Archive for January, 2019

Fire and ice

Posted on Thursday, January 31st, 2019 at 3:49 am

The gradient temperature range (Δ) for the continental US at 3 am CST for 1/31/19 is 113°F. It ranges from 64°F at the Florida Keys to -49°F at Fort Frances, Minnesota. It’s currently 47°F here.

Skipped another Music School. Last one I attended was in September. Not that I haven’t played music with others, the list is fairly long, though not this last month. But that is typical for January.

Closing in on spring as we move into February. I am looking forward to an early spring, as we’ve had for the last few years. I could survive the disappointment if it lingers, but I’m looking forward to wild flowers and days with the house open all day.

I am gearing up mentally for next week. Four medical appointments (counting lab for a blood draw).

The spatulas are in Brenham and should be delivered today. Spatula Madness!

Another cold blast

Posted on Tuesday, January 29th, 2019 at 4:50 am

Feeling the effects of the galavanting polar vortex, 25 mph/G 35 winds from the north. Got caught yesterday in the store. The wind was calm when I left the house, blowing hard from the north when I arrived four minutes later, and was raining hard after getting all of three items. So the change from tropical bulge to arctic express was very short order, 70s to 30s in one fell swoop.

Grabbed this and that from the grocery after it quit raining. Looking at baked potato soup again, as well as split pea. Been mostly grazing the last couple of days. And I probably will for a couple more. I might do an alfredo, as I’ve had chicken on my mind. Shrimp thawing in the fridge for cocktail. February will not be a hungry month.

Have projects to tackle, but not getting much done on them. I guess I will when the time is right.

Hambone hospitality

Posted on Saturday, January 26th, 2019 at 4:07 am

I couldn’t think of anything else for the title, despite the fact that I have no hambones in the house. Pork loin, ribs, sliced ham, but no hambone. So much for traditional split pea soup or baby limas. I have one serving left of loaded supreme pizza. Interspersing that with pork loin tacos.

I lubed all the chairs. They don’t creak and groan like they used to do. Now only the wood talks. Having a much quieter time.

Six days until February. Eleven days until medical week. Mostly just holding down the fort, an occasional store run.

Glad to see the government shutdown end. I have waxed eloquently elsewhere, so I won’t pollute the blog with those sentiments.

Spatula madness… I ordered five non-stick spatulas (turners) online on Thursday, two nylon, two melamine, and one silicone. These are all long base, designed to slip under large objects like a big burger to flip it. I also found one locally that had two metal bars connecting the handle and base. Among the six, I should find one that fits every situation. I only had one left in the holder, and it was purchased in the early 80s. Yeah, I may have gone a bit overboard, but there are distinct uses for each.

Ping pong

Posted on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019 at 2:07 am

It’s raining and cooling back down again, squelching travel plans, after a brief southerly breeze that allowed the house to be opened and Myka to get outside when I went out to dig up lithium grease in the truck to lube the chair so it wouldn’t squeeze while I am recording, which led me to check out hardware cloth online to Myka-proof the screen door. Is that Rube Goldberg enough?

Break that down. Had a brief warm spell, but that is gone. The front rolled through and turned back the Gulf breeze that had it in the 70s today. The house was open, a nice breeze airing out the house. Was a pleasant day, but expecting back near freezing tomorrow night.

My office chair was getting irrationally squeaky, so I went out to the truck to get some white lithium grease for the moving parts in the swivel and rocker beneath the seat. I left the main door unlocked, because I was only going to grab the grease, a 30 second task. But the grease was hiding beneath other stuff, and it took longer. The extra time gave Myka enough of a chance to find the courage to slip through the screen she had broken free at the base. She was not in a mood to be contained, and she slipped off to the neighbors and other flaked my attempt to circle behind her and guide her back toward the door.

I went back inside and waited, knowing it was futile to try to corral her. A pickup pulled into the neighbor’s driveway to turn around, and that was enough to convince her that maybe being outside wasn’t such a good idea after all. I let her come in of her own accord and closed the door behind her. And as with every jaunt outdoors, she got a dose of Advantage Multi. Thank you, truck driver, whomever you were. I don’t think that she will be venturing out anytime soon.

