Rocky Horror and the Monkey . . .

Brandi sent this photo over of Landon in his first Halloween costume. He seems pretty happy with it, although Brand said he didn’t seem to really like the hood.

Landon in Monkey Suit

Jan and I have finally started walking again. Last year we were up to about 3 miles a day, but since we started back this past Wednesday we can tell it’s going to take a while to get back there again.

A little before 11 am we headed up the road a few miles to La Brisa Mexican restaurant for their great breakfast buffet. We met our longtime friend’s Bob and Maria Sutton, and we ended up spending almost two hours just talking.

Then, after breakfast, it was off to Walmart for some groceries before heading home.

By the time we got home it was after 2 and it seemed like a good time for a nap.

And I was right. It was!

At 5 pm we started watching that perennial Halloween favorite, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. At least it’s a favorite if you’re weird and a little twisted, like Jan and I.

Or, in my case, a lot twisted.

Tonight is Jan’s big TV night, with Amazing Race and Desperate Housewives, two of Jan’s favorites. Not being a big fan, I usually just go into the bedroom and read.

Tomorrow I have to meet with several clients so it should be a busy day.

More later…

Thought for the Day:
Why be difficult, when with just a little more work, you can be impossible.


Alvin Opry and BBQ . . .

As I said in last night’s post ( actually, this morning) we didn’t get home from the Alvin Opry until about 1:30 am. We usually go out for something to eat at IHOP afterwards, and it’s always a great time.

Last night the theme was Halloween, of course, and all the performers were dressed in costume. And, as usual, everyone was great.

One of the things that makes the Alvin Opry stand out over most other oprys is the house band. Several of them have been studio/stage musicians for big name bands, but they’re all great.

This picture is another example of the caliber of the band. This photo shows 3 generations of music excellence.

On the left is Louis, the grandfather, in the middle is Matt, the grandson, and on the right is Tommy, the son and father.

3 Generations

We plan on going back to the Opry on Nov. 12th. It’s another of our favorite shows, called Legends. Performers dress up as famous singers and sing their songs. Many of them are dead-ringers for their idols.

In this photo Mister couldn’t find a box to curl up in yesterday, so he found somewhere else.

Mister in Ladder

As far as today, about 12:30 pm we headed up to our storage unit to work with our son Chris to clean out some stuff so we can put more stuff back in it. He’s moving soon and needs to store some more things.

After making some headway, about 4:15 pm we met Chris, our granddaughter Piper, Brandi, Lowell, and Landon at Spring Creek BBQ down in Victory Lakes. Our daughter-in-law Linda had to work so she missed out on the fun.

This meant both Piper and Jan got in some Landon time.

Piper gets upset when I take so many pictures so she wouldn’t smile for this one, even after I threatened to Photoshop a moustache on her.

Landon and Piper

Landon has recently started smiling and giggling, and here’s a good shot. I tell everyone he looks like me because we both have the same hairline.

Landon Smiling with Jan

After a great meal, we got home about 6 pm and settled in after a long day.

More tomorrow…

Thought for the Day:
I keep some folks’ numbers in my ‘phone just so I know NOT to answer when they call.


No Post Today due to a later night . . .

We didn’t get home from the Alvin Opry until after 1:30 am since we went out for a late supper / early breakfast with friends afterwards.

So I’ll post more later.


Thought for the Day:
Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor. – Robert A. Heinlein


Direct TV and Hooter’s . . .

Not much went on today.

About 11:30 I called Direct TV to see about getting a new DVR/Receiver. The recent winds blew my dish off target and when I went to the Setup screen, the audio feedback did not work. Without the beeping that tells me when I’m pointed correctly, it will be very hard to set up the dish.

Supposedly a technician will be out tomorrow morning between 8 and noon. We’ll see.

A little after 1 pm I went into Webster to check up on some clients.

Then, getting back to the rig about 3:30, Jan and I headed up to Kemah to the Hooter’s there for some hot wings. We got them 3 Mile Island hot, but I don’t know if our taste buds have been deadened, or they’ve reduced the heat, but these weren’t really hot. I guess next time we’ll have to bump them up to 911 or Elvis.

