Friday, August 12, 2022

San Antonio, TX - AirBnB

Thursday - I participated in three test sessions and led one where a dad and two daughters took their tests sequentially. They all passed but it was a long session. The desk is also the nightstand so things are all over. Including the AT&T router (which I'm only using for the DMR hotspot). The house has pretty fast WiFi so I've been using that for the test Zoom sessions. 

Friday - Yesterday evening, San Antonio finally got some rain. It was pretty heavy for about an hour with lots of water flowing down the street. Almost curb height. It didn't last very long but it did make for some lower temperature but much higher humidity. 

This morning, I picked up some more groceries at HEB which is only a couple of miles away. Walmart is closer but it's on the other side of the highway with a lot of construction in the area. I finally have to start cooking again. I cleaned out the freezer of the cabin and made a meatloaf which has been my dinner for days. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Road Trip Day 3 - Amarillo to Lake Hills

Tuesday - I left the hotel in Amarillo a little after 6am Google Maps said it was an 8-hour drive. Right around 500 miles for today. I forgot to mention numerous storms with heavy rainfall yesterday and one more today. Enough rainfall that water was pooling on the Interstate. 

I arrived back at the cabin and started sorting through all the stuff getting ready to check out of the cabin tomorrow. I have a room reserved on AirBnB for the next week.

Wednesday - I checked out right at 11am as the check-in time at the AirBnB isn’t until 3pm. I stopped at the Caterpillar shop to talk with the service writer and to drop off a bunch of extra things that aren’t needed for the next week. 

They had some old equipment on display so I spent a bit of time walking around after finding a shady spot to park the Jeep. 

I checked into the AirBnB and it's a clean, quiet room around a mile and a half from the Cat shop. Pretty convenient. The provided WiFi is pretty decent so maybe I can finally back up my laptop to the cloud. It's been about a month since the last backup.

Just a shot of the room. I'm here for a week. The shop thinks that it should be ready by the middle of next week which works out around right.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Road Trip Day 2 - Albuquerque and Amarillo

Monday - We left Roswell, NM, around 10am heading for ABQ, the Albuquerque airport. Bridget’s flight was late afternoon so we had plenty of time to get there as it was around three hours away. We stopped at a park near the airport to let the dog run around. When we turned onto I-40 at Clines Corner, it was a very pleasant 69°F as we were at 6700’ elevation. From there , we dropped to 5300’ at Albuquerque and it warmed up to 85°F.

I dropped Bridget off with a very annoyed cat and a nervous dog and started back to Texas. I messed up on Hotels.com and booked a cheap hotel in Amarillo instead of Lubbock. So a bit out of my way. Oh well. The Internet was fast!

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Road Trip Day 1 - Roswell, NM

Sunday - A 500+ mile driving day from Medina Lake TT to Roswell, NM. The first leg of our trip to the Albuquerque airport where Bridget is flying out tomorrow. It's been partially cloudy so the temperature hasn't been too bad. The Google Map screen capture was at our first stop. 

We arrived around 4 pm thanks to the time zone change. We walked a bit downtown before heading for dinner. There are several alien museums and gift shops just in the one-block area. 


Pretty touristy place. Somehow, we've managed to miss this town whenever we went through New Mexico. 

Really fast WiFi at the pet-friendly hotel. Almost 270Mbps down and 150Mbps up. Not too shabby. 


Saturday, August 6, 2022

Lakehills, TX - TT

Thursday - this morning, I went back to the SKP park in Hondo to see how well the biodegradable oil cleaner worked on the concrete pad. I’d say that it did a decent enough job. These stains here are from oil dripping off of the front of the Jeep. 

After getting back to the RV park cabin from Hondo, the service writer from Holt Cat called and said that the steps on the RV weren’t retracting so they couldn't drive it. So, I headed to the Cat shop an hour across town. It turned out to be something simple. The mechanic had turned off the chassis power and that is what the steps use to extend and retract. If they had started the engine, they would've noticed that the steps work. 

As far as an update, they found a leaking connection providing engine oil, under pressure, to the air compressor and the power steering pump. The power steering pump actually pumps hydraulic fluid (ATF) but the pump mechanical parts use engine oil for lubrication as does the air compressor. The next step is to drive the RV with a catch bottle on the blowby tube to see how much blowby there is. Also on the list is to check to see if the radiator fins are clogged and dirty from oil being sucked in, and why the front computer is reading low turbo boost and generating a stop engine/check engine light under full throttle.

