Daily Archives: July 1, 2024

Dolly Is A What?

Dolly Parton scheme giving children free books attacked as ‘white saviourism’

According to a paper, by speech and language pathologist Jennifer Stone, from the University of North Carolina, Dolly Parton’s philanthropy is “potentially dangerous” and smacks of “white savourism”.

And what did Dolly do to rate this label? Well, almost 30 years ago, she started her Imagination Library program and since then has spent millions of dollars, her dollars, giving away free books to children all over the world.

Stone says . . .

…the award-winning scheme is racist by reinforcing notions of “white privilege and heteronormativity” and not representing enough cultural diversity, disability, trans and bisexual gender identities and non-traditional family structures.

Through its focus on “reading to succeed” and “perfecting parenting”, Parton’s Imagination Library scheme is “oppressive”, says Stone. Such themes subjugate children and “privilege a White, middle-class, cis-gendered, heteronormative, able-bodied norm,” it adds.

Who knew?

I’ve had my Samsung S21 Ultra phone for a little over 3 years, so I’ve been checking out new ones, specifically the S24 Ultra. But unlike my previous upgrade back in early 2021 from the S8+ to the S21, when I saw a lot of improvements, especially in the cameras, I don’t really see much to gain right now.

And this article just firms up my thoughts.

Your Galaxy S21 Ultra is still amazing, here’s a few reasons why

So maybe I’ll wait for the S25 or S26?

There’s been a lot of talk in the news about the ‘heat dome’ over the U.S. and the ‘unprecedented’ temperatures.

But apparently there’s ‘unprecedented’ and ‘unprecedented’.

According to the BBC

BBC’s heatwave hysteria

IT’S summer, so surprise, surprise, some places are hot.

According to the BBC, the heatwave in Delhi last month was ‘unprecedented’. Well, at least since the previous one! Temperatures there, they say, topped 40C. May is traditionally the hottest month in India, and temperatures exceed 45C most years in Delhi. The record of 47.2C at the Indian Meteorological Department’s Base Station of Safdarjun was set in 1944, and clearly daily temperatures are not increasing there.

The month of May as a whole was not unusually hot either. Again temperatures for the month are not increasing, and the hottest May was in 1943.

A day later the BBC claimed that a heatwave in Phoenix, Arizona, and the rest of the US South West had been made ‘35 times more likely’ because of climate change. In fact, temperatures in Phoenix never got above 113F, which is par for the course there at this time of year, and well below the June record of 122F set in 1990.

On a personal note, our first summer here in Texas, after moving from Alabama to Houston in December 1978, we had 13 straight days of over 100-degree temperatures during the month of July. And we’ve never had anything close since then.

It’s summer, guys. It’s hot.

And here’s another update from NASA on the Starliner.

Technical failures leave Starliner crew ‘not stranded’ on ISS indefinitely

NASA says that the astronauts sent to the International Space Station aboard Boeing’s malfunctioning Starliner spacecraft are “not stranded in space.” However, Barry Wilmore and Sunita Williams may be staying in orbit for a very long time.

Of course, the two big questions are, when will Starliner return to Earth, and is it a matter of when or if?

This brings up one of the unspoken possibilities if Starliner isn’t available for anything other than an emergency return. If Starliner is judged unusable in the end, that means another spacecraft will have to return Wilmore and Williams to Earth.

“Elon Musk, please pick up the nearest White Courtesy Phone.”

Thought For The Day:

They call it a “selfie” because “narcissistic” is so hard to spell.

Your Retro-Preview Highlights –

2009 – George Washington, Benedict Arnold, And Colonial Williamsburg

2012 – A New Gate And A Camel

2013 – Almost Willie Nelson

2015 – More Sedona And New CCW Rules

2016 – BBQ And A Burger Making Machine

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

July 1, 2009

George Washington and Benedict Arnold…

Today Jan and I visited Colonial Williamsburg, and although it was very interesting,  it was also disappointing in a way.

