Phannie

Phannie
Photo taken at Winchester Bay, Oregon

Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Reader's Digest of a Blog Post

At Thousand Trails Lake Conroe, Willis, Texas...

Sandy and I drove toward Tomball today to have lunch with Mindy and see the hospital where she now works as a nurse. After that enjoyable visit, we were driving back to Thousand Trails and once again became acutely aware of the aggressiveness of the throngs of drivers all around us on the freeways. It was sort of like a NASCAR race, with all the folks trying to get out of town for the holiday. Speeding is something I just don't see the need to do any longer, although not keeping up with traffic on the freeway can be downright dangerous, so sometimes I just tighten the seat belt and go with the flow. 

It was during the drive through this demolition derby (we saw several wrecks) that I began to think of some things that I neglected to include in the previous post. Sometimes after I publish a post to this blog, I find that I may have left something out, accidentally--or even on purpose, if I thought the piece was getting too long. So, this post is more or less a housekeeping job that really has no theme other than the randomness of its leftover topics.

First of all, I have been cutting back on including so much foodie stuff in my posts, but you'll just have to bear with me here, as I need to catch up and identify a couple of restaurants that have made it onto the "Favorite Restaurants" page linked on the right side of the blog's website. When we were in the RGV, we ate for the second time at the Santa Fe Steakhouse, and found it superb, if a bit pricey. Although pretty doggone elegant for McAllen (they have white tablecloths and live piano music), we saw folks there dressed very casually, so you don't have to fret about getting all gussied up. We had steak and shrimp, and it just couldn't have been any better:



Another addition to the list was Lin's Chinese Buffet in Weslaco. This place actually returned to the list after being booted off a couple of years ago due to a disappointing experience. Lin's seems to have turned it around, however, and we thought it was just about as good a Chinese buffet as you can find out there. I do love Chinese food, and a really good buffet is almost too much of a good thing (not really; there's no such thing). I always walk around the steam tables, cruising the offerings to make sure the food looks fresh before I sit down, and Lin's offerings were nothing if not fresh. Even so, it's a good idea to go to any buffet within the normal meal times, just to be sure the food is turning over rapidly. Lin's has another location in McAllen, which I assume belongs to the same family; if so, I'll bet it's good, too, although I haven't tried it. Here's a photo of the Lin's on Hwy 83 in Weslaco:



I've also included in the list a new mom-and-pop Thai Restaurant in Arlington, Texas, named Lemongrass and Grill. I think this place serves the best Thai food in the Metroplex, and I guess I was so excited to find it that I forgot to take a photo. Just trust me on this one.

While I'm talking about favorites, you should know that I keep adding to the list of "Best of the Best RV Parks" linked on the right side of the blog's web page. The newly-added parks during 2017 can readily be identified by a red triangle beside the name of the park.

Okay, now let's talk about friends, of whom no one can have too many. We had a surprise visit from some dear friends from our RV club, Chip and Diane (forgot to get a photo again), who joined us for a fun-filled lunch at a local Mexican restaurant and then toured the Thousand Trails facility here on Lake Conroe. Their impression was sufficiently positive that they joined at the basic level, as we did a few weeks ago because we wanted to see if the value exceeds some bad press that has plagued TT for years. We've seen evidence that the outfit seems to be emerging from years of neglect by previous carpetbagging owners whose skimming and flipping
 left it in a pretty sorry state. That all seems to be changing now, thankfully. If the improvements continue, a membership just might be the best bargain out there for RVers. Here are some web photos from around this huge 128-acre park:






Signs of improvement: 76 brand new concrete RV sites are nearing completion:



On another subject, I'll tell you about a hack on dealing with tank valves I learned about the other day while doing a little net surfing; unfortunately, I can't remember where I saw it. 

For a while, I had been having trouble with the blade valve when dumping Phannie's black tank. It would sometimes stick open or closed, and I feared that my continued forcing of the handle would eventually cause it to break. So, here's the hack:  

You drill a hole in the top plate of the valve's blade housing, like this:



Then you spray some lubricant in the hole (I used silicone spray):



Then you simply install a tapping screw in the hole to seal it.


The result? It freed up the valve instantly; It moves as smoothly as new, maybe better.  If it needs lubing again, I'll just take out the screw and give it another shot. I did the same thing with the gray tank valve, so perhaps this will last for a long time. Now, I'm not very skilled or motivated to do any serious repairs on Phannie, but I don't think that even I could mess up this one. Easy-peasy!

