally used 20 to 25GB per month. So why is it that in my first 8 days, I used 10GB on my MiFi without any change in my usage. And this is something I’ve heard other people complain about.

Why are they using more data on their 4G MiFi even though they’re doing the same things as on their 3G aircard?

So when is 3G not 3G?

Apparently, it’s when Verizon throttles your 4G back to ‘3G’ speeds at the end of your ‘unlimited data’.

Since I have 4 lines as part of my package, I actually still have my 3G aircard for my use. So noticing that my throttled-back 3G seemed slower than my normal 3G, I made a comparison.

Checking several times during the day, I found that under my 3G aircard, I’m showing between 1.0 and 1.3 Mbps, which is pretty normal for me around the country.

But when I access SpeedTest.net using my throttled-back MiFi, I show a consistent 660 kbps, less than 2/3 of the aircard’s speed.

Now I wonder why that might be.

May 16, 2018

Up On The Roof . . .

Cue The Drifters.

That’s where I spent part of today at work , , , up on the roof. I was installing a solar-powered LED motion detection floodlight light like this.

Solar LED Light

The bright lights in the background at the office causes the camera to darken down the foreground of the parking lot too much. So it looks like this.

Wyze Com Nighttime 2

I tried putting a piece of cardboard over the top of the camera lens to block out the background lights, but that just reflected the IR LEDs back into the camera, actually making things worse.

So we decided to install a couple of motion-sensing lights to brighten up the parking lot, so I got to try out my new ladder.

Since we started RV’ing, I used a Cosco model like this.

Cosco Telesciping Ladder

It telescopes to make a 13 ft. step ladder if necessary. It’s very sturdy . . . and very heavy, almost 50 pounds. And it’s kind of overkill for what I need.

So I found this one on Amazon for about $80.

New Ladder at TES


But then it folds down like this.

New Ladder

I picked it up yesterday but just left it in the truck to use today. And it worked out great. At 24#, it’s half the weight of my other one and very versatile, since with 3 hinge points it can be configured into many different setups, including a stepladder and scaffolding.

So far I really like it.

The push buttons I ordered from eBay came into today,

Dump Project Push Buttons

the ones that I’m going to use on my Remote Dump Valve System so hopefully I’ll get to start wiring it up this weekend.

Tomorrow we’ll probably move some more stuff over to the storage room and then have dinner out.

May 16, 2021

A Tale Of Two Keyboards . . .

Last Saturday week when Brandi, et. al, came down to our area for our Mother’s Day get-together, they dropped off Landon’s Lenovo laptop so I could replace the keyboard in it.

Landon had knocked over a small glass of water onto it, and a lot of keys in the center part stopped working, though the computer worked just fine with an external keyboard plugged in.

Looking on YouTube, it looked like a pretty simple job. Just remove the 9 T4 screws holding the back of the case in place, pop it off, and then remove 3 Phillips screws inside.

Finally, pop out the keyboard from the front, unplug it, and reinstall the new keyboard.

Then reverse the screw removal process and you’re done. Easy Peezy.

Maybe 45 minutes at most.

Well, NO!

But more on that later.

Since the new keyboard came in this past Friday, I figured I take care of the install Saturday afternoon and then take it back up to Brandi’s today.

So about lunch time we just headed back over to our new favorite place, Gator’s Bar & Grill. And after trying something different last time, we were back with our old favorites once again.

The Fried Chicken sandwich with Coleslaw, and Sweet Potato Waffle Fries for her,

Gator's Fried Chicken Sandwich

and the Blackened Chicken Breast sandwich with the Sweet Potato Fries for me.

Gator's Blackened Chicken Sandwich

Of course, I have to add Texas Toothpicks and Bacon to it, too.

And we decided to again split one of their well-known desserts, this time the Hummingbird Cake.

Gator's Hummingbird Cake

It’s a spice cake made with bananas and pineapple, and a cream cheese frosting. Kind of carrot cakey, in a way.

We both agreed it was really good, but not quite as good as the Brown Butter Cake we had a couple of visits ago. I mean how can you go wrong with whisky-soaked peaches and Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream?

You can’t, right?

Back at the rig about 3:30 I dove into the keyboard replacement, thinking I’d be done in an hour and then I could take a nap.

But 6-1/2 hours later, about 10pm I was finally finished.

YouTube lied.

Yes, some models of Lenovo laptops only take about an hour, and some Lenovo laptops with the exact same model number of this one only take an hour. But with some Lenovo laptops with the exact same model number, but a different range of serial numbers, it’s an entirely different story.

I have never in my life worked on a laptop where I have had to completely disassemble it to repair something. And by ‘completely’, I mean completely.

