Thursday, June 16, 2022

Busy Bees got nothin' on me!

As you are viewing this, Dear Reader, Mrs. J and I are enroute to College Station.  Seems our good Friends at Buc-Ees in Bastrop are feeling neglected and requested a visit.  Whomever chose that location is a frickin' Genius.  Depending which way you're headed, you have just left or are about to enter the worst hour of your driving life.  Construction has been going on in the Austin metroplex continuously since the Romans put in the first road there in 00AD.  Couple that with the explosive growth in the region from people leaving other states for Texas.  

Highway from Hell is highlighted in red. Runs from west of Dripping Springs to the East side of Bastrop.

Remember folks, we want refugees only, not missionaries.  There's a reason you left.

But in any case, lanes come and go without any apparent reason.  Very few people move left as they approach an on ramp.  The On Ramp is too short to get up to highway speed in any case and there appear to be only three speeds on the highway.  15 above posted, 15 below posted and dead stopped, with no apparent rhyme or reason.

So Buc-ees?  It's either a place to get out of the car, use the bathroom and allow your hands to stop shaking,  (E.G. you're East bound and Highway hell is behind you) or it's a place to have some coffee to speed up your reactions and say a Prayer (E.G. West bound and the "fun" is about to begin).    

As I said, Buc-ee's location?...Genius.

But, we're headed to CStat for three reasons.  In order from least important to first.  

1) I need to deliver the much needed bookshelves.  I queried MBD on her and SIL's carpentry skills, she asked what was carpentry.  So...Dad to the Rescue. (Should I show up in tights with a towel hanging from my neck? )

2) We need to return their pups.  SIL was up in Dallas taking one of his last Divinity courses (crammed into one week) so needed somebody to keep them.  While both are generally good dogs, one is as mellow and sweet as she can be. Unfortunately,  the other Dog likes to assassinate squirrels.  

Squirrel Killer.  Looks are deceiving

We were not sure that her target recognition was good enough to distinguish between a squirrel (if she had a canopy, there would be multiple squirrel silhouettes on it) and our cats.  Solution?  The cats have been closed up in our bedroom for a week.  (Yes, Beans, their cat boxes are in there as are their dinner dishes.) But they are starting to get restive. 

Even makes the bed when she's done napping.

3) We need to check on MG.  It's been a couple of weeks since last seen.  She could be ready for college by now.  And her Mom and Dad are pretty cool also, so we like to visit them as well.  

Because of all the above, we're en-route as you read this.  Replies to comments may be delayed.

We're returning Thursday early as our Wine Maker Friends will have a booth at the 'Burg Farmer's Market, serving/selling wine.  We usually go to help (and demonstrate to the crowds how to drink it).  Also, Mrs. J is putting together a Wine Maker River Cruise for next year highlighting them and their wines.  It will be on the Danube with AMA Waterways. Their reviews are very (very, very) good and the wine makers are excited about it.  We just need to work out details.

More good news this week.  The AC guys came yesterday and installed the air conditioner for my workshop, so the move can commence when I get back. (And get on the mover's schedule.) 


Really looking forward to being able to work in the shop (with enough room to work).  Mrs. J is also.  She really wants to park our vehicles in the garage for some reason.  In any case, progress is being made.

Peace out, Y'all


38 comments:

  1. I had no idea the Romans were in Texas in 173. That is amazing. I would rather travel at 0200 than try and navigate when the yobs are on it. I can't even imagine how ugly that is now. I hated the Y in 2004... Jake's Parkway was a Godsend when they finally opened it up.... as long as I wasn't paying for it. No East West Pickle yet.

    Safe travels, visits, construction and return.

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    Replies
    1. STxAR,
      While Sarge's writing is strictly factual in all aspects, he does allow me a very small amount of fictional leeway. Unfortunately, I have used up this years allotted amount.
      Hating the Y? You are late to the fight. I hated it when we moved back in '98. And I'm pretty sure I disliked what ever was there when I came through Austin in College.
      Haven't tried 0200, but surprisingly traversing it yesterday (yes I know I implied today, but Tuna and I had to rearrange postings to make things work) at about 0945. I think I only used a dozen or so expletive deleteds. My usual rate is several a mile.

      Delete
  2. It is my theory there would be less problems in this world if there was only more Buc-ees ! Whenever I am driving and upset with traffic/kids/the world....a few minutes at Buc-ees leads to calm and happiness ( and fudge, most definitely fudge).

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    Replies
    1. JG,
      You're absolutely right, Sir. (About Buc-ee's and Fudge)

      Delete
    2. Learned about Buc-ee's on the Commie Broadcasting Service: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbV4XWpfMyE

      Delete
    3. Tuna,
      Do they have them in your neck of the woods? Good place to stop and chill.

      Delete
    4. No, it's probably just a red state thing.

      Delete
    5. Gotta chuckle. Didn't have my glasses on when I read your response. My brain interpreted "State" as "Neck". And to a certain level, it wasn't wrong, and that's OK.

