1,000 Foot Ore Freighter, Soo Locks, MI

1,000 Foot Ore Freighter, Soo Locks, MI

Near Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia

Near Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia

Colorful Truck Sales, Weed, CA

Colorful Truck Sales, Weed, CA

Hollywood Sign

Hollywood Sign

Mackinac Bridge, MI

Mackinac Bridge, MI

Pelicans, Grays Harbor, WA

Pelicans, Grays Harbor, WA

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park

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:






Christmas In Cuero . . .

I got several questions concerning yesterday’s about our upcoming Christmas in Cuero trip on December 9th and 10th.

Jan came across an article about it in one of the Texas magazines, and thought it would make a nice road trip for us.

As it turns out, Cuero was the site of our very last gate-guard adventure finishing up with our last gate day on February 13, 2017. At the time we thought we’d be back on a gate later in August, but life moved on, things changed, and Cuero turned out to be our very last one.

But we really enjoyed our stay there and look forward to going back.

Looks like fun.

And of course, we have our favorite restaurants we want to revisit.

As I mentioned before, our previous shipment of machines came in with the wrong faceplates, looking like this.

So in our latest shipment, they sent us two replacement faceplates so I could change them out myself.

So taking the unit apart, I found the circuit board mounted to the back of the faceplate.

Though it looked complicated, it turned out that I only had to remove the 3 mounts, and unsolder the two blue wires from the connectors.

Then I just had to reverse the process, giving me this finished product.

Only took me about 20 minutes.

Quick and easy.

Thought For The Day:

“There is a study showing that going through a doorway will cause the mind to reset for the next series of events. That is why people will show up in a room and forget what they are there for. The mind clears the immediate past to get ready for new experiences.”

Glad to learn this. I thought it was just my mind going.

And Now On To Today’s Retro-Blogs.™

November 27, 2009

Grey Friday…

For us it was Grey Friday because I only planned to get a couple of things at Radio Shack for our part of the sales day.

We headed out about 11 to first eat lunch at Monterey’s Little Mexico in Dickinson, one of our favorite Mexican places.  I love their Chicken Tortilla Soup, so much so, that’s usually all I have, along with the chips and salsa.

After lunch we headed over to Radio Shack to pick up a couple of things on sale,  Then, after checking out the Walmart next door, we decided to give it a try.

Actually, it wasn’t bad.  We weren’t shopping the sales, we just had to pick up a few things.

Getting back to the rig, we let Mister out to roam while I set up the bird feeder Jan got at Walmart.

All in all, a very nice day.

November 27, 2010

The Kids . . .

Jan and I headed out about 11:00 to meet “the kids” at Stomp’s Burger Joint for lunch, at least, everyone except Piper. She was off applying for a new job, which she got, as she called to tell us later.

BTW when Piper was younger she asked us one time why we called her grown parents “the kids”. Jan told Piper she’d understand when she had kids of her own, that your kids are always your kids, no matter how old they are.

After a great lunch with everyone, Jan and I stopped off at a nearby Wal-Mart to pick up a few things, and then it was back home to the rig.

After putting up things, Jan and I took a walk. Since it had been a few days since we’d walked due to weather and early morning commitments, we only walked a mile, instead of a mile and a half. We’ll bump it back up in the next couple of days.

Getting back Jan filled the bird feeders while I let the awnings and Mister out.

Later in the afternoon I made a pot of coffee and we sat around and watched some things we had saved on the DVR.

That was about it for today.

November 27, 2011

A Big Winner . . .

We decided to have breakfast out this morning so about 10 we headed up to Seabrook to the IHOP. As usual for a Sunday morning, we had a 20 minute wait before we got seated.

After breakfast we went next door to the Home Depot to look at their Christmas ornaments. Jan was looking for some that might be Landon-proof for him to hang on the tree.

Next we stopped by Michael’s Craft’s in Webster to get a large wicker ball to wrap with LED lights to make a large ornament for the rig.

Wicker Ball

After Michael’s we headed over to Brandi’s for the afternoon. They just got back last night from their Thanksgiving in Oklahoma with Lowell’s parents.

And apparently Christmas came early this year for Lowell.

Slot Winnings

After winning over $700 at the slots, a little later he won an additional $3230.

A very nice Christmas indeed! And this is not the first time he’s won like this.

Jan, Brandi, Landon, and Lowell’s sister Sherry were going shopping while Lowell and I held down the fort (i.e. watched football).

