Daily Archives: May 30, 2024

4500+! Thanks To All Our Readers!

When Jan and I spent a week in NYC for Christmas in 2019, we had so much fun that Jan said we need to come back in 5 years and do it again.


When we were there we felt perfectly safe walking through Times Square at midnight coming back from Rockefeller Center and the Christmas Tree.

Our hotel was only a block off Time Square so we were around and through there a lot, and never saw anything that made us feel uneasy.

But now we’d have 3 shootings since February, and now there’s been a second! machete attack on a tourist, this time right outside the McDonalds.

So, NO!

With our recent 3 week trip back to Alabama, and the prep time for it, it’s been a while since I’d checked our daily blog reader stats. And it turns out that we’ve hit a new high.

On May 20, 2024, we hit 4,526 daily readers, a total from readers coming directly to our site, subscribers who receive the blog via email, and readers who come to the blog from outside, i.e. Facebook and other sources.

Since this total comes from 3 different programs, WordPress, Jetpack, and Google, I need to write a script to compile these figures daily/weekly so I don’t have to do it manually each time. It’s on my list somewhere.

I’m also getting a lot of feedback from our newer readers who are enjoying our past adventures in our Retro-Blogs.™

Thanks To All Our Readers!

Thought For The Day:

Do commandos really go commando? And if so, why?

Asking for a friend.

Your Retro-Preview Highlights –

2010 – The American Coach Rally Day 4

2015 – Sausage and Crab

2016 – A Little Misunderstanding?

2022 – Why Is It Moody?

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

May 30, 2009

Chinese Food and Satellite Repair…

Today we just took it easy around the rig until about 3:30 pm when we headed out to the New Peking Buffet Chinese restaurant for an early supper and then on to Walmart for more ‘stuff’.

When we got back a little after 5 pm a guy showed up to get some help with his satellite dish.

His wife had come by earlier in the day and noticed my satellite setup and asked if I could help her husband when he got back.  I said ‘sure’.

Here’s my satellite setup.

Satellite Stand

The brick/rock helps hold the dish down. Note the ‘visitor’ on the white rock on the base.

The dish is a Winegard Traveler that folds down and stows away, and the base is a Husky Workhorse workstand that I bought at Home Depot.  I like that it is much more stable than a tripod, and like the dish, it also folds flat.

I don’t use the stand every time,  just when I need to. Usually, I just set the dish on the picnic table (most sites have one), but sometimes the table is not in the right position if I have a lot of trees like we do here.

‘RJ”, the guy I was helping, had just purchased a Direct TV setup including a dish on a tripod. The night before, strong winds had blown his dish over, one of several things I don’t like about tripods.  This had bent his dish slightly, and he wasn’t having any luck getting his dish aligned again.

I showed him how to anchor his tripod better, and how to align his dish every time he sets up.

I think he’s a ‘happy camper’ now.

May 30, 2010

ACA Rally – Day 4…

Today, the last day of the rally, was a repeat of yesterday’s breakfast buffet, but this time with the addition of some very good cinnamon rolls that forced Jan and I to split one.

It twisted our arms, honest!

Outside the Energy Hall where everything happens, we’ve enjoyed seeing these beautiful cherry trees in bloom.


After breakfast, we came back to the coach and we just gelled.  The only real thing going on was a golf tournament, so it was time for a nap.

About 5:15 pm we headed back over to the Energy Hall for the final dinner of the rally, prime rib, no less.


And the prime rib meal was just as good as our other meals, and once again there was wine on our tables.

PrimeRib 2

And here’s our table companions for the night, The Ernhardts, the Desimoes, the Emberts, and of course, my beautiful wife, Jan.

Note how happy everyone is, and how empty the wine bottles are. Of course, there’s no connection there.

PrimeRib 3

Like last night, we had entertainment after dinner. This time it was Jack Jensen and Ted Jordan. They did everything from 50-60’s rock to country and patriotic.


We even had a bit of ventriloquism with Ted and his simian friend, M. K. Shines. (Monkey Shines, get it. Well I guess it’s monkey humor)

ACAEntertainment 2

Everyone really enjoyed the music, especially the last song, “God Bless The USA”

About 8:30 things wrapped up and, saying our goodbyes, we headed back to the rig for the night.

