Archive for June, 2009

Mystery Solved

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

A week or so ago, we asked for some help identifying the beetle pictured below.


We had a few humerous entries like Sherri’s “Dalmation Beetle”.  But the first correct response came from our friends Dan and Myra with the identification of the Ironclad Beetle.   Thanks for the help.


Monday, June 29th, 2009

Click for Austin, Texas Forecast

One day in Austin, we decided to run a few errands.  We went to Pep Boys to try to get our power steering fluid changed and take a look at battery connections.  Failed on both counts.  Their machine for the fluid change was not working and their lift wasn’t strong enough to lift our truck.

I decided to try out Sears.  Sears, like Penny’s, is building new “stand-alone” stores.  I really like this trend.  I think it was back in the 60’s and 70’s when they started moving to the malls, but, with this “new” design,  you don’t have to fight the mall traffic.


The folks at the Sears Grand took care of our issues and had us back on the road in about 30 minutes.

Luckily, it was now time for lunch.  We headed down to the river for a nice lunch at Landry’s.  Once again, things change.  It is now a Joe’s  Crab Shack.  We grabbed a table near the window overlooking the river.  In downtown Austin, the river has been dammed up to form a lake once known as Town Lake.  More changes, it is now Lady Bird Johnson Lake.

From our table, the view of downtown was beautiful with your typical Texas blue sky. The building slump has not hit the Texas Capital as badly as some portions of the nation as indicated by the one building crane that you can see in this picture.


A few ducks —


and several turtles —


The crawfish combo was fantastic. We would certainly recommend this Joe’s anytime.

Have Pool Will Travel

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Click for Cedar Hill, Texas Forecast

Some people just can’t rough it.  As we were pulling out of Cedar Hill State Park last week, we noticed this family arriving for the weekend.


I guess they didn’t want to walk to the 50-yards to the lake.

New Holes

Sunday, June 28th, 2009

Click for Dallas, Texas Forecast

The Dallas/Fort Worth area has mixed blessings with the Barnett Shale gas field.  On the pro side, the DFW has not been hurt as badly as most of the nation during this economic downturn.  Also, real estate has not dropped too badly.

Luckily, we sold our property a couple of years ago at the peak.  We drove through our old neighborhood the other day and found NO houses for sale in the entire subdivision.

The downside of the gas field boom is that many of the rural roads are being beat to death by the heavy equipment being moved to the fields.  This is the typical view of a gas rig.


We’ve even seen them drilling in McDonalds parking lots.

The noise is extreme and if it is in a residential area, the din continues 24/7 until the project is complete.  In Grand Prairie, a suburb of Dallas, we noticed that the companies are trying to ease the irritation by building sound dampening structures around the rig.


You can see the houses in the background above.  I bet they don’t get the best sleep.  That is unless they own the mineral rights. In Texas, usually the original farming family maintains the rights. So, at least they sleep well.


The side facing away from the houses is open.

Smokin Hot!!! 108 Degrees F

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Click for Austin, Texas Forecast

Holy Smoke, It’s HOT!!!!

We’re hanging out in the Austin area with a bunch of our RV friends,  The local temperature is hitting about 108 degrees and 114 heat index.

Unfortunately, we are plugged in to 30 AMP electrical, which means that we can only use one air conditioner at a time.  To make things worse, our central air unit quit blowing cold air.

We got lucky and found an RV company, Pennies, RV in Bastrop, TX,, that would come out to see us and arrived for a service call within 2-hours of our call for help. It turns out that the coils needed cleaning and the return air tube wiped down. So, one hour and $190.00 later, we had cool air.

With all the time that we had spent along the coast, the report was that there wasn’t too much corrosion.

On a side note, when we were in the Dallas area  last week, we had a storm with 60 mile per hour winds and horizontal rain.  Rain came in our front air conditioner and dripped on the bed.  It had never done that before.  Well, it happened again when the guy was servicing the front unit.  It turns out that the square gasket was in place, but there were three additional holes that led to the inside unit allowing water to pass.  He caulked the holes and that problem went away.

It may be too late, but if you have a chance to check your AC coils, be sure to do it.