Skillet

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Last night, I purchased a new primary skillet (12″ – 5 qt), blue diamond finish (non-stick, non-toxic, tough, metal utensil). When I was cleaning up the big skillet of 16 years from making the sausage gravy, I decided that it was due retirement. It’s still usable, but it’s seen better days. The new skillet has a lighter glass lid with a better handle. The lids are the same diameter and interchangeable. The depth gain of one quart in capacity is a boon for excess. I like it, thus far.

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Waiting for eggs ackley or something like it.


I was going to wash it and cook with it last night, but sleep had other ideas. I’ll get to it today. Not moving all that quickly this morning.


The late night store run was originally for Myka’s kibbles and litter, and the decision to replace the skillet was something of an afterthought. I also got macaroons, Reese’s, personal pizzas, butter, and Blue Bell ice cream sandwiches.


60°F outside the window. It might get a tad warmer, but not much.

Janutitis

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I’m ready for February. I’m ready for omicron to wane. I’m ready for mild weather. Bring on spring. I’m ready. Last week of January…


At least the skeeters are finally gone. 40s and 50s, not cold and not warm. A little rain, humidity up, static zaps gone.


Except for cooking, chores are done. Sausage gravy coming up, with eggs ackley to follow. Marinated pork tenderloin to thaw. Not going hungry.


Trimmed the gray poncho, got all the snags and much of the fuzzies. Looks a lot neater.


Myka got on the couch while I was prone, tucking between my calves and the corner, a small kitty fort. Another first that will probably become more regular.




The sausage gravy is on the stove, setting. Three cups of milk remain for the cheese risotto, eight days until expiration. Wash dishes, build up a head of steam, and make eggs ackley in the same pan.

Sat yousef down day

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In the upper 20s last night, one that should have taken care of the straggler mosquitos. In the 50s today. Spent much of the night and morning cocooned, staying warm. No freezes showing in the immediate future, but no open windows either.


Pork fried rice for lunch. Myka appreciated the pork loin from the cutting board. Pizza last night. I may thaw a plain burger, to see how they work. And there’s still enough pork loin for tacos, after the avocado spud and fried rice. I might thaw the dressing casserole.


Chores are done for the most part. I need to fill the ice bin, though it will probably last until morning. Need to seed and water the oat grass pans. Everything else is done. A wind down day.


Feels good to be back on track. Easy days.

Nice day

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Today is a farewell to open windows. Tonight is a return to central heat, starting about 6 pm. I plan on a pleasant soak in the next hour or so, while it’s still pleasant.


The Wellerman is in the music book.


Off to take a soak before the winds turn around at sunset.

Wind down

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Back home. Unpacked. Creature comforts. Demanding creature.


Catching up in progress, which includes feeding Myka her salmon florentine. She wasn’t going to allow me to sleep until she was fed her wet food. That leaves me mostly with downloading and kitchen duties. I need to thaw and cook, not sure what just yet. It will be quick fix for the next day or so, until I get reoriented.


The weekend was a fun one. Eating someone else’s cooking for a change. A fresh ear. A little music played. A good time.


Now it’s back to the same ol same ol, staying away from people as much as possible until the omicron wave blows over.




Made a store run late in the day, after the crowd had departed. Got everything on the list (except macaroons, which were replaced by a square of carrot cake), plus milk and sausage for gravy. The gold potatoes were all small, so there will be a lot of peeling where indicated. I may have overlooked something, but I don’t think so.


So now I can sit tight. There is so little trash this week, and none of it smells, so I’m not going to waste a bag.

Wind up

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Tidying up the house in prep for my absence this weekend. The windows are open, digital housekeeping is at a pause, so it’s a good day for it.


I was planning on leaving the Egee here, but it’s been requested. So I’m not packing as light as I expected.


It’s a pretty day, 75°, sunny, light southerly breeze. That will vanish tonight. Winds are expected to be 30/G 40 or more, temps near freezing Sunday and Monday morning.


About to take a soak, while there is warmth and sunlight and a breeze through the house.

