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

You Think They’d Learn . . .

Jan and I were out the door a little before 1pm, for lunch/errands. Or rather, errand/lunch/errands.

Our first stop was the O’Reilly’s Auto Parts for a bottle of Stabil Gas Treatment. Since I filled up the Dakota with gas this week while the Jeep was being repaired, I wanted to treat the gas since it might be several more months until we drive it again.

Then it was on down FM517 to have lunch at Gator’s. Jan had seen their ad on Facebook for their new Keto Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Birria Pizza.

Gator's Birrria Pizza

And Jan says it’s now her new all-time favorite dish.

The ‘Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy’ part is the fact that the crust is actually made from nice and crispy melted cheese. Then it’s covered in shredded beef and Birria sauce

Birria sauce is chile-based and typically consists of guajillo peppers. Guajillo peppers are dried mirasol chiles. These chiles are rich in chile flavor, slightly fruity, and make for a well-rounded, full-bodied sauce that is low on heat and big on flavor.

I stayed with an old favorite of mine, their Loaded Baked Potato Soup.

Gator's Baked Potato Soup 20220109

And of course we had to finish up by splitting one of their delicious Keto Blueberry Muffins.

Gator's Blueberry Muffin 20220220

Then it was on up the feeder to the UPS Store/HEB Store. While I dropped off a Amazon return, Jan picked up a few things next door. Then it was home for the night.

Didn’t get a call about our Jeep being fixed yet, so hopefully tomorrow.

Our promised heavy rains didn’t really appear last night, giving us only 0.19”, so pretty much just wetting our whistle. But supposedly we got more coming later this week.

It seems that this past weekend a Norwegian Cruise Lines cruise ship, the Norwegian Sun, was transiting the Hubbard Glacier area when it encountered dense fog and struck an iceberg, a teeny tiny one.

Don’t they ever learn?

And at least that’s NCL’s story, and so far they’re sticking with it.

But passengers on board say that’s not what happened.

Grom Griff wrote on YouTube, “I am on the ship. We were on the front deck at the time. There was no fog, it was a clear, sunny, beautiful day.”

Jerry Pearce made similar remarks on YouTube: “My wife and I are on the ship now. Contrary to what Norwegian is saying there was no fog in the bay when it happened. We were standing on the front deck and could see us approaching and hitting the iceberg.”

Video allegedly shot by a passenger on-board shows the cruise ship hitting a large piece of ice greater than the size of a school bus,

So not foggy, and not so teeny tiny, then.

In fact,

Passengers said they felt the impact which was followed by a “severe” judder or shudder. Some also said the ship listed slightly after impact.

And apparently the ‘teeny tiny’ iceberg caused enough damage that ship skipped its next port of call at Skagway and struggled on to Juneau where the rest of the cruise was canceled.

Passengers got a 100% refund, plus a free future cruise valued for the same amount

I’m still not impressed.

While Jan was in HEB this afternoon, I noticed that Verizon 5G was now active in the area so I decided to run Speedtest.net on it. And here’s what I got.

Speedtest HEB 5G

Then using Samsung’s Band Selector App, I turned off 5G on my Galaxy S21 Ultra and ran it again under 4G.

And this is what I got.

Speedtest HEB 4G

So 5G is half the speed of 4G.

Once again, I’m not impressed with 5G so far.

Thought For The Day:

Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.

Catch And Release

June 28, 2009

Mustangs and Tomahawks…

Today we drove back over to Virginia Beach to visit the Military Aviation Museum that we had scouted out yesterday.

I was surprised to find out the Museum is privately owned by Gerald Yeagan who also owns a company called The Fighter Factory that specializes in restoring and maintaining old military planes.  He owns over 20 restored military planes with a number of others under restoration.

The complex consists of a museum area flanked by large hangers on each side, with an operating airfield out front.

Military Aviation Museum

Even the red checkered water tower is of WWII vintage.

The Museum had several interesting displays.  Two planes caught my eye.

A replica 1911 Wright Flyer and a 1918 Sopwith Pup fighter were on display.  These were remarkable due to the fact that we had just visited the Wright Brothers Memorial at Kill Devil Hill and had seen the 1903 Flyer.

The amazing thing was the quick progression of the planes.

The 1903 Flyer was very primitive, with the pilot lying prone on the wing next to the engine, steering by swinging his hips back and forth.  The elevator is in the front of the plane and the engine is almost toy-like.

1903 Wright Flyer from the right rear

The 1911 Flyer was a big jump.  The pilot sat in a chair, steered the plane with a control stick, and the elevator was in the rear, all just like today’s planes.

1911 Wright Flyer

1911 Wright Flyer

Note the 1911 Flyer has a much bigger engine and also landed on wheels, rather than skids like the 1903 version.

This 1911 Flyer was also used to make an intercontinental flight from New York to California to the win a $50,000 prize put up by William Randolph Hearst.  This means that only 8 years after the first flight, man is now flying from one side of the country to the other.

But the real jump is this next plane, the 1918 Sopwith Pup.

1918 Sopwith Pup

1918 Sopwith Pup

In just 7 more years, we now have plane with a fully enclosed cockpit, engine, and fuselage, and, of course, machine guns, that can fly hundreds of miles in one flight.

And all this only 15 years after the first flight of 120 feet.

Quite a jump, indeed!

They sure have a lot of great planes here, and what’s really amazing is that they’re all in flyable condition, or being restored to flyable condition.

Here’s some of the best.

P-40 Tomahawk

P-40 Tomahawk

P-51 Mustang

P-51 Mustang

Supermarine Spitfire

Supermarine Spitfire

One of the ways you can tell which planes are in flyable condition is that there the ones with oil pans underneath them.

Hawker Hurricane

Hawker Hurricane

F4U Corsair of “Bah, Bah, Black Sheep” fame

F4U Corsair of "Bah, Bah, Black Sheep" fame

PBY Catalina Flying Boat

PBY Catalina Flying Boat

TBM Avenger Bomber – George H. W. Bush flew one like this.

TBM Avenger Bomber - George H. W. Bush flew one like this.

T-35 Mentor trainer – I had flight training in one of these.

T-35 Mentor trainer - I had flight training in one of these.

But the real treat was getting to see the P-40 Tomahawk fly!  These big engines make a roar that is unmistakable.

Taxiing Out

Taxiing Out

Taxiing Out

Taxiing Out

Take Off

Take Off

Downwind Turn

Downwind Turn



Roll Out

Roll Out

Finally, I’ve shown you pictures of area mascot animals, like pelicans in Seabrook, TX,  moose in Coeur d’ Alene, IA,  and mermaids in Beaufort, SC.

Here in Virginia Beach they have a porpoise mascot, and the Museum did theirs up in a plane motif.

Plane Porpoise

We had a great time at the Museum.  And I’m really lucky to have married an Airforce brat who likes old planes and airshows.

After leaving the Museum, we stopped off at Supercuts to get our hair cut and then ate a late lunch at El Pollo Loco before heading home.

Later in the evening after it had cooled off, we sat out in the shade of the coach, looking out over the lake, drinking Sangria,  and watching Mister do his “Catch and Release” program with the many big blue dragonflies.

Campground View

Or rather, it was ‘Catch, and then I yell at him until he reluctantly raises his paw and lets the dragonfly go – Release program.  He never seemed to hurt them, but just held them down for a while.

What was really amazing is how fast a 22 pound cat can move.

Today is our last day here in NC.   Tomorrow we move north to Williamsburg,

Wild Turkey

June 28, 2010

A Nice, Quiet Day

Today started out as another nice quiet day.  And pretty much stayed that way.

Jan’s still trying to get the hang of Facebook, posting stuff and confirming new friends.

