Archive for April, 2020

Oily times

Posted on Wednesday, April 29th, 2020 at 9:20 pm

I read a fair bit on the care and prep of a new bodhran and learned a fair bit. Now all my deliveries seemed to have stopped in their tracks, staying a day or four in the same place. This means that the mink oil is still sitting in the North Houston Distribution Facility. This means that to wait for the mink oil could delay the prep of the bodhran skin until next week or later. Not acceptable.

I found that many bodhran players like shea oil or butter for their drum skins. So I decided to make the first treatment with it, having a bottle sitting on my desk. I also plan to get a jar of 100% lanolin for the task. A mix of shea/mink oil/lanolin looks to be a proper treatment for the skin. Fringewood Bodhran Oil. All natural! Myka approved. (Myka was bribed for her endorsement.)

I need to think about cooking again. The gravy and tuna mac have been consumed, and I’m currently making the last serving of risotto disappear. (Ooops, it just disappeared.) I’m thinking chicken dressing as a starter. And spaghetti also has crossed my mind.

Doing fairly well. Starting to get back a little energy, but I haven’t launched myself into any projects, other than oiling the bodhran, with the heavy rains this morning. Had a very close lightning strike, a very bright flash and the thunder booming and echoing back as the shockwave rolled away. Had to close windows with a low in the 50s forecast for tonight.

27 hours to payday. Then I can order the lanolin and a 120V tire pump. Maybe a few tippers. I could just as well do it now, but I decided to wait. I want to see how delivery by the USPS pans out.

Case blues

Posted on Monday, April 27th, 2020 at 10:35 am

The bodhran travel bag that I ordered was sold out from under me. So now I need to find a different source, which shows to be sufficient, possibly at a considerably lesser price. At least I still get free shipping on the other. Waiting for the bank to adjust the payment (still pending).

The bodhran and tipper are out for delivery today. Clapper due tomorrow. Mink oil due Wednesday. Fedora on its way, probably in the next couple or so days. So are the shaver heads. I may get them all before the first.

Nice morning, sunny, mid 70s, a moderate breeze out of the south. On the easy side.

Bodhran case 2

Ordered a different bag, same basic construction, high rating. Pretty much the same price, free shipping. Tipper pouch is bigger, detachable shoulder strap.

And the bodhran is here. Label says treat the skin before playing. That means Wednesday, when the mink oil arrives. It sure is a noisy thing. Myka is having a ball with the box and packing. New toys all around. Now to learn how to play it.


Posted on Sunday, April 26th, 2020 at 3:05 am

I ordered a case for the bodhran, just the right size for the 18″ one that is on its way. This one has no big logo on it, and it has a side pouch for the tippers.


This was the result of doing what I pleased. It was an item I found and ordered to get enough for free shipping on another item that has eluded me at the stores. It was a better filler item than most.

Not a lot else going on.

Fridge additions

Posted on Saturday, April 25th, 2020 at 6:42 am

Made cheese risotto and sausage gravy tonight. Adding bulk to the scratch tuna mac. The milk has been consumed. Pastrami, smoked turkey, brats, and chili cheese dogs are bread options, as is the gravy, but not all at once. Plenty of baby swiss and provolone for the deli. I think I’m set through the end of the month. Maybe breakfast tacos as the week moves on.

Finished the Star Wars marathon. I won’t ever have to do that again. Not quite ready for Firefly yet. It was an interesting sequencing, the three blockbuster series in a row. I think I had my FX fix, my Maya appetite sated for the nonce.

Sun about to rise, half hour away, dawn in progress. It was 93°F at the airport yesterday. High for today is forecast to be 80°F. Won’t see real 90s again until end of next week, first of May. (Which is Myka’s 6th birthday.)

Got all my scripts down and finished business with my primary. We messaged each other a cordial farewell. I am currently in between primaries. Doing fairly well, side effect diminishing, as expected. Still not much stamina, but doing better. Not having to segment things nearly as much.

Three of the packages are rolling. The bodhran is in Texas, Fort Worth, due Monday. Watching 20-somethings going all out for recitals, sigh, it’s not my primary instrument. The Egee is. Aerobic exercise sitting down, tipper gyrating, muscle developing, callouses forming, body memory infused. I will need more tippers and beaters over time. *sigh*

Saturday morning, chores done (after I put up the risotto and wash). (All that cooking and I didn’t eat.) Hanging loose, no where to go, nothing demanding attention. Cooking done. I can take the weekend wherever I please.

Pea size hail at 2 pm, a few up to dime size. Highly aerated, solid white, no translucency.


Posted on Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020 at 6:04 pm

Ordered an 18″ bodhran and a second tipper from Musician’s Friend today. I’ll need to get a travel case and some mink oil for the skin, but I need to learn to play it first. It’s not a top of the line model, but the reviews are all positive. If I get that serious, I’ll upgrade. I’ll be the first one in the group to have one.

Walton bodhran

Also wound up all the loose ends with my primary physician today. So now I can send him a thank you/fare well message. I’ll head over to the pharmacy tomorrow and pick up the new scripts (same as I’ve been testing in the new dosages).

