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

Pipelines and Chia Pets . . .

Today was another damp, dreary day so nothing got done outside. But about 12:30 Jan and I headed out for lunch and errands, with our first stop at our storeroom on FM517. Then it was on up the Interstate to have lunch at Denny’s.

What was kind of different this time is that we didn’t know anybody, and no one knew us either. We eat here about once a week, but usually around 4pm. But at 1pm there was a whole different crew of servers.

I got my usual Ultimate Omelet with fruit instead of Hash Browns,

Denny's Ultimate Omelet 20210123

while Jan got the slightly smaller, 55+ Senior version. Which is fitting since she is my senior, after all. (I’m going to pay for that)

Then it was back across the Interstate to get our hair cut at the TGF there. And in my case of course, I do mean ‘hair’ is singular. We both use Christina, who’s really fast, and really good. We were both in and out in 30 minutes total. Of course 25 of those were for Jan, and 5 for me.

The WalMart in Webster was our next stop for a prescription and some other stuff. We never seem to have enough ‘stuff’. Sam’s Club, across the street was our next stop, but just for gas.

Less than a month ago, gas here was $1.45. Today it was $1.75.

What’s up with that?

Heading home, we stopped by the Cowboy Coffee place and got Sugar-Free Pumpkin Praline coffees, and also made a tentative dinner date with Theresa, the owner, and her husband.

Day to be determined.

Suddenly it seems that a lot of Union workers are upset that the Keystone XL pipeline has been cancelled … again. There goes 70,000 direct and ancillary jobs. No wonder they’re mad. Bu the new Transportation Secretary nominee says they should just get ‘different’ jobs.

So it’s all OK, I guess.

Of course the reason given is that it is environmentally dangerous. But then see the Thought For The Day below.

That represents over 2.5 million miles of pipeline.

What seems to get lost in the shuffle is the fact that the oil that would come from Canada into the U.S., and on down to Texas via the pipeline, is already coming in now, by tanker trucks and train cars. Which means it will continue to be transported that way, instead of flowing through a much safer, underground pipe.

Even more ironically, the majority of the pipeline, over 2,900 miles, has already been completed and is in use. The final part, the only part left, the part that was just cancelled, and a much shorter distance, runs from Canada down into the U.S., as far as Nebraska, mostly paralleling already existing and in use pipelines. It’s mainly to just increase capacity.

And there are already several other pipelines passing through same areas.

And as far as pollution, cancelling the pipeline may cause even more of it. That’s because, as I said, the oil will still be coming in by trucks and trains. Lots and lots of trucks and trains.

The latest figure I’ve found is that they planned to ship about 800,000 barrels Per Day!through the pipeline. And that’s contracted for the next 20 years.

Now a standard railroad tank car holds 700 barrels. So that means over1100 tank cars will be needed.  Per Day!

And since a standard semi tanker holds about 190 barrels, that means over 4200 truck tankers will be needed. Per Day!  Or some combination of the two.

So how much pollution do you think 4200 trucks are going to produce?

And again, despite what a lot of people seem to think online, stopping the Keystone XL is not stopping the oil from coming into the U.S. But just changing how it’s transported.

(And yes, I realize that ‘think’ and ‘online’ in the same sentence is an oxymoron.)

Stay tuned.

Thought For The Day:

I'm So Confursed Keystone



January 23, 2011

Laser Printers and Joint Juice . . .

This morning started about 10 am when our son Chris came over to modify a cabinet he built for our rig. By the time he was finished it was time for all of us to head up to Webster to meet the rest of the family at Cheddar’s, a local favorite family restaurant of ours.

And of course, this produced the obligatory Landon photos.

Landon at Cheddars

Landon and Jan at Cheddars

Landon with Ring

Landon was fascinated by Piper’s earrings.

Landon with Pipers Earring

As usual, when the whole family is together, we spent a lot of time setting around just talking about family stuff.

After lunch, we all split up, with Jan and I followed Chris home so I could install the printer driver for Piper’s Christmas present laser printer.

Next it was on to Sam’s Club to pick up the Joint Juice they were out of when we were there on Friday. After that we stopped by Brandi’s to pick up some mail, and of course, Jan got in some more Landon time.

Then it was back over to Kohl’s, where with their sale and the 15% off coupon Brandi had printed out for her, Jan got about $125 worth of stuff, including a new purse, for about $50.

