Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saturday March 29, 2014-Ron Hoover Oasis RV Park

This has been a good week for me. I worked on cleaning out the storage unit all week and then "got" to pick Cameron up after school to bring him home. We had a good time together and he helped me to move a few things out of storage to their house. 

Thursday evening we met Mike and Patrice and Harry and Judy at Monterrey House in Dickinson where we had a nice meal. It was good to see our friends one more time before we leave. As we started to leave, I saw Judge Lonnie Cox, the judge in the case that I testified in on Tuesday. I got to talk to him for a few minutes, which I really enjoyed. Judge Cox and I had worked together on several cases when he was an Assistant District Attorney and I worked for the Dickinson Police Dept., so it was good to catch up with him. We didn't talk about the case, except for him to say that it could go either way. Hmmm...

Friday morning I got a call from the prosecutor in the case, telling me that final arguments would be this morning in case I wanted to come down. I soon decided to go down, and got to the courtroom just as the Judge began his charge to the jury. I listened with interest to the final words from both the prosecution and defense and came away with a feeling that we would win a guilty verdict. I went to lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Galveston with several of my old friends from Law Enforcement and we had a good time catching up. 

We returned to the courthouse for the verdict but I vowed to leave by 3 o'clock. Just a few minutes after 3, I told everyone that I knew that the verdict would be returning soon because I was leaving, and sure enough, I had not made it to the elevator when everyone began returning to the courtroom. I had left my phone number with Tommy Hansen who was one of the lead investigators in the case, and he was calling me when I walked back into the courtroom. We then got our hoped-for verdict of Guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter. If you click on the link above, you can see the news report on the trial and a picture of the bad guy.

This morning we went to watch Cameron play baseball. Sadly the team got beat in both games but the second team is two classifications above Cam's team, and only beat them 9-6. A pretty good showing against a much more talented team. This is what I like about this team, they not only train the boys better, they challenge with better opponents.

After the games were over, we went by Harry and Judy's new site at the Galveston Bay RV Resort. They just moved over from a private lot in LaMarque and we stayed here several years ago, so we wanted to see what it looks like now. It's very nice and we'll consider it when we return. I also gave Harry a 5 gallon diesel fuel container for when they start traveling again. I love sharing my unneeded items with friends.

We went over to our storage unit and finished cleaning it out. Well, we did leave one box that we'll go back for tomorrow. FINALLY got it done!! We took a few more boxes to Kim's house to store them but now we're done. 

Told you it has been a good week.

So long.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tuesday March 25, 2014-Ron Hoover Oasis RV Park

As you know, we are doing our best to spend time with as many of our old friends as we can, in the short time we have here this year. Thursday, we went to eat at the La Azteca Restaurant in Texas City. This restaurant is the former Bravo's Restaurant on Palmer Hwy. When Bravo's closed, several of the employees pooled their monies and bought the place, and they do an excellent job! We had a great time and had a very nice visit with our friends. 

Friday we went shopping at the new Sam's and Wal Mart stores that we haven't been in. There, we picked up one of the ready-made pizzas and after Stella got it home and jazzed it up a bit, it was delicious! 

Saturday we met Mike and Patrice at the Center Buffet, an oriental restaurant that we have eaten at several times before. Again, the food was good but the company was even better. It is so nice to be able to spend time with friends, although we did tie up the table for almost two hours! It wasn't that busy and it's a huge restaurant! 

Sunday and Monday was spent working on our storage shed to clean it out. We are making good progress and will have it done this week. Some of the camping gear that we don't use was given to other patrons of our park and most went very fast. I'm glad that someone is getting use from our old "stuff".

This morning, I was up early to get ready to go to the new Galveston County courthouse to testify in a very old (1985)murder case. My only involvement was to find and recover the skeleton remains of the victim. Luckily for me, I wrote a good report and remembered a lot of the case, so my testimony went well. I was a bit rusty but came through unscathed. Bruised the old ego a time or two but no cuts. Surprisingly, I was on the witness stand for almost two hours. This case will probably go on for most of the week but when I find out the verdict, I'll let you know.

I saw several old friends while at the courthouse, including the judge in the case. I worked several cases when he was working at the District Attorney's office. Two of the main people that I wanted to see were FBI Agent Richard Rennison and Lt. Tommy Hansen, the two leading investigators in this case but they were not due to testify until the afternoon session and I didn't want to stick around that long. I'll just keep up with the case on news media. 

