Tom Flanders Stuff


Tom Week – Paris

Paris Texas

5/29/20 – Paris

For her birthday I took Pat to Paris to see the Eiffel tower. Yes, it was Paris Texas. Yes, it is only one tenth the size of the one in France. But does the once in France have a huge red cowboy hat on top? I think not!

We are parked for two days in a crowded park in the middle of a nowhere Texas highway. I love it. There are cows.

5/30/20 – Longhorns

I should have realized that while in Texas, one does not just have cows next door. One has longhorns. A nightmare for sufferers of taurophobia.

I took a ride today and explored the downtowns of Savoy and Bells Texas. That didn’t take too long.

5/31/20 – North Texas

Every state has their own “only in _____” things. North Texas is that kind of place. Knife outlet stores, high caliber shooting ranges, deer processing shops. Those, I expected. The fireworks shop that also sells propane? That I did not expect.

We’re now on the “prairie” part of Texas, on our way north to try to escape next week’s heat. It’s supposed to hit 100 here on Wednesday. Yuck.

6/1/20 – The Burkburnett Experience

The only thing between us and Oklahoma is the Welcome To Texas sign. Tomorrow we go to Oklahoma. The day after we cross back into a different part of Texas. You can’t get there from here.

Took what I thought was a long bike ride today, but it turned out to be only nine miles. I blame the rough shoulders and humidity for my miscalculation of effort. Though I did manage to get a picture of some cows standing in water, so it was all worth it.

6/2/20 – Oklahoma Land

A lot like Texas, but with more casinos. The park we’re at has buffaloes. (Is that spelling right? The spell-checker says so. Looks weird to me.) Today only hit 90. Thanks to a stiff breeze it was tolerable.

We’re in an area with very low COVID-19 infections. Very few people wearing masks though.

6/3/20 – Across Texas

Started the day on Oklahoma. Drove through Texas. Now we are in Tucumcari New Mexico. It was a long day on the road, but not as bad as expected. We are now in Mountain time so the TV is all kinds of mixed up.


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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: June 3, 2020

Tom Week – The Other Moro Bay

moro bay

5/21/20 – Moro Bay

Not to confused with Morro Bay. The “bay” here is actually just a bend in a narrow, but overflowing, lake. We are dry on top of a hill and no rain is expected, so we’re safe for tonight. Judging from all the cabins on stilts, flooding is a problem here.

I’m told by the clerk at McDonalds that white people around here usually drink Dr. Pepper. She was surprised when I ordered a coke.

My trip to WalMart was educational. I’ve developed a new 80/20 rule when analyzing the conflict between COVID-19 and white privilege. 80% of the African American shoppers were wearing masks, where only 20% of the white shoppers wore them. Disturbing.

Also; A spirit that travels with us sometimes pointed out to Pat what looked like a white ring on the ground outside her window. The spirit insisted that it was valuable and should be retrieved. I went out to find it while Pat leaned out the window to direct me. Turned out to be a bone. Did I mention that the spirit loves practical jokes?

5/22/20 – Texarkana

Is it Texas? Is it Arkansas? Are we 20 miles from Louisiana? Yes. There are actually two towns named Texarkana. One is in Arkansas, the other is in Texas. Stateline Ave splits the two. The northbound lanes are in AR. The southbound in TX. Our poor GPS talking lady was getting all confused.

It is hot and humid hear. They have a swimming pool, but I’m too paranoid to try it. The further west we go, the fewer masks we see.

We are in Dr. Pepper land for sure. The McDonalds cup lids even have a Dr. Pepper bump to press is. There is no bump for coke.

The bike shop in town did not have the tires I was looking for, but did have a reasonable substitute. I will put them on tomorrow and hopefully the projected storms will miss us.

5/23/20 – Gator Skins

Put the new tires on the bike and went for a ride. Found a wonderful bike-trailed park just a couple of miles away.

Not nearly as hot as yesterday.

5/24/20 – Frisbee Golf

Or should I say, Disc Golf? There is a course in the park I’m riding my bike in. There were a few people playing yesterday. A whole bunch were playing today. So many in fact that their “discs” were hitting people on the path.

I was heading downhill, a woman was coming up the hill. She got hit by a flying disc. She picked it up and bent it in two. (She was not a delicate flower.) They guy who threw it did not apologize, nor did he complain about his destroyed disc.

Then she pointed something out to me that I hadn’t noticed. The guy wasn’t just carrying his discs. Or even carrying them in a bag like most of the others. He had a CART to carry his Frisbees in. As the woman said, “Privileged white boys!”

5/25/20 – And the Rains Came

The rain that has been threatening to come for the last few days finally arrived late this afternoon. Still managed to get a bike ride in though.

It’s weird seeing all the news footage about crowded vacation spots. There is almost nobody here. The news keeps reporting on the empty airport. I guess Texarkana isn’t the holiday hot spot I imagined.

5/26/20 – Weird Hole in Texas

Totally by accident we found a city in Texas where the virus’s has been relatively weak. Not by accident. Nearly all the people at WalMart were masked and standing apart. The first WalMart where I’ve seen that.

