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About fagnaml

  • Birthday September 4

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Katy, TX
  • Interests
    LSU football, golf, fishing, gardening, family outings with grown kids and grandkids, running, weight training, soccer officiating
  • I travel

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  1. Yay! Governor Abbott is allowing Texas bars and wine tasting rooms to open this Friday, May 22, which is perfect timing for our trip to Buckhorn Lake RV Resort in Kerrville, TX next weekend (May 28 - June 1). Will make reservations at our favorite and new wineries in the Hill Country to taste some great Texas wines! And we'll visit the Texas Hill Country Olive Ranch near Dripping Springs to re-stock our olive oil supply.
  2. My first vehicle came in 1980 as a junior in high school in Wyoming -- a 1956 Ford F100 truck in these colors. 1956 was the first time Ford moved from a column shift to a floor stick shift. My father (who owned several Sinclair service stations) and I "fixed up" the engine with new piston rings to stop the oil burning and added a four barrel carburetor to boost performance. I had the truck through my second year of college then acquired a 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass. Driving that truck on an icy I-80 which 30 mph wind and blowing snow was nerve wracking at best even with 200# of sand bags in the box above the rear axles. The Cutlass was a significant improvement for winter driving. Sold the truck for "peanuts" in today's dollars. Wish I had that truck now as they are difficult to find! >
  3. Taking Brett's guidance and getting back to the original topic, Texas will have most of it's economy released to re-open by this coming Monday, May 18 with gyms being allowed to re-open at 25% occupancy. The only business not re-opening yet is bars. With businesses re-opening and stay-at-home orders expiring across the state, the wife and I are headed to Buckhorn Lake RV Resort for a long weekend outing May 28 - June 1. When I called them to make a reservation last Thursday (May 7), the lady I talked to said their spots were nearly full for Memorial Day weekend and were quickly filling for the weekend of May 29. She said many RV owners are wanting to "break out of jail" like my wife and I are so ready to do. We hope the Hill Country Wineries open before our outing. This past Saturday evening the wife and I dined at Babin's Seafood House (part of the Landyr's Group) in Katy to celebrate Mother's Day. 75% of the tables were not available to use to comply with the max 25% of capacity occupancy limit. About 1/4 of the available tables were not being used. The restaurant was truly spotless inside. All of the safety protocols were in place (e.g. servers in masks and gloves, one use paper menus, hand sanitizer everywhere, etc.) The food and adult beverages were fantastic and the service was exceptional. My personal level of safety was much better inside Babin's than during a visit to Kroger's for groceries. Yesterday I got a hair cut for the first time in 2-1/2 months at the "Tune Up - The Manly Salon" in Katy. The Tune Up also had all safety protocols in place e.g. customers and stylists in face masks, one time use aprons for customers, lots of hand sanitizer and cleaning supplies, appointments only, etc.) The Tune Up cleanliness was on par with a hospital ! Until now I never knew how much joy that dining at restaurant and a hair cut could bring !!
  4. I work for a "big oil" company headquartered in Houston which has ~15,000 company employees and ~10,000 contract employees. Of the 25,000 total employees, ~80% are "operations critical" employees who have reported to work each day the last two months operating and maintaining all of the company's assets including refineries, pipelines, terminals, lube oil packaging facilities, etc. and continuing construction of capital projects. The other 20% that do not have operations roles (commercial trading, finance, legal, IT, etc.) who could work effectively remotely were directed to do so. With the high population of employees at their work locations each day there have been ZERO transmissions of the virus even though those employees had to frequent gasoline stations, pick up lunches or dinners, make grocery store runs for their families, etc. The only "normal" activity the 20,000 "operations critical" employees have not done is get a hair cut or dine in a restaurant. Non-operations employees started returning to the office last Monday, May 4, with ~20% returning that day, 25% returning this past Monday, May 18, and another 25% returning on Tuesday, May 26 with all non-operations employees back in the office by June 1. About 10% of employees who work on the commercial trade floor will continue working remotely as the trade floor desk arrangement cannot achieve the 6 feet minimum social distancing requirement. Across the entire company there have been only 17 confirmed cases of the virus (0.07%) with zero hospitalizations and zero deaths. This is despite the fact that a sizeable number of the operations critical employees live and work in the "hot spots" of the U.S. including New York City (and New Jersey next to NYC), New Orleans and Los Angeles. My company's data and success suggests that rigidly following social distancing, assuring exceptional personal and work place hygiene, always wearing face masks when social distancing can not be maintained, not reporting to work if sick for any reason, etc. that a safe, mostly normal life is achievable despite the virus. Thoughts from the forum?
