Category Archives: Uncategorized

Coming Up . . .

Later in the afternoon, I crawled underneath the rig to check out my access to the oil filter adapter, so I can install the Helicoils tomorrow afternoon. And it looks like it will help my reaching the adapter if I use a propped up big piece of plywood to lay on to raise me up.

Coming up. Reliving our Viking River Cruise in May 2019 later in this blog.

Ardis Photos 5

September 19, 2009

A Long Day and Bad Roads…

Today we left Quebec about 9:30am for a 266 mile drive to Grenville RV Park in Johnstown, ON.

We needed to make this long trip to be sure we have time to see Niagara Falls and other places before our rally in Ohio on Sept. 27th.

Even though long,  we expected the trip to be relatively easy because it was 4 lane all the way.

But that was not to be.

Passing thru the Montreal area we encountered the worst 4 lane road conditions we’ve ever seen.

The roads were either under construction, or should have been.  And on top of that, they weren’t very well marked, either.

The one nice thing about the trip were the beautiful colors.  Fall is here, at least in Canada.  It’s amazing how much the leaves have changed just in the three weeks we were in Canada.

We arrived at Grenville RV Park in Johnstown, ON about 3:15pm and were given a very nice pull-thru site right on the St. Lawrence river.

After getting set up and settling in, we went out for dinner at a place recommended by the RV park called 730 Truck Stop  Restaurant.

And like the truck stop restaurant in Houlton, ME that we really liked, this one was excellent also.

Getting back to the rig, we let Mister stretch his legs for a while before we went in for the night.

Thought For The Day:

Karma’s a Bitch, especially if you’re the Bitch.

September 19, 2010

Stormy Weather. . .

Although today’s forecast was for Partly Cloudy with a chance of rain, we awoke to Fully Cloudy, with this coming in on us. We’re right in the middle of this radar picture between League City and Texas City.


And while we were drinking coffee, this was the view out the front of the coach.

Storm 1

And a little while later it had deteriorated to this.

Storm 2
We’d already lost the satellite signal when the rains finally moved in.

Storm 2a

And it rained and stormed with a lot of wind for the next several hours.

Storm 3

We left about 3 pm to have Linner/Lupper at Floyd’s Cajun Seafood, our favorite local Cajun place, and our favorite place for gumbo in this area. It’s not quite up to Mulate’s in Breaux Bridge, LA, but it’s real close, and and it’s less expensive.

Leaving Floyd’s we drove across the Interstate to Fry’s see if they’d gotten any more of the backup drives I was looking for. And luckily for me, they did.

Heading toward home we stopped off at Walmart for cat food and bird seed, and were home by a little after 5.

We’ll just have to see about the weather tomorrow.

Thought For The Day:

There are millions of paranoid people in the world and they are all out to get me.

East Texas Gate outside Carthage, TX

September 19, 2015

Summer’s Back . . .

Well, Summer’s back, apparently with a vengeance. That cooling-off that was supposed to come through on Monday, dropping temps back into the high 80’s, low 90’s went somewhere else, because now it’s mid to high 90’s as far as the eye can see. Of course that could change too.

Maybe it’s like talking about a possible no-hitter during the ball game and jinxing it.

Today was a little quieter than usual, with only 90 vehicles coming in, as opposed to the usual 120 – 130 we’ve been having recently. Don’t know if it was because it was the weekend or not, but it was nice anyway.

Right before I came on at 1pm, I went down and permanently installed my Mighty Mule Driveway Alarm system, using the plastic fence post I picked up from Tractor Supply on Friday.

Here’s what it looks like directly from the side.

MIghty Mule Installation 1

Originally I had the transmitter hanging from one of the vines, but it wasn’t waterproof that way and was more visible.

Here’s what it looks like as you’re coming toward it.

MIghty Mule Installation 2

The reason I’m trying to hide it somewhat is that a couple of years ago I had one like this stolen.

Old Driveway Alarm

Don’t know what they could do with it without the receiver that it talks to, but $80 walked away. Ouch!

Because the sensor/transmitter are in one unit, the whole thing needs to be right beside the roadway, and it’s very visible.

But with the Mighty Mule, the sensor and the transmitter are two separate units separated by a 12 ft. cable. And the sensor itself is pretty inconspicuous. It’s that black pipe at the bottom of the first photo.