Finally we stopped off at Kroger’s for some groceries, and a Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbuck’s. We had thought we were going to stop by our storeroom, but decided to go on home after a busy day.

That about wraps it up for today.  More tomorrow.

Thought for the Day:

“The rush to be wrong first is just too hard for some people to resist.”



January 23, 2014

Rain, Sleet, and Snow? . . .

and 1/4” of ice on roads and bridges for tomorrow. And I’m supposed to see two clients. We’ll see how that goes.

One of the things I wanted to do today was to get my Duck Dynasty Chia Pet started. My son Chris gave it to me Christmas,  but in all the chaos it got put aside until now.

But today’s the day.

Willie Chia

Chia Willie Duck Dynasty Handmade Decorative Chia Pet Planter

Chia Willie starts out looking like this.

Chia Pet 1

First up, you soak him in a bowl of water for about an hour. At the same time you soak some of the chia seeds in some water.

Chia Pet 2

Then you set Willie in little plastic tray, fill him full of water, and then smear the seed mush all over him.

Chia Pet 3

Then put him near a light source and keep him filled with water. And hopefully Willie will soon bloom in all his verdant glory. I’ll keep you updated.

One thing I didn’t know is that after Willie blooms you can eat him. Apparently Chia Seeds are high in Omega 3, fiber, and protein. YUMMM!

Chia Seeds

About 4 PM Jan and I headed up to Webster to have dinner at one of our favorite places, Rudy’s BBQ.

Rudy's BBQ 1

I always get a little of everything, moist brisket, pork ribs, and jalapeno sausage links,

Rudy's BBQ 3

and some of their great Cream Corn. And a lot of left-overs to bring home.

Later, after we got back home, I ground up some of my Trinidad Scorpion Chili Pepper Pods.

Trinidad Scorpion Package

Dried Trinidad Scorpion Chili Pepper Pods

Until very recently, at 1,400,000 Scoville Units, this was the hottest pepper in the world. But just a month or so ago, it was surpassed by the Carolina Reaper. The King is dead. Long live the new King.

As a comparison, a jalapeno is about 5,000 and a habanero is about 20,000 SC’s.

I use my Mr. Coffee coffee bean grinder to make a powder from the pods to put in my shaker. And just the little bit of dust that escapes into the air makes your eyes burn, your lips numb, and then you start coughing and sneezing.

This ought to be a GOOD batch.

Thought for the Day:

Remember, if you can swim, then it doesn’t matter how deep the water is.
And if you can’t swim, it doesn’t matter either.



January 23, 2015

The Roughneck Life . . .

I mentioned the other day about my rig muffler/tailpipe repair where I reattached my pipe to the muffler where it had broken off.

Tailpipe Repair

So out of curiosity, I called Spartan this afternoon to see how much a new muffler would have cost me. Turns out I saved $272.12 plus $45 shipping. Pretty good return on $10 worth of clamps, brackets, and screws.

I’ve run into a small problem with my recent power converter that I installed around the middle of December.


Well, I’ve run into a small problem with it. The Float Charge level is about 0.1 volt too low.

Like most power converters, mine has 3 output voltage levels.

The first one, the Bulk Charge Mode will run at 14.4 for a maximum of 4 hours. This mode is used if you’ve been draining your batteries pretty hard so the system needs to catch up.

Next is the Absorption Mode, which at 13.6 volts, is considered the ‘normal’ mode when you’re using a lot of 12 volt power.

Lastly, is the Float mode. At 13.2 volts, this mode is where the converter mostly stays, due to the fact that most of our lights are LED, and we just don’t use much other 12 volt power, except when we run the vent fans.

The problem is that 13.2 volts is not enough to cause my rig battery controller to switch over and charge the engine batteries. It needs to see 13.3 volts before it will switch.

I talked with American Coach to see if this level is adjustable, and found it wasn’t.

I can make the converter charge the engine batteries by turning it off and back on, which starts it back up in Bulk Mode for little while,  but then it cycles down to Absorption Mode and then back to Float Mode. But this is a PITA.

I talked to the PowerMax power converter people and found that there is an adjustment inside that will raise output voltage slightly, but to do so, I would have to drill out the rivets in the case to get inside, and this would void my warranty, and the two year additional warranty I bought for $9.95

Right now I have a 3 amp float charger on the engine batteries, keeping them right at 13.3 volts, while my house batteries sit at 13.2 volts. And that’s how it will stay until and if, I come up with something else.