  5. The "data and modeling" discussion has my engineering mind (chemical engineer by degree) with unanswered questions about the data presented on local and national news each day. For the state of Texas there have been a total of 39,600 confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date with the following breakdown: 1,100 deaths (2.8% of all cases) 21,700 recovered (54.8% of all cases) 17,100 "active" cases (43.2 % of all cases) 1,500 are currently hospitalized (8.8 % of "active cases") Additionally, 526,000 tests have been conducted to date meaning with 39,600 confirmed cases the "infection rate" is 7.5%. Here is the link to the Texas COVID-19 data --> https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/ed483ecd702b4298ab01e8b9cafc8b83 With 17,100 active cases but only 1,500 currently hospitalized, what has become of the remaining 15,600 active cases? Are they home? Are they wandering the county side? Why doesn't the media report on the non-hospitalized active cases. My guess is most of those cases are "mild" and reporting as such does not align with the "you're all going to die" narrative from the media. Based on Texas data, there is a 7.5 % chance of contracting the virus with no vaccine available and if contracted there is a 97%+ chance of not succumbing to the virus. For the current flu season, there was a 15% chance of contracting the flu with vaccines available! The death rate of folks infected with the flu was only 0.1% so the COVID-19 death rate is substantially higher --> https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm My engineering mind is confused. News media tells me if I don't stay-at-home I'll contract COVID-19 and die. Current data suggests my chance of contracting COVID-19 with no vaccine available is 50% less than the chance of contracting the flu with vaccines available. What's a person to do? I'm in the next wave of employees to return to work a week from now. With 97%+ odds of not contracting the virus combined with proper social distancing, sanitizing work areas, I like my odds of staying healthy. Am I missing something in my look at the data?
  6. Thanks for the responses! Consensus looks to be a 'tuner' can bring more problems than benefits. If I want a little more HP/torque/speed climbing big hills / bridges I'll just make the wife drive the Jeep. Thank would make her happy (??)
  7. I know this is an old thread and don't know if Keigm ever installed an after market tuning chip but thought I would just add to this thread. While COVID-19 cabin fever grows, I had a delirious moment wondering if I should try a Magnum EVO tuning chip for the 360 HP Cummins ISB 6.7 L in my 2016 Newmar Ventana LE -->https://www.magnumtuning.com/en/detail/evo-tech-heavy-duty-performance-chip . Since I can't take the MH any where enjoyable until the economy re-opens, my eldest son and I could install this "DIY" tuning chip one weekend soon. My Ventana LE has the six speed Allison 3000 MH transmission so no concern about an advertised 15% increase in HP and torque. One question I haven't seen posted / answered is would a tuning chip cause the engine cooling system to become overloaded? The Ventana LE has a rear radiator / charge air cooler. The forum's thoughts please about this Magnum brand tuning chip and thoughts about engine cooling system capability with a 15% (+/-) increase in HP and torque. Thanks!
  8. All articles are that author's point of view. I disagree with his statements about membership fees being a cause for a decline in membership. For me, the $75 annual FMCA membership is a great value given the benefits provided. The Hankook Tire Discount program and FMCA pricing for Progressive insurance reduced my costs for those items in recent months by many, many times the cost of the membership. When magazine subscriptions cost $25 (+/-) per year for the publications the wife and I receive (Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Southern Living, Louisiana Cookin, Magnolia, etc.) my "cost" of the FMCA membership really just $50 per year (i.e. I'd pay $25 per year for the FMCA magazine). That $50 is only $15'ish a year more than a Good Sam Club membership that does not have the benefits we FMCA members enjoy. The comradery enjoyed among FMCA members either on the forum or in person is truly "priceless" and well worth and annual membership fee. My view is all RV owners love to show-off and talk about their RVs, offer help and seek help. I for one need to do a better job of encouraging RV owners I know to do join FMCA to have a great resource and avenue to share / learn about joy of owning an RV. I am very blessed with an outstanding, well compensated career so for me personally, a $75 per year membership fee is far from a burden on my personal finances. I'd argue anyone owning a motorhome also has reasonably good finances as the cost to purchase and maintain an motorhome is quite steep. Hence I don't understand why the FMCA membership cost would be a big reason for losing members. Am I wrong?
  9. This is now week six of working from home using a card table as my desk in a guest bedroom during the COVID-19 lock down of the Houston area. It's also the longest time ever that an RV of any type that I've owned has sat unused -- five months and counting since the Texas A&M at LSU game on November 30, 2019 (what an enjoyable beat down of A&M that was)! Since then I've done the following to keep the MH somewhat alive: 30-40 minute drive during which I ran the generator underload with roof A/Cs in heating or cooling mode every 4-6 weeks Kept tires inflated to 125 psi Kept connected to 120 volt shore power at the storage facility Checked fluid levels Avoiding great depression not getting to enjoy the MH These are the things I haven't done but now am wondering if I should have done: Have not had wood or rubber "barriers" between tires and the 1" limestone gravel at the storage facility Have not exercised slide-outs nor any thing else on the "coach" side of the MH Left the residential type refrigerator "off" Only water in the black water tank is what remains of the gallon of fresh water put in the tank after the A&M game -- wondering if I need to add more fresh water to prevent any residual "solids" from drying-out? Haven't checked water level in conventional engine batteries. Coach batteries are sealed AGM type. Haven't avoided the great disappointment from not being able to enjoy the MH Maybe come June enough of the Texas economy will have safely re-opened and the wife and I can enjoy a long weekend outing to the Texas Hill Country. Until then, anything else I should be doing to keep the MH "healthy"? As a secondary thought, I never imagined that a noon time walk around my neighborhood (which includes a stop at the mailbox) would become the excitement of the day! Guess I now know why the dogs get so excited for a walk....
  10. fagnaml

