Daily Archives: June 5, 2024

Two In Two Days . . .

When I got up about 8 this morning, my Weather Channel app said there was a 6% chance of rain today, but by 10 when I left for work, that 6% was coming down in torrents, so much so that the traffic on I-45 was down to a crawl. And by the time it was over, we’d had almost 1.5” of 6%.

The NASA/Boeing went off right on time this morning taking two astronauts up the ISS for a one-week visit, the first step to being certified for regular crewed missions.

And as I had mentioned yesterday, SpaceX has been cleared for the next launch of the Super Heavy Starship, starting at about 7am.

Tomorrow Jan’s got a couple of routine medical things, along with lunch, probably at Snooze, and then Wal-Mart on the way home. Then at 4:30 we’re both getting our haircut with Kristen, our regular lady.

Hopefully, we’ll hear from my mechanic about the Jeep’s A/C. But Old Faithful is doing fine.

Thought For The Day:

On a recent forum, people were discussing kids being punished unfairly by teachers for disagreeing with them, and I said that it was nothing new.

When I was in 3rd grade, 1956 or so, I got a spanking, when the teacher told another student that he would get lead poisoning writing on his arm with a pencil, i.e. pencil lead.

When I told her pencil lead wasn’t really lead, but carbon like charcoal, she said I was wrong, I said, “No, you’re wrong.”

That got me a spanking and 30 minutes standing in the corner. Then at the end of class, as we were leaving, she overhead me mumbling “She’s still wrong”, and I got another spanking.

I guess that was my version of Galileo’s “And yet it still moves.”

Unfortunately, two spankings in one day was not my record. That would be three.

And now don’t you feel sorry for Jan for having to put up with me for almost 57 years?

Your Retro-Preview Highlights –

2010 – Salt Lake City

2011 – Weed, Mt. Shasta, and Landon

2017 – More Onan Generator Starter Repair

2022 – Alabama Safari Park

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

June 5, 2009

Rainy Days and Coconut Macaroons…

Just what we needed.

Rain and more rain.

But before the rains came, I got up this morning to set up the satellite. But without much luck.  I was using my workstand again since the picnic table wasn’t in the right position.

Satellite Stand

Try as I might,  I couldn’t get a signal.  It didn’t make sense.  I had a clear view of the southern sky,  but I just couldn’t lock on to the satellite.

I began to wonder if I was having a cable problem since there was a short-term problem that I thought might be a bad cable a few days ago in Titusville.

So after I moved the dish all around trying to get a signal,  I just left it sitting there planning to get a new cable at lunch.

We headed out for lunch at Nana’s, a small family restaurant that we saw advertised in one of the tourist maps.  And it was a real find!   Really good food!

And great baked goods.  We ended up buying lemon and orange scones, and wonderful coconut macaroons.  We bought 6 macaroons, but somehow I only ended up with 2.

Funny how that worked out!

After lunch, we drove over to the local Camping World to pick up some ‘stuff’.   Jan wanted a new bag chair with a higher back and I needed some parts for the taillight hookup.

Here’s what Jan ended up with.  It’s really comfortable

Jans Bag Chair

After leaving Camping World, we stopped off next door at Gander Mountain.  Gander Mountain is a full-line sporting goods/outdoors store like Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s.  We had never been to one so we wanted to check it out.

In particular, I was looking for ammunition.  But no luck.  No 9mm,  no .30,  no .380,  and no .25.   In other words, nothing that I needed.  Oh, well.

And of course, next we had to head to Walmart for even more ‘stuff’,  including a new satellite cable.

When we got back to the coach, the first thing I noticed was that the power had gone off and then come back on.  The second thing I noticed was that the satellite was now working!

The only thing I can figure out is the satellite receiver was stuck in ‘dork’ mode (That’s a technical term) and the power going off and coming back on fixed the problem.  But the real luck was that I had apparently left the dish pointing in exactly the right direction.

Who knew?

And, right on schedule, as soon as we got back to the coach, the bottom dropped out in the rain department.

Lucked out again!

June 5, 2010

Salt Lake City…

About 11 am our friends, Pat and Judy, came over to our rig, and after talking for a while we headed out for lunch right down the street at Applebee’s.

After talking over old times after lunch, we headed out for some sightseeing. We spent several hours driving around downtown, and then up into the hills overlooking the city.