So far the Mighty Mule has a perfect record. It’s never missed a vehicle coming by it, and it’s never false alarmed. You can’t ask for any better than that.

On the false alarm question, I find I always enjoy reading the questions people ask about products on Amazon. In this case, the question was “Does the wind set it off?”, and the answer was, “Not unless the wind blows a car past it.”

There is one thing that bothers me about the unit though, and that’s the alarm sound.

It’s sharp.

No, not pointy sharp. Musically sharp.

The alarm sound is made up of four tones, three identical ones, and then a fourth, lower tone, like the opening four notes to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, i.e, G G G Eflat. But the alarm’s last tone is somewhere between an E and an F, and it just grates on my ears.

In a way I guess I’m kind of like Sheldon yelling at the mockingbird outside his office window that he accused of being tone deaf.

“Just pick a key and stick with it.”

Thought for the Day:

Everyone has a right to be stupid. But politicians just abuse the privilege.

Still At An East Texas Gate

September 19, 2016

Another Month . . .

As usual Monday’s count picked up from the slow weekend, a lot of it due to salespeople trying to get an early start to the week. I guess some of it’s just subjective, because at 44 vehicles coming in, it was only 10 more than yesterday. But those extra 10 were concentrated in just a couple of hours so it made it seem like a lot more.

Today starts the beginning of our 2nd month here at Blue Moon Gate, and so far it hasn’t been bad at all. Not quite as good as last year’s Carthage Gate, mostly because of the sucky Wi-Fi/Internet and the distance to Wal-Mart. It’s hard to beat 4 bars of 3G/4G and 5 miles to Wal-Mart/Whataburger/Chicken Express/Sonic/ McDonald’s like we had last year, I guess.

We did get our Amazon order this afternoon, right on schedule, and Jan told the mail carrier lady that we had another one coming tomorrow. Today’s care package was a 2nd remote for the new Samsung TV, and a new computer mouse.

Tomorrow’s will be a new beard trimmer for me, and a couple of new AC to USB charger modules so it will be easier for Jan to keep her Kindles charged outside here  under the canopy.

I still need to figure out what to do about our Internet here. I still haven’t been able to get our Wilson Booster working. It seems to work, i.e.its showing the correct lights, and if  I bring the inside antenna near the outside antenna, it goes into feedback/overload just like it should. But as far as actually amplifying a 3G phone signal, zip, zero, nada, nyet.

The last time I used it in 2012, I was able to go from no signal whatsoever to 4 bars of 3G hitting a tower, that according to the Open Signal app, was 19.5 miles away. Now I’ve got 1 to 2 bars of 3G here, and I can’t seem to amplify it at all.

My fallback position here was to use the pad’s Wi-Fi, and I was able to get the password to the Company Man’s system, but unfortunately due to the distance his trailer is from our rig, the signal is OK sometimes, and not OK others. And the desktop computer in the coach can’t see it at all

I think maybe the variation in signal level I’m seeing is due to someone sitting at the Company Man’s desk between me and his Wi-Fi router. The water-filled  human body is a good absorber of the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi signal. In fact at a high enough level it can cook you.because that’s how a microwave oven works. It’s in the same 2.4 GHz band, just closer, more powerful, and concentrated.

So maybe don’t sit too close to your Wi-Fi router, especially if it makes you feel a little warm.

There are a couple of stronger Wi-Fi signals that show up and I’ve been trying to track down who owns them. But I found out tonight that it might not do me any good. As it turns out one of them is just a Wi-Fi data link between the drill rig and the directional drilling company’s instrumentation in their trailer. It’s not hooked up to the Internet at all. And I suspect the other signal might be the same.

So my next thought is to just get a better, stronger, directional Wi-Fi amplifier/antenna, mostly for the desktop in the rig for Jan. Outside here, my laptop and tablet are OK, not great, but usable.

So we’ll see what I come up with on Amazon.

On another note, I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my old RCA flat screen. I called what seems to be the only recycling center in B/CS today, and they don’t take TV’s, nor do they know anyone that does. So I may just have to find a lonely dumpster somewhere.

I still haven’t actually thrown away the box the new Samsung came in. I told Jan I want to keep if for at least two weeks before I throw it out, to get us through the ‘infant mortality’ phase in case I have to take it back. We’ll see.