5/27/20 – Game Night

Got to play online games with the family tonight. I won two out of three games. I rock! OK, the topics of the games I won are right up my alley.


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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: May 27, 2020

Tom Week – Moving On

moving on, big yellow truck

5/15/20 – Moving On

We made reservations today for our next stop. Two days in Starkville. Back on the road. Finally.

5/15/20 – Claustrophobia

For so long there were so few people that now that the park is full I’m feeling claustrophobic.

5/17/20 – No Tires

My new bike tires were supposed to be delivered today. The tracking app says they were delivered. They weren’t delivered.

5/18/20 – Moved On

I must now admit that I was very worried about the concept of getting back out in the world. Those fears are gone. We are in a wonderfully unfull park with a muddy lake and many of what I’m assuring Pat are not bats.

In the local grocery store nearly everyone was masked and stayed away from each other. WalMart was as bad as ever.

It was nice driving again and seeing new sites, but after an hour my right leg and elbow were hurting.

5/19/20 – The Low Lake

Yesterday, when we arrived, the lake was way low. Today it is lower. The birds are having a field day picking somethings out of the mud. The “night birds,” as we have decided to call them, are swooping up the sunset bugs.

Several spaces away are several motorcyclists. Not in tents though. They are actually pulling tear-drop trailers with their motorcycles. Get a car dude!

5/20/20 – Not The Same Park

We got lost today and wound up going to the wrong park. What we wanted was Chicot State Park. Where we nearly wound up was Chicot County Park. The park-naming people in Arkansas have no imagination.

Oh yeah, we’re in Arkansas now, though just barely. We’re about two miles from the Mississippi River.


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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: May 20, 2020

Tom Week – Squirrels and Errands

errands and squirrels

5/7/20 – Running Errands

According to spellcheck, it’s errands, not errants. Rode my bike to the post office, Walgreens and WalMart. Such a sense of accomplishment.

5/8/20 – Rainy Day

Finished my animation class today. Looking for a new, more advanced one. I still haven’t finished everything I want to do with the first program, but I’m going to have to learn a production-grade program eventually. So why wait.

The baby geese are getting huge.

5/9/20 – Writing Day

I spent most of the day working on the script and storyboard for my next animation. It’s the most complicated thing I’ve done so far. It’s hard work, but I’m loving it.

The park goes further downhill. The more people that arrive, the less attractive this park becomes.

5/10/20 – Sonic Mother’s Day

Picked up our favorite junk food within riding range for Mother’s Day supper. Pat loves Sonic’s tater tots. We are a family of simple tastes.

While in line I got stared at by the family in front of me. I was wearing a mask. They weren’t. Finally Dad says to me, “You don’t have to wear that mask anymore.” I said, “I’m going to wear it till people stop dying.” He then informed me that nobody has died of coronavirus in Mississippi. The woman behind the counter laughed out loud and read him the latest numbers off her smart phone. He did not believe either of us.

5/11/20 – Monday is Shopping Day

Another week, another trip to Kroger. They had bleach today! We don’t need bleach, but it’s good to see that they have it.

Thanks for the quarters Ann and Jenn.

I spent 4 hours today working on 1 minute of animation. It was worth it. Though that was just scene 1 of 6. Hard work and I’m loving it. This is what I was made to do.

5/12/20 – Flat Tire

The tires I use on my bike are almost indestructible, almost. As they age and wear the sidewalls get softer and can suffer cuts from thin sharp objects. That happened today. Of course, the tire has nearly two thousand miles on it, which is pretty good.

Of course, I had a spare tube, and some duct tape to block the tear from the inside. Got me home but it can’t be trusted. Ah well.

5/13/20 – Laundry Day

It’s been a while. Nice to have clean clothes again.


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Tags: , | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: May 13, 2020

Tom Week – May Day and Beyond

may day on the bike trail

5/1/20 – May Day

Managed to avoid all the May Day protests today.

My blood sugar is being weird. It’s consistently normal. That’s weird for me.

Tons of new people have moved into the park.

5/2/20 – The Quarter Quest

We need quarters for the laundry here at the campground. Problem 1, all I have is a $100 bill. The banks won’t give me change because I don’t have an account.

So I tried to find a no-fee ATM. There were allegedly several in the area. Unfortunately, the ones in the grocery stores are all gone cause the company wasn’t cleaning them. The rest in were in little restaurants that are closed.

So I went to a bank ATM and payed the $3.50 fee. Then I went to two different laundromats looking for a change machine. No luck. Both had a person making change and wouldn’t give me quarters because I wasn’t a customer.

So much for southern hospitality.

5/3/20 – No Water

Oh, the humanity! The grocery store had no water this afternoon. They say they won’t have any till tomorrow.

5/4/20 – Star Wars Day

May the 4th be with you. Just watched episode 9 on Disney+. It’s funny how the things most people complain about are the things I like best.

5/5/20 – Cinco de Mayo

And Taco Tuesday. Mississippi is opening up and the deaths are climbing. Wee!

5/6/20 – The next last night

Once upon a time this was going to be our last night in this campground. Due to everything, we’ll be here at least another week and a half. There are worse places to be stuck.


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Tags: | Comments (0) | Author: Tom | Published: May 6, 2020


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