As in every last part and component taken out and set aside leaving only the bare metal/plastic shell.

Starting with this –

Landon Lenovo Laptop Keyboard 1

And ending up with this –

Landon Lenovo Laptop Keyboard 2

That is the back of the keyboard in the bottom half of the photo. So now, finally, after 4 hours of carefully removing modules and boards, labeling everything, and collecting the many screws in 11 different envelopes,

Landon Lenovo Laptop Keyboard Envelope

I was finally ready for the 5 minute job of actually swapping out the old keyboard with the new one.

Landon Lenovo Laptop Keyboard

Then it was another 2-1/2 hours of carefully replacing all the parts, modules, and screws.

Then you take a deep breath, hold it, and press the Power button.

Lo and behold, it booted up and everything worked fine. Lucky for me, otherwise I would have probably had to buy Landon a new laptop.

But, hey, I figured that if little kids working in Chinese sweatshops could build one of these to start with, I should be able to take one apart and put it back together.

It was pouring down rain all morning, but we still headed up to Brand’s a little after noon to have lunch and drop off Landon’s laptop.

We had placed an order online with the El Pollo Loco up in Katy, which is only a few miles from Brandi’s, which we picked up on the way.

After a great time together, but wanting to get back on the road ahead of all the rain coming our way, we were back on the road about 3:15, and, though it poured all the way, we were home by 4:30.

All in all, a nice weekend. Even considering.

Our daughter-in-law Linda said she’d been hinting to our son Chris that she’d wanted a miniature donkey for their property up in Kingsland.

So he made her one. Out of junk.

Linda's Junkyard Donkey

I think the butterfly is a nice touch.

May 16, 2022

An Errand Day . . .

So far, the new Shipping computer at work is rocking along with no real problems. Bodes well for our upcoming two-week Alabama vacation.

Sometime coming up, I going to have a PowerField Services Tech come over and check out our QuietDiesel 7500 diesel generator to see if he can get it running again. If it looks to be too expensive, I.e. more than $1000 or so, I’m thinking about replacing it with one of these.

Westinghouse Generator

It’s gas, of course. And Propane too. And it has a full 50amp output with 9500W/12500W peak. In addition, it also has a 30amp outlet and 4 20amp outlets. It comes with a key fob remote electric start and built-in transfer switch.  And it will run for about 12 hours on the 6.6 gallon tank.

And it’s only $1000 with free delivery.

We’ll see.

Tomorrow it’s Twin Peaks for lunch, Kroger to drop off a prescription, Take 5 for an oil change in the Jeep, and then a stop by our storage room to drop some winter stuff off.

May 16, 2023

Synchronicity . . .

Lunch today was another stop on our Southern BBQ Tour. We picked up my cousin Marjorie about noon, and after talking a bit, we headed down to Decatur and Big Bob Gibson BBQ, our go-to BBQ place up in this area.

Gibson’s has been around since 1925 and regularly shows up on Top 10 BBQ places in the US, and one entire wall of the place is covered with ribbons and trophies they’ve won in BBQ contests all around the country. Yes, it’s that good.

Jan had the Smoked Turkey with a Side Salad and Green Beans,

Big Bob Gibson Turkey 20230516

while I went the traditional route with a Two Meat Combo Plate with Ribs and Pulled Pork, along with Beans and Beans.

Big Bob Gibson Combo20230516

Really, really good.

And you don’t come to Big Bob’s without getting a slice of one of their homemade pies, Jan split a piece of the Chocolate Pie with Marjorie,

Big Bob Gibson Chocolate Pie 20230516

while I got a slice of the Peanut Butter Pie. Note that I don’t split it with anyone.

Big Bob Gibson Peanut Butter Pie 20230516

But I did give Jan a forkful of mine, and she said she’s getting the Peanut Butter from now on.

Our waitress says that the pie people come in at 3am to start baking that day’s pies, and at 8pm the night before on holidays. And it shows.

Big Bob Gibson Jan & Marjorie 20230516

Marjorie, being my grandmother’s sister’s daughter, is my First Cousin, Once Removed, and is 94 years young. And sharp as a tack.

She knows all the latest family gossip, and she’s really funny. We always have a great time, and are already looking forward to next year.

Finishing up, we all drove around Athens for a while, checking out more of our old haunts and favorite places, before dropping Marjorie off at her home.

Tomorrow we’re getting together with Anne and her BFF Alan down at the Railyard down in Decatur. Can’t wait.



1. the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.

I’ve seen this repeatedly as I post each day’s Retro-Blogs™, finding that we ate at the same restaurant on the same day on multiple years, and sometimes even in different states, but still the same restaurant.

Or even got together with the same friends on the same day, and again in different states.

It’s spooky.