Jan loves Hooter’s and when her late mother lived with us, she really loved Hooter’s too.

So I used to tell everyone that my wife and mother-in-law made me take them to Hooter’s once a week. So “Was I a lucky guy, or what?”

That’s about it for today.

Tomorrow night we’ll be taking in the Halloween Show at the Alvin Opry. We’re really looking forward to it, since their Halloween Show is always great.

More tomorrow…

Thought for the Day:
"A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves."  Bertrand de Jouvenel


Mister’s Big Adventure, Landon, RED, and . . .

Mister was waiting for us when Jan opened the door this morning.  She looked out and called his name and he immediately came out from under the rig and bounded up the stairs.

I had left the outside door open all evening, along with leaving the light on. Before I went to bed about 12:30 am, I went outside and called him with no luck, so I’m pretty sure he wasn’t under the rig then.

He didn’t seem especially hungry and had not eaten the canned cat food I left out for him.

We’re thinking maybe he was inside with somebody last night, and they didn’t see the phone number on his tag.

We don’t know, and we don’t care.

He’s home safe!

Brandi sent over these latest Landon pics.

In this one, Landon was playing on the floor and then apparently suffered a severe nap attack.

Landon on Tummy

And here, he’s just bored, bored, bored.

Landon Yawning 4

This afternoon Jan and I went to the Star Cinema Grill up in Webster to see the movie ‘RED’. Bruce Willis had been a favorite of ours, since we first saw him in a Miami Vice episode in 1984. and then a year later, co-starring in ‘Moonlighting’ with Cybil Shepherd. And, of course after that, the ‘Die Hard’ series, and much, much, more.

‘RED’ was hilarious. It was so good that we’re probably going to see it again next week, and that’s not something we do very often.

I think my favorite line was from Morgan Freeman’s character. . . “We’re getting the band back together”

As far as the Star Cinema Grill, it’s one of our favorite places to see a movie. About 5 years ago someone took a six screen movie theater that had closed because an 18 screen theater had opened about a mile away, and a 30 screen one had opened about 8 miles away, and turned it into a movie/restaurant. Not just a bigger snack bar, but a full-scale restaurant on the order of an Applebee’s, or a Chili’s.

And even better, the restaurant is in the theaters themselves. They took out every other row of seats and installed small tables, complete with call buttons and menus. The waiters are dressed in black so as not to distract during the movie.

We always try to there about 30 minutes before the movie starts to get our orders in. That way we get our meal before the movie starts.

Jan had their 1/4 pound all beef hotdog with Texas Toothpicks. Texas Toothpicks are slivers of jalapenos and onions battered and fried. They’re really good. And I had the Southwest Salad with chicken fajita meat. Also really good.

Also, if you’re so inclined, they have a full bar available. And, if later in the movie, you decide you want some popcorn, just press your call button and a waiter/waitress shows up to take your order.

Then about 15 minutes before the movie’s end, your waiter/waitress drops off your check.

This place is really great. The food is good, and there’s no rushing at the restaurant so you can make the movie start.

And as usually, before we left home, I checked with to find out the best times during the movie to . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . run pee. This is a great website. Just click on the movie you’re going to see and it will give you several places during the movie, the time you have, and what’s actually happening while you’re gone. Jan loves it.

Tomorrow, I’ve got some client’s to look in on, and after that we’ll see.

More then…

Thought for the Day:
"Taxation WITH representation ain’t so hot either."


Mister is Missing . . .

When we left the rig this afternoon about 12:45 pm, it looks like the door did not lock correctly. When we got home about 6 pm the outside door was partially open and our cat Mister was missing.

Mister in Box2

Mister on Dash

Mister on his blanky

He’s a big guy, about 25 pounds, and very friendly. He has a name tag with his name and our phone number on it.

We spent about a hour walking around the park calling for him. One lady thought she had seen him about 30 minutes before she saw us. We looked all around that area, which is close to where we parked for the last two years, with no luck.

We ask both Ken and Tony, who are parked on either side of our old spot, to be on the lookout for him.

