Archive for May, 2019


Posted on Thursday, May 30th, 2019 at 4:41 pm

Deposit clears the bank at midnight. I will have it back up to standard, drained since the auto insurance payment in March.

Still in pokey mode. Feeling better with the previous meds finally departing my body, a slow gradual process. It’s not so much the new meds as it is the start of summer, the Texas version of spring fever.

Still haven’t made music school. I will eventually.

Spuds getting cooked for a large mass of mashed potatoes. Sausage gravy should follow later today. Turkey and baby back ribs are the alternatives.

A little rain this morning, enough to wet things, but not much more than that.

Roman Numerals

Posted on Monday, May 27th, 2019 at 4:03 pm

I ran across a question about Roman numerals, and found myself needing a quick refresher. But then the question occurred to me, how does one express 25.4TB (2.54 X 10¹³) in Roman numerals? (That is the amount of functional hard drive space I currently possess, of which 19.2TB is currently in active duty in the office.)

It was a slow holiday. The La-Z-Boy broke a rocker support and needs to be repaired. I bought a cheap airbed and hand pump for the interim. It can double as a pool float when the LZB is back in service. Interesting pump, it has the intake (deflate) and outflow (inflate) in the handle, on opposing sides, and both operate when the handle is moved in either direction, up or down. This makes it twice as efficient as most manual pumps. Interesting valve system.

Anyhoo, I took the day off. No cooking, no cleaning, no truck repair, no LZB repair, I’ve just been lazy today. Then again, the last two days have not been idle. Moved the LZB, cleaned the floor, cleaning in the kitchen, cared for the dogs, store run, and a bunch more. So I don’t feel guilty. It’s different, but I have a place to sleep. There is ample food to eat. I don’t need to go anywhere. I plan to soak in the tub shortly.

One oddity on the truck is the distribution box. I disconnected the power feed, and the short showed both on the box terminal and the cable. I’m scratching my head on that one. It should be on one side or the other, not both. I also got a spark on the negative terminal when I first connected it, but subsequent test contacts made no sparks. Capacitor? Mystery upon mystery.

No rib eye as I had intended for the holiday. Finishing up the section of brisket and coconut cream pie. Tomorrow, I plan on sausage gravy and mashed potatoes after I fix the LZB. Plenty of veggies to go with them.


Posted on Friday, May 24th, 2019 at 2:00 pm

It’s summer, days in the low 90s, nights in the 70s. Nothing unexpected.

Made a store run for the compression socks, and they just came out of the washer. They shouldn’t take long to dry. Also got Myka a new cat food, Friskie’s Indoor, which she definitely prefers. Could be because of the greenery mixed in, since she’s not getting any oat grass. But she definitely prefers it to the Purina, which she hasn’t touched in a side by side.

Still haven’t tested the truck. This morning was an active one. Chores, laundry, cleaning, garbage, and stuff. Still have a couple of things to do before I cash in for a siesta. Fill the ice bin. I need to apply some Combat paste, as the roaches have gotten less scarce in the last couple of days. Closing in on 90°F today.

Doing well with the brisket, spaghetti, coconut cream pie routine. Topped off the sketti dispenser with a 24 oz package. I am growing to like it very much. Enough variation on the other things to keep it from getting boring. Got milk for the potatoes and something else. Mashed potatoes and sausage gravy might be the answer. I don’t expect a store run this extended weekend, stay hidden.

Thinking a ribeye, a loaded baked potato, and steamed carrots for Monday.

I may tackle the truck tomorrow. I say may, because the word “will” is not working. I won’t have nearly the chores tomorrow that I did today.


Posted on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019 at 9:38 am

Myka is eating again. Not a whole bunch, and not the Whiska’s gravy, but eating again nonetheless. And she’s no longer hiding herself away. So she is recovering. And I am relieved.

Four of the five packs of brisket are in the freezer. So I have brisket, baby back ribs, brats, and spaghetti as fridge options. And don’t forget the potatoes and other veggies.

