No Blog Today . . .

I was out with clients all day, out for dinner with friends this evening, and then back out with clients until about 11pm.

I’ll catch up tomorrow.

Cartoons and Artwork . . .

We didn’t do much today. Just hunkered down and hoped we wouldn’t blow away.

Due to the cold front coming through, yesterday’s high was 74, today’s was 58, we had high winds most of the day. At one point, the Weather Channel said the wind was blowing at 25 mph, with gusts to 40. Talk about Rock N Roll. And it’s supposed to go down to the mid-30’s tonight.

Our friend Gina posted this cartoon on Facebook that tells the story about Weather in Texas.

Weather in Texas


Worked on a few projects, mostly today. Printed out 1200 address labels for a client, and decided that I want to redo the tie-downs for the strings at the bottom of the Day/Night Shades. This is because this is where at least two of my shade’s strings were broken. It looks like that over time the strings are rubbed in two.

But the good news is that it looks like I may not have to completely restring the last two shades because the strings just broke at the tie-downs. I’ll fool with it tomorrow.

The new Denso 26” wiper blades I ordered Monday from Amazon came in at Brandi’s today, so I’ll pick them up tomorrow and get them installed. I’ll probably use Rain-X wipers on the toad again. Those, along with using Rain-X Wiper Fluid, seem to do a good job of keeping the windshield clean and non-squeaky.

My very talented great-niece Stahlie posted some of her recent artwork today.

Stahlie's Art

Although it looks like it might be done in oils, it’s actually done on the computer using Autodesk Sketchbook.

A commenter ask if it was done in watercolors. Stahlie said “No, she doesn’t do watercolors because they don’t have an “Undo” button.”

I like the way she thinks.

For dinner we finished off the homemade Chicken Vegetable Soup from a couple of days ago. Still very good.

Tomorrow night we’re getting together with Lillis and Dick Palmer again for dinner at King Food.

Then on Friday night, it’s probably our last visit to the Alvin Opry.

Busy, busy, busy!


Thought for the Day:

Some people are like Slinkies. Good for nothing, but they do make you smile when you push them down the stairs.


Blindsided . . .

I finally got a chance to call Fan-tastic Vent and they pointed me in the direction of the wiring going to the reversing switch, which makes sense since I was using the reversing switch when the fan motor quit.

So I took out the screws and dropped the bottom of the fan so I could get to the switch contacts. My first thought was to unplug and replug the wires on the switch several times to clean the contacts. After this I tried the fan once more and, it now worked. Another thing fixed.

One down, a bunch still to go.

Jan spent the morning and afternoon catching up on “Downton Abbey”, the PBS series about the lives of the residents and the staff of Downton Abbey, a large manor house in England. Kind of an updated “Upstairs, Downstairs”. The story starts in April 1912 with the sinking of the Titanic, and the loss of the family heir.

After hearing a lot about the show Jan starting watching the other day. PBS has already shown the first 4 episodes of this, the third season. But we found out that PBS is streaming the past episodes on their website, so she spent part of yesterday and today catching up on those 4 episodes. Then, looking on Amazon to see about buying the first two season on DVD, we were happy to discover that for Amazon Prime members, we can stream all the episodes of the first two seasons for FREE. And even better, it’s available in HD.

So Jan watched episode 1 of season 1 this afternoon and will continue watching them untill she’s caught up.

For my part this afternoon, I finally got a chance to rehang my restrung day/shade that I had finished last week.

Here’s what it looked like after I removed the valance.

Blind Reinstall 1

I laid the valance down on the bed and then screwed the shade to it. And here’s what it looked like with the valance and shade reinstalled.

Blind Reinstall 2


I did have to fiddle with the string tension a bit where it ties off at the bottom of the valance. Too tight and the added effort to lower the shade may wear and break the strings. Too loose and the shade may not stay up.

And here’s how it look after I was done.

Blind Reinstall 3

One down, 2 to go.

Later, Jan and I headed out about 5:15 for errands and dinner. Our first stop was at the Dickinson Police Department to get Jan’s fingerprint cards redone. Hopefully this set will take, and she’ll be ready to go if we gate guard again later this year.