Update: What I finally ended up doing is to put the Power Converter on a timer. Three times a day, every 8 hours, the timer shuts off the Power Converter for 30 minutes, so that when it comes back on, it goes into Bulk Charge Mode at 14.4 volts, which will charge the engine batteries, taking care of the problem.

* * * * *

Although the bottom has temporarily dropped out of the gate guard business (one service guy says they’ve gone from 40 gates to 16 in just a few weeks), it’ll come back. It always does.

Anyway, I came across a really good article describing the life of a rig worker.

7 On, 7 Off – The Roughneck Life

It’s a good read even if you aren’t interested in gate guarding. The comments are interesting too.

* * * * *

About 4pm the rain had started to slack off so we headed out for dinner at Golden Corral and a second try at Wal-Mart

I mentioned a few days ago about how good Golden Corral’s 5 oz. Sirloin’s are.

Golden Corral Steak Ad

And that they were better than the $24 steaks we had the other night at Nancy’s Steakhouse in Columbus.

Golden Corral Steak

And tonight was no different. Still delicious and still all you can eat.

Did I mention it’s all you can eat?

Tomorrow’s supposed to be nice, sunny, dry, and about 60 degrees. So I should be able to get back on a couple of projects.


Thought for the Day:

What happens on the internet, never stays on the internet.



January 23, 2016

You Can Hold It . . .

We didn’t walk this morning because about 11:45 we headed down to the Clear Lake area for the day, Tonight at 6:30 is Jan’s yearly get-together with her former hospital co-workers. They’ve been doing this every year since we started RV’ing in 2008, and always have a great time. In the past they’ve had the party at a local Clear Lake restaurant, but this year it was at someone’s home. And as it turns out, they liked it that way so much they’re going to do it again next year.

One of the reasons we were going down so early was to have lunch at another of our long-time favorite places, Monterey’s Little Mexico, down in Dickinson. Another place we’ve been eating at for 25 years or so, they still recognize us when we return every fall. In fact Monterey’s is the last place that we stop in the RV on the way out of town each year. They have a big lot where we can park the rig and then hitch up the truck after we’re done, so it works out perfectly.

After lunch we made a quick run down to the next exit to the Texas City Buc-ee’s. If you haven’t heard of Buc-ee’s before, it ‘s Texas-based chain of convenience stores. But of course, being from Texas, they are also the world’s LARGEST convenience stores,

Buc-ee's TC Outside_thumb[3]

Buc-ee's TC Inside_thumb[3]

Some of the Buc-ee’s have 120 fuel pumps, and the store in New Braunfels, the largest, has over 68,000 square feet under one roof, selling everything from BBQ  to fresh fruits and vegetables, and from fresh baked goods to Go-Pro cameras. And pretty much everything else can think of.

So if you’re driving along a Texas road, and you see a billboard like this,


just hold it. You won’t be disappointed.

And if you do ‘hold it’, you won’t have to wait in line when you get there. There are as many as 30 stalls for the ladies, and 33 urinals for the guys. As I said in another blog, “It’s urinals as far as the eye can see.”

And don’t forget to pick up a big bag of Beaver Nuggets.

Our next stop was at the dry cleaners to pick up our ‘summer’ bedspread. We have two bedspreads for our bed, both with a moose pattern, strangely enough, HA!, and we swapped them out when we get back to the Houston area every fall, and then again before we leave for the year.

When we get back to this area, we drop the summer one off at the cleaners, and pick up the winter one that’s been stored at our son Chris’, still in its plastic wrapper. Then a week or so before we head out each year we drop the winter one off and pick up the summer one.

That done, we drove over to our son Chris’ to drop off the spread, and also to drop off his repaired Galaxy S5 smartphone.

Yes, I did get it fixed, and I’ll tell you more about that in tomorrow’s blog. But you can check out the start of this below.


I picked up Jan about 9:30 and we headed back up to Conroe, finally getting home a little after 11pm.

Another long, but very fun day.

Thought for the Day:

Well, this explains a lot.  Especially Windows 8!


I wonder if his name is ‘Peggy’?



January 23, 2017

A New Bella . . .

Well, this pre-frack pad is still rocking along, getting everything pre-positioned for the frack sometime this coming weekend.

