Old Friends and New . . .

First up, there are now two authors in the Russell family. Nick, of course, who has had 6 Kindle Best Sellers in the Mystery category, and now Miss Terry, who has just come out with a cookbook containing almost 300 of her great recipes.

Regular blog readers will remember the many times Jan and I have raved about Miss Terry’s cooking, covering everything from ribs to desserts. Check it out below. Your taste buds will thank you.

MIss Terry's KItchen

Miss Terry’s Kitchen Cookbook

Had something strange happen with DirecTV this morning. When Jan got up she found we had no TV stations available. The message on the screen seemed to be saying that there was a problem with the receiver. So I did a full reset on it with no luck.

So the next thing I did before calling them, was to log into my account. And I quickly found the problem. My account was past due. But what was strange about this is that I’m set up for auto-pay for my DirecTV account, one of the few that I do this on. So why didn’t they bill me? Well, apparently because they said my credit card was no good. And the reason it was no good was that it was an old, canceled number.

I have had 3 VISA debit cards since November. While we were gate guarding in early November, I got an email from Chase saying they had detected suspicious activity on my card and were sending me a new one. And as soon as I received the new card I went to the DirecTV site and updated my card info. And using this new card number, my December payment went through just fine.

Then, shopping at Target for the first time in several years, we got caught up in the Target data breach, and so Chase sent me another new card. Which I promptly updated on the DirecTV site once again. And using this new, new card number, my January payment went through just fine.

So what happened to my February payment? Well, it looks like it was a server hard drive crash, and an out-of-date backup. Because when I looked at my credit card info stored on the site, the number showing up was my old, old number that hadn’t been used since November. And two payments had gone through since then with no problems on the new numbers.

The only thing that makes sense is that the hard drive containing my info (and a lot of other people’s of course) crashed and burned, and they restored a backup to the replacement drive. And either, someone grabbed up an older backup by accident, or the most recent ones were bad, and they used the first good one they found.

I’ve seen both of these happen over the years, so it’s nothing new. But hopefully it’s fixed for now. I updated my card info and manually made the payment, and about 5 seconds later, we had TV again. I may check it again next month and be sure it’s OK.

About 1 pm, new friend Debi Hurlburt and old friend Jan Evans walked down to our rig and invited us to Debi’s for spaghetti.in an hour or so. And of course we said YES.

Here we are last night with new friends Ed and Debi Hurlburt at Sealand Seafood.

Debi-Ed-Jan-Greg at Sealand


And here we are with old friends, Dave and Jan Evans at Stomp’s Burger Joint in Kemah back in December of 2011.

Jan and Dave Evans

It seems like no matter where we go, we make new friends, and run into old ones. Just one of the many benefits of the RV life.

Thought for the Day:

Soy Milk


. . . like a Red Rubber Ball !

Well, after 3 days of cold, nasty weather, today it warmed up and the sun came out. And it looks like it’ll stay that way for the next few days. Mister will certainly be happy, being able to go outside again.

I once again spent most of the morning going through more boxes and bins, and even started on some the things from the truck.

Slowly, but surely.

Later in the afternoon, I worked on a client’s email problem. His webmail account would no longer receive any email. Nothing had come through since this past Wednesday afternoon, and everything bounced back to the sender.

A little research showed me the problem. The client had never emptied his trash folder, and had finally exceeded the mail account’s total size limit. Emptying the trash folder permanently deleted the old emails and got the account working again. Unfortunately any emails that came in during this outage were lost. He’ll know better next time.


I also set him up with an iDrive online backup account. His Carbonite account had run out a couple of days ago, and rather than renewing Carbonite, I switched him over to iDrive. They’re cheaper, and also allow you to backup all the machines on your network, not just one. But even more important, iDrive saves the last 30 versions of every file. This would have helped a lot in the past when a corrupted database file was backed up by Carbonite before the damage was known, so the backup file was corrupted too. Luckily I was able to repair it and recover the data.

About 3 pm Jan and I drove down a few spaces and picked Debi and Ed Hurlburt, and we all headed into La Grange to have dinner at Sealand Seafood and Steak.

Sealand Seafood turned out to be very, very good. Much better than you would think for a place 100 miles from the ocean. All of us had some combination of fried catfish, fried shrimp, and fried oysters. All good, especially the catfish. We’ll definitely go back.

Debi has a very popular blog called Debi’s RV Cooking, while Ed has one called Ed’s RV Tips, In addition, they both have Facebook areas under the same names. And I’ve added their blogs to the Blog List on this site too.