Here’s a shot of the Mormon Temple and the Temple Plaza.

MormonTemple 1

MormonTemple 2

And here’s a side shot of the Temple.

MormonTemple 3

This is up in the hills north of the city looking down on State St., the main thoroughfare running for miles out from the city.

State Street

Here’s a shot of the mountains to the west of Salt Lake City.  They had snow here in Salt Lake just last week, and are trying to reopen the ski areas because of all the snow they’ve had.

SLC Mountains

And here’s another colorful mascot like the pronghorn antelope we saw the other day.

Buffalo Mascot

After coming back to the rig, Pat and Judy headed home for a while, Then about 5:30 we met them and some of their family at the Texas Roadhouse a few miles away.

We had a great time getting to know them, along with the great food.

After dinner, we took Pat and Judy home, with a detour to the new Mormon Temple up in the hills overlooking Draper.

New Temple

We got back to the rig a little before 8 pm and settled in for the night.

Tomorrow we’ll run some errands and then meet Pat and Judy at a nearby Famous Dave’s BBQ for dinner.

June 5, 2011

Lavender Bears . . .

Here’s a new pic of Landon in his new pool. Brandi says he loves it and cries when she takes him out.

Landon Pool 3

She also said she got to sleep in this morning since Lowell got up to take care of Landon. When she got up the house was quiet and she thought Lowell and Landon had made a Starbuck’s run, but when she came out into the living room, she found this. Apparently they had pooped each other out. Really cute.

Landon and Lowell

Friendly RV Park here in Weed

Friendly RV

is a very nice little park with a great view of Mt. Shasta that should look like this.

Mt. Shasta

But due to the rain and overcast looks like this.

Mt Shasta - Park

Although it went down to 39 degrees last night it’s supposed to get into the 60’s today. And it’s supposed to really clear up on Tuesday. We’ll see.

About 12:30 we did our biweekly LandonSkyping, and as usual Landon was all over the place. Brandi and Lowell said if they walk into another room, he’s crawling right along behind them.

Video call snapshot 126

Video call snapshot 137

Video call snapshot 142

We can hardly wait until we get to see him in August.

A little later Jan fixed a lunch of left-over Chinese from Taste of China in Oakhurst last week. I wish we’d brought a gallon of that Hot & Sour Soup with us.

After lunch I finally got the satellite working by moving it about 30 feet behind the rig and shooting through this gap in the trees. It also didn’t help that, although it’s hidden in the overcast,

Park Sat View

this mountain, “Black Butte” is also in the way.

Black Butte

Because of all this I can only get about 75% signal level, but it works.

After a nice nap, Jan and I headed out about 5:30 to downtown Weed and the Hi-Lo Diner. The Hi-Lo has been around since the 40’s and is the original store of what became the Black Bear Diner chain of 50 restaurants in 8 states. Apparently there was a divorce back in the 1970’s that split things up. One side then partially bought out the other, leaving the Hi-Lo by itself.

We had been told this place was really good and they were right. Jan had the Chicken Fried Chicken and I had the Chicken Fried Steak, and for dessert, Jan had the Blackberry Cobbler and I had the Peach Cobbler, both ala mode.

Hi-Lo Dinner

Boy was it all good. So good that we’re going to eat breakfast there tomorrow before we set out to explore the area.

Leaving the diner we drove around Weed, or what there is of it. Weed is a picturesque town but it only has about 2000 residents.

We did see this neat totem pole, although why it’s in front of a discount store, I have no idea.

Weed Totem

Tomorrow, according to Jan, we going to look for lavender and bears . . . or lavender bears . . .  or something like that. We’ll see.

June 5, 2012

Mystery Solved . . .

The other day I’d complained about the fact that our fresh water tank was black so that with the summer sun on it, the water was always hot and you couldn’t take a cool shower even if you wanted to.

Well, reading on another blog, I found out why the tanks are black. Or at least the good ones. It keeps down the algae. The black tanks keep the sunlight out which greatly retards the growth of the green stuff. Actually I should remember this from my aquarium days. But then that was back in my sticks and bricks lifetime, and far, far away.

I guess hot water is better than green water.

One of the many perks of being a gate guard, well, one of the perks, maybe, is the occasional catered meals brought in by vendors for the crew. And lucky for us, the gate guards are included in “crew”. But although we’d heard about the meals, this was the first time we’d been on the receiving end.

