Wednesday, May 3, 2017

RV Brakes, another Cracker Barrel, more storms

DJ's Auto Repair
Today is was another visit to DJ’s Auto Repair in North Little Rock.  Last October while traveling from Kansas City to Little Rock, we had a leak in our brake line.  DJ’s got us in, fixed the leak, did a rear break job, and did it for what we felt was a reasonable price.  This place is BUSY, so they must be something right.  The staff are all just as friendly as can be, and it because of their owner, Don (DJ) and David (hiding behind the counter, right side).  Even harder to see is Ebony, left side also behind her computer.  Interesting thing…she was born and raised in Sacramento area.  In fact, back in late ‘70’s I lived in a duplex which was 1/2 a block away from a unit she would live in years later.   Her parents were from Arkansas, and after dad retired, she said they decided to move back.  One can understand why financially…sell your house in California for 1/4 million to 1/2 million, and that will buy you a mansion in Arkansas.  And taxes…much less expensive to live in Arkansas.  Taxes are less, gas is less (just paid $2.10 in Russellville a few days ago), and food prices are less…but some things are more expensive…but not much.  Anyway, Ebony is a great addition to DJ’s.  But as with other automotive places, getting and keeping good techs is hard.  Don’t know why the youth of today cannot see how much $$$$ they can make having a career fixing cars, trucks, etc.  LOTS of money to be had for a good tech with experience.

DJ's Auto Repair 

Here is a picture from our last visit…did not get the camera out of the RV this time, and it was raining when we left (here is our post from last visit).  They own another building behind this one, so they have around seven or eight repair bays, of which at least six were going today.  This visit they replaced the rotors, put on heavy-duty breaks, new wheel bearings, checked the ball joints more closely and decided they were fine after all, and checked the rear driver breaks because they smoked on me just a bit in the Smoky Mountains.  All was fine, and the best guess is that a wasp had made a nest near the brakes which burned when the brakes were used going down a 7% slope.  All of this and they finished in 3 1/2 hours (2.5 hours labor), parts from Napa, and the final bill of  under $700.  I looked up the parts online afterwards, and they charged about 5% more than had I bought directly from Napa.  So again, we are very happy with DJ’s, a GREAT place to have some work done.  And YES, I can really tell the difference with having new front brakes to go along with the brakes we got back in October.)

Cracker Barrel, North Little Rock

Living in Pine Bluff, 40 miles south of Little Rock, I had eaten at this Cracker Barrel a number of times.  My Children’s Librarian wanted a rocking chair that she could sit in while reading to the kids during Storytime…went to this Cracker Barrel to get it for her.  They still sell rocking chairs…but for about $40-$50 more than I paid for Miss Ann’s rocking chair.  Never thought I would one day sleep in their parking lot, but that is exactly what we did last night after eating dinner inside and talking to the manager.  He said, “Of course you can”, almost as if we did not need to ask…but we ask every time.    It is conveniently just 4 miles from DJ’s, and they wanted us there between 7:30-8:00.  We arrived at 7:15, I unhooked the car, and went in at 7:30 to let him know we had arrived (as if they could not see it out their front window).  Exactly 8 am, they shop floor manager came out and we exited the RV for the HHR and drove away.  Breakfast was on our mind, and we went to a nice little place which is well known for its catering…Two Sisters Café,  just a few miles from DJ’s.  We were the only customers inside, although there were a number who drove through the drive-up window.  We had bacon, sausage, cheese omelets, which were delicious.  The hard thing was passing up ALL the goodies they sell…all sorts of sweets and goodies which are not on our diet.

By noon we were headed out to Maumelle Park, a COE park where, with the senior park pass, is only $13 a night for electric and water, and no need for reservations this time of year.  By noon the new storm front had come upon us too, so I was soaking wet after hooking up the HHR and driving to the park, unhooking, parking and setting up.  But the storm kept coming and coming, and at 5:30 I called my good friend from the Library and we moved our dinner to Thursday night instead of Wednesday night.  Glad I did because I went to the store to get tonight’s dinner, and there were branches down throughout the park.  While at the store, my phone went off announcing a flood warning in the area.  By tomorrow it will all be gone, I’ll see my doctor, the four of us will have dinner, and on Friday we will be headed west.


  1. That weather just scares me!! Be safe!!

    1. We will be out of it by Friday night, and today's weather is just rain...but the water level is high throughout the state, which is typical of April and early May sometimes.


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