We left the coach about 2 pm heading first into New Braunfels to stop by a Chase bank and then on to Lowe’s for some more project supplies.

Near Gina’s turn-off we encountered a large flock of wild turkeys, at least two dozen, including a bunch of babies.

By the time we got back to Gina’s it was time to go to dinner. Leaving the ranch, Jan put some corn at the side of the road  for the turkeys. We’ll check on the way home to see if they’ve eaten it.

Tonight we decided to try Lucky’s Kitchen and Cocktails, a seafood place in Canyon Lake near the RV park. Jan and Gina had seafood Po’Boys and I had a Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwich with bacon, tomatoes, onions, Monterey Jack cheese and jalapenos. Great!

Getting back to Gina’s I spent some time working on the new ceiling fan I’m installing on the porch, and then trying to fix a problem on Gina’s computer.

Oh, it didn’t look like the turkeys had found the corn yet. We’ll check again tomorrow.

Then, about 7:30 pm, when we were ready to leave, it started pouring down rain. We hung around hoping it would slack off. Finally we decided to give it a try. And we lucked out. By the time we got out to the main highway the rain had pretty much stopped.

Lucky for us too, because there’s some low spots on the ranch road that can flood several feet deep.

Back at the rig there were some deer still milling around, but with it raining on and off,  we decided they were on their own.

Who Knew?

June 28, 2011

Beautiful Flowers and Good Mexican . . .

After our 12 hour day yesterday it was nice to sleep in and just take it easy this morning. I got up about 10:30 and fixed us coffee, and then about 11:30 Jan heated up the pizza from Fultano’s Pizza a couple of days ago.

Like most things Italian, it got better with age, and it was differently better than the other night. Of course Jan always spices it up to make it better anyway.

Jan’s really been really enjoying the flowers she got the other day at the Farmer’s Market in Astoria. They seem to be holding up well.


While Jan spend the afternoon reading and catnapping,  I went whole-hog and just took a full-on nap. Then about 4:45 Jan and I headed out for dinner once again at Los Compadres, a local Mexican restaurant we ate at last Wednesday. This probably the best Mexican we’ve had since we left Vegas. Strangely enough, the further north we get, the harder it is to get good Mexican. Who knew?

Coming home, we stopped off at the Shell station right down the street from the RV park, to get a cappuccino, and also to confirm that I wouldn’t have a problem fueling up with diesel on our way to Bremerton on Friday. Sometimes stations in small towns have a problem when you come in and want to get $500 – $600 of diesel. But they said “No problem.” So it looks like we’ll be good to go on Friday. And even better, diesel has dropped 12 cents a gallon in the last two. Hopefully it will drop even more by Friday.

On another note, at the Evergreen Aviation Museum yesterday, they had a upstairs exhibit of rifles and handguns, along with hunting dioramas and 12 year old boy’s room in 1956, complete with half a dozen firearms.

Boy's Room

In 1960 when I was 12, I probably had a dozen or so, rifles, shotguns, BB guns, and pellet guns in my room. I also remember in High School in north Alabama, going to school with a shotgun or rifle on the rack in the back window of the truck because we were going hunting after school. Now days, kids get suspended just for drawing a picture of a gun in school, much less bring one to school.

Tomorrow we’re going down to Lewis and Clark National Park to check it out.

Another Topic?

June 28, 2012

A Scorpion in My Pants . . .

Verizon is apparently messing with things again. My phone says I have 1x, and not 3G. But even the 1x doesn’t work right now. Hopefully if will be up and running when it’s time to post this blog.

As far as the scorpion goes, I thought so, anyhow. Yesterday (Tuesday) I was just sitting here minding my own business (not that there’s anyone else’s to mind around here) and all of a sudden something bit me or stung me on my left calf.


And my first thought WAS that a scorpion had gotten into my pants. So I was dancing around, swatting at my leg, and yelling. But all this seem to accomplish was to make whatever it was climb higher. Whoops! Not exactly what I had in mind.

But, as I was frantically trying to drop trow, hop on one foot, yell, and slap at my leg, I realized that I was being stung by a lot of things, not just one stinger. So that meant it had to be . . .


By this time I had my pants down around my ankles, jumping up and down, slapping at my pants, just knowing that at any minute a truck full of cute young salesgirls was going drive up. But at least my luck held as far as this went.

Then suddenly I get bit again, this time on the back of my bare leg, just above the knee. It felt like I was on the wrong side of a pin cushion. Reaching around my leg and grabbing at whatever it was (not the smartest thing, I know) I came up with a handful of large brown grasshopper/locust/katydid whateveryoucallit.

And then he bit me again. Son of a . . .  !

But now I could see he wasn’t biting me or stinging me at all. His feet apparently had very sharp little grippers on them, and so the more I danced around, the tighter he held on for dear life.

Deciding it was time for the two of us to part company, I flung him as hard as I could. He of course, just dug in his gripper thingies a little deeper and held on tight.

Realizing this wasn’t going to work, I grabbed a nearby water spray bottle and gave him a good squirt. At first he seemed like it, but after three or four more, he got the message and leaped away.

Gate Guarding Grasshopper

Well, at least I have another topic for my upcoming “Gate Guarding for Fun? and Profit” seminar at the next Escapade.

In the meantime Jan had her own excitement Tuesday evening when a sudden windstorm blew through our area, apparently spawned by all the thunderstorms roaming around. Although it never rained here, the wind came out of nowhere, turning over the fan, loosening some of the canopy guy ropes, and generally wreaking havoc on our gate site. Finally she went inside and rode it out there.

Nothing was really damaged, but it did take me a while to get everything set back up and stowed away when I came on at 11pm. I thought my new windshield solar screen had been blown away at first, but all that happened was that it got flipped back up and onto the roof.

Several people had ask for a photo of my outside solar screen setup, so here it is.

Solar Screen

Nothing fancy. Just a cord strung between the awning brackets on each side, and then the solar screen material is hung from the cord like clothes on a clothesline (remember those?) and fastened with binder clips.

It works great, and it was cheap. My kind of project.

Tuesday was also Chile Rellenos day at Galindo’s again so I picked up lunch for us on my way home from Pleasanton. Just as delicious as last time, and they have great chips and salsa, too. Especially the salsa. They sell it by the jar and I may get some next time.

The reason I was in Pleasanton was to get my oil changed at Wal-Mart. I just had it done in January before we left the Houston area, but it was time again. It’s amazing how many miles we put on our truck just driving around.

We bought it in late 2007 just before we got our American Eagle coach, and in that time we’ve put about 50,000 miles on the coach, and about 75,000 miles on the truck. And that 75,000 doesn’t include the 50,000. It’s in addition, since the truck odometer doesn’t register when it’s in tow mode. So that means we’ve driven about 125,000 miles in the last 5 years. Hard to imagine.

But along with my oil change, Wal-Mart also gave me 3 flat tires. Well, one flat and two almost flat. What happened was that as part of their oil change service, they check your tire pressures. And whoever did it, didn’t tighten my Tire Traker tire pressure sensors back on the valve stems, letting them slowly leak down.

So late Tuesday afternoon a passing truck driver told me I had a flat.

BUMMER! Not realized at the time what the problem was, I decided to wait until I came back on duty at 11pm to change it when it would be cooler. Well, a little cooler, anyway.

Getting the spare put on and flat tire up in the truck, I stuck my head in the cab to get something and heard my tire pressure monitor going off. Checking it, I found it showing I had two more almost flat tires, both under 20 pounds.

What the . . .

Three flats? Getting my tire gauge out to confirm the pressure I found the tire pressure sensor very loose on the valve stem. Suddenly remembering how loose the one was on the flat tire when I took it off to move it to the spare, I checked the second almost flat tire and found it also very loose. And the sensor on the last remaining good tire was tight.