Tomorrow, most rally attendees will probably be heading out, but we’re hanging around for a couple of days before we start back toward Austin for our daughter Brandi’s wedding on June 21st.

A complete change of subject here. A few weeks ago we spent several pleasant days in Klamath, CA visiting the Redwood forests in the area. Klamath is not a very big place. It’s basically just one main street with a few stores, a gas station, and a Post Office.

So it was really strange to find this story about a bizarre crime that took place there recently. Now I’m glad we didn’t stay any longer.

May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day . . .


Our heartfelt thanks go out to all our service men and women who gave their time, and in many cases their lives, to protect our country.

Our last day here at Park of the Sierras started about 10 am with coffee and some warm banana nut muffins, and more work on our trip schedule for the next couple of months. It looks like things are falling into place and we have a pretty good idea where we’ll be until about 21st of July. After that things become a little more foggy. But it’ll all work out.

It always does.

Going outside I was able to successfully bypass the tail light converter and get the lights working. I’ll replace the converter while we’re at the Lake Minden Thousand Trails Resort north of Sacramento starting tomorrow.

About 12:45, Jan, and I drove over to the Chukchansi Casino to meet Rick Phillips for lunch at the buffet.

We first met Rick last Thursday when we visited the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad.

Rick Phillips - YMSPRR

Rick is the conductor on the railway and we enjoyed meeting and getting to know him.

Rick and his wife Laurie have a lot here at Park of the Sierras. We met Rick’s wife Laurie at the railroad where she works in the Railroad Museum. She was supposed to meet us for lunch today, but she was feeling under the weather, so it was just Rick today.

I was looking forward to talking more with Rick about the YMSPRR’s equipment, since most readers know how much I like trains, both big and little.

Lunch took a little longer than we had planned since it was so busy due to the holiday, but it did give us more time to talk.

After a really good meal at the Casino buffet and Jan losing $20 in the slots, we said our goodbyes and drove into Oakhurst to stop back by Von’s to pick up some more of the blueberries they had on sale.

Finishing that up I got out my air compressor and added some air to one of my tires which always seems to lose some when we’re parked. Then it was in for the night.

The perfect end to a great day.

May 30, 2013

This is Likely the Place . . .

Really, it is.

We’re staying at the Likely Place Golf & RV Resort in Likely, CA. And a very nice place it is. Here’s the view out our front window.

Likely Place RV 1

We pulled out of the Tahoe Village park about 10:15 this morning, heading for Likely, CA tonight and the Bend OR Thousand Trails tomorrow.

As we passed the park office I saw a UPS truck so I stopped in to see if one of my packages had magically arrived this morning, but no such luck. Getting underway, we headed back over the mountain to meet up with US395 at Carson City. Although it’s only 27 miles over there, it takes about an hour to just get over there because of first having to drive the 10 miles of South Lake Tahoe, CA, and Stateline, NV traffic. Then it’s the curvy climb up to 7100 feet to get over the mountain and back down to Carson City’s 4000 feet, and the Pac-Brake got a real workout coming back down.

Things went just fine until about 100 miles above Reno when we ran into about 20 miles of one-lane road repair. They were using a machine to cut those rumble strip areas into the road on the center and edge stripes. So after we waited about 20 minutes, we got to follow the pilot car for 20 miles at about 30 miles an hour.


Makes you really appreciate having your refrigerator and your bathroom with you wherever you go.

Otherwise, the trip was pretty smooth, getting into the Likely Place Golf & RV Resort about 3:30, only about an hour late. And even better, our stay here at this Good Sam park was free.

When we were in Las Vegas, I bought something at Camping World and they offered me a deal to renew my Good Sam membership at a nice discount plus a coupon for a free night’s camping at a Good Sam park.

Likely Place RV 2

Likely Place RV 3

Although the park looks like it’s out in the middle of nowhere, it’s actually only about two miles off US395 on a very nice road. And if you don’t have a Good Sam coupon, it’s also a Passport America park at only $16 a night for full hookups. And of course, a very nice golf course, too.

Tomorrow we’ve got about 240 miles to get to Bend OR. And it should be a nice easy trip. Unless we hit more repair work.