After yesterday’s mini-rant on the lack of Fall, I guess Mother Nature heard me and decided to help out . . . somewhat. Although we’re still looking at temps in the mid-90’s for the next week or so, starting tomorrow night we’ll be having temps in the high 60’s for awhile.

So we’re halfway there.

Thought for the Day:

“What all the wise men promised has not happened, and what all the damned fools said would happen has come to pass.” —Lord Melbourne (1779-1848)

September 19, 2017

Zen and Rudy’s . . .

I slept in a little this morning, not feeling all that great, but I was on the road for Clear Lake by 10am, getting there a little after noon.

But although I stayed busy, I didn’t really visibly accomplish much. I spent part of the morning trying to change the owner’s wife’s laptop version of Microsoft Word from Spanish back to English.

Now how it got changed over to Spanish nobody knows, or will admit, but apparently it’s been that way for a while. And it’s still that way now. I tried repeatedly to reset it to English, but it wouldn’t stick. It would just change back. So after about an hour fooling with it, I just deleted Office and  downloaded and installed latest version, 5.4.1, of LibreOffice, an really good MS Office clone.

Next I was trying to update some prices on the Tattoo website when I discovered that the admin password in Zen Cart had expired, which they do every 90 days. I’ve never accessed this site before, so I guess the ex-guy hadn’t done it for a while either.

So I clicked the Forgot Password? button, entered my email address, and about 30 seconds later I had a new temporary password. Easy Pezy, Right?


The new password didn’t work, Nor did the second or third one. And going to the Zen Cart website wasn’t much help either. So I submitted a help request and now I’ll just have to wait and see.

Heading back north a little after 4pm, I met Jan, and Chris and Charles Yust at the Rudy’s BBQ on I-45 north about 5:30 and we all got our BBQ fix.

Jan had the Chopped Baker,

Rudy's Stuffed Baker

while I got a Brisket Sandwich and a Jalapeno Sausage Link.

Rudy's Sandwich and Link

And of course, a quart of their fantastic creamed corn. Even Jan loves it, and she doesn’t really like corn. That’s how good it is.

Tomorrow we’ll move over to the Hillcrest RV Park in Punkin, TX, about 20 miles away, on the road to Livingston.

Since it’s so close, we probably won’t head out until about 1pm, so that’ll give us plenty of time to have brunch at the nearby Cracker Barrel about 11. And as it stands now we’re not even going to hook up the toad, but Jan will just follow along behind.

Thought for the Day:

Scientists say we’re due for the next ice age. So what if ‘global warming’ is the only thing holding it off?

September 19, 2018

A Sleeping Tiger . . .

Several readers asked why I hadn’t posted photos of Jan’s new Vera Bradley bags. When I was ready to photograph the bags, Jan was asleep on the sofa with them all clutched to her bosom. Never awaken a sleeping tiger.

But here they now.

Jan's Vera Bradley Bags

First up is her new Shoulder Bag on the left, with the two lanyards draped across the top. Hers matches with mine the black. Everyone says we will need them on the cruise to hold our shipboard access passes. And on the right is a matching Cross The Shoulder mini version.

Jan's Vera Bradley Over The Door Bags

She also got this Over The Door travel bag that folds up and holds makeup and other toiletries. She didn’t get it in the matching print since she won’t be carrying it, and it would have been full price and not discounted 70% like the others. In fact, at full price it would have cost more than everything else put together.

That’s my girl.

When we were at WalMart yesterday, I was behind this lady who had piled up Halloween candy on the conveyer belt.

WalMart Halloween Candy

And this is only about half of what she had. Total was over $500.

When I asked her, “How many people come to your house on Halloween?, she said, “We usually get about 600 or so. It’s become kind of a party every year.”

Of course, if you’re really into Halloween you can could to Home Depot and get this 6 foot tall, animated, lighted dragon that roars.

Home Depot Dragon

It blows out smoke, and according to some Googling, you can make it breathe fire. And it’s only $300. Neat.

Now that our test drive is out of the way, and I’ve confirmed that our oil leak is fixed, I get back on my generator problem. I’ve been going over the manual and talking with Onan so I’ve got some more things to check on.

But if I don’t get it fixed before we leave for Florida on Oct 3rd, we’ll just get an earlier start before things heat up, and with the cooling temps on the way, we should be fine.

Tomorrow I’ve got a dermatologist’s appointment and then some errands, and well as lunch at East Star Chinese Buffet.


