Slow Burn

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I got the iPad today, and in the process of trying to transfer over the contents of the old iPad, the new iPad went unresponsive with the white apple logo on black. *Sigh* Letting the battery run dead in hopes that will bring me back to normal. This will take quite a few hours.

The iPad holder doesn’t fit the new iPad. I’ll have to order another one. Derrr…

Otherwise, not much going on today.


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The truck passed inspection today, as I expected. I also got it registered and sticker in hand. That is behind me for a year now.

Picked up the Apple Pencil today, though it doesn’t work with anything yet and needs a charge, which requires the iPad charger. (Expecting that tomorrow afternoon.) I also got a bluetooth keyboard for the iPad. If I had known that it would work with current iPad and the laptops, I would have grabbed it long before. I like it because it’s very portable and gives the iPad an easy way to type offscreen, with arrows to direct the text cursor.

Bluebonnets are popping up all over. It’s still early, but they are looking good. It will be a good year for wildflowers. 75°F and sunny as the day moves toward its close.

Got all my chores done for the week (knock on wood). Well, a small load of laundry is waiting to be done. I can sit back and relax through the weekend.


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Recovering from cleaning up Sarah’s email accounts. She used IMAP, and nothing was deleted from the server for over two years. I was inundated with all sorts of spam that I never get because of my 140+ email filters. Well, actually, it was one of those dumb hacked/bitcoin blackmail things that sent me there in the first place to change the name on my website contact email.

So, inspection on the truck is delayed a few days. That’s okay, I still have over a week.

Ordered a new iPad 128G today. Saw one at BestBuy a couple of weeks ago, $100 off. Well, that sale ended, as I feared it would. I scoured the web and found the same sale at Walmart. Not in stock at the local store, but 2 day delivery. Also got the Apple Pencil (1), which is the main reason for the upgrade. It’s a standard 9.7 inch, so it will fit the mike stand holder, same as my Gen3. I’ll have no problem with putting the music book on it, and there will be a lot more storage. YEAH!

I put off buying the office chair until April. I need a payday, considering 6 mo. truck insurance and registration. Not that I couldn’t afford it, but I don’t want to drain the bank too much.

Temp in the mid 70s. House is open and Myka’s ear muscles are working overtime. Ahhhh.


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The birds have really picked up in the last couple of weeks. One thing I have noticed is how the seed eaters are gorging on the cherry laurel berries. While the high levels of cyanide in the cherry laurel can prove fatal to most animals if ingested, the birds have no problem feasting on them, and their digestive tracts help create a vast number of volunteers. And it gives my truck incentive for a much needed trip to the car wash.

The owls have been hooting up a storm at night. I hear the great horned cranking it up several times a night.

Woodpeckers have been fussing outside the window, sounding almost like fussing squirrels.

And the cooing of doves is in full swing. They are truly comic in the way they take in a lung full of air and then cut loose.

It’s spring. The birds are back and making their presence well known.


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I decided to give Turbosquid a turn to see what I hadn’t downloaded. Out of over 3000 free items, I grabbed four that I felt were exceptional. This was one of them.


Not only is it a decent human model, it also presents a number of challenges, such as retopo (the original is triangle based). I had to reduce scale by 100 (1%) and turn X rotation to -90°, then zero everything, to make it work properly in modo. It’s a good model for practicing texturing as well.

I also got a Star Wars battle droid, an ant, and a bunny eater. All were exceptional. In times past, I may have grabbed around 150-200 items out of the 3000 for the library. But I have it pretty much covered with what I’ve amassed.

Made the split pea soup, finally. Took a while before I could find the energy.

Hubba hubba hubba hubba hubba

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Went to Music School on Wednesday Had a good time. My voice didn’t hold up well after the three month sabbatical. But it was still fun.

Finally got the digital on my phone turned off. AT&T refunded the 1¢ charges for all 175 times it happened since I got the phone in 2012, after Gracie chewed up the previous one. They also gave me $2.50 for aggravation. I can leave my phone on again. *sigh*

Got some of the new Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla with Strawberries ice cream. I doubt if it’s as good as my HMV/strawberry sundaes, but I’ll give it a try. It’s available year round.

Sunshine and 50s today. It will be on the cool side for the next week, 60s/40s. But I should have no problem getting the truck inspected. I’ve got everything else out of the way for the month.