It stayed around 80°F for most of the night, and it’s finally starting to warm up (9 am) for the day. Yesterday was a perfect day to cook the brisket. I’m hoping to diagnose the truck today. The days will be hitting 90°F for the next week, and the lows in mid to lower 70s. Pretty much carbon copy days, warm with no precipitation. So one day is as good as any other, weather-wise.

Having a motivation problem today. But I think it’s more related to worrying about Myka than anything else. I cooked and cleaned up after the brisket yesterday, no small feat. Some edema, but not major. I’m just not very bouncy this morning. I’m more inclined to go sit in the tub and soak awhile.


Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019 at 4:25 pm

Brisket just started cooking, rubbed. (I can smell the rub on my right hand.) I figure 6 hours at 250°F. 4-10pm.

Myka is not feeling good, hiding in the front room, turns her nose up at gravy. It looks to be digestive, as she was in the litter box earlier, to no avail. She purrs when I pet her, but otherwise makes no attempt to move around, except once to hide in the closet. I’m hoping it passes quickly.

Light rain today, bringing cooler temps (60s, low 70s), which is why the brisket is being cooked today. No sense in doing it in the heat.

Heat is being dampened for about 4 hours by the passing rain (light, barely wet things down), plenty of downdraft ahead of it to chill things down. Wind will turn around from the south around dark, and we’ll be back to normal again.

Tender, juicy, and yummy.

Lazy Weekend

Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2019 at 8:42 am

It was a lazy weekend. I got a lot less done than I expected. Didn’t work on the truck, didn’t cook, not much of anything except feed and care for critters. Blame it on the dew point. It is 78°F this morning. The grocery stores no doubt have misted windows, but I can’t verify that, as I haven’t driven anywhere since Thursday.

Been hanging out in the air conditioned office, watching a number of Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns, doing stuff online, getting into summer routine. Highs have been in the low 90s, right about on schedule for this part of Texas.

The valsartan is giving me edema, though not yet as bad as the irbesartan. And the rest of the side effects are gone, so it’s an improvement. Been looking at compression socks. I’ll need more than the two pair I have on hand if this is going to continue. But I will need something to stimulate my kidneys to counter the effects of the med.

Spaghetti sauce on the schedule this morning, once the temperature gets above dew point, but before it gets close to 90°F. Went through the loaf of bread pretty quickly the last few days. Thinking of getting a trimmed brisket tomorrow, last day of the sale.

Made the grocery run, pretty much nominal, though there were a couple of odd moments, like kids racing around with junior grocery carts. And I spent several minutes looking at the briskets and their price tags. And the self checkout had a bad calibration on weight. Night shopping is always a little different. But the big moment was after I paid and walked out to the truck.

The headlights were glowing, however dimly and yellow. Then the glow went out to ambient nighttime parking. I panicked big time, thinking that my battery had died in the parking lot because I left the lights on. I popped the hood jiggled the terminal, no response. I put the groceries in the front seat instead of in the bed. I checked the light switch, and it was off. I put the key in the ignition and it started. BIG RELIEF!

I figured that what I saw was headlights from another vehicle shining into my headlights, and they vanished when the other headlights were extinguished. I didn’t see it because my vision was locked on my headlights. The illusion was completely aligned with my fears. I was thinking about push starting downhill and other such nightmares. (Spread your arms, hold your breath, and always trust your cape.)

Anyway, I got the trimmed brisket and everything else on my list. I’m back home with nothing on the shopping list.


Posted on Friday, May 17th, 2019 at 6:43 pm

Worked on the truck, though it was all maintenance. Topped off the battery, filled the tires, checked all the fluids, tightened the camper shell’s clamps. Filling the tires require charging the battery again for several hours. So I didn’t get around to testing for shorts, nor did I rebuild the shifter. There is tomorrow, if it doesn’t rain. I’m not in a huge hurry.

One good thing, I got to take a close look at the main electrical distribution box under the hood. That is where I’ll start testing, rather than the interior fuse panel, which is mostly key on circuits.

Had no problem dealing with the work. I am doing considerably better under the valsartan, and the old meds are fading away even more. Staying on my feet isn’t a huge deal. My back is doing much better. It is a case of night and day.