OK, there are two perks, the pay, and the occasional catered meal.

Ok, there’s one perk, the pay. The meals are just a bonus.

Last Friday, right before we got back from our granddaughter Piper’s graduation, they dropped off Fried Catfish and Shrimp Dinners, with Hushpuppies, Cole Slaw, and Corn, and though we didn’t have it until lunch the next day (Saturday), it was still good and crispy heated up.

But even better, right before suppertime the same day, a delicious! steak dinner showed up. Consisting of a great piece of meat, green beans, au gratin potatoes, salad with ranch dressing, a roll, and apple cobbler for dessert, it was really, really good. And the steak covered the entire bottom of the compartment. The green beans are on top of it.

Steak Dinner

The steak was still hot and juicy, and tender enough that you could cut it with the plastic fork. In fact, everything was hot, except the salad, which was cold. Not sure how they did that. Guess they added the salad at the last minute.

Anyway, it was amazing how good everything was. The potatoes were melt-in-your-mouth, and I’d swear the green beans were fresh, not canned or frozen. Even the roll tasted fresh baked, not the generic pull-apart variety. All in all, a great meal.

And the rumor is, there’s another meal coming today (Wednesday) or tomorrow. Here’s hoping.

I was reading on the RV.net forum about a gate guard couple working a gate with multiple rigs. They’re apparently handling about 600 vehicles a day (We normally do 60-80), but because of the heavy traffic, they’re making $565 a day.

Wow! That’s a little over $206,000 a year. When I mentioned this to Jan, I guess I had a little too much excitement in my voice, because she gave me “The Look”, and . . . you married guys know “The Look”, right?  The one that means you just stepped in quicksand and there’s no way you’re getting your foot back in one piece . . . yeah, that Look. Anyway, she looked at me, and said “Don’t even think about it.”

Hey, a guy can dream, can’t he?

June 5, 2013

Who’s playing with the Thermostat?

Well, we had to turn on the A/C for the first time since we left Las Vegas about three weeks ago. We’ve got another three days of these low 80’s before it drops back into the 70’s again. Can’t come soon enough for us.

Landon started his new daycare this past Monday since they’ve moved into their new house. Brandi said that when she dropped Landon off, she started crying, and then Landon started crying too. But realizing that she left his diaper bag at home, she left him and went back home for it. When she got back she found Landon leaning back in a chair, his arm draped over the chair next to him, and swinging his legs. And surrounded by a bunch of smiling little girls!

I’ve mentioned several times in the past about the coming revolution in 3-D printing, in everything from body parts, jewelry, models, and yes, guns. NASA is even sending one up to the Space Station next year to make replacement parts for equipment.

But you know it’s gone mainstream when you can buy 3-D Printers and supplies on Amazon. Order yours today!

Well, my missing replacement outside mirror finally showed up today, along with my recent Amazon orders. The mirror had been wandering around for a while before finally showing up at the Tahoe Village park in South Lake Tahoe, the day after we left. But I had left my address at the park here in Bend, and some money to pay to re-ship up here.

The Amazon packages had parts related to my water pressure problems. First up was a new Oxygenics 52330 Power Massage Handheld. Immediately installing it in my shower, I found it worked much better under my present low water pressure than the old Shower Massage.

Oxygenic Shower Wand

It’s easy to see why my friends have recommended the Oxygenics.

But the most important thing I got was a water pressure gauge. I’d been meaning to order one for a while, so this seemed like a good reason.

Water Pressure Gauge

Watts DP IWTG Water Pressure Test Gauge for Garden Hose

So the first thing I did was take it outside and try it out. I measured both our site’s water pressure and the sites on either side of us. And they all measured the same, about 25#.

This seems low to me, but I don’t have anything to compare it with. Since I was told that every section here is on a different water connection, tomorrow I’m going to check out the pressure in other areas and see what I get there.

I also received my new Water Inlet connector that I’ll install in the next day or so. Right now I’m still using the straight-thru connection without the check valve.

I also spent some time working on my drinking fountain / undersink water filter install, but ran into a problem. The water filter just needs to be mounted to the wall and hooked up, maybe a five minute job.

But getting underneath the cabinet I found the old filter used 1/4” tubing and the new one uses 3/8”. So I’ll have to see if I can find some sort of adapter to make the transition.

June 5, 2014

Biting the Bullet . . .