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Been looking at office chairs, tall person, heavy duty, intense usage, long life office chairs. I’ve had experience with office chairs that were designed for two hours a day with someone who weighs 110 lb. Bleeech. I’m looking for one that will last and last. I found one on Amazon that is rated at 500 lb, 12 hours a day, 10 year warranty, for under $300. Right now, it is leading the pack.

I’m also contemplating an iPad upgrade with an Apple Pencil. Best buy has a 9.7 w/ 128G of memory for $329. Both would be under $460 w/ tax. I know, it’s not saving for a new laptop, but I don’t want the 3rd generation I have to fail on me and leave me with no music book. And the pencil is a good pressure sensitive tool, making the pad almost equal to a Wacom. (Software…)

I’m waiting to hear about a prescription refill. I have one dose left, today’s. I will call when the pharmacy opens. I’m still leaving my phone off, but there are no records of attempted calls or voice mail from the pharmacy.

Yesterday stayed in the 60s. Not cold, but sleeves nonetheless.

Music School tomorrow.

The fries were yummy and plentiful, three medium spuds worth, max for the frier. But they turned out very much to my satisfaction. And they are all gone.

Got into the upper 70s today, and Myka just got to chase first gecko with just the screen between them. And then a repeat. It gets her pumped.

Blast from the Past

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I started wondering if I could remember the names of friends when I was in elementary school. There have been a number of discussions of memory recently, and it seemed like a good test of long term memory. (Short term memory is the first to fade, but long term is an issue as well.) To my surprise, I remembered all the names, including how to spell them.

A couple of those names sparked idle curiosity, so I did a little investigation on the net and came across a web page for my high school graduation class at Waltrip in Houston. Talk about nostalgia overload. The 50th reunion is coming up in October. Suddenly, I feel quite old. (Nah, not really.)

The local HEB finally got customer check out. A little puzzling at first, but a quick learn and a nice addition. My only complaint is that it didn’t accept one of the in-store coupons.

Been having a string of days wth high temps in the 80s. Next few days will see 70s, and then another cool front by week’s end. Glad I didn’t wash the alpaca just yet.

Tiny engines

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Ah, spring. The sound of weed eaters, lawn mowers, saws, leaf blowers, and other tiny engines, competing with the sound of larger engines propelling traffic. It’s 76°F at noon, and the windows are open. Myka is making use of the 32 muscles in each ear to maximum effect.

The cooing of doves has started, the fussing of song birds staking out territory, the barking of dogs… The world has come back to life. It even smells different, with pollen and sea breezes. It is spring. A collective sigh.

Even the geckos are active again. Myka stared one down in the window last night, beginning a new season of night time interactive viewing. Life is rebounding at all levels.

Bare sleeves and sandals. The central heat is off. Time to wash the alpaca for storage and clean the fans. It is spring.

Of note, the phone has been on for 24 hours without a single data charge of 1¢. It’s back in action. Had one spoofed spam call that I didn’t answer. There are four voice mails, only one is from someone I know.

The freeze is gone

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♫ The freeze is gone, the freeze has done gone away.
♫ Yeah, the freeze is gone, the freeze has done gone away.
♫ Won’t see you no more till falls comes our way.
♫ The freeze’s done gone away.

It’s 32.2°F, and if freezes again until the far side of summer, I will be surprised and dismayed. It was a perfect winter, an early freeze and a late freeze to kill mosquitos, mild in between. And alpaca got me through it.

But now it’s time to wish winter farewell. I am ready for spring. Bring on the flowers, shed the layers. I am ready for warmth, open windows, and bared skin, even the hum of the ACs. Bring it on.

Plenty of food in the fridge and pantries, won’t have to cook for a while. A pallet pleasing list of options, no complaining here.

Starting to learn OCMS’s Take ’em Away. The song was written by Critter Fuqua as a tribute to Mance Lipscomb’s music. The song takes place in the Brazos Valley near Navasota, which is about 20 miles from here. And I used to give Mance a ride to gigs at A&M and back home. He was a major influence on me in my early 20s. It is a personal song on several levels. I have the music down, all I need to do is learn five verses.


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The jambalaya was postponed a day, and cheese risotto stepped in line. I figured I’d use up the milk first. I will have the fettuccini, risotto, and jambalaya together in the fridge. The ground chuck filled a major portion of the empty space in the freezer. The freezer needs of the recipe chicken roast will take a few days to manage. But I have ample turkey so I can linger a while on the chicken.