At some point in the next week Jan and I have to turn around to night shift where we’ll be for the frack, with her on the front gate and me on the pad. Much better than the original idea which was for us to be on opposite shifts on the front gate.

The Company Man took care of my mud problem yesterday by having them bring in several front loaders of gravel and then spreading it out.

So I went from this,

PottyTrailer Mudhole

to this.

Frack Gravel

Much, much better for when it rains next.

We have a new Bella here in Cuero.

First there was Bella Sera, ‘A Beautiful Evening’, in Kenedy, and now we have La Bella Tavola, ‘The Beautiful Table’, and both are delicious. So it’s nice to have a replacement Bella here in Cuero.

On the recommendation of our landlady we gave it a try last night, and were not disappointed at all.

Jan had the Chicken Alfredo

Bella Tavola Chicken Alfredo

while I had the Spaghetti Sampler with Meat Sauce, Meatballs, and Italian Sausage.

Bella Tavola Spaghetti Sampler

Both delicious. We’ve found our new Bella.

One thing really nice about our RV park, Spacious Country RV Park, is the Wi-Fi, when runs between 12 and 15 Mbps, probably the consistently fastest we’ve ever encountered. Even for one’s we’ve paid for.

Todd showed up this morning with a microwave for the shack, as the one that was supposed to be in here was apparently stolen sometime in the past. So now I can have a hot lunch (or dinner) again.

Last minute update –

As of 4:21pm this afternoon, our Fri – Mon Day Shift only Pre-Frack gate has now become a Day Shift/Night Shift Till Further Notice gate.

Which really complicates when Jan and I will be able to turn around to night shift for the frack itself.

Thought for the Day:

“The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.” ― George Carlin



January 23, 2018

Why Do I Remember The Name of Tonto’s Horse . . .

But I Can’t Remember What I Walked To Back of The Rig For?

I goofed off most of the morning, checking out some new website software that I’m looking at. But figuring I had to at least do something productive for the day, about 2:30 I went outside and installed the second new awning on my bedroom window. It only took about 20 minutes with part of that moving the ladder back and forth.

Two down, two to go.

The next one, the big one on the passenger side, will be more trouble since it’s more than twice as long as the rear window one, 51” vs. 130”. So the big torque tube will be harder to handle. We’ll see.

Last night we lost one of our favorite TV shows to the recent Hollywood sexual harassment scandal. Wisdom of the Crowd died at 13 episodes due to the accusations against the star Jeremy Piven

Although the ratings weren’t great they were probably good enough to be picked up for the second 13  episodes. At least shows without controversy but lower ratings were picked up.

Jan and I both thought t hat they should just have replaced Piven with a new actor. They do it on soap operas all the time. Of course the only time we could remember it being done in primetime with a main character was Darren on Bewitched. A long time ago, but it’s the only one we can think of.

Maybe our readers can come up with others.

About 5pm we met our RV friend’s Jan and Dale Thompson at the Cheddar’s up in Webster. They had never been to one so they were looking forward to it after reading our blog.

Cheddars - Jan and Dale

The other Jan got the Chicken Fried Chicken, while Dale got the Cornmeal Catfish. My Jan got her usual Key West Chicken and Shrimp and I again got the Veggie Plate.

All really delicious.

After a great time, my Jan and I headed home with a quick stop at HEB for a few things before getting home about 8pm.

Thought for the Day:

To Be Old and Wise, You First Must Be Young and Stupid.



January 23, 2019

It Was Educational, I Swear . . .

Today was another busy day at work, with a lot more price changes and updates that came in this week.

The aquarium pump came in, but I never even got a chance to take a look at it. Maybe Friday. Another thing that came in was a new UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) for the office webserver. It died last week, so I put in an order for a new one, but it got backordered and didn’t get here until yesterday.

But I wanted to be sure it was going to hold up, so I plugged it into my computer, and not the webserver, to let it cook for a couple of days before I put it online. I’d rather it shut down my computer than the website


APC UPS 1000VA Battery Backup & Surge Protector

This one should keep the webserver up for about 45 minutes.

Jan’s got her one-week checkup tomorrow afternoon for last Thursday’s right eye cataract surgery. And so far she’s really happy about it. In fact she’s really happy with both eyes now, and thinks she might be able to get by with just reader glasses.

But if she does need distance correction, it won’t be very much.