Work is ongoing next door, people coming and going, a buzz of activity. I keep wondering if any of the people are tenants. One kissing couple with a young daughter looked like a good candidate, but I am not at all certain. One thing, the trimming of the shrubs left the afternoon sun to hit the desk window without shade for about an hour in the late afternoon. Not particularly thrilled about that.

I’m in for the weekend, taking care of the dogs Saturday and Sunday. New rescue puppy in the house, just spayed. Stacy is the temporary name.

First degree burn on my left hand, removing food from the microwave (baked potato, butter, cheese, pork loin). It all ended up on the floor and ultimately in the trash. Not bad, a quick ice cube took care of any possible blistering. Three main spots, base of the thumb was the worst. I might not be playing guitar for a few days, but it won’t otherwise be hindering me.


Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019 at 2:42 pm

Things are definitely improving physically, now that I’m off the irbesartan, hydralizine, and chlorothiadone. It hasn’t completely cleared my system, though mostly gone. Stamina is much better, lower back is hardly painful, lethargy is fading, and I can handle aerobic exercise in stride. This is not to say that I’m 20 again, but the improvement is marked.

The weather is warming up (87°F). A store run had the truck on the “warm” side (some might call it hot) while sitting in the parking lot. Got spare fuses and fluffed out the kitchen paper and plastic stock, and a bundle of microfiber rags. Dropped about $80, all told, over half being for groceries. (I got a coconut cream pie, as they had a coupon for free whip, which will go well with the pound cake. I may even thaw a tub of strawberry puree.)

Ready to start testing the truck tomorrow. I read the manual and checked the fuse box, so I’m ready to roll on it. I’m feeling up to a day of work. If time permits, I may even rebuild the shifter.

Watching I Married a Monster From Outer Space, Paramount ⒞ 1958.

Work crew was next door cleaning up the vegetation. That to me signals that the property has been surrendered. Hopefully the back yard will be cleaned of dog stools and sodded. It’s getting too warm for the odor it creates. They’ll never be able to rent it the way it is.


Posted on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Waiting for the irbesartan to fade while the valsartan takes over. A slow afternoon. Not in a big hurry to do truck diagnostics. A time to relax. Not very hungry, just letting things shift inside.

I’ll be at home for the next few days. I will thaw ground chuck for spaghetti as soon as I make inroads on the turkey and pork loin.

Neighbor finally dug up the deer skull, but he left the neck section in the ground, and none too deeply. So I guess that they have vacated or will be very soon. I won’t miss them, as I never met them. I did manage to calm their pit bulls to my presence, but that is the extent of it. I won’t miss the smell of the dogs.

Enjoying the last of spring while it lasts.

Shave and…

Posted on Monday, May 13th, 2019 at 9:19 am
Snip, snip, snip, whack, whack, snip…

Just cut my hair. It was a week ahead of the 90°F forecast, but I have a doctor appointment tomorrow morning. I don’t have to worry about it for another year.

I determined that the irbesartan was causing the edema. I expect to be on a whole new array of meds except the atorvastatin (generic lipitor). All three of the most recent meds have had side effects that eventually reach a point that I can’t tolerate. I’d like to try valsartan again, as it seemed to be the friendliest, for the short while I took it before the recall.

I’ll pick up a fuse puller tomorrow, when I get my new meds, and get started on truck electrical diagnostics.

Killed off the alfredo. Have a section of pork loin and some turkey thawed. (I may need to get another pork loin when they go on sale again.) I may go for spaghetti tomorrow or Wednesday. But I expect to go light until then, steam some veggies.

Saturday Morning

Posted on Saturday, May 11th, 2019 at 6:51 am

Saturday Morning – Guy Clark

The truck started after four days of holding charge. I’ll probably run a followup charge to test the battery. I’m hopeful now that the fresh acid just need a good solid bump. Now that I know it holds a charge, tests will tell. I’m hoping it will last a few more years.

Feeling better now that the side effects and withdrawal from the hydralazine have faded. Still a little limited, but definitely improved.

Making a eggs ackley later this morning, have an avocado to waste.

