How Many Can There Be?

148 years ago today, in 1876, Lt. Colonel George Custer met up with Chief’s Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull and came out on the wrong end of the get-together.

Custer Monument 2

Custer 2008

I’ll wager that at some point Custer regretted not bringing along those two Gatling guns he left back at the fort. He thought that they would slow him down. He probably would have been better off if he’d gotten there a little slower.

Jan and I have visited the Big Horn site twice, once in October 2008 and again in July 2011, and as Jan says, the place seems haunted with ghosts all around.

A very somber place. But there is a little humor.

Here’s one of the lists of the Indians that also died at Little Big Horn, broken down by tribe.

And then there’s this guy.

This was another place on Jan’s Bucket List.

If you’re like Jan, you get frustrated by all the volume level changes between YouTube videos.  Well, YT seems to have provided a fix for that.

It’s called Stable, and it’s available on any Android device, i.e. phones, Amazon FireTV, and Firestick, etc. It may or may not be turned on automatically so you need to check.

YouTube And Stable

That annoyance is inconsistent volume levels. You might watching a show on YouTube where the speech is quiet but the music is loud, or maybe you’re watching something like a podcast, but one person may be small-mouse quiet while the person next to them is louder than a Foo Fighters concert. If the audio hasn’t been mixed well the levels can go up and down like a kangaroo on a trampoline, with levels ranging from  “what did they say?” to an unexpected audio assault.

Stable volume is designed to prevent that, so it’s great to have it on the best TVs with Google TV and Android TV, which includes models from Sony, TCL, Hisense, Philips and more, as well as on Chromecast with Google TV.

Check it out.

And speaking of Amazon, their Prime Day is coming up next month on July 16-17, but early deals are already available.

And now it’s started in the news.

How SpaceX could end up rescuing stranded astronauts if Boeing’s Starliner can’t be fixed

And here’s one of the comments from the article.

I live in Brevard county where NASA is. Everyone who works at the Space Center have been saying Elon will have to rescue them!! Nobody can figure out why Boeing got a contract to start with and then all problems and they launched any way… Dangerous. Who approved their contract should be fired!!!

We’ll keep an eye on it.

June 25, 2009

Flamingos, and Kitties, and Moose, Oh My!

Tomorrow we’re going to head another 235 miles east to Shiloh, NC.  This will put us about halfway between Kill Devil Hills to the south, where the Wright brothers first flew,  and Virginia Beach, where we want to visit the Military Aviation Museum.

I did have a chance while we were here to put out most of our yard animal collection.

Yard Animals 1

Yard Animals 2

Jan thinks this is all of them, but I think we have one or two more stuck away somewhere.  I’ll have to keep looking.

June 25, 2010

Canyon Lake…

Since we only had about a 2 hour drive today, we didn’t leave Burnet until a few minutes after 11 am.

Today was another day to travel with the generator on to run the house A/C’s. Otherwise it can end up in the high 80’s in the coach, and then take a long time to cool down once we’re at the park.

We pulled into the Lake Pointe RV Park in Canyon Lake, TX about 1 pm for what we thought would be a 10 day stay. However I was quickly informed that despite what I was told on the phone about two weeks ago, we could only stay for sure for 6 days and then would have to go on day to day thru the holiday weekend. Lake Pointe is actually a type of membership park, so if a lot of members show up for the 4th of July weekend, we may be out on the streets. We’ll see.

Last night I completed a field repair on a 12V power supply. It converts 120VAC to 12VDC through a cigarette lighter plug. Normally I use it to power the wireless alert receiver for my Brake Buddy braking system in my truck when it’s being towed behind the RV. However, I used it to test what turned out to be a malfunctioning tire pressure monitor, which killed the power supply. I assume I blew the internal fuse.

Never being one to be stopped by the “No User Serviceable Components Inside” warning on the case, and being too cheap to buy another one, I took my hacksaw to the case. A little sawing and prying and I was in.

And I was in luck. It had a fuse, and it was blown.

PowerSupply 1

Not having a 2 Amp AGC pigtail fuse like the original, I decided to improvise with a 3 Amp ATO automobile fuse and solder it in directly. A small piece of wire and a hot soldering iron later, and I was back in business.