May 30, 2014

Waiting for Change . . .

I spent most of this morning hobbling around and trying to stay off my feet, or specifically my right knee. Once it a while it goes out on me, and this time has been worse than most.

I’ve been banged up a lot in my life, but, between football and parachute jumps that didn’t quite go as planned, my right knee and leg got it worse than the rest. So sometimes I pay the price of my wild and crazy youth.

Hopefully, by tomorrow I’ll be on the mend.

About 2:30 I drove over to Phoenix Commercial Paint , Michelle Henry’s RV Paint facility. Michelle is well-known in the RV world as one of the best places to get your RV painted or customized. If you want a new paint job, Michelle is the person to see.

But today, I wanted to talk to Josh, to see about getting my cracked passenger-side windshield replaced. Looks like everything’s now in motion. One thing I want them to do is to pull out both the good driver-side glass, and the cracked passenger side so the gasket can be replaced. American Coach recommends that this be done, since the one on there now is 15 years old and becoming stiff and brittle.

Unfortunately, we will probably have to put Beauty in the shop to have this done.

About 5:30 Jan and I drove over to George’s Gyros, a place recommended by Chris and Charles Yust of C and C RV Insurance fame. So now it was our turn.

George's Gyros 1

George’s Gyros (pronounced ‘your rows’, not ‘gy rows’) has a distinctly Greek flavor. With pita bread, Greek olives, and feta cheese, you can indulge your taste for Greek salads and food. But they’re also known for their Rib Tips, BBQ Ribs, BBQ Chicken, Chicken Wings, and Burgers.

Jan and I got the Gyro and Spinach Pie Plate below.

George's Gyros 2

For the gyros, you use the pita bread like tortillas, putting the gyro meat inside. along with tomatoes, sliced onions, peppers, and gyro sauce (a yogurt/sour cream mixture). Just like we do with fajitas down in Houston. The gyro meat is delicious. Really good.

Jan’s sister, Debbie sent over this X-ray of her granddaughter Ella.

Ella apparently decided to be her own piggybank, and recently made her first deposit.

A quarter.

Well, you have to start somewhere.

Ella's X-Ray2

They’re still waiting for change.

I got several emails yesterday about my Photoshop (well, Paint Shop Pro) tutorial. And today I came across this illustration,

It had the heading “When you see the creepy thing, hit share.” Well, to save you the trouble, the ‘creepy thing’ is the disembodied hand on the right arm of the little girl.

Creepy Family Photo3

I figure she was crying in the original shot, so someone took her from another shot and put her in this one. Don’t know why they left the hand. Maybe thought no one would notice, or ran out of time.

Anyway, even without the spooky hand, you can tell this has been Photoshopped by looking at the blowup of the photo below.

The vertical bar in the center of the pic is a dead giveaway. You never really have abrupt transitions like this without some sort of anti-aliasing (the gradual transition of color from one pixel to another)

Creepy Family Photo6

Look at the pixels over the rest of the photo and you’ll see what I mean.

Tomorrow it looks like a road trip to Michigan City, Indiana. Assuming I can still walk.

May 30, 2015

Sausage and Crab . . .

Not much gets done around here on the weekends, so we weren’t expecting anything to happen. And it didn’t.

I worked on some web stuff while Jan mostly read. We did talk some about where we’re going next from here. Before the blowout we were supposed to be at the Horseshoe Lakes Thousand Trails in Indiana right now before heading over to Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, Then it’s back to Houston via north Alabama and Gulf Shores toward the end of August. We always try to get back to Houston about then to be there for Landon’s birthday.

Later in the afternoon, I checked my bank account and my $109 motel bill had morphed into a $244 bill, with 3 different charges, none of them for $109.

All 3 charges are pending, so they might be updated, But just in case I called the hotel to ask what was going on. But the clerk was new and no help either. He said if I was still in town it might be quicker to come by later in the afternoon and talk to the manager. As it turned out it didn’t help either.

About 3:30 Jan and I headed out on another edition of our seeming goal to eat at every restaurant in Prescott. Or at least, every good one. And once again, relying on Yelp, we hit a real winner, The Iron Springs Café

Iron Springs Cafe 1

Housed in an old train depot that was originally built in 1894, the inside is open and friendly with a lot of train memorabilia. Sheldon would certainly like it.