But first off tomorrow, we’re heading up to The Woodlands to meet up with some RV friends at the Longhorn Steakhouse there. But we’ve got a detour on the way by Miss Piper’s to give her Mazda Miata a jumpstart.

As part of my Duolingo studies I’ve been checking out some of the Spanish language programs on DirecTV, ones like Dificil de Creer (Hard To Believe), Jugar con Fuego (Play with Fire) and then there’s the Mexican Weather Channel.

Mexican Weather Girl

In case you’re wondering, the caption at the top says “5 Day Forecast”. It was educational, I swear.

Thought for the Day:

“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.” – John Barrymore



January 23, 2020

Thanks For Your Kind Words . . .

First off, I want to thank everyone for their kind words about my uncle Tom. I’ve really enjoyed reading the many  accolades in the local Alabama newspapers, and discovering a lot of family history that I hadn’t heard before.

In talking about the period while he was playing for the University of Alabama, I found this.

While playing at Alabama, he also developed a close relationship with Lenette Ellis, the captain of the cheerleaders for the Crimson Tide, whom he married in 1949.

Lenette was quite an athlete in her own right. She won the 1948 Southern Olympic Diving Championship and qualified for the Olympic trials.

And this –

In 1956, Calvin took the coaching job at Sylacauga for football. Calvin coached the Aggies for 21 seasons. In 1957, Calvin and the Aggies were named state champions by The Birmingham News. The 1960 and 1961 teams won back to back state titles. Sylacauga had 15 straight winning seasons including the 1969 state championship.

Tom Calvin Coaching

Calvin retired from coaching in 1988 boasting an overall record of 201-130-11. Calvin was a three time Coach of the Year and inducted into the Alabama High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 1991.

He and Lenette are the only husband and wife team in the hall of fame.

All the test drive prep work I had scheduled went completely unprepped, and I don’t really know why. I guess life intervened.

So I guess it’s going to all get put off until Saturday.

About 2pm Jan and I headed up to Webster to have lunch at our long-time favorite, Floyd’s Cajun Seafood. We’ve been eating here since the late 90’s when it first opened.

Floyd's Cajun Seafood 2

Originally it was called Thibodeaux’s when Floyd was a silent partner in the restaurant. The reason he was a silent partner was that Floyd is Floyd Landry, who along with his family, started Landry’s Seafood, first in Lafayette, LA.

He had to wait until his non-compete expired with Tilman Fertitta, who bought up the Landry’s chain, before he could open a restaurant in his name.

Like most restaurant’s we frequent, we both have our favorites, dishes that we keep going back to.

Jan got her Grilled Catfish Dinner with Gilled Veggies, and a Side Salad,

Floyd's Grilled Catfish Dinner

while I started off with a Dinner Salad, with their homemade Ranch Dressing,

Floyd's Dinner Salad

and a Bowl of Shrimp Gumbo.

Floyd's Shrimp Gumbo

There were so many shrimp in here that there was one in every spoonful.

After that we made an office stop for some Amazon stuff that came in, and HEB stop on the way home.

A nice day.

Thought For The Day:


(noun) a mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored.



Another Sad Day . . .

Jan and I both got bad news today.

I found out that my cousin Marjorie’s husband, Dr. Walter Walker, died yesterday.

Margie and Walter 2020

He was 91 and in good health until recently. But he collapsed a couple of days ago and couldn’t get up. And when they took him to the hospital, they found he had advanced bone cancer.

We had just seen them last February when we visited them up in Athens, AL. So g;ad we got see him then.

He will be missed by many.

And Jan found out today that her cousin Rhonda died a couple of days ago up in Tennessee. We don’t yet know what she died from, but it sounds like she had been ill for some time. She was only 66 years old.

And of course, I lost two of my aunts a day apart back in December. And this year isn’t off to a good start.

Thought for the Day:

“I didn’t kill him – He decided to stop breathing after I shot him…”

January 22, 2012

Buzzers and Tabasco . . .

Jan and I are big fans of dragons, and I recently found these two neat pictures on the Internet and wanted to share them.

Dragon 2

Tabasco Dragon

I really like the Tabasco baby bottle. The way I like spicy hot food, I wonder if I had one of these.

On another note, the turn signal indicator on the rig does not make enough noise for me to hear it. Jan can hear it from the passenger seat, but due to too many gun shots and and playing loud bands, I can’t.

So today as I was going through one of the bins, I came across a little 12vdc buzzer unit and decided to fix the problem.

