Archive for May, 2020


Posted on Sunday, May 31st, 2020 at 12:37 am

Closure for May. Closure for spring. Got paid early this month, a closure to this last month’s finances.

Ordered a 1.5″ OD X 10″ 304 stainless steel tube for use as a píopa. I played the bodhran a little, then started treatment on the skin with lanolin. Mink oil is next, ending in shea butter.

The ultralight whippers turned out very well. I am very pleased with their action. They did everything I hoped and more. I must pat myself on the back.

Rib eye tacos were taking center stage today. The rest of the menu is pretty light. But it wasn’t a particularly hungry day. I should thaw something. Been wanting eggs lately.

Not a lot to do as far as chores. I’ve been more project oriented.

I ordered 1/4″ X 12″ bamboo dowels (24) to make lightweight whippers with a little more punch than the ultralights. They can also be used without a handle.

Test results

Posted on Friday, May 29th, 2020 at 9:09 am

Got my blood test results. Everything looking good. The items that were just a little out of standard range are even less out of range. I may get prescribed a diuretic for my edema. I’ve been told to wear my compression socks daily.

Rain is gone from the forecast. The 90s could return any day now. Rib eye to be broiled in the next hour, before it hits 80°F.

Made the first couple of ultralight whippers last night, cutting, sanding, drilling. I discovered that the guiro scraper (see image below, the real skinny one on the right) was made using a bamboo skewer (for kabobs). I realized that I have over 90 in the kitchen drawer. So I cut off the points on a couple, drilled and sanded the pegs, and joined them. I still need to glue them and treat with Danish oil, a project for today. A quick trial proved positive. The peg knob prevents slippage extremely well. A modest touch of pride for my design vision.

That makes the 1/8″ birch dowels moot. The final two are still at Home Depot (coming up on 48 hours) and no call yet to pick them up. I can surmise that they might be broken in shipping like the originals. This is the craziest $2 debacle that I can remember. I am contemplating making a custom brush beater with them. I can’t think of any other immediate use. I might make one of bamboo skewers as well.

The Meinl tipper that was backordered from Musician’s Friend is showing status as processing. I expect delivery early next week. Bank account has not been charged yet, but it’s expected in the next day or two. So, my drumstick bag will soon be complete (sans anything that I might construct in the future).

The UL whippers have been finished, can be handled. Another 6 hours before they can see use on the bodhran and be stored in the bag. Three days and they’re fully cured. They feel good in motion, better than the original scraper, more versatile. I am very pleased and can’t wait to put them to skin.

Whip it good.

Last stretch of May

Posted on Thursday, May 28th, 2020 at 1:45 pm

Had a major rain yesterday, 2.5 inches from radar accumulation. Myka was not appreciating it, a couple of close lightning strikes giving her a start that she didn’t get over until the rain was over. There is a chance for it today, though nothing is showing on radar. But it should be the tail end of the rain. Dry days ahead as the 90s return.

Things have settled back down from yesterday. Laundry, thawing a rib eye, the usual everyday things. No word yet from Home Depot on the dowels. No hurry. Just hanging out and making time pass. Pluck strings, pound skin, cook, wash, look at screens, talk to Myka, make the hours pass. Same ol’ same ol’. Pizza for lunch.

Waiting for the internet bill to show so I can finish May’s finances. Take that back, I just paid it. And the deposit is there in my account, set to clear Monday after midnight. No more thinking about money for the rest of the month.


Posted on Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 at 3:01 pm

The two tippers I ordered most recently arrived yesterday, but I didn’t see them until this morning. I should have checked the mail yesterday afternoon. That leaves one Meinl tipper on backorder. Then I’m done.

Drumstick bag contents

Met my new primary care physician. I like her, it’s easy to talk to her. Blood draw without fasting. Might get a new prescription or two.

Got a tub of Blue Bell Strawberry Cheesecake. Aaaah. Loaf of bread too.

The last of the dowels are in town, but not ready for pickup. Otherwise, I’m staying glued.


Posted on Sunday, May 24th, 2020 at 1:17 am

Hair has been cut, a little shaping to do on the edges, but pretty much there. Not in a big hurry to finish.


Slo mo

Posted on Saturday, May 23rd, 2020 at 9:02 am

Finally got the jambalaya on the stove, 19 minutes to go. Myka enjoyed shrimp and pork loin nibbles. Scallops were raw and the chicken is not top priority for her. But she’ll get some when it’s done. She is a very happy kitty. I won’t mind it either.

It got all the way down to 79°F this morning. Ugh. Summer is here. This coming week looks wet, temps lower, but the dew point won’t drop a whole lot. Slow and hunkered, even without a pandemic.