Sensing a pattern here, (hey, I didn’t fall off the turnip truck LAST night!) I got out my air compressor and aired up all three tires, and tightened down the sensors when I was done. Two hours later, all three tires were still fine.

I had just changed a tire for nothing. Darn you, Wal-Mart!

So, tomorrow (Thursday) I’m going back to the Wal-Mart and let them take my spare off and put my other tire back on. Let them fix it.

And this is the reason I wanted to wait till after midnight to change the tire. And it was still 89 degrees then.

108 Temp
This is the official temperature. Our thermometer here at the rig said 116 degrees, but I think it’s picking up a lot of heat off the side of the rig, and thru the white translucent canopy. But our water misting system really keeps us comfortable.

It’s only when we have to walk out in the sun and actually work, that it gets hot.

Jan had a Girl’s Day Out this afternoon (Wednesday), going into Pleasanton, getting her hair down, doing some shopping, etc. Then on her way home she picked up Sonic Chili Dogs for supper. Hmm, hmm, good.

As it stands now, it looks like we’ll be moving to a new site in the next 7 to 10 days. I’ve got the location and tomorrow (Thursday) I’m going to drive over and check it out. It’s back on the east side of I-37, about 20 miles from where our last site was, and only about 5 miles from the Gate Guard Services offices near Whitsett. So less travel to pick up our paychecks.

Lastly, Jan wanted me to pass on a cleaning tip. We have a problem with the mist from the cooling mister combining with the ever-present dust, and put a film on our glasses that makes it hard to see, and very hard to get off. We’d tried a number to cleaners and nothing worked very well.

But a tip from a passing-though truck driver did the trick.

Dawn dish soap. Leave your glasses soaking over night in a bowl of Dawn and water, and the next morning they’re spotless.


Huhot Mongolian

June 28, 2013

On to Gillette . . .

After a quiet last morning here in Billings, Jan and I headed out about 12:30 for some more errands.

Our first stop was at a nearby locksmith to have some keys made. While we were in Victor, ID, I lost one of my rig key rings. I called back several times to see if anyone had found them, but no luck. So since I only had one copy of several of these keys I decided to have a complete new set made. They said they’d be ready in a couple of hours.

Then it was off to Ulta for Jan to pick up some things and Wal-Mart to pick up some more things. You would think that some day we’ll have enough things, but it’s not looking that way so far.

Then after a quick stop at Pet-Smart for a new kitty litter scoop and the locksmith’s for my new keys, we got home about 3pm. Then I spent a couple of hours rewiring my taillights to work without the taillight converter. This should keep it working until I build a new unit.

A little before 6pm Jan and I headed over to the HuHot Mongolian Grill to meet our friend Linda for dinner. HuHot is one of those places where they give you a bowl and you go down a line and load it with meats, vegetables, and sauces, and then they throw it on a big grill and cook it up for you. We’ve eaten here every visit since 2008 and have always enjoyed it.

Finishing up dinner, we headed over to Linda’s to meet her new cats before heading home for the night.

We’re going to head out early tomorrow morning, about 8am, because we’re going to top off our diesel tank before heading to Gillette, WY for the upcoming Escapade. They stop parking arrivees at 2pm so we want to get there in plenty of time.

5 Ways

June 285, 2014

I Miss My RV . . .

That’s what Jan said this evening watching TV in motel room. And I agree.

Yesterday, we had a number of comments wondering what Mister was doing during the whole windshield thing. And the answer is, as usual he was trying to get right in the middle of it.

Mister and Windshield

At times he would even be hanging out the opening watching the guys work. Finally I put him on his leash and tied him off to a scaffolding by the rig and he just lay there and watched.

Jan and I both got up early this morning, (well, 8am early, early for me) so we could check out the free (that always gets my attention) continental breakfast here at the motel. And it wasn’t bad at all.

They had muffins, English muffins, toast, and Belgian waffles, as well as cereal, milk, coffee, and OJ.

About 9:30 Jan and I drove over to our coach to pick up some more things for our extended motel stay. While we were waiting for Josh to open the shop, we met Jerry and Tish Unterkoefler who showed up in their Monaco Diplomat. They wanted to talk to Josh about getting some new Captain’s Chairs for their rig. Said they were next heading down to Decatur, IN to have Monaco replaced the seals on their slide.

Started to ask them if they could pick up the correct windshield gasket from American Coach.

Leaving Coach Supply we headed over to Wal-Mart for some cat food and chips, and then on the way back to the motel, we stopped off at Steak and Steak for lunch.

This time I had the Jalapeno Crunch Steakburger.


And Jan had the Chili 5 Ways.


Both very good, just like our last visit.

June 28, 2015

Ready, Camp, Go . . .

Today was kind of strange weather-wise. It ramped up to its usual 105 degrees around 3pm, but by 5pm a heavy cloud cover rolled in and the temp dropped to 85 degrees. Very nice.

According to the Rainy Days app, there was rain all around us, but nothing came our way. Hope it holds out for tomorrow.

I mentioned the other day that I had looked into the Elite upgrade to our TT membership. We were mainly looking at getting more parks, especially in the northeast where we plan to travel next year. And according to the salesperson here at the park, it would add 23 parks to our 63, for a total of 86.

In addition we would also get three weeks in park instead of the two we have now. And that’s about it for us. No additional free days, or anything like that. Just three weeks and 23 more parks.

Yeah, you get membership cards to give away, and discounts on cabins and stuff, but nothing that would really mean anything to us.

The only time we might have appreciate the three weeks is when we were orbiting back and forth between Lake Conroe and Colorado River this past winter. Normally two weeks is about all we want to spent in one spot before we move on.

But then today I came across the Ready Camp Go card. I had heard of it before,  but for some reason I thought it had something to do with the TT Zone Pass. Turns out it’s completely separate.

Anybody can purchase a RCG card. You don’t have to been a member of any other club to get one. And it’s certainly a heck of a lot cheaper than an Elite upgrade.

The RCG card comes in 4 levels –

1. Platinum – Gives you 90 days of camping at $20/night with 90 day advance reservations, and cost $299 per year. You have 14 days in park and 7 out.

2. Gold – Gives you 60 days of camping at $20/night with 60 day advance reservations, and costs $199 per year. You have 14 days in park and 7 out.

3. Silver – Gives you 30 days of camping at $20/night with 30 day advance reservations, and cost $99 per year. You have 7 days in park and 7 out.

4. Plus – Gives you 15 days of camping at $25/night with 30 day advance reservations, and cost $49 per year.

The only two levels I would be interested in would be the Platinum or Gold. Dividing the card price by the number of nights gives you a $3.33 per night prorated cost. Coupled with the $20 per night park charge, and the usual resort fees, you’re looking at around $27 per night.

When we did the East Coast all the way out to Newfoundland in 2009, we paid much more than that, in many cases, more than double that.

But the big plus with the RCG card is that it gives us access to over 100 additional RV parks, over the 63 TT parks we already have, no matter what level we get.

I have been told that since we’re already TT members, we could not use it at TT parks. But that’s fine since I have the TT membership already.

But whatever I do, either of these levels sounds much better than paying $4645 for an Elite upgrade. In fact for that amount we could buy 15 years worth of Platinum memberships. Or 5 years and a lot of nights of camping at $27 a night.

If you have any experience with the RCG card, let me know.

Colorado River Thousand Trails once again

June 28, 2016

More Rig Repairs . . .

One thing really nice about this site is that unlike our two previous sites in the ‘A; circle, we’ve had absolutely no problems with low voltage here. In fact, it rarely goes under 120 volts even in the heat of the day with both AC’s running.