It felt good to dress up in my Police Detective duds again. Felt good but I'm still very happily RETIRED!! Not changing that for anything. I enjoyed the investigations and made some good friends but don't want to go back!

So long.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday March 19, 2014-Ron Hoover Oasis RV Park

Yesterday was our first full day here and I put it to good use. I spoke to the Chief of Police at Manvel PD and learned that I could qualify with my pistol at the Alvin Community College to satisfy this requirement for my Retired Peace Officer "license", so I can possess and carry a handgun in states that don't recognize a Texas concealed handgun license. I was able to go to the college and set  the qualification tomorrow morning. I also took the time to visit with other friends in the area before returning home.

While on my way to Alvin and Manvel, I stopped along the way to capture some Munzees.There were four or five along State Hwy. 6 that I easily capped, including the one on the plaque pictured below.

I am from this area and lived here most of my life. I have always known about the blimp base in Hitchcock and have been to it many times. I even had an aunt and uncle that lived out there in one of the old houses from the base, but I never saw this plaque, commemorating the base until today. Someone has deployed a Munzee on the back of this, as well as several others along highway 6. I got all of them, but this one was special. 

There was another one that brought back memories for me, not because of the plaque or it's subject but because of the location. When I was a kid, my Dad took us to Colorado for vacations several years in a row. One year, probably 1958 or 1959, we had just left Galveston on vacation when the car had a problem with the fan belt. Daddy stopped the car at a roadside park rest area and made repairs and we continued on our trip. 

We went to Texas City to a band concert for Tyler's band. It was a UIL (University Interscholastic League) practice concert and they did very well. It was led off by the junior high school band, them the high school symphonic band and finally the ensemble band that Tyler is a member of. It was pretty short and when it was over we took Tyler and his girlfriend Loren out to eat. 

This morning I went over to Alvin Community College and qualified and got my new ID card with my new "Qualified, Honorably Retired Peace Officer" notation on it. Now I am legal to carry and possess a handgun throughout the United States. Hopefully this will keep me out of trouble on our travels.

We went over to Kim's house this evening for Stella to fix her goulash that Tyler and Cameron LOVE! She also took our dirty clothes to wash in Kim's new washer and dryer. They are the large size, but it still took entirely too long to get done, so I think we'll stick to our laundromat trips to get our clothes clean. That also pretty much took care of the question of whether we want a washer and dryer in the trailer. They are half the size of the residential ones that Kim has, so I think the decision is made. Of course, I can easily be outvoted by the CEO of this outfit (Stella), so there ya go...

So long.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Monday March 17, 2014-Moving Day-Montgomery KOA to Ron Hoover Oasis RV Park

Will this cold weather never leave? It was in the low 40's this morning but I couldn't put it off and went outside in the cool morning air and got started. Once I got busy, it wasn't that bad and we were ready to go about 10 AM. 

After a short stop at the office to pay for our electricity, we were on the road again (imagine Willy singing). We did well on the highway for about 20 miles before traffic stopped. We weren't stopped long, but it still kills your time when you are in stop and go all the way through downtown Houston. If you're not familiar with Houston, that's about 15 miles. The trip of about 90 miles actually took 2 1/2 hours. There were a couple of minor accidents and disabled vehicles, but it was an uneventful trip for the most part. I only had to deploy the air horn a couple of times.

After a good setup, we had just come inside for me to finish the set up for the television when our friend Harry dropped by for a visit. It was good to see one of our old friends from this area and we made plans to get together with Harry and Judy later for supper. We are looking forward to getting together with several of our friends while we're down here.

We went by Kim's house in the afternoon and found only Cam at home. He was outside playing catch with some of the neighbor kids. Since he was busy, we didn't stay very long and came on back home. I did stop and bought Stella some dead chicken at KFC. She has been wanting some fried chicken so I delivered for her.

So long.

Sunday March 16, 2014-Montgomery KOA

We went down to Rayford Crossing on Sunday to meet our friend Bill and Tommy and Susan to spend more time with our friends before leaving tomorrow. We decided to eat soon after we arrived, so we all loaded up in my truck and off we went. It's impossible to get a bad meal at Mel's Country Cafe, and today was no exception.

 Stella and I split one of the famous Mel's Burgers consisting of one pound of meat and a half pound of bacon! Even though we split the burger, we brought some home.

This is the small chicken fried steak! As you can see, it covers over half of the plate. Small indeed! Bill certainly had plenty of food.