Still no hair cut, but not worried about it. As long as it happens before the doctor appointment. Nothing going on this weekend, so plenty of opportunity.

Still having to adapt from the turnaround on Monday. Not bad now, but went through a bit of a restless spell, even while recovering. Getting out on the road and seeing friends makes for a desire to keep it going, even though it is risk taking. I need to drive the truck, stir the rear gas tank a bit, which will help ease it. But I could stand a good party nonetheless.

The jambalaya is setting on the stove. A little early for lunch, but I might eat a little before it cools. I’m sure Myka would concur.


Posted on Friday, May 22nd, 2020 at 10:52 am

The auxiliary gas tank on the truck has 6 gallons of gas and a can of fuel conditioner to break up and cleanse any residue. The main tank is full. I’ll let the rear tank sit for a few days, give it time to clean itself before trying to pump it to the engine. I might drive around to shake up the rear tank a bit. I need to check the tank switch and see if that works.

The chicken and marinated pork loin have been prepped for the jambalaya, and the shrimp and scallops are thawed as well. All I need to do is fire up the stove.

Made the store run, Home Depot, pharmacy, gas, groceries. No place to go now. Sit back and let summer be summer. If none of the backordered tippers ship by the end of the month, I need to spend another $33. If they all ship, none. $18 should top off the rear tank, if it works.

Five more days until I meet my new primary physician.

Got in a productive session on the bodhran. I like the brush beater. And I actually got the motions for the triplet with a tear drop tipper (albeit not very fast, but it’s a start). I need to not get carried away at first, as I have muscles to develop. And I want to get into the backhand before I have a foundation on the forehand. But it’s starting to feel at the neuron level, like playing guitar.


Posted on Thursday, May 21st, 2020 at 8:56 am

It’s summer, 60s have vanished from the forecast. So a change in attitude is in progress. It’s basically a tightening of stay at home, diminishing the amount of space occupied on a regular basis. Nothing I haven’t seen before. I need to quit sleeping at night, go on graveyard. To bed at 10 am.

The recycling bin is on the curb, complicated by a vehicle parked on the street. I only removed one of Myka’s boxes, the one she wasn’t using. But I took all the paper stuffing to the bin.

I checked the gas tank on the truck, and it sounds empty. So I will add a few gallons to it and give it a try. I know how to change the fuel filter. I hope the fuel switch still works.

I haven’t been cooking. Jambalaya is next, but I haven’t even thawed the protein. Lots of quick options allowing me to be cool and lazy.

Store run tomorrow morning. Pharmacy, grocery.

Hair cut could happen today.


Posted on Tuesday, May 19th, 2020 at 1:50 am

Made the run to Bryan and back. It was a good day to be on the road again. Got the check cashed on the way there. Had a good time visiting. I wish it could have been longer, but the days are warming up. It was in the low 90s in the afternoon shortly after I got home.

Got a box of spicy fried chicken, a couple of biscuits. The biscuits are gone, haven’t gotten to the chicken yet. Slept pretty hard after winding down, haven’t eaten anything except biscuits since breakfast.

The truck ran well. The gas gauge started working again, thanks to the heat vaporizing enough gas inside the float. I am considering testing the second tank. It’s had ample time to evaporate everything in it. I’ll check it out, put a little gas in the tank to check the feed and switch. If it works, I can have a dual tank system and not worry about filling up every 100 miles in fear of running out if I don’t. And the fuel level sender in that tank should work.

Got the tippers from McNeela. The hourglass tipper wasn’t there, but an extra brush beater was. I told them don’t worry about it. Time will tell if they do. I went ahead and ordered the hourglass tipper from California, along with the one I had decided wasn’t worth grabbing. Still waiting for the one that was backordered. The drumstick bag is filling up. Not going to order any more.

So, a day of moving scenery, however familiar, was good for the psyche, especially before the solar furnace turns on full blast.


Posted on Saturday, May 16th, 2020 at 9:24 am

Picked up a nail at either Lowe’s or Home Depot parking lots, the kind for tar paper with the sealing disk that makes the point stand up for effective insertion. It also made it obvious that I had a nail in the tire, which I might have missed otherwise. Just got back from the tire shop where it was fixed and rebalanced, no charge. I was considering fixing it myself, but it rained heavily last night. So it was easier to take it in first thing when they opened.

Got three percussion bags, bodhran, cajon, and drumsticks. They are all sufficient quality for the job. The bodhran treatment turned out as well as I could imagine. It has a nice sheen and is well lubed for playing. The research I did paid off quite well. So three bags and a banker’s box hold the sum of my percussion, ready for travel. Six more items for the drumstick bag due in sometime this month, five from Ireland.