Then heading up to the Baybrook Mall area, we made a stop at Charming Charlie, a place that sells beautiful costume jewelry on the cheap. Most bracelets are $10, with some a little more, but all very nice quality.

Jan’s first visit to Charming Charlie was when we were up at The Woodlands with Brandi and Lowell this past Saturday, but it didn’t end well.

She bought a couple of bracelets, including a red beaded one she really liked. However the next morning when she was cutting the price tags off, she accidently cut the elastic cord that the large beads were strung on, and suddenly, no bracelet. Just a lot of beads bouncing around the rig.

So tonight she wanted to get a replacement, and wouldn’t you know it, she found another one she liked too, and just had to have.

Funny how that worked out, isn’t it.

We met Chris, Linda, and Piper at Chili’s about 6:45pm for dinner, and had our usual great time, and a good meal.

It was really windy on the way home, and we got back just ahead of the rain. There’s a cold front coming through and it’s supposed to be down the low 50’s tonight. Much better than the recent nightime temps of high 60’s, low 70’s.


Thought for the Day:

Sometimes freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is about all that we ask for.


As Roseanne Roseannadanna says . . .

“It’s always something.”

Just about the time I’m getting a handle on my rig repairs, the fan motor in our bathroom Fan-tastic Vent fan quit. The cover will still open and close, but the fan will not run in either direction.

It died when I wanted to change the fan’s rotation from OUT to IN. I turned the fan off using the rotary speed switch and then changed the Direction switch from OUT to IN. When I turned the fan back on, it didn’t start.

So I turned it back to OUT and tried again – still nothing. No matter what I tried after that, nothing got the fan running again. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to give a Fan-tastic a call today.

Next up, I’m stepping in it once again . . .

Recently the Government announced that women were going to be allowed in front line combat units, including Special Operations Groups, i.e. Delta Force, Navy Seals, etc.

Personally I think this is a really, really bad idea, but here’s someone a little closer to the situation who also doesn’t think that women in front line units is a good idea. Be sure and check this out.

I have a bad feeling about this.

Next it was time to squirm under the rig (and I do mean squirm) and replace the rubber bracket on the air bag proportioning valve.

The broken bracket looked like this.

Airbag Rod End


After loosening the clamp I pulled the old piece off and slid the new bracket on. And after tightening the clamp, it looked like this.

Airbag Rod Bracket 2


Scrunching over a bit, I loosen the bolt holding the other piece of the broken bracket, and reattached the new one connected to the rod.

Airbag Rod Bracket Closeup


It ended up looking like this on the lower end,

Airbag Rod Bracket 3


and this where it attaches to the valve.

Airbag Rod Bracket 4


Job done. I think it took me longer to get under the rig and back out than it did to do the actual repair.

I’ll probably wait until tomorrow to crank up the engine and confirm the rig comes up on the air bags.

Two tools I got for Christmas really helped with changing out the bolt holding the rubber bracket. There was not a lot of room to maneuver up there, even to get a socket/ratchet combo in position.

But these Channelock Ratcheting Wrenches made it easy-pezy.

Channelock Wrenches


To hold the other nut without rounding off the edges, these Kobalt Magnum Grip Pliers really fit the bill. Wide open or completely closed, the jaws always stay parallel. Nice.

Kobalt Pliers


After cleaning up, I headed out for a few errands, with my first stop being the Dickinson Police Station to see about getting Jan’s fingerprint card redone.

After she had it done the first time last April at the Sheriff’s Office in Floresville, TX for her gate guarding Security Guard’s License, the state waited for almost 4 months to tell her the fingerprint card needed to be redone.

So I checked with the Dickinson Police and they said she could get it done there. Another thing on the schedule for later this week.

Next up was a stop at Taylor Automotive on Hwy 3 in Dickinson to follow up with them about getting the rear wheel seal replaced on our RV.

When I was under the RV last week looking at the air bag problem, I saw the passenger’s rear wheel had some oil leakage, so I wanted to get it fixed before we hit the road in 3 weeks.