Iron Springs Cafe 2

And the food certainly lives up to their reputation. While Jan started with a salad, I gave their Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo a try.

Iron Springs Cafe Gumbo

Chock full of chicken and sausage, as well as okra and peppers, this was a really good bowl of gumbo, and could hold its own in Louisiana.

Jan just had to check out their much-recommended Blue Crab Cakes with rice, Pico de Gallo, and a creamy chipotle sauce.

Iron Springs Cafe Crab Cakes2

Jan’s a real Crab Cake aficionado, and she says these are as good as any she’s ever had.

Continuing on my sausage theme, I had the Sausage Bomber Sandwich.

Iron Springs Cafe Sausage Bomber

With Andouille sausage, cheese, grilled onions, and grilled peppers, it was a real meal. So much so that we couldn’t even find room to split an order of their homemade bread pudding with rum-brandy sauce.

But there’s always next time.

Then it was off to the motel to try and straighten out my charges. And with no luck as it turned out. They couldn’t explain how these different charges came about, and said it must be a problem with my bank.

Yeah, right. My bank just made up charges under the name of the motel. So getting no real answers, I decided I’ll just wait until Monday and then check with my bank.

Tomorrow, probably more of the same.

May 30, 2016

A Little Misunderstanding?

To set the record straight, Jan and I are NOT hanging up the keys. Nor are we anywhere close. We’re just somewhat taking a break this year only.

And even with the break, we’ll still be doing over 2000 miles later this year with our planned Gulf Shores- North Alabama trip

Although the weather forecast was for Sunny with a few clouds today, we woke up to fairly heavy rains for most of the morning, with the sun only coming out later in the afternoon. And that kept the temps and AC usage down, so we had no repeat of yesterday’s power outage.

After having trouble with our rig’s water pump on the last two trips to and from Conroe, I decided to replace it rather than fooling with it anymore. It either works, or it doesn’t work, with no in-between.

The 12v power is good, and tapping on the pump doesn’t help either. I disassembled the pump head but didn’t find any obvious problems so I just ordered this one.

Shurflo RV Water Pump_thumb[1]

Shurflo 3.0 GPM  RV Water Pump

The one that’s installed right now is 8 years old, so it’s had a good life. I installed it during our first couple of months on the road after we started RV’ing in 2008. Based on the date code on it, I assume it was the original one from 1999. It should be here next week.

For dinner tonight, Jan and I put together another of our ‘make it up as we go’ meals. Saturday when we ate at Floyd’s Cajun Seafood and Steakhouse, we both had a lot of French Fries left over. So we got a take-home box to bring them home.

Now what to do with them?

Looking in the pantry and the fridge, we found Skyline Cincinnati Chili, Bush’s Bourbon and Brown Sugar Beans, Hot Dogs, and a large bag of Shredded Cheese. A group of ingredients that just called out for a variation of the Tater Tot Chili Cheese Hot Dog Casserole, but using French Fries instead of Tater Tots.

I mean, it’s all taters, right?

So here’s what we came up with.

Check it out. It was really good.

French Fry Casserole 4a_thumb[1]

French Fry Chili Cheese Hot Dog Casserole

To go with our meal Jan fixed up one of her delicious salads, using her version of the salad dressing recipe she got from our friend Lynn Cross.


The salad is Spring Mix & Baby Spinach, Cucumbers, Sliced Cherry Tomatoes, Shredded Cheese, and these Texas Toast Croutons.


These come in several different flavors, and unlike other brands, which are teeth-cracking little rocks, these are large, crunchy, tasty nuggets.

Jan’s Version of Lynn Cross’ Salad Dressing

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
3 or 4 squirts of Lime or Lemon juice. We use the juice squeeze containers
3 squirts of Honey from the Squeeze Bear
1/4 tsp.of Crushed Garlic packed in water
Salt and Pepper to taste

Once Jan has this initial mix, she adds a little more of this and that until she has it just right.

Karma’s on her way to being a grown-up kitty. At nine months she now weighs about 10 pounds. Certainly not in Mister’s weight class, but she’s a lot bigger than she was when we adopted her (or she adopted us) back in February.