Buttoned down and cataloged

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The Great Data Migration has been achieved and cataloged for posterity. Whew!
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28T


The two 4T drives in the middle (the shiny ones reflecting the laptop) now hold the audio processing files (apps, plugs, libraries, and samples). The three on the left are the primaries, the three on the right, the backups. There is also the 2T catchall, the internals, and the stick drives. There is also a few 500G drives in mothballs, if needed. 34T of read/write total. Everything is now cataloged in the current state.


So now I can relax. Waiting for daylight to put the trash on the curb, so as not to wake any neighbors.


Still cool, 60s/40s, clearing and warming a bit in the next few days.

Wheelies

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Got a call from Ellen today. I may be staying with Doug next weekend. She needs to be out of town overnight, and I’d fill in seeing that Doug and critters have everything they need.


I also learned that the rubbing of the wheel on the truck might be due to the emergency brake having shifted its orientation. It’s easy enough to fix if it’s that.


The new hard drive, 4000A, has the content. Now I need to sort, and then clone for backup. Not an overnight project, but one in progress.


Made a quick store run, first of the year, early this morning while the store was sparsely occupied. Produce, bread, tamales, flautas…


Pulled pork has been thawed, and two sandwiches eaten. Have a hankering for spaghetti, as the weather cools.


Wind out of the north, 15 mph/G 25, temperature dropping. Mostly 40s and 50s this week, warming a little on Friday.


Otherwise, same ol same ol.

Daturday

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The drives arrived today. Data is flooding from point A to point B, hour by hour. First transfer, 1.3T. Other stuff is happening, none of it unusual.


I got $19.50 back on the drives ($9 each + sales tax), thanks to a chat online. It’s also why they arrived today instead of Tuesday.

A confabulation with mishappenstance

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The omicron strain of COVID is raging in the county, some 12 fold increase in the new case count from a week ago. The positive rate of tests is also very high, indicating that the number is very under-reported. The county is rated as an extremely high risk. Consequently, I have been avoiding people like the plague…


I made two ventures away from the house yesterday, the ice kiosk and the car wash (for 60 quarters changed from three $5 bills). The first attempt found that I was blocked in my driveway by a pickup belonging to a visitor next door. The second attempt, after he left, ended up with ice being dumped on the ground instead of delivered in a bag. Then the first carwash had busted bill changers, so I used the alternative wash, but the stalls were all full. While I got the quarters, I wasn’t able to rinse the truck. When I got home, I called the reporting number for the ice kiosk and got voice mail, and no response.


Back home, sans ice, I decided not to go to the store for the two 4T USB hard drives, but rather order them online. They were each $9 more expensive than they were the day before. And the delivery date was today when in the cart, but switched to Sunday when I purchased them. I also sent money to Apple for premium versions, even though the apps need an update to remove annoyances. I couldn’t hold out any longer.


So it was a rather chaotic day when dealing with other devices in my attempt to avoid dealing with people in person. Here at home, things have been far more uneventful.


The three pairs of jeans departed Dallas via FedEx shortly after midnight (following a 21 hour pause) and should be here today.


Risotto and a 6 oz chunk of ham are all that is left from the holiday feast (sans cheesecake). I need to figure out what needs to be cooked next.



The jeans are in the dryer, very blue, very new. I expect them to bleed for a number of washing. Risotto is gone. Myka is being a pest, obviously wanting oat grass. Not expecting windows to open today. I got a bag of ice (yes, a bag). Life rolls on.

Royalty

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Myka likes the fuzzy blankets.

Cheesy 22

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I had my black eyed peas and cornbread, the pastrami and smoked gruyere sandwich, and the cheesecake, but…
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The only container I had that would hold it all.


The cold front is in progress. It has dropped from from 85°F to 48°F (11 pm), and is forecast to bottom out at 30°F at sunrise. Maybe it will take some skeeters with it.


Got the archiving done, fairly painless, and I like the improvements. So I’m back to downloading stuff onto the SSD again. No deadlines, my clock.

Pea’ed

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This batch is scrape the bowl clean perfection. I’m ready for tomorrow.