After yesterday’s pretty much all-day rain, today turned out to be really nice outside. So we were able to sit out with our coffee and muffins. And even better, a little while later Dick and Phyllis Schell showed up for a while.

They’re in the process of doing some upgrades to their Freightliner Super C so they came over before they took their rig down to have some measurements done.

It was so nice that we sat out for about two hours before heading in. Then about 3 I went down to the Verizon store where I bit the bullet and upgraded my phone to a new Samsung Galaxy S5.

Charge vs S5


I still don’t have contacts. As before we can see them online in Verizon’s BackupAssistantPlus, but the phones, neither my old Samsung Charge nor my new S5, can see them to pull them down. And there doesn’t seem to be a way to push them from the BackupAssistant either. But I’m still working on it.

I do really like the S5 so far though. It’s very fast and has a 16-megapixel camera, better than my Panasonic Lumix.

One thing different is that the phones no longer come with an SD card like my Charge did. It came with an 32GB, and the Verizon Store said that they would sell me one for $49.95.

Yeah, right!

I can get one online for $10-15.

So now I’m spending time re-downloading all my favorite apps to the S5. But it will be a good opportunity to weed out those I really don’t use.

Our daughter Brandi sent over some new Landon pics.

Landon Ice Cream Zombie

Landon at the Park 6

Landon and Kitty at the Park

We really look forward to seeing him for his 4th birthday in August.

For supper tonight we had our leftover King Wha Hunan Chicken from a few nights ago. Still really good, especially with Sriracha Sauce on it.

Down in Texas, every Chinese restaurant stocks Sriracha, but up here they don’t seem to have heard of it.

June 5, 2015

One Down, One to Go . . .

Well, we made a little progress today. The new airbag came in. But there’s a problem with the windshield, and it hasn’t been ordered yet.

The reason is that they can’t find a part number for it. The windshield doesn’t have any numbers on it and they haven’t had any luck finding them elsewhere. I suggested they actually try the insurance company to see if they had a record of what they installed when they replaced the windshield a year ago.

I also put in a call to American Coach Parts to see if they had a number, but even though I called at 4:30 EDT, and they supposedly closed at 5pm, I just got voicemail. So I’ll try again Monday.

Before today I was kind of hoping we might be on our way toward the end of next week, but I figure that’s pretty much out the window now. But we’ll see.

I spent some time yesterday and today talking with SimpleTire.com looking at the option of buying new tires for our rig online. So far it looks like I can buy them online and have them shipped here cheaper than I might be able to buy them here. But I won’t know until the tire guy finally gets around to sending me some prices. Like he’s promised for the last week or so.

One thing I was interested to learn is that I can select the tire’s datecodes when I order them. The sales guy I was talking to said since they get tires directly from the manufacturer, their tires are about as fresh as you can get. But when I order them, they can give me the datecode of each tire in the warehouse, and I can select the ones I want. Sounds neat.

Jan wanted Taco Bell tonight so I tried their new online ordering app to order it and pay ahead of time. But since they make everything fresh, they still don’t start making it until you get there. But as I pulled into the the Taco Bell parking lot. the app beeped and and said, “We see you’re here. We’ll start preparing your order.”

Neat, but a little scary.

June 5, 2016

Moving On Down The Road . . .

Jan and I were up about 6:30 for our usual pre-prep to travel back to Lake Conroe today. As usual, I had done a lot of things yesterday afternoon to get ready, I.e., stowed the sewer hose, etc. I normally would have also put up the shore water hose, but since I don’t have a working water pump right now, I  left it hooked up for today’s showers.

The replacement water pump is on the list, but it’s now been pushed down to third place. Instead, first up now is to climb up on the roof and check the drain holes on the rear AC. I’ve got water coming in from the AC filter when it’s running and I don’t see any sign of it running off the side of the rig as normal. It’s probably an algae buildup.

Then second, is my microwave door problem. The latch has apparently broken inside and I can’t open the door, even after holding in the button and pulling on the door as has been suggested.

At this point, looks like I’m going to have to pull it out of its over-the-counter cabinet, and remove the panels to get to the latch to release it. Replacement parts should only be about $18. Certainly better than $300-$400 for a new one.

Jan and I headed into Columbus for our usual Schobel’s breakfast buffet. We always eat here before we leave Colorado River, and always have breakfast at the Cracker Barrel before we leave Lake Conroe.

