Turtle Smuggling?

Lunch today was at Katz’s Deli up in the Montrose area, with our usual great meal.

We both started with soup, Jan going with the Broccoli Cheese version,

while I went with the Rustic Tomato Basil.

Jan went with her usual Tuna Melt that she calls the best she’s ever had.

I, being a little more adventurous this time, checked out a new item on their menu, their Loaded Texas Toast.

With Bacon, Sausage, Eggs, Tomatoes, and Jalapenos on a big slice of Texas Toast, and then covered in Queso Cheese, this was really, really good.

And both of us had half to bring home.

Then after Jan’s routine follow-up doctor’s appointment, we headed back down to Webster with a stop at the local Rudy’s to pick up BBQ for tomorrow’s 4th.

Then, since we left home this morning too early to have coffee, we made a Cowboy Coffee stop before getting home about 4pm.

There seem to be a lot of animal stories in the news, first with a woman recently arrested trying to smuggle 29 Eastern Box Turtles into the US from Quebec.

Wrapped in individual socks and packed in a duffle bag, she and her husband were in an inflatable kayak paddling across Vermont Lake.

And why the Turtle Smuggling you might ask? Well, it seems they’re worth about $1400 a piece on the China Black Market, I assume for eating. But what do I know?

I didn’t know about turtle smuggling either.

And it seems like ‘Turtle Smuggling’ is a big thing in Canada. There’s this –

Vancouver man fined $18K for attempting to smuggle turtles into Canada in duffle bag

and then this.

Man fined $35,000 for illegally importing turtles in boxes labelled ‘children’s building blocks’

So I guess there’s money in it.

Next up, this is Joey, who must be the unluckiest bear in the world.

You see, Joey is an Albino Grizzly Bear, who was happily living in the wilds of Canada, when in 2021 he was mistaken for a polar bear, shot with a tranquilizer dart, and shipped off to the Arctic.

Can you imagine how he felt when he goes to sleep in a nice, lush forest, and then wakes up on an iceberg?

Local wildlife experts soon realized Joey was not a polar bear. His yellowish fur and smaller size compared to Arctic giants led them to discover he was an albino grizzly bear. Efforts were made to return him to his original habitat in Canada.

So now, back in the forest again, maybe he thinks the Arctic sojourn was just a bad dream. But then . . .

In 2022, Joey was again mistaken for a polar bear by another group of conservationists. Found wandering near a small town in Alaska, Joey was tranquilized and sent back to the Arctic.

This cycle continued over the next few years, with Joey being sent to the Arctic and back a total of five times. Each time, he faced the same challenges of adapting to an unfamiliar environment.

Joey’s plight caught global attention in 2024, highlighting the need for better education and training for conservationists. His story underscored the importance of accurately identifying wildlife before taking action.

As Jan said, didn’t anyone think to put a tag on his ear that said, “Not A Polar Bear”?

And I talked about this one a while back.

To save spotted owls, US officials plan to kill hundreds of thousands of another owl species

To save the imperiled spotted owl from potential extinction, U.S. wildlife officials are embracing a contentious plan to deploy trained shooters into dense West Coast forests to kill almost a half-million barred owls that are crowding out their cousins.

Documents released by the agency show up to about 450,000 barred owls would be shot over three decades after the birds from the eastern U.S. encroached into the West Coast territory of two owls: northern spotted owls and California spotted owls. The smaller spotted owls have been unable to compete with the invaders, which have large broods and need less room to survive than spotted owls.

Past efforts to save spotted owls focused on protecting the forests where they live, sparking bitter fights over logging but also helping slow the birds’ decline. The proliferation of barred owls in recent years is undermining that earlier work, officials said.

The notion of killing one bird species to save another has divided wildlife advocates and conservationists. It’s reminiscent of past government efforts to save West Coast salmon by killing sea lions and cormorants that prey on the fish, and to preserve warblers by killing cowbirds that lay eggs in warbler nests.