A quick test with my meter showed the problem was fixed, and strip of duck tape put the case back together.

PowerSupply 2

And it worked fine on the trip today.

Lake Pointe is a nice park near Canyon Lake, heavily wooded with a lot of deer roaming free. And Jan has a 50# bag of deer corn all ready to go.

Lake Pointe is also a Passport America so at $12 a night it’s a good deal. We’ve stayed here twice before, and enjoyed it both times.

LakePointe 1

LakePointe 2

LakePointe 3

We’re here to visit a good friend of ours, Gina Ellis, for 10 days or so before heading east toward Alabama, and then on to Louisville, KY by the 20th of July for The Rally, the largest RV rally in the US. After that, it’s on to Elkhart, IN around the 1st of August.

After we got settled in today, we drove over to Gina’s about 5 pm and then went to dinner at The Windmill Restaurant for their All-You-Can-Eat Fried Catfish dinner. Really, really good.

Tomorrow we’ll do some shopping, and then I’ll start working on some home projects for Gina.

June 25, 2011

Dragons and Centipedes . . .

After coffee and bagels about 10:30, we headed out about 1 pm to visit the World Kite Museum here in Long Beach, WA.

This somewhat unassuming building houses one of the best kite collections in the world.

Kite Museum

Starting with kites made from grass, leaves, and twigs,

Kites 10

to kites that look like wall hangings,

Kites 1

Kites 4

and even priceless tapestries, to

Kites 5

prehistoric reptiles,

Kites 11

dragons, or even

Kites 2

a Phoenix rising from the ashes.

This Phoenix kite has a 25-foot wingspan.

Kites 3

These centipede, or disc, kites have been around for over 1000 years and can have from 4 to hundreds of segments.

Kites 7

The fancier ones even have one or more dragon heads.

Kites 6

Kites 9

They even have kites that look like flying horses.

Kites 8

They also had a display of ‘working’ kites. These ‘barrage’ kites were flown over convoy ships during WWII to help protect them from attack. The piano wire tethers would shear off the wings of attacking planes.

Kites 13

And these kites tow kiteboarders through the water without needing a tow boat.

Kites 12

We spent almost two hours enjoying the museum with our guide, Kay, who gave us an excellent tour.

Leaving the museum, and after a quick stop at Marsh’s Free Museum to exchange a gift, we headed out to Cape Disappointment State Park, on the northern side of the entrance to the Columbia River.

We started out on the north jetty looking out over the Pacific Ocean.

Cape D 3

From there we could look back at the bluff overlooking the channel.

Cape D 4

Parking closer in, we found a neat lighthouse, and a beach with swimmers and boaters.

Cape D 1

Cape D 2

We also found a plaque that listed this beach as the place where Lewis and Clark declared the end of their treacherous journey to reach the Pacific.

Now that’s history.

Deciding we were all hungry for Chinese, we headed over to Astoria to eat at the Golden Luck Restaurant, a place recommended to us by Bill Joyce and Diane Melde.

And they were right. We really enjoyed it and decided it was a place we certainly want to come back to.

June 25, 2012

Bor…ring !

Believe me, the life of an oilfield gate guard is not all exciting fun and games. Sometimes it is absolutely, completely BORING!

Trucks come in, trucks come out. Then we stare at the trees across the road, and watch the bunny rabbits hop past.

Jan says “Yeah, it’s boring until the tarantulas coming out to play. And then there’s the snakes and scorpions.”

Well, maybe it’s not always boring.

I had a number of comments and questions about my blog concerning oilfield jobs. All I could suggest was to check out the San Antonio and Corpus Christi newspapers for the job fairs the companies are holding around the state.

I know around here that there are a number of billboards advertising for CDL truck drivers, and I also hear ads on San Antonio radio stations looking for drivers too.

One thing to remember is that before you can work on an oil rig, apparently you must get a tattoo. In some cases, you must get a lot of them. At least that’s how it is with pretty much every roughneck and roustabout around here.

And you probably will need to get a divorce. Maybe several, even. At least that’s also the case with pretty much every guy. Working one week on and one week off, or even two weeks on and two off, takes a toll on a marriage.