Colonial Williamsburg street

Colonial Williamsburg street

A lot of the buildings are closed on different days so it’s not possible to see everything on one visit.  So, many buildings were closed to us today.  Plus, only a few buildings are set up to be toured.

The best one we saw was the home of Peyton Reynolds.  Peyton Reynolds was the first President of the  Continental Congress and the house dates from the 1720’s.

Peyton Reynolds Home 1

Peyton Reynolds Home 2

Peyton Reynolds Home 3

The interesting thing about this next picture is the table is not fully set.  According to our guide, the table would be set with 1 meat dish for each person.  So with a table set for six there should be six meat dishes on the table, not just three.

And there should also be six ‘heavy’ desserts on the table.   I’m not sure what constitutes a ‘heavy’ dessert.

Is it by ‘weight’, or how it sits in your stomach after you eat it?

Peyton Reynolds Home Dining Table

Also interesting is the windmill.  It’s known as a ‘single post’ windmill, because the single post pivot allows the windmill to be turned into the wind for better performance.  This windmill was used as a grist mill to grind grain and the blades would have been covered with cloth to catch the wind.


We also got to watch a trial reenactment at the Williamsburg Courthouse.

Williamsburg Courthouse

High Sheriff

One interesting thing was that the audience got to participate as jurors, plaintiffs, and defendants.

Judge and Jury

Court Clerk

I tried to get Jan to pose in the stocks, but I think she was afraid I wouldn’t let her out.

The Stocks

Also interesting was the Williamsburg Magazine and Armory surrounded by the barricade fence to help protect it from attack.

Williamsburg Magazine and Armory

This building was where the militia’s guns and powder were stored in case of attack.

The Virginia Colony Governor’s House

The Virginia Colony Governor's House

The Bruton Parish Church was interesting, also.  It is one of the oldest Episcopalian Churches in America and services have been held here continuously since 1715.

Bruton Parish Church

You could also take rides in authentic-looking carriages.

Carriage 1

Carriage 2

There were also actors portraying famous and not-so-famous people.  Here we have Benedict Arnold, pre-traitor.

Benedict Arnold

Many people don’t realize Benedict Arnold was actually a Revolutionary War hero and won many battles for the Colonies before he went over to the Loyalist side.  For what seemed to be political reasons, and perhaps jealousy, he was repeatedly passed over for promotion.  This perceived injustice ate at him until he arranged to turn West Point over to the British.  But his plan was discovered and he barely escaped capture by George Washington.

And speaking of George Washington, he was there also, along with his aide de camp, the Marquis de Lafayette.  One of the children present asked him if he was the President.  He said he had no idea what that was, and it didn’t sound like something he’d want to do.

Most of the Colonial Williamsburg experience seems to consist of walking around looking at the old buildings. I think Jan and I both were expecting more.

And when you consider that for the same price, we could have gone to Busch Gardens – Williamsburg,  I mean,  Colonial Williamsburg doesn’t even have any roller coasters to terrorize Jan on.


Tomorrow we’re going to see Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Battlefield.

Maybe they’ll have roller coasters.

July 1, 2010

Work, work, work…

Today we go on day to day here at Lake Pointe. This is a membership park and members have priority, so since this is a holiday weekend we’re in danger of being run off. They said to come to the office between 8:30 and 9:00 am and see if we could stay another day. And luck (and bad weather) was with us. We can stay another day.

We’ll have to see about tomorrow.

Before we left the park this morning, Jan went out to feed the deer, and the deer came from all over. Jan is very popular in the deer world.

LPDeer 4

LPDeer 5

We headed over to Gina’s about 1 pm and I got back to work on the deck project. Despite the off-and-on heavy rains, I was able to get all of the wiring pulled between the electrical boxes.

Hopefully, my next step will be to wire up the light fixtures and switches, and hook the whole thing into the power. That’s if the good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise. The way it’s been raining here, we’ll see.