It hit freezing at midnight, supposed to get down to 26°F in the morning. I’m up for the night to run water so pipes don’t freeze.

Still watching movies to pass the time. I’ve done enough digital housekeeping to deserve a break for a few days.


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31°F outside. Tomorrow night is forecasted for 26°F, and Tuesday night at 29°F. It should be in the 70s Friday and Saturday. Looking forward to shedding layers. Thank heavens for alpaca.

Not much going on. Watching movies and napping mostly. I will probably be cooking a batch of recipe chicken tomorrow while a hot oven is welcome. Made a batch of chicken/broccoli/cauliflower fettuccini alfredo last night, and chicken/pork loin/shrimp/scallop jambalaya is next.

Truck inspection should happen within the week. Not wanting to wait until the last minute. I don’t see anything that won’t pass.


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Got word from Vince Bell that Sarah passed away yesterday morning. I had emailed her right about that time, first time in a couple of weeks (Valentine’s). I must have been feeling it. We worked together as a team for 22 years. I will miss her.

End of February

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I get my retirement deposit at midnight, nine hours from now. Not that I’m hurting for funds. But it’s always nice to get paid. The end of the month is always well greeted.

Looking at pictures of Myka when she first got here. She is currently 4 years and 10 months old. May 1 is her birthday, as close as I could estimate, a May Day kitty.

I didn’t go to Bryan yesterday. I just didn’t feel up to it. Side effects of the meds are not severe, but they are keeping me from being as active as I might be. I didn’t feel up to driving 100 miles and playing music for five hours.

The weather has turned cool again. Expecting a freeze on Tuesday morning after a brief warming this weekend. The ping pong game is active. I won’t complain. We need another bug killer before we head into spring. I saw a mosquito in the truck yesterday.

Old habits

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I am officially abandoning a habit that has spanned the better part of three decades, the gathering of 3D content. I think I’m there, where I set out to be, a 3D vocabulary. Now that I’m retired and not rendering like I used to do, I think I’m covered for anything I might chose to do in the future. And I’ve juggled content from hard drive to hard drive for long enough. This will give me the chance to finalize the library in proper order, getting all the sort folders emptied.

I think I am heading to Bryan tomorrow, catch a music school, do a little business. Ellen can drive again, so she will probably be up to playing. I hope I can get my sleep schedule straight.

It’s nice being retired. No pressure. Going your own speed.

Lunch hour, raining, the utility tree trimmers are parked out front. At least it’s quiet. Except for the rain. For the moment.

I did Picture Cards clean without a PDF for the second time. I have the three lyric lead offs in my head. The rest follows.

The tree cutters decided that radar wasn’t agreeable and took the cherry picker, but they left the tree shredder and the traffic cones. They’ll be back to finish the job when the rain stops.

MBP1 back in service

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The backup session for 8000 is complete and cataloged. Everything is backed up on the drive and most of the important stuff on DVD. The MacBook Pro is back in action.

Made pork loin fried rice for lunch, finishing off the thawed items in the fridge. Down to sandwich stuff and a dwindling loaf of bread. Thinking about what to thaw next.

The tail light lens is on. I now have a matching new set, which looks unusual on that old truck. I didn’t rebuild the shifter, as the ground was too wet for my taste. I didn’t want to accidentally drop something and have to kneel in the wet dirt to find it. But I have plenty of time this spring.

I watched Blaze Foley: Duct Tape Messiah (2011) today. I know a number of the people in the film. I may see a few of them at Spring Fling in April. Good documentary, though the chronology wasn’t tight, bounced around a bit. I may look up the opening song (Big Cheeseburgers and Good French Fries) and learn it. It’s not that hard to play.

8 Hrs

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24 hours down, 8 to go on the transfer of 4001 to 8000. 68 hours thus far, looking at 76 total for all drives. I will be glad to have full use of MBP1 again.

Using MB for bog entry is a little funky. Nothing in the CSS is lining up where it’s supposed to line up. But it’s worth it to lay off MBP1’s RAM as much as possible.

Taking care of the horde out back for the weekend. Annie and Dixie are outside for the day, everyone has been fed. It’s been on the wet side, but I think that has ended. Radar looks clean. Glad to see the wet streak end. It lasted long enough to give the wildflowers a good send off. I could stand a little dry.