I will be repairing the screen door before spring, but it will be reinforced with hardware cloth. It will be Myka-proof. I’m not going to watch her bust another screen by launching herself at the door to scare the strays that wander onto the porch when the weather is warm.

Got the melody and chords down on Picture Cards, but not the words without reading them, and the picking is still on the rough side. But I’m making progress. Pretty.

A note to song writers, never start a song with “I was sitting at home”, especially “I was sitting all alone at home”.

Too cold to go to Music School tomorrow. Price of gas nudged up for a couple of days, but seems to be dropping again. Not that the two are related, as the tank is too close to full to top it off.

Baked potato with pork loin, cheese, and avocado when I get hungry enough to quit snacking.

Daylight in your eyes

Posted on Monday, January 21st, 2019 at 4:27 am

Picked up the Blaze Foley song Picture Cards. Got it in the book, correct chords and all. Now to learn it.

Got the stick shift fixed. The bolt that holds the lever to the stub was loose and backing out of the slot. Strange bolt, with an offset wedge in the middle with a flat face for the slot. Took it off, cleaned it up, a couple of threads sheared 120° from wear, but no loss of grip when I reassembled it. So I’m back on the road as needed. I will rebuild the shifter in the spring. The bushings are gone. New habit to learn in shifting.

Today is MLK Day, no mail or bank. One more round of spaghetti to go, so I’ll be thawing pork loin (diced in baked potato).

Saw the eclipse for a couple of minutes, directly overhead. Neck craning in the cold of a winter night has its limits.

Cold, cold world

Posted on Sunday, January 20th, 2019 at 12:27 am

Edging toward freezing tonight. Not a hard freeze, but nonetheless not a night to be outside. It will start warming tomorrow.

The shifter on the truck is having a problem, twisting to the left, making it difficult to shift into first and third gears. I think it might be the pin on the driver side of the stub. It needs new bushings anyway, so a kit from San Antonio is $15 plus shipping. It might be cheaper, and it could run about $60 if it needs a new stub. But better than $300 for a new Hurst. Done all my homework, so I’m ready to take a peek when it warms up.

Moved the oat grass temporarily from the widow, because of the freeze. It’s sitting where Myka can see it, but can’t reach it. Poor girl. She so wants to splurge on salad.

Pretty much over the HCTZ reaction. I just hope the edema doesn’t return.


Posted on Friday, January 18th, 2019 at 11:49 pm

Wednesday evening, I had a cardial reaction to the 25 mg hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), having upgraded from a steady 12.5 mg. for a case of edema. It wasn’t as bad as June ’17, but but it was enough to keep me on my back for 12 hours until it faded enough for me to move around without aggravating it. I did a lot of meditating and rhythm therapy to take back control from the chemistry. So I’m off of it, my last dose behind me. What will replace it, if anything, won’t be decided until early February.

Thursday was a slow day, I slept most of the daylight away. I wasn’t going to do anything to risk a return. But Friday was a bit of a make up day. Garbage, bath, spaghetti, and laundry, maybe. I may wait until tomorrow so that I can dry it without letting it sit in the washer overnight. Things have come around, but there is no hurry. The spaghetti sauce is ready for individual boils of the pasta. I’ll need more parmesan in the next day or two. No need to rush to the store.

Temperatures are supposed to be dropping in the next hour or so as a north wind comes sweeping in. Should be close to freezing tomorrow night. Enjoying the last of the upper 60s for a few days. Glad I got a bath in before it turned cold.

First full week in February will be my medical week. 5th, the dentist 6 month follow up. 6th, primary for a full exam and blood work. 8th, ophthalmologist in College Station for the annual follow up. I should get it all behind me, with new scripts, perhaps.

Nice to have the weekend off to sit through the cold snap.

Planning committee of one

Posted on Wednesday, January 16th, 2019 at 4:03 am

Looking at my medical appointments for February and other upcoming events. Dental (6 month), ophthalmologist (12 month, College Station), and primary (6 month and blood work). And I’ll have a bank run to Bryan next week that coincides with a Music School. All sorts of stuff going on in the next three weeks. But not so much for the next week.