If you remember from when we were here before, we were seeing voltages as low as 105 volts, with momentarily drops below 103, which would kick out our Progressive EMS (Electrical Management System). They’ve definitely got a problem in that area.

Today I thought I’d go back over some more of my repairs.

While we were gate guarding last fall, the flush pedal on our Sealand toilet broke. At first I thought it was the Spring Cartridge, but it turned out to the pedal shaft.

Toilet Seal 3

The edges of the plastic square shaft (the black one above) had rounded off over the last 5 years, so when you stepped on the flush pedal, it just rotated inside the spring cartridge without opening the ball.

So here’s how I took the toilet apart and put it back together.


As part of these same plumbing repairs, I also replaced the bathroom faucet that had a broken handle. But like many of these projects, this one didn’t go quite as planned and took two days. The first day is at the bottom of the toilet repair post, so you can start there again.


Faucet Removal 1


Another repair while we were gate guarding last year was when the electric side of our Attwood water heater died. The propane part still worked, just not the electric. Since we were busy on the gate, we just used the propane side until I finally found the time to take a look at the problem. Here’s that story.




Probably my biggest repair last year was when I replaced our 16 year old Coleman Mach V with a new Coleman Mach 15. The front unit was still cooling OK, but not as good as it should have.

I could have gotten a couple of saddle taps and added some Freon, but I also wanted to increase the BTU output, going from 13,500 up to 15,000, along with a much stronger fan.

Another repair spread out over 3 days, you can check it out here.



AC Install 4


To paraphrase Emily Latella, “With an RV, it’s always something.”

Family Stuff

June 28, 2017

Giant Jenga . . .

With a full day on tap, Jan and I left the rig about 11:30, heading for our daughter’s home in the Katy area.

But we had a number of stops beforehand, with the first one being the Jack in the Box in Columbus for a quick breakfast, Jan getting Supreme Breakfast Croissant, while I got a large Iced Caramel Latte. Very good.

Finally getting into the Katy, we dropped off a prescription for Jan at the Sam’s Club, and then it was on to  the Kroger near Brandi’s for some last minute supplies. That done, I dropped Jan off at the nearby POSH Nails to get her toesies done while I took the groceries on to Brandi’s.

About the time that Jan’s sister Debbie and her family showed up, Lowell showed up with our dinner, a Rudy’s Picnic Box.

Rudy's Picnic Box

And it comes with pretty much everything you need, two big trays of every kind of meat, boiled potatoes, potato salad, creamed corn, beans, bread, two gallons of drinks, plates, cutlery, and even a red checkered tablecloth.

Rudy's at Brandi's 1

Rudy's at Brandi's 2

It’s amazing how quiet it gets when everyone is eating.

Rudy's at Brandi's 3

After dinner, our son Chris brought in his surprise for Landon and his cousins.

A Giant Jenga game that he made.

Giant Jenga 1

It’s obvious that Chris put a lot of time into this, including also make the stand underneath that holds all the blocks for storage and transport.

Giant Jenga 2

Giant Jenga 3

Giant Jenga 4

Giant Jenga 5

Giant Jenga 6

It was fun enough that it kept the kids involved for a good while, though the sound that the Jenga tower made as it came down rattled the house.

Later, Avery Jane, Ella, and Landon spent some time with coloring books and some other art projects.

Landon Avery Jane Ella

Today’s group totaled 17 with 3 more showing up tomorrow.

Reunion Group 1

And adding to the fun, tomorrow is Gumbo Day, with Chris whipping up a big batch of his famous Seafood Gumbo. Everyone’s looking forward to it.

Everyone started to head out about 8:30, with Jan and I making another stop at Kroger’s on the way, this time for gas, at $1.84/gallon, finally getting home about 9:45 after a really fun day.

And then tomorrow we do it all over again.

Well, no one seems to know what the mysterious red buttons in my engine compartment are, but the consensus seems to that I should press the buttons to see what happens, Jan should be taping from a safe distance, and I should wait to do it on the 4th of July for the best effect in case things go terribly wrong.

Thanks a lot, guys.

St. Louis

June 28, 2018

Not the Fuel Pump . . .

Or the Filter. So . . .

Anyone want to buy a Onan Fuel Pump or Fuel Filter?

Never Used.

I’ll let‘em go cheap.

As usual we were back at Denny’s this morning, but a little earlier, 8:30, and with more people, 12 to be exact. Brandi, Lowell, and Landon were there, as well as Christina, another of Jan’s sister Debbie’s daughters, and Christina’s boyfriend and his two daughters.

The Wild Bunch.

After breakfast everyone, except me, headed over to the City Museum in St. Louis to spend the day. 10 stories tall, it’s a former shoe factory that’s been transformed into a kid-friendly place with an enormous treehouse, a giant Slinky you can crawl through, and a 10-story spiral slide that takes you from the top floor all the way to the 1st floor.

Jan said the kids had a blast, and so did she. But she didn’t do the 10-story slide. Chicken!

Museum Group Photo

Back on the home front, I got to work on the generator. I ran it out on its electric/hydraulic slide and took a look. Removing the cover panel gave me access to the filter, and sight of the pump.

Rig Generator Access Opening

I removed the two bolts on the bottom of the generator that seemed to hold the pump bracket down, but it wouldn’t budge. I figured that the fuel lines were probably holding it place, but I wanted to be sure, so I put in a call to Onan Tech Support.

After I told him what my problem was, and my solution of replacing the filter and/or the pump. he asked me if the pump was clicking when I tried to start the genset. When I said Yes, he said it was possible that the pump to click and still be bad, but that I should check it out to be sure first.

He told me to disconnect the fuel return line, run it into a bucket, and run the pump for 1 minute.

Rig Generator Fuel Flow Pitcher

Then measure the output. If I got a little less than a cup, the fuel system is OK.

Rig Generator Fuel Flow Cup

And that’s what I got. So it’s something other than fuel. But by this time the Onan tech guy was gone for the day so I’ll have to get back with him tomorrow to see what other ideas he has for me.

The real problem is that we’re running out of time here, with only two more days before we leave for Alabama on Sunday. And these two days are chockfull of family stuff so not a lot of free time. But we will have six days in Alabama, so maybe then if I don’t find something simple and quick before we leave here.

Anyone want to buy a Onan Fuel Pump or Fuel Filter?

June 28, 2021

How About You?

After looking at the Rainy Days weather radar app, Jan and I were able to spend about 30 minutes with our coffee out of the patio between rain showers. Being very overcast and cooler than normal, it was really nice.

I had to order a new printer for today and this is the one I chose.

HP 6978 Printer

HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 All-in-One Wireless Printer

It was only $119 and even better it uses three different separate color cartridges, magenta, cyan, and yellow, not just one color cartridge with all three colors in it. This means that if you print with a lot of red, you don’t have to replace the entire color cartridge, just that one color.

But the reason I had to get a new printer is not that it wasn’t printing, but that it wasn’t scanning right. No matter whether I used the flatbed or the document feeder, it cut off the top and left side of the scan.

Yeah, I might have been able to tear into it and figure out what was wrong, but it was 3-1/2 years old and the cartridges were getting scarce and more expensive.

So I ordered it on Amazon today and it will be here tomorrow. Neat!

I mentioned the other day that Microsoft is releasing Windows 11 sometime in the fall. Well, the word now is October. And it will be a free update.

But the next question is, will your PC be capable of running Win11?

Well, to check if your PC can run Windows 11, download the “PC Health Check” app and then install it. Then when you run it, just click on the blue ‘Check Now’  and in a few seconds, you’re know.