I’m hoping he walked up to someone and they took him in.

I went back out after dark with a big spotlight, but still with no luck.

We’ll head back out early tomorrow, and hopefully we’ll have better luck.

More then…

Thought for the Day:
“Never believe anything until it has been officially denied.” Otto Von Bismarck


Wind and Wings . . .

Brandi sent over a photo of Master Landon enjoying this weekend’s Oklahoma game. He’s certainly dressed for it. He looks like they just scored.

Landon at the OU game 4

Although today, the 25th, is Jan’s birthday, the whole family got together Sunday night at King Food, our favorite local Chinese restaurant. We’ve been eating there for over 30 years, and we’re on our fourth owner. King Food has always been a place for our family get-togethers, in fact we normally all have dinner there on Christmas Eve. Of course, as usual, Jan hogs all the Landon time. But it is her birthday, after all.

Jan and Landon at King Food

As far as today goes, it’s been really windy here the last couple of days, with wind gusts in the 30’s. But today it got even worse, with gusts between 45 – 50 mph. Luckily the wind was coming right off the water head on to the rig, so it was not rocking the coach too much, but the small awnings were making so much noise I finally went out and let them in.

Today was a nice, laid-back day. We headed out about 3 pm for Jan’s 2nd birthday meal, this time just the two of us, at Chuy’s, a really good new Mexican place up in Webster. I had a cup of their Tortilla Soup, and then we split the Mex-Cobb Salad. A great meal.

Next it was on to Sam’s and then Wal-Mart for some supplies, and then home to the rig. Like I said, an easy day.

Now back to the rest of Saturday’s Wings over Houston Airshow.

One of the highlights was the demo flight of an F-16 Falcon, also known as a Viper.

With almost 30,000 pounds of thrust, the F-16’s positive thrust to weight ratio means it’s one of the few planes that can stand on its tail and accelerate straight up.

This photo shows the F-16 in a “High Alpha” pass. “High Alpha” stands for high angle of attack. In this mode the plane is moving horizontally at only about 100 mph. The engine thrust is the only thing keeping it in the air. If the engine were to quit, the plane would just fall.

It’s really amazing to see this plane come putt-putting by, and then lower the nose a little bit, pop the afterburners, and then accelerate straight up out of sight. I couldn’t even get my camera to change focus fast enough to track it as it climbed.


Next was a demo flight of the F/A-18 Hornet, the Navy’s do-it-all fighter/attack plane. It was designed to replace the aging F-14 Tomcat fighter, and the A-6 Intruder and A-7 Corsair II attack planes.

The F/A-18 was actually derived from the loser for the F-16 contract. But the Navy doesn’t like single engine planes flying over water, so they took the YF-17L, and from it, developed the F/A-18.


Here’s the F/A-18 Hornet doing a carrier landing configuration pass. Note that the tail hook is down.

FA-18 Tailhook


And here it is doing its version of the “High Alpha” pass. 

FA-18 High Alpha

Of course, the Navy demonstration team, the Blue Angels, flies the F/A-18.


Finally, we had an F8F Bearcat / F/A-18 Heritage Flight illustrating the last of the Navy’s prop planes, and their latest jet.

F8F FA-18 Heritage Flight

The most amazing aerobatic demo of the day was from Sean Tucker and the Team Oracle biplane. Specially designed for aerobatics, the plane is built from Kevlar and carbon fiber, and weighs only 1200 pounds. Coupled with an engine of over 400 horsepower, the plane can do things that no other aerobatic plane can do.

This one is the “Corkscrew”

Biplane Corkscrew

I told Jan that when I was flying we called some of these maneuvers ‘crashing’


This one is called the ‘Helicopter’. Although you can’t tell from this photo, the plane is just hanging on its prop, hovering in mid-air. The only thing that limits this is that the engine will eventually start to overheat due to lack of airflow.