Landon at Home

They came back several hours later with a lot of new clothes for Master Landon

A little later we headed home with a stop by Kroger’s for some lottery tickets. Maybe Lowell’s luck will rub off on me. Jan says she wants to take him with her the next time she plays Bingo.

Getting back to the park about sundown, the tide was out and with the offshore wind, the bayou was pretty empty with a lot of mudflats showing.

Galveston Bay Mudflat Sunset 1

Galveston Bay Mudflat Sunset 2

Still a pretty view.

November 27, 2012

Liquipel . . .

or Second Verse same as the First.

So yes, today was pretty much like yesterday. Goofing off in the morning, and then clients and errands in the afternoon.

My first visit was to another long term client who needs a couple of new computers and a laptop, and wants them installed, billed, and paid for, before the end of the year. Tax Stuff.

Then it was on to another client to take a look at some network problems he’s having. Since he didn’t tell me what his problem was to start with, I’ll have to come back later with my test equipment. Looks like he’s getting some noise or interference on his lines that I’ll have to track down.

My next stop was at Home Depot to get prices on some 1×6 boards for my replacement trim project on our house. Looks like I’ll need about twelve 12 foot planks.

Then it was off to Brandi and Lowell’s to pick up the Thanksgiving leftovers that I forgot yesterday. Took some more time to look over the trim job on the house. Now all I need is to get the paint that I’ll need

Before heading home, my last stop was at Kroger’s to pick up my winning Powerball ticket. It’s now up over $500 million and may be higher by the time of the drawing tonight.

Getting home, Jan and I headed out for supper at Monterey’s Little Mexico, another of our favorite local places. And yes, that does make two nights in a row I’ve had Chicken Tortilla Soup for dinner. So what?

Lastly, on the tech front, I’ve come across something for those of you who keep dropping your cellphones in the toilet.

And you know who you are.

It’s called Liquipel, and for about $60 they will completely waterproof your phone. Your phone is placed in a vacuum chamber and a nano-coating is deposited in vapor form on your phone. They do iPads too.

The only problem I see is that you’re without your phone for a week or so.

Check it out.

November 27, 2013

Gobble Gobble, Almost . . .

It was horrible. I had to get up at 7:15 this morning.

First up I had to put a call into Coach-Net to activate my towing appointment to get my truck towed up to Brock’s Car Care to have them take a look at my front-end noise problem. Then I also had to call the EZ Tag Toll Pass people to transfer my pass to the rental car.

By the time I did all that and then got dressed, the tow truck was here. Once he got the front end hooked up and lifted, I put the truck in Neutral Tow Mode and off he went with us following in the rent car. Getting to Brock’s, I went inside while the tow guy unhitched the truck, and by the time he was finished outside, I was finished inside. And after tipping him $5, we went our separate ways.

Our way consisted of the Jack in the Box next door so Jan could get a Supreme Croissant breakfast sandwich and a Christmas Toasty Jack antenna ball for our truck(when we get it back). Then it was across the street to the Starbuck’s for Cinnamon Dolce Lattes for two.

Finally, about 9:30 we were on our way up to Brandi’s for a day of cooking. They were trying to get pretty much everything done before tomorrow.

And to make a long story short, and because I’m tired and we have to get up early again tomorrow, they got everything done, and it looked delicious.

The End.

November 27, 2014

Hmmmmm! Gumbo!

About 10:30 this morning Jan and I headed down south to have Thanksgiving dinner with Chris, Linda, and Piper at their home in Friendswood. We were really looking forward to having Chris’ gumbo, but Jan wanted her gumbo, and turkey too.

So before we got onto I-45S we stopped off at the Conroe Cracker Barrel for a take-out order of Turkey and Dressing, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Carrots, and Pumpkin Streusel for dessert. So she’s all ready for her Black Friday Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow while she’s house/dog sitting.

But it’s only dog sitting, not puppy sitting. Nigel, the ‘Shorkie’, is going with Piper. So it’s just PJ, the Black Lab, and a guest dog to be named later.  BTW a Shorkie is a cross between a

Shih Tzu and a Yorkie.


A real cutie, too.

After a smooth trip with little traffic, we got to Chris’ about 12:30 and ate about an hour later.

