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

I Even Have A Backup Coffee Pot . . .

Our regular readers know that I’m big on Backups. On pretty much everything.

Computers, tools, you name it. I’ve probably got a spare tucked away somewhere.

And now coffee pots.

The other night as I was filling our coffee pot at the faucet, I accidently bumped it into the sink, breaking it into a lot of glass shards. So it looked like no coffee for us in the morning.

Oh, the horror!

But then I remembered that a while back when our old Mr. Coffee had died, I had wrapped up the pot in an old towel and tucked it away in the back of a bathroom cabinet. It took me a few minutes to dig it out, but we didn’t go without coffee the next morning, and I saved the $20+ to buy a new one on Amazon.

After I put out our flag for Memorial Day, I liked the look of it so much, especially when the wind was blowing, that I decided to keep it up.


But, of course, leaving it up all the time, day or night, rain or shine, I needed to light it at night.

So I found this LED spotlight on Amazon.


Flag Spotlight

I’ll put it on a computer-controlled timer so it only turns on at night.

I got the strut balls in today


and it looks like the ball end is the perfect size. However I think the threaded end may be too large. I can enlarge the hole on the bracket, but I’m afraid that won’t leave enough metal to hold it firmly.

I’ll check it out tomorrow and let you know.

Thought For The Day:

Some days I really believe that my horoscope says: “Just don’t kill anyone today”.

June 2, 2009

Our Blog has gone viral!…

A friend of ours told us last week that her son’s teacher was showing the class some funny photos online, and before showing one, said that this one was her favorite…

And it was us!!!!



Someone had posted it here…


on May 8th.  We don’t know who posted it, but we love the comments down below.  Be sure and scroll down to read them.

I had originally posted it to our blog here…


on April 13th.

Our friend’s son Spencer said everyone was really laughing at the picture, and then he said “I think I know those people”, and everyone laughed even harder.

We might not have ever known about it being posted except for Spencer seeing it in his class.

Now that’s really a coincidence

And now for something completely different…

Today turned out to be a rainy, hang-around the coach day.  Then, about 5 pm we headed over to the coach of some new friends we made here, Al and Jan, to go out to dinner at El Leoncito Mexican/Cuban Restaurant here in Titusville.

June 2, 2010

Casper WY…

We left Gillette about 9:45 heading for Casper, WY about 185 miles away. All of the 3 other remaining coaches were leaving also.

The trip was smooth and pretty uneventful, which is good. We did see a lot of pronghorn antelope along the way, along with a lot of great scenery.

WyomingMtns 1

WyomingMtns 2

We arrived at Fort Caspar (Yes, that’s the way it was originally spelled) Campground and got set up.

Fort Casper 1

Fort Casper 2

Although it’s pretty plain, it is a Passport America park so it’s cheap. It’s also level, with good power and water pressure. All things considered, you can’t really ask for much more when you’re only staying one night.

The funny thing is that there are 3 other American coaches here from the rally we just left, including the one right next to us.

About 3 pm we headed out for a late lunch at Sanford’s Grub and Pub, just like Humphrey’s that we ate at the the other day in Gillette. They’re a small chain of about 9 restaurants here in WY, ND, and CO.

And they are really good. There’s another one in Rawlins, WY where we’ll be about lunchtime tomorrow, but it’s downtown, so we’ll have to see if we can find a parking space.

Tomorrow we’ll head out for Rock Springs, WY about 230 miles away where we’ll stay for one night at the Rock Springs KOA.

June 2, 2011

Pools and Taillights . . .

Our son-in-law Lowell sent pics of Landon’s new swimming pool in the backyard.

Landon Pool

Looks like Landon is all ready for the summer.

I was up about 10:30 and after coffee and a Cinnamon Crunch muffin from Sam’s Club, I caught up on Internet stuff for a while.

Later we headed up to Yuba City about 2 pm so I could pick a new tail light converter. The local U-Haul dealer said on the phone they had one, but I wasn’t sure they understood what I was talking about as far as ‘powered’ vs. ‘unpowered’.

On the 25 mile trip north we also scouted out possible cappuccino locations later. Since we didn’t get cappuccinos yesterday, we really needed the warm solace of that rich confection to soothe our fragile bodies. Well, bodies, anyway.

On the way to the U-Haul I saw an O’Reilly Auto Parts so I decided to check there also. They didn’t have a powered converter, but they did have something else I was looking for

Tail light Tester

A tail light tester. This goes inline with your hookup and shows you if the lights are working coming from the coach.

Getting the tester, we next stopped at the U-Haul place right down the road. And, as it turns out, they did have the powered converter I wanted.

U-Haul Tail light Converter

In case you’re wondering, (or even if you’re not) a powered converter has a separate 12v line feeding into the box that supplies the power to the lights in the vehicle being towed. An unpowered converter uses the rig’s lighting system to also power the toad’s lights. This can overload the coach lights, possibly burn out the turn signal flasher, and cause all the lights to be dimmer than they should.

Leaving the U-Haul we stopped by the Post Office and then headed back over to the Lumberjack’s Restaurant that we ate at on Tuesday after we got here.

This time both Jan and I had the Chicken Fried Steak. And it was just as good as last time. This is a great restaurant.

When we went in to eat, I took the instruction sheet for the converter in with me. And discovered that I now didn’t need the tester I got at O’Reilly because this powered converter had one built in. So after dinner we went back by there to return it and get my money back.

Hey, $8.49 is $8.49!

Coming home we stopped at a Chevron station and rewarded ourselves with the craved cappuccinos since we’d had such a rough day.

Later, back at the rig I installed and tested the new converter box while Jan supervised.

Well, watched, anyway. And held tools.

Jan is good at holding tools, too.

As I mentioned above, we’ll leaving on Saturday to head up to the Mt. Shasta area, and then on to Crater Lake for a couple of weeks. Looking forward to it.

June 2, 2013

If you didn’t know better, you’d think they were brand new . . .

After coffee this morning, Jan read her Kindle and I tried to figure out how I wanted to hook up the replacement drinking fountain that I bought back in Reno, NV a couple of weeks ago.

Home Depot Drinking Faucet

I had put it off because I also had a Filtrete Under-Sink Advanced Water Filter and I figured if I had to pull every thing out from under the sink and then crawl under there, I’d rather only do it once.

3M Filtrete 3US-PS01

But I wanted to figure out how the best way to hook it in place of the old Omnipure in-line filter that I was replacing. After thinking about it over coffee, I figured that if I just got some adapters that would go from the 3/8” tubing of the new filter to the quick connect fittings on the old filter, that would do it.

Water Filter ConnectorIf I could find a adapter like that, I could just plug the new filter’s tubing into the old quick connect sockets and be done with it.

So I’ll make a stop at Lowe’s this afternoon and see it I can come up with something that will work.

Later in the morning, Jan talked to both of our kids. Brandi, Lowell, and Landon are getting settled into their new house, and Chris, Linda, and Piper are in the process of moving into our house. Hopefully we’ll be able to Skype with Master Landon next weekend.