Thought for the Day:

I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.

September 19, 2019

A Hot & Sour Soup Kind of Day . . .

Apparently, in some parts of Houston, it’s 3 feet (and more) high and rising. It’s been raining pretty steadily for 3 days now, and it seems now that there’s heavy flooding all over the Houston area.

Houston Imelda Flooding 1

Houston Imelda Flooding 2

A local TV weatherman reported that over 43” of rain had fallen northeast of Houston towards the TX-LA border in the last few days.

And although we had some high water in the ditches yesterday, by this afternoon it was just about gone. It was still raining lightly when we left about 1pm for lunch at Yummy Yummy’s.

We haven’t seen the sun in the last few days, and it hasn’t gotten above 75°. Not exactly cold, but good enough for a couple of bowls of Yummy’s Hot & Sour Soup. And those ‘couple’ of bowls were both for me.

Jan had to get her own.

Jan and I have gotten hooked on an new BBC series (at least new to us), but unfortunately, it’s a short term addiction.

Don’t know how many of you are Rowan Atkinson/Black Adder/Mr. Bean fans, but back in 2016 – 2017 he did a short-lived series based on 75 novels by Georges Simenon.


Atkinson plays Jules Maigret, a world-weary, measured and insightful detective, and are set in Paris in the 1950s.

And by ‘short-lived’, they did two 2-hour episodes in 2016, and then two more in 2017, with unfortunately, no more forthcoming.

The four episodes are presently showing on Ovation, and are well-worth your viewing, whether you’re a Rowan Atkinson fan or not. The cinematography is great, and it turns out that Atkinson is as good a serious actor as he is a comedy one.

Check it out.

Ardis, one of our Viking Bunch, sent over some photos she found on her phone that show our antepenultimate Taste of Germany meal on our Viking Cruise.

Ardis Photos 1

Jim and Deb

Ardis Photos 2

Mike and Melissa

Ardis Photos 6

Ardis and Larry

Ardis said that they’re doing another Viking cruise next March, this one from Paris to the Swiss Alps, and wanted to know if we were interested in accompanying them. But as I mentioned before, Jan said she would beat me to death with my own arm if I ever took her on another 8-10 hour flight.

And even our 3+ hour flight to NYC in December is pushing it.

Ardis Photos 5

Yours truly and my Sweetie

Thought For The Day:

It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. – Noel Coward

Family Memories . . .

Well, it doesn’t look like the new gaskets and bolts for my oil filter adapter will come in until Monday, but I’m thinking that I might go ahead and install the Helicoils this weekend, and then finish up later in the week when the other stuff comes in.

I will need to pick up a spray can of cutting oil tomorrow for drilling out the old threads and cutting the new ones.

Jan has been going through some old photos and came across this photo taken at my parent’s wedding May 20, 1946.

Mother and Daddy Wedding Photo 470

Really brought back a lot of memories.

And she also found this newspaper clipping from 1966 concerning my nomination to the US Air Force Academy.

Greg USAF Clipping

I was accepted, but my mother’s handwriting relates how I turned it down because my eyes would not let me fly. But then 3 years later I was working for a DOD contractor on military aircraft.

And as usual, they added an extra ‘G’ to my name. ‘Gregg’  is just that, but ‘Greg’ is short for ‘Gregory’, which is actually my name.

And now some more memories.



Finger-Licking PFK

September 18, 2009


Today was our day to see the city of Quebec.

We started out with breakfast at our new favorite breakfast/lunch place, Cora.  Hopefully these will show up in the US soon.

We drove around Quebec, finally ending up in Vieux Quebec, or Old Quebec where we found a Tourist Information Center.

Info Building

We found that there was going to be a 2 hour bus tour at 2:30 pm and signed up for it.  Luckily for us, today was the last day for this tour, and, even luckier, it was all in English.

We’ve noticed a lot of touristy things are starting to shut down, or reduce their hours, due to winter coming on, and the tourist trade is dropping off.

We had some time to kill before the tour started so we drove to a Glass Shop on St. Jean street that Jan wanted to visit.

St Jean St

Finally we headed back to rendezvous with our tour bus.  Our driver, a Quebec City native named Francois, spoke very good English, luckily for us. But Jan said he sounded like Inspector Clouseau of Pink Panther fame.