Still on the cool side. Sweater came off the rack. Closed the house, turned on the furnace (humidity control). I think it ran three times all night. 62°F outside as the sun breaks.

The good news on the battery, 13 V across the posts, a healthy reading.
The bad news: the ohm meter showed 10 ohms across the terminals (disconnected).
I will be hunting a short. Derrr…

Strawberry Cheesecake

Posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019 at 10:14 am

Blue Bell Strawberry Cheesecake is back. YEAH!!! Half gallon in the freezer. Got a couple more pounds of strawberries to puree. Go figure that they’d both come round at the same time.

Truck battery needed another charge. I may need to replace it.

Quit taking the Hydralazine. Called the doctor. Waiting for a reply.

Chicken/broccoli fettuccine alfredo is the next item on the menu. The quick freezer tray turned out well, (most is from scratch) steak fingers, chicken nougats, popcorn shrimp, onion rings, gold potato sticks. Baked, not fried. A good mix for a quick fix.

I have managed to fill 1/3 of the iPad’s storage. Still 80G free. Exploring the burst and live cam features on the camera.


Posted on Sunday, May 5th, 2019 at 2:44 am

The risotto is done and marks the end of the cooking for the next day or two. There is a pork loin section and plenty of freezer heat and eat. So the air is coming out of the kitchen duties as soon as I load the ice bin and wash the risotto pot.

Having a quiet weekend. There were fireworks on the far side of downtown, heard but not seen because of the hills between. It began with the finale, no warm up, it was full scale start to finish. It made Myka curious. Otherwise, it’s been pretty laid back.

Managing the edema better with a balanced dosage on the hydralazine, with an occasional diuretic. Still need to shed some fluid, but the weight is dropping.

Oven time

Posted on Saturday, May 4th, 2019 at 11:21 am

Cooked a batch of tempura chicken breast nuggets and sweet onion rings in the oven, and they are being followed by a batch of gold potato slices (like skin on fries). Most of the items will go in or back in the freezer. The nuggets and rings were battered for the party, but the frier didn’t make it, so they stayed home in the freezer until today. So everything is being baked while the morning is still moderately cool.

Went through several days of rain, multiple storm trains rolling through. Over 2.5 inches total. But the radar is clear all across Texas this morning. 60s this morning, low 70s approaching noon. Forecast for lower 80s this afternoon.

Redid the splash page on Vince’s site. First work I did on the site without Sarah. It is now a bare basic splash page with the color pencil conversion of an image from Vince’s Anderson Fair video, disc 2. Nothing quite like Photoshop.

It’s been fairly quiet this last week. A steady stream of little things taking me through the days. No shopping. Just hanging and watching time pass during the rainy week, talking Myka through the thunder.

Myka’s 5th birthday portrait.


Posted on Wednesday, May 1st, 2019 at 12:05 pm

Myka has been enjoying her new double wide, catnip loaded scratch pad to no end. And the avalanche of Temptations and tuna water soaked kibbles were a big hit as well. She has been a happy girl for the first half of her big 5th birthday. Her extra gravy chicken pate’ is next, in about an hour. (I will probably regret all this tomorrow. She is amazingly swift at adapting to pampering, the blatant opportunist that she is.) But today, we celebrate.

Got the battery squared away, topped off with fresh sulfuric acid, cleaned with baking soda, rinsed thoroughly to the ground level, and installed a new terminal. I had to cut the positive cables and strip insulation, as I couldn’t unscrew the bolts holding them in contact with the old terminal. It was a thorough job, professionally executed. Engine cranked up perfectly and the charge was on the money. I’m cleaned up and everything stowed away. Done deal.

I think I will wait on rebuilding the shifter. It works well enough as is. And my back is complaining loudly. I got the essential work done today. That is good enough for me.

The forecast keeps nudging upward on temperature, going from lower 80s to upper 80s for highs, along with the dew point. Summer is creeping in from the Gulf.

Well, Myka got her pate’, which is all gone, and more Temptations, along the small planter of oat grass for her to pick and choose. Nothing quite like a birthday. A very happy kitty.