After dinner, we stopped off at the HEB in downtown La Grange for a few things before we headed home about 7 pm, finishing up another very nice day.

Thought for the Day:

The great question, one for the ages, which I have not been able to answer… is, “What does a woman want?”


Cold, Wet, and Miserable . . .

First up, blog reader Bill Osbourne gave me a heads-up about a source for the discontinued Sears Air Compressor that I mentioned the other day. Another reader, David Cross, had noted that Sears no longer sells the unit, but Bill found this link (Sears Air Compressor) to reconditioned ones being sold by the Sears Outlet store.

Then blog reader Jeff Horton found this identical model now sold on Amazon under the Porter-Cable brand. Looks to be exactly the same. So now you have a choice.

PORTER-CABLE 150 PSI Air Compressor

If you need a quick, easy, and relatively cheap air compressor that will air up rig tires to 120#, this will do the job. I’ve had mine for about 4 years now and it’s still going strong. Check it out.

It looks like the cold, wet, and nasty weather we had at Galveston Bay RV Resort the last week or so before we left has followed us up here to the Colorado River Thousand Trails park. After raining a good part of yesterday, it went down to 42 last night and then made it all the way up to 45 today …with more rain.

Tonight it’s down to about 30 degrees. But tomorrow things are looking up, with a high in the mid 50’s and NO rain for the next several days. So now I’ll be able to do some things outside that I have planned.

So I started going through the storage boxes that are inside, consolidating stuff into categories like tools, computer stuff, rig parts, etc. One of  problems in doing something like this is where do you put stuff as you sort it. We have a bunch of these really nice reusable bags we got at Tractor Supply Company recently. They’re made from a heavy canvas-like material and are very strong. And even better, they’re not expensive. We paid $.99 at one store and $1.49 at another, both a good deal.

Reusable shopping bag available at TSC

Anyway I got though most of the file boxes today, and tomorrow I’ll start on the larger bins. But it’ll be easier now because I’ve freed up 6 of the file boxes to sort things into.

Tomorrow Jan wants to drive into La Grange for dinner and an HEB visit. Hopefully Ed and Debi will be able to go with us.

Thought for the Day:

“Never wrestle with pigs. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.”  – – George Bernard Shaw


Apples and BBQ . . .

First up, a number of our blog readers are having trouble accessing this site while using the Safari browser on iPads, iPhones, and iMacs. This is a known problem, not just with this blog, but many other websites. Some people have trouble even with sites like Facebook and Google.

The problem is with the Safari browser and this link from Apple Support details the problem and a number of possible solutions.


Of course, if you have this problem on this site, you’ll never see this.

So, Never Mind.


On another software note, there is a new wave of email viruses on the loose. The latest appears to be a video email from WhatsApp. It looks like this.


When you click on the play button, it takes you to a website that will infect you. You can get more info here.


Finally, if you get ANY email from anyone, including someone you know, and that email has one of those shortened links like this one – http://bit.ly/OAM7r7, do not click on it. (BTW this one takes you right back to this site.)

So, let’s be careful out there.


About 1:30 Jan and I walked down the row to meet Ed and Debi Hurlburt. We have some mutual friends, and they read our blog, so we were looking forward to getting together. But our ‘getting to know each other’ visit turned into an all-afternooner and then later, dinner.

We all hit it off immediately and spent the rest of the afternoon talking about anything and everything, and were surprised to find out how much we have in common.

Finally about 4:30 we headed out for Peter’s BBQ a few miles up the road in Ellinger. Jan and I had eaten here years ago, and it was still just as good. Great BBQ and a buffet of sides, including desserts. Really good.


I had hoped to be able to start going through bins, sorting stuff to stay, go, or trash. But between the nasty weather, and making new friends, that didn’t happen.

But there’s always tomorrow.


Thought for the Day:

Three guys, four chords, five decades  – ZZ Top.


Almost Done & Going, Going, Gone . . .


We were up about 7 this morning since I had some stuff I wanted to get done around the rig before we headed out for breakfast about 9:30.

First up was topping off the rig oil with the Shell Rotella 15W40 that I got yesterday. When we’re back here next year it will be time for my 18,000 mile oil and filter change. I use RV Mobile Lube, who come out to the RV park and change all fluids and filters, including the Onan generator. Very convenient, and they give you an online service history area that shows all work done, and when the next service should be scheduled.