About 5 pm we drove over to Canyon Lake to have supper at Ninfa’s Taco’s and Burgers. Then after we dropped Gina off, we headed back home to the rig for the night.

July 1, 2011

It’s Always Something! . . .

It’s going to be a short blog today because I’m fighting an electrical problem.

We left Long Beach, WA about 9 am after taking on about 125 gallons of diesel. The 150-mile trip took us about 4 hours, which means we averaged about 37.5 mph, mostly because the curvy, hilly roads kept our speed down.

And also gave us one case of cat barf.

We got parked at the Elk’s Lodge in Bremerton, which has 30 amp and water with no problems. But the problem started when I hooked up my electric and tried to turn things on.

No power was getting to the coach, although my Progressive EMS (Electrical Management System) said the power coming in was good.

Next, I tried disconnecting shore power and starting up my generator. Still no power in the coach.

But the inverter running off the batteries worked fine. This leads me to think it’s the Automatic Transfer Switch that’s having trouble. But so far, I’ve found no documentation on the switch in my manual, and of course, this all occurred after everyone had left for the long 4th of July weekend, so there’s no one to call.

But we can use the inverter, and we have a heavy-duty battery charger to keep the batteries charged, so we can muddle through the weekend OK.

July 1, 2012

I’d Walk A Mile for A . . .


Don’t know what this guy was doing in a cow pasture. When I first saw him out of the corner of my eye I thought he was a statue or something, but then he turned and looked at me. He did seem pretty content.

I saw him right down the road from our ‘maybe’ new rig site. I drove over Friday morning to check out the location to see what it looks like.

And this is it. Unfortunately, we’re back at the edge of the drill site again. The extension on the right is where we would be parked.

New Pad 2

The location is part of a two-pad site, and there’s already another drill rig on the other pad to the left of this shot, just a couple of hundred yards away. Our pad is down a slight hill from the other rig.

New Pad 3

The reason I said “our ‘maybe’ new rig site” is that there’s already a gate guard here at the main entrance to both pads.

New Pad 4

That’s his RV behind the light tower on the left. And as it’s set up right now he would have to respond to any vehicles that come into the area, even the ones coming down to our pad on the right in this photo. Our Company Man says they definitely want their own gate guard (us!) so I don’t know how they will divide it up. We’ll have to see. We may end up somewhere else.

Our Company Man also said they plan on starting to tear down here on Wednesday. Don’t know yet what time. So it’s all up in the air. As usual.

Under the heading of “What’s Wrong with this Picture”, here’s the temperature at 4:14 Thursday afternoon here in South Texas.

Charlotte 99
And here’s the temperature in Elkhart, IN during the same time period.

Elkhart 102

Normally Jan and I have our big meal of the day at night, with usually just a snack for lunch. But Friday, coming back from looking over our ‘maybe’ new location, I stopped off at Linda’s Café in Charlotte for a couple of their Chicken Fried Steak dinners. Which just as we had been told, were very, very good.

And of course, we then planned to just have a snack for supper. But look what showed up from the catering truck delivering food to the rig – two delicious Fried Catfish and Fried Shrimp  & Hushpuppy dinners with Green Bean Casserole.

Catfish Dinner

And it was fresh, hot, and really, really good.

Then today (Saturday) Jan made a delicious crockpot meal of Rum Chicken over white rice, along with 7-UP biscuits. In case you’re wondering, Rum Chicken is what you get when you make Bourbon Chicken and don’t have any Bourbon, so you use what you have.

The last two days have been really slow on the gate, with fewer than 40 vehicles each day. But it’s probably the calm before the storm. As they start to cap off the well, trucks with cement, sand, and water flood in, and trucks carrying drilling fluids, wastewater, and more, head out, Last teardown we had almost 130 vehicles each day.

So busy days ahead.

July 1, 2013

Almost Willie . . .