About 2:30 Jan and I headed into Bend for some shopping and dinner. Our first stop was up north of Bend at the local Lowe’s to see if I can find the adapter that I need. And after a little sniffing around the plumbing section I found exactly what I wanted.

Water Filter AdapterThe tubing from the new filter slips into one end and locks, just like one of those old Chinese finger traps. Then the quick connect adapter screws into the other end.

Easy Peazy.

Or at least it seems that way right now. How it goes tomorrow might be a whole ‘nother story.

Leaving Lowe’s we headed over to a place that we’ve been anticipating since we got here.

Baldy’s BBQ


You’ve just got to love a guy with a hairline like that.

Although it’s a BBQ place I know from past experience that their steaks are fantastic. So I went with the 16oz Ribeye with fries, beans, Cole Slaw, and honey-jalapeno cornbread.

Baldys Ribeye

Just as delicious as last time.

Jan went old-school with a full rack of their great ribs. Along with the beans and Cole Slaw, she got the chipotle potato salad. Notice when they say a ‘full rack’, they mean it. When means Jan has plenty of leftovers to take home.

Jan's Baldy's Combo

We also had a good time talking to our waitress, Kalani, whose in-laws are RV’ers, and are presently at the Verde Valley Thousand Trails park in Cottonwood, AZ, one of our favorite areas too.

Completely stuffed, we headed home with a stop at Fred Meyer’s (that’s Kroger’s out here on the West Coast) for a few things before getting back to the park about 6:30. We stopped off at the produce stand, but they were out of the fresh cherries Jan wanted, so we’ll have to try again later.

As we came further into the park we came across a flatbed trailer behind a semi that had these two beautifully-restored old trucks. Ironically I had seen this truck coming south on US97 as we were heading north into Bend this afternoon. So it was really great to be able to get a closer look.

This is a Ford C500 COE (cab over engine), Based on my internet research, I think it’s about a 1955 model.

Ford C500 Truck


This one says Hall-Scott on the side, but I think it might actually be a Kenworth, with a Hall-Scott engine. Hall-Scott was mainly a engine manufacturer, though they started out building self-powered rail cars in 1910.

Hall-Scott Truck

I wish I had been able to get a look inside, but anyway, these are really neat.

Tomorrow I’ll see how the filter/faucet install goes.

June 2, 2014

Bad Knees and Lost Watches . . .

My knee seems to be pretty much back to normal, so we walked this morning but kept it to half a mile to see how my knee was going to do.

Getting back to the rig, we sat outside and had our coffee and finished off the last of the cheesy bread we had leftover from Mancino’s Pizza.

A little later we were joined by Phyllis and Dick Schell, blog readers and friends we first met years ago at a rally. We sat out there talking and laughing until almost 1:30 when a rain shower chased us inside.

But we did make a dinner date for El Maguey tonight.

I never did make it down to the Verizon store today, and I still haven’t restored my contact list. But that’s probably because I didn’t even try to fool with it. One reason is that I’m still thinking about just going ahead and upgrading to a Galaxy S5. I’ve had my Samsung Charge since August 2011, so it’s probably about time. We’ll see how it plays out.

During our walk this morning, we found a watch along the roadway that I turned into Gita at the park office. It was in good shape and still running, and had a blue woven band. It looks like the pin on the band just came loose and it fell off.

Later in the afternoon we got some heavy rain, with more to come. It’s part of the cold front coming through, giving us highs in the 70’s tomorrow and the 60’s on Wednesday.

It’s June. Where’s summer?

About 4:30 we teamed up with Phyllis and Dick Schell, and we all headed over to El Maguey for dinner. And like usual when you get a bunch of RV’ers together, we did as much talking as eating. A good thing.

Tomorrow, the Verizon store. Maybe.

June 2, 2015

We Have Neighbors . . .

After a morning of doing totally nothing (very nice) we headed out about 3pm for an afternoon of shopping and dining. Well, more like Sam’s/Wal-Mart and Chinese.

As we were getting in the truck to leave, the Service Manager stopped by to let us know that everything’s waiting on the insurance end before they can proceed. Hopefully that will get resolved quickly.

Our first stop was at the local Sam’s Club, mostly for prescriptions, which turned out to be kind of a bust, since they only had 3 of the 6 ready. So we’ll have to come back tomorrow. Figure I’ll also fill up when we come back since Sam’s is pretty much the cheapest gas around. In fact we plan on filling up with diesel there on our way out of town. Whenever that is.

Then it was back over this way to have dinner at Beijing Garden, one of only a few Chinese places in the area, and the one with the best ratings on Yelp.

Like many places, Beijing Garden’s ratings seem to range from 1 star to 4 or 5 stars, with not a lot in between.

Beijing Garden is in a nondescript location in a Safeway shopping center, but we weren’t discouraged since some of our favorite places are in locations like this.

Beijing Garden 3

The inside, however, is light and airy, and nicely decorated. Someone has a real sense of style.

Beijing Garden 1

After looking over the menu, we both decided on the same dish, the Orange Peel Spicy Crispy Chicken Dinner.

Beijing Garden 2

With the meal, we got Hot and Sour Soup, an Egg Roll, 2 Crab Puffs, and Hot Tea. A great deal for only $11.95 each. And it was all really good. And such a large portion that we didn’t even have room to split a Green Tea Ice Cream as we had planned.

One thing we noticed is how many regulars came in while we there. The hostess seem to know them all by name, always a good sign.

A great place. We’ll go back.

Then it was right next door to Wal-Mart for some supplies. After all it’s not a complete week if we don’t go to Wal-Mart. Finally coming back to the rig, we made quick stop at the Fry’s across the street for a couple of things we didn’t find at Wal-Mart.

We apparently now have neighbors here at the Affinity RV Park. They have a 2015 Jayco Precept, a small Class A. I was at the service desk while they were checking in and heard the wife say that “Nothing worked.” They’re parked at the other end of the row from us, so maybe we’ll stop off and introduce ourselves tomorrow.

June 2, 2016

Doing Our Part . . .

For those of you trying to avoid having Windows 10 crammed down your throat . . . er computer, there;s a new scam going around from Microsoft. And unless you know how to respond, you’ll get Windows 10 no matter what you do.

I even saw this Tuesday night when I was cleaning out Barbara’s laptop. After running CCleaner and rebooting, I got a MS pop-up telling me I could install Win10 right now or put it off until tonight. No option to turn it down. Just the two choices, now or later.

Of  course, there is that little ‘X’ in the upper right corner. That’ll kill it, right?

Well, No!

Clicking the ‘X’ does make the window go away, or course, but it also does the same thing as clicking the “Install Later” button. So if you leave your computer on tonight, tomorrow morning when you wake up, you’ll be running Win10 whether you want to or not.

After you see the pop-up, you only have two options, both of which I’ve mentioned before.