In my case, it looks like I’m good to go.

How about you?

Random Stuff . . .

First the good news.

The problem with our Jeep was just some loose bolts on the transmission’s torque converter. They’ve ordered new bolts which should have come in this afternoon. So we should have it back tomorrow, or Wednesday at the latest.

Which will work out well for us, since this Thursday we’re heading up into Houston to see another ‘Immersive’

Last year we did two different Immersive Van Gogh presentations, one in October and one in November.

Immersive Van Gogh

And then later this summer, date TBD, Immersive King Tut is coming to town.

Immersive King Tut Placard

And of course, we saw a great Pompeii exhibit last August,

Museum Pompeii Body 3

and an even better one about Ramses the Great last month

Ramses Exhibit 1

And now on Thursday, we have tickets to see the Immersive Monet & The Impressionists, including Renoir, Degas, and others.

Immersive Monet

And of course, lunch at Cleburne Cafeteria before hand.

Next Up, Sports You’ve Never Heard That Are Shown On ESPN

We saw both of these

Corgi Racing – Yes, they have national races for those little dogs with really short legs.

I wonder if Queen Elizabeth races hers.

And even stranger, the Slippery Stairs World Championship

And like a bucket of crabs, if one person starts to fall, they try to drag everyone else down with them.

Jan and I are really enjoying our new MyPillow 3” Mattress Topper, probably sleeping the best we have in years.

And for me, it sleeps much cooler than our old one.


Finishing up, coming home from work today, I got a chance to check out Chick-fil-a’s Peach Shake. And it’s just as delicious as I remembered. It’s made with actual peach chunks and peach puree in vanilla milkshake.


Now we just have to hope that Whataburger brings back their Coffee Shake soon.

Thought For The Day:

I confess, I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

June 27, 2009

Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hill…

Today we drove the toad about 50 miles south to Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hill, NC to see the Wright Brothers Monument celebrating the first powered flight on December 17, 1903.

Here is the the picture of Kill Devil Hill where the Wright Brothers first tested their gliders starting in 1900.

Kill Devil Hill


Here is a pic of the 1900 glider that they flew from this hill.

1900 Glider

Here is a couple of pictures of the 1903 Flyer that the Orville Wright used to first achieved powered flight.

1903 Wright Flyer from the left rear

1903 Wright Flyer from the left rear

1903 Wright Flyer from the right rear

They made 4 flights that first day before a gust of wind overturned the craft while the brothers were discussing the 5th flight, ending their flying for that year.

The first flight traveled 120 feet,  the second traveled 175 feet,  the third traveled for 200 feet, and the last flight traveled for an amazing 852 feet and lasted for 59 seconds.

You can see the relative distances in these two pics.

First Flight Distances 1, 2, 3

First Flight Distances 2, 3, 4

I had to spread them across two different pics to get them all in.

It was really amazing to contemplate while looking at the Wright Flyer, that less than 66 years later,  we landed on the moon.

After leaving the monument area we drove around the area doing some sightseeing.

Later we headed up north to Virginia Beach, VA to eat at El Pollo Loco and stop off at a Sam’s Club for ‘stuff’.

Due to running out of time, we decided to visit the Military Aviation Museum tomorrow.

Canyon Lake, TX

June 27, 2010

Another Day at the Lake…

Today was a good relax and do stuff around the rig day. Jan got up about 8 am but I slept in until about 10.

After I got up I fixed coffee and then hung up the front solar shades on the windshield to help keep out some of the heat. Since we’re facing east the morning sun heats things up pretty quick, and the shades really help.

Jan has finally taken the Facebook plunge, so we spent some time getting everything set up for her. She’s already got a bunch of friends signed up.

About 2:30 we drove over to Gina’s so I could work some more on her deck project. Then, a little after 5 pm we drove over to El Casa del Lago, a Mexican restaurant down FM 306 on the way to New Braunfels.

On the way back to Gina’s we stopped by the rig to let Gina feed the deer. Just as yesterday, they will come up and eat right out of your hand.

LakeDeer 1

LakeDeer 2

Then coming back to the rig after dropping Gina off, we came back to the rig to find more deer still waiting for us. Seems like the word is out.

June 27, 2011

Sometimes it’s all worthwhile . . .

After a quick stop at the Post Office, we hit the road this morning about 10 am heading for McMinnville, OR 120 miles away to visit the Evergreen Aviation Museum, and of course, the Spruce Goose, aka the Hughes H-4 Hercules.

Because of road repairs and the sucky weather, we didn’t get to the Museum until about 2 pm.

And the first thing I noticed about the Evergreen Aviation Museum was the many ‘exceptional’ one-of-a-kind items on display.

For example, the C-47 / DC-3 below. Pretty much every aviation museum has one. Heck, Jan and I have even flown in several. But this one is special.

It flew in the D-Day Landing, dropping paratroopers in Normandy, France. How’s that for special!


And besides the Spruce Goose, Evergreen has another ‘Goose’. The ‘Tin Goose’, Ford’s entry into aircraft manufacturing. Since the Model T was nicknamed the ‘Tin Lizzie’, the Ford Tri-Motor became the ‘Tin Goose’.

About 200 were built including the ones I flew on in the early 60’s in South America. Although by then, the centerline engine had been removed and the two wing-mounted engines replaced by newer, more powerful ones, mostly from DC-3’s, I think.

Ford Tri-Motor 2


This photo shows a better view of the Tri-Motor’s unique corrugated sheet metal skin, making it light, but very strong.

Ford Tri-Motor 3

Next we have this beautiful example of a 1939 Beech D17A Traveler, better known as the ‘Staggerwing’ Beech, because its lower wing was mounted ahead of the upper wing, the reverse of normal at the time. This aircraft is the last of the 17A’s known to exist, and is probably the one used by Winston Churchill during his 1963 Idaho fishing trip.

The Staggerwing, introduced in 1932, was the first aircraft produced by Beech, and was in production until 1948 when it was replaced by the Beech V-Tail Bonanza.

Beech Staggerwing

Another plane I had never seen in person before was this Republic RC-3 Seabee. This little civilian amphibian’s claim to fame is that it was used in several movies, including 1974’s James Bond flick, ‘The Man with the Golden Gun’.

RC-3 Seabee

And this B-17 is also a James Bond alumni, 1965’s ‘Thunderball’.

B-17 Thunderball

Here’s another one under the heading of ‘aircraft I’ve never seen before’, McDonnell’s 1946 version of Germany’s V-1 Buzz Bomb. Also using a pulse jet, it was used as a target drone by the US Navy, and unlike the V-1, it could be radio-controlled.

KDD-1 Katydid

This P-38L Lighting is considered one of the finest examples of that aircraft still in existence.


In 2007 we got to see ‘Glacier Girl’ at the ‘Wings Over Houston’ Airshow. ‘Glacier Girl is the P-38 that was recovered from almost 300 feet under the Greenland Ice Sheet, and restored to flyable condition.

Glacier Girl

Done up in the paint of the ‘Flying Tigers’ the P-40 Warhawk were the only few planes to get in the air during the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

P-40 Warhawk

Another plane I had never seen in person is this de-Havilland D.H. 100 Vampire fighter. Originally named the ‘Spider Crab’ (glad they changed that!), it was the 2nd single-engine British jet fighter to go into service right at the end of WWII.

Vampire Fighter



These next two are examples of Hitler’s ‘Vengeance’ weapons. This V-1 ‘Buzz Bomb’ is actually the American version, the JB-2 Loon, one of what was to be thousands of mass-produced copies, launched from ships and submarines during the Invasion of Japan, which of course never happened due to the dropping of the A-Bomb.

