Archive for February, 2019

End of February

Posted on Thursday, February 28th, 2019 at 3:05 pm

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

Posted on Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 at 3:42 am

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

Posted on Sunday, February 24th, 2019 at 12:50 am

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

Posted on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 at 10:26 am

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

Posted on Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 at 2:55 am

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.


Posted on Monday, February 18th, 2019 at 11:07 am

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.


Posted on Sunday, February 17th, 2019 at 8:45 am

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.


Posted on Thursday, February 14th, 2019 at 2:57 pm


Posted on Wednesday, February 13th, 2019 at 1:08 pm

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.


Posted on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 at 3:29 pm

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…


Posted on Sunday, February 10th, 2019 at 5:33 am

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

Posted on Saturday, February 9th, 2019 at 3:15 am

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.

The last leg

Posted on Friday, February 8th, 2019 at 2:56 am

Well, it’s 40°F outside. So much for the blossom inducing spring weather we were having.

Having a bit of a reflection on the nature of living medicated. I am the survivor of an emergency abdominal aortic aneurysm patching surgery back in 2012. The bright side is that I survived 100:1 odds and that I’m still around to talk about it. The dark side is living wth the results. Granted, there are issues I haven’t discussed, and won’t. They aren’t life threatening and don’t make that big of a difference in my life. But the one major difference is hypertension.

My body, with the aneurysm, was in a condition for which my body was responding as life threatening. An when the surgery took place, and the aneurysm was altered, my body went into death shock. The cardiovascular system contracted violently to retard blood loss. This is very common in firearm wounds where blood loss is a life threatening occurrence. The body tries not to loose blood in panic mode. When repairs are made and blood replenished through transfusion, the vascular system relaxes when sensors tell the brain that things have returned to normal parameters.

In my case, the typical male adult abdominal aorta holds about a cup of blood. Mine was holding about a gallon. With the aortic patch installed during surgery, the body has never since returned to what it had become to see as normal parameters. Hence, my body never got the signal to relax the cardiovascular system. An example is my arms. My veins and arteries used to be obvious, protruding noticeably. Nurses who drew blood always were happy to see me. Now my circulatory lines in my arms are invisible, and the nurses have to poke and prod and get a second opinion. A good one will hit it first time, and I always complement them.

So I am running a tight fluid system with a strong pump, and the resistance from the arteries sends my blood pressure way into the dangerous zone. Untreated, my heart pumps very hard, experiencing a constant exercise session, and it builds mass in the cardiac muscles (especially in the left ventricle), which is not good. So I take angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) that tell the brain to relax the cardiovascular system These medications work in the lower brain, areas where conscious thought can not directly reach. Meditation has some effect, but it is fragile and not always effective. The secondary nervous system can have better results, acupressure in particular, hot water therapy, and aerobic breathing, but it is fleeting and not practical for full time control.

So that leaves me with an ARB regimen, probably for the rest of my life. ARBs are drugs that essentially affect brain function. They all have an effect that is a bit sedative, a bit fatiguing, and a little dingy. It’s harder to become inspired toward creative work, which is one of my pursuits in life. I don’t do 3D work nearly as often as I used to. Granted, “been there, done that” plays a little of that. I am more inclined to music these days. But still, I have lost a good portion of my chronic intensive edge. I am more sedentary and passive than I used to be.

Add to it that the ARBs play havoc with the kidneys. So a diuretic is usually an accompanying dosage. Edema is a constant watch. I have just started a new diuretic because of a reaction of the pulse regulation mechanism in the brain with the hydrochlorothiazide. The newly prescribed chlorothiadone seems to be handling the edema handily and not causing me some of the peripheral side effects as before. After two doses, I am hopeful.

The results of the blood tests are coming in, and they look good. My cholesterol is normal. My kidney function is adequate, and that was without diuretics in my blood stream. I haven’t seen the comprehensive metabolic panel yet, but I usually do quite well on those. All in all, I feel pretty good about the state of my being as a complex organism.

I have started accepting the slower pace. I am still alive, physically self-sufficient, still contributing to society in my own ways. The alternative of having been dead for nearly seven years is a judgement call, but I’m a tough one to bring down. Diminished by age and health is just part of the cover charge for still being here.

Tomorrow (today, actually) is the last leg of medical week. A run to College Station to have my annual follow up with the ophthalmologist. I don’t expect any cause for panic there, my vision is still acceptable. And I’ll do a little socializing in Bryan while I’m there.


Posted on Thursday, February 7th, 2019 at 2:02 pm

Hey riddle riddle,
The bat and the griddle.
The frau plumped up her balloon.
The little frog waffed to flee such a night,
And the fish plan to sway with the prune.

Okay, okay, I got the day off…


Posted on Wednesday, February 6th, 2019 at 6:26 pm

Had lab work and physical today, and a new diuretic, as soon as I go pick it up from the pharmacy. Came home for a couple of brats and a nap first. All looks good on the physical. Didn’t have to go to the hospital for the blood draw, had it taken at the clinic.

Still on the dingy side from fasting and staying awake. But that is the last of it, at least for four weeks until the follow up. Tomorrow, there are no medical appointments. So I get plenty of time to chow down and catch up on sleep. Got a marinated sirloin thawed and ready to dice for tacos. Baked potato soup to be made tomorrow.

Myka is doing quite well. She is back fully to her rascally self.


Posted on Tuesday, February 5th, 2019 at 7:51 am

If you don’t talk to your cat about catnip, who will?

Myka had a digestive distress starting Sunday, that peaked on Monday morning before dawn. She was blocked, her back legs moving to try to work it free. She was wasn’t eating or drinking anything except oat grass. I left her alone in the front room where she was passing time, and she came around. I saw unusual items in the litter box, and she started perking up. I gave her treats and oat grass and wet food. And I took some cat nip and rubbed it into her scratch pad, and she went bonkers. So I know that she has recovered now. A definite relief that there needs to be no vet visit.

Today is the dentist appointment, a little less than two and half hours away. I don’t expect much of anything, just a quick inspection and discussion. I’ll spend significantly more time waiting than actually seeing the dentist. It’s a simple six month check up. This is the only one that requires payment, and it will be a minimal visit fee.

I need to alter my sleep schedule. I’m losing way too much daylight. I can stay awake for the appointment today, tomorrow afternoon will be the test, with fasting from midnight on. Medical week begins.

Enjoying the spring weather. I’ll have the house open again this afternoon. I’ve switched from alpaca to denim.




The dental visit was gratis, so I won’t be out of pocket for any of the visits, except gas money. And I need to go to Bryan anyway.


Posted on Friday, February 1st, 2019 at 5:55 pm

Making headway in several places.

First, it got up to 74°F today. It wasn’t for long, but it was certainly welcome. More warmth is on the way. Hello spring.

Second, there is room in the freezer. Not a tremendous amount, but nonetheless some progress. Chicken fettuccine alfredo tonight.

Third, got the internal hard drives mostly clean. I still have to shave down some archives from 3D Sky and 3D Bar, but most everything else has been moved to the externals. A burn day coming after medical week.

I’ve gotten through the first four segments of Millennium (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, et al). Six hours down, three to go.