Yes, it is a rut, but it’s a tasty rut.

Besides attracting us to the good food, Schobel’s also seems to attract neat customized trikes. This was the first one we saw in their parking lot last December.

Schobel's Trike 1

And then this one today.

Schobel's 2nd Trike 1

I didn’t get enough of a look at the engine to know what it is, beyond a V-8. Maybe a reader will know.

Schobel's 2nd Trike 2

With a Busch beer keg for a fuel tank, and a Busch beer container for a saddle bag, I’m sensing a theme here.

Schobel's 2nd Trike 3

Now that’s heavy-duty suspension. It would look right at home on a John Deere tractor, especially with the green paint job.

Schobel's 2nd Trike 4

A switch for everything.

Schobel's 2nd Trike 5

Now I’m not sure what the little ‘distillery’ here is for. That’s the fan and radiator in that rear box, so maybe it’s his radiator overflow.

But since it’s a Russian Standard Vodka bottle, maybe he’s making up some homebrew as he drives.

Schobel's 2nd Trike 6

A neat bike.

Back at the park, I was outside finishing up and ran into Vicki Hall, a fellow gate guard, and Facebook friend. She had posted a photo of their 5th wheel and said they were at Colorado River. When I saw the photo I realized they were parked right behind us.

Then a little later, Vicki’s husband Roy also came over to say “Hi”. Nice to put a face to to a name and a Facebook post.

The way we’re parked on this circle, the rear end of our coach is near the camper right next door. Since our engine compartment is only about 15 feet from where they were outside cooking and eating breakfast, and we weren’t in any real hurry, I decided to wait for them to finish before I cranked up since it takes 5-6 minutes for the rig to come up on the suspension airbags before we can pull out.

So about 15 minutes we were pulling out and getting hitched up. And by 10:30 we were on our way to Conroe.

Saturday, when we were traveling down to Seabrook for our Taft/NASA reunion, we both commented on how there was no wind along the way, with the flags all hanging limp. But we both figured it would be different today, And it was.

Today the flags along the way were all at right angles to the poles. The only redeeming part was that it wasn’t as gusty as in the past, just steady from the north.

Passing Brookshire, we pulled over on the shoulder for a potty stop. This is a good place for that because the shoulders on both sides of the three lanes are extra wide, due to the fact that they are designated as Evaculanes for hurricane evacuation, giving people 5 lanes to get out of town.

While we were stopped I cranked up the generator and turned on the A/Cs. When we left Colorado River, it was overcast and 73 degrees, and it was supposed to stay that way the whole trip. But the sun came out and put an end to that. So AC’s it was.

We got into the Lake Conroe Thousand Trails a little after 12:30 and found a nice site in our favorite ‘E’ ring. Then a little later, I talked with Judy Mott about getting together while we’re both here. Really looking forward to seeing Dick and Judy again.

Life is good.

June 5, 2017

Working, But Not Fixed . . .

Or, Led Down the Wrong Path.

Well, we finally hit the 90’s today with a high of 91°, but tomorrow’s high is supposed to be 75. So a little let up in the temps.

And along with the heat came afternoon thunderstorms, which meant I was dodging lightning while I was outside working on installing the new starter. And as I figured it was a lot harder to get the starter back on with the solenoid already attached.

According to the manual, I should be doing all this with the generator out of the rig and the bottom panel off. Which is why it takes me so long to accomplish this repair.

In fact it took over an hour and a half of fooling with the starter, getting the two bolts started, and finally tightened down. Then it was just a matter of connecting up all the wires and then reconnecting the 300amp fuse in the battery bay to put 12 volts back on the generator.

New Generator Starter Installed

So now it was just a matter of pressing the Start button and listening to it crank, right?


Dead silence.

So now it was back to basics. So I rechecked the wiring that I had reconnected and checked for the high amperage 12 volts at the back of the solenoid.

All OK.

So my next check was for the 12 volt control signal coming from the Start button to the back of the solenoid. Because of the way the wiring harness was routed before I removed the starter, I couldn’t get to this connection before to check it. But getting the wire loose from the back of the solenoid, I put one lead of the voltmeter on it and the other on a ground connection, and pressed the Start button.

No 12 volts.