After I loaded some more stuff into the toad, Jan and I headed out to meet our friend’s Bob and Maria for breakfast at The Egg & I. Jan had an omelet, while I had my new favorite dish there, Sunrise Chili Rellenos. It’s roasted plobano pepper shells filled with lightly scrambled eggs mixed in with Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese. Really, really good.

After a great meal, Bob and Maria headed home, while we drove by our son Chris’ house to pick up my hat that I’d left there yesterday, then it was on to our storeroom to drop off a few things, including Jan’s bird feeder, that we won’t need again until we’re back here in November. Bob and Maria were coming down to the rig a little later while we crank up the rig engine and bring up the levelers, which we always do the day before we leave when we been parked this long.

But this time, we did one additional thing and I’m really glad we did. Since we had laid the new laminate flooring, I wanted to run the slide in and back out. I didn’t expect any interference, but I wanted to be sure.

And bringing in the slide we quickly found a problem, but not on the end where the new flooring is. Instead, the slide started to come as normal, but then the end toward the rear of the coach started to hang up and stop moving, but the front side kept moving, starting the whole slide to skew sideways. The first thing we tried was to run the slide back out and in again . . . with the same result.

I then took my 3ft metal ruler and ran it around underneath the cabinets, thinking maybe something had gotten under there and was jamming it up. But my ruler didn’t encounter anything. Bob and I went outside and tried to see any problem out there, but everything looked normal.

Finally, after fooling with it for about half an hour we got it completely in, but not without pulling on it as it retracted. At this point Jan and I decided to just leave it in until we left Monday morning. My thought was that once we get to Colorado River TT park and get it extended, I’ll have two weeks to work on it before we hit the road again.

About 6 Jan and I headed up to League City for our last ‘last meal’ here. Dinner with our friends, newlyweds, Barbara and Tom. I’ve known Barbara for about 10 years when I was doing contract IT support for the company she works for, and we try to get together whenever we’re in town. Barbara’s a great cook and we always look forward to her meals. and her lasagna this time was no exception. After the meal, several glasses of Moscato, and a game of really hard Trivial Pursuit, we got home pretty late, and since I wanted to get up early, you got no blog. Sorry ‘bout that.


Once again I was up at 7, the second day in a row. (This horror has to stop!)  Now I started packing away everything outside, like the sat dish, the chairs, and the ladder. I also disconnected and stowed the water and sewer hoses, leaving only the shore power to disconnect right before we leave. While I was working outside, Jan was finishing up inside.

Everything was pretty much done by 9:30 when I went down to the office to settle up on our electric usage.

A little after 10 AM I backed the coach out of our site and pulled forward a bit so I could hook up the toad. And then we were off.

But only for about 8 miles to have a final lunch at Monterey’s Little Mexico. This has been a tradition of ours ever since we left for Alaska our first year of RVing in 2008. We get there at 11 AM, right as they open, and then hit the road from there. The strip center by Monterey’s has a big parking lot so we never have any problem parking the rig.

But one change was that our friend’s, Bob & Maria, met us there. And we were having so much good food and good times that we didn’t get back on the road until 12:30. But since we were only going about 120 miles, to the Colorado River Thousand Trails park in Columbus, TX, leaving that late wasn’t a problem.

And we even got ‘lovely parting gifts’. Bob is a real coffee enthusiast, and buys green imported beans and then roasts them himself. He gave us a two different types of beans for us to try, and we’re looking forward to tasting them.

Although the sky was dark and overcast, we make good time with only an occasional light misting rain. We pulled into the Colorado River TT park a little after 2:30 and got checked in and set up.

Colorado River TT C32

The park is located out in a fairly wooded area along the Colorado River with not a lot around it, and apparently there’s not a lot to do either.

As I walked into the office to check in, there were 3 guys sitting at a table and 1 behind the counter. Walking up, I said, “Reservations for White”. And from behind me I hear, “Damn’. I turned around and two of the guys were giving the 3rd guy money. Looking at me, they said, “We were hoping you were Dunham.”

I said, ‘You mean you guys have nothing else to do but bet on who’s the next customer through the door.”

He said, “Look around and you tell me.”

One nice thing about here is that, even though it’s out in the country, I’ve got 4 bars of 4G on Verizon. Nice for my AirCard.

On a final note, friend and blog reader David Cross alerted me to the fact that the link to the Sears 150 psi air compressor I posted a couple of days ago is no good now. Apparently Sears has discontinued it, and they don’t seemed to have replaced it with anything else. Bummer. It was a good product.


Thought for the Day:

Which Items Kill More


Out Too Late . . .

Out late at a dinner party with friends before we head for the Colorado River TT park tomorrow morning.

More later.

Oil and Eggs . . .

More chores this morning.

First up, I got my Sears Air Compressor out and topped off the rig and the truck tires.

Air Compressor

Before I got this, I would have to crank up the rig engine and tap into the air brake line to air them up, but now this one works fine and is a lot easier to use. If you get one, be sure to get the 150 psi model, not the 125. The 125psi will not air up big rig tires.

About 10:30 Jan and I headed into Webster to have another ‘last meal’, this one at King Food, our favorite local Chinese restaurant, a place we’ve been eating at for over 35 years. We’re on our 4th owner.

After a really good lunch, we headed over to our son Chris’ house to pick up his floor dolly. I want to take it with me when we leave on Monday because I need to pull our washer/dryer out of the cabinet to reconnect the vent hose to the outside vent. It’s apparently come loose and is just venting the heat and lint into the rig. The floor dolly is the perfect height to pull the unit out on and roll it aside. I’ll get the dolly back to Chris before we leave the area in the next 6 weeks.

Then it was off to a client’s house to drop off the external HD I set up the other day and pick up a check. Heading home we made a quick stop at Kroger’s on the way to pick up a few things and buy some lottery tickets.

Then it was back to ‘getting ready to roll’ chores. I started packing away things in the basement and also the truck. Then I topped off the rig coolant, and windshield washer fluid. The rig oil was a quart low but when I went to top it off, I found I was out of Shell Rotella 15W40 diesel oil, so I’ll run down to Wal-Mart later and pick some up.

Tomorrow morning we’re meeting our friends Bob and Maria for breakfast at The Egg & I about 10. Then back home, I’ll crank up the rig, raise the levelers, and get us up on the airbags. This is my normal procedure when we’ve been parked this long.

I will add one new thing and that is to bring the slide in and then run it back out, just to be sure there’s not a problem with the new flooring. I don’t expect one, but better to know now than Monday morning when we’re ready to leave..


Thought for the Day:

How did I end up in this hand-basket, and why is it getting so hot?


Bombs Away . . .

or those damn flee-ridden ducks.

This morning started out with more work around the rig on things I need to do before we head out on Monday.

First up, I put new pull ropes on the leveler pads, and cleaned them up some. We’re not using them right now since we’re parked on concrete, but we’ll need them at the Colorado River TT park where we’re going. The reason I was replacing the ropes was that the original rope I used was polyethylene and I couldn’t get a knot to hold in it. So I replaced it with Paracord which took care of the problem.

Next up, I crawled under the rig and sprayed the PowerGear levelers with silicone spray to keep the seals lubricated. I do this a couple of times a year and have never had a problem with oil leakage.

I finished up the morning by replacing the batteries in the rig’s TireTraker Tire Pressure Monitoring System sensors. I had done the truck sensors a couple of weeks ago, so this finished things up. Tomorrow I’ll get out my Sears air compressor and top off the rig and truck tires so then we’ll be already to go tire-wise.


Then about 12:30 Jan and I left the rig, setting off a bomb as we went out the door.

A flea bomb.

Which is why we took Mister with us for the afternoon. In six years of RV’ing with two cats (at least until this past October), we have never had a flea problem. Until now.

So after trying several things, i.e. flea collars, sprays, powders, etc, none of which seemed to do much good, today we brought out the big guns. We used the Heartgard drops on the back of Mister’s neck last night and bombed the coach this afternoon. Hopefully this will get rid of everything.

They have a flock of tame wild ducks around the park and the office said they’re really bad about spreading fleas, so I guess we can blame it on them.

While we were out and about, I stopped off to see a couple of client’s, all of which had to come out to the car and see the much-fabled Mister. And No, we didn’t leave him in the car alone. Jan stayed with him all the time.

And anyway, I wouldn’t leave him in the car by himself. I think he’s smart enough to drive off and leave us.

Getting back to the rig about 4:30 we found any smell had dissipated and the rig was OK to enter. Actually the box says you can come back after two hours, so we were fine.

About 5:30 we headed back out, sans Mister, to meet our friend’s Bob and Beth for dinner at Abe’s Cajun Café.

And leaving the park, I saw this.

Remote Control Airplane - Big

I knew this guy had a trailer full of remote control model planes, but I didn’t realized he had some you could ride on. Or maybe in.

The food at Abe’s was really good, but the menu has about 200 items on it, and it’s hard to decide what to order. You want to tell the waiter to go away and come back in a half hour or so. By then you would have decided.

I had the Cajun Trio which consisted of Seafood Gumbo, Crawfish Etouffee, and a Spicy Boudin Link. And Jan had Blackened Catfish with Twice-Baked Potatoes and Green Beans. Both very good.

Saying our goodbyes, we drove over to a client’s office to take a look at a problem they were having with the cash register software. Turned out not to be a problem, so much as operator error.

Tomorrow, more packing up, more last minute tasks, and another last meal.

Thought for the Day:

If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you. – Oscar Wilde


Winding Down . . .

Jan and I headed out a little after 10:30 for another ‘last meal’, this one at Twin Peaks, our new favorite restaurant. Our regular waitress,

Twin Peaks 4Lauren, took her usual great care of us, and we got a chance to talk and learn more about her.

One thing I was disappointed to learn about was upcoming menu changes at Twin Peaks, because my favorite Average Joes are going away. They are mini Jalapeno Sausage Dogs with spicy mustard and jalapeno/onion relish. Really good.

Twin Peaks Average Joes

An order of Average Joes and a cup of their Venison Chili are my go-to meal whenever we go there. Guess I’ll have to find something else when we go back. Of course I  may find something I like just as well on the new menu.

Leaving Twin Peaks we stopped off at a local carpet store to check out carpet samples for a upcoming bedroom carpet replacement project, but they didn’t have what we were looking for. We’ll try again somewhere else.

Next, after dropping a letter in the mail, Jan and I headed over to Friendswood to visit a friend and take a look at the intermittent audio problem with her entertainment center.

Leaving Connie’s, our next stops were Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club for a few things, and then after quick stops at a client’s and a hardware store, we headed back toward home. Getting back to the Dickinson area, we realized that it was after 5, and we were getting hungry, especially since we had eaten lunch at 11, so we headed over to Monterey’s Little Mexico for some of their great Tortilla Soup, and Chips and Salsa.

Back to the park, I stopped off at the park office to pick up my external HD enclosure that had come in from Amazon. At the rig, after putting stuff away, I pulled the HD from the client’s computer that I mentioned yesterday and installed it the new case.

Finishing it up, I plugged into my computer and confirmed that it was readable as an external drive, so it goes back to the client tomorrow, as well as a rescued laptop for one client,  and a new video cable for yet another.

Tomorrow, besides delivering stuff to clients, I’ve got a lot of small chores around the rig that I need to finish up before we leave here on Monday. Then we’ve got a dinner date with some more friends tomorrow night.

Another busy day.


Thought for the Day:

"Be yourself, everyone else is already taken." – Oscar Wilde


Muffins and . . . well, more Muffins

Well, it was another early morning today. Up at 7:45, out the door at 8:30 (sans coffee), and at the clients at 9.

This was supposed to be my wrap-up visit with this client, but it didn’t quite work out that way. One of the things I was supposed to do was hook his external harddrive to his old desktop computer and backup all his old data and prepare the unit to be given away. But the computer, not used since this summer, had developed a problem. It would no longer read a keyboard. I tried two different ones,using both the PS2 keyboard socket and two different USB ports, all with no luck.

Since the computer is no longer operational I’m just going to take the HD out and put it in a external HD case and that will be his backup. I brought the computer home with me and I ordered a case from Amazon which will be here tomorrow. But it still means another trip back there to drop it off.

Coming home, I made a hardware store stop for some more screws to fasten the metal trim down around the pedal area under the dashboard. I want to try to get that finished up before we leave here on Monday, but I may run out of time.

Last up was a stop at Buc-ee’s for some of their delicious Cranberry Nut Muffins. Not only are they delicious, they’re big enough for a meal. Besides breakfast, we often have one with coffee for dinner.

Buc-ee's Cranberry Muffins

They’re that good.

But no muffins for us tonight. Our original dinner plans fell through, so it was time for some Hooter’s. You can never have enough Hooter’s.

Coming home we stopped off for gas at Wal-Mart and found the price has jumped 15 cents in the last week or so. Where’s the Keystone pipeline when we need it?


For some reason we’re seeing a lot of white pelicans around this year, along with the usual brown ones.  It must be caused by Global Warming.

White Pelican

Pelicans are one of those animals that are so ugly they’re beautiful.


Thought for the Day:

"A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them." — P. J. O’Rourke