Thanksgiving Gumbo

Chris’ gumbo is a combination, with shrimp, oysters, crab claws, and crab meat, as well as Andouille sausage for a little bite. Of course, he puts okra in there, and there’s a shaker of filé on the table too. You can’t get more authentic.

Thanksgiving Table

With rice and French bread, it was a real meal. And while Chris’ did the gumbo, Linda topped it all off with a batch of her Bread Pudding with Rum Sauce.

Really delicious!

Later, after fighting to stay awake after that great meal, I headed back up to Conroe for the night. I plan to do some work around the rig tomorrow before returning to Friendswood Saturday afternoon. We plan to have dinner with our friends Bob and Maria Saturday night, and then come back to the rig Sunday afternoon.

A very nice Thanksgiving weekend.

November 27, 2015

Grey Friday . . .

Overcast and it rained too. In fact this seems to be the start of rain every day for the next seven days or so. Not very conducive to the outside stuff I want to work on. But I did get a couple of things done inside that were on my list.

One of the things I’d been wanting to do was to install a fan speed switch on our front AC thermostat. I had installed one on the rear thermostat years ago, but we never needed one on the front unit, since in the larger area it needed to run wide open most of the time.

But our new Coleman Mach XV unit that I installed last August is over 10% higher in BTU’s (15,000 vs. 13,500) than our old Mach V, and in addition the fan in the new unit is more powerful. So what this means is that the new unit tends to short-cycle in milder weather.

This means that the unit doesn’t really run long enough to remove the maximum amount of moisture from the air. This is why the AC unit in your sticks & bricks needs to be correctly sized for your house.

If it’s too small, of course it won’t cool the house down enough. But if it’s too large, it cools the house down too quickly, without lowering the humidity, leaving you feeling cold and clammy.

In the case of the unit in the rig, the best thing to do is to slow the fan speed, so that’s what I wanted to take care of today.

On the thermostat in the bedroom I was able to mount the switch on the side of the case,

Bedroom Thermostat 1

but because of the little shelf that mounts around the front thermostat, this switch would have to be on the bottom.

I started out by cutting a small notch in the bottom lip of the case and then I SuperGlue’d the SPDT switch in place.

Front Thermostat Upgrade 1

Next I cut and stripped a small length of wire and soldered it to the center lug of the switch

Front Thermostat Upgrade 2

I then connected the red wire to the thermostat terminal strip and soldered the HI speed and LO speed wires to the switch.

Front Thermostat Upgrade 3

All I had to do now was reassemble everything, put the batteries back in and it was ready to go.

Front Thermostat Upgrade 4

I’ll leave it set on LO except in the summer when it’s the hottest. In addition, keeping it on LO cuts down on some of the noise from the fan, so it’s a two-fer.

Next up was to finish up the kitchen LED light upgrade I started last month after the two fluorescent tubes died in the kitchen fixture. I was short one strip so I just fixed it up temporarily until I could order more. Then we got busy on the gate so it got put off until now.

So this is what I started with.

Kitchen Light Upgrade 1

I had just taped the LED strips to the plastic sheet and wired them up like this.

Kitchen Light Upgrade 2

So today I was going to add the last strip and tape all of them to the top of the fixture. The strips come with a peel-off adhesive backing that makes it easy to mount them up in the fixture. So after I wired in the new strip and got them all mounted, it looks like this.

Kitchen Light Upgrade 3

These six strips put out about 15% more light than the fluorescent tubes they replaced, and they’ll last a lot longer too. And I’ve now got enough strips to convert all the other fluorescent lights in the rig.

Here’s the ones I used, these Super Bright LED Light Strips and it looks like they’ve actually come down a couple of dollars, since they’re now $5.99 a set.

Wrapping up, Amazon has a couple of really good deals going on through Saturday. The amazing Kindle Fire tablet, normally $49, is on sale for only $35.

Kindle Fire Special

You can check it here: Fire, 7″ Display, Wi-Fi, 8 GB – Includes Special Offers, Black

And even better, they’ve got the Amazon Echo, normally $179, on sale though Saturday for only $149.

Amazon Echo Special

Jan and I both love our Echo and it gets daily use here in the rig, and we even used it outside on the gate. I’ll have a review on ours in the next few weeks.

November 27, 2016

Turkey and Pizza . . .

I’m actually doing this blog in the afternoon rather than the evening since I’m working starting tomorrow getting up at 4:30a to be on the gate by 5:30.