Biplane 2

Not much new can be said about the Thunderbirds, the Air Force’s demonstration team. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

TB 1TB 2TB 3TB 4TB 5TB 6TB 7TB 8TB 9TB 10TB 11TB 12TB 13

One of the interesting displays at Ellington Field, not related to the airshow, is one of NASA’s two retired ‘Vomit Comets’. Built from KC-135  (Boeing 707’s) tankers, they were just two of the latest in a long line of “Weightless Wonders”, as NASA tried to call them. Of course everyone else called them ‘Vomit Comets”. The one here at Ellington was flown until 2000, and was also used in the filming of the movie “Apollo 13”.

Vomit Comet

The planes produce about 30 seconds of zero-gravity by flying a precise elliptic flight path that looks like this.


What you end up with is a series of arcs across the sky generating short bursts of zero-gee. It is estimated that the planes have flown over 58,000 parabolas.

The other KC-135 was retired in 2004 and now resides at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, AZ, where we saw it this past February.

That’s about it for today.

More tomorrow…

Thought for the Day:
"Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes. Remember this, as it may offer a way to make him your friend. If not, you can kill him quickly and without hate." – Heinlein

Happy Birthday and Wings Over Houston . . . part 1

First off, I want to wish my wonderful Sweetie a Happy Birthday today.  It’s today, the 25th, even though this is posted late on the 24th. I couldn’t have made it without you.

Yesterday we spent the day at the Wings Over Houston Airshow. We used to go just about every year when we lived here full-time, but the last time we did the show, it was 2007, right before we hit the road full-time. The problem was that the show is always the end of October, and we don’t normally get back to the Houston area until right before Thanksgiving.

But thanks to the arrival of Master Landon, we’re back early this year, so we couldn’t pass up a chance to go again.

Luckily, my Sweetie is an Air Force brat and likes air shows as much as I do. The last show we actually attended was at Eielson AFB, Alaska in June of 2008. We saw the AF Thunderbirds then, too, just like we saw yesterday.

The first thing we saw walking thru the gate was NASA’s Super Guppy. This is the last one of four that is still flying. We saw one one of the others this past February at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, AZ. The later ones were kind of Frankenstein’s monsters, patched together from several different aircraft types, including C-97J’s, Boeing 707’s, and others.

NASA used these to transport large rocket, Shuttle, and Space Station parts around the country.

Super Guppy


The next thing we came across was NASA’s 747 Shuttle Transporter. I guess this will end up a museum pretty soon.

747 Shuttle Carrier

Right next door was one of NASA’s T-38’s. The astronauts use these to keep their flying hours current and to fly back and forth to the Cape. I spent some time working on these back in the 80’s. They were also used by NASA to fly along side during the Shuttle’s approach and televise the landings right down to the runway, and the NASA contractor I worked for maintained the cameras.


The show started out with the landing of the Flag by the REMAX Jump Team.

Parachute Jump

Here is a C-17 backing out to the flight line. It’s neat to see these newer jets backing up on their own, without a tug to push them out.

C-17 Backing Up

An AH-64 Apache attack helicopter

AH-64 Apache

A P-40 Warhawk. This was the plane used by the AVG (American Volunteer Group) Flying Tigers flying in China against the Japanese before America entered the war. Later, after America entered the war, this group, known as the ‘Black Sheep” Squadron, of Baa Baa Black Sheep fame, was absorbed in the US Marines.


A Grumman F8F Bearcat. One of my favorite WWII planes, the Bearcat was designed to out-fly any German or Japanese plane in the war. Unfortunately, it did not enter active service until right after the war ended. It was the last new prop plane ordered by the military. Flown by the Blue Angels from 1946 to 1950, in 1946 it set a world time to climb record of 94 seconds to 10,000 feet. This record was not broken until well up into the century series of jets.

F8F Bearcat

An AD-1 Skyraider. Another plane delivered too late for WWII, the Skyraider, (nicknamed the ‘SPAD’), was used as a ground attack plane as late as the Vietnam War.

AD1 Skyraider

One of several B-17’s at the show.

B-17 A

Close-up of the engine on another B-17.

B-17 B

A C-130 landing.  Up until a few years ago, one of the demo flights here at the airshow was a JATO short field takeoff which was very impressive. JATO stands for “Jet Assisted Take Off”, but they’re really RATO “Rocket Assisted Take Off”, units, and are used to basically just ‘jump’ the plane into the air with little or no take-off roll.


