Category Archives: Uncategorized

Not Much Happened . . .


So It’s On To The Retro-Blogs.™

Thought For The Day:

Don’t be part of the problem. Be like Me. Be the entire problem.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

November 29, 2009


Today was another nice quiet day, complete with sleeping-in, turkey leftovers for lunch,  and a nap.

What more could you ask for?

Our daughter Brandi called about 2 pm, during nap time, so we didn’t call her back until around 4.

About 5 we headed out for dinner, and ended up at Monterey’s Little Mexico again, for their great Chicken Tortilla Soup.

After that it was back home for Amazing Race and Desperate Housewives, at least for Jan.  I read in the bedroom.

November 29, 2010

Monterey’s and Monday . . .

Jan and I left the rig about 12:30 heading for lunch at Monterey’s Little Mexico, but as soon as I cranked up the engine, I noticed I had a “Check Engine” light, or at least my truck’s equivalent, which is the outline of an engine. It wasn’t flashing which meant it wasn’t immediately serious. I checked my oil level and added a quart, though it wasn’t low enough to be a problem.

I then decided to get out my code meter and check what the code that caused the “Check Engine” light in the first place. I keep my meter in the center console so it’s always handy, it was just a few seconds to hook it up and check the code.

And the code was . . . P0442.

Well, that tells me a lot. But a quick look in the accompanying guide told me it was: “Evap leak monitor, Small Leak Detected.” And that jogged my memory. The last time I saw this code it was a gas cap problem.

One time it was a defective gas cap and the other time the cap was just loose. A quick check showed that my cap was loose this time too. I last got gas about 4 days ago so I guess I just didn’t get it tight enough.

While the code reader was still hooked up I went ahead and cancelled the “Check Engine” light. It would eventually go out by itself but it might take 3 or 4 engine starts to do it.

And starting up the engine showed the code was gone, so that was the problem.

Then leaving Monterey’s I discovered another problem. I was missing one of my credit cards. I had not used it at all today, but I had used it yesterday. I thought I might have left it at Mackey’s where we ate lunch yesterday, but remembered I had used it later at Wal-Mart.

But since I was already close to my client’s office I decided to go ahead and take care of him before heading down to Wal-Mart.

Finishing up with my client and getting down to Wal-Mart, I went straight to Customer Service to see if they had my credit card.

And they did!

I’m still not sure how I lost it. Normally I put it right back in my billfold. The only thing I can figure is that when I was putting up my $40 cash back, either it fell out or I dropped it.

I guess I just lucked out.

Right now as I’m posting this I see it’s –30 degrees in Fairbanks, and the high tomorrow is supposed to be a blistering –19.

Isn’t Global Warming wonderful just wonderful?

That’s about it today.

November 29, 2011

Clear Lake and Crater Lake . . .

Today was another work day (Hey, I thought I was retired) so I was up at 10, and after coffee, worked outside going through stuff in the back of the truck and rearranging things in the bays.

About 1pm I headed into Clear Lake and back to my client from last week They’re back from their trip and had some other things for me to look at. While I was there I got them set up on so they can log into their computers at home from their iPads and laptops while they’re on the road.

I got back to the rig about 5 pm to find we have a new neighbor in the site next door. They’re in an older, but nice Rexhall. That means the park only has 2 vacancies out of 82 sites.

Jan and I headed out to the Ryan’s in Texas City for our Fried Chicken fix. We were also hoping to see Helen, a waitress there that we’ve known for years, but it seems like she’s moved back to Louisiana.

Right after we got here I happened to check the park WiFi on my Android phone and saw the signal levels were much stronger than last year so stop off at Fry’s Electronics last week and picked up a USB WiFi adapter for my desktop.


It’s a TL-WN722N and I like the fact that it has an external antenna so I can add a bigger antenna if necessary.

But a bigger antenna is certainly not necessary here. Along with a better signal, it looks like they’ve also upgraded to ‘N’ routers on their Access Points. This morning when I checked my speed with, I was showing 7.59 Mbps download and 5.32 Mbps upload. That’s getting into 4G speeds!

In comparison, my Verizon AirCard that works on 3G here normally gets me about 1 Mbps download if I’m lucky.

When I checked the WiFi speed this evening when more people were using it, I was showing about 2.5 Mbps download. Still very good.

November 29, 2012

My nose was running and my head was sweating . . .

After our usual morning routine, Jan and I decided to have lunch today at King Food, our favorite local Chinese place, and they really did it up right today.

We always order the Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce with Jalapenos, and get it XXXXX spicy. And the cook was on his best game today. Readers know how much Jan and I like spicy food, and me more than Jan.

And when a dish is really spicy, my nose starts running and the top of my bald head starts sweating. And my head was sweating so much today I would swear I was back on the gate when it was 116 degrees.

After toweling off, we headed off to a client’s so I could drop off my monthly bill and double-check that they had received the online orders that I had faxed over.

Then it was on to Lowe’s to check out their lumber prices for my upcoming trim project. And it looks like I’ll be getting it here as they have a better quality of lumber at a cheaper price. You can’t beat that.

Our next stop was Wal-Mart to get some Wal-Mart stuff, and then next door to Sam’s Club to pick up Jan’s prescriptions. Ended up having to wait for about 20 minutes because they had trouble getting one of them transferred up from the Wal-Mart in Pleasanton, TX that was last filled while we were on the gate.

Then after a stop by Brandi’s to pick up our mail, we headed home for the day.

Yesterday I listed the network shows we watch, so Jan said I should also list the non-networks. So here goes.

Shows we both watch:



Warehouse 13

Dr. Who


Rizzoli & Isles

And these are shows that just Jan watches.

Sister Wives

Pioneer Woman

The Fabulous Beekman Boys

Welcome To Sweetie Pie’s

Trisha’s Southern Kitchen


Rachel Ray

Paula Deen

Not My Mama’s Meals

Home for Dinner with Jamie Deen

November 29, 2013

Post Turkey Day . . .

As I said yesterday, today was going to be a do-nothing day. And it was. In fact we never even went outside the rig at all. Just hot coffee and warm sausage balls for breakfast.