But then three guys showed up with new trucks this week. So maybe it all works out.

Reading an article on Social Security the other day made me realize that I may have a problem with the money we’re making gateguarding. At least as far as Social Security goes.

This year a person on early Social Security can make $14,640 before the government starts taking money back. Normally my computer and Internet income stay under this level, but our gate guarding is going to put me over since the paychecks have been coming in my name only. So I called the Gate Guard Services office on Friday and had them change the paychecks to Jan’s name. This will save us money since she doesn’t have any income in her name. Wish I had thought of this earlier.

Oh well. It’s only money.

Looks like we’re in for a few days of very hot temps, maybe as high as 107 degrees. When it was up to 105 a while back our water misting system kept things comfortable. With the mist coming off the fan, you get a little damp, or even wet. But it’s a cooling wet, and not a sweaty wet. So it’s all good.

Last night I tried to put up the new solar screens on the windshield to help cut down on the heat coming into the rig. I had planned to just stick it up using Gorilla Tape to hold it to the glass. However, although the tape stuck to the glass just fine, it would not stick to the solar screen material. Bummer.

I think what I’ll try next is to run a cord from the awning bracket on one side of the rig across the top of the windshield to the bracket on the other side. Then I’ll just hang the screen from the cord and use binder clips to fasten it in place like on a clothesline. Should work just fine. But I’ll let you know.

Quick, easy, and cheap. My kind of solution.

June 25, 2013

Not Again . . .

Jan and I first stayed here at Billings Trailer Village RV Park in March 2008 on our way to Alaska. When we got here it looked like this.

Billings 2008 - 1

Billings 2008 - 2

And this is what Mister thought about snow.

Billings 2008 - 3

Not so much. He put one paw down in it on the step, then pulled his paw back up and looked at it. Then he refused to budge any further.

Billings 2008 - 4

Smart cat.

Under the ‘Not Again’ heading, I noticed on our way up from Cody yesterday that somewhere along the way the toad taillights stopped working. So this morning I first used the toad taillight test box that I built this past March.

Taillight Test Box 2

Using the test box showed that the toad lights are working fine. So it was time to check out the rig side of things. I went inside and turned on the rig’s headlights and emergency blinkers. Then going back outside, I checked the 4-pin output plug that connects to the toad. It has LED’s built into it that show if the taillight converter module has the correct output. And it showed nothing.

So my next step was to check the fuse in the 12volt line that feeds the module. And it was fine. Then using my auto test light I checked the voltage on the wire feeding directly into the module.

These test lights have a needle point on it that allows you to poke a tiny hole through the wire insulation and check the voltage.

Auto Test Light

You connect the alligator clip to a ground and then if you touch voltage with the tip, the light in the handle lights up.

The test light showed that I had power going into the module, and also taillight and blinker signals. However the light showed no output from the module.

So the $40 that I bought 3 months ago is dead. And it’s supposed to be short-circuit protected and impossible to kill. Yeah, right!

So now I’ve got to decide what I’m going to do.

Buy another $40 module from U-Haul?

Or find another one from somewhere else?

I’m almost tempted to just build one of my own design. That way if I do have a problem, it’ll be easy to repair. In fact I would like to think that I can design and build one that won’t die so easily.

We’ll see what I come up with.

About 3pm Jan and I headed out to get our hair cut at a Great Clips. Then after that, we stopped off at a nearby U-Haul store to check out what else they had in taillight converters.

Answer: Not much.

At 5:30 we met our friend Linda at the Guadalajara Mexican Restaurant that we’ve eaten at in the past. And as before, the food, the company, and the conversation were all great. We didn’t leave the restaurant until after 7:30 because we had a lot of catching up to do.

Tomorrow we’ll be getting together for lunch with other RV friends who live in the area.

June 25, 2014


Well, except for waking up about 5am with a dull headache that a couple of Advil took care of pretty quickly, my first night with a new hole in my head went pretty nicely.

No real pain except for the occasional headache, and a feeling that the top of my head is tight, I guess because my scalp was stretched to cover the wound.

About 10 Jan took off the bandage to clean and moisten the wound. I’m supposed to use Vaseline or Neosporin to keep it moist each time I re-bandage it so it won’t scab over

While I had the bandage off, Jan took a couple of photos, but since some people might feel they’re a little gross, I posted them on a separate page if you want to look.

Head pic 1

Head Pic 2

But don’t blame me if it puts you off your feed.

Jan and I sat outside with our coffee and muffins for a little while, but, although it wasn’t really hot, it was pretty muggy, so we didn’t stay out as long as usual, much to Mister’s dismay.

I don’t know if it’s because of the surgery, but I did feel kind of washed out today, so I pretty much goofed off the entire time.

Finally, about 3pm Jan and I drove down to Martin’s Supermarket to pick up a few things, including more gauze and tape for my head. While we were there, I got a call from the Doctor’s office just checking up on me to be sure everything was all right.

Nice people.

About 4:30 we headed out to have dinner at the Flippin’ Cow. a new-to-us hamburger place on Lake Simonton near our RV Park.

Flippin' Cow

The last time we ate here it was called Lakeshore Grill and was pretty good. Apparently the same people still own it, they’ve just changed it over to a burger joint.

And a very GOOD burger joint.

In fact, their ‘Stella Moo’ burger has been voted The Best Burger in Elkhart County, and is now in the runoff with one other place for the Best Burger in seven counties that comprise the Michiana area. The winner will be announced July 7th.

And if I can find where to vote, I would certainly vote for the Stella Moo that I had, shown below.

Stella Moo Burger

It has two steak burger patties topped with smoked beef brisket, jalapeno bacon, onion straws, pepper jack cheese, and Alehouse BBQ sauce on a toasted wheat brioche bun. Then I added tomatoes, jalapenos, spicy mayo, and sweet heat pickles,

This has got to be the absolute best burger I’ve ever eaten. And Jan said the same about the one she got.

We’ve already planned to go back next Wednesday because it’s $1.99 burger night and the burgers are cheaper.

But as much as I like the Stella Moo, I’m also tempted to try their Hunka Hunka Burger Love. It has two steakburger patties, peanut butter, jalapeno jelly, smoked bacon, and pepper jack cheese on a toasted pretzel bun.

Decisions, decisions.

June 25, 2015

Pancakes and Keyboards . . .

We didn’t do much today except hunker down and try to keep cool. It went up to 108 degrees, but we stayed comfortable with the Reflectix foil on the windshield.

The last couple of days we’ve had a lot of wind late in the afternoon that kept blowing our foil sheets off, so last evening I taped the separate sheets together into one big piece and tied it down better. So far it’s holding up just fine.

About 2pm we headed out to have ‘linner’ (actually breakfast) at Georgie’s Café, a well-recommended diner here in Cottonwood. We’ve tried to eat here a couple of times before, but keep finding them closed, since some days they close at 2pm, some days at 3pm, and Fridays they close at 8pm.

And as I said, we both ended up having breakfast, with Jan going the Omelet route while I had eggs, bacon, and pancakes.

Georgie's Cafe 1

Unlike a lot of places, these pancakes were really good, not tough, chewy, and bland like some restaurants. Instead, they were so tasty you could have eaten them without butter and syrup. Of course, I didn’t.

Really good, so hopefully we’ll have a chance to go back.

As we were leaving for Georgie’s, I stopped at the guard shack and picked up my new Backlit USB Keyboard with Large Print keys. Getting it home after ‘linner’ I plugged it in and started playing with it. At the upper right corner are two new controls. A knob that you can turn to change the brightness of the backlight, and a button to push to cycle through the five different colors.

Before I got to play with it, I figured I would like the yellow backlight the best, but as it turns out I like the red the best.

Backlit Keyboard 3

I like the key feel, but the keyboard is a little higher and a little deeper so it will take a little getting used to. But just typing this blog has made a difference already.

About 7pm, after things had cooled off a bit, I.e. gotten below 100 degrees, I shut down the computer, satellite, and the A/C’s and cranked up the genset. It started up with no problems, and after about 45 seconds the lights flickered indicating that the transfer switch had kicked in. But to double-check, I went outside and turned off the shore power breaker.

I was happy to see that the genset power kept rolling along with no problems. And after turning the shore power breaker back on and switching the genset off, the transfer switch put us back on shore power. Easy Peazy.

So hopefully when we leave here July 3rd we’ll have A/C’s again on the road.

June 25, 2016

Catching Up On Rig Repairs and Fixes . . .

I thought I’d bring you up on the status of my recent repairs and/or fixes.

I recently replaced our 8-year-old dead water pump and although we’ve only used it once since then, it’s working fine so far. Here’s the story

and here’s the one I used.

Shurflo RV Water Pump

Shurflo 3.0 GPM  RV Water Pump

It’s certainly quieter than the old one.

I’ve done two repairs on our rig’s A/C’s in the last few months. Most recently it was a stopped-up evaporator drain pan on our rear AC, causing water to leak down into the bedroom.

AC Drain Repair 2

Here’s that story.

I still plan on getting back up on the roof to finish completely cleaning the coil, especially now that we’re in a nice shady site. But for right now, it’s still not leaking.

Back in April, our 9-month-old Coleman Mach 15, our front AC, quit cooling. After doing some troubleshooting, I discovered that for some reason the AC compressor was not receiving the signal from the thermostat. The fan would turn on, but not the compressor. Here’s more info on that.

I discovered by shorting the turn-on voltage between the fan to the compressor, everything worked.

AC Control Box Bypass

Here’s more about the final fix. It’s still working great.

A week or so ago, I came across a new non-kinking, collapsible RV water hose and gave it a try. It’s called the Zero G RV and Marine Hose and is available from Camping World and other dealers.

Zero G RV Hose

My most recent repair was to our Sharp Microwave Convection Oven. The door refused to open, due to a broken latch. Here’s that story.

Microwave Open Lever Part

The black one at the bottom of the photo is the new one, and looks much stronger than the original. The new one is still working fine, and hopefully will work another 17 years like the first one.

Both Jan and Miss Karma really the Moose footstool. Sometimes they fight over it, and then sometimes Karma and Jan just have to share.

Karma and Jan sharing Moose

Tomorrow we’re going to drive into Katy to meet up with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon for dinner. We didn’t stop by last night on our way back from Clear Lake since it was so late, after 11pm, when we came through the area. And for that same reason, we didn’t stop at Chris’ as we left the Clear Lake area about 10pm.

June 25, 2017

When I Get A Chance To . . .

Although today was a travel day, it’s only about 120 miles over to Colorado River so we didn’t get up until about 7:30am, and were hitched up and pulling out of our site by 10:15.

The trip was smooth, i.e., nothing broke down or fell off, always a sign of a good RV trip. And being Sunday morning the traffic was as light as usual.

Karma has finally mellowed enough, probably due to all our recent travels, that rather than running and hiding, or sitting on the floor between our chairs and crying, she just sleeps on the sofa.

Karma On Couch

Coming through Katy, it was good to see that the new Buc-ee’s was close to opening. When it finally does, it’s probably going to be our rest stop going back and forth between Lake Conroe and Colorado River

The other good thing to see was the US Rig Count on the sign as you leave Katy. It was at 933, up 6 in the last week, and up 157 since we last saw the sign on March 2nd. A good sign for gate guard jobs later this summer.

Coming into Columbus we had some sprinkles and a little rain, but it was all gone by the time we got to the park, though yesterday they got a couple of inches here.

We were parked and setting up by about 12:30 in a nice site up in the ‘A’ area, our favorite.

We had planned to stay home tonight for some more of Jan’s version of Ree Drummond’s 7 Can Soup., but who should show up at our door but our friend Jim Dean. And we didn’t even know he and his wife Peri were here.

So we ended up going with them to Los Cabos, our favorite local Mexican restaurant.

Jim and Peri Dean at Los Cabos

We hadn’t seen them since late last year when we met them a couple of times in San Antonio while we were gate-guarding, so we had a lot to catch up on. This meant that our dinner lasted most of the obligatory 3 hours that most RV get-togethers seem to last.

Hopefully, it won’t be so long next time.

When I get a chance to . . . and that is a long list,  believe me. But when I get a chance I want to see if I can add some scoops or extra vents to the side of our rooftop front AC cover.

Rig AC Cover Vents

Sitting still the front 15K BTU unit has no trouble cooling the rig down even in the hottest weather. But on the road, it struggles in 90+ degrees. So since it’s getting the same 120vac from the generator as shore power, the only other reason is the airflow over the condenser coil.

I suspect that the air flowing alongside the vents in the cover may be creating a suction and messing up the air that’s supposed to pull the heat from the coil. But before I change anything, I might try leaving the cover off when we travel back to Lake Conroe in two weeks, assuming it’s not going to rain.

If that makes a noticeable difference then I’ll look at adding some scoops or something to see if that helps.

Or when I get a chance to.

June 25, 2018

Back On The Horse . . .

We were up at 5:30 this morning and were pulling out of our site by 6:15, right on schedule. I had prepped everything the night before so all I had to do was put the key in the truck’s ignition to unlock the steering and disconnect shore power, and we were ready to roll.

The reason for all this early bird crap was twofold. One, we wanted to get an early start so we would be traveling in the coolest part of the day. And Two, I wanted to get diesel at the Flying J before we got on I-55 and headed north. We still had plenty enough to make it to our destination with about 250 miles to spare, but we would probably be at or below the point where the generator would shut down due to the fuel level. Which for our 150-gallon tank is about 40 gallons.

Of course, since our generator isn’t working, it normally wouldn’t make any difference, but I’m hoping I can get it fixed while we we’re here. I’m going under the assumption that it’s a fuel problem, since it acts like it does when it quits due to low fuel levels.

Plus the fact that when I ran the generator out on its slide and checked, it didn’t show any error codes. So based on this and some Googling about possible problems, I’m leaning toward a bad fuel pump.

It could also be a bad fuel filter, but it was just replaced by RV Mobile Lube a couple of months ago. Now it could be a defective filter, but the generator ran fine for about 5 hours the first day, and then quit after about 30 minutes the second.

So I’m looking at a defective brand-new fuel filter, or an almost 20-year defective fuel pump. And the fact that a lot of RV’ers apparently have had fuel pump problems with their generators.

So being a belt and suspenders (literally and figuratively)  kind of guy and wanting to cover all the bases, I ordered both a new filter and a new fuel pump from Amazon, and they should be here tomorrow.

I’ll replace the filter first since it’s easier and then go from there. Stay tuned.

By leaving the park at 6:15, I had hoped to be dieseled up and on the road by 7, but due to a slow pump in the RV lane, and the fact that I had to run my card through 4 times since the pump shut down at $75, we finally pulled out about 7:15am. Of course, I also went inside for coffee/cappuccinos to go, but hey, the necessities of life, right?

We made our first pit stop about an hour down the road (coffee, OK?) and Jan really surprised me. She said she wanted to drive.

Now Jan used to drive a couple of hours on every trip, but that came to a screeching halt after the Big Blowout of 2015. And she’s never driven since. Until today.

And she did great, driving for about an hour and a half or so, until our next stop. So I guess she’s back on the horse again.

Since like Jan said the other day, the sky was kind of ‘overcasty’, we stayed cool and comfortable with just the fans running, so all in all, a nice smooth trip.

We had called ahead to get our site # so we pulled into the Timber Trails RV Park here in Mulberry Grove, IL about 1:15, went straight to our site, and got set up.

Later, about 5:30, we met Jan’s sister Debbie and her husband Jim at Los Amigos, a local Mexican restaurant. Jan and Debbie spent most of the meal comparing calendars to coordinate all the activities that are scheduled between now and Sunday when everyone leaves.

Tomorrow morning at 9 we’re all meeting at the Denny’s for breakfast, and probably for more comparing and scheduling, too.

Now more Catching Up on the Catching Up:

On Friday as we were approaching Byram, MS and the Swinging Bridges RV Park, I noticed the rig was hitting the bumps in the road a lot harder than normal, so the next morning before we left, I got under the rig to see if what I suspected, had happened. And it did.

The rod connecting the chassis to the airbag proportioning valve had come loose, looking like this.

Loose Proportioning Valve Rod

With this rod not connected, no air gets to the rear airbags, making for a very rough ride. This has happened 3 or 4 times over the last 11 years, usually due to the rubber grommet deteriorating and coming apart. And I keep spares on hand just because of this.

But this time the rod had just pulled out, even though it was still so tight that the rod wouldn’t go back in. So I loosened the hose clamp, inserted the rod, and tightened it all back down.

Fixed Proportioning Valve Rod

Now we were good to go.

Now on to Saturday:

I mentioned in that day’s blog that when we got back from Charlie Vergos Rendezvous about 5:15, we found the power was off to the park. Originally we were told it should be back on in about an hour, but that came and went.

Finally, about 8:30 I started Googling and found out what power company served our area, and then went to their Power Outage page. It said the outage had started at 4:42pm and would be corrected by 10pm.

But when that time also came and went, I checked again at about 10:15 and it now said 11:45. And that turned out to be a lot more accurate, since the power came back on at 11:37. Cool at last.

Now Sunday:

About 2pm Jan and I drove over to the Cordova area of Memphis to have more BBQ, this time at another favorite of ours, Jim & Nick’s BBQ. We have eaten at this one a couple of times on past visits, and even more times back in Alabama, including the original one in Birmingham, and several others with friends.

We always start off with the Hot Link Sausage Plate appetizer, which comes with a delicious homemade Pimento Cheese, as well as some sliced Serrano peppers for a little more spice.

Jim & Nick's Sausage Plate

A really good start.

For her entrée, Jan had a salad

Jim & Nick's Jan's Salad

and the Grilled Catfish, which looked kind of different, but she said was really good.

JIm & Nick's Grilled Catfish

I of course got the ribs with beans and the collard greens, something you don’t see too often on a menu, But Jim & Nick’s, being from Alabama, know how to make good collard greens. One of my favorites.

Jim & Nick's Ribs

Then it was on down the road a couple of miles to the WalMart for a few things, and so Jan could get a haircut. But they were closing and not taking any more customers.

But we did find a Supercuts right down the road that was still open, so Jan got it done there.

The filter and fuel pump should be in tomorrow, but it may be Wednesday or Thursday before I really have a chance to tear into it. We’ll see.

June 25, 2019

It’s Blasphemy . . .

It poured down all night, complete with a lot of thunder and lightning, some of it close enough that it shook the coach and woke us up.

And it continued on and off most of the day, but we only lost power for a few minutes a little after 4pm. The only real problem with this is that it reboots our DirecTV receiver, which takes about 20 minutes to initialize and come back up, just like when it’s first turned it on from scratch. And it seems like invariably it happens when you want to watch or record something coming up.

A while back I talked to DirecTV to see if there is any way to bypass this, but was told No.

So I think I’m going to get a small UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) for the DirecTV receiver to keep it going during power outages, just like the bigger one I have for my desktop computer. I’ve found several in the $30-$40 range that will do the trick, keeping the receiver going for 15-20 minutes.

A little after 1pm Jan and I headed out in the rain for lunch and some shopping. Our first stop was at the Santa Fe O’Reilly’s to pick up the rear brake pads that I ordered the other day. While I was there, I also checked the price of new rotors in case I do need them. And I definitely won’t be buying them from them.

They will be very happy to sell me new rotors for $80 each, or $160 for the pair. But will also be very happy to sell me the same Raybestos rotors for $23.79 each.

Yikes! That’s a big difference.

And even with the $17 FedEx shipping, that’s still about $16 less than the cost of 1 rotor from O’Reilly’s.

Next up was lunch at the Yummy Yummy Chinese Buffet over in Texas City. Just as delicious as usual.

In the past, we have used King Food’s Hot & Sour Soup to compare to all others around the country, and the others always fell short. But today Jan committed culinary blasphemy by saying that Yummy’s H&S is just as good, or maybe even better than King Food’s


We had planned to make a WalMart stop on the way home, but by then it was raining even harder so we decided to put it off until tomorrow after we pick up the rental car from Enterprise.

But we did make a quick storeroom stop to pick up the small carry-ons we took on our Europe trip to use for our Waco trek.

Wrapping up for today, Jan has kept a daily journal, not only for our RV traveling, but also for our day-to-day lives when we’re parked.

And of course, she kept one on our recent Europe trip, too.

Jan's Cruise Journal 1

It’s full of postcards, stickers, photos, and menus, as well a written log of each day.

Jan's Cruise Journal 2

And as you can see, it’s about 4” thick. And heavy too, at about 6#.

And it’s fun to go back through, recalling all the fun times.

June 25, 2020

Please, Mister Custer, I Don’t Wanna Go . . .

144 years ago today, in 1876, Lt. Colonel George Custer met up with Chief’s Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull and came out on the wrong end of the get-together.

Custer Monument 2

Custer 2008

I’ll wager that at some point Custer regretted not bringing along those two Gatling guns he left back at the fort. He thought that they would slow him down.

I was out the rig door about 10:15 and into the pouring rain, and on my way up to the Westpark area to meet up with Brandi, Landon, and my Jan for lunch.

And it poured down all the way out to I-45 and all the way up until I got onto the Tollway and then it pretty much magically cleared up and it was clear driving all the way up to the Cheddar’s there.

Unlike our visit to the Webster Cheddar’s last week, this Cheddar’s is now asking that all patrons wear a mask until they’re seated. Guess this may be a Houston/Harris County thing.

After our usual great Cheddar’s meals, and saying our goodbyes to Brandi and Landon, Jan and I headed back down to the Clear Lake area, with our first stop at the El Dorado Sam’s Club to a prescription and a few other things. Then it was on over to the HEB on the League City Pkwy before finally heading home.

June 25, 2021

Old Friends and Old Times . . .

Jan and I are really looking forward to tomorrow’s get-together at MomAlone’s Mexican Grill up in Webster.

It’s a reunion of the employees of Taft Broadcasting, the NASA contractor I worked for here at Johnson Space Center from 1978 through 1987. Then after that, I worked for Technicolor and Krug Life Sciences there too.

Probably the highlight of all my time with Taft was being part of the crew out at White Sands when STS-3, the 3rd flight of the Shuttle Columbia, landed there on March 30, 1982, due to heavy rains at the California landing site.

STS-3 Landing

I still have my mission patch that we all received.

STS-3 Patch

Really looking forward to seeing all the guys again.

June 25, 2022

Wagyu . . .

After coffeenating, I was outside about 11am to try and get the broken window regulator out of the door panel.

Dodge Dakota Window Repair

And it turned out to be more of a job than I had anticipated, because the window regulator was actually completely jammed. Which meant that I couldn’t lower the glass down enough to get to the two screws that hold the glass to the regulator.

But by using a big screwdriver as a pry bar I was able to break the regulator apart enough to release the glass and get it loose.

Dodge Dakota Old Window Regulator

This let me raise the glass all the way up and hold it in place with a piece of 2×4. This will keep the window closed so the AC works better, and also keep the truck dry with all the rain we’re supposed to get starting Monday.

Later I went online to check prices for a new regulator from O’Reilly’s and then Amazon. O’Reilly’s had a new one for $82, and it would be here Sunday evening around 6pm. However Amazon had exactly the same one for $53, and it would be here Monday.

So Amazon wins again. However with the coming rain, it may be next weekend until I can get the new one installed.

We finally headed out for lunch, etc. a little before 2pm, with our lunch stop at our local Pho Barr.

Always delicious as usual.

Then it was on over to WalMart for our weekly stuff, and then home.

Right now the plan for tomorrow is to check out the new Wagyu Burger at Arby’s, and then the new Peach Shake at Chick-fil-A.

Remember I do these things so you don’t have to.

June 25, 2023

Good To Go . . .

I was outside this morning about 11 to check the freon level in our Jeep’s A/C system. I wanted to check the level before I hooked up the freon can to the gauge since I might not need it. And it can’t be disconnected without losing any remaining freon.

After starting the engine, I set the A/C on Full and Recirculate and then removed the plastic cap from the system’s low-pressure port located at the front left of the engine bay.

The connector just snaps in place, giving me this.

And checking the gauge showed the freon level is fine.

Anywhere in the Green is fine, and even the Yellow is OK.

If it’s in Green you can add freon, though you really don’t need to. But if it’s in the Yellow, you shouldn’t add any more.

So I’m good to go, A/C-wise, at least.

Now I just sit back and wait for something else to break.

Lunch today was at Denny’s for a couple of their Ultimate Omelets.