In 2007, after Jan and I had decided to start full-time RV’ing, I got to thinking that since we had never RV’d before, maybe it would be a good idea if we gave it a try first. So we rented a CruiseAmerica 28ft Class C and spent three weeks wandering around the southwest. We obviously liked it because we’re now into our 6th year on the road.


One afternoon we were parked in the Wal-Mart parking lot in Del Rio, TX picking up some things before we headed on to the Seminole Canyon State Park. Parked near us was a big, older-looking bus with “Almost Willie” painted the full length of the bus. Suddenly from around the other side came Willie Nelson. Or at least it sure looked like Willie.

Almost Willie Clip

People started coming over and getting their pictures taken with him and he drew quite a crowd.

As it turned out, Almost Willie is a well-known Willie Nelson impersonator who is so good he’s often hired by Willie Nelson himself. And he’s been known to sign autographs at Willie’s concerts. And he is a popular entertainer at the many RV parks in the Texas Valley.

July 1, 2014

RV Sweet RV . . .

After the continental breakfast at the motel, I was at the windshield repair place at 8am to hand over the gasket that Jan and I picked up from American Coach yesterday afternoon. Then I headed back to the motel for a few hours, since it was more comfortable there. About 11 we checked out from the motel, and Jan and I loaded up the truck with all our motel stuff and headed over to the repair shop to wait for our rig.

When we got there they had the the driver’s side glass installed and were working on the new glass on the passenger side.

Windshield InBetween

While we were waiting, we read our Kindles in the nice air-conditioned truck, rather than stay inside the hot rig.

Mister, of course, had his own way of dealing with the wait.

Mister on Truck Dashboard

Josh said that, unlike the generic gasket that was too loose, this one was very tight, and they had to really struggle to get the glass in, especially the second one. He said a couple of times they were afraid they were going to break it trying to get the gasket over the edge.

After that, we just had to wait a while for the urethane sealant to set up for a while before we finally headed back to our spot at the Elkhart Campground about 3:30.

So we went from this,

Windshield Before

to this.

Windshield After

And in only FIVE Days.

After we got mostly set up, we headed out to Mancino’s Pizza for what is probably our last visit this year.

Tomorrow will definitely be a sleep-in morning after all these days of getting up at 7am.

July 1, 2015

They Keep Changing The Rules . . .

Something I forgot to mention last night in my blog post about the Wyoming Division Model Railroad we visited yesterday. In Monday’s blog, I mentioned that according to the newspaper article I posted about the layout, it had 45,000 feet of HO track.

I thought that was an amazing amount of track, and once I saw the size of the building, big as it is, I knew that there was no way there was 45,000 feet of track here. When I mentioned this to Verryl Fosnight, the owner, he chuckled and said the writer of the article got a little carried away and added a zero.

He said they had about 4500 feet when the article was written with about 5300 feet now. So a little over a mile, instead of 9 miles. Certainly makes more sense.

Another thing we thought was neat was this bronze statue of Merlin in the parking lot of the shopping center in Sedona where Szechuan Restaurant is located.

Merlin Statue

Not exactly how Merlin is normally pictured, but it’s interesting, nonetheless. The reason it’s there is that it’s really an advertisement for the sculptor who has a studio there.

Jan and I headed out about 1:30 this afternoon to have a last lunch at La Fonda, right down the road from the RV park. It doesn’t get much better than this.

La Fonda Special

Since they’re closed Sunday and Monday, and are closing early on Saturday, we probably won’t get a chance to get back before we leave on Monday.

After all, we do have other places we want to eat before we leave.

Because they keep changing the rules, leaving La Fonda we headed over to a nearby gun store to see about getting an Arizona Concealed Carry Permit to replace my expiring Utah permit that I will not be able to renew.

Because they keep changing the rules.

Jan and I are South Dakota residents, and first got our South Dakota CCW‘s back in 2008 on our way back from Alaska. And it was Easy Peazy.

We just walked across the street from our mail service, My Dakota Address, to the courthouse and filled out the one-page FBI background check form in the Sheriff’s Office. Then the next day we went back, and with the forms coming back clean, gave the Sheriff $10 and he gave us our temporary permits. About a week later our permanent permits showed up in the mail. Like I said, Easy Peazy.

Then in August 2010 while we were at a Rally, I took a class to get a Utah non-resident CCW given by a rally vendor. The only reason I did this was that I picked up about 5 additional states that I could conceal carry in as we traveled around the country. I didn’t realize at the time how important this would become.

The SD CCW ran for 4 years, so when I went to renew it in 2012, I found the rules had changed. I was now told that to renew my CCW  I had to reside in the county for 30 days and then produce a rent receipt, utility bill, etc. to prove this.

The kicker is that even if we had been in SD, we couldn’t have fulfilled this requirement, because rural Lake County, SD has NO RV parks within the county. I guess we could park on the courthouse square and run an extension cord into the Sheriff’s Office, but I’m not sure that would work.

But, hey, I still have my Utah CCW, right?

But then they changed the rules.

A couple of days ago I got my mail in from My Dakota Address and found a letter from the Utah Department of Public Safety telling me how to renew my Utah CCW that expires this coming August. It said I could renew my CCW online and it would cost $15.75. OK, again, Easy Peazy. Until I read this little gotcha toward the bottom of the page.

It said that due to a recent rule change (see, there it is), if I reside in a state that has reciprocity with Utah, then I must have that state’s CCW before I can renew my Utah CCW. And SD and AZ do have reciprocity.

I believe this is called a Catch-22.

A friend suggested I see about getting an Arizona CCW since they no longer require a course or test of any sort. I had checked online and just got confused because in one place on the Arizona State Government site, it says they do require a test, and in another place, it says they don’t.

And stopping off at the gun store just made things worse. The guy there confirmed that no class or test was needed, but that they (the store) required people to take a ‘shooting’ class, and that the next one would be given July 28th.

Well, that’s a lot of help!  And I’m still not sure what the ‘store’ has to do with it.

So tomorrow I’m going to head over to the Sheriff’s Office to see if I can get things straightened out.

July 1, 2016

Legos and Catfish . . .

Around 2pm this afternoon I went down to the office to sign us up for our month stay here that starts this Sunday. So we’ll be here until the 31st of July when we head out for Gulf Shores, AL

While I was there, I ran into our friend Randy Lazarine, and we got to talking about Hinze’s BBQ. When I mentioned eating at the one in Sealy the other day, I also mentioned the one in Katy that closed years ago.

Turns out that Randy had some info about that. That location was in a really high-end area,  and the owner had trouble finding people in the area to hire. And the ones he did hire, didn’t really want to work.

He’d tell them to do something, like mop the floor, or clean the bathrooms, and they’d just stare at him. I guess at home, they had people for that.

So I guess this is the industry’s answer to that problem and the $15 an hour minimum wage fight for fast food workers.

This is a machine-made to order burger.


The Momentum Machines Autonomous Grill Master

First shown in 2012, and then making 350 burgers an hour, all to order, it excited the industry. And now it’s going retail in San Francisco with the opening of a new restaurant there.

The latest model, costing $35,000 and fitting into a 4ft x 6ft area, it now makes 400 burgers an hour (basically one every 9 seconds). And the ‘to order’ part is taken to a whole new level.

It grinds your meat when you place your order, and you can choose your favorite ratio of beef to pork to bison, or any other offered meats.

It toasts your buns, fresh slices your tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and pickles, and other things too. And then adds exactly the condiments you ordered.

Momentum Machines Condiments

It even wraps and bags your order.

And even better, it won’t spit on your burger. Although leaking 10W-40 might be a problem, I guess.

Wendy’s recently announced that they expect to have self-service ordering kiosks in all their stores by the end of next year. I guess this is just the next step.

Brandi, Lowell, and Landon left for OK this morning, to spend the weekend with Lowell’s parents in Paul’s Valley. But they made a stopover in the area to let Landon check out the Lego Discovery Center in the Dallas area.