Jan and I headed out about 12:15 for more Turkey and Dressing at Barth’s on their Sunday Lunch Buffet.

It doesn’t have to be Thanksgiving or Christmas for Jan to want Turkey and Dressing. That’s why her favorite day at Cracker Barrel is Thursdays, their day for Turkey and Dressing. But alas, it was not to be.

Barth’s was closed. In fact almost every place in Kenedy was closed. Talk about a long Thanksgiving weekend. The only two places that we found open were Polack’s Sausage (BBQ) and Bella Sera, our ‘goto’ Italian place here in Kenedy.

And both places were packed. I guess that’s like our trip back from Katy on Thanksgiving when the only places we saw open were two Whataburgers and they both had lines out into the street.

Deciding on Bella Sera, we once again went with the large Meat Lover’s Pizza with added mushrooms, large enough to have half to take home for leftovers.

Bella Sera Pizza

In fact I’m taking a slice for lunch on the gate tomorrow. Yumm!

One thing we always check going into Katy in the sign showing the US Rig Count which as of Thursday was 593, up 5 from last week. When we last checked in about a month ago, it was at 490, a nice jump that bodes well for future gate guard employment.

A previous tenant here at the RV park left this HD Direct TV dish right behind our site. It’s fastened down to the ground and it looks in good shape so I’ve been thinking about calling Direct TV to see about turning on HD for the period of time we’re here.

Direct TV  HD Dish

Although our Direct TV DVR and our Samsung TV are both HD capable, our Winegard Traveler Dome is not. The reason we have this DVR is that it gives us more storage capacity than the standard one.

So I’ll see what Direct TV says about the cost, and if I can turn it off when we leave here.

November 27, 2017

Mirror, Mirror . . .

Our friends Janice and Dave Evens headed out this morning, on the way to Florida for a couple of months.

I got up early, about 8:30, to walk down with Jan to see them off, but she beat me to it by herself.

A couple of weeks ago I ordered Jan an extendable makeup mirror for the bathroom.

Extension Mirror

5X/1X Extension Mirror

It pulls out 30” and has both 1X and 5X magnifications.

But with all the holiday stuff going on I didn’t get around to installing it until yesterday in between Instant Pot stuff.

Or at least I tried.

After marking the holes and drilling them out, I inserted the plastic anchors that came with the mirror.

Makeup Mirror Install 1

I did notice that these anchors had no lips to keep them from pushing on through the wall.

Plastic Anchor

And as I thought, as soon as I tried to screw in the bracket the anchor pushed through and fell inside the wall. So, since I didn’t have any other anchors I was done for then.

Today on my way home from work, I stopped off at Lowe’s and got some of my favorite anchors, like these.

EZ Screw-in Anchors

I’ve used these for years and never had one fail or pull out on me. So it was quick work to push through the remaining old anchor and then screw in the new ones, using the original holes.

Makeup Mirror Install 3

Then it was quick work to mount the mirror bracket.

Makeup Mirror Install 4

Next I screwed the mirror in place and it was ready to go.

Makeup Mirror Install 5

Then when we travel it rides flush against the wall.

Makeup Mirror Install 6

Looks pretty good.

Tomorrow we’ll be going up to Pasadena to have lunch, and then run some errands. I know Jan’s looking forward to getting out.

November 27, 2018

If The Tongue Is Blue . . .

Jan and I headed out for her pet-sitting job up in Katy about 2pm, with a short stop-over at the Tuesday Morning in Webster for Christmas cards. Jan’s always found that they have high-end cards at discount prices, so that’s her go-to place.

She’s planning on using her time at Brandi’s to get them all done.

We did make a quick stop at the nearby Mason Rd El Pollo Loco so Jan could pick up a couple of meals for her dinners while she’s there.

I dropped Jan off at Brandi’s a little after 4pm and got right back on the road down to Santa Fe, hoping to stay ahead of all the going-home traffic, and it worked. Getting back to this area, I did make a Denny’s dinner stop for breakfast. Good as always.

The car service will pick up Brandi, Lowell, and Landon about 7:15am tomorrow, after already getting Chantelle, Eric, and Maddox, and they’ve got already their evening planned at Disney World when they get there.

They’ll be back sometime Monday and I’ll get Jan back Monday afternoon. Already can’t wait.

Once I used the 10/07/2018 System Image Backup I made for our Asus laptop, rather than the more recent 11/23/18 version, the copying of the image back to the new hard drive went through with no further problems. Guess it must have had a glitch somewhere because I tried it 3 times. And when I got up this morning, the laptop had booted up into Win7 on the new drive, with all the files seemingly intact.

Doing a System Image on either Win7 or Win10 is really pretty easy. You do have to have somewhere to copy the image to, like one of these 2TB WD External Drives.

WD Backup Drive

About the size of a deck of cards, you can also get them in a 4TB size. Or even 8TB in a slightly larger format.

Then just plug the drive into a USB port, preferably a USB 3.0 one, which is 10X faster, select Backup and Restore from the Control Panel, and then click on ‘Create A System Image. Follow the prompts to select your external drive and you’re off and running.

You can tell which port on your computer is USB 3.0 by looking inside the receptacle. If the little ‘tongue’ is blue, it’s 3.0.

When you are done with that, and this is your first System Image, insert a blank DVD into the DVD drive and click on ‘Create A System Repair Disk’. You will need this if you have to reinstall the System Image. You only need to do this one, and then just store it away.

I mentioned the other day when I first tried to do the reinstall, that I couldn’t find my Recovery DVD, and had to bring one home from work. Well I found mine, right in the laptop DVD drive where I left it. And forgot about it.

Changing out the HD was pretty simple. Two screws and the cover plate comes off the bottom of the laptop, revealing the HD, the WiFi module, and the system RAM chips.

Laptop HD Replacement 1

4 more screws and the HD rack is out,

Laptop HD Replacement 2

and then 4 more screws and the HD is out of the rack.

Laptop HD Replacement 3

Then it’s just a matter of reversing the process with the new HD, and you’re done with this part.

Then boot to the Recovery DVD and you’re ready to go.

Let me know if you have any questions.

The Mars Insight Lander is working fine so far and sent back this ‘selfie’ as the first photo after the landing.


One commenter on a tech blog I read said it looked a lot like West Texas. I posted that it’s definitely not West Texas, otherwise it would look like this.


I had heard that they were expanding outside Texas, but I didn’t realize they were taking it this far.

November 27, 2019

Not A Good Day . . .

First off, my oil leak, after a $1000 repair, is still leaking. Of course, to be fair, about $200 of that was the air compressor system repair with a new air filter/dryer.

So it’s my $800 oil leak repair, I guess.

Not exactly sure where I go from here, but I’ve got a couple of Ideas I’m mulling over.

Then when I got back to our site here in Santa Fe, I found that one side of our 50 amp breaker had died and I’m getting no power into the coach. Just perfect!

After texting the park owner and not getting a reply, I pulled the breaker and headed over to the Home Depot to get a new one. And they had the exact GE replacement. A least something’s going right.

Turns out the park owner is out of town for Thanksgiving.

But by the time I got back, (decided to have Denny’s for dinner first) it was dark, so I had the joy of working with 240 volts in the dark, holding the flashlight in my mouth.

But finally about 7:30, I had power again.

Tomorrow morning I’m driving up to Katy so Jan and I can have Thanksgiving Dinner at the Cracker Barrel there. Looking forward to seeing my Sweetie again.

More tomorrow when I won’t feel like cussing so much.

November 27, 2020

Thanksgiving Is Officially Over . . .

All the leftovers are gone now.

And it’s Day 2 without Internet.

As I mentioned yesterday, our park Internet WiFi went down about 10am and never came back up. I can connect and get an IP address, but there was no there there.

I was hoping that the problem had resolved itself this morning, but no such luck. We can still get online with our Verizon MiFi, and also by hotspotting our Samsung phones, but TV streaming really eats up the data. So we’ve been playing back old TV shows still stored on our DirecTV DVR.

Then about 10 I got on the phone trying to get a hold of someone in Xfinity/Comcast Tech Support so they could take a look at things from their end. And, unbelievably, after about 45 minutes of bouncing back and forth between phone numbers until finally I found Michelle, a very nice Tech Support person who knew what she was doing, and quickly figured out that I knew what I was talking about.

She was quickly able to connect to the park’s modem and run diagnostics and then do a full reboot on the system. But all to no avail. But once I knew that the Internet was making it into the park’s system, my next thought was that maybe it was just our local repeaters.

The 17 spaces that make up the park are all in one long line, with a repeater like this about every 3-4 sites.