First, you can let it install and then click “I Don’t Agree” at the Terms & Conditions prompt. This will cause Windows 10 to uninstall itself back to Win7, 8, or 8.1, where ever you started from. Then download and run Never10 so it won’t happen again. Because if you don’t, it will.

Or second, you can tell the pop-up to install Win10 later tonight, and then immediately run Never10.

I again spent the morning and afternoon working on client website stuff, actually on two different sites at the same time. But hey, it keeps me off the streets and out of trouble.

Well, maybe just off the streets.

About 4:30 Jan and I drove into Columbus to have dinner at Whataburger, our first visit since we were here at Lake Conroe the last time. And that’s way too long.

And even better, they got the order exactly right. Regular readers will remember my trials and tribulations with the Whataburger in Carthage, TX while we were gate guarding last year. But this time I got the young lady to start with a plain #6 with cheese, and then had her add the things we wanted.

What they normally try to do is to subtract mentally what you don’t want from their standard condiments, and then add back the other stuff you do want. So you just know something’s going to go wrong. And it usually does.

But tonight it was perfect. And delicious.

Before heading home, we drove across the street to pick up a few things at the HEB, and then made a fuel stop on our way back to the rig.

Wrapping for the night, I came across an article recently that talk about what seniors regretted the most in their life. Turns out to be not traveling enough.

Biggest Regrets For Seniors

All I can say is that Jan and I are doing our part.  How about you?

June 2, 2017

Solenoids and Hojos . . .

First off, the photo problem with yesterday’s blog has been fixed. I didn’t have time to  fix it this morning before we left the rig. Still don’t know what caused the problem, but the link to the photos were messed up in the blog, and the photo itself didn’t get uploaded to the blog like it should have. I did check the blog after I posted it, but didn’t go down far enough to notice the missing photos in the middle. Sorry about that.

Once again we were out the door a little before 9am, heading for Gillette, WY, about 125 miles away. But our first stop was the Mobil station right before we got on I-90.

We needed gas for the trip, and also wanted to check the place out to get diesel for the rig when we leave here . . . well, whenever we leave here.

We’re booked here until Tuesday the 6th, but we may stay until the following Saturday. We’ll see. But it does look like the Mobil station would be an easy in/easy out for the rig, and plenty of room to hitch up the toad.

Our road trip to Gillette was two-fold, or maybe three-fold. I wanted to pick up a specially-ordered part for our rig’s Onan generator, we wanted to eat at Humphrey’s, a favorite restaurant of ours, and on the way home, take a detour out to Devi’s Tower on the way home.

Well, two out of three ain’t bad.

We were picking up a new starter/solenoid for our generator. A couple of months ago we tried to use our generator and it wouldn’t start. In fact , it wouldn’t even crank. Normally the start switch on the dashboard flashes as the generator cranks, but nothing this time.

My first check was the big 300 amp fuse in the battery bay that feeds the 12 volts to the generator.

Generator 300 Amp fuse

But is was fine, so while I was there I took it apart and cleaned and wire-brushed the contacts.

Then it was on to the connections to the generator itself, and for that I had to crawl under the rig. After checking that I had 12 volts there I disconnected the 300 amp fuse. Then I cleaned and wire-brushed those connections too..

Generator 12 volt  Connections 1

Generator 12 volt  Connections

After hooking everything back up, I stay underneath with my voltmeter and had Jan try to crank the generator while I checked the voltage at the connections. Starting with 13.2 volts, it dropped to about 12 volts when she tried to crank it. So something was doing something.

I had noticed that when I was trying to crank it from the generator itself, the light in the switch was flashing, and I could hear the slight clicking for a few seconds as the fuel pump pressurized the system.

After I finally tracked down the full service manual for the unit, I used that to translate the error code that the button light was flashing. And that code indicated “Low Cranking Speed.”

Well, duh!

How about NO cranking speed?

But one thing I noticed was that I never heard anything from the starter, OR the solenoid.

Now every solenoid I’ve ever fooled with makes a click or clunk of some kind when it’s engaged. So I put my hand on the solenoid while I tried to crank it and didn’t feel anything either.

And since I had power to the contacts on the solenoid, I was going with a bad solenoid.

But I quickly found out that Cummins/Onan now longer sells the solenoid separately, but only with the starter as a complete unit. And it was $140 and a special order. Hence our trip to Gillette.

Then after picking up our starter, we headed into downtown Gillette to have lunch at Humphrey’s Bar & Grill, a really good place where we’ve eaten a number of times.


Humphrey’s has one of those eclectic themes with a little bit of everything on the walls and hanging from the ceiling.

Humphrey's 1

Jan had the Easy Cheesy Burger, a 1/2 pound sirloin burger with sautéed onions and mushrooms, covered in nacho cheese sauce, along with fries.

Humphrey's Jan

For me, I went  with the 1/2 pound sirloin burger with crispy bacon and cheese, along with Hojo potatoes. Hojos start with a whole potato which is then sliced into 4 or so thick pieces, and then battered and deep fried to order, and served with sour cream.

Humphrey's Greg

Really good,and very crispy-crunchy on the outside with a soft center.

After a great meal, we got back on the road toward home about 12:30. As I said before we had planned on doing Devil’s Tower along the way, but as we left Cummins and headed toward Humphrey’s, I started getting a headache that just kept getting worse.

So with that, and the fact that it poured down rain a good part of the way home, we decided to postpone our visit to another day. We had visited here in 2008, so it wasn’t a complete loss.

After taking some Advil as we left Humphrey’s, and a two hour nap after we got home, I was on the mend. My version of Jan’s migraines, I guess.

Tomorrow I’ll start working on getting the solenoid replaced.

Onan New Starter

June 2, 2018

Penny Doesn’t Work There Any More . . .

She’s in Pharmaceutical Sales now.

Jan and I spent part of the morning going over all the things we need to get done before we leave on our trip on the 21st.  We’ve got almost three weeks, but it will go fast.

Jan and I  headed up to our son Chris’ house about 3:30. We were also meeting up with Brandi and Lowell who were bringing down a bunch of furniture in their Tundra.

Chris had gone up to Katy this morning to bring Landon back down so they could spend the day hanging out together. Then we were all meeting up for dinner.

Chris and Landon spent the day building the Eiffel Tower from a Lego kit like this.

Landon Lego Effiel Tower Box

with this as the result.

Landon Lego Effiel Tower

Of course Landon, never the one to do things the easy way, then made this drawing,

Landon Effiel Tower Drawing

and then constructed his own model from cardboard.

Landon Effiel Tower

The kid’s got some talents.

While we were there, we looked over the furniture that both Chris and Brandi want to give to Jan’s sister Debbie, who we’ll be visiting on our trip later this month. We’re going to take as much as we can of it with us in the RV and the truck, so I wanted to get some idea how much we were talking about.

Finally about 4:30 we all headed down to the Baybrook Mall area to have dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. The last time Jan and I ate here was in 2013, so it was good to be back.

