Duck Duck Gone . . .

Jan went into work with me this morning, and after dropping me off at the office, she spent an hour or so at the library. Around noon she picked up and we drove over Pearland for her doctor’s appointment.

Finishing up, and with a good report, we drove right down the road to have lunch at Floyd’s Seafood here in Pearland. It’s been a long time since we’ve been to this location, since we usually eat at the one over on I-45 in Webster. But all the locations are delicious.

With Jan’s good report, we decided to split a Watermelon Margarita. Really good, and unlike a lot of places, this one DEFINITELY had booze in it.

Jan, rather than get her usual Chicken Fried Chicken, got the Blackened Willie’s Bayou Platter, with Crawfish, Oysters, and Catfish, along with a side of Fried Okra.

I, on the other hand, stayed with tradition and got my fav Wedge Salad and a bowl of Shrimp Gumbo, pretty much the same thing I’ve been getting for years.

After a nice, leisurely, delicious lunch, we headed home with a quick stop at an alteration place for Jan to drop off a shirt to be altered.

While we were on our way over to Pearland for Jan’s appointment, we came across this Kia Soul that apparently belongs to a real Dr. Who fan.

From the Police Call Box, to the license plate, to the Tardis emblem, he’s got it all covered. All he needs now is a really long, colorful scarf.

I got our first line of Jeep Ducks mounted on a plastic strip and it looks really good.

It’s really amazing the variety of ducks that are available, from Unicorns to Pirates to Minions. And more.

Despite what I originally thought, it seems that there really was a person who originated the whole Jeep Duck theme.

Her name was Allison Parliament, and unfortunately, she died suddenly just a few days ago on June 22nd.

Duck Duck Jeep founder Allison Parliament apologized to fans & said she ‘needed a break’ days before her sudden death

She started this back in 2020, and had both a website and a FB area.

Parliament started the movement after placing a rubber duck on a stranger’s jeep that looked similar to her own.

Other Jeep owners were inspired by her kindness and decided to also use the little rubber ducks to spread joy in their communities.

The movement spread across the United States and to other countries around the world.

Sad to hear.

But, now that we’re looking, we see more and more Jeeps with ducks on the dash, so I imagine that the idea of Jeeps and ducks will live on.

Thought For The Day:

Sometimes I look at people and think, “Really? That’s the sperm that won?”

Your Retro-Preview Highlights –

2010 – Deer Today, Deer Tomorrow

2017 – Family Fun In Galveston

2021 – NASA/Taft Broadcasting Reunion

2023 – What’s Recirculate On Your Car A/C Do?

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

June 26, 2009

Cousins and Kitty Hawk…

We left my cousin’s house in Graham, NC this morning about 10:45 am.  We had a great time and wish we could have stayed a little longer, but we’re fast running out of days before meeting the kids in New York on July 18th.

Before we left this morning, I noticed one new problem and now that we’re parked here in Shiloh, NC, I have two problems.

This morning I noticed water was leaking out from behind the door where the water heater resides.  Opening the door showed that the T&P valve was leaking slightly.

So far, I’m not sure if the valve itself is leaking, or the thermostat is letting the heater run too hot.  I’ll start looking at it tomorrow.

And then after we got here, I tried to lower the hydraulic levelers, but they wouldn’t…lower or level, that is.

It’s not giving me any warning messages or error lights.  It just won’t work.

More fun!

After a 5 1/4 hour trip that included a 1/2 hour delay in Raleigh for a traffic accident,  we pulled into our site at North River Campground here in Shiloh, NC.

It’s a very nice park with wide, long sites and nice scenery.

It’s kind of hard to see from this picture but Mister is already camped out under the picnic table.

North River Campground

And here’s the view out our front window.

Campground View

Tomorrow we plan to head over to the Outer Banks to visit Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hill where the Wright Brothers first flew.