Speaking of sausage balls, I posted a couple of new recipes in Jan’s Favorite Recipes area. The first one is an update on her Sausage Ball recipe, this one adding cream cheese for the creamier, cheesier version of this great treat. As usual yesterday, the first thing everyone asked as they arrived was, “Where’s the sausage balls?” And everyone liked the new version.

The second new recipe is Cranberry Christmas Cake. With only 6 ingredients, its tart, sweet, buttery taste is a real treat. Easy to make, with no topping or icing needed, it was a big hit at Thanksgiving dinner, and we had almost none left to bring home. Check ‘em out!

I also added some new info under the Gate Guard Info tab. A blog reader told me about another Gate Guard company called Guard 1 Services, and they are presently advertising for Gate Guards.

I also posted under my Other Interesting Blogs a link to Workers on Wheels, a website listing jobs for RV’ers. Looks pretty neat.

Tomorrow all 11 of us are heading about 70 miles north to the Texas Renaissance Festival, the largest one in the country. The last time Jan and I went was 2007, but we attended many times over the years when the kids were younger. So we’re really looking forward to it again.

November 29, 2014

Almost Home . . .

but not quite.

I left the rig about 1pm this afternoon, expecting a smooth, easy trip down to the Clear Lake area from Conroe. It was after all, Saturday. But of course, it was after all, Houston.

There were two bad accidents on I-45N coming out of downtown Houston, and of course, everyone on my southbound side had to slow down and gawk. Then south of downtown, my Garmin GPS’ Traffic Alert system warned me of a 45 minute delay on the 3.5 mile stretch between Sam Houston Toll Way and FM 2351. But luckily I was able to detour off and bypass the problem.

As soon as I got to Chris’, Jan and I headed out for a couple of errands, first to the storeroom to go through some Christmas stuff for the rig. Jan’s decided to do a live tree in the rig this year, using a small Norfolk Pine, so she wanted to dig out her moose Christmas ornament collection. She actually has enough moose ornaments to decorate the 9 1/2 foot tree we had in the S&B. Luckily that won’t fit in the rig.

Chris has done a great job cleaning out the storeroom, so hopefully we can get rid of it by the end of the year.

Our next stop was to drop off some pants to be hemmed, but it turned out they closed at 3pm, so we’ll try again another time.

Our last stop was to check out the new Fresh Market that recently opened across from Baybrook Mall. It looks to be a combination of a Whole Foods and a regular Grocery Store, pretty nice with a lot of fresh-made salads and stuff. We’ll check it out further when we have more time, but now we needed a Starbuck’s fix. So we headed across the parking lot to the nearby one. And due to an order screw-up, we both have a new favorite Starbuck’s favor. But it looks to be short-lived.

I ordered my usual Cinnamon Dolce Latte, but due to the cashier’s bad handwriting on the side of the cup, the C dl looked like C pl to the barista, not the first time this has happened, she said. So what I got was a Chestnut Praline Latte, one of their Christmas Special Flavors. The barista quickly realized her mistake and gave me my Cinnamon Dolce, and I got to keep the Chestnut Praline too. And Jan and I both thought it was delicious. At least for as long as the Christmas season lasts.

About 5:45 we met our friends Bob and Maria at King Food for dinner. We’ve known them since mid-80’s when we met in a computer store, so it’s always good to get back together when we’re in town. And Bob had another batch of his fresh-roasted Peruvian coffee for us. Always great.

I mentioned that Jan was dog-sitting here for one of Chris and Linda’s dogs, PJ

PJ the Dog

and the two guest dogs, Walker

Walker The Dog

and Coco.

Coco The Dog

Jan said they’ve all been pretty good, with no real problems. But apparently Walker’s a chewer, so he and PJ go outside when we leave for a while.

Tomorrow afternoon we’ll head back to the rig by way of Brandi and Lowell’s. Hopefully our South Dakota tag stickers will be there, especially since my current ones expire tomorrow. Here’s hoping.

Wrapping up, I just realized that tonight will be the first time I’ve spent the night in this house since we moved out January 1st, 2007. We moved into an apartment down the street so we could remodel the house prior to selling it as part of our journey toward full-timing that began January 6th, 2008. But plans changed along the way, and we ended up keeping the place with Brandi moving in first, and then Chris, Linda and Piper last year.

Both of them made nice improvements along the way, and the house looks great.

As I was typing this, I realized that I keep calling this place our house, and not our home, even though it was our home for 30 years. But it’s not our home any longer.

Our rig is our home, and will be for the foreseeable future. We just enjoy the vagabond lifestyle too much to give it up.

November 29, 2015

Crusty’s and Cradlepoint . . .

With another cold, rainy day on tap, it was perfect for just staying home, bundled up with the heater going all day. Nice, but still putting a crimp in the outside stuff I want to work on.

I spent a good bit of time working on the new website that I hope to take live in a few weeks. I’ll be telling you more about it as the time gets closer.

I do have a couple of things here in the coach to work on. I want to mount a 12v socket inside one of the kitchen cabinets to connect a small inverter to run our Amazon Echo for music while we’re on the road, and another at my computer desk for power my Cradlepoint Router/AirCard combo, also while we’re on the road.

Our last day at the Verde Valley Thousand Trails this past July we had dinner at Crusty’s Pizza down in Camp Verde. While we had pizza, we also got a couple of their Baked Spaghetti Dinners to go.

Crusty's Pizza 1

The dinners also came with salads, which we had with our pizza, since those don’t store, but back as the rig we divided the dinners in half, and then we vacuum-sealed and froze them for later.

And for tonight’s dinner, it was now a ‘later’. The nice thing about these dinners is that even cut in half, it’s enough for both of us, especially when paired with cheese sticks and hot garlic bread. And since it’s been vacuum-sealed, it was just like it came from Crusty’s yesterday.

Tomorrow we’re probably going to drive down to The Woodlands to see “The Martian” movie, and have supper at the Grimaldi’s Pizzeria there. On the way, I plan on dropping off the defective transfer switch at the UPS store to be returned to the manufacturer.

For some reason after about six months my first one would only transfer to the rig’s generator if we were still hooked up to shore power. Not real useful in most cases. I installed the replacement while we were on the gate, and it worked perfectly, so now the bad one needs to go back to Michigan.