Park WiFi Repeater

So, taking my Samsung tablet, I drove down to the front of the park and tried to connect.

With no luck. So I headed down toward the other end of the park, when I came across a lady coming out from the laundry. She turned out to be the owner’s daughter who said that the WiFi was out park-wide and the local repair guy would be out tomorrow to fix it.

So now we wait.

For some reason, over the last few years it seems like I’ve been doing a lot of repairs on this date. So you get a lot of that in today’s blog.

November 27, 2021

A Week From Today . . .

After I did my 30 minute Bone Graft treatment this morning, I got on the computer to get reservations for the rest of the shows we want to see when we are up in Branson the week after next.

In fact, two weeks from tonight we’ll be overnighting in Texarkana, the halfway point on the way to Branson. We’ll have Monday through Friday there, and then head home on Saturday with another overnight in Texarkana before getting home on Sunday.

Really looking forward to it.

About 12:30 we headed out for lunch at Gator’s once again. While Jan went with her Strawberry Walnut Salad with Grilled Chicken,

Gator's Bar & Grill Strawberry Walnut Salad with Chicken

I tried something new, the Egg In The Hole Bagel, pretty much a BLT on a bagel, with an Over Easy Egg in the bagel hole.

Gator's Egg in the Hole Bagel

Really good. In fact, have again good.

And then we each had one of their fantastic Keto Blueberry Muffins, heated, with some butter.

Gator's Keto Blueberry Muffin

Again, delicious.

Then it was on up the Interstate a bit to the Costcutters by HEB so Jan could get her hair done. And while she was doing that I filled up at the HEB pumps.

All I can say, is it’s been a long time since I’ve paid $50+ for a tank of gas, $57 to be exact. Now it was the Dakota, and it does have a 25 gallon tank, and I did put 20 gallons in it, but still.

On the subject of the Dakota, we’re driving it this week because our Jeep’s in the shop getting a couple of things checked out before our Branson trip. So it was interesting to see that yesterday the odometer rolled over to 308,000 miles.

Now, as I’ve mentioned, it’s been a V7 for about the last 15,000 miles when the #7 cylinder died, dropping to about 25# compression, rather than the usual 125#. But it cranks up every time, and will still do 70-75 on the Interstate.

Of course, it does smoke, blue smoke out the exhaust. But I’ve been thinking about getting one of those magnetic signs made for the door that says, “Harris County Mosquito Abatement Program.”

That ought to cover it.

Looks like tomorrow will be a stay-at-home Sunday, finishing off our Cracker Barrel Turkey Day leftovers.

November 27, 2022

Leftovers . . .

But not Turkey.

Today was a little different Sunday for us.

Usually we go out somewhere for lunch, and do our WalMart/HEB shopping. Or sometimes it’s HEB/WalMart. But today we decided to finish off our leftover Grimaldi’s Pizza from yesterday.

Then we went out shopping.

And over the next few days we still got leftover Turkey Day stuff, sans Dressing, of course. After making a number of unanswered calls on Thursday, including several where it was obvious that someone picked up the phone and then immediately hung it up, I gave up for right then. What I had been hoping was that maybe the manager of our Cracker Barrel might be able to call the manager of the Katy location so we could maybe pick up a pan of dressing from them. But no luck with that.

So I called our local CB Friday morning about 10:30 and actually got to talk to a manager, who told me to call back after 2pm after I told her what had happened. When I called her, I was told she was busy and would call me back.

And she was busy for the next 9 calls I made.

So now it’s a nasty email to corporate.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

I realized that I forgot to post photos of Brandi’s Christmas trees that she put up before they left for Colorado.

This is her main big tree in the living room.

Brandi Christmas with Topper 20221124

And it’s interesting to see how well decorated it is close up.

Brandi Christmas with Topper Close Up 20221124

And this is the smaller, illuminated one in the dining room.

Brandi Christmas Tree 2 2022

Both really beautiful.

Apparently a lady in Florida takes everything a little too literally.

She’s suing Kraft Foods saying that Velveeta Shells and Cheese takes longer than the 3-1/2 minutes it says on the box. Of course it also says on the box that that’s the cooking time.

So she’s probably going to have a real problem with Instant Oatmeal and Minute Rice.

And one guy online said he’s suing Kellogg’s because his Rice Krispies only have Snap and Crackle, but no Pop.

You just gotta’ wonder about some people.












%d bloggers like this: