Archive for October, 2019

New threads

Posted on Wednesday, October 30th, 2019 at 4:51 am

Wearing new clothes, everything but wool cap, suspenders, socks, and slide sandals are recent purchases. Jeans, T-shirt, denim shirt… Everything fits properly. A nice feel to it. Not quite as soft as the stuff that is broken in, but a nice feel for cool weather.

I put away three of the old jeans with three others in the rolling suitcase. They are there for work and other sloppy events.

Two more denim shirts shipped out of Nashville today. They’re due on Friday. The purchase has not cleared the bank yet. Friday morning is pay day.

Weather is declining. Will see 30s for a few nights, with Halloween night just grazing freezing. Not that unusual to see Halloween as the first cold night of the season. I’m ready for it.

First plate of spaghetti tonight. Good choice for cool weather.


Posted on Monday, October 28th, 2019 at 6:05 am

Got three new pair of jeans this morning. Ordered two more of the denim shirts after I got back home. Those helped make the $185 over limit on the bank account go away. Topping the gas tank and a few odds and ends finished it off. Ah, the 3 am store run, no lines, no traffic, own the aisles.

So now I have three sets of jeans with four matching shirts. I have six pair of jeans that are to some degree faded and well broken in, but those don’t color match the shirts. They match the four old denim shirts that lost their elbows. Jeans are now in the washer after being thoroughly sniffed by Myka.

Need to make spaghetti sauce. Been procrastinating for too long (eggs ackley full tummy syndrome and pork loin tacos). I also need to fill the ice bin. So I will spend a little time in the kitchen this morning.

Nice weather 80/60 for the next two and a half days. Thursday night (Halloween) will see the first 30s of the season. Not that unusual to have a coldween. Chance of rain in the transition late Wednesday.

It’s a nice feeling to have the truck operating nominally. Makes me want to spin wheels. But I’m still sitting here.

Ado Ackley Avoc and Sketti

Posted on Saturday, October 26th, 2019 at 2:58 am

The avocado is still good, which means that I’ll be making pork loin eggs ackley (w/ bell pepper) tonight. Got the ground chuck separated and two bags (2.0 & 1.5 lb.) in the freezer. 2.0 bag is in the fridge for spaghetti sauce.

Just below 50°F outside, been hanging around there for quite a few hours. Moderate winds. Denim shirt weather.

Gas station had lost their card reader connection, so I didn’t bother topping off. I’ll wait until it warms a little. I can fill up on the next block over, same price.

Weekend’s here. Not exactly hyped up about it. Just another night. I have a little work to do.


Posted on Friday, October 25th, 2019 at 1:03 am

Another volley by the arctic, bringing a patter of atmospheric applause. A fairly thick band that’s not in a big hurry to pass through. Windows shut to hold in the warmth, as the outdoors drops below 60°F. Northerly breeze kicking up.

Been a tired day, lots of no pain, no gain. No stranger to it, though not so much recently. Haven’t moved much today, often postponing a refill or eating because I’d have to get up. Gravitatively challenged. No store/gas run. A couple of naps after a long crash. 23 hours home and I haven’t even unpacked the Egee.

I think I’ve caught up on everything now. Headphones were on more than their share today. A couple of times they were left connected and idle.

My voice is in good shape, but not sure how long it will hold. I played a little shy of two sets, and I should be near four sets for TRD. Not sure if I will get that far. The count down begins.

I need to cook, not to prevent from starving, but to get active doing something. And I have an avocado. Ugh. Bad timing. Pork loin eggs ackley. That’s ultimately doable (sans bell pepper) without going out in the rain.


Posted on Thursday, October 24th, 2019 at 10:24 am

Came back last night, confident that the truck would make the trip, and it did. Had a good time. Played a lot of music. Voice was the first to go. It was a fun 12 hours. I slept longer last night than I have in quite some time.

Highway 50 was closed south of Independence. The detour was about three times longer than the closure. So I came back by 6 and 105.

A couple of things stand out about my return to the highway that indicate my lack of familiarity. First was driving at 70 mph in 4th gear. I had forgotten a couple of times that there is a fifth gear, having not used it in 6 months. The other was not checking the road conditions map online before I left.

Cashing the 5.5 month old check was an experience. I got grilled by one of the bank officers. Fortunately, I had cashed checks there previously, and they had visual records.

Gas was more expensive in Bryan than in Brenham. That doesn’t happen often. I need to top off, as it was too late when I got back to town. Only the four corners Valero was open, and I was more concerned about getting home.

