Archive for March, 2020

Hits home

Posted on Friday, March 27th, 2020 at 11:46 am

Washington County reported its first three cases of COVID-19. More are expected in the coming weeks, as at least one of the cases was a public servant for the city.

No one to talk to, all by myself.
No one to walk with, but I’m happy on the shelf.

Not doing much, just hanging tight, except for this.


Sliding by

Posted on Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 at 1:42 pm

Mister gator, he’s a-glidin’ down the bayou.
Mister buzzard, he’s a-slidin’ through the air.
Mister turtle, he’s a-hittin’ the highway.
I ain’t goin’ nowhere.

Townes van Zandt

iOS 13.4 is downloading. Gives a whole new meaning to “mouse pad”. It says, “About 2 hours remaining.” *sigh*

Ooops, spoke too soon, it paused and couldn’t be resumed. Then it rejected the partial download. Back to square one. I think I’ll wait.

Been playing music a fair bit. I think new strings would be a good thing to do, lots of time to break in a new set.

Forecast is for 90°F, currently it is 84°F. Good day for a soak.

Brats and risotto are the base; broiled, bacon wrapped, beef tenderloin steak (last one) later today. (Plenty of rib eyes and prime sirloin available.)

The long beginning

Posted on Sunday, March 22nd, 2020 at 2:41 am

Still no confirmed COVID-19 cases in the county, but the Brazos Co. count is now 10. It’s just a matter of time. I’m hanging in already, making as few store trips as possible. I’m taking my precautions seriously.

A little antsy, not big, but I do sense a change. People are scared, introverted, fretting, uncertain. Traffic is a lot lighter. People are having to adapt primally when they don’t want to.

The cool spell is giving way, the rain breaking up. It could be the last time I wear the poncho until autumn. Been fighting off something for the last couple of rainy days, a lot of little things. Could be the dose change, pollen, my back strain, digestion, anxiety, any number of things and combos. Kind of a charm bracelet of tiny symptoms. No fever. Been sleeping a lot.

One thing I have to my advantage is experience in sitting still. As long as I have electricity, internet, and plumbing, I can sit it out. It’s easy. I have plenty of projects to tackle.

Same ol’ same ol’. One serving of dressing left, soup is gone, with the cheddar. Risotto is next. Plenty of alternatives to cooking available.

No jam

Posted on Friday, March 20th, 2020 at 7:58 am

The jam was called off. Restaurants close their in-house dining tonight at midnight. Texas is finally catching up with the rest of the nation. Four confirmed cases in Brazos County.

So I am hanging close to the vest. I took a quick drive yesterday to look at wildflowers and see which businesses were operating. It looked like a normal day, everything open. The traffic was less abundant, but still there.

Raining as the sun rises. A front is cooling things off for the weekend. It will rebound fully by Monday.

To jam or not to jam…

Posted on Wednesday, March 18th, 2020 at 1:10 pm

I am debating whether to play in the Thursday jam session one last time, or play it safe and bow out now. Spending lots of time researching stats, maps, news, and opinions. The nearby case in Brazos County that my doctor used as a measuring stick for dropping out has finally happened. But the county says the risk there remains low. Judgement includes knowing that the stats lag behind reality. I guess much depends on what I see tomorrow at the smokehouse. It may not even be open.

Spring Fling is still on, but I doubt it will be in two weeks. Momentum is increasing with the spread of COVID-19. I think we’ll be too deep into it by then for the risk to be worth it.

I am well stocked for being holed up. I finally got the chicken dressing and baked potato soup cooked. Neither will go to waste. The freezer has ample goodies, and the fridge is not empty. Cupboards are fully stocked. I can be talked into being lazy. Maybe one more store run for munchies, Pringles Goldfish, Reese’s Pieces, cookies, the decadent stuff that disappears too quickly.

I have my meds, though I’ll probably need another lisinopril script in a month. I’ve gone to 30mg, and it’s a 30 day as a trial. I’ve got at least 60 days of everything else. And I have over two months of the lisinopril 20mg left, so I could do a month of 40mg without a purchase.

Ready for when the tide breaks, stock, attitude, and distractions.

Back to back

Posted on Sunday, March 15th, 2020 at 11:44 pm

My back went out on me yesterday, possibly the result of the diverted fall from the porch. It flared after I woke and sat in the office chair for a couple of hours. It was a swelling that pressed the vertebrae into the nerve trunk. At the rate it’s receding, I would venture to say that there is no disc damage.