I removed the flasher unit (that’s the red box) from under the dashboard panel and made up a couple of spade lug jumpers. crimping the buzzer leads into the jumpers.

Buzzer 1

I then Gorilla Taped the buzzer (that’s the little black unit) to the side of the flasher unit.

Here’s another shot of the leads.

Buzzer 2

I then plugged the jumpers into the flasher socket and checked it out. Loud and Clear!

While I’m on a roll, I also want to do one as a ‘headlights on’ alarm. I’ve got the diodes, but I’ll have to look and see if I have another buzzer. If not, they’re only a couple of bucks.

Other than this, it was a pretty quiet day. Jan cleaned (company’s coming) and I worked on some projects outside. For lunch Jan heated up some delicious leftover Mexican. I think it was almost better than originally.

Then around 5pm, I headed over to my client’s office to do some stuff that’s easier done when no one’s on the network.

Thought for the Day:

“…. that he is incapable of staying on the river of a thought, and is constantly lured down tributaries from which he can never quite work his way back–you can see him batting the little paddles of his mind against the weeds, trying desperately to return to the river but not remembering where it is, or where it was going.”



January 22, 2013

Bird Blind . . .

Once again, after walking a little over a mile around the park, we sat outside and enjoyed our coffee and the view.

Galveston Bay View Site 80


Here’s Pinkie, our resident Roseate Spoonbill, along with some of the Ibises.

Pinkie and the Ibises


And here’s Old Blue, the Great Blue Heron that hangs out around here.

Giant Blue Heron and Pinkie


But after goofing off all morning, it was back to work. Today was the day to take a crack at restringing my blinds.

As it turns out, it’s not really hard, just kind of time-consuming. Here I’ve laid out the 4 parts in the order that they will be assembled.

Blind Repair 2


My first task to measure out the two sets of strings I’ll be using.

The formula is:   Width + 1/2 Width + Height x 2 = length of string needed. Since this is a 4 string blind, two sets will be needed.

Blind Repair 3


When I first took my blind apart I discovered it used two springs instead of just one like most stringing diagrams I had found.

But a little more research yielded this diagram.

Blind String Pattern

Next I took each string, folded it in half, and then looped it through each spring.

Blind Repair 4

Then using a stiff piece of wire as a needle, I threaded one string through the folded over ‘eye’ and taped it over.

Blind Repair 5


Then following the diagram, I started threading the cord through the ‘night’ section of the blind.

Blind Repair 6


Then I did the same thing with the lower ‘day’ section.

Blind Repair 7


Here’s the blind laid out and completely strung.

Blind Repair 8


Then all I had to do was slide the pieces together, and put the endcaps on. But since it was getting late, I decided to wait until tomorrow to rehang it.

Blind Repair 9


While I was working on the blinds, Jan was removing every thing from one of our slide pantries, so I could repair several of the shelves that had broken due to too much weight.

Jan also used this chance to go through the contents and throw away any thing with expired dates.

Pantry 1


A little judicious repair with some heavy duty zip ties fixed things up.

Pantry 2


About 5:30 Jan and I headed up to Webster for dinner and some shopping. Dinner was Chili’s, and the shopping was Sam’s Club for prescriptions and Kroger’s for some groceries, and then it was home for the night.

Thought for the Day:

The government should fear the citizens . . . not the other way around.



January 22, 2014

Girls with Guns . . .

Jan and I started out this morning with a 1 mile walk around the park before enjoying our coffee and muffins sitting outside. And enjoying it while we can, because tomorrow the weather gets pretty crappy for the next several days.

We’re looking at several days of rain, with a HIGH of 37 on Friday.  BRR!

I want my Global Warming, and I want it NOW!   Excess body heat only goes so far.

About noon I headed out to a couple of clients, and looking for a couple of new computers for other clients. And by the time I’d taken care of everything and gotten back to the rig, it was about 5:30.  And my beautiful wife had dinner ready.

Saw an article online about ‘Machine Gun Tourism’. For some reason when I first saw the title I thought it said “Machine Gun Terrorism”, which kind of made sense.

But then I figured out what they were talking about. Renting out machine guns for tourists to try their hand. And when we were in Las Vegas in 2010, Jan did her part to keep tourism alive.

And this was at “The Gun Store” location mentioned in the article. She’s firing her new favorite toy, a Thompson Submachine Gun.