Made tuna mac today. Used the silicone strainer that I got six weeks ago, and I love it. My colander is going to grow lonely and dusty in the future. It held up to a full pot of macaroni and drained it fully without losing a single elbow. I am impressed.

Found a summer hat, trying to decide on a fedora or a panama. It’s hard to find an XXL (7 7/8, 24.5″) hat online. This is a Jaxon straw fedora in ivory.

Jaxon straw fedora, ivory XXL

I have a couple more rounds in the kitchen, sausage gravy for bread and spuds, and breakfast tacos to use up the rest of the pork loin section. The I’ll be able to coast a while.

I ordered new heads for my Norelco, having just replaced them with the set I have here. The price was right. I also got a clapping dolphin, similar to my clapping duck, as a backup or for clapping duets. I also found a good deal on mink oil for the bodhran skin.

All in all, I threw $150 at the internet today. Tomorrow, I’ll drain it in person for a similar amount. Then I won’t have to take anything from bank account for the rest of the month. Everything will be fine on the first of the month when I get my deposits.


Posted on Tuesday, April 21st, 2020 at 3:34 pm

The cat guard in the office window has been installed, and the screen repaired. Bug-proof and cat-proof, a breeze wafting through. Aaaahh, fresh air, a hint of star jasmine. The third one is not such a rush, but will happen soon enough. Myka is pleased to have the outdoor portal again, and I can relax while she enjoys it.

Freezer is full again, pork loin and chicken quarters stored away. A full set of options. I need to use up the milk this week, otherwise, it’s my whim. Sausage gravy will be the main option, bread and spuds as the base.

I got my meds sorted out, scripts called in, one filled, waiting on the other before I go pick them up. So I have finished professional relations with my primary, and it’s time to choose another. I have to say, he was a good physician with whom I was quite comfortable. I hope the next one is as agreeable.

Today is a light duty day. Trash, dishes, laundry. The first two are done. My ambition pretty much matches the pace. No complaints. 80°F outside, partly cloudy, a fine day for being gravitatively challenged.

Two more episodes of Star Wars to go.

Drawn to the pork side

Posted on Saturday, April 18th, 2020 at 8:50 pm
Half marinated pork loin.


Posted on Friday, April 17th, 2020 at 6:16 pm

Went on a $75 grocery run last night. Half a pork loin, bag of chicken quarters, cat food, avocado, chips, spuds, brats, bread, a bunch of stuff. I am well stocked and about to hit limit on the freezer when the oven cools. Pork loin, currently marinating, was three times what I usually pay per pound, but I only had two 1 lb sections left. Worth it, even with the 6 pork tenderloin sections I have. I use it for so much. With Smithfield closing down multiple plants, better have it now.

Got the first of three Myka shields installed, this one on the living room window. It allows a SE to NW flow through the house. Took a little effort to straighten and bend the lips on the hardware cloth and secure it with screws and washers. But Myka is currently taking in the view with eyes, ears, and nose. Next one will be the office, after I fix the popped screen and clean up the clutter.

Doxazosin seems to be working. Blood pressure almost normal. But there is a bit of dizziness, not severe enough to make me incapable, but enough to take the edge off, more prone to just sitting and staring. I’m just slowing things down, taking more steps in an activity. Everything is getting done in due course. ASAP mode deactivated. In the future.

I expect to be cooking tonight. Chicken roast and pork fried rice. If I have too much for the freezer when the oven cools after the loin is done, I will be making chicken recipes. Whole wheat penne alfredo, broccoli rice, other options. Chicken is plentiful. At this moment, tacos are the center entree, sirloin and pork loin.

Still in the Star Wars marathon, though not all that quickly.

The city is finally moving to trash bins for pickup. My guess is that someone convinced them it poses less of a risk of spread of the virus. They’ll show up on the curb in the next five days. Not sure if there will be a recycling bin or just the trash bin.

Rain in the forecast tonight.

Egee Spree

Posted on Monday, April 13th, 2020 at 7:26 pm

The Egee (Takamine EG523CDX-12HB) was restrung for the first time since I got it. It also got a spit and polish while it was stringless and a touch up afterward. Egad, what harmonics! I have been procrastinating on fresh strings since September. First restring for me without bridge pegs. It will be a while before I restring it again.

Got my state incentives (1st month), another one coming in May. Still no sign of the federal funds. I don’t need it at the moment, so I’m not fretting over it. Nine items on the shopping list, but in no hurry.

In the chili cheese dog stage, half way through. Sirloin has been thawed, I may broil it tonight, if the mood for tacos hits me. Fridge is getting thin. Pork loin should be getting thawed soon. (Pork fried rice.)

The doxazosin is helping my blood pressure, but I don’t think it’s quite there yet. I will probably need one boost in dosage. Side effects have subsided considerably.

Doing well. No viral symptoms. Feeling pretty good, now that the side effects are waning. A little on the tired side, but that is a plus when killing time at home.