I made a store run today, and I was able to transverse the store on my feet, though I did lean on the cart from time to time. It has gone from struggle to get to the bathroom to doing prep in the kitchen this afternoon. So it is a short lived issue.

I have diced the chicken and pork loin. So I’m set to start cooking when the urge hits me, the stuffing right away, the baked potato soup requires the potatoes to be cooked and peeled. I could hold up for well over a month if the need arises. I am well stocked. I’m working on some of the cornbread that’s not going into the stuffing, so my appetite lacks an urgency.

COVID-19 is spreading faster in terms of confirmation, and testing is still not up to snuff. Every state except West Virginia is reporting cases now. It is approaching critical mass, though the risk for Washington County remains low. I am keeping an eye on it, as that could change at any time.

I have plenty to keep me entertained in lockdown. Several points in my life have prepared me well for enduring isolation. I could manage it, as long as I have internet. I have already set up a series of major movie collections to watch. Nothing stopping me from taking a drive to see the flowers.

Got a coconut cream pie today. I let myself indulge on an impulse. But I need to kill off the strawberry puree first.

428 years ago

Posted on Saturday, March 14th, 2020 at 8:57 pm
Pie in the Sky

3.14 1592 / π Day – 428 years ago.

Freitag dreizehnte

Posted on Friday, March 13th, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Friday the 13th. derrr…

First thing, Myka plunged through the office window screen as if it weren’t there. She stayed outside for about three hours. Fortunately, she decided to come inside before the horde was released. I got to sleep before sunrise without climbing a ladder.

The windows are now shut, because I can’t trust Myka not to shred the screens. The back door, which is reinforced with hardware cloth, is the only open portal. I’ll be running the fans until it’s AC time. Myka got her dose of AdvantageMulti, which she did not appreciate. She is on kibbles until midnight.


And I almost fell from the porch while taking the trash to the curb for pickup. I caught my balance, but not until I jammed the three outer toes of my right foot. Yeow. As much as I like them, sliders have their downside.

Vince has moved to publishing often on Facebook. I have no material for the blog. I’m not going to worry about it until he does. I let him know again. I discovered that Eric Taylor passed away earlier this week.

Sinking anxiety

Posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2020 at 11:00 pm

I made two store runs today, and each time out of curiosity, I went to look for disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizing wipes, isopropyl alcohol, and similar items. None were to be found, except a spray bottle of Clorox cleanser, and it was in the back of the bottom shelf at the end of the aisle.

The canned meat and vegetable shelves were starkly vacant. The dried beans were wiped out. Same with paper towels and toilet paper. There was no ground beef or chicken. 90% of the shopping carts were full. People are in bunker mentality.

I see a lot of bravado online, but the stores say otherwise. People are suddenly spooked. They want to be able to hole up when it hits the fans. I have plenty of food.

I contacted my primary, asked for an opinion about the risk factor of playing music in public. He said not to be overly concerned until a case shows up within 40 miles of home. To me, the greatest risk here is infected tourists coming to see the wildflowers. Gas stations, obvious eateries, tourist traps.

So I have been shopping for things that others aren’t considering, like popsicle sticks for punching key pads on debit card readers. Wet wipes for the truck to augment the 91% isopropyl. The things missing now will get restocked. I’m in good shape.

I went out and looked at the wildflowers today, a good start, some impressive fields, but not peaking yet. It will get better.

Return of the Geckos

Posted on Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 at 12:50 am

Myka saw her first gecko of the season this evening. It didn’t hang long enough for her to taunt it, being early in the season. They have yet to learn/relearn that they are protected by the glass. But it came back briefly, showing only its head and foreleg, for Myka to get a close look.

I had hoped to get the truck inspected yesterday, but alas, it rained lightly most of the afternoon. Today or tomorrow is still in the optimum window, so not a big worry.

Fridge is getting thin, but the freezer still is solid, though not quite as jammed. I need to do a thaw.

Got my Amazon order yesterday. Silicone pot and pan strainers (clip on), foot scrubber for the bath tub, and a sock horn. A definite product testing batch, but the reviews were good enough for the price.

Feeling a touch of the pollen as I adapt, a spring ritual.

Myka is starting to shed her winter coat. I had to blow the dust kitties out of the optic mice sensors to make them work correctly.

Truck has been inspected and registered. Errands have been run. Nothing left but getting the trash to the curb.

Did I sleep that long?

Posted on Sunday, March 8th, 2020 at 7:43 am

No. Today is DST conversion day.