Yesterday I showed Landon working on his Gingerbread Farm House at his grandparents up in Oklahoma.

Landon's Gingerbread House 1

And now here’s the finished version.

Landon's Gingerbread House 2

Looks like he did a good job too.

November 29, 2016

Patsy and Karma . . .

For Black Friday I did get another new toy, something I’ve had my eye on for a while, but didn’t want to pay the $70.

It’s a cup holder mount for a cellphone or tablet.

iKross 2-in-1 Tablet and Cellphone Extended Cup Mount Holder

Although I really haven’t had a chance to try it out, so far I like it. It’s sturdy and heavy, considering it’s made of plastic.

CellphoneTablet Holder 1

CellphoneTablet Holder 2

We have a GPS in the truck, but often use my Galaxy S5 phone to find someplace local. Then Jan has to hold it, or I set it up on the dash or down on the console. Plus when we’re traveling a longer distance I like to use my Samsung Tab 4 tablet to run Waze to monitor accidents and other problems in front of us. So this looks perfect.

Mounting in the truck, I found that rather than keep up with two different size holders, the tablet holder turned vertical holds my S5 from the top and bottom with no problems.

The base expands to fit pretty much any size vehicle cup holder, even the large ones in our truck. And it’s still only $20.

We’re going into San Antonio for the day on Thursday so I’ll let you know how it works after that.

I mentioned last week that our Dodge Dakota truck was approaching 250,000 miles and that we might hit that mark on our trip back to Katy for Thanksgiving, but we didn’t quite make it.

But I did watch it roll over coming back from my gate last night. So 250,000 miles and still going strong. And that 250,000 doesn’t include the 75,000+ miles being towed behind the rig, since when it’s in neutral tow mode, the odometer doesn’t register.

The only real problem is a broken exhaust manifold bolt. When you first start it up you can hear it chuffing slightly due to the exhaust manifold leak. But in about 5 minutes, the leak seals due to the heat expansion and it’s fine. When I asked my mechanic how much it would take to fix it, he said between $300 – $800, depending on how many other bolts broke off during the repair, and recommended just leaving it alone until it got much worse. And so far it hasn’t changed.

Miss Karma continues to surprise us. She has several different cloth fuzzy mice of diverse colors, including mouse-brown and pink stripes. Although at times she will bat one or more of them around the rig, usually she has them all in a pile on the floor in the kitchen.

Karma mice

If you try to tidy them up by putting them all in a small box, she will get them all out again.

So this morning right before I left for the gate at 5am, Jan was packing up my lunch and I looked down at the mouse pile and noticed that Karma now had two brown mice.

And one of them was moving.

She had caught a mouse in the rig and apparently decided it should be stored with all her other mice. Then looking down at it, Karma reared up and came down on the mouse and it moved no longer.

And she seemed somewhat upset when I then threw the no-longer moving one outside. I guess she planned on saving it for a snack later, since she had just been fed. I assume a container of Meow Mix Shrimp and Tuna tastes better than mouse.

Still don’t know if I should put out the traps or just let Karma have all the fun.

Today’s (and tomorrow’s gate) are a little busier than yesterday, but not by a lot. At least right now. A Marathon guy came in about 3pm and said there would be 60! trucks coming in as a convoy and to just let them in without logging so they don’t back up onto the highway and for a mile down the road.

Sounds good to me.

I guess I didn’t make Todd too mad yesterday getting lost on my way to a new gate, since he texted me another gate for this Sunday. Nice

Unfortunately it’s still on Day shift but I’ll take it.

Wrapping up, Patsy, my old babysitter, has a new book out that was just released today.

The Whole Town’s Talking: A Novel

I call her Patsy, but you probably know her better as Fanny Flagg.


And yes, she was my babysitter when both our families lived in Gulf Shores, AL in the late 50’s. Patsy’s parents owned a small amusement park there when my parents had their motel there.

She’s about 4 years older than me, and when our parents would get together, Patsy (Patricia Neal, her real name) was tasked with keeping me in check. I doubt she was too successful, knowing me as well as I do.

Check it out.

November 29, 2017

Lemonade . . .

I spent most of the day at work working on our paper catalog, trying to correct a lot of problems left by my predecessor.

In going through the catalog I found 5 or 6 blank pages scattered through the book. Since they still had page numbers I assumed that products had been deleted, leaving the blank pages.

At first I couldn’t figure out why he would leave the blank pages since InDesign automagically repaginates when you add or delete pages. So that shouldn’t be a problem.

But after checking a few other things I saw the problem. When the previous guy set up the catalog, he failed to set up the Index to also auto-update. Which means that as you delete pages the pages behind that page to change page numbers.

When means the Index would no longer be correct. At this point I don’t know if I can convert the Index to auto-update or not. So in the meantime, I converted the blank pages to page-size ads for specific products we have on sale.

Making lemons into lemonade.

A few weeks ago I mentioned that if you had bought $100 of Bitcoins in 2010, it would then be worth $72 million. That was when Bitcoin was worth $6000. So today when it peaked out at a little over $11000, your $100 investment jumped to about $130 million.

You can never find a time machine when you need one.

Looks like USPS is slowing down with the Christmas rush. I had two packages that were supposed to be delivered on Monday, but according Tracking Details they were just sitting in the local PO.

Then they finally showed up on Tuesday, but I didn’t get the text message that they’d actually been delivered until this afternoon. That’s the first time in a long time that Amazon Prime has missed a Two Day Delivery.

Since our pre-Thanksgiving dinner last Wednesday was aborted by our bad tire experience, we’re doing the post Turkey Day thing tomorrow night at Cheddar’s.

Really looking forward to it.

November 29, 2018

The War Continues . . .

I met the beautiful Miss Piper this morning about 10 for breakfast at Snooze, her first time, my second there. There were tables available outside where Jan and I sat last time, but it was just in the high 60’s and windy, so I waited about 10 minutes for one inside

And as it worked out Piper showed up just a couple of minutes after I got seated. Actually I was surprised to see how busy they were on a weekday morning, but it may just be the ‘new restaurant ‘ syndrome. We’ll see in a couple of months.