So next I made up a jumper wire with a spade lug on one end and bare on the other end.  And after plugging it into the back of the solenoid, I touched the bare end to the high-amperage 12-volt lug on the back of the solenoid.

New Generator Starter with Jumper Wire

And after several tries, the generator cranked up and ran.

So I had just learned a $166 lesson, buying a new starter that I probably didn’t need.

But as I said, before I couldn’t get to the wire anyway. So now I needed to find out why the signal wasn’t getting to the solenoid. So I went back to the copy of the service manual that I had downloaded. And all it told me was the signal from the Start button went into the Controller box and came out to the solenoid. Not a lot of help.

Next I got on the phone to Cummins/Onan for some tech help. I was trying to figure which connector on the controller fed into the wire harness and then out to the solenoid. But as happens, what I was seeing on the generator itself did not match up with what the manual said.

But the tech help wasn’t much help. In fact, since my generator was 18 years old, they didn’t have any service data on it, not even a copy of the service manual that I had found online.

In fact the Onan Tech asked me to send him a copy of what I had found.

So I was on my own.

I did try several things to trace the wire with no luck. Then finally I was chased back inside by another thunderstorm rumbling through.

But the pressure is off. I can make the generator run, even if I have to run a separate wire from the solenoid to inside the rig. But however, we will have the house AC’s running while we’re on our way back to Texas in the next few weeks.

But at least now I have a spare starter.

Tomorrow if it doesn’t rain we’re going up to Deadwood to take a look around.

June 5, 2018

The End of an Era?

We’re still really enjoying our new SoundBar. It really takes care of our low volume problems, something that several of our blog readers have also had, on both DirecTV and Dish.

The only problem is that it only comes with one remote, where Jan and I both want our own. So not being able to buy an additional one online, I decided to buy one of these.

Learning Remote

It’s a $7 Learning Remote that can learn any IR code just by pointing it at your original remote. Now we won’t have to fight over the only one.

Jan and I headed out about 2pm to have lunch, really breakfast, at the Victory Lakes Denny’s, but we detoured about 4 miles up Hwy. 6. Rather than make a special trip out in the RV somewhere to get propane before we leave, I thought it would just be easier to leave on our trip an hour or so early to take care of it.

A while back while we were driving up to Alvin I noticed a place called HOPS Propane. They have a large yard, but I wanted to be sure that I could get in and out, and that they could fuel up our rig.

They said there would be no problem, so we’ll try to be there a few minutes after they open at 9pm. Then I should be able to hook up the truck before we head out.

On the way up there, I dropped Jan off at the Dollar General, and then picked her up on the way back.

Like our last time at Denny’s, we both got breakfast again, and the same thing too. Jan got her Omelet with Tomatoes, Onions, and Mushrooms, Fruit and an English Muffin.

Denny's Jan Omelet 2

I got the Two Eggs Over Medium, Four Strips of Bacon, Fruit, and an English Muffin.

Denny's Greg Eggs 2

Just as delicious as usual. I think breakfast is our favorite meal, or at least our favorite menu.

Next we stopped right next door so Jan could get a new pair of pink sneakers for our upcoming trip. Then after getting gas at WalMart for $2.66/gal., we headed home.

It’s the end of an era.

It was announced today that the Miss America Pageant is no longer a ‘pageant. It’s now a ‘competition’. And in making these changes they’re losing a few things. Like the Swim Suit competition AND the Evening Gown competition.

So instead of the Swim Suit contest, there will be a ‘live, interactive session with the judges’.

Now that’s going to be ‘Must See TV’.

And replacing the Evening Gown parade, the contestants are being told to wear whatever makes them comfortable, and discuss their chosen ‘social impact initiatives’ So sweats and a torn T-shirt?

Boy, this sounds just riveting, doesn’t it?

Jan says “Guys watch for the Swim Suits, and women watch for the Evening Gowns. Who’s going to watch now?”

I give it 2 more years, max. Maybe only one.

June 5, 2019

Looks Like I Just Missed Out . . .

Since it was forecast to pour down rain all day, and it did, almost 10” in some places, we decided to put off our Conroe meet-up with Chris and Charles Yust until Friday.

It’s supposed to be drier then.

Although there was a tornado warning in Galveston County, south of us, later in the afternoon, we never saw any of it. Just the steady downpour all day.

Because of the rain, I still haven’t had a chance to take a look at my truck yet, but once I got the battery topped off, so far it’s holding its charge. So at least it will crank this time.