Leaky Wheel Seal

I talked to them last week about having it done this week, but in one of those ‘doh!’ moments that wives are known to give their husbands on a regular basis, Jan suggested that rather then packing up and taking the rig in, and then coming back to the park, and then leaving in 3 weeks, we should just get it done on the 18th as we’re leaving here.

Sounds good to me.

So after confirming that it was OK if I went ahead and got the seal ahead of time, I told them we’d see them on the 18th of February.

Rear Wheel Seal


Last it was a quick stop at Kroger’s to pick up some fresh vegetables for tonight’s Homemade Chicken Vegetable Soup. After checking out the selection I ended up with broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and snow peas to go with some of the chicken breasts we poached last week.

Put it all in the Crock-Pot along with some Chicken Stock and a few hours later, soup’s on.

Hmmm, hmmm, good.

Getting home I went on the RVChassisParts website and ordered the wheel seal from them for $55, not a bad price.

While I was online ordering things I also ordered the 26” Denso wiper blades for the rig. Fleetwood sells them for $40 each, but Amazon has them for $18, so Amazon it was.

I never got to the Day/Night Shade reinstallation today. Maybe tomorrow. Also never got a chance to call Fan-tastic Vent. Again, tomorrow.


Thought for the Day:

“You can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.” – Ayn Rand


Home is where Landon is . . .

Today was another travel day, but it started with Jan and I meeting Lowell, Brandi, and Landon at Pappasito’s Cantina up in Webster at 11am.


Jan always has the Shrimp Enchiladas, and didn’t break with tradition this time either. Brandi and Lowell split an order of Beef Fajitas, while I had their delicious (and large) Grilled Chicken Taco Salad.

Pappasito's Grilled Chicken Taco Salad


Landon had his favorite Mac N Cheese, but he also had a lot of grilled onions that came with Brandi and Lowell’s fajitas.

He loves to put the end of the onion in his mouth and then suck it in like a strand of spaghetti.

Landon eating onions

Landon eating onions 2


After a really good lunch, we piled back into Brandi’s car and made another 50 mile trip, just like yesterday. But today we ended up west of Houston, between Katy and Fulshear to check out the area where Brandi and Lowell are considering buying a house.

The area they’re looking at is called Churchill Farms, and is located off of FM-1493 between I-10 and the Westpark Tollway/FM-1093.

This one, the Capri, is one of the two models that they’re looking at.

New House 1

One thing neat about this model is that as you see when you walk in, it’s a two story model that doesn’t really look like one. In addition, they plan on getting the optional 1 car garage added to the left side of the house. The model above has an office behind the large glass windows in the front, where the two car garage would normally be.

New House - Entryway


Just as you come in the door is what will be Lowell’s office, although it could be a 5th bedroom if you wanted.

New House - Office


A dogleg to the left leads you into the dining room, kitchen, living room area.

All we could say was “WOW”!

New Home - Dining Rm Kitchen Living Rm


Down by the windows and to the right is the master bedroom.

New House - Master Bedroom

The closet on the left here is just a small, secondary one. The master closet is through the bathroom and it’s enormous.

The master bath is very large, although I couldn’t get a good angle to show it.

New House - Master Bath


This is one of the two “Jack and Jill” bedrooms, which are bedrooms, usually for children, separated by a common area, sometimes a bathroom, or, as in this case, a play area.

This one was decorated for a girl, and when we told Landon this was going to be his room, he looked around for a few seconds, and then ran out, yelling “No, no, no”.

New House - Jill Bedroom


He then ran through the play area and into this room, and said “This room Mommy, this one.”

New House - Landon Bedroom


And here’s the playroom in between the two bedrooms.

New House - Playroom


And here’s the bathroom for the two kid’s bedrooms.

New House - Landon Bathroom


This is the patio and the backyard. Part of what you see here belongs to the model next door.

New House - Backyard


Going up the stairs,

New House - Stairs


you find the the living area. It could also be configured as a media area.

New House - Upstairs Living Area


And here’s the upstairs bedroom,

New House - Upstairs Bedroom


and the attached bathroom.