Miss Piper at Snooze

Miss Piper had the Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Tomato Soup,

Snooze Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

while I again went with the Shrimp & Grits and fruit.

Snooze Shrimp & Grits 3

My Shrimp & Grits was as good as last time, with just perfect spicing. And Piper said hers was really delicious. I guess so, since she ate every bite.

I really enjoyed getting together with Piper, since it’s been a good while since I had her all to myself.

The gas war continues. Costco and Sam’s are now at $1.89, while yesterday our local HEB dropped from $2.12 to $2.01, to match the WalMart across the street.

Unfortunately diesel doesn’t seem to be enjoying this drop. It’s pretty much at the same price it was back in October when we were last traveling in the rig.

And of course if the price of oil goes too low, then it starts to hurt the drillers/producers. Supply and demand.

Landon got his first ride on the Space Mountain roller coaster today and LOVED it.

Brandi et al at Disney

Brandi also remembered that Space Mountain was her very FIRST roller coaster ride back when she was a little girl visiting her grandparents in Titusville.

Finishing up, don’t know if this guy disconnected his airbags, or they got used and not replaced, but he definitely doesn’t like them.

No Airbags

What’s kind of funny is how the whole airbag thing came about. First up were seatbelts in the late 60’s/early 70’s. But people weren’t using them enough to satisfy the government.

So they required automakers to install seatbelt interlocks, where the car wouldn’t start if there was weight in the seat and the seatbelt wasn’t fastened. So you had to belt in bags of groceries or suitcases. Or even to back the car out of the garage to wash it.

So people started just fastening the belts and tucking them into the seat, or just disconnection the interlock altogether.

So then the government had a better idea. Let’s set off an explosion in your steering wheel or glove compartment to inflate a canvas bag at 200mph, and hope it won’t kill you.

But it did kill people, in many cases by decapitation, especially children and small adults. So now we’re back to airbags AND seatbelts, so you can’t end up too close to the airbag when it goes off.

And just in case, all small children (in fact under the age of 13) are supposed to be in the back seat. But this causes problems too, especially with mothers of babies. They find it almost impossible to not keep checking the rearview mirror, or even turning around to look at them. So more accidents.

And it’s also maybe what’s led to the recent increase of babies in the backseat left in hot cars to die. In many cases this seems to be a parent who normally doesn’t drop the baby off at daycare, going in to work and literally forgetting that the sleeping baby is back there. And this is possibly acerbated by the high/wide headrests that many cars now have, again for safety reasons.

I know on the 2018 Chevy Impala we recently rented that it was very difficult to see anything in the back seat due to the width of both headrests. And it was also a problem when I would look back over my left shoulder to double-check the blind spot before I  changed lanes. The headrest was wide enough that It showed up in my peripheral vision, making me think for a second or so that there was a car there.

Such is the Law of Unintended Consequences.

And don’t even get me started on the ‘safety features’ that the government has now required on new gas cans.

November 29, 2019

A Nice Thanksgiving . . .

As you know, Jan has been at our daughter Brandi’s up in Katy since last Sunday. For the first part, until Wednesday, she was Landon-sitting while he was out of school for the week. And now since Brandi, Lowell, and Landon went up to Cleburne, TX to have Thanksgiving with friends, she’s been Kitty, Baxter, Jack, and Moshi-sitting, while I’m back at the rig in Santa Fe. But of course, we couldn’t miss out on Thanksgiving together so I drove up to Brandi’s Thursday morning so we could have Turkey Day Dinner at the Katy Cracker Barrel.

We got there early, about 10:30, and I dropped Jan off at the front while I went and found a parking spot in the back. I figured we’d probably have a long wait since pretty much all of the front porch rockers were occupied and there were a lot of people milling around.

By the time I got back to the front, Jan was just getting to the front of the line to check in. When we were told 15 minutes, Jan asked again because she was sure the young lady must have said 50 minutes. But she said 15 again as she entered our info on her iPad.

But then just as we turned around to go back outside, we heard, “White, party of 2”. And it was the us Whites, too.

And the kitchen was really pumping out the food, because we had our plates in only about 10 minutes.

Cracker Barrel Thanksgivig 2019

It was as delicious as usual, with of course, the only ‘real dressing’. In case you’re wondering, that’s Cornbread Dressing. And Cracker Barrel’s version is so good we occasionally get a couple of pans of it on other holidays

We were full and done in less than an hour. And it was only $12.99, and that included our drink and dessert. And no dishes to clean up, either.

Brandi and Lowell managed to get their Christmas trees up before they left, though they’re not decorated yet. In fact Jan says that there are 8 big tubs of decorations stacked around.

And I did mean ‘trees’ plural.

There’s the big 16’ foot version in the living room,

Brandi 2019 Big Christmas Tree

and the smaller, white one in the dining room.

Brandi 2019 White Christmas Tree

Quite a setup.

I’ve gotten a LOT of comments, emails, and suggestions concerning my continuing oil leak problems. Too many to really answer them separately.

Right now I’m thinking over how to proceed from here, and I’ve got a couple of new ideas that I’ll go over with you, probably in tomorrow’s blog. And I’ll also try to answer everyone’s questions then too.

November 29, 2020

Family . . .

After a quiet, do-nothing morning Jan and I drove over to Dickinson to have lunch at Los Ramirez Mexican.

And that was it for outings today. However we did get our trips booked for the next couple of months.

Saturday, December 12th Jan and I making the two-day trip up to Athens, AL to visit relatives, mainly my Aunt Virginia, who has been wanting us to come for several months. We’ll spend the night going and coming in Slidell, LA like we did last time we made the trip.

Coming home, we’ll get back the evening of Sunday, the 20th.

Then January 1st, we’re all heading up to Kingsland for a big family weekend get-together at Chris and Linda’s. And it looks like they’re all ready for us.

Chris Christmas Tree 2020

Chris Christmas 2020

Chris Christmas 2 2020

Even the dogs.

And speaking of dogs, looks like Landon has also gone to the dogs.

Landon Asleep with Jack and Baxter

Jack certainly looks comfortable, with Landon laying on Baxter.

Several people have asked how Jan and I like our new 3” mattress topper. Well, we like it a lot.