Bottomed out

Posted on Saturday, March 7th, 2020 at 5:12 pm

It has been a day of web server angst. Everything related to went down: site, ftp, email, account pages, everything except the DNS. A chat with the provider brought everything back. Well, except a couple of things that were already a problem.

Several weeks ago, I noticed a comment on one of the photos in the Bottomland gallery needed a one letter edit to be proper. I went to log in as admin and it wouldn’t allow me in, said my password was invalid. So, to verify that, I went to the cPanel for database access and clicked on phpMyAdmin. It would’t let me in. This was an issue of the recent migration of servers when Lunarpages sold out to HostPappa. I went back online and chatted with tech support a second time and got that fixed.

I finally get into the database and determined which user name was admin, so I tried that and it failed. So there was some sort of database failure, which I couldn’t check because the password was encoded. I couldn’t retrieve the password via email, because the admin email no longer exists, having been on In the process of attempting the rescue, I ended up being banned. Unable to log in, I can’t remove the ban without causing further damage (ftp, database, etc).

I have come to the decision to just pull the gallery. Looking at metrics for the gallery, I have to go back to July of 2017 to find when the gallery drew 500k of bandwidth in a month, and the majority of monthly bandwidths were under 100k. Much of that was mine. So I’ve taken it out of the loop (site navigation), and I’m downloading a copy. (Biggest chunk is the error log, in excess of 1.6G.) As soon as that finishes, the gallery will be uninstalled. Then the folder will be deleted. That will be followed by the removal of the databases and db users.

It’s a gray, cool day, high around 62°F. Appropriate for the demise of the gallery. Farewell to the flowers. (I still have copies of everything I shot at Bottomland on the hard drives.) I might add a section to the other gallery for a select few.


Never mind, I fixed it. I even updated the email address so that this doesn’t happen again. Thank goodness I had backed up the gallery in the cPanel. After the restoration, I was able to upgrade to current version, then hack the restored database. Once inside the admin section, I was able to alter email and other items. I even made the one letter edit.


Posted on Friday, March 6th, 2020 at 8:48 am

My brain is jammed in neutral. Sitting and simply staring at the digital screens is a fun thing to do for hours at a time. Not interacting, just staring. There is full knowledge that today is trash pickup, the towels are dry from washing, etc. But sitting and staring seems a sufficient activity for this morning.

It was a fun jam, nothing spectacular, but fun. The Egee got passed around, which was interesting. I took toys and used them. My voice was weak in spots, but not fatally so. We had a good time. It was another 4 hour jam. It wore me out. Had a chili cheese burger.

I wore my pads a bit, a little on the sore side. Enough for a coconut oil treatment. I’d rather sit and stare at the screen than play the Egee. At least it’s unpacked.

Anyway, next jam will be same sun time, different clock time. This weekend is the switch to DST. Good news is nothing is pending for those weeks except truck inspection and registration.

Pocket Feedback

Posted on Sunday, March 1st, 2020 at 9:04 pm

March has swept in spring. I saw a black capped chickadee today, much to the consternation of the local wren. I saw my first patch of bluebonnets of the year this morning. The camellias across the street are rioting. Red buds are popping, as are the cherry laurels. The windows are open after dark. Bare sleeves. Aaaaahhh.

Being the first of the month, with plenty to spare for the month, I bought a portable bluetooth speaker. I listened to a few in the store and settled on one that was not the cheapest, but not overkill. It gives the newer laptop a new audio option and opens it to new uses. It can be used with the iPad in the truck while on the road or out in a field with no electricity. And if I plug the Egee into the preamp and from there via cable to the speaker, kick in the driver with the foot switch, I can get that little little package to wail feedback like a banshee. Pocket feedback. Trouble on the hoof.

A pair of bacon wrapped tenderloin steaks.

Working to kill off the jambalaya, and broiled a couple bacon wrapped beef tenderloin steaks. I was a little worried about the time they’ve been frozen, but not a hint of burn. I plan on eating a few of these in the weeks to come. One of the two remaining tubs of strawberries came out of the freezer. BB time.

Blood pressure is improving. It took a while for the ARBs to wear off and allow my body to normalize. But the pattern is a decline in the intensity on both sides. Still not quite on target, but no longer extremes. More energy too. So I’m hopeful.

It’s spring. The truck is clean, bills paid (except internet, and no reason to hurry there), windows are open, birds are singing, trees are popping out, good food in the fridge. What’s not to like?