V-1 Buzz Bomb

Germany’s V-2 rocket was the world’s first ballistic missile, over 3000 of which rained down on London and Antwerp.

JB-2 Rocket

Then we have the other end of the ballistic missile spectrum, and again, something I’ve never seen in person, a Titan II missile, complete with its launch complex.

Titan 1

Titan 2

110 feet tall, the Titan II could carry a 35 megaton warhead, and until it began being replaced by the Minuteman ICBM in the mid-60’s it formed the backbone of America’s missile defense.

The Titan II was later repurposed by NASA to launch twelve Gemini space flights.

Tital Control Room

This is the Hiller 1031 ‘Flying Platform’, kind of a modern flying carpet. What a way to commute.

Hiller Flying Platform

Of course, if the engine quit you just fell out of the sky.

Never mind.


Next we have probably my favorite aircraft of all time, the SR-71 Blackbird, the fastest plane in the world. Although officially its top speed was about Mach 3 (2200 mph) pilots have said whenever they pushed the throttle forward, it just went faster.

Some have said they think it would just fly faster and faster until the engines blew up, but no one knows at what speed that would happen.

Ever time a missile was fired at it, they just pushed the throttle forward a little more and outran it.


Here’s a better shot.


I’ve seen SR-71’s all around the country, but I’ve never seen one on display with its Start Cart.

Powered by two Buick Wildcat V-8 engines, it was the only way to light off an SR-71 unless you had a high pressure air source.

SR-71 Start Cart

And the gray box in the center of this photo is something I’ve neve seen before in a museum.

SR-71 Black Box

The last time I saw one for real was a late night in 1971 at Otis AFB on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. I was working as a DOD civilian contractor on the night shift in the Electronics Shop, and was commandeered by an Air Force Colonel and two armed MPs, taken to the far side of the base, shown a very strange-looking plane surrounded by flood lights and more armed MPs.

I was then told that that gray box was broken and I needed to fix it. When I ask what it was, I was told, “You’re not cleared for that”. When I asked what it was supposed to do, “You’re not cleared for that”.

When I asked if I could see some tech manuals or schematics, guess what?

Yep! I wasn’t cleared for that that, either.

So I took the box back to the shop and got to work.  And after about two hours I kind of figured out was it was supposed to do, and tracked down a bad relay, luckily a standard one I had in stock, and got it working.

And it’s not easy working with two armed MP’s standing over you, believe me. They even followed me to the bathroom. I mean why? I didn’t take the box with me!

So back to the flight line we go, and reinstall the box. Then, getting out of a station wagon parked over to the side, a guy in a flight suit climbs into the cockpit, flicks a few switches, waits a few seconds, and then gives the colonel a thumbs up.

Back in the jeep we go, and back to the shop. After we parked and I got out, the colonel says, “We were never here, you were never there, you never saw that plane”.

I said, “What plane?” He smiled slightly and drove off.

And that was my very last adventure into the world of black ops and spy stuff.

Below, this is the D-21 drone, made to be launched from the M-21 variant of the A-12, which was a predecessor to the SR-71. (Are you getting all this?) It was supposed to overfly reconnaissance targets even faster than the SR-71, drop its film package to be recovered later, and then self-destruct.

It was never really successful, and actually caused the crash of an M-21 and the death of one of the crew.

M21 Drone

sr71 with piggyback drone

And now for the big, and I do mean BIG, finish to our trip.

We got a personal tour by Larry Woods, the Evergreen Aviation Museum’s Executive Director, of the flight deck of the Spruce Goose.


Spruce Goose 1

It’s hard to imagine how big this plane is. At almost 220 feet long, and a wingspan of 320 feet, it is one of the four largest planes ever built, and still the one with the largest wingspan. With its 8 4000 hp engines, it was designed to carry 120,000 pounds of cargo over 3000 miles.

Spruce Goose Flying

It only flew once, in November of 1947, in the middle of Congressional hearings on cost overruns on the project. That flight covered about a mile, and got about 70 feet in the air.

And it’s almost all made out of wood. But not spruce. It’s most birch.

But I guess ‘Birch Goose’ just doesn’t have the same ring.

Spruce Goose 2

And suddenly there we were there, on the actual flight deck, walking where Howard Hughes had walked.

Spruce Goose 3

Jan even had to go up and touch the seat where Hughes sat.

Spruce Goose 4

These are just part of the gauges to monitor the 8 engines.

Spruce Goose 5

This shot looks down into the interior of the wing itself. Mechanics could crawl down into there and work on the engines IN FLIGHT! That’s how big it is.

Spruce Goose 6

And here’s a wider view of the flight deck. You could dance in there.

Spruce Goose 7


After a full three hours we headed home about 5 pm, well, not exactly home, but to Angelina’s Pizza in Seaside where we met Eldy and Jeanne for dinner.

Eldy and Jeanne

They said the pizza was great, and they were right. Much, much better than Fultano’s Pizza a few days ago.

And no goat, either.

Still In Billing’s MT

June 27, 2013

Not Much . . .

Today was pretty much a do-nothing day. But about noon we headed out for some errands and sightseeing.

I ran into a Barnes and Noble to get a magazine, and noticed that they had really cut the prices on the Nooks now that B&N is getting out of the Nook hardware business. They will continue to sell Nook ebooks and apps, and also Nook reader software for other machines, just like there are Kindle reader apps for many different devices.

It’s possible that another company will buy the Nook and keep it going, but that’s up in the air right now.

Our next stop was a car wash for the truck. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t care for the so-called “touchless” car washes that only use water pressure to clean the vehicle. But this one was a little different. It had both.

And the water pressure was much higher than any other one I’ve used. In fact, after it was over, I was relieved to see I still had paint on my truck. But it did get it clean.

About 2:30 we stopped in at a Golden Corral for linner, or lupper, if you will. And it was really good. They were actually still pretty busy, and, in addition, they seemed to be going out of their way to keep the buffet stocked with fresh, hot items by rotating though small batches of food.

Next, after a quick stop at the Post Office, we stopped off at Sam’s Club for some prescriptions and a few other things. Coming out I accidentally left a bottle of mouthwash in my cart, and when I came back less than a minute later, it was gone.

At first I thought maybe someone had taken it back into the store, but when I checked, the greeter lady said she saw a lady grab it and walk off. She then took me over to the floor supervisor located at that little desk you see in the front aisle. The greeter lady told the supervisor lady what had happen and that she had seen the lady do it.

The supervisor told me how sorry she was that this had happened, and to just get another one off the shelf. I was pretty much dumbfounded. This took place after I had left the store, and I planned to just buy another one. But they almost seemed to be insulted that one of their customers would dare to do such a thing.

That’s really good customer service.

Getting back to the rig, I took the water input line off the toilet valve, and as I had figured, the filter screen was clogged with carbon granules. Flushing the line and cleaning out the screen restored the toilet water pressure. Another job done.

Glass Change-Out in Elkhart, IN

June 27, 2014

I love it when a plan comes together . . . or not!

Well, today got off to a good start. We were up about 7am, had our coffee and muffins, cranked up the rig at 8:40, and then pulled out at 8:45, heading about 6 miles up into Michigan to Coach Supply to have our passenger-side windshield replaced.

We pulled into the bay about 5 after 9, and a few minutes later Josh and his helper started removing the old windshield.

Windshield Repair 1


The driver’s side took a little longer because they wanted to be careful to get it out in one piece since it will be reused.

Windshield Repair 2


Next the old gasket came out and the area was cleaned up and the new gasket started to go in.

Windshield Repair 3


But then the first problem showed up and it was a big one. The gasket was the wrong sized. It was too big.

So after a lot of back and forth with the supplier, Josh headed down to south Elkhart to get a new gasket.

And after comparing the old-new gasket with the new-new gasket, the new-new gasket was noticeably smaller. So things were back on track.

Soon the new gasket was installed and they were ready to reinstall the driver’s side glass. The new-new gasket still seemed to be a little large, but they were hoping that the glass would seat it into place.

Windshield Repair 4

But when they got the glass in place the glass was still gapping around the gasket. So they took the glass back out, and the gasket back off. So we went back and compared the original gasket with the new one, and the differences were obvious.

Windshield Gasket

Not only the size difference, but even the corners were rounded differently.

So now we’re stuck. I suggested they get a new gasket from American Coach down in Decatur, IN. But now RV Glass is sending a guy out on Monday morning who says we don’t know what we’re talking about and he can make it work. We’ll see.

So now Jan and I will be spending the night in a motel for the weekend until at least Monday, maybe Tuesday.

Verde Valley, AZ

June 27, 2015

Prime Rib and CFS . . .

Today started out a little cooler for a while. When I got up it was only about 95 degrees when it’s usually over 100 by then. Around 9 I kinda thought I heard a good bit of thunder so I thought maybe we’d gotten some rain that made it cooler. But when I got up there was no sign of any moisture. And by later in the afternoon, it was up to its usual 106 degrees.

I’m liking my new keyboard more and more as I get used to it. As I said, the key feel is good, with a crisp break, and  the backlight is great in dim light.

Backlit USB Keyboard with Large Print keys

Backlit Keyboard 1

About 4 Jan and I drove down to the Homestyle Grill here in the park to have their Prime Rib Dinner. Or rather I had the Prime Rib,

Homestyle Prime Rib

and  Jan went with the Country Fried Steak.

Homestyle CFS

Both were really good, even the green beans, made with garlic, onions, and bacon, were delicious. And except for a tough outside rind, my steak was as good as the one from The Tavern Grille last Sunday. And a lot cheaper.

After we got back to the rig about 5pm, I waited until my 7pm work period to reinstall my outside grab bar. Since I finally got the stuck screw out yesterday, it only took me about 5 minutes to get it installed and checked out.

New Grab Bar

Another chore checked off.

I’ve got a few more things I want to work on, but unfortunately, it’s only one hour a day.

Brandi sent over this photo of Landon, apparently all ready for a day at the beach.

Landon with Straw Glasses

Jan and I are really looking to seeing the little guy in a couple of months.

Monday I’m going to go down to the park office and see if we can extend for 3 days so we don’t leave here at the beginning of the 4th of July weekend.

Karma Won

June 27, 2016

DashCams and DayCare . . .

After two recent very busy days, it was nice to not do anything today. At least anything outside the coach. Well, I did walk the garbage over to the dumpster, but that was it.

It was fun opening the Amazon packages we picked up at Brandi’s yesterday, almost like Christmas.

First up were the new DirecTV Remotes we ordered to replace our flakey ones.

Direct TV Remote 2

Blog reader Art Raeck did clue me in on the secret to getting them open. But with 3 of them to repair, and the fact that I can get newer, better ones for $4 each on Amazon led me to take the easy road and just get replacements.

It only took me a couple of minutes to program them for our RCA LCD TV’s since the needed code was the first on the list. It’s really nice to have all the buttons working again.

Next up was a pair of EMT or Trauma Shears. They were all over the TV  ads a few years back, and we bought one a good while ago, but it disappeared.

EMT Shears

These type of scissors are used by EMT’s and in ER rooms, to cut people out of their clothes, belts, shoes, pretty much anything, including metal. In fact you can actually cut a penny in half with one. So they’re nice to have around.

The final package was a second mounting kit for my A-118 dashcam.

A-118 Dashcam

The kit that came with the dashcam I used for the truck, but didn’t get one for the rig. I had kludged one up, but still had to swap the power cable back and forth. So this way it will just take a couple of minutes to move the cam back and forth.

I’ve had this dashcam for about a year and a half, and I really like the quality video it puts out.

DashCam 1

I really wish I’d had it mounted in the RV when we had our blowout in May of last year. It would have shown what a wild ride we had as we came to a stop.

We’ve talked before about problems people have had being forcibly upgraded to Window 10, whether they wanted to be or not. Well, here’s a story about a lady whose travel business computer was trashed by a rogue Windows 10 install, causing her to lose business. So she sued Microsoft . . .  and won. S10,000, in fact.

You can read about it here. Lady Sues Microsoft

Three days a week, Landon goes to a Summer Daycare that sounds more like a summer camp. Anyway, the other day they did a Robotics Class, with a kit for each student to assemble on the table.

After everyone sat down, the teacher started talking about robotics, but before the teacher could start giving instructions on how to put the kit together, they discovered that Landon had already assembled his kit . . . perfectly.

The teacher said he’s way beyond the other kids in his skill level. Must be all those Lego kits we got him.

I mentioned the other day about Karma and Jan fighting over who gets to use Moose The Footstool, so this time Karma got there first.

Karma Won This Time

So this time Karma won.

Colorado River Thousand Trails

June 27, 2017

Nobody Knows What They Are . . .

We really like the site we’re in, A25, and it’s one of our favorites. We’ve been here at least once before, as well as A24 and A23 right next door. They’re all really nice.

There’s a couple of large oak trees for some nice shade, without shading our satellite access. Just about perfect.

Colorado River A26-2

Our water was off for a few hours this morning, but not a problem for us since we always keep our fresh water tank at least 3/4 full. You never know when you’ll need it.

Before we left Lake Conroe I was trying to make us TT reservations for the next several months, but ran into a problem when the Thousand Trails website wouldn’t let me book 9/3 to 9\/17 because it said I was trying to book more than two holidays at the same time. Since the only other holiday I had booked was for July 4th, I couldn’t understand why I had a problem.

But when I called TT I found that it’s not the actual holiday itself that’s the problem, but the ‘holiday period’, i.e. the week before the holiday and the week after. But they lady also said once we left Lake Conroe and moved to Colorado River, I should be able to book the date. And she was right. When I tried it today, it went right through.

Yesterday I called Passport America to see about what it would take (and cost) for my friend to sign up his RV park under PPA.. Turns out to be easy-peezy. And it’s free.

All he has to do is to give’em a call with all his park info, and it’s done.

Later in the afternoon I did get under the bed and lift the engine cover to see if I could get access to the top of the hydraulic fan motor that came loose last week.

Rig Engine under Bed

And here’s the motor off to the right side.

Hydrualic Fan Motor Under Bed

And as I told Jan, even if I was skinny and she held me by my ankles, I couldn’t get to it. In fact I don’t think it can be accessed at all from the top.

But now I’ve got another question, and so far, nobody knows what they are. I don’t know why I never checked them out before, but I was curious as to what these two red buttons/switches? are for.

Rig Engine under Bed w Arrows

By proximity they seem to have something to do with the PacBrake. The control valves, the air lines, and the electrical power are all right in that area. Each red button has ‘120’ printed on it.

I didn’t explore more because a lot of heat was coming from the opening, so I closed everything up, deciding to just call American Coach and find out.

And American Coach had no idea, but didn’t think it was anything of theirs, and said to call Spartan, our chassis manufacturer.

And Spartan had no idea either. So next I called PacBrake, thinking it might be theirs.

And PacBrake had no idea either.

So I’m throwing it to the blogosphere. What say you?

Otherwise I’m going to be forced to open up the compartment again and actually press a button.

Save me from temptation, please!

The Gang’s All Here

June 27, 2018

The Gang’s All Here . . .

Once again we were up early this morning, at 6am, to be at the local WalMart at 7. I discovered yesterday that I needed a new tire on the front passenger side of the truck, and we wanted to beat the crowd.

We got there a few minutes after 7 and found only 2 people ahead of us. But by the time the service writer had taken care them and then us, it was 7:30. No problem, though since we didn’t need to meet everyone at the Denny’s right across I-70 until 9.

Jan and I did some shopping while we waited, and then they called us about 8:20 to say it was ready. But before we left I pulled the fuse cover off the driver’s side end of the dashboard to check and then replace the 15A fuse that powers the cigarette lighter where our GPS and Dashcam are plugged in. It had suddenly gone dead yesterday, but a new fuse fixed it right up.

Getting over to the Denny’s, we had still more people this time.Besides Gwen, we had 3 more of the grandkids, Ella, Avery Jane and Anniston, so eight in all this time. We get more people every day.

After breakfast we all piled in to Debbie’s SUV, well, except for husband Jim, who went back home to getting mowing on his 10 acres. We were heading over to Winfield, MO, the other side of St. Louis, about 2 hours away.

There we meeting up with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon, who had flown into St. Louis this morning on a redeye flight and were meeting us at Tana and Curtis’ place to check out their new house.

Tana had a delicious lunch of shredded chicken sandwiches, beans and chips ready for us by the time we got there. While Curtis, Lowell, and I talked guns and cars, the wives talked redecorating, and the kids all hung out in the media room.

Kids in Tana's Media Room

Finally a little after 3pm, we started back to Vandalia with Brandi, Lowell, and Landon following us back in their rental car, where they’ll be staying at Debbie’s until Sunday. So by the time Jan and I picked up the truck we left at Denny’s,  and got back to the rig, it was almost 6pm. A really nice, fun day.

Tomorrow it’s Denny’s again, (I think Jan and I are considered regulars now) with even more family this time. Then Jan, Debbie, and Brandi are taking all the kids over to the Children’s Science Museum in St. Louis.

But I’ll be coming back to the rig to dig into the generator problem. Reading a lot of RV blogs, I’m more and more hopeful that the fuel pump is the problem.

But as usual, we’ll see. I really would like to get it fixed before our trip back home starting this Sunday.

June 27, 2019

Crossing the Brazos at Waco . . .

Jan and I were on our way up to Waco by 9am, right on schedule. And as I had hoped, the morning rush had tapered off, leaving us to breeze right through downtown Houston with hardly a slowdown.

We made a quick bathroom stop at the Pilot/Flying J in north Houston, before continuing on up I-45. We like this for a stop coming and going along I-45 since it’s an easy off and on.

The traffic was a little heavy until we got past Huntsville and then it thinned out. And picked up speed. I stayed in the middle of the pack, matching speed with everyone else without paying any attention to how fast we were all going.

Until I looked down to see that I was doing 90!  Like everyone else.

I love Texas highways.

Our next, and last stop was at the Buc-ee’s at the Madisonville exit. Another easy off and on, and with kolaches.

Then about 25 miles further on, we turned west on TX-164, another example of those Texas rural roads that I love. Straight as an arrow and not much traffic, it’s two wide lanes, with wide shoulders, very few towns to slow things down, and a 75 mph speed limit. Which meant cars were passing me doing 85-90.

I love Texas highways.

We got to the Saltgrass Steakhouse about 1:30 and got a table to wait for our friends to show up from doing the Chip and Joanna Gaines Silos/Magnolia Market thing.

Bill-Carol-June Waco

As I mentioned Bill and I worked together back in the early 70’s when we were living in Birmingham and we’ve kept in touch ever since. That’s Bill and his wife Carol on the ends (I’ll let you figure out which is which) and Bill’s cousin June in the middle.

It was a lot of fun dredging up old times, and counting off all the people we worked with who are now death. Well, not fun that they’re dead, but more that we aren’t, I guess.

Jan and Greg Waco

And in our talking, Jan was interested to find out that they weren’t real impressed with the whole Magnolia Market thing, and thought it was over-priced. However I don’t know if that will deter Jan from still wanting to visit it or not.

We’ll see.

Finally, after a good meal, and several hours of reminiscing, we said our goodbyes, with Bill et al. heading back to the Dallas area, and Jan and I going right down the street to the Comfort Inn & Suites for the night.

Comfort Inn Waco

Since they noted that we’ve stayed at Choice/Comfort hotels in the past, they bumped us up to a nicer room than we had reserved. Nice.

Tomorrow we’ll check out the area, and maybe do the Magnolia thing, we’ll see. Then later in the afternoon we’ll head down to the Marble Falls area to meet up with Chris, Linda, and Miss Piper for dinner, and then a Motel 6 for the night.

And after breakfast with them the next morning, we’ll head back toward Houston with a lunch/dinner stop with our daughter Brandi and her family,

Very Nice!

June 27, 2020

The Next Ones To Cave . . .

Jan and I had lunch once again at our nearby Spring Creek BBQ with both of us having the Baby Back Ribs and splitting a basket of their Fried Okra.

Spring Creek BBQ Ribs

All really good.

It looks like two more companies are caving to the recent events in the news.

The Winn-Dixie grocery store chain is looking to change their name. W-D has been around since 1925, but became Winn-Dixie when they bought the Winn & Lovett chain in 1934, and then later the Dixie Home chain, thus becoming Winn-Dixie.

And Dixie Beer, the oldest brewery in New Orleans, around since 1907, is also looking for a new name and logo.

So who’s next?

June 27, 2021

Without Photos, It Never Happened . . .

In yesterday’s  blog I mentioned one of my former co-workers, Sharon Hosea, and the fact that she used to live in our subdivision. In fact, our daughter Brandi and her roommate’s daughter, Candy, were good friends, so good in fact, that they both were brought home by the police early one morning.

I think Brandi was about 12-13 at the time, and she decided to sneak out one night, and meeting up with Candy, they ended up at the community pool a couple of blocks away, and then climbed over the fence enclosure and went for a midnight swim.

But Brandi, having an ear infection, didn’t go all the way in. But that didn’t stop the po-po from hauling them both home, dropping off Candy first, since she lived closer.

So Sharon put in a call to us, telling us to expect a delivery. And it wasn’t FedEx.

I think initially we grounded Brandi for about 8 years, or until she was 21, but we later reduced that to a month or so for good behavior. Or more likely so that we didn’t have to listen to her moaning and complaining anymore.

I will say however that Brandi was never again brought home by the police.

I do want to mention that for the last 20 years or so Sharon has owned a highly-rated pet-sitting service in the Clear Lake area here in Texas.

Sharon Hosea and Friend Clear Lake Pets

Called Clear Lake Pets, they offer both in-house and boarding services. Knowing Sharon, your pets will be in good hands.

For lunch this afternoon, it was once again to Denny’s for Ultimate Omelets, our first time since we got back from our trip.

Denny's Ultimate Omelet 20210627

And it was really good to find Staci, our long-time regular server back at work.

Finally, one of our readers complained about my recent blogs about our visits to Twin Peaks. The phrase he used was –

“Without photos, it never happened.”

And he wasn’t really interested in the photos of our food.

I replied that it seemed kind of strange to be posting photos of Twin Peak’s girls when they were wearing masks.

Twin Peaks Izzy

This is Izzy, who has family in Bogota, Colombia where I used to live. So we had fun talking about places in the area. But with the mask, it just loses something.

Now this is Lauren Bell, our favorite server from a few years back.

Twin Peaks 4 500

Twin Peaks 4a - Lauren Bell 500

She was there for a couple of years while she was going to school, but when we got back from our RV travels one year, we found that she had graduated college and left to get married.

But now with the masks coming off, I promise I will be more diligent about getting photos whenever Jan makes me take her there.

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