It’s much cooler than our old 2” version, which not only was thinner, but also didn’t have the gel-infusion, the thing that is supposed to keep it cooler. And it sure seems to work.

Plus the extra thickness is really nice too. And unlike what some of the reviews said, it’s not so thick that it’s hard to ‘climb out of’, as one review said.

Classic Brands 3-Inch Cool Cloud Gel Memory Foam Mattress Topper With Free Cover, Queen

And even nicer, it doesn’t ‘travel’. Though our old one had ‘non-skid’ rubber fabric on the bottom, it still would move over time. So much so that we ended up safety-pinning it to the box springs underneath. But this one stays right in place with no pinning.

A great buy. And it was only $68.

November 29, 2021

Some Good News . . .

Our daughter Brandi met with my neurosurgeon, Dr. Wang, this morning so he could talk about her neck problems. And the good news is that she doesn’t need surgery . . . for now.

He thinks that her problems can be treated with steroid injections and some special exercises. And he also threw me under the bus, telling her that she probably inherited the problems from me.

Well, my question would be why did my problems take 73 years to show up, while hers took a lot less time to appear. Seems like she had something to do with it too.

He does want her to get some further X-Rays/MRI’s on her lumbar region to get a better look at possible problems there.

That’s probably going to be my fault too. Just watch.

Got our Jeep back from the mechanic’s this afternoon, and she’s ready to go for our Branson trip that starts this Saturday.

When Joe, my mechanic, asked about my limping, I told him about recent surgery, and in just a couple of moments we were comparing scars. He also had a 3-Level Fusion a while back, though his scar is on the left and only about half the size of mine. I think he was jealous.

Tomorrow Jan and I are heading down to Galveston tomorrow to have lunch at Mosquito Café, and check out a possible new client while we’re there.

November 29, 2022

I’m Cheap . . .

But then you knew that, didn’t you?

Almost exactly 3 years ago we got this SOWTECH Cordless Vacuum after Jan saw them using one at Black Bear Diner.

SOWTECH Cordless Vacuum

But yesterday it just up and died.

So after checking on Amazon and finding this one is no longer available, I decided to tear into the carcass of this one to see if I could find a fixable problem. And after removing umpteen screws, this is what I had left.

SOWTECH Cordless Vacuum Inside

Poking around with my multimeter and a small screwdriver, I first checked the battery voltage and found it OK. Then I turned the switch on and started wiggling wires. And it came to life.

At first I thought that the problem was a bad connection on the switch, but a little more investigation revealed it was the switch itself. I could short across the switch contacts and the motor would run.

Luckily for me, these switches are fairly standard so I was able to find a pair of them on Amazon for $5.

Round Rocker Switch for Vacuum

Should be in Friday.

So I saved a $120 vacuum for 15 minutes of my time and a $2.50 switch.

Like I said, I’m cheap.

Though I really prefer Thrifty.

Last night, Jan and I had our ante penultimate Thanksgiving leftovers, and yes. we had cornbread dressing. Not Cracker Barrel of course.

After seeing a couple of good reviews we picked a couple of boxes of Stove Top Cornbread Stuffing. And after adding the Chicken Broth supplied by CB, along with some extra Sage and Thyme, it was really very good.

Not quite CB good, but at least it was here.

Then tomorrow night we’ll finish it off.

For lunch today it was back to Dickinson Seafood once again. And as usual we both got the Blackened Catfish with 3 Shrimp, and double Steamed Veggies rather than Rice and Veggies.

Dickinson Seafood 20221129

And along with a nice Salad it was really good.

Longtime friend and blog reader Phyllis Schell sent Jan these lovely Christmas earrings a few weeks ago.

Jan's Christmas Earrings-500pp

She’s going to get a lot of use out of them this season.

Thanks, Phyllis!



Another Quiet Tuesday . . .

Or Dyscalculia.

Today was another nice, quiet stay-at-the-rig day. I worked on a couple of small projects, computered, and napped.

Again, a nice day.

Amazon seems to have a propensity for hiring drivers with dyscalculia. Dyscalculia is the numeric version of dyslexia, when people “might have trouble recognizing numbers, learning to count, or recognizing basic patterns.”

At least that’s the only reason I can figure out why my Amazon packages repeatedly get mis-delivered to #9, and not our #7. This is at least the sixth time this has happened. And it doesn’t seem to do any good to report it each time.

I mean, how hard is this to read?

FWIW This usually happens at night, but there’s a street light right in front of our rig, so it almost looks like daytime.

And the #9 site doesn’t have any type of numbering on it.

Thought for the Day:

Why is it that so much of the stuff I find hilarious, I can’t post here? Or at least Jan won’t let me.

If only you knew what you were missing.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

November 28, 2009

A Two Movie Day…

We’ve settled in here at site 80 at Galveston Bay RV Park in Dickinson TX.  This is the same site where we spent last year, and we have the same neighbors on each side.

And the view out our front window is still spectacular!


Today was a movie day.  We picked up our granddaughter Piper at about 11 am and drove over to Friendswood to have lunch at the Charleston Tea Room.

After a great lunch, we stopped off at our daughter Brandi’s to feed her cat, since she’s been staying at Shawna’s since Thanksgiving.

Then it was off to the movies. Jan and Piper wanted to see the second installment of the Twilight series, “New Moon”.  Since it was about vampires and werewolves, I let myself be convinced to go along.

Turned out it was pretty good. Since it was the 2nd one, it took a while to figure out who was who, but all in all, I enjoyed it.

After the movie we dropped Miss Piper off at her house and headed back to the rig for a while.

Then about 5 we headed over to our friends Bob and Maria Sutton’s house for order-in Chinese and a movie.  After dinner we watched “The Proposal” with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. We enjoyed the movie, I mean, what’s not to like about Sandra Bullock?   Especially with a semi-nude scene!  And since Ryan Reynolds was also semi-nude, there was something for everyone.

One thing we thought was kind of funny is that about half the movie supposedly took place in Sitka, AK, where we’ve been. And it was obvious from almost the first shot that it was not filmed in Sitka.  I figured maybe somewhere on the Oregon or Washington coast, but it turns out that it was filmed in Rockport, MA, not Alaska.  Oh well.

November 28, 2010

Comfort Food . . .