I got back to the cabin in time for the afternoon test session. BTW, filled up the Jeep in Hondo for $3.39/gal. 

Friday - The campground emptied out a bit more and it seems like the AT&T cellular is a little bit faster. Especially the upload which appears to be essential for others to understand when using Zoom. I walked to the office this morning (1¼ miles each way) as I really need to get more exercise in spite of the heat. It was 80°F while walking and the breeze made it feel reasonable. I'm just waiting for the early test session to start right now.

We tested a 12year old and he passed! It's always nice to see younger people getting involved in this hobby.

And, the pool is finally open at the TT campground! It was nice...

Saturday - The forecasted high for today is only 91°F! Quite a bit nicer than the triple digits we've been seeing for the last couple of weeks. I lead an early morning test session, which they have every Saturday for those on the eastern side of the country. The candidate was in CDT and easily passed. He was well prepared.

We are starting to get things packed up to leave the cabin. The checkout isn't until Wednesday morning, but we are driving to Albuquerque tomorrow for Bridget's flight on Monday. I'll be back here on Tuesday to finish packing things up. I will be moving to an AirB&B on the other side of San Antonio for at least a week. Kind of depends on how much blowby there is. It lfeels like it's time to head back to the pool!

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The Mission Trails

Wednesday - This morning, Mel and Nette from the MelNetteLivingFreeZipCodeless YouTube channel, picked us up to explore the Mission Trails south of San Antonio. We started at the southern end and worked our way north visiting four of the five missions. The fifth mission is the Alamo in downtown San Antonio and which we visited on an earlier trip.

The first stop was Mission Espada at the bottom of the map.


This one had one of the most intact grounds and building foundations. There was a funeral going on in the church building so no pictures. This tree was kind of interesting though I'm not sure what kind of tree it was.


This is right near the entrance looking down through the Indian quarters which were built along the walls of the mission. 

The next one north was Mission San Juan. This one looked a lot more finished with the white finish over the rock walls. The rocks used on this building were a lot larger. I didn't look at the dates for original construction and rebuilding. All of these were operated by the National Park Service so I did pick up stamps for each location.




The next one was Mission San Jose. The church doors were open. They had several museum displays showing what life was like in the 18th century. I particularly liked the wooden downspouts attached to the flat roofed buildings to direct water away from the walls. 


The inside of the Mission San Jose church. This location also had an open visitor center and had National Park Passport stamps for the four locations we visited today.



This is the granary which, I assume was for storing grain. It was an impressively large space with an intact roof. 



The last one we visited was Mission Concepción. The visitor center here was closed but the church was open. 


Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Lakehills, TX - TT

Monday - This morning was on the cooler side so I explored the trails around the cabin. It turns out that there are quite a few trails and not many signs. Kind of challenging to keep track of the trail. If you look carefully, you can see some deer, and there are a lot of deer around here. We see a lot around the cabin.

I plan to participate in both test sessions today as there aren't other plans. Bridget needed to pick up her laptop from the RV plus a few other things. She is getting ready for her trip back to Fairbanks next week. At that point, I will be moving to other locations. Trying to figure out what to do. Maybe a longish term AirB&B or possibly a road trip to visit my mom in Oregon. It sort of depends on what the shop finds.

Tuesday - Since the full release will probably be next month, I decided to try the public beta. I’m sitting in the campground activity center to use their WiFi since it’s a 5.2GB download. It’s taking about an hour and I’m the only one here. Quiet, air-conditioned, and reasonably fast Internet.

Later - I'm back in the cabin getting ready for the first test session. I'm also taking the opportunity to back up the entire iPhone locally to the Mac instead of the norm of backing up the most important data to iCloud. It would make it easier to restore if the bata is horrible. Though, if the internet reviews can be believed, it is stable with some nice features such as better power management. I've tried every other iOS beta over the years so why not this one.

Even Later - No drama or problems associated with the beta software. And there are some interesting features such as limited un-sending email and limited editing sent messages. And, a lot more customization of the interface as has been available with Android since day one.