Our tour gave us a look at the major sites in Quebec, in both the old and new sections.

Quebec Tour 1

Here is the Simons fountain in front of the Provincial Capitol of Quebec.

Simons Fountain

Here is the view from the Plains of Abraham battlefield site overlooking the St. Lawrence river.

Plains 1

The battle of Plains of Abraham, also known as the Battle of Quebec, took place during the French and Indian War in September 1759, and the British victory over the French led to France relinquishing all claims to Canada.

Here’s Jan with another view from the battlefield.

Plains 2

And here is the Chateau Frontenac Hotel, one of the most magnificent sites in Quebec.  Built in 1893, the Frontenac is one of the premiere hotels in North America.

Hotel Frontenac

Here’s one of the many pedestrian-only streets in Vieux (Old) Quebec.

Quebec Tour 3

This church, the L Eglise Notre Dame Des Victoires (The Church of Our Lady of Victories) , is the oldest stone church in North America.

Quebec Church

Another view.

Quebec Tour 5

And this building, built in 1675, is the oldest one in Quebec City.

Quebec Oldest House

After our tour was over, we drove over to Tomas Tam’s, a Chinese buffet restaurant we’d seen advertised.  And it was very good.

On our way back to the rig, we drove pass everyone’s favorite chicken place, PFK.



Leave it to Quebec to put their own stamp on things.

PFK in French stands for ‘Poulet Frit Kentucky’, or Kentucky Fried Chicken to us.

Getting back to the rig, we got ready to head out early tomorrow on a long travel day.

Thought For The Day:

Some things are best left unsaid. Unfortunately I usually don’t realize this until after I’ve said them.



More Landon Time

September 18, 2010

“Lupper” or “Linner”

Today started off with a cool, rainy, overcast morning, and some great pecan praline coffee. We just sat around and enjoyed the view out the front window, watching this heron trying to dry his wings, even while it was raining.


And even Emma sought refuge from the dreary day in a warm, fuzzy blanket.

Emma 3

About 1:30 we left for Brandi’s. Lowell and Brandi were going out for their own private celebration of Brandi’s birthday, while Jan and I Landon sat. But since we weren’t supposed to be there until 3 pm we first stopped off at our favorite Chinese restaurant, King Food for “Linner” or ‘Lupper”, take your pick. (Hey, if you can have Brunch, we can have Lupper.) We’ve been eating there for over 30 years and are on our 4th owner.

We both had the same thing. Hot & Sour Soup, and Chicken with Hot Garlic Sauce. Of course, that’s not hot enough for us, so I add a big spoonful of the roasted chili flakes to my soup, and we both order the Chicken in Hot Garlic Sauce, Extra, Extra, Extra, Extra Spicy, and then add Jalapenos. Hey, this is Texas. We put Jalapenos in everything. And what we don’t put Jalapenos in, we add some Habanero peppers to.

The way I tell if it’s hot enough is that if my bald head starts sweating and my nose starts running, then it’s just about perfect.

Leaving King Food, we still had some time left so we stopped off at Half Price Books, a great chain of used book stores. Most of their locations are in Texas, but they have stores in 15 other states as far west as California and Washington, and as far east as Pennsylvania.

Getting to Brandi’s, she and Lowell headed out for their date, and Jan and I Landon sat. Or, at least, Jan Landon sat and I napped. Once she has Landon in her arms, she doesn’t like to give him up.

Landon Being Feed

Landon in Bouncy Chair

About 5 pm I drove over to Fry’s Electronics to look for a 1.5 TB backup drive they had on sale, but I was too late, and they were sold out. So I came home with a new LED keychain flashlight instead. Bummer!

Getting home a little after 7 pm, I made some coffee and we settled in to watch some TV.

Thought For The Day:

I chose to be a sheepdog once I saw what happens to the sheep.



More Moose Stuff

September 18, 2012

Julia Child and a Ceramic Moose . . .

Despite the overcast, spitting rain, weather today was another day trip day. We headed at about 11am, first over to Batesville to check out Weberding’s Carving Shop.

Weberding 1

Celebrating their 70th anniversary, they’re one of the largest suppliers of custom church furniture in the US. They even have a display of miniature versions of some of their offerings.

Weberding 3


Need a finely detailed camel? This one is only $6500.00!

Weberding 2


They even have a line of all-wood furniture made with a tree limb frame.