This morning we got an earlier start than usual, heading up to Webster to try Mackey’s Bar & Grill, a place we’d seen along the Interstate. They advertise ‘Upscale Comfort Food” so we thought we’d give it a try.

I had a 5 vegetable plate with Corn on the Cob, Fried Okra, Fresh Sautéed Cabbage, Texas Rice, and Green Beans Almandine.

I thought my veggies were really good, very well seasoned, and perfectly cooked, especially the cabbage.

Jan had the Fried Catfish and Fried Shrimp Platter. She said hers wasn’t as good as a couple of other seafood places around here.

I said, “Duh, their motto is ‘Upscale Comfort Food’, not ‘Upscale Seafood’.” You don’t go to Red Lobster and order steak, and you don’t go to Outback and get the seafood.

I  heard the guy at the next table raving about how much he liked his Pot Roast with Roasted Potatoes and Carrots.

Now that’s comfort food.

Leaving Mackey’s we headed up to the next exit so Jan could pick up some more baby clothes that were on sale at Carters. Then it was off to the storage room to drop off some things and pick up some Christmas decorations.

Next we went by Brandi’s to pick up the mail. Brandi and Lowell were out eating lunch, but I needed to get my tag renewal stickers that had come in from South Dakota.

After that, we stopped off at Chris’ and then it was on to Wal-Mart…again. It seems like we were just here yesterday. And we were.

It seems like we always need something else from Wal-Mart.

Getting back to the park, Jan wanted to go up to the park laundry to do some heavy rugs. While she did that I wanted to go ahead and take a walk. I decided to try and push it up a bit and do two miles, and I did it in 44 minutes, not too bad.

That was about it for today.

November 28, 2011

Early to bed, . . .

Jan woke up about 4:30 am and couldn’t get back to sleep so she came out to the living room to read for a while and was still out there when the sun came up, so she went outside and got these great photos.

Galveston Bay Sunrise 1

Galveston Bay Sunrise 2

This is a close-up shot of some of the refineries and chemical plants down in Texas City.

Galveston Bay Sunrise 3

After the sunrise photos Jan went back to sleep for a while before I got up at 10, and then about 11 we headed up to Clear Lake for lunch and some errands.

Our first stop was the park office so I could pay for our site for the first month. We had to wait to see where we ended up before they knew how much to charge us. But no one was in the office so we’ll try later.

Our lunch stop was at King Food, pretty much our all-time favorite Chinese place. And apparently it’s not just our opinion.

By a mystery diner visit, they were recently selected as one of the Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the US.

King Food Award

After our favorite Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce, Extra Extra Extra Spicy with added Jalapenos, our next stop was our storeroom.

We wanted to pick up Jan’s bird feeder and check out our Christmas decoration situation. It’s amazing how much stuff we still have in storage. Of course a lot of it is my son’s and his families’, so it’s not all my fault.

Next stop was to drop Jan off a at nail place to get her toesies done while I headed over to a client’s office. Looks like it’s about time to upgrade his computers, since they’re 3 years old and starting to have problems.

Picking up Jan and heading toward home, we stopped off at Buc-ee’s for coffee/cappuccinos and then Wal-Mart for some Christmas lights to wrap around the wicker ball we bought yesterday. I got two sets but it may take another set to completely cover the ball.

Coming back to the park I made another run past the office, once again with no luck. I don’t think they want my money.

Back at the rig, I set up the bird feeder and Jan filled it up with birdseed, and also threw out some old bread for the seagulls.

Later, a little before 5 we headed out for supper at the Monterey’s Little Mexico over in Dickinson. On the way out of the park, I tried the office again and lucked out this time. I’m now paid up until the 20th of December. For some reason, I had to pay a $100 deposit. Don’t know why, I’ve never had to before.

November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving – Take 2

Happy Thanksgiving 2

Jan and I headed out about 10:15 for the 65 mile trip up to Brandi and Lowell’s to meet up for Thanksgiving dinner.

By the time everyone showed up, we had about 25 people chowing down on a lot of great food.

Thanksgiving 1

Besides all of Brandi’s family, (us, as well as Chris, Linda, and Piper) Lowell’s parents were there, as well as Lowell’s sister Sherry, and a friend from her work, Betsy.

Thanksgiving 2

Then we’re into Brandi’s BFF Shawna and her family. A lot of family and friends.

Thanksgiving 3

Then after a lot of delicious food, it was off to the sofas for football. Lots and lots of football.

By the time Jan and I got back to the rig, full and exhausted, it was almost 8pm.

Tomorrow, nothing. Absolutely nothing.

November 28, 2014

Unto the 3rd Generation . . .

With Jan house/dog sitting down in Friendswood, I’ve been working on some projects around the rig. But the main one remains undone. Now that I have the time, and the under faucet socket,

Husky Faucet Nut Wrench

I wanted to finally replace the bathroom faucet, but although I had the faucet, the instructions, and all the necessary tools, the one thing missing is the packet with the hardware and the gasket. It should have been right there where I left it, but it has apparently wandered off and gotten lost. Hopefully it will find its way home soon.

While I was looking for the faucet stuff, I came across my two previous phones before I got my Galaxy S5 this past June.

3 Phones

Based on the progression of these 3 generations, my next phone is going to be the size of my Galaxy Tab 4 tablet. I’m gonna need bigger pockets.

I’ve been wanting to get back into doing some programming, so I bought one of these

Arduino Arduino Uno Ultimate Starter Kit + LCD Module

Arduino Kit

The Arduino is a complete computer on a small board about 2” x 3”. You plug it into your PC, write your program, and then download it into the Arduino, where the program runs independently on its own power. The kit I ordered comes with a lot of different LED’s, relays, servos, and pushbuttons, and a series of projects to get you started.

You can use the Arduino to control devices around you, even through Wi-Fi. I have several things around the rig that I want to computerize. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Tomorrow afternoon, I’ll head back down to Friendswood to get Jan, do some shopping, and have dinner with our friends, Bob and Maria. Looking forward to it.

November 28, 2015

Gingerbread and El Bosque . . .

After several days of mid-70’s days and mid-60’s nights, winter has finally returned,  with rain and low 50’s/ low 40’s temps.