Jan And Her Thompson 1

Jan And Her Thompson 2

And apparently it runs in the family, because here’s our granddaughter Piper in Houston, firing a Smith & Wesson 500 .50 cal. revolver, considered the most powerful handgun in the world.

Piper's First Gun

I’ve shot one of these a couple of times and they’re a handful.  Piper said she enjoyed the feeling of power it gave her.

Also according the article, you can now fire one of these at “The Gun Store”.


This is a belt-fed M249 Light Machine Gun, and I want one.

Just the thing for those pesky squirrels.

“The only difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.” – Albert Einstein



January 22, 2015

Sticker Free . . .

Well, it started raining last night and has continued to rain most of the day. In fact they issued flood warnings for the area, maybe even as much as 2 to 4 inches overnight. Tomorrow is forecast to be about the same, but starting Saturday, it’s supposed to clear up for a few days at least

One thing nice about being here at Lake Conroe is no more stickers. Or as we used to call them on the Gulf, sandspurs. What ever you called them, they hurt like hell when you step on one. They come in the rig on your shoes, socks, and even your pant legs.

And we found out they also come in on Mister. So we have to frisk him after he’s been outside. Otherwise they fall off his fur and then snuggle down in the rugs, lying in wait like little landmines, just waiting for a bare foot.

Even worse, often when you pull them out of your foot, you get a spine broken off in your finger that’s so small that you can’t pull it out, but you will feel it every time you touch something.

About 4pm, Jan was jonsing for Cracker Barrel’s Thursday Turkey and Dressing, so much so that we ignored the pouring rain, and headed down the Interstate to the CB for dinner. One thing we both like there is that they have real dressing (cornbread dressing, the only REAL dressing) and REAL cornbread muffins (you know, the ones made with only cornmeal and not half-flour, and not so much sugar that they taste like cake.). It’s always good, and tonight was no exception. Delicious.

And even better for me, we got out of there with no extraneous gift shop purchases.

Leaving the restaurant, we had planned to make a Wal-Mart stop for a few things, but the weather was, as Jan described it, “just too yucky.” So we just headed home for the night.


Thought for the Day:

A simple rule of life: if you can be blamed, you’re responsible.



January 22, 2016

RunPee and Flixster Too . . .

We walked our walk this morning, but stopped after the first 1.01 mile loop, because it was just too COLD. Although it was sunny, it was 44 degrees and windy when we headed out, and it didn’t get any warmer along the way.  But we made up for the short walk a little later.

About 2pm Jan and I headed out for some shopping, but our first stop was here in the park. Jan’s Mary Kay lady is parked over in the ‘D’ section and we stopped off so Jan could pick up some makeup she’d ordered and catch up. Then it was off to Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart

On the way over, Jan suggested that we use Runkeeper to track our walking around the stores. I kind of figured that the GPS wouldn’t work inside the big steel buildings like that, but I was wrong.

Yeah, yeah, I am wrong once in a while.

Anyway, it worked. I turn it on when we left the truck at Sam’s and then off when we got back to the truck and drove next door to Wal-Mart. Then on and off at the truck there too.

And this is what we got.


We actually walked further shopping than we did this morning. So I may try this again.

Since we often see movies around the country as we travel, we have 3 phone apps that we use to help us out.

The first one is Flixster, Flixster_thumb[7]which lets you see all the theaters in an area and how far they are away from your location. Then you can see all the movies being shown at a certain theater, and the times the movie is being shown. And you can even buy tickets online for the show.

And sometimes even more useful, you can start with the movie you want to see, and Flixster will tell you what local theaters it’s showing in.

The next movie app is Silent Mode Timer Free. Silent Timer Free_thumb[5]Ever go to a movie, put your phone on mute and then forget about it until hours later, missing incoming calls? Well, Silent Mode is the perfect app for that.

All you do is open the app, and set the time. You can either set the elapsed time for Silent Timer to mute phone, i.e. if the movie is 2 hours and 15 minutes long, I would set the timer for 2 hours and 45 minutes to allow for previews and credits. Then just click the Set Timer button.

Or you can just set the actual time you want your phone to turn back on. Easy to use, and it’s free.

Last up is a favorite app of ours that I’ve talked about before called RunPee. RunPee_thumb[2]Just look up the movie you’re going to see and the app tells you the best 2 or 3 times to . . . wait for it . . . Run Pee.