Tommy and Susan had the catfish dinner and, like us, they had food to bring home. 

When we finished eating, we waddled back to the truck. It's a good thing I have a big truck! We drove through the new Exxon world headquarters that is being built just south west of Rayford/Sawdust. This place is immense! Of course, the buildings are surrounded by fencing with security in place to keep people out, but it is an amazing place. The whole area will be a mini Woodlands, with houses, apartments and condos that are still under construction with commercial buildings to come.

We returned to Rayford where we hung out in Tommy and Susan's Allegro Bus. Bill brought their new puppy Maya over to meet us. She is a handful but Tommy plans to help Bill train her this week while he is at Rayford.

Bill has a new propane powered firepit that he brought over. We three guys braved the cold wind and sat outside for awhile but it didn't take long until we had to go back inside. I'm sure that the firepit will work well but today it was just too cold and windy. We should have time to visit with our friends again before we leave. 

So long.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Saturday March 15, 2014-Montgomery KOA

We're winding up our time here at the Montgomery KOA and visiting more friends. We're moving down to the Ron Hoover Oasis RV Park in La Marque on Monday and spent as much time with friends as we could.

We went down to Rayford Crossing in Spring to see Tommy before he went back home to do a quick job down there. Of course, he enticed Stella with his Keurig coffee maker and forced me to take an orange drink before we went down to see Mack and Mattie. It was good to see them again and we visited with other friends as they walked by, including park owner/maintenance man Billy. It was good to see so many of our old friends at the park where we once lived.

Friday morning I had a meeting with two Assistant District Attorneys from Galveston. I am under subpoena for a murder trial on a case dating back to 1985! My only involvement was to investigate and recover the skeleton near the Galveston Causeway. We are scheduled to go to trial on the 24th and I warned them that if the case is postponed I won't be in the state until October, so I hope everything goes off as planned. This was an aggravating case for me and I hope that justice is served.

Friday evening we met our friends from Inks Lake, Chip and Bunky at the El Bosque Mexican Restaurant in Conroe. It was good to see them again and we spent a couple of hours catching up with them. 

I've gotta tell you about our Garmin letting us down today. Stella programmed in the restaurant and it took us out into the country when we should have stopped in town. It doesn't happen often, and it could have been worse, we could have been pulling the trailer! Luckily we had left home a bit early and made it only a couple of minutes late. 

So long.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday March 11, 2014-Montgomery KOA

Yesterday was a very slow day around here. Stella washed our clothes while I took care of some things that I need to get done. I called the new Chief of Police in Manvel to find out what I need to do to obtain a letter from him after I qualify with my weapon. He told me the steps that I need to do, so now I will move forward.

Today we met Mack and Mattigene Willoughby, our friends from Indianapolis, to have lunch at one of Stella's favorite restaurants, Pitmaster Barbecue in Spring. We had a nice meal with them and a nice long visit. Sadly, we won't be able to hook up with them this year when we travel near Indy, but we'll be back down here in the fall, so maybe we can get together here again.

I had gotten in contact with one of my high school classmates, Donna Mathis, and learned that she and her husband live near the park. We had been trying to get together for a visit but it just hadn't worked out. Today everything fell into place and she agreed to come over here for some coffee and a visit. As it turns out, she worked for many years at another Galveston county bank, so she and Stella had a lot in common. We had a nice chat, reminiscing about the "old days" and talked a little bit about our 1965 class reunion next year. I'm looking forward to it.

Nice to keep in touch with old friends.

So long.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sunday March 9, 2014-Montgomery KOA

Saturday we went over to the huge baseball complex in Katy for a couple of Cameron baseball games. I don't understand why they can't figure out a way to schedule the games better. Cam's team didn't start playing until 5 PM but then played their second game at 7. Why can't they give them more time between games, at least an hour. That way the boys could rest and get a bite to eat and their grandparents could visit with friends that live in the area...

Cam did very well at bat, with a single (stranded on base), a double (later scored) and a long fly out that scored a run. 

He played well at first base and got several players out when they hit a single. He is a good player and I'm told that he likes playing first base best. He also plays third base as well as a relief pitcher.

Here he is pitching. in his last tournament, he came within one batter of pitching a no hitter. In the first inning that he pitched tonight, he retired the side on 7 pitches!

They won the first game 6-0 but lost the second 2-1 in a heart-breaker. They had gone into the final inning with the score tied and the other team got a good hit and scored the winning run. Bummer!