Sketti tomorrow. Today was a light grazing day between major dishes. It felt good to go light for a change.

Been doing computer house cleaning, made pretty good progress. One folder left to manage, 130 archives to trim of useless formats. It’s not taxing, but it does take time and rhythm. It’s good to see the gigs melt away from the internal drive.

It was a dull gray and cool day, and a chance of rain later today and tonight, though I don’t expect much. Not going anywhere anyway. I got all my errands run yesterday.


Posted on Monday, January 14th, 2019 at 12:54 am

Truggling / truggle isn’t a word in the Oxford English Dictionary. In slang circles, it derives primarily from “struggling”, a sense of losing badly on a regular basis. But there is another slant on it, a typo from “truly” > “trugly” which got upgraded to truggle, and carries a meaning of someone who is a total joy with whom to spend time. There is also the slant derived from “tree juggling”, which can be either juggling saplings or juggling while hugging a tree. And then of course, there is the truggling artist, one who is financially comfortable, but trying not to look like it.

Now far be it for me to say that I’m rich, but I have a small cushion. In the song Rich Man, Poor Man by Peter Yarrow and Peter Zimmel, there is the line: ‘A rich man eats when he wishes, a poor man whenever he can.’ In that case, I’m rich.

I haven’t been particularly productive recently. But part of that is the medical thing, a shift in focus to repair and maintain physical issues. And there is the shift from visual to audio. The Egee has made its mark on me. So I’m still technically an artist. But the spark is not at its brightest. So truggling does bear some merit, but again it’s January and Trump is president (in the legal sense).

I am extracting .max files from download archives before storing them away on the external. Doing what I can to keep it tidy.

And to note, I’m dropping the paragraph periods, which were required prior to the current version of WordPress. I can make the period, then delete it, and it will keep the spacing. That had gotten really old, glad to see it gone after all these years.


Posted on Friday, January 11th, 2019 at 8:51 pm

Wrapped up the shopping this week. Everything for music, the truck, travel, et al, has been acquired. The kitchen is stocked. I don’t need squat. Come March is truck insurance, but until then, day to day routine only. Feels good.


I’m ready to start calibrating for recording. I’ve got everything I need now. Time to play find that sound. I figure two weeks to try everything and make a judgement about a lot of standard options and get them documented for future reference.


Doing fairly well. Not complaining and not going out of my way to find complaints. Hanging around and doing the usual. Weather about to turn cooler for a few days, but it will perk back up on the rebound at the end of the week.

Tater soup

Posted on Monday, January 7th, 2019 at 10:26 pm

I just cooked the potatoes for baked potato soup. I still need to peel when they cool a bit. Pork loin to go in it, rather than bacon. I also thawed spare ribs.


The new ladder got its first duty today, stripping the grunge off of the cab roof and forward shell roof on the truck. I was impressed with how stable it is. Money well spent. Making progress on the spiffing up.


The weekend was pretty slothful, and my body appreciated it. Watched familiar movies for the most part.


The preamp/driver foot pedal for the Egee arrived today. I didn’t realize that it had a XLR output. So I ordered a couple more microphone cables, same as before. I didn’t get one for the instrument microphone either, so this gives me a cable for every device, 3 mikes and the preamp. I probably won’t use more than 2 at a time, but it makes ready for a duet and spares are always handy. I also ordered 3 bank deposit bags for the microphones. I think that’s it for purchases.


Got an increase for the hydrochlorothiazide to 25 mg. Edema is off and on with the irbesartan. Got a lecture about going to the emergency room if I experience a reaction, a reference to the reaction I had with the lisinapril in 2017. I imagine the script will be ready tomorrow.


Ellen hasn’t made it home yet. She is in a rehab facility to get her on her feet again. I’m glad that she is getting care during the recovery.