New House - Upstairs Bathroom


One thing that was interesting was a hole cut into the wall separating the upstairs living space from the attic area, and then glassed in.

This lets you see the heavy foam insulation sprayed between the rafters, and also between the studs in the outside walls.

New House - Attic


To show how efficient this insulation is in keeping the attic cool,

Attic Chocolate Bunny2

note the chocolate bunny rabbit sitting on the rafters. Apparently it never gets hot enough in the attic to melt the bunny.

Attic Chocolate Bunny3


So this model that they’re looking at ends up being either a 4/3/3 with the office, or a 5/3/3 without.

All in all, a very nice future home.

Ideally they would like to be in the house by Christmas, but it’s much more likely to be the first quarter of 2014.

And of course, we still haven’t been able to agree on the location of our concrete RV parking pad, complete with full hookups. We’ll have to discuss it further.

Getting back to the rig about 4:30, we saw this large cabin cruiser/small yacht sailing into Dickinson Bayou for Galveston Bay. Nice!

And, No, Nick, you can’t have a boat.

Yacht on the Bayou


Tomorrow I’m going to try to get the day/night shade I restrung last week finally installed, and since the parts came in for my air bag proportioning valve repair, I going to try and get that done also. But that one kind of depends on whether we get rain or not.


Thought for the Day:

“When Injustice becomes law, Resistance becomes duty.” Thomas Jefferson


Jasper’s & More . . .

After a nice, quiet morning with our coffee, a little before 3 Jan and I headed up to Brandi and Lowell’s to meet up for a 50 mile drive up to the Woodlands area to have dinner at one of Lowell’s favorite places, Jasper’s – The Woodlands.


Jasper’s is the brainchild of Kent Rathburn, an award-winning chef, with 4 other highly-regarded restaurants in Texas. He trained in Paris at the famous Le Cordon Bleu Institute. But even more important to our tastes, in 2008 he beat out famed chef Bobby Flay to take the Iron Chef America crown.

We started off with a really delicious Shiner Bock Beer Cheese Soup, maybe the best soup I’ve ever eaten.

And yes, that’s popcorn in the soup, and it adds a nice crunchy texture to the dish. A novel touch.

Jaspers - Shiner Bock Beer Cheese Soup


For our entrées Brandi and I had their award-winning Ribs, Jan had the Crab Cakes, and Lowell had the Prime Rib. And we all agreed how good it was

Jaspers - Ribs


For a light dessert, we tried out their “mini’s”, small, about the size of a shot glass, but just the right amount.

Jan and I split the Caramel Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream. Brandi also had the Bread Pudding, while Lowell had the Butterfinger Creme Brulee.

The perfect end to a fantastic meal.

After dinner we had planned to take in a nearby movie, but realized that we were so full that we’d probably all just fall asleep.

So instead we just walked around the Market Street area and took in the many high-end shops and stores. Jan and Brandi made a stop at the Baby Gap store for some new jammies.

Market Square - Woodlands


Jan’s sister, Debbie, sent over these shots of her granddaughters (our great-nieces). Below is Ella, new addition, Annisten, and Avery Jane. Really cute kids.

Avery Jan & Ella & Annisten


And this little beauty is Gwen.

Gwen 2


Thought for the Day:

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.


The Original Gun Grabbers are back . . .

and it worked this time about as well as the first time.

The first unofficial battles of the Revolutionary War, The Battles of Lexington & Concord, took place on April 19, 1775 because the British Government wanted to seize our guns, gun powder and other military supplies.

But due to good intelligence on the British plans, the colonials were ready, dispersing the supplies among many towns. And the rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes alerted the countryside so that the colonial militias were ready and waiting. Ironically some of this excellent intelligence is speculated to have come from Margaret Gage, the New Jersey-born wife of General Gage, the military governor of Massachusetts, and commander-in-chief of the troops in the Boston area. I guess you can take the girl out of New Jersey, but you can’t take New Jersey out of the girl.