It was just Brandi, Lowell, Landon, Chris, and Jan and I, since Linda had to work and Miss Piper was in Florida with her boyfriend.

Jan and I both had the Tuscan Chicken, with Grilled Chicken Breast, Tomatoes, Artichokes, Capers, Fresh Basil with Balsamic Vinaigrette, and served Over fresh vegetables.

Cheesecake Factory Tuscan Chicken

Really, really good.

Brandi and Chris had steak, Lowell had the Orange Chicken, and Master Landon had the spaghetti.

Then Chris, Lowell and Brandi got cheesecake to go, but Jan and I were just too full to even think about it.

Saying our goodbyes, we made Sam’s Club and WalMart before getting home about 8pm.

Another very nice day.

June 2, 2019

Well, I Tried . . .

I spent the morning and early afternoon trying to get the new website configured and set up for my client. Without a lot of luck.

I have a working version of it over on my Godaddy account, so my idea was to just migrate it over to my client’s cPanel account using GoDaddy’s Import function.

Easy Peazy, Right?

But, no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get it to work.

I kept getting errors that didn’t really make any sense. Like “Not enough disk space to create 1MB file.” But this was shown on the source area, not on the destination area, where you would think that it would be creating files.

And besides, both areas have over a 1GB of disk space. so what’s the problem? So after trying different things, and getting different error messages, none of which made any sense either, I put in a call to Godaddy Tech Support.

And after going round and round, with Richard, the tech guy, talking to a number of higher level techs, it turns out no one even knows where that function came from.

Or when it came.

And looking at the way it was supposed to work, they said there was no way it could. And that it must have been left over from some previous software version, and not been deleted when it should have been.

Oh well. I knew it was too easy.

So now it looks I’ll to set it up from scratch, install the SQL databases, and then configure it. Something I was trying to avoid, if possible.

Well, I tried.

Around 4 we drove over to the Victory Lakes area to have breakfast/dinner at Denny’s, our first time since we got back last Sunday. Great as always. Coming home we made a stop at the Sam’s Club and the WalMart in Texas City trying to find Joint Juice for Jan. But just like yesterday’s Sam’s Club/WalMart up in Webster, no one had it in stock.

As we were leaving, I noticed the line of cars wrapped around the Murphy/WalMart gas station, and then quickly saw why. They were selling unleaded at $1.99/gal.

Now just yesterday I paid $2.27 at the Sam’s Club in Webster, and thought I was getting a good deal, since everywhere else had it for $2.39 – $2.49. So I don’t know if it’s a gas war down there, or what.

But since I just filled up yesterday, I couldn’t take advantage of it. Darn!

After it had cooled a little, I went outside about 7pm to take a look at my radiator problem. But as I was adding water to the radiator, it suddenly dawned on me that the truck had been sitting there for a month without being started, and might not start now.

And it didn’t. And when I put the charger on it, it said the battery was at 6.9 volts. So it’s probably toast long term.

But finally, just as the sun was going down, I got it to start. So I’ll take a look at it tomorrow.

Well, I tried.

June 2, 2020

It’s Back . . .

My BPPV had almost faded away yesterday, so I expected it to be completely gone this morning, as it has done in the past. But when I got up this morning, it was back in spades, actually worse than it was when it started Sunday morning. But by late this afternoon, it had disappeared completely.

Well, it looks like DirecTV’s DNS (Distant Network Service) service hasn’t gone away, at least completely. So far we’ve only lost ABC east and west, and CW east and west.

According to this, DirecTV made some sort of side deal with CBS, NBC, and Fox. Apparently they got so many complaints, cancellations, and threatened cancellations, that they’re trying to keep it working. Because it’s not just RV’ers that use the DNS. It’s also long-haul truckers, isolated ranchers, and even full-time boaters.

But Jan and I are still looking for a DirecTV alternative. And so far the one that keeps bubbling to the top of the list is the YouTube TV steaming service.

It has over 70 channels, including all the local networks, and all the other channels we normally watch, except for History and WGN. But those two are not very heavy on our watch/record list. And we can stream them online on other free services.

It also gives you 6 accounts that you can share with family members, 3 simultaneous streams, and the best part, unlimited cloud DVR space. Well, actually, the real best part is that it’s only $49.99 per month, about a third of what we pay for DirecTV. And it has a 2 week free trial.

The 3 simultaneous streams thing means that though you can have 6 accounts, only 3 can actually be used at one time, So not a problem for us. And though you have unlimited DVR space, it will only let you keep recordings for 9 months. Again, not a problem, since if we haven’t watched something we recorded 9 months ago, we probably shouldn’t have recorded it anyway.

But strangely, you can’t actually delete a DVR recording anyway. They all just hang around for 9 months until they go away.

Of course, not having DirecTV would be a problem if we were still traveling full-time, since most parks aren’t like this one, and able to support streaming. But we can put our DirecTV in suspension for up to 6 months at a time, so that’s what we’ll probably do rather than just cancel it outright.

That will take care of our 2 or 3 times a year when we travel now. We’ll just turn it back on for a month and then suspend it again.

I mentioned that last Thursday we had tried to go to Pluckers for wings, but the weight was too long before Jan had her pedi-appointment. So we went across the Interstate to get wings at Hooter’s. So today we took another shot at Pluckers. And boy was the difference obvious.

And it wasn’t just the fact that they checked our temps before we were allowed in. The big difference was the size of the wings, or drums, in my case.

Hooter's Wings

This is a 10 drum order from Hooters. I even mentioned to Jan how small they looked, only about 2-1/2 inches long.

And this is 10 drum order from Pluckers.

Plucker's Wings 2

Looks like the Hooters chickens have been on a diet. The Pluckers drums were over an inch longer. And I really liked the Maple Chipotle sauce.

Sweet and Hot. Just like my Jan.

June 2, 2021

SwitchBot Bot . . .

Today at work was mostly trying to think of things that I need to do before we leave on Monday, making sure plenty of product labels are printed up, cables made up, etc.

I also installed another Switchbot Bot Switch on the AC back in the shipping department. It’s high up on the wall, and the remote is kind of funky.

Switchbot Bot

But the real reason is so that we can automate the On/Off schedule, so that it comes on earlier in the morning before anyone comes in to work. As the days are getting hotter here in Texas, it helps if the AC can get a head start on the day.

A few weeks ago I installed on the AC in the lobby and it’s been working great. It turns the AC on at 8:45am and off at 4:45pm each weekday, and on at 11am and off at 2pm on Saturday and Sunday.

So it was quick and easy to program the one back in the shipping area for the same times.

We’ve had on our coffee pot for a couple of years now, for the same reason.

Coffee Pot Bot

It starts coffee at 7:40am Monday, Wednesday, and Friday when I get up early for work, and 9:40am on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday when I get up later.

Yes, the coffee pot has a delayed start function on it, but it can’t handle the different times on different days thing, plus we have enough momentary power glitches here that clear the clock function on the Mr. Coffee.