I did make some headway on my website work, finally getting the SQL database to connect to the site, so I now I can concentrate on getting it configured and making it look nice.

Looks like I just missed out. A couple of weeks after we were in Paris, where we visited and had lunch in the Eiffel Tower, they began doing a zip line ride from the second floor 377 feet up.

Eiffel Tower Zip Line

The 2600+ foot line takes about a minute to complete and gives you a great view of the city.

Just my luck.

According to a recent article, Amazon expects to start making deliveries within months.

Amazon Drone

Supposedly the drones can fly 15 miles and deliver loads up to 5 pounds.

I guess it might work in some areas, but in Texas it’s probably going to be known as ‘skeet shooting for presents’.

June 5, 2020

Bolts . . .

Looks like I’m on schedule to take another shot at fixing our rig’s oil leak tomorrow. As I’ve mentioned I’m going to use two gaskets with sealer, and 4 new bolts.

The original specs say to torque the bolts down to 212 in-lbs., which equals a little over 17 ft.-lbs. But this time that’s just going to be my starting point. Well, 20 ft.-lbs., anyway. Then I’m going to increase by 2 lbs. per time until I get up to about 26 lbs., seeing how it feels as I go.

My thought is that when I first took the adapter hub off last November, I had to use a breaker bar on my ratchet wrench to get the bolts loose, so they were certainly a lot tighter than 17+ ft.-lbs.

Another thing I’m going to do after I do an hour-long high-idle test for any leaks, I’m going to let everything cool down, maybe the next day, and then pull the filter and retorque the bolts. Then, probably next weekend, we’ll hitch up the toad and take the rig out for a 100-mile or so test drive.

June 5, 2021

How Does It Know?

Though it was supposed to be raining this morning, it was bright and sunny when we got up, with temps in the high 70’s.

And it was still clear when headed out about 1pm for lunch at Gator’s. So we were wondering if Gator’s owner, our friend Margie, was regretting her decision to cancel her Grand Opening for this weekend due to the heavy rains in the forecast.

But though it was sunny and clear when we left the rig, the closer we got to Gator’s the darker it got. And by the time we got to the restaurant, it was all black clouds and pouring rain. So much so that I let Jan off as close to the door as possible before I went and parked.

But once inside the food was as delicious as always. Jan once again got her new fav, the Blackened Redfish, with a side salad and the Roasted Broccoli

Gator's Blackened Redfish No Sauce

And this time she got it without the Andouille Sausage Cream Sauce that normally comes on it. Last time she said it kind of overwhelmed the delicate taste of the Redfish, so no sauce this time.

I got my usual Blackened Chicken Breast Sandwich, adding Texas Toothpicks and Bacon as before, as well as the Sweet Potato Waffle Fries.

Gator's Blackened Chicken Sandwich 20210605

Finishing our great meal we headed up the Interstate to get our hair cut. It’s convenient that we both use the same young lady at the local CostCutter’s (nee TGF Haircutters), so it’s a one-shop stop.

Then it was on up to Clear Lake to pick up a form at the office that needed to be emailed to a customer in Australia, and also pick up an Amazon order that came in late yesterday afternoon.

Coming home we made our last Cowboy Coffee stop for a couple of weeks, getting cold Hazelnut Lattes, and then sitting out on the patio when we got home. We did notice how many buds Jan’s Hibiscus has.

Hibiscus Buds

Hopefully, with my Rube Goldberg watering system, it will still look as good when we get home.

One thing I’ve noticed when taking photos with my new S21 phone is that it seems to know what I’m taking pictures of. And it has a lot of different modes in doing this.

When I’m taking photos of our food, it knows, and flashes a little message on the screen saying it’s going into ‘Food Mode’. I thought maybe it was just basing this on the fact that I was focusing on something close, but when I move the camera over to the salt and pepper shakers right next to the plate, it switched back to Normal Closeup. It also had Night Mode, Portrait Mode, Landscape Mode, Building Mode, etc.

But how does it know? Scary.

Tomorrow’s going to be a really busy day, since we’re going to try and be all packed, so we’re ready to roll Monday morning. I want to be on the road by 7am to avoid as much of the Going-To-Work traffic as we can. At least a large part of the time, we’ll be going against the traffic so hopefully it will work out.

