Archive for March, 2019


Posted on Sunday, March 31st, 2019 at 10:47 am

Warming to 50°F this morning. I wish I could say it’s the last of the 40s this spring, but it’s not. Two more nights of chill and wind to endure. It will soon be time to wash the alpaca.

Got the iPad accessories from Amazon. The mike stand holder was not up to snuff, but the rest of it was. I especially appreciate the 6 foot power cord, allowing the pad to be moved anywhere on the desk without issue. I ordered an iKlip Xpand from Musicians’ Friend. I expect it mid-week. The bracket for the holder will serve as a tripod mount for video.

Made eggs ackley for dinner yesterday. With the cool weather, I will be cooking the next few days. Risotto, fettuccine alfredo, and more.

Well, to my surprise, the deposit cleared the the bank today, on a Sunday. That is unusual. When the first is on a weekend or a Monday holiday, it’s usually clearing on Friday, rarely Thursday. Can’t remember a weekend clearance. It usually gets deposited a few days before and then clears appropriately on a weekday.

Anyway, I bought the office chair. The price kept dropping. I first saw it at $319, then$269, the $189, I bought it at $169. A few minutes later, I saw a listing for $129. (Note: Turns out these are refurbs from returns.) However, shipping was much slower and scheduled for around Spring Fling. So I didn’t do a swap. I expect delivery on Wednesday.

So now I can sit back in style and not spend money for a while. (Except for Spring Fling.)

Two racks of baby back ribs thawing in the sink.


Posted on Friday, March 29th, 2019 at 7:03 pm

Took a run out on the backroads west of Brenham this sunny 80°F afternoon for a look at the progress of the wildflowers, and they are just about to peak. It was a very enjoyable drive, with some very intense fields of blue bonnets and paint brushes. I didn’t take a camera or stop, but I saw a couple of places to grab some classic images without an overload of tourists.

Waiting on the iPad accessories, which are scheduled to arrive tomorrow.

Had a fairly slow end to the week. Dealing with medication side effects, mostly the hydralazine. I found periodically skipping a dose keeps the side effects down without raising my blood pressure. Fast pulse and low pressure are the primary symptoms, but being generally fatigued and feeling drugged aren’t helping.

Enjoying the warmth, opened house, which is forecast to take a leave for a few days, hitting bottom on Sunday. It should be back to high spring by the end of next week.

Red Myka

Posted on Tuesday, March 26th, 2019 at 9:14 pm
Red Myka – iPad and Photoshop

Myka Flash

Posted on Monday, March 25th, 2019 at 1:49 pm
More iPad/Photoshop action.

Still playing around with the new iPad. I think that I might get to like it as a tool.

Padded cell

Posted on Sunday, March 24th, 2019 at 8:24 am

Well, I think I have the new iPad configured and fleshed out. I’m sure that there are plenty of options that need attention, but for the most point, it has what it needs and everything tests out. There are apps that no longer work on iOS 12, and some that didn’t transfer data during migration. But by and large, after 18 hours, it’s pretty much where I want it to be. There are new habits to learn. The Apple Pencil works very well. It’s nice to have iWork on board.

Myka has been happy in the LZB in my absence. I need to make something in the kitchen, as a diet of quick sandwiches is not a sustainable menu.


Selfie (iPad and Photoshop)

Adventures in iPaddery

Posted on Saturday, March 23rd, 2019 at 4:27 pm

Got the Space Grey iPad 9.7 128G Wifi yesterday. I booted it up, did the initial configurations, performed a fresh backup on the old iPad, then performed a restore on the new one to migrate everything over. While it was rebooting, it froze and was non-responsive. I called Apple Support, and they said make an appointment with an Apple Store for a clean installation. (I really dislike the proprietary nature of iOS.) I said, well, okay, but first I’m going to try letting the battery drain to see if it boots cold.

Then I waited 21 hours for the battery to drain completely. (A long wait… Darn the long life batteries.) I got nothing but a battery charging graphic for the first few minutes, so I put it aside to allow it to reach minimal charge. Once it did, it booted properly. I’ve been configuring and updating by the dozen, and arranging, and and and. Contacted Apple Support and told them problem resolved. Haven’t found time to test the keyboard or pencil.

I did have one app that dropped all my data, giving me a new ID unique to the machine. I haven’t figured out how to transfer the old ID over to the new installation. Grrr. Not turning loose of the old one until I get this resolved.

Sort of glanced through the changes, as there are quite a few. One thing I need to figure out is how to easily change illumination. And there are a lot of apps that I dropped for space sake that I will bring back, especially the graphics apps that relate to the pencil.

I always dread whipping a new machine into shape. I need to find a new mike stand holder and get a longer and sturdier charger cord. Details, details, details and the devils in them. I have to take rest breaks so that my head doesn’t get too achey/fuzzy.

Slow Burn

Posted on Friday, March 22nd, 2019 at 5:22 pm

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.


Posted on Thursday, March 21st, 2019 at 6:34 pm

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.


Posted on Wednesday, March 20th, 2019 at 5:43 pm

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.


Posted on Sunday, March 17th, 2019 at 2:12 pm

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.


Posted on Saturday, March 16th, 2019 at 4:02 pm

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

Posted on Friday, March 15th, 2019 at 12:37 pm

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.


Posted on Tuesday, March 12th, 2019 at 3:26 am

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

Posted on Monday, March 11th, 2019 at 7:16 am

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

Posted on Friday, March 8th, 2019 at 12:55 pm

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

Posted on Wednesday, March 6th, 2019 at 8:27 am

♫ 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.


Posted on Tuesday, March 5th, 2019 at 12:35 am

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.


Posted on Monday, March 4th, 2019 at 8:53 am

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.


Posted on Friday, March 1st, 2019 at 7:15 pm

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.