In case it’s not really clear, the Switchbot Bot is a computer-controlled button pusher. When it’s activated a little lever comes out for a few seconds and then retracts.

You can get a better idea from this video.

Switchbot Bot Switch

A really neat, versatile product.

Tomorrow we’ll try to start wrapping up all the things we need to do before we leave on Monday. But at least it will get off to good start with lunch at the Texas Huddle Grill and one of their great PB&J Bacon Ghost Pepper Cheese Burgers.

Texas Huddle Grille PB&J Burger 20210422


Once Again, I Hate Updates . . .

I should have listened to myself.

This morning, against my better judgment, I updated the PHP program on this website from version 7.4 to 8.0, the latest version. I had been receiving daily nagging notices from WordPress telling me that my 7.4 was out of date and needed to be upgraded ‘immediately’ due to ‘security reasons’.

And as soon as I did, the site crashed, giving me only an error message.

Now, knowing me, you can be sure I did a full backup before the update, but I was loathe to do a restore since it takes so long.

But then after waiting a few hours to see if things finally worked out on the GoDaddy side, and after we got back from our Storage Room/Snooze/WalMart run, I went on to GoDaddy and finally figured out a way to downgrade the PHP program from 8.0 back to 7.4.

And Voila!, the site was back up.

One thing kind of weird about the outage was that the site seem to work just fine on my phone and tablet, and kind of worked on my desktop using MS Edge rather than Chrome like I normally use and where I saw the error message.

So now to try and figure out what the problem is.

Heading out about 12:30, our first stop was at our storage room to drop off our heaters and winter quilts. Not going to be needing them for a while.

Then it was on up to the Webster area to have brunch at Snooze once again. And it seems Jan’s reputation precedes her.

Not only did our server, Ashley, know what she was going to order, the Bravocado Toast,

but she remembered that Jan likes her bacon ‘glass’ style. As in when you touch it, it shatters.

She did have to ask me what I wanted, since I weave back and forth. And this time I got the Shrimp & Grits.


And when another server delivered our food, she commented on how ‘well-done’ the bacon was, and then she said she remembered who it was for.

As I said, Jan’s reputation preceded her.

Finally heading back down to our area, we made a WalMart shop for a few things before getting back to the rig about 3:15.

Thought For The Day:

“If all the rich people gave all their money to all the poor people, in five years the rich people would be rich again and the poor people would be poor again.”

June 1, 2009

Home Repairs and a Scenic Drive…

Well, today turned out to be a handyman day.

Last night the rear AC that we normally only use at night quit cooling.  The fan would run, but no cool air came out.

So I got up early to go up on the roof of the coach to look at the unit while it was still cool.  After I got it apart I used a walkie-talkie to have Jan turn the unit on.  And I immediately told her to turn it off.

It was easy to see the problem. The time delay module on top of the start capacitor was turning red hot and starting to smoke.  After pulling the cap and module out, I found the cap had shorted and had started melting the module.

A little Googling told me this was a somewhat common problem for the Coleman AC units on our coach.  Some of the comments said they had trouble finding the part.

I decided to start looking at a small RV dealer down the road in Cocoa called Coastal RV and hit the jackpot the first try.

They had the part, and even had a 2nd one. I bought two figuring that I will need the other one sooner or later for our other AC.

It only took about 20 minutes to install the new part,  button everything up, and test the unit.  And it worked like a charm.  Hopefully it will keep working.

This afternoon Jan and I visited the graves of her mother, father, brother, and niece so she could put some flowers on the graves and tidy things up. Jan’s mother died 2 years ago the 29th of May.

We also drove by her old house and were happy to see it was looking pretty good.  The new owners had made some nice additions.

After lunch we drove back up from Cocoa on the Indian River Rd.  This road runs along the Indian River for about 8 miles north toward Titusville.  It’s a very scenic trip with a lot of nice homes mixed in with some old ones that have been there 50 or more years.

After that it was back to the coach for a nap.

June 1, 2010

Last Day in Gillette…

Today is our last full day in Gillette, WY. Tomorrow we head south toward Draper, UT about 600 miles away. But as usual we’ll take 3 days to do it.

Tomorrow night we’ll stay in Casper WY, and the next night we’ll be in Rock Springs, WY. Then on Friday we’ll be in Draper, UT for a couple of days, visiting our friends, Pat & Judy Benson.

We met Pat & Benson in Fairbanks, AK two years ago when we were workcamping up there. They were working for Holland America at the time, and were parked right next to us.

About noon we drove into beautiful downtown Gillette to try out the China King Buffet. Every now and then it’s nice to be really surprised. Although the online reviews for the place were really good, you never know.

But in this case, the reviews were dead on. The food was great, the selection was awesome, and the price was fantastic. If I come up with a few more superlatives, I’ll let you know.

First, the food. Every dish we tried was delicious. One of the ways we rate a Chinese restaurant is the Hot & Sour Soup. And the soup here was as good as any I’ve had. I actually had a second bowl of it for dessert.

Second, the selection. They had sushi, Mongolian Grill, Hibachi Grill, boiled shrimp, crab legs, probably a dozen different types of chicken, eight flavors of scoop-it-your self hard ice cream, and much, much more. I think they have the largest selection of any Chinese buffet I’ve seen.

Third, the price. Back a week or so ago, after we left Westport, WA, we stopped at a Chinese buffet in Dupont, WA, about 15 miles outside Tacoma. It WAS good, although not as good as here. And it was $14.98 each for the buffet for a total of $35.20 with tax.

Our total today was $14.72. That’s $7.36 each, including drink and tax. You can’t beat that. I don’t know how they do it.

After lunch I stopped off at Walmart for a couple of things after dropping Jan at Fashion Bug. She was looking for a dress for Brandi’s upcoming wedding. The ACA Rally had given all the women a gift certificate for Fashion Bug and she wanted to take advantage of it. And luckily she found just what she wanted.

Speaking of weddings, here’s a couple of photos from Brandi’s bridal shower this past Sunday.

The first one is Brandi on the right and on the left, her BFF, Shawna, who threw the shower for her.

Brandi and Shawna

And here is Brandi and her niece/our granddaughter, Piper. It’s easy to see how they’ve been mistaken for sisters.

Brandi and Piper

And here they are last July in New York City at Lombardi’s Pizza in SoHo, one of two places in NYC that claim to have originated pizza. Actually we liked the other one better, Grimaldi’s, down under the Brooklyn Bridge in Brooklyn.


Two real beauties!

Anyway, after we got back from lunch and errands, I went ahead and hitched up the truck for tomorrow since we didn’t plan on going out again.

As I said we’ll head out for Casper, WY tomorrow, about 185 miles away, on our way to Draper UT, just south of Salt Lake.

June 1, 2011

Landon and the Beachball . . .

Our daughter Brandi sent this video of Landon encountering a beachball. He was so enamored of it they had to stop on the way home and buy him one. Actually they bought him two, since they figured Kitty, their 105 pound Black Lab would probably finish off one of them before too long.

Got up this morning about 10:30 to a cold, steady rain, a continuation of what had gone on pretty much all night. But a pot of coffee and a toasted blueberry bagel with cream cheese helped brighten things up considerably.

About 1 pm we headed out into a light drizzle to Village RV down in Roseville near Sacramento to pick up some 12v vanity mirror light bulbs, and looked for the type of tail light converter I want but they didn’t stock one.

Leaving there, we next headed to a nearby Sam’s Club to pick up some supplies, and then gas while we were there at $3.87 a gallon.

By this time it was after 3 and we were getting hungry so we decided on a nearby Fuddrucker’s. We always enjoy their burgers and this was no exception. I had the Ribeye Steak Sandwich and Jan had a burger. Since it started raining even heavier we sat around for a good while just talking.

After a while the rain stopped . . .  and then a 5 minute hailstorm started. After the hail stopped, it started raining again. You just can’t win.

Our next stop was a Fry’s Electronics we had passed on the way in. I just like to walk around since I wasn’t looking for anything in particular.

Next it was off to Wal-Mart for some more stuff, and then finally we were on the way home. But before we got there we decided we needed a cappuccino fix.

Unfortunately we didn’t think about it until we were out in the middle of nowhere, so we spent a fruitless 45 minutes or so looking for a place to get one.

It’s really amazing how desolate it is here between Sacramento and Yuba City. There’s just nothing. So we had to go cappuccinoless. We finally gave up and got home about 7:30 to be greeted by another surprise.

NO power. The storm had apparently knocked it out. Don’t know how long it had been off, but it didn’t come back on until almost 9. Of course we did just fine on the inverter.

Just like boondocking.

June 1, 2013

Wildlife on Parade . . .

Friday, May 31st

Jan talked to Brandi this morning about their new house. The closing went off with no problems yesterday, and the moving people showed up this morning to start the move. By the time Jan talked to her, they were just about finished loading up

She’s so excited that they will be sleeping in their new home tonight.

We left the beautiful view here at the Likely Place Golf & RV Resort at little before 10am, got back on US395 and headed north for Bend, OR

I was happy to find out from a guy in a Class C parked next to us that we were in for a nice drive. He had just come down from Bend and said although it was State Roads (SR) all the way, they were nice two-lane roads with wide shoulders, wide enough, if turns out, for us to be able to pull over for a rest stop with no problems.

One thing that was kind of interesting on the trip was all the animals we saw along the way. Before we even got out of the park, we saw both chipmunks and prairie dogs. But I think the most unusual were the White Pelicans we saw along Tule Lake, CA, just before we crossed into Oregon. We’ve seen plenty of them at Galveston Bay RV Park where we spend the winter, but in the middle of northern California?

White Pelicans

One thing I’ve always found interesting about them is the fact that they’re only white when they’re sitting.

White Pelican 1

When they’re flying you see that they’re actually White & Black Pelicans.

White Pelican 2

And to go with the pelicans, we also had a lot of seagulls as well.


While we were still in CA the land was still relatively flat. And driving through here, we saw a large coyote loping along side the road.

Likely to Bend 1

But soon after we entered Oregon, the terrain started to get more hilly, but still very scenic.

Likely to Bend 2

Likely to Bend 3


We even got a view of Mt. Shasta, at this point about 50 miles away. From the right spot it can be seen from as far away as 140 miles.

Likely to Bend 4


And here it is again about 90 miles away.

Likely to Bend 5

Along here is where we saw our last unusual animal, a large white llama in a pen behind a farm house.

We got to the Bend-Sunriver Thousand Trails park a little after 3pm, and quickly noticed some changes, one of them disappointing. The first was the fact that we no longer check in at the ranger station, but they’ve rerouted the entrance to pass by the office where you then go in and register.

The second one was the fact that Big Jim’s Coffee Wagon was no more.

Big Jim's Coffee Wagon

Parked at the exit, we regularly stopped for great coffee and delicious breakfast sandwiches as we left for sightseeing trips like our visit to Crater Lake when were here two years ago.


After signing in, we unhitched the toad by the lodge and drove over to where we parked last time we were here. We were happy to see our old site was empty. In fact the entire ‘H’ section was empty. Nice.

We got parked and set up with no trouble, but then my problems started. No matter what I did I could not get a satellite signal. Last time I used this hole in the trees.

Sat View

But that was when I had the old manual dish.

I spent 4 or 5 hours moving my Winegard Carryout Dome around, trying to get a consistent signal with no luck. Sometimes I would seem to get something and then it would go away.

I was using a manual compass, my cellphone compass, and three different cellphone programs that show me where the satellite is located in the sky. And all of them were telling me something different.

I must have shifted the dish around about 20 times, until finally I just gave up and called it a night. I was too pooped to even do a blog. Off to bed.

Saturday, June 1st

Getting up at my usual 10am, (remember, I usually don’t go to bed until around 2am), I fixed us coffee and we just enjoyed the view and the smell of the surrounding woods.

Yes, I was trying to avoid fooling with the satellite dish any more. But finally Jan’s pointed looks and loud sighs stirred me to action. Well, that and threats of physical violence if I didn’t get her some TV.

But finally I had to get back to work. I put the dish back in the location where I seemed to get some sort of signal last night. A couple of times my DVR started to come online and then stopped.

Normally I just plug in the DVR, set up the dome outside, and then by the time I get back in the rig I’ve got pictures. But that wasn’t working this time, so I tried something different.

Since I was occasionally getting some sort of signal, I wondered what it looked like. So I set the DVR to the Signal Meter screen and put the dome in search mode. Getting back inside I noticed that I was getting signal readings that would come and go, with a high of about 73%, not great, but certainly usable. I expected the dome to lock in on the satellite and shut off. But that’s not what happened.

The dome kept searching without locking in, and then timed out and shut off. So why didn’t the dome just lock in, even on a weak, but usable signal. The only thing I can figure is that it has minimum signal level it will accept, and it’s more than 73%. So, new plan.

I restarted the dome searching, and while Jan watched the meters on the TV, I stayed outside and the first time it reached 73% again, I pulled the power cord.


We had signal. But because the low signal equals low bandwidth, it took a few minutes for the channel lineup to download, but after about 5 minutes we had pictures. Yeah!

With this problem out of the way, Jan and I headed down to the park office to check on some things. Since the park doesn’t have sewer connections, I wanted to check on the honey wagon schedule (Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Sign up the day before), and also let them know I have a couple of packages coming in, the missing ones being forwarded from the Lake Tahoe park.

Jan also wanted to check out the park’s Book Exchange, and drop off some books. I guess it worked out, because she dropped off 8 and came back with only 5.

Right next door was the park’s Country Store, where Jan found some new dishes, moose themed, of course.

Bend TT Moose Plates

Then before we left, Jan checked out the produce stand that is now located where Big Jim’s Coffee Wagon used to be, and came away with some fresh cherries and tomatoes. Mmmm, fresh cherries.