Got complements on the pork tenderloin that I took to music school. It vanished. Nothing in the fridge. Took a pork loin section out of the freezer to thaw. Contemplating what else to thaw. Maybe one of the sirloins.

The lost art of packing

Posted on Wednesday, October 23rd, 2019 at 9:33 am

I haven’t packed for a road trip in over six months, namely Spring Fling. Myka is not going to be happy. Granted, packing for a music school takes less than an hour at a relaxed pace, less than 30 minutes with effort. Still, she will immediately know what I’m doing and will not be happy about it.

I have done the other tests and calculations. The distribution box drain is showing at 18 Ω. At 12 volts, that equates to 0.66A, or about 8W. That means it would take at least four days to drain the battery (eight days for a 100% drain of the 130A reserve). The alternator is 75A, or 900W. I am confident that the alternator will not be diminished by that much extra draw, and while running, the battery, engine, et al, should not be impaired. I will pull the negative terminal from the battery when parking, as I already have been doing. As long as something drastic doesn’t happen, I am good to go.

Looking forward to the visit. I haven’t played music with anyone in six months. It’s about time…

I have to say I am not alone in elation that summer is over. The 80+°F dew points took their toll all around. Everyone I’ve encountered is celebrating.

Two and a half hours left of hanging close to the vest at my leisure.


Posted on Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019 at 11:04 am

Part 1 – the alternator is off. Taking a break before heading over to the parts store for a warranty swap.

Part 2 – the alternator was exchanged, no cost, no problem. The rectifier was bad. The lifetime warranty transfers over.

Part 3 – installed!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!

I am so glad to get everything to finally come together. I must say, I’m smiling a big one. All other issues are forgotten, at least for now. Even the mosquito bites.

Got a slightly used spare battery as a backup for the trip to Bryan. I hope I don’t have to use it. But it’s there if I need it.

Ping pong

Posted on Monday, October 21st, 2019 at 9:05 pm

Texas has two seasons, summer and ping pong. I have made note of this in this blog eight times before. We are seeing the arctic make a lob shot over Texas, bringing a dash of swift thunderstorms and modest rain. But temps are mild, low 80s instead of 90s. I have yet to re-don the denim shirt or light up the furnace. Windows were shut in the upper 70s, and they’re now in the upper 60s outside, heading for the low 50s. The sleeves will return before sunrise.

Made a burger tonight, bacon and gouda to adorn it. The package of ground chuck in the freezer was 1 lb, shy of the standard for sketti sauce. And I had considered a run to Whataburger, so it was a logical progression. I have enough for a second bacon gouda burger. And I may get avocado for this one. I also have a section of pork tenderloin thawed. That will probably join the wedge of Jarlsberg in the fridge.

Planning a quick late night store run. Four items on the list, under $15. In and out. I’ll get to make a social debut in the new denim, caught live on surveillance cameras.

Hoping to do the alternator swap tomorrow. It will be a good day for it, specifically the afternoon. I need to get it done. I’m hoping it will happen, I am feeling better, the weather is right.

I need to get to Bryan to cash a check while it’s still valid. I want to play some music with others too. Don’t get me wrong, I am comfortable here. But one can’t sit in one place forever. Even with online purchasing.

If I go to Bryan Wednesday, I may wait to restring the Egee. Better a little flat than excess harmonics and stretching out of tune every song. (I knew I’d find an excuse.)

Denim sleeves

Posted on Saturday, October 19th, 2019 at 3:04 am

Been wearing one of the new denim shirts for 18 hours now, and I am pleased. They are the right size, everything fits, no constriction, sleeves are proper length, the snaps are pretty easy. I will definitely order two more.

I am reluctant to thaw anything from the freezer. Killing off the last of the brie now. The chicken stock rice is the last item surviving in the fridge. I still have an urge for popcorn shrimp. Spaghetti in the near future.

I missed getting garbage out to the curb. I don’t do that often, and this time was because I slept through the usual time I take it to the curb. I also slept through the time of day to swap out the alternator. *sigh*

60s outside, windows closed, no central heat tonight. No AC either.

Going into the weekend. I could hear music from the downtown clubs when the windows were open. No football music this weekend.

Still playing music myself, though still on old strings. I don’t seem to be very inspired lately. The long summer didn’t help me shift gears. I need to rev up, but the body is not cooperating. I don’t feel bad, just slow. Edema isn’t helping.


Posted on Thursday, October 17th, 2019 at 3:42 pm

The denim shirts arrived. A little wide in the shoulder, but the sleeves are perfect. They are currently in the washer, as they are on the stiff side and need breaking in. But I’m happy with them. I will get a couple more, probably in November.

AC is off again. Windows currently open, 73°F at the peak of afternoon. Dew point, 40°F, rh 30%.

Made the chicken stock rice last night, came out about 2.5 quarts. Over a quarter of chicken in it. It will last a while. Half way through the brie and pate. Starting to think of a thaw, spaghetti is in the top choice list. Not particularly hungry.

Hoping to get to swapping out the alternator tomorrow.


Posted on Tuesday, October 15th, 2019 at 1:18 am

My shirts, two and a half days after ordering, finally got their origin scan in Nashville. They are due Thursday.

Too much in the fridge to eat popcorn shrimp. Sausage gravy, fettuccine alfredo, and half a rotisserie bird. Plus a round of brie needs to be eaten soon with pate. It will be a while before the next thaw. Turtle cheesecake and cheese danish, though waning, are not helping. Produce neither. Trying to balance a desire not to gorge and expiration dates.

It got up to 93°F at 4 pm, the high was forecast as 84°F, so I left the windows open and napped. It was warm when I woke. But I never bothered to turn the AC on, as the dew point was in the 60s. I may turn it on, as the dew point has hit 77°F at 77°F.

The bird is now only a quarter, part of the second breast went to bbq tacos, the rest to bolster the fettuccine, which didn’t really need more, but better there than in two more tacos. Life is tough.

And the AC is on for the next 24 hours, at least, to keep things dry in the office.

Denim, cool weather, and fettuccine alfredo

Posted on Sunday, October 13th, 2019 at 1:00 am

The second front came through. Been in the 50s and a little of the 60s for 42 hours. The AC is off. The thermostat is operating the furnace smoothly.

I ordered two of the denim shirts, delivered to the door. It’s in budget. Due in a week. If they work out, I’ll get two more in November. The alpaca sweater is treating me well.

Haven’t restrung the Egee yet. I’ll get around to it.

Myka is quickly getting back into cold weather habits, like making a blanket hammock between my calves, taking residence in the aerie, and scootching all over. She is a happy cat.

Got a new aerator for the kitchen faucet. I was filling Myka’s bowl, she sitting in the other side of the sink, eagerly supervising. The aerator cartridge split along the base circumference, and KAWHOOOSH! Myka was airborne before the first heartbeat. Fortunately, no one got wet. I went to Lowes this morning and got a swivel stream/spray nozzle. I can now rinse the far corners of the sink without the aid of a spoon. I wish I had a 5 hole sink. Also gave the bathroom sink a fresh aerator cartridge.

Alternator swap on the horizon.

Rib eye/provolone taco today ended the steak. Made a chicken fettuccine alfredo using one of the breasts of the rotisserie bird I got on whim. Still have some sausage gravy to finish off. Most of the milk got used, less than a cup left. The freezer is topped off, a remarkable inventory.

I’ve been doing pretty well, all told. I’m not scootching like Myka, but the season is giving me inspiration. Things are getting done.

Ping pong

Posted on Thursday, October 10th, 2019 at 1:56 pm

The heat will run away tonight, but for now, the AC is running in 92°F weather. However, I’m not so sure that the office window will be opened, considering that rain and high winds may accompany the drop in temp. Tomorrow, the temp just keeps dropping.

The denim shirt I got has 33″ sleeves, which means good for a roll up sleeve, or give it to someone else. Myka destroyed the cardboard wrapper, so no sense in returning it. I have found the shirt I want at Home Depot, no less, $44. One or two a month, depending on the month. Four should suffice. 10 oz, tall size, 38″ sleeves, double flap pockets.

The Defense Lawyer Credo
“If the facts are against you, argue the law.
If the law is against you, argue the facts.
If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.”
Carl Sandberg

I am planning on restringing the Egee today, though not listing that in ink. It will be the first time. Alas, no pegs.

Rebounding heat

Posted on Wednesday, October 9th, 2019 at 12:58 am

The rebound from the cool front is beginning to creep back into the scene, with highs about 90°F. It’s not a simply return, but the low pressure bulge created in front of a serious cold front scheduled to arrive Friday morning. The low Saturday morning is forecast to be around 50°F. But the office window stays open tonight.

The denim shirt was not what I wanted. I’m convinced that any $20 denim shirt is going to be a lightweight, on the stiff side, even though it’s all cotton. I have a feeling that I’ll be looking in the $40 range to find what I want. I feel like I may need to do some window shopping in BCS to find the right shirt, then order online for the best price.

Got a ground meat chopper today, a five bladed nylon utensil for separating ground meat into loose chunks (chili, sloppy joes, traditional tacos, sausage gravy, etc.), as well as mixing bowl contents (stuffing, boiled eggs, etc.) I expect to use it tonight making gravy.

Did a dust burn on the furnace, checking out the new thermostat. Works quite well, only a single ignition sequence, instead of the four or five the old one was performing to get running. The cool down takes quite a while after the flame goes out, before the fan shuts off though. Also got new filters. So it’s set for winter now. Got some ducting for the bathroom.

Broke down and got rib eyes while they were on sale. So instead of two in the freezer, I have five, plus a majority of another in the fridge. I wasn’t impressed until I saw the four pack buried at the bottom of the far right row. Being tall with long arms is sometimes an advantage. Nothing new goes in the freezer for a week or two.

AC shutdown

Posted on Monday, October 7th, 2019 at 12:48 am

The AC is off, the office door is open, the desk window is open. Myka is thrilled.

Right now is the calm before the front, when things get still in the quiet line between the warm and cool bulges in the atmosphere. Just past midnight. The wind is scheduled to kick up from the north about 2:30. So there is a hush of a small town on a Sunday night as contiguous summer breaths its last sigh. The random vehicle says goodbye to warm Texas summer nights.

It is a definite difference, the constant drone of the AC gone. It’s replaced by the buzz of a few insects, a train passing through town, and the natural muted ringing of the ears. It is a relief.

It is a bittersweet farewell. Not looking forward to the freezing cold, but I do appreciate the departure of the heat. I can still tolerate the heat, as long as I’m not retaining it. Getting older has its costs.

But five months and change is enough summer for any given year. It’s time to bid summer adieux.

Last day of summer

Posted on Sunday, October 6th, 2019 at 1:53 am

In 26 hours, the wind is forecast to turn around from the north, with a 40% chance of rain. By sunrise, the wind will be 15 to 20 mph, and summer will be riding it south. It will attempt a warm rebound on Wednesday, but a more serious front at the start of Friday will insure its departure as the lows head into the lower 50s. Rain doesn’t look to be more than 40% at any time. Next week looks like consistent 80s/60s with no sunny skies.

Took a long soak in the tub. It might be the last cool water bath of the year, where the tub is comfortable for leaning back. The tub has considerable thermal mass, and it gets cold in the winter and doesn’t like to warm up above the waterline, even when it’s full of hot water. Abutting two exterior walls doesn’t help matters.

Working on a creamy rice with chicken and pork tenderloin. Sausage gravy will follow to target the bag of gold potatoes. Split pea soup is on the agenda to use the ham bone in the freezer, once I use up the milk (several options there). Spaghetti too. I’m sure a steak or two will be in the mix, now that I’ll be able to broil comfortably. May even bbq.

Hoping to get some recording done when the AC gets turned off. I plan on restringing the Egee, maybe today. I have all the gear for laying down tracks now. All I need is relative quiet.


Posted on Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 at 6:55 am

Just got the new thermostat installed for central heat. Hardest thing was the mounting screws, which were meant for plastic anchors, through an old and very hard plywood panel. The fan tests out on manual, but it’s a little warm to test the heat, and not while the AC is running. I want the house to be fully open for the smoke out first run of the season. I have confidence in the heat function. Everything else tests out. Glad to see that installed before it cools off.

Four more days of summer. Thinking about denim shirts. I found a good style for $20 each. I might try a couple, and if they work, maybe a couple more.

I need to cook, but I just don’t have the energy tonight after the installation. Plenty to eat on hand without cooking, but I need to use ingredients before they go south on me. Maybe tomorrow.

Not much else to talk about. Doing a lot of waiting for cooler temps.

October fessed

Posted on Tuesday, October 1st, 2019 at 12:22 pm

It looks like one more week of summer weather, and then it will drop 10°F. And then I can get the alternator swapped out without getting dripping wet and short of soupy breath. Then I can get out of town. I’ll have been a recluse for six months. That’s long enough.

Pay day today. Recovered from the truck insurance bill nicely. Staying home is thrifty. Kitchen is fully stocked. Due a thaw today.

Feeling pretty good. Meds are agreeing with me for the most part. Still a little limited because of my back. But I’m in good condition over all.

Spending too much time digging through the news.