Star Wars marathon, 1 through 9 start to finish, in progress, for the first and probably last time.

ding ding dingy

Posted on Saturday, April 11th, 2020 at 1:22 pm

I slept 12 of the first 16 hours after taking my first dose of doxazosin. Talk about dingy. But the second day is better, not as plastered, though I’m still not supposed to be driving today. Not that I have anywhere to go.

Chili cheese dog weekend. I know it’s not the traditional Easter fare, but then again, I have filled my lifetime quota of typical traditional meals. There is also the chicken fettuccine alfredo.

No progress on the Myka-proof window screens. I’m just not up for tool use yet. And there is rain in the forecast, which lets me off the hook. I have done some of the mental prep, though. For instance, I’ve determined that the height of the hardware cloth is wide enough to go across the widest window with the proper lip to spare. Perfect for a single cut fitting. Smaller windows will require a double cut, length and width.

I am doing well, no fever or other viral symptoms. Overall health well enough, no complaints. Finally finished my Lord of the Rings marathon. Watching singles before I dive into the next yet to be determined marathon.


Posted on Thursday, April 9th, 2020 at 1:45 am

I suddenly realized that things are going pretty much as they should, and that there isn’t any reason to worry about getting things wrong any more than usual, one can always pass away on the way to the store. It just requires more routine discipline than usual, and the will is there. It actually isn’t an epiphany, just a simple reflection magnified by repetitive social depravation.

I have intellectual ideas about population densities and self-adjusting factors. Pandemics fit right in there. Social distancing is an attempt to break the density by reducing close interaction, but it can’t be sustained. The cost is heartbreaking, but inevitable. Humanity is approaching the brink on multiple fronts because there are too many humans on Earth.

Waiting for benefits from state and federal to hit the bank. Not hurting, no hurry. I have managed my finances well.

Adding a new prescription to the line up, an alpha blocker. Doxazosin. One of those that require standing up slowly for the first week. I’m hoping to get the BP squared away before I lose my primary at the end of the month. I don’t want to go looking for a new PCP while still adjusting meds.

Making my way through LotR Return of the King. Last wizard movie for a while. Waiting for chicken to thaw for fettuccine alfredo tonight. Started on the second loaf of bread, though I am getting a little tired of the focus on sandwiches. Chili cheese dogs coming soon.

I like the new tin snips. I decarded it. Cuts a flimsy napkin as well as my Wiss 1DS shears (scissors), but it can also cut 20 ga cold rolled steel. Hardware cloth is 23 ga, no problem. Good tool.

Snip snip


Posted on Tuesday, April 7th, 2020 at 12:27 pm

I made a store run this morning, getting a number of things. Metal snips, cable ties (hanging fan handle), towels, a bluetooth mouse for the iPad, Meow Mix cups, popcorn shrimp, cookies, mini pizzas, eggs, milk, and more. A couple of things were not available, but nothing essential.

The bread is half gone, one loaf down, one to go. Not starting the chili cheese dog splurge yet. The pizzas are a bit overstocked, so I’ll be eating a few this week. Need to do something with the milk, not sure what yet.

The snips replace my old Weiss metal cutters, which have seen better days, definitely retirement fodder. They allow me to proceed with the Myka-proofing of the windows.

Finally broke down and subscribed to the Washington Post while the sale was too good to resist. I was getting tired of the cookie shuffle. And I have ample funds.

Been seeing a lot of woodpeckers outside the window. Another month of spring left.

Cool rain

Posted on Sunday, April 5th, 2020 at 9:21 am

Finishing up a couple of cool wet days. The rain was on and off, seldom heavy, but more often on than not. Apt days for holing up.

Spring 2020

Wildflowers are peaking, but all the rain has grown the weeds high enough to cover them from view. A few well tended areas have good views. No tourists to speak of.

Half pound bacon goudaburger last night, another today. Last of the sausage gravy on bread for brunch. Bread, bread, bread.

Hanging in. Don’t mind life being easy. Cut a mask from microfiber, still need to sew it, but no hurry. Not going anywhere soon.

April Foo

Posted on Thursday, April 2nd, 2020 at 10:00 am

Got paid after making a store run Tuesday. Got hardware cloth, screws, and washers for putting up Myka shields, so I can open a few windows. While I was at Lowes, I was recognized by the lady at checkout from the Pioneer jams. Aaah, the life of a star.

I got two loaves of bread and another pack of flour tortillas. Sandwiches and tacos galore. Bacon gouda burgers this weekend. Chili cheese dogs. Bread and sausage gravy. Brats. Pastrami/baby swiss. Breakfast tacos. Pork loin tacos. Sirloin tacos. No one said that hunkering down had to be miserable.

Having a second marathon, this time in middle earth. Looks like the sequestering will last another six weeks, minimum. Probably closer to eight. I have projects in mind.

The county count is up to 17, a near doubling in one day. However, that jump was for the weekend and from the five surrounding counties for which we’re a hospital and testing hub. Less than a half of the count is reportedly from in county.

I think I’ll weedwhack the sideburns today.