Landon at Legoland

The way Landon loves Legos, he surely had a blast.

Where we were on our way out to was Peters BBQ, so about 4:30 we drove up to Ellinger, about 9 miles north of here on US71. We were heading to Peters not to have the BBQ, but Fried Catfish and Shrimp Buffet they have every Friday night.

The buffet was really good as always, but for other reasons, for me at least, the bloom is off the rose. Or at least it’s fading fast. It seems like every time we’ve gone recently it costs more and more, and/or you get less and less.

When we first started going here a couple of years ago, the Friday Night Buffet included AYCE BBQ, as well as the catfish/shrimp part, and all the sides.

Peters BBQ Sides 1

Peters BBQ Sides 2

Originally the full BBQ buffet was $11.95 with a senior discount for $10.95. And they also had a  Colorado River TT $1 discount. But late last year, all at once, everything went away.

BBQ disappeared from the buffet, as well as any discounts. But the price of the non-BBQ buffet did drop to $8.95, so it wasn’t too bad. But then a month or so later, the price jumped to $9.95. And then tonight, since we last were here about a month ago, the price has jumped to $10.95.

Now having been in the restaurant business a long time ago, I know about having to raise prices, but at the same time Schobels Restaurant in Columbus still has their great Sunday morning breakfast buffet for $8.95, and it hasn’t gone up since we’ve been eating there.

And I don’t know if it’s directly related, but every other time we’ve gone there recently, by the time we left about 5:30 or so, the place was pretty much full, with a line at the order area. But not today. Now I guess it might be due to the holiday weekend, but I don’t know.

I guess we’ll see next time. Or not.

Since we’ve been talking about catfish, someone here at Colorado River TT hooked a big one today, and posted it on Facebook.

Catfish at Colorado TT

That’s a big cat.

July 1, 2017

260,000 . . .

Well, our babysitting job this morning was called on account of the fact that no one really wanted to go out and sightsee.

So Brandi called before we left to let us know that our previously scheduled 10am arrival at her house could be pushed back to a 1’ish time frame. Great since the pain reliever that Jan had taken for her back pain last night, took care of her pain, but left her very nauseous today.

So the delay allowed her to get some extra rest before we headed into Brandi’s.

And as we did head to Katy this afternoon we passed 260,000 miles on our 2004 Dodge Dakota truck. And then there’s the additional 80,000 miles it’s got on it chasing the RV around the country.

Clean Truck

When we bought it in late 2007 it was specifically to tow. We spent several months prowling the used car lots looking for just the right truck. And when we found this one at a small family-owned lot in Pearland, it met all of our of requirements, along with nice extras.

First and most important, it was 4WD and thus easily set to tow mode.

In fact it only takes about 10 seconds. Just put the transmission into ‘N’, put your foot on the brake, and then press the little recessed ‘N’ button on the small 2WD/4WD/4WD-L panel using a ballpoint pen or something similar.

Dodge Dakota 4WD Panel

And with a click/clunk, you’re in tow mode. Then put the transmission in ‘P’ and you’re ready to roll. And roll is what will happen at this point if you’re not already hitched up or have the parking brake on, because the truck will just roll away. To exit tow mode, just reverse the procedure. Easy Peazy.

The second requirement was that Blue Ox had an easily installed baseplate, and so they did.

Everything else was just an extra perk.

1. It already had a nice camper shell.
2. It was a 4-door model.
3. It had a V-8 engine.
4. It was white in color (important in Texas).

According to CARFAX, our Dakota was originally owned by T-Mobile, and was a supervisor’s truck. As such it had regular dealer maintenance and was in great shape. And it’s been a great vehicle for us too, he said, crossing his fingers.

Otherwise, today was fairly slow, with everyone just hanging around the house, watching TV while the kids swam at the pool. Then later Curtis grilled hot dogs and hamburgers on our Weber grill. Great times.