The series of running skirmishes that made up the battles left the colonials the decisive victors with 49 killed and 39 wounded against British losses of 73 killed and 174 wounded. It also punctured the vaunted superiority of the British Army, and set up the perception that the colonials had a chance to win their independence.

But this time the gun-grabbers came in the form of a British company, Reed Exhibitions, who runs the Eastern Sports and Outdoors Show, one of the largest shows in the US, and held every February in Harrisburg, PA.

But this year, Reed Exhibitions, decreed a couple of weeks ago, that any sales, display, or even mention, of so-called “Assault Weapons” or high capacity magazines was forbidden. They even banned vendors from displaying the logos of companies that made these items.

The boycott started slowly with some vendors dropping out because they had contractual arrangements with some of these manufacturers to sell and display their products.

But this first few were just the small snowball that precedes the avalanche. And an avalanche it was. And it culminated with all the major sponsors, like Cabela’s, Gander Mt., the NRA, etc., dropping out, except for Progressive Ins., all the celebrity performers, and finally the major vendors, like Smith & Wesson, Mossberg, Ruger, and Thompson.

Finally throwing in the towel, a couple of days ago, Reed announced the cancellation of the show, costing them millions, and costing the Harrisburg area an estimated $80 – 100 million to community businesses from the 250,000 visitors that were expected to attend. Reed said when announcing the cancellation that only 170 of the over 1000 vendors had dropped out. If that were true, then why cancel. I’ve seen an online list of the dropouts, and it runs on for pages, a lot more than just a 170.

Sometimes it’s better if you just keep your mouth shut.


Under the heading of yesterday’s Random Act of Kindness, a 93 year old WWII vet and former Marine Elbert Wood returned from a doctor’s appointment to find his home vandalized and sprayed with red paint by a couple of teenagers.

Houston KTRH talk radio host Michael Berry mentioned the incident on the air and said that someone should help this guy out. In just a few minutes his phone was ringing off the hook.

By 1:30 pm people had dropped off $50,000 in checks made out to Mr. Wood, and he had commitments from a number of companies to completely remodel his house.

Plus the last time I heard the amount of checks was approaching $75,000.

The two teens were caught later that day and a couple of days later, the father of the boys came by to apologize.

Just goes to show you what people can do when they join together.


Thought for the Day:

Trusting government with power and money is like trusting teenaged boys with whiskey and car keys,


It’s Landon Time!

or A Random Act of Kindness.

Today was our day to get some quality Landon time, so we planned to take him to the Bayou Wildlife Park between Dickinson and Alvin, and then spend the rest of the day together.

We left the rig about 8:30 (OMG), but had few stops first before we picked him up. First up was a Starbuck’s run to get some caffeine in us, since we didn’t make coffee before we left.

Then, after a quick trip through the bank next door, it was across the street to Jack Box’s place for a breakfast sandwich for Jan. Finally our last stop before getting Landon was to the house to get his car seat for the trip.

When we got to the daycare, he was in his Computer Class (he also has Spanish Classes there too) but was ready to leave with us.

I’ve always been impressed by the security at the daycare. First off, you don’t even get buzzed in unless they know you, or expect you. And if you’re not a parent, you can’t pick up a child unless a parent has told them you’re coming, and your name must be in their files ahead of time. Very nice.

Finally getting Landon buckled into his car seat, we headed out. While I was trying to get him situated, he kept looking at me like he was wondering what kind of idiot couldn’t do this.

Hey,  there’s a lot of buckles and straps, OK?

It was only about 20 minutes to the park, and we got there just as it opened. (I love it when a plan comes together.)

The last time we were here was in the early 80’s when Landon’s mother, Brandi, was only about 7 – 8 years old. So it’s been a while.

Bayou Wildlife Park Sign

Paying our admission at the gate, and getting our food buckets,

Bayou Food Bucket

and heading into the park, we were quickly greeted by a welcoming committee. They had figured out that they had the best shot at the food by getting there early.

We had llamas,

Up Close and Personal

Feeding the Llama


American Elk,

American Elk



Welcome Committee


and even this evil-looking Emu. It’s easy to see why scientists think birds evolved from dinosaurs.

Emu Evil Look

And they all just came right up and stuck their heads in the car window.

Landon wasn’t too thrilled about this part. He didn’t cry, but he did keep saying “Close window, close window. Go way, go way.”

Next we crossed over a cattle gate and drove out into a wide-open area just filled with animals. Everything from deer, antelope, llamas, alpacas, elk, ostriches, and emus, to kangaroos, swans, and ducks. Oh, my.

Wildlife Herd


Parking at the main building we checked out the Petting Zoo,

Pygmy Goats


and the giraffes in their pen right next door.



After seeing this sign, I told Jan I was going to search her before we headed home. We have two cats. We don’t need a goat.

Buy your own Goats


By now it was time for our tram ride through the rest of the park. They’re completely open so you can get up close and personal with the animals. Sometimes closer than you really want to be, especially for Jan and Landon, as you’ll see a little bit later.

Bayou Tram


As we headed out there were animals every where we looked. And what was really amazing was how many of them Landon could name.

Jan and Landon at Bayou Wildlife Park


This guy would have emptied the whole bucket if Jan had let him.

Jan and Her New Friend


These are ring tailed lemurs. They have two different compounds of them, surrounded by water to keep them in.

Ring Tailed Lemurs


You don’t realize how big swans are until you see them up close. This guy’s about 4 feet tall. That’s a lot of bird.



When the herd of American Bison surrounds the tram, you began to wonder just how sturdy the tram was.

Bison 6


And this Watusi Cow didn’t help things any.

Watusi Cattle 2


I thought this Bactrian Camel (two humps) was going to climb into the tram with Jan.

Camel 4


He took a liking to Landon’s brightly-colored backpack and decided he wanted it.

Camel 5


And came after it.

Camel 6


She kept trying to push him away, but a 1500 pound camel doesn’t push very easily.

Camel 7

Camel 8


I’m not sure if Jan was trying to protect Landon here, or trying to get Landon to save her.

Camel 9

But luckily he finally gave up as the tram pulled away.

They even have gators. But luckily they don’t come up to the tram to be fed.



This is Cleo, their Southern While Rhino. She weighs almost two tons, and is 5 feet high and 9 feet long.

Now that’s a big girl.



A Red Kangaroo.



Getting back to the barn, Landon picked out a new friend at the gift shop. Jan asked him if he also wanted a T-shirt.

He said, “No shirt. Just Monkey.”

Landon and his new friend

He named him Eek Eek.

I think he now has 3 monkeys named Eek Eek.

I saw this sign of the side of the barn, and it is correct.

Alvin, TX holds the record for the most rain in the continental US in a 24 hour period. Tropical Storm Claudette came in from the Gulf and just hunkered down and stayed.

Rain Record

We were very lucky our house didn’t get flooded, and we’re built pretty high.

And it looks like you can start your own zoo here.

Buy your own Zebra

Need a breeding pair of zebras? They’ve got them.

How about a half dozen Scimitar Horned Oryx . . . Oryxes . . .Oryxi?  Whatever.  You’ve come to the right place.

Or maybe you’ve always wanted a pet Water Buffalo?  You can git’em here.

About 12:30 we headed back to the house. We had a great time, and Landon said he did too. Maybe we’ll bring him back next year, so he can enjoy it even more.

On the way home, we stopped at Wendy’s for lunch. For Landon that was Chicken Nuggets and Apple Slices.

While Jan and Landon rested and played, I visited some clients and took care of some problems. And by the time I got back to the house, it was after 4pm, so we all headed out to Barcenas Mexican Restaurant, right outside the subdivision, a place Landon always enjoys.

Landon and Nana at Barcenas

He really likes their Queso.

As far as the Random Act of Kindness, I kept waiting for the waiter to bring our check after we were finished. Finally, I asked him for it, and he said the guy in the booth behind us had paid our check for us.


I remember glancing at him when I sat down, and Jan said when he left she had looked at him and didn’t recognize him.

Maybe he was just messing with us. A couple of times over the years, I’ve paid the toll for the car behind me, just for the hell of it. But I never bought anyone’s dinner.

I did ask our waiter if the guy had also paid our tip. He smiled and said “No.” So I asked him how much our bill was, $35 as it turns out, and I tipped him on it.

Leaving Barcenas, we drove over to the nearby Wal-Mart for some groceries and a few other things, and then it was back to the house.

By the time we got back, Landon had finally zonked out, after a very busy day.

Worn Out Landon

Brandi and Lowell had used this Landon respite to have dinner at Cheesecake Factory, so when they got home little after 7pm, Jan and I headed out. We did make a quick stop at the Monterey’s Little Mexico in Dickinson for a call-ahead order of chips and salsa to go with our meal tomorrow.

Hopefully the day won’t start so early tomorrow.


Thought for the Day:

I’m tired. I got nothing.


Eaten By Locusts . . .

After our walk and morning coffee, I finished up with the computer I was delivering this afternoon, and then headed out a little after 12 to delivered my latest computer to the client.

I spent some time with her showing her the differences between her old Vista and her new Win7 OS, setting up her email account and making the recovery DVD’s for the system.

My next stop was at another client’s for fix a problem with their order system, then it was on to the PO to drop off some letters, and then home.

About 15 minutes later, Jan and I headed back out to meet our friend’s Bob and Maria for dinner at King Food,

On the way I made a quick stop at Rudy’s BBQ along I-45 in Webster to pick up a bottle of their very coarse ground Black Pepper. I get a new bottle every year before we hit the road, so we can use it on the road. It’s hard to find pepper ground this coarse just anywhere.

We had so much fun at dinner that we were there for over 3 hours. We known Bob and Maria since the mid-80’s and we always have a great time when we get together.

Good fun and great company can’t be beat.

It seems that today just got eaten by locusts, as I never got a chance to hang my restrung shade, and probably won’t be able to tomorrow, either.

Since this is a short blog, I thought I’d repost our visit to Bearizona in 2011.


Bearizona and Las Vegas . . .

Originally posted on April 30, 2011

Today was a travel day, from Williams, AZ to the Thousand Trails RV Park in Las Vegas. But before I tell you about that, I wanted to recount our visit to Bearizona yesterday.

Bearizona is a drive-thru/walk-thru wildlife park that just opened last year, and new exhibits are being built even now.

Bearizona Entrance


Here’s my sweetie with the park mascot.

Jan and Her Little Bear Friend


These are American Burros who are apparently more interested in dinner than us.

American Burros


Next we had the American Bison or Buffalo.

Bison 1


This guy was only about 20 feet from the truck, and I think he was bigger than the truck.

Bison 2


These are Gray Wolves. When we pulled up to their area, they were just laying around under the trees until one of the park guys went by on his ATV. They all perked up and came running over to the road, I guess thinking they were going to be fed.

Wolves 1

Wolves 2

Wolves 3


In the next area, we had Dall Sheep. We saw a lot of these along the roads in Alaska.

Dall Sheep


And more sheep, this time Big Horn Sheep. We’ve seen these a number of times traveling out west.

Big Horn Sheep 2

Big Horn Sheep 1


This is the fabled White Buffalo. True albino buffalo are extremely rare, but I don’t know what these are. They could be leucistic, which means they would have blue eyes instead of the pink eyes of an albino, or they could be a buffalo/cow cross.

White Buffalo


Finally we saw bears, lots of bears. Black ones, brown ones, little ones, big ones. All around us.

Black Bear 1

Black Bear 2

Brown Bear 1

Brown Bear 2


But the cutest ones were the four 3 month old cubs. They were playing, falling, and wrestling like a bunch of puppies, into everything.

Bear Cubs 1

Bear Cubs 3

Bear Cubs 2


I even shot some video of them.

They even had a baby javelina, with his own bed.

Baby Javelina 1


He even has his own toy to play with. I wonder if the Big Horn Sheep have a toy javelina to play with?

Baby Javelina 3


Another one of those ‘so ugly they’re cute’ animals.

Baby Javelina 2


In the Petting Zoo area, Terry made a new friend. In fact, for a while we thought he was going to follow her home.

Terry and her new best friend


A baby fox.



But, beside the bear cubs, I think everyone’s favorite were the Bobcats. It was almost like they enjoyed posing for us.

Bobcat 1


They would sit on the rock for a while, take a break and wander off, and then come back and sit on the rock again.

Bobcat 5

Bobcat 2

Bobcat 3


Just beautiful animals.

Bobcat 4


We all had a great time at Bearizona and look forward to visiting it again next year to check out the new animals.

Bearizona is well worth your time if you’re in the area.

Now back to today.

We left the Canyon Gate RV Park in Williams about 9, heading for Las Vegas 213 miles away. The reason we left so early for such a short trip was that Nick had planned to stop at the Speedco about 15 miles outside of Kingman and get the oil changed in his rig. And I was going to check out the instant oil analysis service they offered.

But it didn’t quite work out that way. Despite Nick having called twice and being assured they worked on RV’s and could get him in and out quickly, when he pulled into the parking lot, he was basically told to get out, and that they only worked on big trucks driven by guys working for a living.

When Nick mentioned that their website says they service RV’s, the guy said he didn’t care, just move!

And then they seemed to go out of their way to make it difficult for us to get out of their parking lot. So much so, that I ended up damaging the left front corner of my rig getting out of a tight turn.

Even stranger, a flat bed tractor-trailer pulled in right before us, and after talking to the same guy, started to leave immediately. But then had to wait for Nick to move out of his way. In doing so, he told Nick “these guys are a bunch of a$$hole$”.

So either his truck wasn’t big enough, or he wasn’t working hard enough, I guess.

I know that plenty of RV’ers have used Speedco, but I never have, and now never will.

So, after this brief but unpleasant interlude, we were back on the road to Las Vegas, about 115 miles away.

We were a little worried about the high wind advisories we were seeing, warning of bad conditions crossing the new Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, but except for the occasional ‘interesting’ wind gust, the trip was smooth and the scenery was great.

Both Nick and Jan had worried about crossing the new bridge, but because the sides are high, and RV’s are supposed to stay in the left lane, you never realize that you are almost 900 feet about the Colorado River as you cross.

It’s really kind of disappointing.

We got into the Thousand Trails here in Vegas a little after 1 and got set up. Then about 3 we drove down to Boulder Station Casino to check out the buffet there.

And it was just as good as last year. As usual we sat around talking for a good while before heading home about 5 pm.

We’re going to be here for two weeks, and hopefully we’ll have as much fun as last year.

More tomorrow.


Thought for the Day:

Happy FUN BALL! – only $14.95-

Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to Happy Fun Ball.

Caution: Happy Fun Ball may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds.

Happy Fun Ball Contains a liquid core, which, if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at.

Do not use Happy Fun Ball on concrete.

Discontinue use of Happy Fun Ball if any of the following occurs:

Itching Vertigo Dizziness Tingling in extremities Loss of balance or coordination Slurred speech Temporary blindness Profuse sweating Heart palpitations

If Happy Fun Ball begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head.

Happy Fun Ball may stick to certain types of skin.

When not in use, Happy Fun Ball should be returned to its special container and kept under refrigeration.

Failure to do so relieves the makers of Happy Fun Ball, Wacky Products Incorporated, and its parent company Global Chemical Unlimited, of any and all liability.

Ingredients of Happy Fun Ball include an unknown glowing substance which fell to Earth, presumably from outer space.

Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.

Happy Fun Ball comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Happy Fun Ball




Bird Blind . . .

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

Galveston Bay View Site 80


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

Pinkie and the Ibises


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

Giant Blue Heron and Pinkie


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

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

Blind Repair 2


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

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

Blind Repair 3


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

But a little more research yielded this diagram.

Blind String Pattern

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

Blind Repair 4

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

Blind Repair 5


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

Blind Repair 6


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

Blind Repair 7


Here’s the blind laid out and completely strung.

Blind Repair 8


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

Blind Repair 9


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

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

Pantry 1


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

Pantry 2


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


Thought for the Day:

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