Weberding 4

Our next stop was a few miles up the road at Metamora, IN. Metamora is the home of one of the last visible sections of the Whitewater Canal. Built between 1836 and 1847, the seventy-six mile canal, ran between Lawrenceburg, IN on the Ohio River and Hagerstown, IN.

Developed after the opening and immediate financial success of the Erie Canal, the State of Indiana financed the building of the Whitewater. But the steep route, twice as steep as the Erie Canal, required 56 locks, seven dams, and even 4 aqueducts to carry it over other rivers.

The high cost of this route, plus the damages caused by heavy rains, delayed construction several times, and even led to the State of Indiana going bankrupt in 1839.

The canal was only open along its entire length for a few months before severe flooding took parts out of commission. It never was completely open after 1847.

Whitewater 1


The Benjamin Franklin III is a replica of the boats that actually plied the canal, and you can take a ride on it today.

Canal Boat


This grist mill opened in 1845 and is still in operation grinding corn and wheat.

Whitewater 2


This 12 foot waterwheel powers the mill through an underground shaft.

Whitewater 3


After getting to Metamora we found that most of the many shops were closed on Monday and Tuesdays, but the Canal House was open.

Home to over 2600 cookie jars and a thousand salt and pepper shakers, the jars range from Darth Vader and Batman to Hopalong Cassidy and Dilbert.

Whitewater 4

Whitewater 5

Whitewater 6


But now they have one less cookie jar since I brought home this moose jar for Jan.

Moose Cookie Jar


Leaving Metamora, we headed up the road about 50 miles to Greenville, OH, home of the KitchenAid appliance company, where Jan was looking for a new hand mixer.

And while we were there we saw this KitchenAid mixer that used to belong to Julia Child.

Julia Child's Mixer

It’s late and I’m tired, so I’ll finish up our trip tomorrow.


Thought for the Day:

“Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” – P.J. O’Rourke



More Gate Time

September 18, 2014

It’s The Cow’s Fault . . .

Yesterday, (Wednesday) was grocery shopping/prescription day, so about 11am I headed over to the Bryan/College Station area, about 30 miles away. My first stop was the Home Depot to pick up a few things. I’m going to replace the lavatory faucet in the next few days and I needed a can of plumber’s putty for the base. I had some, but found it had dried out.

The handle broke on the old faucet and, although I tried to repair it, the fix just wouldn’t hold. So a new one it is. I picked one up last week so I’ll try and get it done in the next couple of days. Right now the handle is a pair of Vicegrips.

Whatever works.

My next stop was the Sam’s Club to pick up the prescriptions that didn’t go through last week. When we filled some prescriptions at the Sam’s in Mishawaka, IN this past June, for some reason, after filling them, they cancelled them. So the pharmacist here had to get things straightened out. Turns out that nobody at the Mishawaka store had any idea what had happened. They said it was probably a ‘computer error.’

Yeah, right. Somebody had to press that key. The computer didn’t do it by itself.

One thing at Sam’s took me by surprise though.

Christmas at Sam's

This is just ridiculous. They actually have Halloween stuff, Thanksgiving stuff, and Christmas stuff all there together. And there’s probably some New Year’s hats and horns in there somewhere.

After stopping at Wal-Mart for groceries, and to return the ‘Octopus’ shower hose from last week, I headed over by Texas A&M to pick up lunch.

Yelp had really good things to say about Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, so we thought we’d give it a try. Turns out it’s right across the street from the A&M campus and it’s a pretty big place.

With a very small menu.

Chicken Fingers. That’s pretty much it.

They have a 3 piece box, a 4 piece box, a 6 piece family box, and a Chicken Finger Sandwich. That’s it, except for Tailgater boxes of 50 or 100 pieces.

For drinks, they’ve got the usually soft drinks, sweet tea, unsweet tea, and their fresh-squeezed lemonade.

Their sweet and unsweet teas are in those dispensers with the big clear domes on top. One of them is labeled ‘UnSweet Tea’, one of them is labeled ‘Sweet Tea’, and the 3rd one is labeled ‘Sweetness’. ‘Sweetness’ was a light brown liquid that looked like very weak tea, and after a few seconds, I realized what it was.

Real sweet tea is not sweetened with sugar, but with simple syrup. Simple syrup is made by boiling one part water and one part sugar until it’s clear and then letting it cool.

You might not think that tea sweetened with simple syrup would taste different than tea sweetened directly with sugar, but it does. It probably has something to do with the slight caramelization that occurs with the boiling. Or maybe not. But it does taste different. And better.

So what was in the ‘Sweetness’ dispenser was tea-flavored simple syrup, for those who like a little extra ‘sugar rush’ with their sweet tea.

Looking over the menu, I ordered two of the Caniac Combo’s, the 6 piece dinners, since we always like to have leftovers for another meal. And for our drinks that were included, I got their fresh-squeezed lemonade for both of us.

Caniac Combo

Getting back to the gate, we found the chicken fingers and sides really, really good. But for what it’s worth, the pieces we got weren’t quite as big as the ones in the picture, but they were delicious. And 3 pieces was plenty, leaving us another meal for later.

Back to today. When I got up this morning about 11:30, I noticed DirecTV was down, saying it had lost the signal. But it was raining a little and the radar showed a lot of thunderstorms to our south, so I figured that was the problem.

But later in the afternoon after I was outside and Jan had gone in, it still wasn’t working. So I went around the front of the rig to check out our Winegard dome, and the first thing I saw was the empty stand that the dome sits on.

“Crap, somebody stole my dome,” was my first thought. But getting closer, this is what I found.


Now I knew it hadn’t been windy enough to do this, but what the heck? And then getting closer explained it all.

The power and signal cables were all dragged back toward the rig, pulling the dome with it. Looking at the prints in the mud told me a cow had walked through on his way to the small pond behind us and had gotten tangled in the wires laying on the ground.

I was a little worried about the dome still working after all that, but apparently it’s pretty tough. I put it back on the stand, rebooted it, and a few minutes later we had pictures again.

Later, Jan said that a cow had come around the the front of the rig earlier in the morning, stopped and then, looking at Jan, mooed and walked off. I guess the moo meant “I think I just broke something.”

Tomorrow it looks like more rain is in the forecast. Oh Boy!


Thought for the Day:

In grade school it’s called bullying, but later in life it’s referred to as upper level management.   (thanks, Aunt Sherwee)



Another Test Drive

September 18, 2018

Dry As A Bone . . .

With our upcoming test drive this morning, Jan and I were up a little after 7am, and pulling out of our site about 9:30.

Since we still don’t have our generator working, I had switched the fridge over to propane, and was happy to see that the gas level was still showing  full, so we hadn’t leaked any since we filled it up back in June.

Heading east on FM 646, we got on I-45S and then got back off 3 miles south on Exit 17 for our diesel top-off at the La Marque Buc-ee’s.

We got about 93 gallons at $2.799. We did about 805 miles since our last fill-up, for an average 8.6 MPG. Not bad.

I did learn something about using a credit card to get a large amount of diesel. Like many places, Buc-ee’s pumps shut off at $100. But unlike some places, Buc-ee’s doesn’t let you go inside and have them turn the pumps on. They have no control over them.

The problem is that when you’re doing this, you can normally only run a credit card through twice, before it’s refused. Normally I just use another card for the 3rd (or 4th) time. But this time I tried something different just to see if it would work, and it did.

The first two times I ran it through, I did it as a debit card. Then the next time, when it ask if this was a debit or credit card, I selected credit, and it went through. Nice to know.

Finishing up at Buc-ee’s, we drove right next door to the Tanger Outlets so Jan could check out the Vera Bradley factory store looking for a shoulder bag she had her eye.on. Turns out they didn’t stock that one, but she found another one she liked even better.

Actually, she found 3 bags and two lanyards. Yikes!

Jan's Vera Bradley Bags

But it turned out to be not as I bad as I feared. Every thing in the store was 50% off, with most things another 20% off. Very Nice!

So the 3 bags and 2 lanyards totaled more than $10 LESS than the retail price of the one bag.

I can live with that. And even better, it made Jan happy.

When we came out of the Outlet Mall, I checked under the rig for any sign of my recent engine oil leak. And it was dry as a bone. Not a drop.

We completed our test drive by continuing on down I-45 and then coming back up on Hwy 6, and back to the park.

Everything else also worked fine on the test drive, so we’re good to go on our upcoming Florida trip in a couple of weeks.

Thought for the Day:

If a man has enough horse sense to treat his wife like a thoroughbred, she will never turn into an old nag. ~ Author Unknown





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