For dinner, we had Rudy’s BBQ from Texas. Before we left, we bought a bunch and froze it. So tonight we had ribs, sliced brisket, and jalapeno sausage links, along with baked beans and chips. And of course, Rudy’s great BBQ sauce slathered on it all. A really good meal

Finishing up for tonight, here’s a shot of our site and the surrounding area.

Bend TT 1

Bend TT 2

Really nice, and with no neighbors within sight, really quiet.

June 1, 2014

Let’s Be Careful Out There . . .

Jan and I once again sat outside and had our coffee and toast this morning while we can. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow and be back down into the mid-60’s by Wednesday.

Normally we would have walked this morning, but although my knee is almost back to normal, I don’t want to push it. Maybe tomorrow or Tuesday.

On the phone front, my Samsung Droid Charge apparently had a mild stroke sometime yesterday, when it lost all my contacts. My Call Log and everything else seems to be fine, just my contacts are gone.

I went online to the Backup Assistant and they’re all there, but so far I haven’t been able to restore them back to my phone. All the instructions seem to be for restoring to a new phone, not your old one. Plus the app on the phone only allows for backing up, not restoring. So I’ll probably just go by the Verizon store here in Elkhart tomorrow to figure it out.

Then again, maybe this is just God’s way of telling me I need that new Samsung Galaxy S5.

Just a warning . . .

I’ve been getting a lot of dangerous emails and I wanted to be sure that everyone was on the lookout for them.

They masquerade as Wal-Mart Gift Cards, Chili’s Coupons, or Red Lobster, etc. or even Free iPhones,

Because the fact that there’s usually something funny about the wording or phrasing of the message, the biggest giveaway is the email address shown at the upper left.

In this case, it’s [email protected].

Do you really think that Wal-Mart is going to have an email address with ‘pigduke’ in it?

Walmart Trojan


Here’s the exact same email, but from ‘[email protected]’.

Walmart Trojan2


And here’s what looks like a Delivery Notice from the US Post Office. Do you really thing the US Postal Service would be using a United Kingdom email address?

USPS Trojan

What do you think is going to happen if you try to print that shipping label? And why would you need to print a shipping label to PICK UP a package, anyway?

And note that apparently you can go to ANY Post Office to pick up your package.

So check those email addresses, and Let’s Be Careful Out There.

June 1, 2016

Noodles and Watermelons . . .

Well, it was another sunny, rainy, clear, cloudy, dry, flooding day with the weather flip-flopping back and forth, actually pretty typical for summer south Texas weather.

Of course we really don’t need any more rain, since the creeks, rivers, lakes and levee’s are all overflowing, and southwest of Houston they’re apparently evacuating any one any where near the Brazos River.

And there’s more rain to come. Yikes!

On the plus side, it appears things are picking up in the oil fields, with more and more requests for gate guards being posted, especially as the last of the snowbird guards are heading north. So that bodes well if we decide to gate guard later this year. But whatever we do, we don’t want to do south Texas again. Our last two years in east Texas have really spoiled us for actual trees and grass, and not scrub brush and caliche mud.

I spent most of the day working on a new client’s website, getting the initial concept laid down and then approved by the client. Now I can start expanding on the pages and adding content.

Here’s what I’ve got so far. Right now it’s located at a temporary subdomain, but when it’s done it’ll be on its own domain.


For dinner tonight, we had the last of the French Fry Chili Cheese Hot Dog Casserole from a couple of nights ago. Still great.

And once again, to start it off, Jan whipped up another batch of her salad dressing.

Jan's Salad Dressing_thumb[1]

Since she makes it to order in a small batch, it’s always fresh and delicious. You can find the recipe here. Jan’s Version of Lynn Cross’ Salad Dressing

And to add a little extra crunch to the salad she made to go with the dressing, this time she added some Chinese Noodles to go with the Texas Toast Croutons.

Jan's Salad 3_thumb[1]

Tomorrow night for dinner – Whataburger!

Nuff’ said.

June 1, 2017

Spiders and Snakes . . . and Bears

Jan and I left the rig about 9am heading for Bear Country USA, the first park on today’s three park tour.

It took us about 30 minutes to get there and $30 to get in to take the 45 minute drive though the park.

Bear Country Waterfall

First up was a herd of American Elk.

Bear Country Elk

Many still with their Velvet Antlers.

Bear Country Elk 2


Right next door was a head of reindeer.

Bear Country Reindeer 1

Looks like Donner, Blitzen, and a few others.

Bear Country Reindeer 2

Big Big Horn Sheep.

Bear Country Big Horn Sheep

Little Big Horn(less) Sheep.

Bear Country Big Horn Sheep 2


An ugly, shaggy bison (Buffalo)

Bear Country Buffalo


Bears, Bears, and more Bears.

Bear Country Bear 1

Bear Country Bear 3

This is the animal guard separator that keeps the bears in their own habitat area.

Bear Country Animal GuardUnlike a regular cattle guard, these are made up of railroad rails, and then electrified like an electric fence.

Bear Country Bear at GuardThe bears walk back and forth in from of the guard so much that they even have a sign posted to keep you moving.

Bear Country Bear Sign

But sometimes two or three of them will be weaving to and fro, blocking the road. I guess they can’t figure out why the cars can get over it and they can’t.

Bear Country Bears at Guard

And this is their resident Grizzly.

Bear Country Grizly

American Bobcat

Bear Country Bobcat

An Arctic Fox

Bear Country Arctic Fox

Another sculpture done by the same guy that did the horse sculptures in Hill City

Bear Country Buffalo Head

Hill City Horse Sculpture

Hill City Large Horse

Finishing up at Bear Country, we headed over to Hill City to have lunch at Alpine Inn. Wanting to try their much-renowned German food, we had tried to have dinner there last Thursday, only to find that they only served the German fare for lunch. So we were back,

Alpine Inn

I started out with a cup of the Austrian Cheese Soup.

Alpine Inn Austrian Cheese Soup

Delicious with a sharp nutty flavor and a smooth creamy texture. Jan quickly reached her two spoon taste limit, and almost ordered her own cup. (When I order something that she doesn’t, she gets to taste two spoonful’s of mine, and then she has to order her own. I’ve learned this from experience.)

Jan ordered her favorite Jaeger Schnitzel, a breaded port cutlet covered with a fresh mushroom sauce, accompanied by German potato salad and red cabbage.

Alpine Inn Jaeger Schnizel

I got the German Plate, with a Grilled Bratwurst, a Smoked Bratwurst, sauerkraut, German potato salad, and red cabbage.

Alpine Inn German Plate

Both of us agreed that the Alpine Inn’s German food is on the same level as our other favorite German place, Der Lindenbaum in Fredericksburg, TX.. Really, really good.

I’m going to wrap it up for today and finish up with our visit to Reptile Gardens tomorrow.

And on tomorrow, we driving over to Gillette, WY tomorrow to pick up a part for our rig’s generator, and come home with a side trip to Devil’s Tower.