First off, I thought we saved the Spotted Owls back in the 90’s by shutting down all the logging in the Northwest. But apparently not.

And it looks like it’s going to be a cinch to tell the difference between the two in the deep forests at night.

One thing comes to mind here.

“It’s not nice to mess with Mother Nature.”

Thought For The Day:

Remember to keep your kids safe from fireworks this 4th of July. Let the adults who’ve been drinking all day set them off.

Your Retro-Preview Highlights –

2018 – Mommy & Me And The Parthenon

2021 – Baby Got New Shoes And Sous Vide BBQ 

2023 – First They Came For Cyclamates 

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

July 3, 2009

Problems and More Problems…

Well, it wasn’t too back last night with no A/C so we lucked out.

I called first thing about the blown EMS and left a message.  It took about an hour for him to call me back, but he told me how to bypass the unit and that he would send me out a new board on Monday.

The bypass only took a few seconds and I could now get power into the coach.  So, except for needing a new board for the EMS, my shore power problem was fixed.  Although I still don’t know what caused my EMS to blow up.  Sometimes it’s just bad luck.

But I still don’t know what the problem is with the generator.  I’ll have to work on it later.

We finally left the park about 12:30 pm heading up I-64 W 110 miles to Louisa, VA,  just southeast of Charlottesville, VA.  We want to visit Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home, and Appomattox, site of the end of the Civil War.

We wanted to stop off in Richmond to eat lunch at Famous Dave’s, one of our favorite BBQ places, and also pick up some Aunt Gussie’s Sugar-Free cookies at Whole Foods that we like.

About an hour and a half after we left Richmond, we pulled into our site at Small Country Campground in Louisa.

July 3, 2010

The Linden Tree …

We left the rig about 12:45 pm and headed over to Gina’s. Jan said she wishes that they would hurry up and move the cows back to the other pastures, since now she has to get out and open three cattle gates instead of the normal one.

I worked on getting the light fixtures installed, wired up, and tested. Since the fan is done, all I have left to do is to get the switch box wired up. I could have gotten further but I ran out of wire twist nuts, so I’ll have to restock.

About 4:30 we headed out for dinner at Rockin’ R Steakhouse in Blanco. A very good meal. The steaks were delicious.

We dropped Gina off at her place (3 more cattle gates) and then headed home.

As we were leaving we encountered the turkeys again. And this time I got better photos.

Turkeys 5

Turkeys 6

Turkeys 7

Turkeys 8

We got home a little after 7, and of course, Jan had to feed the deer. But the deer seemed to have left town for the holiday because for the first time, there weren’t any around.

Tomorrow we going to pick Gina up around 9 am and drive over to Fredericksburg for the day. We also want to eat at our favorite German restaurant, Der Lindenbaum while we’re there.

July 3, 2012

Thursday, maybe . . .

Well, it looks like we will be moving with our drill rig. And supposedly we will move on Thursday. But of course, you never know.

Melissa, our Gate Guard Service sales rep, came out to the drill rig this afternoon (Monday) and our Marathon Company Man told her they wanted us to move with them, and that they didn’t want to share a guard with the other rig. They wanted their own, i.e. us. Still don’t know yet how they’re going to handle the fact that there’s another gate guard already there for the other drill rig. Guess it will all work out somehow.

The other nice thing is that we have heard unofficially that the rig will be in this new location for 7 to 8 weeks. If that turns out to be true, it means that Thursday will be our last move before we plan on heading up to Celina, OH the 3rd week in August.

And the other, other nice thing is that this new site has 5 bars of 3G Verizon service so we won’t need our Wilson booster. We’re going to be only about 5 miles east of I-37 so everything will be more accessible.

Brandi sent over the latest Landon pics.

Landon at Sulpher Park 1a

Landon at Sulpher Park 2a

Landon at Sulpher Park 3a

Landon at Sulpher Park 4a

Is this kid cute, or what?

Not that I’m prejudiced or anything.

After being here at this site for over six weeks, we finally got our first rain yesterday (Sunday) and it really made up for lost time. The storm that hit us came over Corpus Christi first and dropped 5 inches of rain on them, and it seemed to have plenty left over for us.


Luckily the road and our pad are built up pretty high so we didn’t have any actual flooding, But while it was raining there was over an inch of water on the ground under our canopy. The solar screens that we hang from the sides of the canopy kept most of the rain from blowing in so it wasn’t too bad while I was out here. I was glad that no vehicles came through during that time so I didn’t have to actually get out in it.

On a final note, now that I found out how to install Dropbox on my Kindle Fire, I have it on there, as well as on my laptop, desktop, and Droid Charge. It’s a great program and really makes it easy to copy photos, files, etc. between computers without plugging them in.

In fact, on the Droid, you can set it up so that all the photos and movies you take with your phone go directly to your Dropbox account.

Check it out at www.dropbox.com.

July 3, 2013

Product Update and Winding Down . . .

I’ve mentioned a number of products over the last few months and I thought I’d bring you up to date with my thoughts.

When I was having water pressure problems while we were staying at the Bend-Sunriver Thousand Trails, the park said the water pressure was fine at about 40#, but I didn’t think it was that high so I bought this Water Pressure Test Gauge to prove them wrong. It’s easy to use and wasn’t very expensive.

Water Pressure Gauge

The Oxygenics PowerMassage Handheld Shower Spray is one of the best purchases we’ve made in a long time. It gives a much better shower spray than our old Shower Massage and uses a lot less water. And this helps in two ways: Our hot water lasts a lot longer, and maybe more importantly, when we’re boondocking, or parked at a park without a sewer connection, we can go a lot longer between grey water dumps. Well Recommended.

Oxygenic Shower Wand

Next up is Jan’s favorite. This USB LED Flexible Work Light makes it a lot to see the computer keyboard at night or in other low-light situations without having to turn on the big overhead light.

USB Keyboard Light

These Pacific Dualies 7″ Braided Stainless Steel Valve Stem Extensions are the first ones I’ve ever bought that lasted more than a couple of months before they start leaking. But these just seem to keep on working without any problems. Plus, being flexible, they don’t rub holes in the caps of my TireTraker tire pressure sensors. A real winner.

Dually Tire Extensions

I use this High-Water Flow Dual Outlet Kink-Free Flex Hose Adapter every time I hook up the water to our coach. Most people don’t realize that the average hose splitter really cuts down on the water pressure and water flow to your coach. But this one is high-flow and works great. Using the splitter makes it easy to hook up a second hose for rig/toad washing, or even the pressure gauge above.

Hose Splitter 2

This Escapade is starting to wind down with today being the end of vendor sales, although there will be more seminars tomorrow. Then everything wraps up starting at 5:30 with the closing ceremonies, the final prize drawings, and then a catered dinner from The Chop House, a local restaurant.

Then everything finishes up with a fireworks show starting at 9:30.

As far as today, about 12:15 Jan and I headed over to the Cam-Plex for the afternoon. Jan wanted to check out the Craft Market, an area where RV’ers are showing and selling their crafts.

While this was going on, I took a last pass around the vendor area. Finally, I stopped off at the C & C Marketing and Insurance booth to meet up with Chris Yust. Before we go our separate ways, I wanted to sign Jan and me up for Good Sam’s new TravelAssist.

TravelAssist is an Emergency Medical Assistance plan. If one of us gets sick, or worse, it takes care of getting everyone back to your homebase, in addition to your rig, toad, minor children, and assistance with your pets. For more information, you can contact Chris Yust at 936-425-5041, or [email protected].

Check it out.

A little later, Jan and I headed back to the rig for a while, until about 5:30 when we headed out to have dinner at the China Wall Chinese Restaurant, the place we tried to eat at this past Sunday, but found them closed. Everyone seemed to like what they had, and even the Hot & Sour Soup was really good. A good meal.

Finishing up with dinner, we drove across the street to the Wal-Mart, where I picked up a prescription for Jan.

That pretty much wrapped up the day.

July 3, 2014

A Beautiful Fall Day . . .

Or, what do you call a day where it’s bright and sunny, and 66 degrees at 1 in the afternoon?

And on the radio, the weather guy suggests a light jacket for tomorrow night’s fireworks.

This is July?

Jan awoke with her 2nd-day migraine, but once again a Sumatriptan knocked it out pretty quickly. Stand by for day 3.

Then, about 4:30, Jan and I headed over to King Wha for our last meal there for this year. And it was just as good as always. And to spice things up a little more, we took our own bottle of Sriracha with us.


In Texas pretty much any restaurant that offers hot sauces, like Tabasco, Frank’s, and Cholula, also has a bottle of ‘Rooster Sauce’ on hand too. But up here, it’s not stocked in grocery stores, and no one seems to have heard of it.

We sat around talking at King Wha for about an hour before heading back to the rig for a while. Then, since we missed out the other day, about 8pm we headed back out for a DQ run, finally getting back home a little after 9pm.

A very nice day, as we wind down our time here in Elkhart for this year. Coming back to the rig this evening, we talked about how much we like this area, almost like a second home to us. Hopefully, we’ll be able to spend some time here next year.

July 3, 2015

2708 to Go . . .

I spent the morning mapping out the rest of our travel year, or at least the part that ends up with us back at the Colorado River TT starting the 14th of August. We’ll be there for two weeks around the time of Landon’s birthday party on the 22nd, plus Jan has a follow-up doctor’s appointment on the 21st. No problem, just a regular checkup for her breast cancer last year. Then, after that, we don’t know yet. But we’ve got 2708 miles to go until we get there.

The only question mark for the trip are the two weeks from July 20th to August 2nd. We’re trying to decide on staying at the Cherokee Landing TT or Natchez Trace TT, both in Tennessee. The recommendations seem to lean toward Cherokee Landing, but we’re still thinking about it.

Some people have said to stay a week at both, and we may end up doing this, But part of me just wants to park for two weeks and kick back. So we’ll have to see.

About 6:30 we had our first real rain since we got here two weeks ago. We’ve had a couple of little showers a few nights, but nothing worthwhile. But the storms moved in tonight and it just poured, heavy enough to knock out our DirecTV  for almost an hour

We’re also supposed to have more thunderstorms over the next couple of days, and in fact, the high temp on Sunday is only supposed to be 95 degrees

Yeah, right. It gets cool just as we’re ready to leave.

Tomorrow we’re going to have lunch at La Fonda, then go into Cottonwood to Hog Wild BBQ to pick up some to take with us when we leave here on Monday. Sunday we’ll have dinner at Crusty’s Pizza down in Camp Verde, and while we’re there, we’ll pick up a couple of their Baked Spaghetti dinners to take with us. We’ll cut them in half, vacuum-seal them, and freeze them, again for later. Each one is big enough that half makes a meal for each of us.

July 3, 2016

It Even Works On Bears!

Since today is the first day of our official 1 month stay here at Colorado River Thousand Trails, as soon as I got up I went outside and took a photo of my electric meter. Monthly and Annuals here have to pay their own electric and I like to have my own record.

Electric Meter

I’m not expecting any problems with the meter reading, but it has happened at other parks, so I feel better having my own total.

A little after 1pm Jan and I headed into Columbus to have the Sunday Lunch Buffet at Schobel’s Restaurant. But before we left the park I stopped off at the office to pay the $375 for our month’s stay here, and also get the windshield card for the rig and the mirror hanger for the truck. One thing I like is that, unlike when we stay here for two weeks and are given three different gates to cover the time, they give you one code for the entire month.

Wonder if they have a yearly code for annuals?

While I was there I mentioned about recording the meter, and as it turned out, they hadn’t done it yet, so they wrote it down from my photo. Guess I missed a chance for a little creative photo editing and a really low electric bill for the month.

Then it was on into town for the buffet, and I guess it was the holiday because we’ve never seen it this busy. In fact we had a wait, ten minutes, for the first time ever.

A week or so ago, I mentioned that I had gotten us a couple of pairs of EMT scissors, or Trauma Shears from Amazon.

EMT Shears

As I said, EMT’s and ER personnel use them to cut people out of their seat belts, coats, clothes, belts, shoes, etc. In fact, they will even cut metal.

So I wasn’t surprised to see a couple of EMT’s wearing them at breakfast this morning.

EMT's at Schobel's

The buffet here was as delicious as usual, with Fried Chicken, Sausage Links, Ham Slices, Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans with Bacon, Corn, and Candied Yams. All this, along with a great salad bar and Carrot Cake for dessert.

Schobel's Buffet 3

And really, really good.

And this just illustrates my point about Peter’s BBQ’s price increases. At $11.95, it’s only a dollar more than the much smaller buffet at Peter’s. A much better deal.

Game of Thrones recently wrapped up the 6th season on HBO, and although Jan and I have never watched it, we will probably check it out in a few years when it comes to regular TV.

I mean, with magic, intrigue, dragons, and nudity, what’s not to like? But it may be a while since it’s now been renewed for a 7th season.

But I recently came across this video showing the before and after of some of the special effects on the show. It’s really amazing what they can do with computers and video now.

But what caught my eye was in the last few seconds of the clip. Apparently the bear used in the show is real, and not a special effect. And it shows the trainer giving him a pan of whipped cream.

Bear and Whipping Cream 1

Bear and Whipping Cream 2

As I mentioned the other day, Miss Karma the cat loves whipped cream, and will come running when she sees the can. So when she got out the other day, I used whipping cream to lure her out and catch her. A Close Call

So I guess it works for bears too. I know I’d give the bear as much whipped cream as he wanted.

July 3, 2017

Final Goodbyes . . .

Jan and I did much of nothing today, with, as usual, Jan reading and napping while I worked on website stuff.

But that finally ground to a halt when I got to a point where I needed input/photos/content from the client before I can proceed, something that’s pretty standard with website work. I sometimes refer to getting input from a client to pulling teeth.

At least it’s not my teeth.

Earlier today Jan took Landon and Gwen over to the nearby Main Event Entertainment Center to spend the afternoon, ending up at Baskin-Robbins. Sounds good to me.

Landon and Gwen at Baskin-Robbins

At 3:30 we headed into the Katy area for a stop at Sam’s Club for a couple of prescriptions and some other stuff. Then it was on to the nearby Cheddar’s to meet up with Jan’s sister Debbie, her granddaughter Gwen, and husband Jim. And of course, Lowell, Brandi, and Landon.

Family at Cheddar's

Jan calls this Brandi’s ‘pissy’ face.

Everyone else in Debbie’s family has already headed back to Illinois.

We spent about two hours at dinner before finally saying goodbye and getting in our hugs. We’ve already set another reunion, this time up in Illinois, for two years from now. Looking forward to it already.

Tomorrow I going to check out the local hardware store to pick up some plastic sheets. I’m going to extend to the rear the top and the sides of our rig’s front AC cover

Hopefully, this will eliminate the dead air space and improve the airflow around the condenser coil. I hope this will fix the problem of our AC working just fine when we’re sitting still, but not when we’re traveling.

If I can’t find plastic that I like I may just leave the cover off for the trip back to Lake Conroe this coming Sunday, assuming the weather looks good.

July 3, 2018

Mommy and Me . . .

I was up early again (this is getting old) wanting to get back working on my generator problem. After reading the service manual over several times, I had a list of questions for the Onan Tech Support guy.

As I mentioned, the original guy I had been talking to up in Elkhart, IN was off all week for the 4th holiday, but I found another support guy in Minnesota who was very helpful.

Except today.

When I called the message said that they were all off Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and to call back on Friday. Bummer!

So I ended up spending the rest of the morning and afternoon doing website stuff, and using the Duck Pack & Track system to catalog and store some of my stuff around the rig.

Later in the afternoon, we headed over to my Aunt Virginia’s house to have linner/lupper with her. Since we were running a little early I decided to drive through the next subdivision over to check out probably the most famous house in Athens, AL.

Designed by renowned architect Paul Rudolph, it was on the cover of Life magazine and reviewed in House & Gardens magazine.

Wallace House 1

Wallace House 2

For obvious reasons, I always called it the ‘Parthenon House’. And I dated the girl who lived here, before I went off to college in 1966.

It still looks pretty good, at least what you can see of it.

Peggy's House

The trees have grown up around it a lot in 50+ years.

We had a great visit with my Aunt Virginia (I’ve always called her ‘Ninny’ because when I was little I couldn’t say, Virginia.)

Jan and Ninny

Honestly, it’s always a little bittersweet coming back here every year to visit. All of my remaining relatives are in their late 80’s to early 90’s, with the youngest being 88 and the oldest being 92.

And it seems there’s always one less each year. This is why we never miss our yearly visit, even if we make a special trip just to come over here, like we did last year.

After we said our goodbyes, and promised we come back by on Friday, we spent some time just driving around, trying to get my bearings with all the changes.

I spent two summers working for a plumbing, heating and air-conditioning company, and a number of the places I helped build are still here. But a lot are gone, too.

In fact, in some cases, things have changed so much that I can’t even tell where they were.

We did drive by the house we lived in here after we moved back from South America, and it still looks pretty good.

36 Sandra Lane

Glad to see that.

With the 4th and all, tomorrow looks to be a stay-at-home day. Kinda looking forward to it.

Wrapping up, earlier this evening our daughter-in-law Linda sent over this photo of me that I’ve never seen before.

Mommy and Me

She said she found it mixed in with some of our son Chris’ old photos. My mother had written on the back, “Gregory the Solemn One’.

But apparently, at other times I was a little more cheerful.

Happy Greg

I think both of these were taken in early 1949.

July 3, 2019

Happy 4th of July Eve . . .

Leaving work a little early, I first went by WalMart and then Sam’s Club for our prescriptions, as well as gassing up at Sam’s at $2.15 a gallon. Then it was on the way home.

Though I didn’t come home that way, Jennifer, our Office Manager, says that the I-45/FM646 underpass is now open, a couple of months early. Now if they’d just get the onramp to I-45N from 646 open again.

Though normally we eat at home on Wednesdays, since it’s a holiday weekend we headed over to FM517 to have dinner at Los Ramirez Mexican Restaurant once again. Great as usual.

I went ahead and ordered seven more ignition coils from Amazon for our truck. I was hoping that O’Reilly’s would match the Amazon price, but no such luck. And that’s probably because there’s a big difference between O’Reilly’s price and Amazon’s.

O’Reilly’s charges $29.99 for the SMP Blue Streak UF270 coils while Amazon has the exact same coils for $16.47 each, a difference of $13.52 each, or over $94 total.

Blue Streak UF270 coil

That’s a big savings.

The coils won’t be here until Monday, so I’ll probably go ahead and install the new plugs this weekend, and then do the coils next week when they come in, since they go pretty quickly.

If the weather holds tomorrow we’re thinking about heading over to Friendswood for their 4th of July Celebration and Fireworks. We used to attend this all the time, but it’s been years now.

July 3, 2020

First The Statues, Now The Bugs . . .

First they came for the statues, then they came for the bugs.

Emory and Henry College in Virginia is rethinking their school mascot, a wasp.


Why you might ask?

Well, it seems that the college authorities are worried that people might ignore all the logos of the aforementioned insect on everything, but might instead think that the school mascot is actually a WASP.

You know, a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant.

Our granddaughter Piper is housesitting up at Brandi’s while they’re up in OK visiting Lowell’s parents, so Jan and I are heading up there tomorrow morning about 10:30 to have brunch with her.

Really looking forward to seeing her again.

July 3, 2021

Baby Got New Shoes . . .

I’ve been wanting to do something about the steel wheels on our Jeep, pretty much the only cosmetic problem with it.

Jeep Steel Wheels 1

And yeah, I could mask them off, sand them, and paint them, but that’s a lot of work.

So I found a set of these ‘wheel skins’ on eBay, made especially for Jeep steel wheels. They’re very heavy, chrome-plated plastic and they snap on very easily, but have to be plied off. And the reviews are really good too.

Jeep New Wheel Rear

So I went from this

Jeep Old Wheels

to this.

Jeep New Wheels

Really nice.

Baby got new shoes.

About 1pm Jan and I headed out to have lunch at Los Ramirez once again, and it was probably the busiest we’ve seen them in the last year or so. At least 3/4’s full.

Then it was on up to the Home Depot for a couple of things for me, and a new plant for Jan. She wanted something in a pot that she could set out on the patio, so this is what she got.

Home Depot Jan New Plant

It’s rated for Partial Sun since it only gets it from about 10 to 3 each day.

And somehow a new addition to our Flamingo population made it back home with us too.

Home Depot New Spinning Flamingo

Wouldn’t want all the rest to be lonely.

A little before 5pm I started prepping the baby back ribs for the overnight marinating. I had purchased two packs of Smithfield Baby Back Ribs like these last week.

Smithfield Rib Pack

Cut up into 3-4 rib pieces, it looked like this.

Smithfield Ribs Cut Up

Next up, after patting the rib sections dry, I did the Shake N Bake thing with the rub mixture in a plastic bag, ending up with this first batch.

Smithfield Ribs with Rub

Actually the piece on the left is one of those solid meat chunks you sometimes find on the end of a rib. Really good.

After this, I put two rib sections in a vacuum bag, and then added 3 drops of Wright’s Liquid Smoke to each bag right before I vacuumed-sealed the bags. Or at least I mostly did. Some of the bags ended up with no drops because I forgot. So it will be interesting to if we notice any difference between the bags.

Wright's Liquid Smoke

I used the Wright’s based on a number of online reviews, and the fact that it’s actually ‘liquid smoke’.  They burn hardwood in a sealed system, catching the moist smoke and then condensing the liquid down, and then bottling it. And it certainly smells that way when you open the bottle.

By the time I got through bagging it all, this is what I had.

Smithfield Ribs Sealed

Tomorrow afternoon I’ll get everything set up in the immersion cooker and start it going for 24 hours.

Looking forward to some good eats on Monday.

Later in the afternoon, I put out our flag for the 4th of July weekend.

Patio with Flag

July 3, 2022

PB&J . . .

When I posted in yesterday’s blog about how proud we were of our grandson Landon’s great scores on his recent Assessment tests, I forgot to include the obligatory photo.

Landon at BB Diner with Hot Choc

Today was kind of easy, with lunch at Texas Huddle Grille again.

But first, we made a quick stop at the Clear Lake Kroger to drop off some prescriptions, and then it was on over for lunch.

Jan got her Keto (No Bun) Cheddar Bacon Mushroom Burger with a Side Salad and Grilled Veggies.

Texas Huddle Cheddar Swiss Keto 20220626

while I got what brought me to Texas Huddle in the first place, the PB&J Bacon Cheeseburger

Texas Huddle PB&J Burger 20220703

And this was the best PB&J Burger I’ve ever had here, mostly I think because it had more PB&J on it than usual.

And even better, it had extra bacon since Jan always gives me her bacon. She doesn’t like bacon unless it’s crispy, crunchy done. In other words, burnt.

Lucky for me.

Then it was off down to WalMart for some stuff. And I was surprised that the place wasn’t busier. Just pretty much a standard Sunday, and not the day before a major holiday.

But nice for us.