Garbage day

Posted on Friday, January 4th, 2019 at 2:31 pm

The sanitation department for Brenham just performed residential pickup here for the first time in two weeks. Thanks to Christmas and New Year’s and the period between them being a holiday for the pickup crew, we went Friday Dec 21 to Friday Jan 4 without a pickup. Now the recycling center was open for those who were desperate enough to haul theirs to the bins.


I had two bags, neither that large. The house across the street had 11 bags. Now the normal twice weekly limit is 3 per, so today as make up, the limit would theoretically be 12. So that would leave the question of if a limit was enforced today. With all the family gatherings and parties, I could envision some pretty serious piles for those too lazy to truck theirs.


Feeling better, now that I’m getting a chance to rest a bit. That much is obvious with last night’s ladder purchase. I went to Lowe’s last night, expecting from their online store to find one of four available 300 pound test multi-ladder for $60, on sale, half price. Turns out an inventory error happened, and they had none. So I bought a ladder of the very same design, except 375 pound test. It cost me $100 plus tax, not half price, but with a larger discount. The ladder weighs 35 pounds, as solid a ladder as I’ve ever seen. The adjustments pieces are all very heavy steel and there are no quick releases or other whistles. It acts as both a two sided step ladder (4-7 ft) and an extension ladder (8-14 ft), thanks to the hinge in the middle. It fits easily inside the truck’s camper shell. It’s the last ladder I’ll ever buy. When I can no longer move it into position, I’ll have no reason to be on a ladder. Until then, I’m set.


Anyway, that was the last item purchase for a while. It was planned for well over week, though the extra $45 wasn’t. Not seeing anything impulsive ahead. Now I can sit tight, I’ve got everything I need for a while.

Idle hands

Posted on Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 at 1:06 am

Just ordered a preamp foot petal and a 10 foot guitar cord from Musician’s Friend. Maybe it will allow the Egee commiserate with the Behringer mixer. The preamp is a Behringer, so it has a better than average chance of being compatible with both mixer and amp. It also has a driver with three emulator options for amp styles. I wonder how much time I’ll waste on that. Like I need a third layer of Behringer FX.


At least the price for the pair is less than the instrument microphone. They should arrive early week, if not Saturday.


No wah wahs, I promise.


It’s what happens after washing dishes. Get a modicum of energy and…

January procrastination

Posted on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019 at 9:29 pm

I am deferring two chores, both in the kitchen: cooking and washing dishes. (One piece of microwaved cornbread is the total sum of the warm food for the day. It’s been Pringles and Reese’s Pieces otherwise, and not much of those.) I’ll probably get around to washing dishes when I run out of clean forks.


Reese’s and Temptations: Myka will jump up on the desk and stare me down whenever I eat Reese’s Pieces, expecting tit for tat with Temptations (salmon). This is because the containers are very similar. My snacks are in a plastic jar with a flip lid (originally holding onion bits), Myka’s are in a Pounce jar, slightly shorter and narrower, but essentially the same dispenser. We snack together is her new rule. “You snack, I snack.”


I am one pooped out volunteer. I don’t intend on doing anything that is not necessary, and not until it is necessary, for a few days to come. Been singing Madeline Kahn’s I’m Tired from Blazing Saddles.

back around

Posted on Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 at 8:06 pm

LZB is waiting for my carcass. I’ve unloaded and mostly unpacked, made the store run, and with a couple of exceptions involving digestion, I am a lump.


Myka did not mess with the oat grass, but her eyes were very wide when she got a face full of the eight inch tall sprouts as I watered the trays. She will get her reward shortly.


Got bakery made cornbread, as I’m too tired to make my own. I have a little over four hours to eat my cornbread, black eyed peas, pastrami sandwich, and cheesecake. I’ll make it.


Good to be home. It was nice to be of service when needed, but my bones are quite glad to stay put with a very low maintenance schedule. Letting the air out of the tires.


Part of the turkey soup returned with me, but the jambalaya and risotto died in Bryan. I still won’t have to cook for a few days. Plenty in the fridge to occupy me without a thaw.




!! Got the blackeyed peas, cornbread, pastrami and swiss, and cheesecake down the hatch before midnight. Close to the wire, but got it. Cold dog soup and rainbow pie.