    Insurance Quote

    FIVE -- A year ago when I upgraded from my 2007 Damon Astoria to my 2016 Newmar Ventana LE the insurance rate for my Progressive Direct (on-line) policy increase rather dramatically. As such, I had FMCA Insurance quote new insurance coverage which was also through Progressive that was 30% LOWER than my existing Progressive policy. I called Progressive and they said the insurance rate from a very large "broker" such as FMCA is often lower than the rate offered by Progressive Direct. I cancelled the Progressive Direct policy and purchased a new Progressive policy through FMCA. Who is your current insurance provider?
  11. I have Progressive insurance for my motorhome and would like a 'rebate' but can understand why Progressive is not giving rebates to RV owners. The average RV owner like me only drives / tows their RV about ~5,000 miles a year with 30-40 days of use per year. So for the average RV owner like me, their RV sits is storage 80-90% of the time. As such, the use of RVs, damage exposure level for RV owners and insurance company has not be affected (yet). If the coronavirus stay-at-home orders, business closures, etc. extend well into the summer, then RV usage will decline significantly at which point we RV owners could campaign for insurance rate reductions. In contrast, personal vehicle usage has declined very dramatically, Under stay-at-home orders, the daily use of my Jeep has gone to a couple of very short trips per week for the weekly grocery store outing or to pick up a Saturday night dinner at a local restaurant.
  12. Wayne -- The "coughy filter" photo is the much needed laugh I needed! I have plenty of "coughy filters" in the pantry.
  13. This is a question for forum members in the Greater Houston area (and even for Dallas - Fort Worth area). My motorhome is over-due for its monthly 30 minute drive while it sits in storage. Are there any concerns of "looks" from law enforcement and others if I take my motorhome for a "ride" this coming weekend?
  14. Roland -- I'm surprised at the closure of the Alsatian Golf Course. In the Katy, TX area, all golf courses, public and private, are open. For golfers who want to "ride" the course, only one person per cart is allowed to assure social distancing. Golfers on Falcon Point Country Club (my home is on the 11th fair way) are practicing good social distancing on tee boxes, greens, etc.
  15. The team of 50 project development and project services engineers I lead are all getting significant cases of cabin fever along with anxiety and some loneliness. Most of the team members are millennials and Gen-X and a few baby boomers. At 5:00 p.m. this evening we're trying a first ever "virtual happy hour" using the Webex service my company has to help the team relax and enjoy some fellowship. Everyone will have their favorite adult beverage and we'll have a "slide show" of photos of team member's temporary offices, home work companions, etc. to liven-up the happy hour (some really funny stuff like cats laying on laptops and young kids sitting in a parent's lap helping with work). I'll let the forum know the success of a virtual happy hour.
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