After that, we’ll head north to Virginia Beach, VA to visit the Military Aviation Museum.  Next comes a stopover at a local Sam’s Club for new ‘stuff’ and then dinner at El Pollo Loco, a favorite of ours from California last year.

June 26, 2010

Deer today, deer tomorrow…

About 11:30 am we headed over to Gina’s, who lives about 5 miles away. After looking over some projects she wanted me to do, we drove into San Marcos about noon to have lunch at IHOP.

Then after lunch, we stopped off at Lowe’s to get some items on the project list, before heading back to Gina’s.

After talking and napping the afternoon away, about 5 pm we headed out for dinner at the Italian Garden Restaurant in Canyon Lake. We always eat here every time we’re in the area, because Jan loves their meat ravioli. I think their spaghetti marinara is pretty good too.

After dropping Gina off at her house, we headed back to the rig just in time for deer feeding. The deer here are the tamest I’ve ever seen. They will actually come right up to you, looking for food,

LPDeer 1

and will eat right out of your hand if you have any.

LPDeer 2

If you hold out an empty hand, they will lick it and allow themselves to be petted. I think I could have coaxed one of them into the coach if I had tried.

LPDeer 3

Tomorrow I’ll start working on the project at Gina’s. It’s pretty hot here, and a little working outside in the heat goes a long way.

June 26, 2011

Short, but Sweet . . .

I had coffee alone this morning because Jan left about 10:30 with Diane Melde to head over to the Astoria Farmer’s Market to spend the day shopping.

That left me to stay home and work on some client Internet stuff.

Jan and Diane got back about 2:30 and then about 5 pm we all headed out to get some dinner. After a lot of back and forth, we ended up at 42nd St. Café in Seaview.

It turned out to be pretty good, but kind of pricey. But that seems par for the course around here. But it is a tourist town, after all.

Tomorrow Jan and I are heading down to McMinnville, OR to visit the Evergreen Aviation Museum, home of the Spruce Goose.

Then coming home, we’re going to stop over in Seaside to have dinner with our friends Jeanne and Eldy.

June 26, 2013

My Husbandly Duties . . .

Jan wanted to be sure that everyone knows that I performed my husbandly duties yesterday.

I painted her toenails.

Get your mind out of the gutter.

She says I do a better job than the nail salons, and I work cheaper. Well, at least she doesn’t have to tip me.

I think my Culligan RV-800 RV Water Filter threw up last week.

Culligan Water Filter

I’ve used these for several years and really like them better than those blue ones from Wal-Mart. But last week I noticed that both the sink and the toilet had restricted water flow. So today I took the sink pull-out faucet sprayer apart and found the strainer full of carbon granules. And when I ran water out of the hose, I got a few more. So after letting the water run for a while with no more carbon bits, I put everything back together and now it works fine.

Tomorrow I’ll pull the toilet water supply hose off and clean out the strainer there. Hopefully, that will fix it too.

I may check out some of the vendors at the Escapade and see what I can find there as a replacement.

About 11am Jan and I headed over to Famous Dave’s BBQ to have lunch with Mike and Janna Clark. We’ve been reading each other’s blogs for a good while, but this is the first time we’ve had a chance to get together. Janna’s blog is called Tin Teepee/Log Cabin and can also be found in the blog list on the right side of this blog.

Mike and Janna Clark

It was really amazing how many things we all have in common. Jan and Janna (see, even their names are similar) both worked in the medical field, and like many of the same authors, while Mike and I both used to install satellite dishes commercially. And of course, there’s the whole RV’ing thing too, although they don’t fulltime.


Janna and Mike live on a ranch about 100 miles from Billings and come in a couple of times a month. And lucky for us, one of those times matched up with our stay here. We had a great time getting to know them and hopefully, we’ll be able to meet up again soon.

So far I haven’t been able to get my old taillight converter apart. The plastic case is heat-welded together and I’ve sawed on it a while with no luck. It’s possible that it’s a solid epoxy block inside, which usually means they don’t want you to know how simple the circuit really is. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow.

I think I’ll probably end up building one of my own.

June 26, 2014

Heads Up . . .

Head Update: So Far, So Good

It looks like some of the swelling has gone down, but I still wouldn’t be surprised if I  have a dent in my head when this is all over. We’ll see.

Well, it looks like our windshield repair is still on for tomorrow. Josh, of Coach Supply, wants us at his shop a little after 9am. Says he picked up all the parts this morning.

I was relieved to hear that as I was worried about getting a windshield gasket for a 15-year-old rig. American Coach said they had one in stock, but companies sometimes say that until you try to actually order one.

It’s less than 4 miles up to Coach Supply in Michigan, so we’ll be ready to head out about 8:45. Josh said it should only take about 4-5 hours or so.

They’ll pull out both windshields, remove the old gasket, replace the gasket, and then reinstall the old driver’s side glass, and install the new one on the passenger side.

We’ll see how it goes.

Apparently Landon’s ‘school’ is doing dinosaurs this week.

Landon drawing a Dinosaur

Who was that Masked Landon

I made the mistake of calling it his daycare, and he, very indignantly, said, ‘No, it’s School’.

June 26, 2015

Hot and more Hot . . .

About 2pm I drove up to the guardhouse to drop off some mail for Jan. According to the thermometer, it was 107 outside, and just walking out the rig door it hits you with a physical force.

About 4pm Jan and I drove down to the park’s Homestyle Grille Restaurant to try their Friday night Fish Fry. We’d heard a lot of good things, so we were really looking forward to it.

They have a really nice facility here with plenty of room,

HomeStyle Grille 1

and a nice view too.

HomeStyle Grille 2

They have a Fried Fish (cod) platter, a Fried Shrimp platter, and a Combo Fried Fish and Shrimp Dinner, which is what we decided to go with.

HomeStyle Grille 3

As we were told, it turned out to be really good. Even the Cole slaw and fries were delicious. Everything was so good we plan on going back tomorrow night for the Prime Rib Dinner. Hope it’s as good as tonight.

At about 7pm, the start of my one-hour outside work period, I finally was able to finish drilling out the top mounting screw for my outside lighted grab bar. I’m not sure why it was so stuck, but I tried using a screw extractor, and drilling it out with a titanium-tipped drill bit, But I didn’t have much luck with the hardened steel screw.

Broken Screw

So what I did today was take a smaller bit and drill right alongside the screw until it was loose enough to grab with a pair of locking pliers and unscrew it. Still don’t know why it was so stuck, but all the rest came out just fine.

I refer to this as my one-hour work period because by 7pm it’s cooled off enough to be halfway comfortable outside, but then the sun goes down about 7:45, and by 8 it’s too dark to work anymore.

Finally, a little before 8pm we drove into Cottonwood to pick up some stuff at Wal-Mart, We used to do this a lot during the summer in Houston because it was so much cooler then.

One thing we quickly noticed as we got into Cottonwood was the large puddles along the road. When I was outside earlier working on the grab bar, I heard thunder coming from over this way, but it didn’t seem like it was raining, but looking at all the water on the road it looked like it really poured over here.

Tomorrow’s forecast: Hot and more Hot.

June 26, 2016

I Can’t Wait For Driverless Cars . . .

We left the park about 3:30 for our usual 1-hour trip into Katy to meet up with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon at Texas Tradition, a local Katy restaurant that they discovered a week or so ago.

But our normal 60-minute trip took over 90 minutes due to 45 miles of rolling phantom slowdowns. And it started as soon as we turned onto US-10 in Columbus with bumper-to-bumper 10mph traffic as far as we could see.

But then a couple of miles out of town everyone started speeding up, and very quickly we were all doing the 75mph speed limit,

For about 5 miles. And then the brake lights came on, and we all quickly slowed down to a dead stop. But then after a few minutes we again slowly started moving forward. The creeping along lasted for another few minutes until suddenly everyone accelerated back up to 75 again. On several of the wide, sweeping curves where we could see the road for several miles, all we could see was solid traffic. Nothing but brake lights.

And the outbound side of I-10 had no problems whatsoever all the way.

This whole ‘rinse, lather, repeat’ thing lasted all the way until where the speed limit drops to 65 at the Waller county line and the Colorado River. Then everyone sped up to 75 again and it stayed that way until we got off I-10 15 miles later.]

We never saw any accidents, any construction, or any reason for the slowdown/speedups. So who knows?

I can’t wait for driverless cars. For everyone else, but not for me.

But it did cause us to be about 30 minutes late to meet the kids. But it was worth the wait.

Texas Tradition is a smallish family restaurant on US-90 near downtown Katy, And boy, is it good. And the portions are enormous too.

Brandi had the Seafood Platter, while Lowell and Jan had the Chicken Fried Chicken Platter, Jan’s with Fried Okra, and Homemade Mashed Potatoes.

Texas Tradition 2

I went with the Jalapeno Bacon Cheeseburger with Sweet Potato Fries.

Texas Tradition 1

And even though we were all stuffed, we couldn’t resist getting a couple of their fabulous homemade desserts to take home.

Jan went for the Chocolate Cream Pie,

Texas Tradition 3

while I checked out the Hot Apple Crisp.

Texas Tradition 4

And because the portions were so big, we all had plenty of leftovers to go with our desserts.

Getting our hugs, and our mail, we headed back to Colorado River TT a little after 6pm, with no slowdowns at all. But the incoming side seemed to have the same problems as this afternoon, with areas where everyone was speeding along, and areas where they were all just poking along.


One day last week it was ‘Bring Your iPad to Day School’ Day. So Landon used his to take a selfie of him and his ‘girlfriend’.

Landon and Girlfriend Selfie

She’s cute as a button, but we didn’t have her parent’s permission to post, so I blurred her face.

June 26, 2017

I May Already Be A Winner . . .

Today was another stay-at-home, rest-up day preparing for when all of Jan’s relatives from Illinois converge on Brandi’s house in Katy.

We’ll go into Brandi’s on Wednesday morning as everyone starts drifting in. Jan’s sister, Debbie, and her husband Jim are driving in from Illinois, while their daughter Tana, her finance Curtis, and Tana’s daughter Gwen, are flying in from doing the theme park thing in the Orlando area.

But Debbie and Jim’s son Jason, his wife Laura, and their kids Avery Jane, Ella, and Annisten, along with their other daughter, Christina, have been vacationing down in the Galveston area for the last week

In fact, Brandi, Lowell, Landon, and Miss Piper met them down in Galveston yesterday for fun, sun, and the water.

Landon on Board

Piper Landon Kids

Piper Annisten

Landon Lowell Brandi at Galveston

Jan and I are really looking forward to seeing Debbie and her family, since it’s been over 2 years.

Tomorrow I’m going to lift up the engine cover under the bed and see if I can reach the top bolt on the hydraulic fan motor that came loose last week in Pauls Valley, OK. I bought extra nuts and washers, but I don’t know yet if I can get to it. I guess we’ll see.

I’ve also been thinking more about my rooftop AC not cooling well while we’re on the road, but works great when we’re parked.

AC Cover Diagram

Here’s a drawing I made noting the location of the vents on the cover. I think the idea is that air rushing past the side vents will create a vacuum, pulling in the air from the rear vents.

But that air is normally considered a dead space, almost a vacuum area itself. That’s why race cars can draft behind each other. And also why you see more and more semi-trailers with those foldable flaps on the rear end to smooth out the airflow. Studies show around a 5.5% increase in fuel mileage when they’re used.

So I may try adding some flaps on the sides and top of the cover to see if that helps.

I may already be a winner, or at least that’s what Publisher’s Clearing House is telling me. I entered today for the big drawing for a prize of $2,000,000 upfront, $10,000 a week for life, and a new car. Nice!

The next drawing is this Friday, the 30th, so I always wait until the last minute to sign up because I get flooded with emails about the drawing. And now they’re selling a lot of other stuff besides magazines, including pretty much all the ‘As Seen On TV’ stuff, like copper pans, expandable hoses, and cleaning products.

But I might already be a winner, right?

June 26, 2018

Weaning Off ???

Although none was really forecast, we were awakened about 5am this morning by thunder, lightning, and heavy rain. And although the rain was nice, I never did really get back to sleep.

We were out the door about 8:45 to head into Vandalia to meet Jan’s sister Debbie, husband Jim, and granddaughter Gwen for breakfast at the local Denny’s. Vandalia only has about 7000 people, so everyone knows everyone else at breakfast and people are constantly visiting other tables and saying Hello.

Plus the waitresses know everyone too, and usually what they always order.

After breakfast, Jan, Debbie, and Gwen headed out for some shopping while I went back to the rig to work on some stuff here, and also take care of some web work.

Then about 4pm I headed back into Vandalia from here in Mulberry Grove to first get the truck washed, and then on out to Debbie’s. Although Jan, et. al, were still out shopping, I was happy to see that the fuel filter and the fuel pump for our rig’s generator had both come in. I don’t know if I will be able to work on it tomorrow as I think we’re going over to the other side of St. Louis to meet up with some more of the family, and also Brandi, Lowell, and Landon, who are flying into St. Louis tomorrow for the get-together.

So it will probably be Thursday before I can give it a shot. And if that’s not enough I should have some time Friday too. But we’ll see.

The first couple of nights of our trip up here we didn’t set the TV/Sat dish up because we were leaving early. Then on our two-night stay at Tom Sawyer the power was out that first night when we got home, and then I didn’t set it up the next day since we were out all afternoon, and then leaving early again the next morning to try and beat the heat.

And now we haven’t set it up here, either. And we both agreed we haven’t really missed it that much. Of course, it’s mostly reruns right now, so I don’t know how it would be if it were the Fall premiere season. But I imagine we will set it up when we’re back in Santa Fe, however, the rest of the trip is probably a ‘We’ll See’ situation.

So I don’t know if we’ve weaned ourselves off of TV or not.

Tomorrow we’ve got another breakfast meeting at the Denny’s at 9, but we’re getting an early start because I need to get a new right front tire. This one has developed a wobble, I think due to a torn belt inside. It was fine leaving Houston, but there are a lot of big potholes on I-10, so who knows?

June 26, 2019

Waco Bound . . .

Today was mostly a non-IT day at work.  The AC in the manager’s office died on Monday so I Amazoned one that got here this morning, so I spent some time getting the old window unit out and the new one installed.

The old one is supposedly about 10 years old, and although it and the new LG model are both 5000 BTU, the new one is much lighter.

I’ve just about given up trying to recover the database for the Tattoo website, so it looks like I’m just going to have to reenter the data by hand. If I do 5 pages of the catalog per day, it should only take a couple of weeks.

Then later I followed my client over to his home to jump off a dead battery in one of his VW’s. But it turns out that the problem wasn’t the battery, but the ignition switch was kind of intermittent in the start position.

After I got home, Jan and I drove over to Dickinson to the Enterprise Rental office to pick up our rental car. I had asked for another Impala, and not a Tucson like last time. So I was happy to see an Impala sitting in the lot.

Then it was back over to Los Ramirez Mexican Restaurant for dinner, before a quick WalMart stop and then home.

We plan on leaving for Waco about 9 tomorrow morning, meeting our friends at the Saltgrass Steakhouse there about 2pm.

Really looking forward to catching up with them.

June 26, 2021

And Now We’re Even . . . Older!

For the last couple of mornings, it’s been nice enough for Jan and I to sit outside on our patio for our coffee and Flamboyance admiration. Even though it’s already in the 80’s, there’s always a little breeze, and the sun’s still behind the rig.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, we had a reunion of Taft Broadcasting today at MomAlone’s Mexican Grill up in Webster starting at about 11am.

Taft was NASA’s main television contractor from back in the Gemini/Apollo days through the Challenger Disaster in 1986. During that time Taft supported the tests going on in the various buildings, the landing video from the T-38 chase planes, and the on-orbit video from the Shuttle itself.

After our last reunion in June 2016, this is the blog I posted back then.

When Did We All Get So Old . . .

And now we’re even older.

On the left here is Candace Horn, my co-worker Jack Horn’s wife, who is a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines, my Jan, of course, and Sharon Hosea, who lived in our same subdivision while we worked together.

Taft Reunion 2021 Candace, Jan, and Sharon

And here’s the entire motley crew. Unfortunately, a number of people were out of town, and others scattered around the country, but still in touch.

Taft Reunion 2021 Group Shot

As things wound down, we ended up with a final group that sat around reminiscing for another couple of hours just talking over old times and wild tales.

Taft Reunion 2021 Final Group

We finally parted ways about 3:30, planning to get together again more often than another 5 years.

Hope so.

June 26, 2022

It Just Wasn’t To Be . . .

Since we’re hopefully looking at about 5 days of rain starting tomorrow, I went out about 11 to install new wipers on the truck. The one on the driver’s side had actually started to come apart, with a rubber strip hanging off.

Then a little before 1pm we headed up to Webster to check out the Wagyu Burger at Arby’s. But it just wasn’t to be.

I had tried to call them this morning to be sure that they were serving the Wagyu Burger, and if their dining room was open. But when I did call them, I got no answer. In fact, from the Verizon error message I got, I think they’re phone is just permanently off the hook. But we tried anyway.

And, as it turns out, their dining room is still closed, which means that we went Wagyu burgerless today, since we can’t do the drive-thru in the truck because my window won’t go down. And most places don’t allow walk-ups at their windows. So we may have to wait until we get the Jeep back.

Back in January when we checked out Arby’s Diablo Dare sandwich, we had to get it at the Arby’s over in Friendswood, since the one in Webster didn’t even carry it. You can read all about that here.

Mission Accomplished

So deciding we still wanted burgers, we headed over to Texas Huddle Grille on NASA Rd 1.

Jan got her Mushroom Swiss Bacon Burger, with Cheddar instead of Swiss, and no bun since she’s doing Keto. She also got a side salad, and an order of their Grilled Vegetables.

Texas Huddle Cheddar Swiss Keto 20220626

Really delicious, she said.

I went with what brought me here the first time, their PB&J Bacon Cheeseburger. Which of course combines several of my favorites – PB&J, with Grape Jelly, Bacon, and Cheeseburgers.

Texas Huddle Double PB&J 20220626

Makes it all worthwhile missing out on the Wagyu Burger.

Finishing up, we drove back down to our area to pick up some stuff at HEB. I had planned to stop off at our local Chick-fil-A to pick up the Peach Shake part of today’s planned itinerary, but I was just too full. So I may stop off tomorrow on my way home.

June 26, 2023

Cooling Down . . .

A blog reader asked me about the Recirculate setting on our Jeep’s A/C that I mentioned in yesterday’s blog and wanted to know how it’s used.

Well, to start with, it’s that second setting on your A/C control knob, the one with the little car symbol on it.

The other setting, Normal, for the A/C, the one right above it, brings in outside air and cools it down. And with the average A/C able to pull down the air temp 20-25°, that gets a 95° day down to 70-75° inside your car. Not bad, but still a little toasty.

But when you use the Recirculate mode, it cools down the inside air over and over, i.e., it ‘recirculates’ it. So it can get that 75° air down to 50° or so. Now that’s cool.

So the best, quickest way to cool your car down on a 95° day is to start out with windows down and the A/C in Normal mode until the car gets cooled down. Then close the windows and give the A/C a chance to catch up. Then you can set the A/C to Recirculate mode for the highest cooling.

Try it.