      Delete
  3. I've never driven in Austin, but I have been a passenger in the madness. It makes Houston traffic look tame, and fortifies my belief it's better to drive around the city, instead of driving through it.

    Buc-ee's is an oasis for travelers. The restrooms are never dirty, the coffee is better than many expect, and the Buc-ee's brand of various foods is many times better than any national brand. The amount of gasoline they sell each day must be the result of multiple tanker deliveries.

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    Replies
    1. Jess,
      Unfortunately, I've never figured out a way around Austin as I drive from the 'Burg to College Station. The Colorado River is a big obstacle. If you know of a "Secret" route, I'd love to hear about it/explore it
      We were there today there were two tankers there refueling the tanks. So, yes, I think they're fairly financially sound.
      Thanks

      Delete
  4. Juvat, from long years of commuting to Highland Games over long distances, one of the time honored rules is "if it is not our side of the freeway exit, we do not stop." This has lead to anger at various food chains over the years in their placement of their locations.

    We are familiar with the squirrel assassin. Poppy The Brave will happily chase them down. We have taken to rattling the doorknob as an "red alert" signal to all before the door is opened.

    Yay air conditioning! Is this a wall mount unit only? We had a devil of a time with some of those at my current place of employment.

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    Replies
    1. THBB,
      Yep, if it isn't easy off, easy on, I don't bother. There was quite a bit of traffic in the area today as we were RTB'ing. I was starting to grouse a bit waiting to make a left turn out of the parking lot. Although committed now to my exit strategy, Mrs. J asked me why I hadn't taken the road behind Buc-ees. I asked her, "Why would I do that?" Her response, because it opens up right to the on ramp and you don't have to deal with any lights." Fortunately, I managed to stifle the "You're telling me this now?" incredulous response before it became audible.
      Air Conditioning. I'm not sure about terminology, it is a mini-split, so the Air comes out from the object in the photo and there is a box on the outside.When I went out to check on the job when they completed, well, it was 73 inside and 102 outside and the outside temp had been that +/- a couple for a week. I have high hopes.

      Delete
    2. Yes, Mini-Split is what I was think of Juvat. Sounds like it is working well, which is great.

      During my last long drive between Old Home and New Home, I ended up with a 15 minute detour off the highway to find a Chick-Fil-A, which then was completely backed up. Even though I know better, I am still foolish sometimes.

      Delete
    3. THBB, Little and infrequent rewards are definitely approved. A key indicator that you're overdoing it is when the staff greets you followed by a below to the kitchen staff "One juvat special, Stat@"

      Not that that's ever been the case with me. My case and I'm sticking to it!

      Delete
  5. It looks like 3.5" of insulation in those walls. Enjoy!

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    1. Rob,
      Zackly and a bit more on the roof as the rafters are 2x6. I have high hopes.

      Delete
  6. You ARE busy. Far more than me.

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    1. It has been an interesting few weeks. And as is obvious from the opening paragraph, my CBW count is WAAAY Off.! Hope you're having fun and have lots of stories to tell.

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  7. It’s been decades since I last drove in Austin. The only fond memory I have of it is US hwy 183. Drive north on it for +4 or 500 miles and you’re in the hometown of < 3000 people where I grew up and my parents are buried.

    I’m now a deplorable in Colorado where the peoples republic of Boulder lies. I’m understanding Austin has a similar title prefix as that, given by the deplorables living in Texas.

    Franknbean

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    Replies
    1. FnB,
      You're right about the latter paragraph. The Tesla (not that there's anything wrong with that) count has gone WAY up and a lot of white license plates with red cursive state name written on the top. driving around. We've run into a few staying in our guest cabins. Most of them fit into the refugee category, and it doesn't take more than a few minutes to identify the ones who don't.
      Conversations with that group generally start with something similar to "When we lived in XXX, we did that this way, why don't you guys? The little voice in my brain screams "Because we saw how badly you folks screwed things up!" while my vocal brain says "Well Bless your heart!

      Delete
    2. Sometimes a little honesty is a good thing, it might be the time to say "Because we saw how badly you folks screwed things up!" out loud.

      Delete
    3. Rob, Well, yes, But, "Well, bless your heart" is Southeren for "Because we say how badly you folks screwed thing up.". When they start to realize that...They're becoming one of us. And welcomed. Until they do, well.....KMAGYOYO!

      Delete
  8. We are blessed with one of two "Buck-ees" in FL. I go there to top off the tank whenever I'm in that part of Daytona. It is generally a zoo, but you just need to know how to work the system. There is usually no waiting for a gas pump (over at Sams, they're waiting twenty minutes to get to a pump to save $0.03). What's their time worth? sez me.
    My daughter and the two youngest grands just left yesterday. 7:38 AM (that's 0738). Orlando. I rented her a one-way drive car from Budget for $50 and wished her well that morning at 0400. Sometimes you get good deals one-way back to MCO. They gave us a Dodge Charger. ZOOM! Anyway, they, and many other guests, etc. from FL and environs came through for various nights and days. Miss Jeanie and I are frankly happy to get back to our lives. She slept 12 hours and fifteen minutes last night!
    I'm glad the workshop is coming into shape. Can't wait to see the miracle of modern "lathing" that will surely come out of there.
    Check six, they're REALLY out there now!