Not only does the app tell you the times, it also tells you how long your window of opportunity is, what’s happening while you’re gone, and gives the ‘trigger phrase’ for when to leave. Or you can use the app’s timer that vibrates at 2 minutes before, 1 minute before, and then at the actual time. In addition, RunPee also gives you a synopsis of  the first few minutes of the movie in case you’re running late.

It’s actually very funny to be sitting a crowded theater, feel your phone vibrate, and see 4 or 5 people jump up and head out.  Sometimes I just want to yell out as everyone heads to the exit, “Run Pee!”

But one of our favorite parts is that the app also tells you if there’s anything after the credits. A lot of movies, especially Sci-Fi ones like we like, give you a taste of the next movie in the series after the credits. And many times, comedies will do outtakes, also.

But it’s really disappointing to sit through10 minutes of credits, and then . . . NOTHING. Especially when you probably should have taken that last RunPee opportunity.

BTW there was nothing after yesterday’s Star Wars.

Thought for the Day:

Just so you know for your next State Dinner.

Fancy Place Setting_thumb[1]

My question is, where does the big glass of Sweet Tea go?



January 22, 2019

Four Hours Later . . .

And I don’t know any more than I did to start with.

Today was my one-month later eye doctor appointment after my initial maybe-diagnosis of Fuch’s Dystrophy in my left eye.

This all started last year when I had to get new glasses and an eye test to renew my South Dakota driver’s license. The Sam’s Club optometrist said I had a cataract . But when I went to Jan’s cataract guy, he said I had a tiny one, but that wasn’t what was causing my vision problems, i.e., my left eye won’t correct to better than 20/100. But he said he was a ‘retina’ guy, and I really should see the practice’s ‘cornea’ guy.

So when I saw him he ran a bunch of baseline tests and sent me home with a couple of drops to be applied 4 times daily. So today was the follow up.

And after a four hour wait, nothing’s really changed.  So he went over several possible remedies (two different types of surgery) different (more expensive) drops, or my favorite, leave it alone and check back in 6 months.

He said that there’s no harm, and it will give us a longer baseline to look for any changes.

So, as I said, after 4 hours of waiting, 2:30 to 6:30, I’m just as in the dark as before.

Coming home, we stopped at the Cheddar’s in Webster for dinner before getting home a little before 8pm.

A nice, though non-productive day.

Thought for the Day:

Behind every angry woman is a man who has no idea what he did wrong.


January 22, 2020

Some Sad News . . .

I spent most of the evening trying to set things up so I can reluctantly upgrade my desktop computer from rock-stable Win7 to Win10.

I’m doing a complete system image (iso) of the hard drive first before I install Win10 on top of it. I would actually prefer to do a clean install but I’ve got a couple of older programs that I use regularly and can’t find the CD’s for.

But with the ISO file I can just reinstall the image and I’m back where I started. In the meantime I’ll keep looking for the missing CD’s.

Although it rained pretty much all day today, tomorrow’s supposed to be a little nicer. So I’m going to do some prep work for our upcoming oil leak test drive this coming Sunday.

Some Sad News.

I got a text message from one of cousins this evening saying that my uncle Tom Calvin had died this morning.

He was 93, and he and my Aunt Lenette had been married for 70 years. He’s the last of my mother’s brothers, and the last of my direct relatives on my mother’s or my father’s side.

Tom and Lenette Calvin

But Tom’s real claim to fame is in the football world, both as one of the oldest living NFL players, and his coaching abilities in the state of Alabama, where he is known as the Winningest Coach in Alabama History.

After playing for the University of Alabama where he led the Crimson Tide in rushing and played in the 1948 Sugar Bowl, he played 4 years for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1952 to 1955. He was actually drafted for the 1951 season, but turned it down because he didn’t think the money was enough, so he took a job as a high school coach. But the next year, Art Rooney, the team owner, personally wooed him back to the Steelers with a bigger contract.

Tom even had his own Wikipedia page.

Not to be outdone, my Aunt Lenette was a Olympic level gymnastics coach and worked with Bela Karolyi and other well-known coaches at several Olympics, including Japan in 1998 and others.

I had hoped to see him when we’re up in Alabama next month. He will be missed.

Thought For The Day:

You’d think by now that Wile E. Coyote would have figured out that Acme Products Corp. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Roadrunner Inc.

(BTW the ‘E.’ stands for Ethelbert

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