Got the driver’s side tail light lens yesterday. I expect to have it on today. I am looking forward to weather for polishing and waxing the truck. I still need to strip the roof of the shell before that happens. I want the Purple Power use to be done before I start detailing it. I will probably rebuild the shifter next, when I can find a warm spell.

Not much to talk about. Mostly passing time while the backup comes to a conclusion. My next system project is seeing if I can get this 256G stick drive to boot the MBP1.

And then there was one

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4002 has been wiped and removed from the desk. Only 4001 remains to be copied onto 8000, and I’m in no big hurry for that 36 hour stretch. So now on the desk, 500, 2000, 4000, 4001, 8000. 19T on desk, 5T off. I can sigh. It will be a long while before I buy another drive.

Ordered a tail light lens for the driver side. I couldn’t take the mismatch of old and new.

Had one of two tenderloin burgers yesterday. I had been considering buying a grinder, but I decided that unless I change my ways in the kitchen and start grinding meat on a regular basis, the cleaver is my best option. It takes a little elbow grease, but it works very well. I minced the 8 oz round and split it in two, one quarter pound in the skillet, one in the fridge for later. My oh my, what a treat, a tenderloin burger with gouda. Such vanity.

I’m not certain yet, but the hydralazine may be giving me dreams. Just what I need, waking up dreaming all the time.

Well, I made a store run and got another pound of the tenderloin. Its not going to be on special again any time soon. Two pounds is not excessive. More would be, but I will make them count.

Looks like a wet cool day. Not going to get too ambitious today. But I might do the guitar/preamp configuration for recording.


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Half way through loading the 8T drive. The 3D and general content drive, along with the boot and catch-all drives for MBP1 are onboard. That leaves the boot and catch-all for MB and the media drive. 40 hours down, 40 hours to go.

One compatibility issue is that my phone sends tiny data packages when it’s active on the office desk, and I get charged 1¢ every couple of minutes. Not sure of the exact cause, but I have an idea, since it just started doing it a few days ago. So I have to turn my phone off when it’s in the office. It would cost me about $8 a day to leave it on, and the text messages would drive me nuts. If I forget, the phone will remind me when it sends me a text message after it charges me 1¢.

Got the tail light lens installed. It’s so much nicer than the driver side lens. I may have to get one for the other side, just for vanity sake.

The hydralazine seems to be working for me. Not crazy about the three times a day, but I feel much better over all, more energy and ambition, and no side effects.


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The first leg of the backup copy onto the new 8T drive is in progress, with about 8 hours to go. 4000, containing 2.17T, is taking about 32 hours to complete. Next are catch-alls 2000 and 500, and the boot drives from both laptops. The four drives total about 800G, a little over 12 hours to copy them. At that point, I can erase 4002 and store for future use. It might act as a primary in case one of the two current primaries (4000 and 4001) fails. The final leg will be to copy 4001, containing 2.47T, which does’t have a hard drive backup yet.

Needless to say, this won’t happen quickly. It’s likely to be spread out across a couple of weeks. But I will be pleased to have everything on at least two hard drives, with most of the primary data on DVD burns. One reason that I like this system is that it handles the shift in hard drives as I increased from 500G and 1T to 4T drives. Many of the major folders got reassigned to new drives, and it made chaos out of 4002. This move to the 8000 will restore mirror order.

It has cooled back down again, though not chilly. It will be 40s and 50s for the next week, warming back up on the weekend. Not a full blown spring, but not winter either, which is not too unusual for this part of Texas. I can live with it.

Debating whether or not to get a beef tenderloin while it’s on special. They put way too much good stuff on special for Valentine’s.

Well, I decided to grab three 8 ounce tenderloin steaks rather than a roast. Spending $75 on a cut that small seems a little excessive with nothing in particular to celebrate except my good health, and while the separate cuts were a little more costly per pound, it wasn’t that much more. That will satisfy my vanity without splurging excessively. One is in the fridge, two in the freezer. The one in the fridge will be a hamburger.

Pork loin and turkey thawed and ready to munch. Not looking at any massive recipes this week. Going light, and I have plenty of options for that.

One thing that dawned on me today, that one thing that the internet has removed from our lives is “Put your money where your mouth is.” It might be an idea for a web site, for 10% of the bet, the site holds the credit card payments, and the payout is 90% to the winner. How to determine the winner in this day of conspiracy theories is the ringer.