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    1. Lt Fuzz,
      I'm not sure Miracle is an apt term for what I turn (play on words there) out, but it is fun and I'm looking forward to it.

      Yes, Yes they are!

      Thanks again for the pointer on the picture scanning program. Scanning multiple pictures at once and having them saved as separate files is brilliance, and saves a bunch of time.

      Delete
  9. Having been in Wichita Falls for three weeks in '66 for OBMTM around this time of year, I swore I would never, ever step foot in the Great State ever again were it in my control. I have respect for and say "G-d bless" to all of you who abide and romp fom Fort Bliss to Beaumont and from Stratford to the lonely outposts of the guys patrolling on the aits of the Rio Grande. But me, I'd much sooner spend 12 months per at McMurdo.

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    1. Boron,
      I know what you mean, and it has been quite a bit hotter faster this year than any I remember. But McMurdo? Korea was tough enough on this Texas Boy, and winter in Korea is summer in McMurdo. (From what I hear)

      Delete
    2. Crusty Old TV Tech here. Could be worse Boron. Could have been Lackland in July/August 79. Had to do PT at 0500 in the dark or cadets would be stroking out (and still did). Sent a bunch of collitch boys from up north to the FTD at Lackland that year. They had a real time acclimating. Good thing the Stinky Falls in New Braunfels were available, as was a cadet with a pickup truck to carry us! Took some of the edge off the weeks of San Antone heat. Even those of us from south of I-20 had to get used to the open bay barracks and relentless sun on the march.

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    3. OTVT, Been down here for quite a while, There are days....

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  10. Buc-Ees are good. Though last year we got a bit of a shock when we stopped at a small one southwest of Houston in some small town we were going through on our way to Galveston (Google maps route around for traffice). It was not much more than a glorified, larger Stripes/7-11/CircleK/etc. as we had only been to the big Interstate-side Buc-Ees.

    The shop is looking good. I am envious of the insulation and air-conditioning. My 30'x30' shop is uninsulated and the cooling is four or five open windows and the large roll up door. This winter will be interesting.

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    1. BillB,
      It was a tad pricey, but Mrs. J assented to the purchase. Think I'm headed to Lowes tomorrow and pick up some plywood sheeting. Then I'll hire some help to move table saw, work benches and some other heavy stuff from the old shop. Then the fun will begin.

      Delete
  11. Crusty Old TV Tech here. Austin traffic, ugh. I have had the fortune, mis or otherwise, of driving in lots of Europe (including Greece), Central America, and most of the USA. Have driven in Houston for decades now, and of all the places I have driven, Austin is #1 in the torment parade. D/FW is #2. 183 at the Mopac in Austin, and any stretch of I-35E north of Dallas get my votes for "worse than Athens Greece traffic". They even make the Gulf Freeway at the Loop look good!

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    1. OTVT, Haven't had the pleasure of driving in the DFW area lately (20+ years) thankfully. Hate Houston driving, but IMHO Austin is the worst in Texas and almost certainly in the top 10 worst in the US. Any place that seeks to unseat that position, I'm going to avoid, just on principle. Came through at 2:30 this afternoon., wasn't quite as bad. Only slammed on the brakes ~5 times. Had 1 Ford Mustang weaving through 4 lanes of traffic at probably 90. Fully expected to see 4 lanes of brake lights coming on in unison at any point. Fortunately....

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  12. Heading North from Philly means going around New York, and going South means trying to get around Baltimore and DC. There are no good ways around either area, so we make quite the bypass and enjoy quality time in the car.

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    1. JiP,
      Might have to use Google Maps and a few mid points to see what the lost time really is. What's an extra hour vs. eternity (whether from an accident or a heart attack)? Could be a worthwhile exercise.

      Delete
    2. I haven't calculated the actual lost time spent in traffic. I'm thinking that the time is magnified by the stress and irritation.
      I agree totally with what you said about spending a bit more time on a longer route to avoid cashing in my chips ahead of schedule.

      I forgot to mention that our addition is cooled by a split unit and it has been problem free for more than 15 years.
      You might have to consider some sort of prefilter for the AC filters due to dust.

      Delete
    3. JiP,
      Most definitely some pre'filter AND clean the filters pretty much daily. Lots of dust in the woodshed. Who knew?

      Delete
    4. One of the great bugbears of driving anywhere towards Southern California from all points North and East is having to pass through the traffic morass that is the Los Angles Basin. Sadly, there are not many easy ways around it - if you headed East, you can skirt the worst but even that can be a 2-3 hour adventure. If you are heading due South - abandon all hope. It is all traffic, all the time.

      Delete
    5. THBB,
      I'll take your word for it as a more recent participant. The last time I drove in LA was probably at least 20 years ago. Hated it then (had to pay a damage fee to Hertz for the squeeze marks on the steering wheel), can't imagine how much worse it might be now.

      Delete

Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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