Karma on the Counterr_thumb[1]

Tomorrow we’re going to try the lunch buffet at Schobel’s down in Columbus and then make a Brookshire Bros. stop on the way back home.


May 30, 2017

Wings and More . . .

It went down to 36° last night, but was up in the mid-70’s today. All in all, very nice.

About 5pm we headed out to meet Dave and Jeanne at the local Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. They had been doing Deadwood today, a destination for us in the next few days.

Jan and I went with the same order as last time, traditional wings, hers with Asian Zing, and mine with Mango Habanero, as well as an order of Potato Wedges.

Buffalo Wild Wings Rapid City 2

As we got to talking, it was almost scary how many likes we have in common besides RV’ing, like Dr. Who, murder, and historical mysteries. drones, computers. and more.

As usual, when RV’ers get together, we spent more time talking than we did eating, probably a good thing on my part. In fact we had been there almost 3 hours before we left. Had a really great time.

Dave and Jeanne Hecht

Hopefully, we’ll be able to get together again before they leave on Saturday.

Jan has been nursing the remains of a migraine for a couple of days, so tomorrow is up for grabs. If she does feel better, then we’ll head out about 9am, first heading down to Bear Country USA, a drive-thru wildlife park down near Mt. Rushmore. Then it’s right next door to Reptile Gardens for a visit there.

For lunch we’ll then head back down to Hill City to get our German food fix at the Alpine Inn,  Then maybe back to the Dinosaur Museum nearby, before heading back home.

Supposedly I have an Amazon order coming into the park tomorrow afternoon. I ordered a Samsung Wireless Charger for my Galaxy S8+.

Wireless Charger

You plug it into a power source and then all you have to do is just lay your phone on the circular pad. No connecting it up. And even better it charges faster than the regular way. And it should also work on Jan’s S5 too.

And it’s only about $17.

May 30, 2019

Stay Tuned . . .

Today I had hoped to take a look at the truck’s radiator problem, but the all-day rain that was forecast, and then came along right on schedule, took care of that.

So I spent the morning working on the new website stuff for work, trying to get everything configured and working. Then I’ve got to get the new theme installed and configured.

Finally about 12:30 Jan and I headed up to Webster to have brunch at Snooze. Delicious as usual.

Then I made a stop by the office to check in on my HD repair, and also pick up the new Digital Photo Frame that finally came in late yesterday afternoon.

And after checking the website computer, my thoughts about the problem were confirmed. The disk scan had completed, but when I rebooted the computer, it went right back to scanning and finding errors again.

It’s dead, Jim.

So now Plan B becomes Plan A, I guess.

Leaving the office we made a quick stop for a few things at the nearby HEB, then it was home in the pouring rain, which meant we didn’t make our scheduled store room stop to drop off suitcases from the trip, electric heaters that we don’t need again to the fall, as well as the winter quilt from the bed.

This blog finally catches me up on the latest days, so now I can go back and start filling in the missing days on our trip.

Our friend, Chris Yust flagged us on this collision between a Viking River Cruise ship and a much smaller sightseeing boat on the Danube River in Budapest. Seven people were killed and twenty-one are missing. From the article, it seems that the sightseeing boat turned in front of the Viking ship and got run over.

More Here: Viking Collision.

I assume this was the evening river cruise they did on our first night onboard, before we actually headed up river on our cruise a day later.

You can read about it on our blog here:  Home Sweet Skirnir

Stay Tuned.

May 30, 2021

A Retro Day . . .

Jan had been jonsin’ for a Chili Dog, so about 1pm we drove to the Sonic over in Dickinson to partake of Chili Cheese Coneys and Corn Dogs. Kind of a retro day remembering drive-ins back in the good old days.

After the young man brought our food, I mentioned pretty carhops in tight shorts and roller skates delivering our food back then, but as I said, “At least we still have Twin Peaks.”


Then we made a quick run-through at WalMart for a few things. We’re being careful to use up anything that would spoil during the two weeks we’ll be gone on our trip.