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Well, the new diuretic isn’t working for me either. Accelerated heart beat (upper 90s), chest discomfort, and I also attribute part of my tiredness to it as well. So a new one, will be three times a day (yuck). I’ll either pick it up late this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

In the low 60s outside, due to be in the 70s this afternoon. Nice to get back on the warm side, with the sun shining, however brief the cold snap was. It will be nice to open up the house.

The baked potato soup is yummy. Took me long enough, but the wait was worth it.


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Just ordered an 8T external hard drive (USB3) as a backup drive. This will allow me to erase the 4T drive that I am currently using for backup and use it for future storage or as a replacement, as it has very few hours of spin time. The purchase is more a case of convenience than need, as I need to restructure the backup from shifting drives. The price was right. It should arrive next week, but could be sooner, as I paid sales tax on it. Intrastate deliveries are usually quicker than estimated.

I am about to order parts for the truck, a rear light lens (passenger) and a shifter rebuild kit. With weather getting warmer and inspection coming up next month, will be working on the truck, and having the parts on hand will speed things up.

Starting on the baked potato soup. I am finally feeling perky enough to get active in the kitchen, and the timing is good, as today is the expiration date on the milk. And tonight is forecast to be in the the 30s. It should start warming tomorrow, a brief dip in the temp.

Playing in Photoshop…


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ZZZZZZZZZZ. I have been sawing logs at an unprecedented rate since I got back from Bryan. I can’t even begin to judge how many hours I’ve slept. Best guess is 20-22 out of 36. However, I am starting to get a bit of energy back. I handled washing dishes and refilling the ice bin and stuff like that, but no major cooking yet.

I may do a sausage gravy instead of baked potato soup to use up the milk. We’ll see when I get the energy. It has climbed out of the 30s and is in the low 40s. It will warm back to the 70s tomorrow. Just depends on which way the wind blows.

My blood pressure is back down in the normal range, 118/77. So the diuretic is doing well with the hypertensive. Traces of a reaction, but nothing alarming. It is taking care of the edema, the fluid weight is being shed. It might have something to do with how much I’m sleeping and how tired I’ve been. Never judge the long run on the first few days unless it’s severe. But I am paying attention to the details.

Myka has been highjacking my La-Z-Boy on a regular basis. As soon as I get up, it’s fair game to her, unless I’m in the kitchen or bathroom (treats and oat grass potential). When it warms up again, she’ll probably be back to sleeping in the front room.

Follow up

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Medical week is over. Prognosis, barring a twist of fate, I should live to a ripe old age. No, I mean a riper old age.

The ophthalmologist said I had 20/20 in my right eye and don’t need glasses as long as I’m comfortable with my slightly imbalanced vision. The cataracts are still quite small and don’t need surgery for some time to come. The spots on my irises haven’t grown, so not a problem. All told, a thumbs up for a man my age.

The lab results for CBC and CMP and a couple of others came back yesterday. Only four things were not in normal parameters, and those were only barely outside the parameters. My blood sugar is good, my cholesterol is good (triglycerides are a tad high, HDL a tad low), my blood structure is good, my kidneys are good, no signs of cancer, no Hepatitis C, everything looks rosy.

So all in all, to quote myself, I’m in pretty good shape for a man my age… I should have many years of being ornery left in me, a member of the hard to kill.

Driving home with dilated pupils was a trip. Everything was starry, radial rays galore for each source of lights, like I was wearing camera filters. Depth of field was also quite shallow with such wide open apertures. The day was overcast with small amounts of frozen precipitation. So the sun glasses were a bit superfluous. When I got home, my eyes were sore.

After some ibuprofen and a good solid sleep, I am much improved. I didn’t even bother eating until after I woke, breaking an 18 hour fast, which was longer than the fast for the lab work. I didn’t bother to eat on the road. I munched lightly, a little poundcake, further eating to follow, though I’m not ravished. I’m thinking hot buttered cornbread next.

36°F outside. But it’s the last of the cold snap for weeks to come according to the forecast. 60s to 40s is the trend for the next couple of weeks. The many flowers that were coaxed out by the 70s of the past week are wilting. But I expect to see more. And it was a nice taste of things to come. I am tired of the cold.

So onward through the fog. And in memory of Oat Willie, I will be planting a new tray of oat grass for Myka today.