Jan and I headed home about 7:30 and noticed the US Rig Count had been updated to 940, an increase of 7 over last week’s 933. Which was an increase of 6 over the previous week.

So based on the fact that they gained 157 rigs in the 5 months since we left on our trip, they’re averaging a gain of about 7 per week, great news for this year’s gate guarding.

As far as tomorrow, we’re not sure yet.

July 1, 2018

Poison Spiders . . .

Jan and I were up at 6:15 and pulling out of our site at the Timber Trails RV Park by 7am

We were meeting Jan’s sister Debbie, her husband Jim, their daughter Tana, fiancé Curtis, and various and sundry kids, at the Denny’s in Vandalia. We had already scoped out a good parking spot for the rig the day before, since we were planning on already being hooked up.

Denny's Group 1

Denny's Group 2

And our luck held because someone wasn’t parked in our hoped-for spot. It can be difficult to find a place to park a 62+ feet vehicle that can’t really back up, so that you can get it in and out without too much problem. But this time it worked.

There have been times when we’ve parked the rig in the middle of a big parking lot with no one around for 100 feet on any side, and some a*****e will come along and deliberately park right in front of the rig, six inches off our bumper. Believe me, I have been severely tempted to just plow them out of the way, but I have resisted.

So far.

Non-RV’ers don’t realize how sharply a rig can actually turn since the front wheels are so far back from the front bumper. So far I’ve always been able to back up the foot or so necessary to get clear without unhitching the toad.

In fact, in 11 years and over 84,000 miles, I’ve only had to unhitch twice to get out of a tight spot, and both of those times it was bad routing from our GPS. Word to the wise, don’t take Poison Spider Rd out of Casper, WY heading for the Oregon Trail turnoff.

“It’s A Trap!”

Of course, in hindsight, nothing good can be expected at the end of Poison Spider Rd. BTW Poison Spider Rd. passes right by Poison Spider High School.

No, I’m not making this up.

Anyway, we all had our usual great meal, got our hugs from everyone, and were on the road by 8:30, heading for Athens, AL, about 400 miles away. We’ll be here until Saturday, when we start back to Houston.

The reason we were again getting such an early start was that I still don’t have the generator working yet. I got it to start and then run for about 5 seconds, but then it dies. And before I could get any further with it. I had to button it all up so we could do family stuff and then be ready to leave this morning.

But we’ll be here in Athens until Saturday, so since we won’t have quite as much family stuff going on, I’m hoping to get a handle on it before we leave.

And except for being hot and sticky, it really was a pleasant 7-hour trip, even though it was about 3 hours longer than we normally like to do. The roads were pretty good, and only one construction slow-down that turned out to be for a non-existent problem, at least on Sunday when no one was working. But because they didn’t want to move the barrels out of the way, all traffic on I-57 was narrowed down to one lane for about 5 miles, putt-putting along at 20 mph, with no sign of any workers, construction equipment, or even any work being down and not finished. Just a long of rows that started and stopped.

Jan drove again this trip, for about 90 minutes from right after we got on I-57 at Salem, to right before we turned off on I-24. She did fine, even though it was a little windy.

We pulled into our family’s Northgate RV Park about 3:45 and got unhitched, set up, and plugged in. Then, while the rig cooled down, we got in the truck and went to have dinner at Catfish Cabin, a local favorite of ours, and a tradition that we always eat here on our first night.

Their hushpuppies, salad dressings, cocktail and tartar sauce, and many other things are all made from scratch. And it shows. Or tastes, anyway.

Tomorrow I’ll be working on the generator and we’ll start catching up with my relatives. Looking forward to it.

July 1, 2021

A Test Drive . . .

Ramping up to our debut sous vide cookoff, I decided to do a test drive this morning to check things out and be sure it was all working right.

I filled the Styrofoam cooler to the cooker water line and then plugged in the Inkbird cooker.

Immersion Cooker Styrofoam Cooler

Though it has a control panel on the cooker itself, I used the phone app to set the desired temp to 150° and the cooking time to 24 hours, the settings I’ve decided to use for our ribs, and clicked the Start button.

Inkbird Sous Vide 3

Starting at about 81°, within a couple of minutes it was at 89° and climbing.

Inkbird Sous Vide Phone App 1

It only took about 50 minutes to reach the 150° mark and start the 24-hour cooking cycle.

Inkbird Sous Vide Phone App 2

Since we were just leaving the rig when it hit 150, I let it run for about 45 minutes before I shut it off via the phone app, while we were eating lunch at the East Star Chinese Buffett up in Clear Lake. And within a few minutes, the temp had already started dropping.

And the food was just as delicious as always.

Next, after a quick stop by the office for some Amazon stuff, it was on to the nearby Kroger to pick up a prescription for Jan, our first refill since we joined Kroger’s Prescription Club. And where the previous one at Sam’s had been about $15, it was $6 today.

We had planned to make a WalMart stop on the way home, but found what we needed at Kroger so another stop eliminated.

Then coming home we made a stop at a local nursery along the I-45 feeder that we had noticed awhile back that had a number of bright pink bird-looking objects, I.e., flamingos mixed in with the peacocks, roosters, windmills, etc.

So we took a quick look and this guy came home with us.

Nursery New Flamingo

A worthy addition to Jan’s Flamboyance.

July 1, 2022

A Nice, Long Weekend . . .

Since Monday’s the 4th of July Holiday, I don’t go back to work until next Wednesday.


Busy day today so I didn’t get a chance to clean up the Monet videos. So check back tomorrow.

Our new icemaker is still working great. Every 3 or 4 days I dump 1.5 liters of water into the reservoir, press the button, and off it goes.

And after about 45 minutes, we have a full basket of ice cubes and it shuts off.

Ice Machine Output

So then I dump it into a ziplock bag, and the unit starts up again.

Rinse, Lather, Repeat, until the water runs out. This gives us a gallon bag full of ice.

I recently found another neat gadget on Amazon.

LED Headband Light 2

It’s great for working on things hands-free. And it’s very bright

So bright in fact that it’s hard to look directly at it. And it comes in 7 fashionable colors.

LED Headband Light

Rechargeable LED Headlamp

After my recent 6 month checkup after my Cervical Fusion, I decided to see about getting some physical therapy treatments before I commit to getting the Lumbar Fusion. Apparently they’re pretty booked up because the first appointment I could get is July 12th.

I guess I’ll see how it works.

They’re still waiting on my Torque Converter bolts, so with the holiday, probably nothing until next Tuesday at the earliest.

Well, despite saying it would fit, Amazon sent me the wrong window regulator for our Dodge Dakota, so it’s going back tomorrow. And the new, hopefully correct one, should be in tomorrow.

Tomorrow we’re going back to Gator’s Bar & Grill since Jan’s jonsin’ for another of their Keto Cheezy Cheezy Cheezy Pizzas.

Lunch today was at Los Ramirez Mexican once again and we both went with our favorites, Jan’s being the Pechuga Rellena, a Grilled Chicken Breast with Shrimp, all covered in Cheese,

and mine being their Beef Fajita Taco Salad.

Always delicious.

Afterward, we made a stop at the Lowe’s for some carriage bolts, and then on next door to Wal-Mart

This evening about 7pm, after the sun was behind the trees and the other rigs, Jan and I went outside to install the roll of Reflectix that we got from Amazon. The 4’ x 10’ roll completely covered the windshield area with a little leftover.

As I had hoped we were able to just slide it up under the solar screens and secure it in place with a few judicious pieces of Gorilla Tape. We’ll see tomorrow if the A/C will actually shut off during the day.

Here’s hoping.

Jan and I have a busy week coming up, with the 4th, of course, and then Conroe with friends on Thursday, the Alvin Opry on Friday, a friend’s birthday party on Saturday, and Brandi, Lowell, and Landon on Sunday.