It started to rain lightly near the end of the game and by the time we left it was raining hard. It rained all night and tomorrow's games were cancelled so we didn't get to see him play any more.

We took some back roads when we came home, following the Garmin GPS. It was kind of spooky driving down unfamiliar roads in the rainy dark weather but we made it okay.

We didn't do too much on Sunday. We did remember to reset our clocks to daylight savings time. Our friends and south Texas chapter leaders, Tom and Marti called, so we made a date to meet them this afternoon at the El Palenque Mexican restaurant. This is our first Mexican food meal since we've been down here and it was Good! Not only that, but we got to catch up with Tom and Marti and the events in their life. They are building their retirement home and have a countdown going until retirement. I am excited for them and know exactly what they are going through right now. We hope to get together with them next year when they begin their retirement adventures. We will see them again in October at the regional rally in Amana Iowa. 

Fun times!

So long.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Friday March 7, 2014-Montgomery KOA

At least freezing weather with some sort of ice is not the big thing in this post! It has still been cold at night and in the morning, but thankfully, little ice to speak of. Friday morning I went over to Rayford Crossing to have coffee with Tommy and the guys and had a thin film of ice on the windshield but it didn't last very long.

Our friends Ted and Donna came in on Thursday from a trip to Florida for their daughter's wedding. They will just be staying a couple of days to unload some of their belongings and for Ted to clean the trailer. They bought a new Mobile Suite last year and we wanted to see it. Pretty...!

Stella fixed a big pot of chili and we invited Ted and Donna to come over, so we got a nice visit in with them while we ate supper. We realized that their floor plan is very much like ours, with two large slides on the back side. We have an L-shaped counter and theirs is an island. 

Friday night we rode with Ted and Donna to meet Tommy and Susan at the Sweet Tomato restaurant. This is one of my favorite restaurants in the area and I was glad we got to go there. Ted and Donna couldn't eat meat, so a salad with pastas worked out for them too. We went to eat early and beat the crowds and had a chance to have a nice chat before we went home. We'll likely get together with them again before we leave here. It's so great to be back with our home town friends!

So long.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Tuesday March 4, 2014-Montgomery KOA

I told you on the last post how cold it had gotten, and it has stayed extremely cold (28 degrees Monday morning) until today (Tuesday evening). I woke on Monday morning to fine a large Warning on my computer, telling me that everything would be erased if I went forward. I simply closed it without turning it off or doing anything else until I could take it to my friends at Rhino Computers in Spring. They told me to bring it in and they would check it out. Based upon what I told them, they warned me that it sounded like a bad hard drive. Having gone through another one on another computer, I knew it would be expensive, but fixable. Luckily, I later learned that it was only some malware that I had picked up and after doing a deep scan and adding some new anti-malware software, I was fixed and ready to go.

After dropping off my computer, we rode over to Rayford Crossing where we toured some new Mobile Suites' that belong to some of our friends that still stay there. They are beautiful units but I think we'll stay in our Landmark. While there, we ran into some other old friends that were also visiting, Andy and Sherry from Michigan and Keith and Connie from Canada. Our friend Tommy was staying in the park, but he wasn't at home while we were there. We'll see him later.

Monday night, it got very cold again and rained most of the night. I have never seen this much ice on any truck or trailer that we have owned. The rain from overnight turned into a light rain/mist this morning, which just piled even more ice on everything. Our neighbors on either side of us woke early and started their trucks but apparently got word that work was postponed because they were still here later in the morning.

Look at the icicles hanging from the awning! the entire door side was covered in thick ice, with long icicles all around the bottom of the trailer.

Look at the amount of ice in the windshield wiper trough. When I took this photo, the truck had been running for about 40 minutes and about half of the front windshield was thawed. 

Here is a better shot of the windshield and the ice on the wiper blade.

The front of the truck was also covered in ice because it had been facing into the rain. When we drive into Spring to pick up my computer, huge pieces of ice blew off and across the windshield, startling both of us. 

I know that people from Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and other cold-winter states that are reading this are probably laughing at me being upset with the cold weather. I have lived in the Houston/Galveston area all of my life, and have NEVER seen this much cold weather and ice! Somebody needs to call Mother Nature and tell her that Al Gore said we have global warming...

So long.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sunday March 2, 2014-Montgomery KOA

I'll start out today's post by showing you our site in Montgomery. As you can see, the sites are not too level, although the portion of the site where the trailer sits is relatively level, the approach has a slight curb and then an incline into the site, so it's not too bad. I'm still not too impressed with this place any more but that's another story.

And to think that we went from a pretty level site with lots of trees at Inks Lake! 

Friday we had to make a trip down to Texas City to work on our storage unit to get it cleaned out. We began our trip with good intentions of getting some errands run while down here; going by the Manvel Police Dept. to have a chat with their new Chief of Police to find out what I will have to do to re-certify with my handgun to satisfy the requirements for the federal law and to go meet the old Chief, Ralph Garcia, who now works for AT&T to get a new I Phone for me. We had already made arrangements to meet our friends Tommy and Susan for lunch at the Top Water Grill in San Leon, one of our favorite seafood restaurants, so in an attempt to save some time, I decided to leave here and travel over to state hwy. 6 to go to Manvel. Bad Mistake... Lots of traffic and having to drive through several big cities threw us way late and we had to call Tommy and Susan to postpone our lunch. I also called Ralph and learned that he would be in his store and able to help me out.

After a great lunch with our friends and catching up on each others lives, we again took off for our errands. Since Ralph's store was on the way to Manvel, we stopped there first. Of course, when we stopped, Ralph had just left for lunch, so we had to come back. We went over to Manvel but when we got there, the Chief had left for the day, 3:30 on Friday afternoon! Just sayin'...

We went back to Ralph's store and he had returned from lunch but was very busy with other customers. After a long wait, I was sad to learn that they have changed their policy of trading phones and I must do it online. Dang, two wasted trips! Any, I now know what I need to do to get a new phone.

We got to Kim's house with no problem and got all settled in. We got to meet Tyler's girlfriend Loren before they went out. We also met Loren's parents, Joy and Danny,and were invited to meet them later tonight at Louis's Bait Camp in Hitchcock where there is a bar/restaurant. They do karaoke and have a good time. Kim took Cameron to baseball practice, which lasted until 9 o'clock, so I told Kim that we probably wouldn't make it out to meet Joy and Danny. We just hung out, and when Kim got back home, she and Cam were going to meet them, so I changed my mind and off we went! 

Let me tell you, that was the first time in a looooong time since we've gone out to a bar, probably the only time since we've been married, and that's been forever! This is a family-type bar with lots of people that are just having a good time. I sang a couple of songs and we really enjoyed ourselves. Everyone had a very good time but I didn't like all the cigarette smoke. Cameron had a good time playing pool and Tyler and Loren had a good time being together. Joy and Danny know everyone that works there, so there was no chance of any of the kids getting into trouble and getting the wrong thing to drink. We all had a great time and will probably go back when we can.

Saturday morning, we woke early to get started working on the storage unit. Both Tyler and Cameron had said they wanted to go eat breakfast and would help us with moving stuff, so we took them to the IHOP restaurant for breakfast. We all had a good meal and were soon at work. We got about half of the "stuff" moved, working until about 3 o'clock before knocking off. 

Tyler went to a performance by the drill team that Loren is a member of, so we were pretty much on our own Saturday night. I conked out in one of the recliners pretty early, especially since we had been up late the night before. 

PePaw knocked out in a recliner with one of Cameron's blanket covering.

I must have looked cold and Kim covered me with Cam's blanket. It's actually a good picture of him on a small blanket. 

Sunday morning, we woke pretty early and found out that winter will be arriving later today, with rain and possible sleet soon to follow. We packed up and left pretty early to try to beat the weather. We made good time, even though traffic was pretty bad from people leaving Mardi Gras weekend in Galveston. I watched a little TV and drank a cup of coffee-Kim doesn't have a coffee pot- and packed up my computer to go to the office to catch up on my computer work. It was so good to be home! My own chair, a coffee pot, the dogs are happy to be back in the trailer, and it's my HOME!! I love visiting my family, but we normally take our home along and it works better that way...

The news I told you about a couple of days ago was announced while we were gone. The HOC Central Region has been split and we are now the directors of the South Central Region and our good friends, Dan and Karen Halvorsen are the North Central Region directors. Maybe that wasn't such a big deal to some, but it will ease our life a lot. We will have a much smaller area now and will free us up a lot! We're looking forward to working with Dan and Karen!

When I left home the temps were in the 60's and I wore the same shorts and tee shirt that I wore on the drive home. When I left the office to come home, it was raining and cold again. Winter is Back!!! and I don't like it.

So long.