Well, this post was kinda like cleaning out the closet, wasn't it? Even I didn't know what I would find! I hope you saw something interesting.

Sandy and I wish for you and yours the happiest of Thanksgivings, as we thank God for all of our blessings, among which we count each one of you. 

22 comments:

  1. I like that screw in black tank idea Mike. Time to get out the drill. You guys have a Happy Thanksgiving. No rally for us till Feb.

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  2. Replies
    1. Hi, Chuck! Doggone it, we may not be able to be at a rally after January for a while. You need to change your plans and go to Marble Falls!

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  3. Thanks for the hack ... shared it with Mui as something to keep in mind if we have any problems.

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    1. Hi, Erin! That hack is so elementary for someone like Mui. He will laugh, I'm sure.

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  4. Happy, Happy Thanksgiving you two, and thank you for teaching us the joys of Thai Cuisine. I've even made it at home a couple times now. . .good stuff!

    Already looking forward to your next installment.

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    1. Hey, y'all! Thanks for the good wishes. Hope we can see you before you leave!

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  5. Please keep on with the listing of good restaurants. I am finding fewer and fewer of them. Thanks you for writing your blog and Happy Thanksgiving.

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    1. Hi Barney! Yes, I didn't get this way by not finding good places to eat. Never trust a skinny foodie!

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  6. We have memberships and access to over 600 parks at a discount, some free, sure has saved us many thousand of dollars, And we don't have Thousand trails yet. We have a coast to Coast Membership park in Willis Bishop's Landing that we have been to a few times over the years.
    There is a Lin's Buffet in Yuma that we love too.

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    Replies
    1. I've thought about C to C, but haven't got around to checking it out. Need to get smarter on that.

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  7. Happy Thanksgiving Mik and Sandy!
    We enjoyed the Lin's Buffet in Yuma as well, just last winter.

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    1. So there's a Lin's in Yuma? I guess it must be a chain. Didn't know that, but consider it good news. Thanks!

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  8. Wishing you both a Happy Thanksgiving.
    My Foot has become lighter over the years especially when towing our Home.
    Even for myself that lubing trick will come in handy.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    Replies
    1. Hi, y'all! Yeah, we tend to mellow out when we get older don't we? Safe travels now!

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  9. While it is true retired folks don't have to be in a hurry to get anywhere, if the freeway traffic is running 10 or 12 miles over the speed limit and you are at the speed limit or less, you will be the cause of the accident.

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    1. Well, perhaps I used a little poetic license. I really don't hold up traffic; I run with it. Thanks for pointing out some narrative I need to change.

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    2. Mike,
      Don't worry about the folks in the high speed lane. Back in the day when 55 MPH was touted as the fuel efficient speed for tractor trailers the Trucking Company Momfert instituted a policy that all of their drivers were not to exceed 55 MPH. The inside lane of the interstates became known as the Monfert Lane.

      I don't travel at 55 but 68 has proven to be a reasonable speed and I do on occasion need to give it more juice to pass a SMV on occasion. We avoid like the plague rush hours and when ever possible conjested cities. No Hurry No Worry.

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    3. I like your philosophy. No ulcers or fingernail biting for me!

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  10. Don't be using chemicals in the holding tanks.... breaking down the solids are what leads to the smells and sensors giving problems. If you are in the East Valley of Phoenix, gives us a holler and get an appointment to get those tanks professionally cleaned!

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    Replies
    1. Well, I don't use chemicals, and I'm pretty sure the age and usage of the valves has something to do with the problem--they're eleven years old! In terms of looking you up, you might be a little hard to find due to the absence of information about yourself. Anyway, thanks for the visit and the comment!

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  11. Mike,
    Thanks for the tip, I will give it a shot when we return to our rig after Christmas.

    Also I have had success with two different RV's clearing up faulty sensors by adding Pine Sol to the tanks after emptying them, recharging them with a gallon or so of water then driving to our next destination. It takes one or two cracks at this but it has worked. Most recently on the 2004 Newmar we purchased last January. It had been in storage for a few years and apparently the tanks were not emptied appropriately before going into storage. All the sensors work fine now. Another YouTube DYI gem.

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