June 1, 2018

Morro and More . . .

Today was pretty quiet at work today, especially for a Friday. I checked the website this morning a few minutes after midnight, and the system had switched over to the June sale prices with no problems.

And I did figure out why last February’s sale prices came off the site a day early.  After you set up the sale items and the discount amount, you can start the sale immediately, or set a start and a stop date. So yesterday I set the start date as 06/01/2018 and the stop date as 06/30/2018.

So as programmed, the sale started at 12:01am this morning. And in one of those ‘Doh’ moments, I realized that I was setting the end date a day early, and should set the end date as 07/01/2018, and not 06/30/2018. That way the sale will go off at 12:01am, lasting the full month.

June 1, 2019

Now That’s Class . . .

First up, I’ve posted the next installment of my trip. It’s Regensburg, Germany, and it’s for May 5th.

Today was a pretty quiet day, for a change. After a nice morning, we had lunch at Rudy’s BBQ up in Webster, so now we’ve had the Trifecta of meals we missed on our trip – Chinese at King Food, Mexican at Los Ramirez, and now BBQ at Rudy’s.

All’s right with the world.

Next up, we made a quick WalMart stop for a couple of things, a quick Sam’s stop for a prescription, and then headed back toward home. But when we got down to Dickinson, I made a detour to the Enterprise rental office to see if they could get Jan’s seat headrest down.

The last person who used it must have been about 6’8” tall since it’s up so high that Jan’s head doesn’t even touch it. But even reading the manual, I can’t get it down. So I thought maybe they could help.

But it seems they closed at noon on Saturday, so no luck. I’ll try again Monday on the way home.

With that, we made a stop off at the storage room to drop the suitcases, heaters, and quilts off, and then it was home. Just in time for a nice nap.

It’s hard to believe that a long time ago I didn’t like naps. Times have changed.

Tomorrow we were supposed to go up to Conroe to meet up with our friend’s Chris and Charles Yust, but they had some mechanical problems on their trip here from Florida, so we’re putting it off until Wednesday.

Random Notes About Our European Trip:

Using the restroom at Rudy’s today and using air blower hand dryer thingy, I remember noticing that as we traveled across Europe, every single restroom, except two that I was in, used the air dryers rather than paper towels. And in every case, including today, I saw the person use it for 30 seconds or so, and then end up drying their hands on their shirt or pants. Me included.

I guess if you stood there long enough it might actually work, but who wants to wait that long?

The two exceptions were the public area bathrooms on the ship, and bathrooms at the Chesterfield Mayfair Hotel where we had Afternoon Tea (that blog still to come).

Both of them did it this way.

Skirnir Hand Towels

Now that’s class!

June 1, 2020

BPPV and Me . . .

My BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) showed up yesterday morning, and like my previous attacks, it was a little less in intensity, and a little different in effect.

This time the vertigo only hit me when I was standing up, not sitting or lying down as in past times. But by this morning it had started to fade and is mostly gone by now.

I had gotten a email a few weeks ago from Holland America offering me one of the 3 discounts on our Holland America Alaskan Cruise next May.

1. Make an installment toward your booked cruise and receive up to $250 onboard spending money.

  • For a $250 installment, receive US$50
  • For a $500 installment, receive US$125
  • For a $750 installment, receive US$250

2. Sign up for our payment plan, using EZPay, and receive US$250 onboard spending money per booking. Spread out your cruise balance into equal, interest-free monthly payments, with no additional fees.

3. Pay for your booked cruise in full to receive a 10% discount plus US$250 onboard spending money per booking. Buy and save now, and enjoy something special later — a massage, champagne cocktails or perhaps a dinner in our elegant Pinnacle Grill.

Although it took a lot of help from Chantelle Nugent, our friend/travel agent, to get them on the phone, I finally made a one-time $750 payment for $250 in shipboard cash.

I actually couldn’t see much difference between 1 and 2. Both of them give you $250 shipboard cash, but No. 1 only required a single payment of $750, where No. 2 required 8 monthly payments of $750 or so, all for the same $250 credit.

I never like to give anyone my money until I have to.

The other thing I’m working on that’s trip-related is changing our hotel and flight reservations. We planned to fly into Fairbanks a week before the land part of our cruise starts. We want to spend longer there the one day we would have as part of the cruise. So we had booked a week at the Pioneer Park Best Western, as well as our flight going up a week earlier also.

But I running in a problem because I’m apparently trying to rebook/change them too early. Chantelle says you normally can’t book flights more than 11 months out. So I guess I’ll just have to be patient for a few weeks.

The problem is, as Jan can tell you, I don’t do ‘patient’ very well.

Finishing up on space note after Saturday’s successful SpaceX launch and yesterday’s docking at the Space Station, I thought I post this great shot from the Cassini probe showing the earth and the moon through the rings of Saturn.


Yes, they’re those two small white dots.

June 1, 2021

Last Day Of A Nice Long Holiday . . .

Jan and I headed to lunch about 1pm, and as happens sometimes, we didn’t know where until we were actually on the way. But we ended up at Los Ramirez Mexican once again.

Always good.

Then our next stop was right down the street to the Take 5 Oil Change place to get the Jeep taken care of before our upcoming trip. This was our first time to use Take 5, and I was impressed by two things.

The first is that, unlike Jiffy Lube and others, Take 5 let’s you stay in your car while they’re doing the oil change. And two, oil changes having gotten expensive since the last time I had it done, rather than doing it myself.

$65 for regular (non-synthetic) high mileage 5W30. Ouch!

Then it was one last stop at HEB for a few things before heading home.

Later I got two of the four front solar screens installed, but it looks like I’m going to have to reposition a couple of the inside magnets that have come loose.

That’s for tomorrow.

While I was outside I also hooked a Harbor Freight battery maintainer to the Dakota battery to keep it charged up while we’re gone and later. Saves me from putting my charger back on it every few weeks.

A couple of weeks ago it was announced that the I-40 bridge over the Mississippi River at Memphis had been closed indefinitely due to cracks found during a recent inspection.

Mississippi River Bridge Crack

For a while Mississippi River water traffic under the bridge was also closed, backing up barges up and down the river. Though river traffic has been restored since the first phase of the repair has been completed, they say it will be still be AT LEAST several more months until the bridge is reopened to vehicle traffic.

So why I’m posting this?

Well, we’ll be traveling through there next Tuesday on our way up to Illinois. Now we will be coming up I-55 from LA/MS and will be crossing the I-55 bridge down south from the broken one.

Memphis Map Route

But having crossed both bridges a number of times when we’ve been staying in the area, the traffic is pretty thick on both bridges at the same time. So I was wondering about possible backups on the I-55 crossing since it is now carrying the traffic from both bridges.

But I’ve seen several FB postings saying that it’s not a problem, especially since we’ll be passing through in the middle of the day rather than the morning or afternoon rush hour.

One less thing to worry about.



%d bloggers like this: