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Starry Night, and Peaches . . .

We spent this morning on a number of different things, some trip-related, some not. We did look back through our possible extra-cost excursions, trying to decide which if any we want to add to our trip.

I also ordered a couple of these compact travel umbrellas to take along with us. They are pretty good size and have the best reviews,

Compact Umbrella

but really they only have to last for the trip. And at $17 each that’s not too bad.

Jan got the Pink Peach version,

Compact Umbrella Pink Peach

while, keeping the Van Gogh theme, got the Starry Night one.

Compact Umbrella Starry Night

While I was ordering stuff I went ahead and ordered another bottle of the Busch’s Aluminum Wash, since doing all four rig wheels pretty much uses up an entire bottle. FWIW I’ve tried a number of other brands that I’ve bought locally but this stuff is the only thing I’ve found that works.

And while I was thinking about stuff for the trip that we’d ordered, I thought to the TSA Prohibited List and found, as I had suspected, that our sharp-pointy walking sticks are not allowed in our carry-on bags, but must be checked. Not a big deal though since we’d already thought about checking a single, larger bag in addition to our two bags each that we will be carrying on.

I also made our coach once again legal to drive by digging out and installing our license plate stickers, so now we’re good to go for next Sunday’s test drive and the family trip up to Kingsland Friday week.

And on another coach note, I talked with Cummins on Friday about the burnt-on residue on my oil filter mount and the tech said it is pretty hard steel rather than aluminum, so I should  be able to scrape it if I have to without worrying too much about scratching it, as long as I’m careful.

And he also said the oil filter mount is replaceable. “Four bolts and it comes right off,” he said. However, I suspect this is one of those ‘MUCH easier said than done’ situations, based on the location.

Without orangutan arms I don’t think you can reach it from underneath, and you can’t see it from the rear engine compartment. So I’ll have to see if it’s at all accessible from under the bed.

So I’m crossing my fingers that the leak is fixed now.

We knew long-time friends Butch and Fonda Williams were coming through Houston on their way from Quartzite, AZ to the Escapees Rainbow Plantation Park in Summerdale, AL, where we stayed last October on our way to Florida. But we weren’t quite sure where or when we would be able to meet.

But they ended up ‘rest-stopping’ last night the other side of Columbus, and called this morning a little after noon to say they were at the Baytown Buc-ee’s. So we headed up to meet them there.

Butch and Fonda 1987 MCI Bus

They’ve got a 1987 MCI bus that they converted and put in a new engine, and recently spent the winter at Quartzite. So now they’re heading back to their home in Indiana by way of south Alabama.

Sounds like 2008, our first year on the road, where we came home to Houston from Alaska via Gatlinburg, TN and the Smoky Mountains.

After catching for a bit, we headed right down the feeder about a mile to have lunch at Saltgrass Steakhouse, their first visit to one.

Butch and Fonda Williams

Not only did they seem to like their steaks, but we turned them on to our favorite Wedge Salad. And luckily, the restaurant wasn’t really busy, so we were able to spend a couple of hours catching up without the guilt of hogging a table that was needed.

Finally saying our goodbyes, we headed home and they headed on east on I-10 to a nearby rest area for the night. Hopefully we’ll see them their next time through here.

Last week I posted the following as a Thought For The Day.

Wife tells programmer husband “Pick up a loaf of bread on the way home from work and if they have eggs, get a dozen.” (If you’re a programmer this is hilarious!)

Several readers, who were programmers, or programmer’s spouses, disagreed with the hilarity of the statement, and said they didn’t get it. In hindsight I guess I should have clarified it as ‘OLD programmers.’

Several others, from my early programming time-frame, saw it the same way I did. So I guess you had to start out in the stone-age of computers like I(we) did.

In my case I started out at age 17 in 1966, programming in Fortran II on the IBM 360 at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Everyone was talking about/waiting for, Fortran IV.

Never did figure out what happened to Fortran III?

So I guess you had to be there, or maybe ‘then’.

Thought for the Day:

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that’s falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?



A Week Lost, Now Found . . .

After a quiet morning talking over our upcoming trip, I went outside about 1 pm to clean the oil off the back of the rig, and then do the wheels if I had time. I had stopped by the storage room on the way home from work on Friday and picked up my pressure washer to do the job. I had bought a gallon of Mean Green Cleaner/Degreaser at WalMart the other day just for this job.

Mean Green Degreaser

They don’t explain why Mean Green Degreaser is purple.

I wanted something that would be safe on painted surfaces, and yet still cut the oil coating the rear of the coach, and this stuff seemed to do the job. I ran it through my Karcher pressure washer,

Karcher Pressure Washer Tanks

first soaking the entire area down and then letting it percolate for a while. Previously I had modified the washer solution pickup by adding a longer hose so I could pull directly from a jug of cleaner, instead of constantly refilling the small tank.

After spraying down the entire area and waiting a bit, I put on the high power nozzle and was able to just wash all the caked-on gunk with no problem. On a roll, I opened the engine compartment doors and repeated the procedure.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any before and after photos, so you’ll just have to use your imagination on how good it looks. In fact overall, except for a few scrapes, our 20 year old “Beauty” still looks pretty good. The only real problem is where the clear coat is coming off in places, making it look like it ‘s peeling after being sunburnt.

Next I started in our aluminum wheels, using Busch’s Aluminum Wash,

Busch Aluminum Wash

the best stuff I’ve found. They will take a wheel that looks like this,

Wheel Before Cleaning

and make it look like this, though somehow I didn’t get a before and after on the same wheels.

Wheel Rear After Cleaning

Add a little ‘Tire Wet and it looks really good.

We had originally planned to do our test driver tomorrow until I realized that I had found a lost week. For some reason I thought that next weekend was April 5th, 6th, 7th, when we’re going up to Kingsland to get together with the whole family at our son Chris’. So we’ll put it off until next weekend.

Thought for the Day:

My Kind of Guy

Before Leaving Home


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