June 5, 2022

Up Close And Personal . . .

Recapping our visit to the Alabama Safari Park just south of Montgomery yesterday. We had seen a flyer for it and decided we had time to check it out on our way down to Gulf Shores.

We got there a little before the 9am opening time and found ourselves already 4th in line. And more cars were quickly pulling in behind us. When they opened the gate we drove up to the Gift Shop to buy our tickets rather than do the drive-thru since Jan wanted to check out the Gift Shop, and we wanted a potty break before doing the 1-hour drive-through the park. And of course, Jan found a couple of things she wanted.

Crossing into the park we found a number of animals waiting to greet us.

Or at least waiting to sample some of the feed from the buckets we bought when we got our tickets. And the llamas pretty much shoulder everyone aside to get to the feed.

This guy came around to my side and seemed disappointed that I didn’t have any.

This Thomson’s Gazelle wouldn’t come right up to the Jeep but waited for us to throw the food on the ground.

But this Blackbuck wasn’t shy at all and stuck his head right in the window.

And everywhere we looked around this 350-acre park we saw animals.

Next up were Jan and Landon’s nemesis, the camels.

Jan, Landon, and camels do not get along very well.

Back in 2013, when Landon was 2-1/2, we took him to the Bayou Wildlife Zoo near us in Alvin, TX.

While we were taking the open-air tram ride, I thought this Bactrian Camel (two humps) was going to climb into the tram with Jan.

Camel 4

He took a liking to Landon’s brightly-colored backpack and decided he wanted it.

Camel 5

And came after it.

Camel 6

She kept trying to push him away, but a 1500 pound camel doesn’t push very easily.

Camel 7

Camel 8

I’m not sure if Jan was trying to protect Landon here, or trying to get Landon to save her.

Camel 9

But luckily he finally gave up as the tram pulled away.

But yesterday the camel just took the feed bucket away from Jan and proceeded to chow down.

While another one decided that our Styrofoam antenna ball looked tasty and started chewing on it,

finally pulling it loose and chewing it up.

We told them what had happened when we got back to the Gift Shop and they sent a guy out to check on the camel.

Then turning a corner, this is not what you want to see standing in the middle of the road, blocking your way, a 2000# Banteng.

But he turned out to be pretty gentle when we fed him, and he even let us pet him.

However, I think overall the ostriches are the scariest looking.

Then after losing the first feed bucket to the camels, Jan lost the second one to the Zebras. They just bit down on the bucket and snatched it out of her hand.

Next, we saw Bison and the big-horned Watusi cattle, neither of which came close to the Jeep, which was fine with me.

We did come across these two ring-tailed lemurs out in the grass, running around like squirrels. However, I think these guys must have escaped from their enclosure since the guidebook says they have their own island surrounded by a moat.

I guess these guys learned to swim.

By the time we got back around to the exit, we could see a large crowd gathered to greet the new visitors.

And get fed.

Then after a very enjoyable visit, we were back on the road a little after 10am.

June 5, 2023

Rain, Thunder, Lightning, And Hail . . .

When I rolled over in bed about 5am this morning, I knew it was back.

And back with a vengeance.

And that would be my BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo).

And it was so bad for a while that I didn’t go into work this morning, but just back to bed for a while. And even just rolling over in bed made everything spin.

And by the time I got back up around noon, it had started to subside.

As long as I didn’t move my head too fast. Hopefully, it’ll be a lot better by tomorrow.

We’re down to the last episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. And we’re saving that for this weekend, after watching the antepenultimate and penultimate episodes this past weekend. And with only 43 episodes spread over the five seasons, we’ll probably go back and binge-watch the whole thing over again.

A really great show!

After being nice all morning the storms rolled in about 2:30, bringing rain, thunder, lightning, and hail. And it sounded like it stayed right over us for about an hour. We lost power for a few seconds 3 or 4 times, and the park WiFi for a few minutes, but other than that, it was just rain (and hail) on the roof.

And there’s more in store for tomorrow.

Back in April, I posted this photo of a tree that was being cut down on a nearby street, noting the fact that it had been growing for so long that it had grown around a low-hanging phone/cable line.

I wondered why they had cut it down, because the fact that a limb had fallen from it during a recent storm, it looked pretty healthy.

But when they cut the trunk down last week the reason was clearer.

It was dying in the middle.

But the chunk was still hanging up there.