Retired, fully and finally

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It’s official, I am fully retired as of today. I performed my last action on http://www.vincebell.com/ , creating a refresher page, automatically transferring to Vince’s new site http://waywordsart.com/ . So I am no longer webmaster of anywhere online except here. And this is my hobby site.


I got the app updates off the internal SSD. I am in ready state for Saturday’s archiving.


I need to cook cheese risotto and black eyed peas. I’m finally down to one tamale and one serving of dressing casserole in the fridge. Before sunrise, they will be gone. A new year awaits. (Bulgingly.) Ugh. Holidays… Beef pastrami, smoked gruyere, black eyed peas, cornbread, cheesecake, all there or in progress with a full day to go.


(Freezers abhor a vacuum.)


The external drives were out of stock. I got everything for bringing the mini-grill back into service, for stuffed burgers. Stainless scrub pads, grill brush, pumice stone, lighter. Fresh charcoal. Ready to roll, with a cleaning. No schedule yet.


Saturday will end the warm spell at sunset. 76° > -1°F in 12 hours is the forecast. Hello 2022. Maybe it will kill a few mosquitos. I’m enjoying the mildness in the meantime.


Myka is getting quite comfortable on the couch, taking naps while looking out the window.

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Myka’s new perch.

NYD prep

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I switched water bottles today, from cyan to magenta. A bit late in the season, but there has been so much warm weather this autumn, I wasn’t spurred into action. Windows are still open, but probably won’t be open on Sunday. It’s currently 82°F. Lots of places in Texas breaking records this month.


Getting ready for the twice annual data purge. I managed to get the audio processing off the internal SD. Apps hopefully before NYD. Email archiving will be a new experience with the new client.


I finished off the sausage gravy and rib eye, leaving me with tamales and casserole (half of which is still in the freezer). I have plenty to last me a day and a half. Milk needs to be used, as in risotto. I went to the store this morning for NYD cornbread, pastrami, gruyere, and cheesecake. (They didn’t have the small cheesecakes,, so I had to get the 16 piece, 3 lb 12 oz party monster. It will be a cheesy January.) I also got fresh charcoal for the stuffed burgers in the mini-grill.


I have a script ready for pickup. I need a new grill brush, as my old one vanished. Also need macaroons. Can’t think of anything else. I’ll probably wait until tomorrow morning, as payday is at midnight, two days early due to the holiday and eve.


Myka got the collar placed around her neck again, more fleas showing. *sigh* She did not appreciate it. She joined me on the couch yesterday. She was out cold on the LZB2, so I stretched out on the couch and dozed off. When I woke, she was on the back of the couch keeping watch over me. And she dozed off on the corner of the couch last night while looking out the window.


Back to keeping a low profile, thanks to the omicron variant. I have the booster, but I’m not taking unnecessary chances. I have plenty to keep me busy here.

Perch

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Myka finally discovered the corner of the back of the couch as a comfy window perch. I left the windows open tonight, and she finally figured out it’s a great place to conduct her night surveillance duty. I mark her as won over. No more hesitancy., the couch is hers.


Sixteen 4″ sausage patties (15 – 2 oz & 1 – 3.2 oz), individually wrapped, in the kitchen freezer. The burger press has been temporarily retired. I have 28 hand pressed patties in the freezer. That is sufficient for the nonce.


I have an abundance of food in the fridge. I put half of the turkey casserole in the freezer for later. I still have rib eye, pork tamales, and sausage gravy as competition, though the steak is about to vanish tonight. It normally doesn’t take me this long to eat a rib eye. Blame it on the holiday competition. I have German chocolate cake and a cream cheese coffee cake that have gone untouched. I need a bigger appetite to cover holiday and post-holiday.


No store run until Wednesday. There is the stuff for NYD (pastrami, smoked gruyere, cheesecake, black eyed peas, cornbread), plus bread and chocolate dipped macaroons on the list. Bread is the most time critical, and I haven’t eaten any with the gravy yet, so it’s not dwindling quickly. Nothing on currently sale that is attracting my attention, and it runs until Friday.


Payday is Thursday morning, first month with the COLA added. Saturday will be my first email archiving with the new mail client. It will be fairly low key until then. Chores are at a minimum. Digital housekeeping will be the main focus.


Omicron is making itself felt. I’m hanging close to home, not socializing much. As usual, I’m siding with a healthy abundance of caution.

Boxing day

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I will not be following the tradition of strapping on the gloves and sparring a few rounds.


I got the sausage gravy made, and I covered a large spud with it. The rest is in the fridge. Kitchen project list is ham mutilation, sausage pressing, cheese risotto, and washing the few dishes from the gravy. I currently have rib eye tacos, turkey/veggie dressing, tamales, and sausage gravy on bread or spuds, on top of the usual. Not hurting.


I had gumbo next door last night, a bit of socializing on the eve.


Napped on the couch for the first time. Nice soft fluffy pillows, as close to clouds as you can get. It was easier than moving Myka off the LZB2.


It was a warm Christmas day, breaking records in many places in Texas. High was up near 80°. Windows were open all afternoon. Sunny skies, nice breeze, a very pleasant day.


Only thing planned for this week is to shop for NYD. Pastrami, gruyere, cheesecake, peas, cornbread. I’ll need more bread too. That’s about it.



Another 10 lb of mutilated pork in the freezer, in yet another 2.5 gal zipper bag. (12 qt, 1 gal (bone))

Cat couch

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Myka actually chilled out on the newly covered couch. You can see the ruffled rectangular spot on the right, set at about 45° from squared, where she settled.
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Blue velvet gets a little wrinkly.


Still need to cook. Today is a good day for it. Currently at 76°F, mostly sunny, a nice breeze from the south. Turkey dressing casserole is first in line. Sausage gravy is second.


A spiral cut ham was delivered to the back door today. Just what I need, more protein prep for the freezer. I got 2 lb of pan sausage to press into 4″ patties (16 – 2 oz). That will go toward fried egg, sausage, cheddar sandwiches. The ham will do the same (egg, ham, cheddar). Ham bone will go toward split pea.


Not full of ambition since the burger pressing. I made the store run for the couch cover, pillows, and a few groceries, but overall, not much else happening.

Stuffed

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The stuffed burger saga. Four on ice.
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The sauté, bacon, sweet onion, bell pepper. Worcestershire, garlic, sage, marjoram, thyme in the butter.

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Stuffing and the gouda on top and bottom.

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The stack.

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It’s a wrap, in the freezer.

Da boiga mon

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Eight quarter pound beef patties, sheathed in freezer paper, bagged for freezing and individual extraction. (Stuffed burgers pending on the stuffing sauté.)


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8 – 1/4 lb patties, individually sleeved in freezer paper

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Easy single extraction when frozen.


I like the burger press. Weigh the ground chuck on the digital scale (parchment paper divider), load the base, use the piston with a twisting pressure to fill all cracks and press into a whole, then pop out, place on the paper, and fold. Quarter pound burger, without the fuss of coming up with other recipes for the remainder of the chuck.

Pressing times

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The burger press arrived, slightly smaller than I envisioned, but adequate. At least the burger won’t exceed the dimensions of the bread as my hand pressed burgers usually do. Otherwise, it’s pretty much what I expected.


I made a run to the store and got 5.5 lb of ground chuck for the maiden production, and I got parchment paper for separation of the patties. Also got cheddar, mozzarella, bread, spuds, etc. I’m ready to make patties and stuffed burgers. (Gouda/bacon/sautéd onion and bell pepper stuffing for starters.) Ordered dry goods from Amazon, getting stuff I can’t find locally.


Broiled the rib eye yesterday, ready for ribbie tacos. Sausage gravy coming up too, probably tomorrow. Too much action for today.


A couch arrived today, used, but usable. There was a cleaning session this morning in the living room. I’ll be able to lie on my side now without inflating something or climbing in the back of the truck. Myka is not sure about it yet. Lots of changes for her to explore. More yet to come.


Did some research on future income, and don’t see any drastic changes. Only loss so far is $20 a month reduction on internet assistance come March when the programs shift, and the COLA will cover that. The rest should hold as is. So I’m in good shape.


Weather is on the cool side, but sunny. The wind died down from the front, and a couple more cool days ahead.

Final chill of the year

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About to soak in the tub at the end of the warm spell. Tonight, the temperature starts dropping for about four days. There will be 30s on Monday and Tuesday nights. Then it will warm again for the remainder of the year (according to the forecast). However, most nights will see closed windows, unlike this week where the windows haven’t closed.


Just ate the spud/marinated pork tenderloin/cheddar/avocado. The avocado was maybe two or three hours past perfect, not complaining, it was good timing for my digestive tract. Thawed a rib eye, so there are seven in the upright freezer. I picked up three on Wednesday, which are in the upright, and I pulled one of the five I already had. I made sloppy joes from the pound of ground chuck that I had left after I made a burger. Still plenty to eat in the fridge, with sausage gravy on the way. Cheddar and mozzarella are the only things on the shopping list, and I’m not out of either yet. No need for a store run this weekend.


I skipped the jam session, as I was tail dragging, not enough energy to prep myself, get there, and get home, on top of performing with energy. And I’ve already heard enough seasonal music to suit me. Don’t need the chili anyway.


I ordered a burger press, with a pocket maker for stuffed burgers. I can get a club pack (~5 lb), bag 2 pounds, and press the rest, then bag and freeze the patties individually. I’m looking forward to gouda/bacon stuffed burgers. Chili peppers and sweet onion too. I look forward to personally made patties, one at a time.


Time to get wet.

Warm again

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Four days this week with the windows open, the first one being today, Tuesday. Windows are open (all night), sleeves are off, Myka has returned to the floor. She was traveling from chair to table to desk to LZB, all on the second tier, avoiding the cool floor as much as possible.


Jambalaya was finished, had a bacon provolone burger for dinner, with another pound of ground chuck left for something like sloppy joes. Still plenty of alternatives in the fridge and freezer. One thing in mind for this weekend is turkey/veggie/cornbread casserole.


Rib eyes are on sale starting tomorrow, half price. I have five in the freezer, but at half price, I’ll eat more rib eyes. The price is good for ten days (through Christmas eve). That will end the freezer stuffing for a while. I have all I can handle without any freezer burn.


Things are going well. I have let up on video games and switched more to movies. My activity is picking up. It was a nice lazy spell, recovering, doing nothing while feeling decent. It was a good relief from being busy and not feeling good. But I want to get things done. Not that much to do, but I want it all behind me.


I need to focus on file sorting and installations when I’m in the office. I updated the laptop, pad, and phone systems today, plus Xcode. A couple of boring hours.


Jam session Thursday night, outdoors. Hoping for brisket chili.


Myka got to lose her flea collar tonight.

Addition

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I don’t feel any older. I do feel colder, but that is due to the front that blew through yesterday morning. I went from short sleeves to denim shirt and alpaca poncho.


I spent the day wrapped up in video games, taking advantage of a free premium trial and add-ons to boost performance and advantage. A noon to 6 pm splurge, with some follow up for the last of the trial. It was a novel way to pass the day.


Jambalaya was the cuisine, with poundcake (sans candles) for breakfast. A green chili/cheese tamale was a topper. Chores were minimal. I slept less than usual, but nothing that could be considered deprivation. Nothing unusual for the day.


Been thinking about Mance Lipscomb recently, about how active he was in his 70s, and how he influenced my concept of aging.

End of a yeara

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Saying goodbye to the Xty zero year. The Xty one year always impresses that time is not running backwards.


It’s been warm, with the windows opened for thirty eight hours. But I just closed them, as a front is barreling down, just now reaching Austin, almost to Bryan. It’s time to retain the warmth I’ve got. Not sure if there will be rain or not, as the closest the storm train shows is north of Hearne.


Jambalaya is in the fridge. Boudin, gourmet tamales (both chili cheese and pork), brats, and more augment it. No need for a store run for a few days. I picked up four scripts today, after a week’s wait.


Nothing planned for Saturday. Video games, movies, sleep, etc. Lazy day.