Lost Again . . .

For the second time in recent months, I have an Amazon package orbiting around the Houston area. Sent out via USPS, it was supposed to be here this past Monday, but it’s been moving from PO to PO. So who knows when it will finally show up.

Tired of scrubbing your BBQ grill? Want a Roomba to clean it for you?

Well, now there’s GrillBot.

Check it out here.

And then there’s Pillbot for your insides.

This pill was then remotely controlled — with a PlayStation 5 controller no less — by Mayo Clinic professor of medicine and Pillbot co-founder Vivek Kumbhari, giving audiences a fascinating live feed of the inside of Luebke’s esophagus and stomach.

In a brief demo, before Luebke swallowed the pill, Kumbhari showed off the tiny device’s ability to swim around in a small tank of water thanks to three pump jet thrusters that can squirt water in six different directions.

Sounds like it might be able to eliminate that whole colonoscopy thing.

I told you so.

I’ve warned you about Temu before, and now they’re being sued for stealing your data.

Check it out.

Temu—the Chinese shopping app that has rapidly grown so popular in the US that even Amazon is reportedly trying to copy it—is “dangerous malware” that’s secretly monetizing a broad swath of unauthorized user data, Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin alleged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Griffin cited research and media reports exposing Temu’s allegedly nefarious design, which “purposely” allows Temu to “gain unrestricted access to a user’s phone operating system, including, but not limited to, a user’s camera, specific location, contacts, text messages, documents, and other applications.”

“Temu is designed to make this expansive access undetected, even by sophisticated users,” Griffin’s complaint said. “Once installed, Temu can recompile itself and change properties, including overriding the data privacy settings users believe they have in place.”

Griffin fears that Temu is capable of accessing virtually all data on a person’s phone, exposing both users and non-users to extreme privacy and security risks. It appears that anyone texting or emailing someone with the shopping app installed risks Temu accessing private data, Griffin’s suit claimed, which Temu then allegedly monetizes by selling it to third parties, “profiting at the direct expense” of users’ privacy rights.

And even if you delete it, you might not actually be able to get rid of it.

Thought For The Day:

And Then There’s The Whole Raiders Of The Lost Ark thing!

Your Retro-Preview Highlights –

2009 – Mustangs and Tomahawks

2012 – A Scorpion in My Pants

2016 – More Rig Repairs

2017 – Giant Jenga

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

June 28, 2009

Mustangs and Tomahawks…

Today we drove back over to Virginia Beach to visit the Military Aviation Museum that we had scouted out yesterday.

I was surprised to find out the Museum is privately owned by Gerald Yeagan who also owns a company called The Fighter Factory that specializes in restoring and maintaining old military planes.  He owns over 20 restored military planes with a number of others under restoration.

The complex consists of a museum area flanked by large hangers on each side, with an operating airfield out front.

Military Aviation Museum

Military Aviation Museum

Even the red checkered water tower is of WWII vintage.

The Museum had several interesting displays. Two planes caught my eye.

A replica 1911 Wright Flyer and a 1918 Sopwith Pup fighter were on display. These were remarkable due to the fact that we had just visited the Wright Brothers Memorial at Kill Devil Hill and had seen the 1903 Flyer.

The amazing thing was the quick progression of the planes.

The 1903 Flyer was very primitive, with the pilot lying prone on the wing next to the engine, steering by swinging his hips back and forth.  The elevator is in the front of the plane and the engine is almost toy-like.

1903 Wright Flyer from the right rear

1903 Wright Flyer from the right rear

The 1911 Flyer was a big jump.  The pilot sat in a chair, steered the plane with a control stick, and the elevator was in the rear, all just like today’s planes.

1911 Wright Flyer

1911 Wright Flyer

Note the 1911 Flyer has a much bigger engine and also landed on wheels, rather than skids like the 1903 version.

This 1911 Flyer was also used to make an intercontinental flight from New York to California to win a $50,000 prize put up by William Randolph Hearst.  This means that only 8 years after the first flight, man is now flying from one side of the country to the other.

But the real jump is this next plane, the 1918 Sopwith Pup.

1918 Sopwith Pup

1918 Sopwith Pup

In just 7 more years, we now have a plane with a fully enclosed cockpit, engine, and fuselage, and, of course, machine guns, that can fly hundreds of miles in one flight.

And all this only 15 years after the first flight of 120 feet.

Quite a jump, indeed!

They sure have a lot of great planes here, and what’s really amazing is that they’re all in flyable condition, or being restored to flyable condition.

Here are some of the best.

P-40 Tomahawk

P-40 Tomahawk

P-51 Mustang

P-51 Mustang

Supermarine Spitfire

Supermarine Spitfire

Hawker Hurricane

Hawker Hurricane

F4U Corsair of “Bah, Bah, Black Sheep” fame

F4U Corsair of "Bah, Bah, Black Sheep" fame

PBY Catalina Flying Boat

PBY Catalina Flying Boat

TBM Avenger Bomber – George H. W. Bush flew one like this.

TBM Avenger Bomber - George H. W. Bush flew one like this.

T-35 Mentor trainer – I had some flight training in one of these.

T-35 Mentor trainer - I had flight training in one of these.

But the real treat was getting to see the P-40 Tomahawk fly!  These big engines make a roar that is unmistakable.

Taxiing Out

Taxiing Out

Taxiing Out

Taxiing Out

Take Off

Take Off

Downwind Turn

Downwind Turn



Roll Out

Roll Out

Finally, I’ve shown you pictures of area mascot animals, like pelicans in Seabrook, TX,  moose in Coeur d’Alene, IA,  and mermaids in Beaufort, SC.

Here in Virginia Beach, they have a porpoise mascot, and the Museum did theirs up in a plane motif.

Plane Porpoise

We had a great time at the Museum.  And I’m really lucky to have married an Air Force brat who likes old planes and airshows.

After leaving the Museum, we stopped off at Supercuts to get our hair cut and then ate a late lunch at El Pollo Loco before heading home.

Later in the evening after it had cooled off, we sat out in the shade of the coach, looking out over the lake, drinking Sangria,  and watching Mister do his “Catch and Release” program with the many blue dragonflies.

Campground View

Or rather, it was ‘Catch, and then I yell at him until he reluctantly raises his paw and lets the dragonfly go – Release program.  He never seemed to hurt them, but just held them down for a while.

What was really amazing is how fast a 22-pound cat can move.

Today is our last day here in NC.   Tomorrow we move north to Williamsburg, VA.

June 28, 2010

A nice quiet day…

Today started out as another nice quiet day.  And pretty much stayed that way.

Jan’s still trying to get the hang of Facebook, posting stuff, and confirming new friends.

We left the coach about 2 pm heading first into New Braunfels to stop by a Chase bank and then on to Lowe’s for some more project supplies.

Near Gina’s turn-off we encountered a large flock of wild turkeys, at least two dozen, including a bunch of babies.

By the time we got back to Gina’s, it was time to go to dinner. Leaving the ranch, Jan put some corn at the side of the road for the turkeys. We’ll check on the way home to see if they’ve eaten it.

Tonight we decided to try Lucky’s Kitchen and Cocktails, a seafood place in Canyon Lake near the RV park. Jan and Gina had seafood Po’Boys and I had a Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwich with bacon, tomatoes, onions, Monterey Jack cheese, and jalapenos. Great!

Getting back to Gina’s I spent some time working on the new ceiling fan I’m installing on the porch, and then trying to fix a problem on Gina’s computer.

Oh, it didn’t look like the turkeys had found the corn yet. We’ll check again tomorrow.

Then, about 7:30 pm, when we were ready to leave, it started pouring down rain. We hung around hoping it would slack off. Finally, we decided to give it a try. And we lucked out. By the time we got out to the main highway, the rain had pretty much stopped.

Lucky for us too, because there’s some low spots on the ranch road that can flood several feet deep.

Back at the rig, there were some deer still milling around, but with it raining on and off,  we decided they were on their own.

June 28, 2011

Beautiful Flowers and Good Mexican . . .

After our 12-hour day yesterday, it was nice to sleep in and just take it easy this morning. I got up about 10:30 and fixed us coffee, and then about 11:30 Jan heated up the pizza from Fultano’s Pizza a couple of days ago.

Like most things Italian, it got better with age, and it was differently better than the other night. Of course, Jan always spices it up to make it better anyway.

Jan’s really been really enjoying the flowers she got the other day at the Farmer’s Market in Astoria. They seem to be holding up well.


While Jan spent the afternoon reading and catnapping,  I went whole-hog and just took a full-on nap. Then about 4:45 Jan and I headed out for dinner once again at Los Compadres, a local Mexican restaurant we ate at last Wednesday. This is probably the best Mexican we’ve had since we left Vegas. Strangely enough, the further north we get, the harder it is to get good Mexican.

Who knew?

Coming home, we stopped off at the Shell station right down the street from the RV park, to get a cappuccino, and also to confirm that I wouldn’t have a problem fueling up with diesel on our way to Bremerton on Friday. Sometimes stations in small towns have a problem when you come in and want to get $500 – $600 of diesel. But they said “No problem.” So it looks like we’ll be good to go on Friday. And even better, diesel has dropped 12 cents a gallon in the last two days. Hopefully, it will drop even more by Friday.

On another note, at the Evergreen Aviation Museum yesterday, they had an upstairs exhibit of rifles and handguns, along with hunting dioramas and 12-year-old boy’s room in 1956, complete with half a dozen firearms.

Boy's Room

When I was 12, I probably had a dozen or so, rifles, shotguns, BB guns, and pellet guns in my room. I also remember in High School in north Alabama, going to school with a shotgun or rifle on the rack in the back window of the truck because we were going hunting after school. Nowadays, kids get suspended just for drawing a picture of a gun in school, or even biting a Pop-Tart in the shape of a gun, much less bringing one to school.

Tomorrow we’re going down to Lewis and Clark National Park to check it out.

June 28, 2012

A Scorpion in My Pants . . .

Verizon is apparently messing with things again. My phone says I have 1x, and not 3G. But even the 1x doesn’t work right now. Hopefully it will be up and running when it’s time to post this blog.

As far as the scorpion goes, I thought so, anyhow. Yesterday (Tuesday) I was just sitting here minding my own business (not that there’s anyone else’s to mind around here) and all of a sudden something bit me or stung me on my left calf.


And my first thought WAS that a scorpion had gotten into my pants. So I was dancing around, swatting at my leg, and yelling. But all this seemed to accomplish was to make whatever it was climb higher. Whoops! Not exactly what I had in mind.

But, as I was frantically trying to drop trow, hop on one foot, yell, and slap at my leg, I realized that I was being stung by a lot of things, not just one stinger. So that meant it had to be . . .


By this time I had my pants down around my ankles, jumping up and down, slapping at my pants, just knowing that at any minute a truck full of cute young salesgirls was going drive up. But at least my luck held as far as this went.

Then suddenly I get bit again, this time on the back of my bare leg, just above the knee. It felt like I was on the wrong side of a pin cushion. Reaching around my leg and grabbing at whatever it was (not the smartest thing, I know) I came up with a handful of large brown grasshopper/locust/katydid whateveryoucallit.

And then he bit me again. Son of a . . .  !

But now I could see he wasn’t biting me or stinging me at all. His feet apparently had very sharp little grippers on them, and so the more I danced around, the tighter he held on for dear life.

Deciding it was time for the two of us to part company, I flung him as hard as I could. He of course, just dug in his gripper thingies a little deeper and held on tight.

Realizing this wasn’t going to work, I grabbed a nearby water spray bottle and gave him a good squirt. At first, he seemed to like it, but after three or four more, he got the message and leaped away.

Well, at least I have another topic for my upcoming “Gate Guarding for Fun? and Profit” seminar at the next Rally,

In the meantime Jan had her own excitement Tuesday evening when a sudden windstorm blew through our area, apparently spawned by all the thunderstorms roaming around. Although it never rained here, the wind came out of nowhere, turning over the fan, loosening some of the canopy guy ropes, and generally wreaking havoc on our gate site. Finally, she went inside and rode it out there.

Nothing was really damaged, but it did take me a while to get everything set back up and stowed away when I came on at 11pm. I thought my new windshield solar screen had been blown away at first, but all that happened was that it got flipped back up and onto the roof.

Several people had ask for a photo of my outside solar screen setup, so here it is.

Solar Screen

Nothing fancy. Just a cord strung between the awning brackets on each side, and then the solar screen material is hung from the cord like clothes on a clothesline (remember those?) and fastened with binder clips.

It works great, and it was cheap. My kind of project.

Tuesday was also Chile Rellenos day at Galindo’s again so I picked up lunch for us on my way home from Pleasanton. Just as delicious as last time, and they have great chips and salsa, too. Especially the salsa. They sell it by the jar and I may get some next time.

The reason I was in Pleasanton was to get my oil changed at Wal-Mart. I just had it done in January before we left the Houston area, but it was time again. It’s amazing how many miles we put on our truck just driving around.

We bought it in late 2007 just before we got our American Eagle coach, and in that time we’ve put about 50,000 miles on the coach, and about 75,000 miles on the truck. And that 75,000 doesn’t include the 50,000. It’s in addition, since the truck odometer doesn’t register when it’s in tow mode. So that means we’ve driven about 125,000 miles in the last 5 years. Hard to imagine.

But along with my oil change, Wal-Mart also gave me 3 flat tires. Well, one flat and two almost flat. What happened was that as part of their oil change service, they check your tire pressures. And whoever did it, didn’t tighten my Tire Traker tire pressure sensors back on the valve stems, letting them slowly leak down.

So late Tuesday afternoon a passing truck driver told me I had a flat.

BUMMER! Not realizing at the time what the problem was, I decided to wait until I came back on duty at 11pm to change it when it would be cooler. Well, a little cooler, anyway.

Getting the spare put on and flat tire up in the truck, I stuck my head in the cab to get something and heard my tire pressure monitor going off. Checking it, I found it showing I had two more almost flat tires, both under 20 pounds.

What the . . .

Three flats? Getting my tire gauge out to confirm the pressure I found the tire pressure sensor very loose on the valve stem. Suddenly remembering how loose the one was on the flat tire when I took it off to move it to the spare, I checked the second almost flat tire and found it also very loose. And the sensor on the last remaining good tire was tight.

Sensing a pattern here, (hey, I didn’t fall off the turnip truck LAST night!) I got out my air compressor and aired up all three tires, and tightened down the sensors when I was done. Two hours later, all three tires were still fine.

I had just changed a tire for nothing. Darn you, Wal-Mart!

So, tomorrow (Thursday) I’m going back to the Wal-Mart and let them take my spare off and put my other tire back on. Let them fix it.

And this is the reason I wanted to wait till after midnight to change the tire. And it was still 89 degrees then.

108 Temp
This is the official temperature. Our thermometer here at the rig said 116 degrees, but I think it’s picking up a lot of heat off the side of the rig, and thru the white translucent canopy. But our water misting system really keeps us comfortable.

It’s only when we have to walk out in the sun and actually do work, that it gets hot.

Jan had a Girl’s Day Out this afternoon (Wednesday), going into Pleasanton, getting her hair down, doing some shopping, etc. Then on her way home, she picked up Sonic Chili Dogs for supper. Humm, humm, good.

As it stands now, it looks like we’ll be moving to a new site in the next 7 to 10 days. I’ve got the location and tomorrow (Thursday) I’m going to drive over and check it out. It’s back on the east side of I-37, about 20 miles from where our last site was, and only about 5 miles from the Gate Guard Services offices near Whitsett. So less travel to pick up our paychecks.

Lastly, Jan wanted me to pass on a cleaning tip. We have a problem with the mist from the cooling mister combining with the ever-present caliche dust, and put a film on our glasses that makes it hard to see, and very hard to get off. We’d tried a number of cleaners and nothing worked very well.

But a tip from a passing-through truck driver did the trick.

Dawn dish soap. Leave your glasses soaking overnight in a bowl of Dawn and water, and the next morning they’re spotless.


June 28, 2013

On to Gillette . . .

After a quiet last morning here in Billings, Jan and I headed out about 12:30 for some more errands.

Our first stop was at a nearby locksmith to have some keys made. While we were in Victor, ID, I lost one of my rig key rings. I called back several times to see if anyone had found them, but no luck. So since I only had one copy of several of these keys I decided to have a completely new set made. They said they’d be ready in a couple of hours.

Then it was off to Ulta for Jan to pick up some things and Wal-Mart to pick up some more things. You would think that someday we’ll have enough things, but it’s not looking that way so far.

Then after a quick stop at PetSmart for a new kitty litter scoop and the locksmith’s for my new keys, we got home about 3pm. Then I spent a couple of hours rewiring my taillights to work without the taillight converter. This should keep it working until I build a new unit.

A little before 6pm Jan and I headed over to the HuHot Mongolian Grill to meet our friend Linda for dinner. HuHot is one of those places where they give you a bowl and you go down a line and load it with meats, vegetables, and sauces, and then they throw it on a big grill and cook it up for you. We’ve eaten here every visit since 2008 and have always enjoyed it.

Finishing up dinner, we headed over to Linda’s to meet her new cats before heading home for the night.

We’re going to head out early tomorrow morning, about 8am, because we’re going to top off our diesel tank before heading to Gillette, WY for the upcoming Escapade. They stop parking arrivees at 2pm so we want to get there in plenty of time.

June 28, 2014

I Miss My RV . . .

That’s what Jan said this evening watching TV in the motel room. And I agree.

Yesterday, we had a number of comments wondering what Mister was doing during the whole windshield thing. And the answer is, as usual, he was trying to get right in the middle of it.

Mister and Windshield

At times he would even be hanging out the opening watching the guys work. Finally, I put him on his leash and tied him off to a scaffolding by the rig and he just lay there and watched.

Jan and I both got up early this morning, (well, 8am early, early for me) so we could check out the free (that always gets my attention) continental breakfast here at the motel. And it wasn’t bad at all.

They had muffins, English muffins, toast, and Belgian waffles, as well as cereal, milk, coffee, and OJ.

About 9:30 Jan and I drove over to our coach to pick up some more things for our extended motel stay. While we were waiting for Josh to open the shop, we met Jerry and Tish Unterkoefler who showed up in their Monaco Diplomat. They wanted to talk to Josh about getting some new Captain’s Chairs for their rig. Said they were next heading down to Decatur, IN to have Monaco replace the seals on their slide.

Started to ask them if they could pick up the correct windshield gasket from American Coach.

Leaving Coach Supply we headed over to Wal-Mart for some cat food and chips, and then on the way back to the motel, we stopped off at Steak and Shake for lunch.

This time I had the Jalapeno Crunch Steakburger.


And Jan had the Chili 5 Ways.


Both very good, just like our last visit.

Although we don’t usually eat two meals out a day, we made an exception and met friends at the Wings Etc. over by the Wal-Mart. And by the time we left, we both hurt.

But, as Jan said. it was a ‘good hurt’.

June 28, 2015

Ready, Camp, Go . . .

Today was kind of strange weather-wise. It ramped up to its usual 105 degrees around 3pm, but by 5 a heavy cloud cover rolled in and the temp dropped to 85 degrees. Very nice.

According to the Rainy Days app, there was rain all around us, but nothing came our way. Hope it holds out for tomorrow.

I mentioned the other day that I had looked into the Elite upgrade to our TT membership. We were mainly looking at getting more parks, especially in the northeast where we plan to travel next year. And according to the salesperson here at the park, it would add 23 parks to our 63, for a total of 86.

In addition we would also get three weeks in park instead of the two we have now. And that’s about it for us. No additional free days, or anything like that. Just three weeks and 23 more parks.

Yeah, you get membership cards to give away, and discounts on cabins and stuff, but nothing that would really mean anything to us.

The only time we might have appreciated the three weeks is when we were orbiting back and forth between Lake Conroe and Colorado River this past winter. Normally two weeks is about all we want to spend in one spot before we move on.

But then today I came across the Ready Camp Go card. I had heard of it before,  but for some reason I thought it had something to do with the TT Zone Pass. Turns out it’s completely separate.

Anybody can purchase a RCG card. You don’t have to be a member of any other club to get one. And it’s certainly a heck of a lot cheaper than an Elite upgrade.

The RCG card comes in 4 levels –

1. Platinum – Gives you 90 days of camping at $20/night with 90 day advance reservations, and costs $299 per year. You have 14 days in park and 7 out.

2. Gold – Gives you 60 days of camping at $20/night with 60 day advance reservations, and costs $199 per year. You have 14 days in park and 7 out.

3. Silver – Gives you 30 days of camping at $20/night with 30 day advance reservations, and costs $99 per year. You have 7 days in park and 7 out.

4. Plus – Gives you 15 days of camping at $25/night with 30 day advance reservations, and costs $49 per year.

The only two levels I would be interested in would be the Platinum or Gold. Dividing the card price by the number of nights gives you a $3.33 per night prorated cost. Coupled with the $20 per night park charge, and the usual resort fees, you’re looking at around $27 per night.

When we did the East Coast all the way out to Newfoundland in 2009, we paid much more than that, in many cases, more than double that.

But the big plus with the RCG card is that it gives us access to over 100 additional RV parks, over the 63 TT parks we already have, no matter what level we get.

I have been told that since we’re already TT members, we could not use it at TT parks. But that’s fine since I have the TT membership already.

But whatever I do, either of these levels sounds much better than paying $4645 for an Elite upgrade. In fact, for that amount, we could buy 15 years worth of Platinum memberships. Or 5 years and a lot of nights of camping at $27 a night.

If you have any experience with the RCG card, let me know.

June 28, 2016

More Rig Repairs . . .

One thing really nice about this site is that, unlike our two previous sites in the ‘A’ circle, we’ve had absolutely no problems with low voltage here. In fact, it rarely goes under 120 volts even in the heat of the day with both A/C’s running.

If you remember from when we were here before, we were seeing voltages as low as 105 volts, with momentarily drops below 103, which would kick out our Progressive EMS (Electrical Management System). They’ve definitely got a problem in that area.

Today I thought I’d go back over some more of my repairs.

While we were gate guarding last fall, the flush pedal on our Sealand toilet broke. At first, I thought it was the Spring Cartridge, but it turned out to be the pedal shaft.

Toilet Seal 3

The edges of the plastic square shaft (the black one above) had rounded off over the last 5 years, so when you stepped on the flush pedal, it just rotated inside the spring cartridge without opening the ball.

So here’s how I took the toilet apart and put it back together.


As part of these same plumbing repairs, I also replaced the bathroom faucet that had a broken handle. But like many of these projects, this one didn’t go quite as planned and took two days. The first day is at the bottom of the toilet repair post, so you can start there again.


Faucet Removal 1


Another repair while we were gate guarding last year was when the electric side of our Attwood water heater died. The propane part still worked, just not the electric. Since we were busy on the gate, we just used the propane side until I finally found the time to take a look at the problem. Here’s that story.




Probably my biggest repair last year was when I replaced our 16-year-old Coleman Mach V with a new Coleman Mach 15. The front unit was still cooling OK, but not as good as it should have been.

I could have gotten a couple of saddle taps and added some Freon, but I also wanted to increase the BTU output, going from 13,500 up to 15,000, along with a much stronger fan.

Another repair spread out over 3 days, you can check it out here.



AC Install 4


To paraphrase Emily Latella, “With an RV, it’s always something.”

June 28, 2017

Giant Jenga . . .

With a full day on tap, Jan and I left the rig about 11:30, heading for our daughter’s home in the Katy area.

But we had a number of stops beforehand, with the first one being the Jack in the Box in Columbus for a quick breakfast, Jan getting Supreme Breakfast Croissant, while I got a large Iced Caramel Latte. Very good.

Finally getting into Katy, we dropped off a prescription for Jan at the Sam’s Club, and then it was on to the Kroger near Brandi’s for some last-minute supplies. That done, I dropped Jan off at the nearby POSH Nails to get her toesies done while I took the groceries on to Brandi’s.

About the time that Jan’s sister Debbie and her family showed up, Lowell showed up with our dinner, a Rudy’s Picnic Box.

Rudy's Picnic Box

And it comes with pretty much everything you need, two big trays of every kind of meat, boiled potatoes, potato salad, creamed corn, beans, bread, two gallons of drinks, plates, cutlery, and even a red checkered tablecloth.

Rudy's at Brandi's 1

Rudy's at Brandi's 2

It’s amazing how quiet it gets when everyone is eating.

Rudy's at Brandi's 3

After dinner, our son Chris brought in his surprise for Landon and his cousins.

A Giant Jenga game that he made.

Giant Jenga 1

It’s obvious that Chris put a lot of time into this, including also making the stand underneath that holds all the blocks for storage and transport.

Giant Jenga 2

Giant Jenga 3

Giant Jenga 4

Giant Jenga 5

Giant Jenga 6

It was fun enough that it kept the kids involved for a good while, though the sound that the Jenga tower made as it came down rattled the house.

Later, Avery Jane, Ella, and Landon spent some time with coloring books and some other art projects.

Landon Avery Jane Ella

Today’s group totaled 17 with 3 more showing up tomorrow.

Reunion Group 1

And adding to the fun, tomorrow is Gumbo Day, with Chris whipping up a big batch of his famous Seafood Gumbo. Everyone’s looking forward to it.

Everyone started to head out about 8:30, with Jan and I making another stop at Kroger’s on the way, this time for gas, at $1.84/gallon, finally getting home about 9:45 after a really fun day.

And then tomorrow we do it all over again.

Well, no one seems to know what the mysterious red buttons in my engine compartment are, but the consensus seems to be that I should press the buttons to see what happens, Jan should be taping from a safe distance, and I should wait to do it on the 4th of July for the best effect in case things go terribly wrong.

Thanks a lot, guys.

June 28, 2018

Not the Fuel Pump . . .

Or the Filter. So . . .

Anyone want to buy an Onan Fuel Pump or Fuel Filter? Never Used.

I’ll let‘em go cheap.

As usual, we were back at Denny’s this morning, but a little earlier, 8:30, and with more people, 12 to be exact. Brandi, Lowell, and Landon were there, as well as Christina, another of Jan’s sister Debbie’s daughters, and Christina’s boyfriend and his two daughters. The Wild Bunch.

After breakfast, everyone except me, headed over to the City Museum in St. Louis to spend the day. 10 stories tall, it’s a former shoe factory that’s been transformed into a kid-friendly place with an enormous treehouse, a giant Slinky you can crawl through, and a 10-story spiral slide that takes you from the top floor all the way to the 1st floor.

Jan said the kids had a blast, and so did she. But she didn’t do the 10-story slide. Chicken!

Museum Group Photo

Back on the home front, I got to work on the generator. I ran it out on its electric/hydraulic slide and took a look. Removing the cover panel gave me access to the filter, and sight of the pump.

Rig Generator Access Opening

I removed the two bolts on the bottom of the generator that seemed to hold the pump bracket down, but it wouldn’t budge. I figured that the fuel lines were probably holding it in place, but I wanted to be sure, so I put in a call to Onan Tech Support.

After I told him what my problem was, and my solution of replacing the filter and/or the pump. he asked me if the pump was clicking when I tried to start the genset. When I said Yes, he said it was possible for the pump to click and still be bad, but that I should check it out to be sure first.

He told me to disconnect the fuel return line, run it into a bucket, and run the pump for 1 minute.

Rig Generator Fuel Flow Pitcher

Then measure the output. If I got a little less than a cup, the fuel system is OK.

Rig Generator Fuel Flow Cup

And that’s what I got. So it’s something other than fuel. But by this time the Onan tech guy was gone for the day so I’ll have to get back with him tomorrow to see what other ideas he has for me.

The real problem is that we’re running out of time here, with only two more days before we leave for Alabama on Sunday. And these two days are chockfull of family stuff so not a lot of free time. But we will have six days in Alabama, so maybe then if I don’t find something simple and quick before we leave here.

Anyone want to buy an Onan Fuel Pump or Fuel Filter?

June 28, 2020

Long-Ago Friends . . .

Yesterday, I was finally able to track down a long-ago childhood friend from when we both lived in the Gulf Shores AL area. And by ‘long-ago’, that’s me on the left and my friend David Duddy on the right, with some of our motel’s cottages in the background.

David Duddy and Me

The last time I spent any time with David was in 1962, before we moved to South America. I did see him for a few minutes in 1967 when I passed through Gulf Shores on my way down to Florida for the summer. But he was sick with the flu or something, so I just stopped over for a few minutes to say Hi.

We spent a good while on the phone catching up and made plans to get together when we’re in the area this fall.

June 28, 2021

How About You?

After looking at the Rainy Days weather radar app, Jan and I were able to spend about 30 minutes with our coffee out on the patio between rain showers. Being very overcast and cooler than normal, it was really nice.

I had to order a new printer for today and this is the one I chose.

HP 6978 Printer

HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 All-in-One Wireless Printer

It was only $119 and even better it uses three different separate color cartridges, magenta, cyan, and yellow, not just one color cartridge with all three colors in it. This means that if you print with a lot of red, you don’t have to replace the entire color cartridge, just that one color.

But the reason I had to get a new printer is not that it wasn’t printing, but that it wasn’t scanning right. No matter whether I used the flatbed or the document feeder, it cut off the top and left side of the scan.

Yeah, I might have been able to tear into it and figure out what was wrong, but it was 3-1/2 years old and the cartridges were getting scarce and more expensive.

So I ordered it on Amazon today and it will be here tomorrow. Neat!

I mentioned the other day that Microsoft is releasing Windows 11 sometime in the fall. Well, the word now is October. And it will be a free update.

But the next question is, will your PC be capable of running Win11?

Well, to check if your PC can run Windows 11, download the “PC Health Check” app and then install it. Then when you run it, just click on the blue ‘Check Now’  and in a few seconds, you know.

In my case, it looks like I’m good to go.

How about you?

June 28, 2022

You Think They’d Learn . . .

Jan and I were out the door a little before 1pm, for lunch/errands. Or rather, errand/lunch/errands.

Our first stop was the O’Reilly’s Auto Parts for a bottle of Stabil Gas Treatment. Since I filled up the Dakota with gas this week while the Jeep was being repaired, I wanted to treat the gas since it might be several more months until we drive it again.

Then it was on down FM517 to have lunch at Gator’s. Jan had seen their ad on Facebook for their new Keto Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Birria Pizza.

Gator's Birrria Pizza

And Jan says it’s now her new all-time favorite dish.

The ‘Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy’ part is the fact that the crust is actually made from nice and crispy melted cheese. Then it’s covered in shredded beef and Birria sauce

Birria sauce is Chile-based and typically consists of guajillo peppers. Guajillo peppers are dried mirasol chiles. These chiles are rich in Chile flavor, slightly fruity, and make for a well-rounded, full-bodied sauce that is low on heat and big on flavor.

I stayed with an old favorite of mine, their Loaded Baked Potato Soup.

Gator's Baked Potato Soup 20220109

And of course, we had to finish up by splitting one of their delicious Keto Blueberry Muffins.

Gator's Blueberry Muffin 20220220

Then it was on up the feeder to the UPS Store/HEB Store. While I dropped off an Amazon return, Jan picked up a few things next door. Then it was home for the night.

Didn’t get a call about our Jeep being fixed yet, so hopefully tomorrow.

Our promised heavy rains didn’t really appear last night, giving us only 0.19”, so pretty much just wetting our whistle. But supposedly we got more coming later this week.

It seems that this past weekend a Norwegian Cruise Lines cruise ship, the Norwegian Sun, was transiting the Hubbard Glacier area when it encountered dense fog and struck an iceberg, a teeny tiny one.

Don’t they ever learn?

And at least that’s NCL’s story, and so far they’re sticking with it.

But passengers on board say that’s not what happened.

Grom Griff wrote on YouTube, “I am on the ship. We were on the front deck at the time. There was no fog, it was a clear, sunny, beautiful day.”

Jerry Pearce made similar remarks on YouTube: “My wife and I are on the ship now. Contrary to what Norwegian is saying there was no fog in the bay when it happened. We were standing on the front deck and could see us approaching and hitting the iceberg.”

Video allegedly shot by a passenger on-board shows the cruise ship hitting a large piece of ice greater than the size of a school bus,

So not foggy, and not so teeny tiny, then.

In fact,

Passengers said they felt the impact which was followed by a “severe” judder or shudder. Some also said the ship listed slightly after impact.

And apparently the ‘teeny tiny’ iceberg caused enough damage that the ship skipped its next port of call at Skagway and struggled on to Juneau where the rest of the cruise was canceled.

Passengers got a 100% refund, plus a free future cruise valued at the same amount

I’m still not impressed.

While Jan was in HEB this afternoon, I noticed that Verizon 5G was now active in the area so I decided to run Speedtest.net on it. And here’s what I got.

Speedtest HEB 5G

Then using Samsung’s Band Selector App, I turned off 5G on my Galaxy S21 Ultra and ran it again under 4G.

And this is what I got.

Speedtest HEB 4G

So 5G is half the speed of 4G.

Once again, I’m not impressed with 5G so far.

June 28, 2023

Flowers And Sunflowers . . .

Amazon delivered my roll of Reflectix foil this afternoon so I’ll try to get it installed on the windshield tomorrow morning before it gets too hot.

I’m also in the process of replacing our rig door’s outside grab bar with something more sturdy and weatherproof. But I need some more parts that I’ll try to pick up tomorrow when we’re out and about.

Brandi, et al., are going up to Oklahoma to visit Lowell’s parents over the 4th of July holiday so we’ll wait and get together with them the weekend after next.

Jan wanted to show off her plants so here it is. Complete with a Flamingo, of course.

Jan’s been under the weather for the last couple of days, but if she’s feeling better we’re going to take a drive down to Galveston to have lunch at Sunflower Café once again, and then drive around the island for a while.

Or not.