The cooler weather is nice, but I could do without the rain, since I have more stuff that I want to work on outside, but I guess it’ll have to wait. It’s supposed to clear up toward the end of next week, but you never know.

Jan and I spent the day just goofing off, reading, watching TV, and playing on the computer, a very nice afternoon consisting of pretty much nothing.

About 3pm we headed out through the rain to have lupper at El Bosque, our favorite local Mexican place. We’ve eaten here a number of times and have always enjoyed it.

When we first starting eating here a couple of years ago they were located on Loop 336, across the street from the Wal-Mart/Sam’s Club. But when we returned here early last year we found they had moved to a new location on SR105, a couple of exits further south on I-45.

Jan went with the El Bosque Platter,

El Bosque Platter

which has a little bit of everything, all very good, as she said.

I’ve always enjoyed their Chicken Tortilla Soup, although in El Bosque’s case, it’s more like Chicken Vegetable Soup,  with Tortilla Chips.

El Bosque Soup

But it’s spiced very well, and really good. And a big enough bowl that it really fills you up. For that reason I probably didn’t need the side of Charro Beans, but they were really good too.

Next up was the Home Depot right next door for a couple of things. I was mainly looking for some hooks that could be mounted to the floor of the truck to keep my floor mats from sliding around. I found something I think will work, but I’ll have to try it and see.

Then it was on to Wal-Mart for a few things. It wasn’t as busy as I thought it might be. In fact it wasn’t any more busy than a normal Saturday. I guess everyone was resting up from yesterday.

The only thing that was busy was the Returns line at Customer Service. So are people already returning stuff they just bought yesterday?

I had something to return, but I’ll wait until another time.

Before I forget, I’ve received a couple of inquiries about the PORTER-CABLE 150 PSI Air Compressor that I’ve talked about. They wanted to know if they can use the 125psi model instead, since it’s a little cheaper.

Porter-Cable Air Compressor

The answer is No, not if you want to be able to air up the bigger RV tires, i.e. 110 to 120psi. The 125psi model will struggle to get much over 100 psi, while the 150psi one will go to 120 to 125psi with no problems.

Wrapping up, we’ve got some more family photos. First up is our nephew Jason and his family, his wife Laura, and their kiddos, Ella, Avery Jan, and Annisten.

Jason, Laura, and Family

And here’s another shot of the kids,

Annisten, Avery Jane and Ella

with Annisten, Avery Jane, and Ella.

Brandi, Lowell, and Landon are up in Oklahoma spending Thanksgiving with Lowell’s parents, where Landon is hard at work building a Gingerbread Farm House.

Landon's Gingerbread House 1

Looks like he’s making some headway.

Tomorrow looks to be another nice stay-at-rig day.

November 28, 2016

Oopsie . . .

This morning started off on a bad note and then got worse. But only for a while.

For some reason I woke up at 4am, apparently not remembering that I didn’t need to actually get up until 4:30. Then to top it all off, I went to the WRONG gate.

When I got the text from Todd about today’s gate, I saw the gate name Davila 5 and the time 5:30p and figured I knew where it was. I had been to Davila 3,4,5 three different times so I figured this was the one Todd was talking about so I didn’t look carefully at the directions. I should have.

So I ended up at the wrong gate and it took me about 30 minutes to get it all straightened out and get to the right gate. I’m still not sure how there can be a Davila 3,4,5 AND a Davila 5,6,7, miles apart.

And I guess it wasn’t just me since late this afternoon someone showed up at my gate looking for the other Davila, so now I don’t feel so bad.

The gate itself was very slow, with only 6 vehicles in and out all day. Nice and quiet.

Changing gears, Jan’s gotten the Genealogy bug again and we’ve been working through the labyrinth that is Family Search, the LDS free online family tree program. A lot of it is already done and on paper so it’s just a matter of entering it in.

Jan’s family on her mother’s side goes back to the late 1500’s with the Morgan family of Virginia. At one time the Morgan’s owned most of Virginia and what is now West Virginia. In fact Morgantown WV is named for her family.

On my side, my mother was a member of both the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) and the UDC (United Daughters of the Confederacy) so she has our lines going back to the Revolution and beyond, including a lot from early Virginia. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if Jan and I are actually related back there somewhere.

That might explain a lot.

And on my father’s side, his mother, Sarah Ann Parr, was born in England. We’ve got that line traced directly back to Sir Thomas Parr, father of Catherine Parr, the sixth and last wife of Henry VIII. And since Sir Tom was directly descended from King Richard III, so am I.

Wrapping up, tomorrow and Wednesday I’m on another gate, and I definitely know where this one is.

I hope.

November 28, 2017

Disappointed . . .

For some reason the link to the Extendable Makeup Mirror in yesterday’s blog quit working, even after I checked it before posting it. So here it is again.

Extension Mirror

Extendable Makeup Mirror

We left the rig a little after noon for a trip to the Monterey’s Little Mexico up in Pasadena. We were hoping to catch up with our favorite waitress Julie, who is a flood refuge from Harvey.

The Dickinson Monterey’s was flooded out and won’t reopen until March, so their staff was redistributed around to other locations in Houston. When we were at the Alvin location a few weeks ago, one of the displaced managers told us that Julie was working at the Pasadena location. But since she only works the lunch shift Monday through Friday, we’re limited to Tuesdays and Thursdays.

So, after the holidays, today was our first chance. But it was all for naught.

When we got there we found that Julie was out sick today. But we still had a great meal of Beef Fajita Nachos and Chicken Tortilla Soup anyway.

We’ll call ahead next time.

Coming home we made a Wal-Mart stop for a few things, and then it was on to the PO to buy Christmas stamps and get the first batch of cards in the mail.

Then after an Ace Hardware stop for a couple of things, we made a client stop to pick up a couple of Amazon packages that should have been delivered yesterday, but according to the USPS tracking, had been sitting in the local PO since Sunday afternoon. But at least they finally showed up.

Later in the evening, I followed the example of our friend Dave Evans and mounted a plug strip over the sink.

Kitchen Plug Strip

I shortened the cord using a new plug I picked up at the Ace Hardware stop and got it mounted. It’ll make it a lot easier to plug in all the different chargers and accessories we have.

Tomorrow it’s back to work.

November 28, 2018

Mickey and Donald, Lori and Thor . . .

Jan and her canine/feline companions are all settled in up in Katy, while Brandi, Lowell, and Landon, got picked up by the car service around 7am and were on their way to Disney World.

They arrived in Orlando about 11:30 and went straight to the park.

Landon and Maddox at MCO

That’s Landon on the left and Maddox on the right.

Then it was on to the Animal Kingdom area and later dinner at the Tusker House Restaurant.

Landon and Maddox at Tusker House Restaurant at Disney

And then there’s this one.

Brandi Lowell Landon at Disney Bundled UP

And if you’re wondering why everyone is bundled up, the high in Orlando today was 58°


On the subject of Florida, I came across this recent article in the Space Coast Daily about Florida Wonderland, later Tropical Wonderland, the amusement park where Jan and I met during the summer of 1967.

They even had a photo of Lori and Thor, the two porpoises that were in the shows I did 5 or 6 times a day.

Thor and Lori

They performed together, but otherwise were kept separate because Thor, the larger male on the right, was a little too ‘randy’ and wouldn’t leave Lori alone.

I’m not sure how accurate some of the other facts are, because, although they say the Marine Life Park area where I worked, closed in 1967, I’m pretty sure it was still open at least a year or so later when Jan and I came back down to visit.

At the time I was there, we had Lori and Thor, two manatees, Bruce and Vivian, a 10 or 11 foot alligator, a large sea turtle, and some other small animals. Although the article mentions us having ‘rays’, we never had any while I was there.

While I was working at the marine park, Jan was a saloon girl at Miss Kitty’s Pleasure Place in the western town across the street.

Florida Wonderland - Miss Kitty's Pleasure Palace

When I started I was told that I would need to get ice at the saloon to keep the fish cold that I fed the animals. And the first time I walked in the place I saw this beautiful, long-legged redhead, and I’ve hardly let her out of my sight since then. That was over 51 years ago.

And I remember it like it was yesterday.

Wrapping up the reminiscing, tomorrow morning, about 10, I’m meeting Miss Piper at the new Snooze breakfast place up in Webster. Looking forward to it.

November 28, 2020

Garbage and Gumbo . . .

Jan and I headed out about 12:20, with our first stop a few spaces down in the park to the dumpster to get rid of a week’s worth of garbage, plus the Cracker Barrel Thanksgiving box and some other odds and ends. Our park dumpster is normally emptied on Thursday, which of course didn’t happen due to Thanksgiving.

Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but last weekend someone apparently emptied out an RV, throwing away a lot of stuff, including a table, some chairs, a big flat screen, etc., which pretty much filled up the bin, leaving no room for everyone else’s regular garbage. But the garbage truck did show up yesterday which meant we could get rid of our two large bag’s worth.

Then it was on up to Webster to have lunch at long-time favorite Floyd’s Cajun Seafood. While we both got Side Salads,

Floyd's Side Salad 20201128

Jan got her Blackened Catfish and Grilled Veggies.

Floyd's Grilled Catfish 20201128

And as always, I got a bowl of Shrimp Gumbo.

Floyd's Shrimp in Gumbo

With all the shrimp crammed in here, it’s amazing that there’s any room for the roux.

Just as delicious as always, and Nathan, our waiter, was great too.

After a great meal, I dropped Jan off at her nail place to get her toes prettied up while I made a stop at my client’s to set up some new backup routines.

Then coming home about 3:30, we stopped off at Cowboy Coffee for a large hot Sugar-Free Pumpkin Spice Latte for Jan, and a large cold Sugar-Free Pumpkin Spice Latte for me.

That’s when I was asked, “Blended or On The Rocks?”

OK, “On The Rocks” I understand, but what’s Blended?

Well, apparently they grind up your ‘Rocks’ until it’s a Smoothie.

Ok, but is Grande the big one, or is it Tall?

If so, why is a Tall so small

And what’s a Venti?

And now there’s a Trenta. What’s up with that?

November 28, 2021

I Ain’t Afraid Of No Ghost . . .

We were rudely awakened this morning (well, I was. Jan was already up.) about 8:30 when the power went off. When it didn’t come back on in a few minutes I checked the CenterPoint Energy Outage Tracker website and found it was out all over our area, almost 12,000 homes.

But it came back on about 45 minutes later so we had heat again. Better than the freeze last February when it was off for 4 days.

Since we had decided that this was just going to be a Stay-At-Home Sunday, that’s what we did. We stayed at home, talked, read, napped, TV’ed, renapped, etc.

Then around 4pm, we polished off our Cracker Barrel Thanksgiving leftovers, finishing up with Pumpkin Pie. Just about as good as on Thursday.

I mentioned about Bone Growth Stimulator treatment I do for 30 minutes every morning. It’s completely silent with no indication that it’s even working, except for the one beep when it starts and the two beeps when it’s done.

So, in my paranoia, I’m wondering, is it even working? Maybe I got a defective one. The only way I would know I guess, was if, in 6 months, my head fell off because the bones never fused.

So, not wanting that to happen, I dug out my old EMF (ElectroMagnetic Field) meter, kind of like this one on Amazon,

Electromagnetic Field Meter

EMF Meter

and I was relieved to find that my Stimulator was putting out a very strong EMF field. So my head is safe, I guess.

And according to the Amazon description, it can also be used for ghost detecting and hunting. Of course it’s not as neat as the one Egon used in the Ghostbusters movie. You remember the one with the little arms that came up when a ghost was nearby.

Ghostbusters PKE Meter

I want one of those.

November 28, 2022

Black Friday Overflow . . .

Today was just a typical Monday at work, with a lot of orders to process from over the weekend. Maybe more than usual.

Don’t know if it’s Black Friday overflow or not.

Brandi was feeling a little better so she and Lowell got some of their yard decorations put up, especially these two in the backyard next to their fence overlooking the street.

From the yard side, they look like this.

Brandi Backyard Animals

But from the street, they look like this.

Brandi Backyard Animals over the Fence

And that’s a 6ft. high fence.

The snowman kind of reminds me of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters.

Thought For The Day:






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