All the recent rains have made the ground under Jan’s Flamingo Flamboyance kind of soggy, so I spent some time this afternoon straightening up some of the occupants. And I also temporarily installed one of the other nozzles on the solar-powered fountain to see what it looked like.

Flamingo Bird Bath with Fountain #2

But as I figured yesterday it scatters the spray so much that it loses a lot of water, and the bird bath doesn’t hold a lot as it is. So I think I’ll just stick with the regular one.

Of course, we’re not as bad off as our daughter-in-law Linda’s plight. As she said, her backyard has become a ‘Water Hazard.”

Linda's Water Hazard


I’m gradually getting the apps I want moved over or installed onto my new Galaxy S21 Ultra. And I think I’ve pretty much got a handle on how the 5 different cameras work, although I’m not really sure how useful some of the options will be, like super slo-mo and hyper-lapse. But they’ll at least be fun to play with.

And it looks like Jan’s new-to-her S8+ is going to need a new battery soon. When the young lady at the Verizon store took it out of its Otterbox case, I could see that the battery had swollen and was starting to open up the edge of the case along the seam.

Unlike my old S5 where you can just pop off the back and install a new battery, the S8+ has to be heated up with a heat gun to melt the adhesive and then pried apart. Then a bunch of tiny screws have to be removed so you can get the battery cover off. Finally, battery has to be heated to melt the adhesive holding it in place. Then you can replace the battery.

Then everything has to be glued back together. Sounds like fun.

Looks to be a quiet Memorial Day for Jan and me tomorrow.

May 30, 2022

Why Is It Moody?

Jan and I drove down to Decatur about 11:30 to the Moody Crab to meet up with another old friend, Anne. And as I said in a previous blog, we once dated, once.

The Moody Crab turned out to be really good, with an extensive menu.

Jan and I both started out with a bowl of their Clam Chowder.

Very good and perfectly seasoned.

Jan then got the Fried Catfish Basket with Sweet Potato Fries,

while I got the Fried Oyster Po’boy with Cajun Fries.

Anne and Alan both got Boil Bags, Anne’s with Crab Legs,

while Alan got one with Crawfish and Shrimp.

I’ve actually known Anne since she was 12 or so, but back in 1967, I was dating her older sister, Jane, and she got grounded due to flunking a test, I think. So since I had already bought tickets to something, Jane suggested that I take Anne, who I think was 14 or 15 at the time, and that it would be her very first date.

So as I said, I once dated Anne, once.

Now Anne previously has said she has no memory of this, so maybe I just imagined it. But I don’t think so.

I actually tracked Anne down a couple of years ago after my Aunt Virginia told me that Jane had died back in 2019, and I was really surprised, and wanted to find out more.

Getting our hugs and saying our goodbyes, Jan and I headed back up to Athens, with a quick detour by the new Buc-ee’s going up right outside town.

Those poles lined up in front from one side to the other are where the 120 gas pumps will be located.

Tomorrow we’re heading over to Huntsville for lunch and some shopping. Then on Wednesday, we’ll be on our way down to Birmingham for one night

May 30, 2023

A Short Week . . .

Today was nice and slow with just lunch at Gator’s, our first time since we got back from Alabama.

Jan got her standard Strawberry Walnut Salad with Grilled Chicken,

Gator's Strawberry Walnut Salad 20230305

while I got a Side Salad, along with a bowl of their Cilantro Beef Soup.

Gator's Chipotle Beef Soup 20230423

Always delicious!

Following up on our recent vacation, I did make good use of our Shower Handles.

Key West Inn Shower Handles

Suction Cup Shower Handles

Some of these showers really don’t have much to hold on to when you’re getting in and out of the tub. It only takes about 10 seconds to install each one, and they come off just as quickly.

We’ve got a set in our shower in the rig and a set in the shower Jan uses when she’s staying at Brandi’s.

And of course, a set that travels with us in the Jeep. So we’re always prepared.

Another thing we did on this trip was to take an Echo Dot with us. I hotspotted it to my phone, and we used it to play songs as we drove along. We have Amazon’s Music Unlimited so we can pretty much play any song ever made. So we skip around, sometimes playing whole albums, and sometimes just skipping from artist to artist, playing favorite songs.

A lot of fun.

Tomorrow it’s back to work, but at least it’s a short week.