Here’s a shot of the Blue Angels C-130 transport doing a RATO take-off at another airshow. Supposedly they don’t do the demos anymore because they don’t make the RATO bottles anymore and the supply is starting to run low.

Bummer!  Watching a big C-130 just leap into the air and start flying is really something.


A B-25 Mitchell bomber, like the ones used in Jimmy Doolittle’s famous Raid on Tokyo in April 1942, the first US raid to strike the Japanese homeland.

B-25 Mitchell

An F4U Corsair. Called “The Whistling Death” by Japanese pilots due to the sound it made in a steep dive, the Corsair more than out-matched the Zero in all regimes except slow speed. And being very well armored, it was also hard to shoot down. “Pappy” Boyinton, leader of the Black Sheep Squadron, is credited with 22 kills in one.

F4U Corsair

An SB2C Helldiver.  This is the last one still flying in the world.

SB2C Helldiver

As usual, the crowd was very large. especially since the weather was so good.

AirShow Crowd 2

AirShow Crowd 1

A C-17 C-47 Heritage Flight, showing 70 years of cargo plane history.

C-17 C-47 Heritage Flight

Tora, Tora, Tora. Every airshow they do an Attack on Pearl Harbor reenactment with a lot of planes in the air,

Tora Tora Tora

and a lot of big explosions on the ground, along with very large balls of fire coming up. They also do reenactments of the Battle of Midway, and a Vietnam War firefight.

And, up until a few years ago, they always finished up with the A-Bomb drop on Hiroshima, but, apparently that was deemed offensive by some, and it was discontinued.

So it seems OK to show the Japanese attacking us, but it’s not politically correct to show us attacking the Japanese. Who knew?

Tora 2

This AT-6, SNJ, Harvard, Zero Heritage Flight shows the various models of the venerable AT-6 advanced trainer, including the one in front made up as a Zero for the movie “Tora, Tora, Tora”.

AT6 Family

A P-51C painted in the colors of the famed “Red Tail” Squadron flown by the Tuskegee Airmen.

P51 RedTail

A couple of shots of two of the B-17 Flying Fortresses at the show.

B-17 Flying

B-17 Flying 2

A B-24 Liberator. The B-24 holds the record as the most produced American military aircraft, at over 18,000 units. At its peak, Ford’s Willow Run plant was building one an hour.

As compared with the more famous B-17, the B-24 was faster, had better range, and carried a larger bomb. But it was harder to fly, and due to its design, more prone to battle damage. Also, it’s high wing design was much less safe during a ocean ditching, or a crash landing.

B-24 Liberator



This A-10 Warthog was the jet-age replacement for the AD-1 Skyraider, and excels as a ground attack and tank killer.

A-10 Warthog

The UH-1 Iroquois as known as a ‘Huey’. The Huey got its nickname from the fact that the original designation for the helo was the HU-1, and although it was changed to UH-1 in 1962, the name Huey stuck.

This one is still flying, so it’s obvious that Nick Russell hasn’t been around.

UH1 Huey

One of several aerobatic displays, this one flown in a T-34 Mentor trainer is amazing due to the fact that the T-34 is not really considered a aerobatic plane. The pilot, a retired airline captain named Deborah Rihn-Harvey with over 30,000 hours with Southwest Airlines, does some outstanding maneuvers with the T-34 since its oil and fuel systems are not certified for inverted flight.

T-34 Mentor

T-34 Mentor 2

T-34 Mentor 3

I’ll finished up the rest of the show tomorrow since this has been a long post.

More then…

Thought for the Day:
"You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone." –Al Capone


No Post Today. . .

I didn’t finish putting together all the pics from the Wings Over Houston Airshow today.

but I’ll be back tomorrow…

Thought for the Day:
The only problem with trouble-shooting is that sometimes trouble shoots back

Lupper and The Bay of Fundy. . .

We left the rig about 2:30 pm to have “lupper” at King Food, our favorite local Chinese place, then we made a stop at the Post Office to mail off our absentee ballots to South Dakota.

As we were parking at the PO, I noticed a woman going in holding a small white poodle in her arms. I figured she was just going in to check her PO box, but when I got inside she was up at the counter trying to convince the postal guy that this was her “seeing-eye poodle” and she was entitled to have it with her, after he told her that no animals were allowed.

Some people just live in a whole different world!

After the PO we stopped off at Fry’s Electronics so I could pick up some more Ethernet cables, then it was on to Sam’s Club for some vitamin stuff, and then down to HEB, a Texas grocery chain, for some supplies and gas, and then it was home for the evening.

Since it was another boring day here, I thought I’d re-blog our visit to the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia last year.

I know some of you already saw this at the time, but we have a lot of new readers who might be interested.

Where else can you walk on the ocean floor…

Originally posted on September 13, 2009

Today is our last full day in Canada for a while, and is also our day to visit the Bay of Fundy area.

The Bay of Fundy is home to the highest tidal changes in the world. In a 6 hour period the water level can change 30-50 feet depending on the phase of the moon.

But first we decided to try a place we’d heard about here in Canada called Cora. Cora is a type of restaurant that seems very popular here in Canada. It is only open for breakfast and lunch. It closes at 3 pm every day.

And it was fantastic. The food is delicious, and every menu item is a work of art. Hopefully we’ll be able to eat here for breakfast tomorrow before we leave.

Cora Restaurant

After breakfast, we made the 30 mile trip south to the Hopewell Rock area of the Bay of Fundy. On the way, we drove along the Chocolate River, which seems very aptly named.

As it was low tide and this river connects with the Bay of Fundy, it was basically a chocolate-colored mud flat.

Chocolate River Low

And here is what it looked like coming back home.

Chocolate River High

We arrived at Hopewell Rocks about 1 pm, a little before the full low tide point at 1:41 pm. The trail down to the Rocks is about 3/4 mile though the forest. Getting there, here is what we saw.

If  you put your mouse cursor over one of these pics and it says ‘Click to Enlarge’, doing so will give you a larger version.  Use your browser Back Arrow to return to the blog.  Try it!

Hopewell Rocks Low

Then we walked down the 125 steps to the ocean floor.

Jan At Rock

Jan on Bottom

By the time high tide occurs, the water level will be to the top of the narrow sections of the rocks above.

There are a number of warning signs in the area.

Fundy Warning Sign

Fundy Warning Sign 2

Apparently people are often caught on the ocean floor when the tide comes in.  Someone said that someone drowned here a couple of weeks ago.

Because it would be a little over 6 hours until high tide, we drove further down the coast along the Bay of Fundy. On the way we passed a couple of number of scenic views, including a couple of 100-year-old covered bridges, one of which is still in use.

1905 Coverd Bridge

Covered Bridge

As we neared the Bay of Fundy National Park, we came across these scenic areas. The first is a view of a cliff side shrouded in the fog that had settled in as the day progressed.

Fundy Bluffs

Nearby was a boat dock that shows the problem of mooring boats in an area where the water level varies 30-50 feet twice a day.

Fundy Boats

Finally we headed back up the coast to Hopewell Rocks to see the results of the tide coming in.

Hopewell Rocks High

Unfortunately we weren’t able to stay for the full high tide because it would occur after dark, and there is no lighting at the Rocks, or on the 3/4 mile walk through the woods to the parking area.

The only downside to our visit was the fact that as the sun went down, the mosquitos came out…with vengeance. You’d think they hadn’t eaten in a year, but they certainly made up for it that night.

We stayed as late as we could. In fact it was downright dark by the time we made it back to the toad.

I’d always heard of the tides at the Bay of Fundy and it was neat to be able to see them for ourselves.

But, maybe the best thing about our Bay of Fundy trip is that Jan finally got to see a Canadian moose!

Jan And Moose

Tomorrow we head back to the good ole USA.

More then…

Tomorrow we’re going to attend the Wings over Houston Airshow, so I should have some new stuff for ya’ll tomorrow.

More tomorrow…


Thought for the Day:
“Yes I backed over the vampire, but I swear I looked in my rearview mirror”