Tomorrow, being the 4th, we’re of course having BBQ. But not our own like last year, but at our local favorite, Spring Creek BBQ.

Looking forward to it.

July 3, 2023

First They Came For Cyclamates  . . .

As I said, lunch today was at the Rudy’s BBQ up in Webster, and we got enough to have leftovers.

In fact our leftovers may have leftovers.

We got Moist Brisket for me, Lean Brisket for Jan, Baby Back Ribs for both of us, and a Hot Link Sausage for me, plus a quart of their Creamed Corn.

Delicious as always.

I mentioned a while back that a favorite of ours, Texas Huddle, had closed down about a month ago saying that they were having A/C problems and would reopen soon. But that’s never happened. I mean how long does it take to repair an A/C unit.

So since we were in the area after Rudy’s, we decided to drive by and take a look. And what we found was this.

A honking big cable lock on the door and a letter posted on the door saying the business had been locked out due to non-payment of rent.

So I kind of doubt they’re going to reopen any time soon. We’ll miss the place.

Our next stop was our local Home Depot for hopefully the right size bolt to finish up my grab bar replacement.

Originally we had a lighted grab bar like this.

But the Plexiglass grab bar only lasts for 5-6 years before the sun takes its toll. And sometimes breaks off in your hand.

So I decided to replace it with a solid plastic one like this.

Hopefully, this one will last a lot longer.

You’ve probably seen the recent stories about WHO possibly planning to list Aspartame (Equal) as a ‘Possible Carcinogen’. But a lot of other experts are saying ‘not so fast’ and don’t panic.

And official dietary advice shows the average adult Brit would need to drink a whopping 15 cans of Diet Coke a day to breach the recommended aspartame intake.

The leaked ruling from the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) was harshly criticized by some experts yesterday, with some even going as far as calling it ‘dumb’.

Professor Kuhnle also highlighted a commonly misunderstood aspect of the IARC, in that it classifies substances based on the evidence base that they can cause cancer, not on the cancer risk itself.

This means aspartame’s rating of ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’ is about the strength of evidence linking it to the disease, not how carcinogenic, as in likely to cause cancer, it is.

And check out some of the other things that the WHO ranks as ‘possibly carcinogenic’.

For comparison, IARC gives a similar ‘possibly carcinogenic’ ranking to aloe vera extract and using talcum powder on your perineum, and a harsher ‘probably carcinogenic’ to eating red meat or being a hairdresser.

Back in 1970, after some dubious studies, the US Government banned Cyclamates.

Further research resulted in a 1969 study that found the common 10:1 cyclamate–saccharin mixture increased the incidence of bladder cancer in rats. The released study showed that eight out of 240 rats fed a mixture of saccharin and cyclamates, at levels equivalent to humans ingesting 550 cans of diet soda per day, developed bladder tumors.

And several additional research studies were unable to replicate these results.

And although the FDA has stated that a review of all available evidence does not implicate cyclamate as a carcinogen in mice or rats,[8] cyclamate remains banned from food products in the United States.

But cyclamates are still in use in much of the European Union with no problems.

And Popular Science magazine says “California needs to stop saying everything causes cancer.”

Starting with Coffee.

You may have heard that coffee gives you cancer. Or that everything gives you cancer—if you live in California.

The reason: Proposition 65. It’s a California state law that requires businesses with 10 or more employees to provide reasonable warning about the use of any chemicals the state has decided could cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm. One of these chemicals is acrylamide, which a rodent study pinned as a possible carcinogen. It’s found in almost everything that’s cooked at a high temperature. And because a particularly litigious law firm recently sued the state for not properly warning residents about acrylamide in coffee, California is now on the verge of requiring all coffee shops and manufacturers to include a warning on the beverage that it may cause cancer.

And the following are all on California’s Naughty List:
Tiffany lamps
Amusement parks
Wooden furniture and flooring
Pumpkin puree
All alcohol

So according to California, don’t eat anything or do anything.











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