Got all the electronic finances nailed down, the stimulus from fed and state deposited, bills paid, etc. No more tracking links for the nonce. Nothing on the shopping list, though I will have a prescription refill to get next week. About $50 over limit and two weeks to whittle.

A trip planned to Bryan early in the week. Will cash a check I have in the desk. Probably grab some Popeye’s chicken. The spaghetti should be gone by then. (The clip on strainer works very well with spaghetti. Poor colander will get lonely.) I’m thinking that jambalaya will be next, though probably after chili cheese dogs.

Got assigned a new physician at the clinic, same floor as before. Introductory appointment on the morning of the 27th. After that, I can fast and get a blood draw.

Myka’s cardboard castle has grown to six boxes, filling most of the available floor space in the front room. She spends a lot of time in there. She is a happy kitty, even when I have the AC on and door shut.

Summer is encroaching, right on schedule. Yesterday hit 90°F. I expect to see more before the month is over, most days forecast in the upper 80s. I think I can put the poncho and wool cap away for the summer. 65°F is the lowest temp I see in the forecast. It won’t get cold for four months, minimum.

Da Big House

Posted on Tuesday, May 12th, 2020 at 7:18 am

Myka just frantically tried to make an escape through the window guard in the office. Of course, she failed. The 23 ga 1/4″ hardware cloth is Myka-proof. Best $18 investment that I’ve made in quite some time.

The bodhran bag from Amazon is finally in town. It should see the porch before noon. The bodhran has a beautiful sheen from the treatment, reflecting dispersed light nicely. The skin responded quite nicely to the trio of lanolin, mink oil, and shea butter. It’s ready for the bag when it arrives. The drumstick bag is due tomorrow. The McNeela tippers shipped today from Ireland.

Spaghetti sauce on the schedule for today. Nothing else big on the horizon at the moment. Pastrami and baby swiss will be the first alternative.

The small foot controlled trash bin was a good purchase. It will hold a week’s deposits without odor escaping. Saturday and Wednesday morning will be the days to clean the litter box. Kitchen bag holding well with a week’s worth of trash. I don’t think I’ll ever fill a bag, and now I’ll be using them half as often. The secret is to dump the stinky stuff shortly before taking it out, doing prep early in the week. I’m pleased with the way the new system is working.

Having a slow period, most of the chores done. I’ve started the Star Trek marathon. 1 down, 13 to go.

Rub a dub

Posted on Sunday, May 10th, 2020 at 12:08 pm

The bodhran is getting its first triple treatment, First was the thick lanolin gel rubbed lavishly into the skin until it formed a thin tacky coating and let set for a few minutes. Then mink oil was added and rubbed in until it blended well with the lanolin, leaving a less tacky but slightly oily surface. In about two hours, the shea butter will be added atop the mix. Two hours later, the skin will be wiped down to remove any excess. Then it will dry for a day or two, allowing full absorption. Then it can be played and stored in the case, which should be here by then.

The bodhran case finally showed as shipped from San Antonio yesterday (Saturday). It should be at the post office in town now, but there is no one to do the scanning until tomorrow morning.

I have added tennis racket tape to the shopping list for enhancing grip and comfort on the tippers. I can get that locally. But I’m not going to the store just for that with a tacky bodhran in the house.

It was a cool night, central heat was running. Myka hammocked between my calves last night. She may not get another chance until September or October. However, today is a blue sky day in the 70s, dew point in the low 50s. Very pleasant day. Windows open, mild breeze. No complaints about the weather.

Stimulus deposit hit the bank. Has me thinking about a new laptop. But not immediately. I want to see what else is being distributed before I make that leap.

Wiped out the chicken dressing a short while ago. I guess I need to think about the next recipe. Sketti will be the next major project in the kitchen. I need to look at expiration dates in the fridge.


Posted on Saturday, May 9th, 2020 at 2:29 am

I got the 1/8″ dowel. Of four, two were broken, one was as curved as a rainbow, and one was intact and relatively straight. But there was enough there for my needs, as I ordered more than I needed, so I accepted the order. $2 is not going to break the bank. I can use the hair dryer to straighten the curved one. And I can always order more from a different source.

The slow cooker arrived. Pretty much what I expected, a no frills means of turning a Boston butt roast into pulled pork. I don’t have enough room in the freezer for 6+ lb of pulled pork, but I will eventually.

I also got the headbands, and they are perfect for the fedora. I can bow my head to inverted and the hat stays firmly in place. So that leaves only the scrapers (today) and bodhran case to be delivered. Amazon is taking 18 days to deliver, and I won’t be ordering from them again until they get their act together. I doubt if they need my business anyway.

I am using one of the bank bags I got last year to hold the shorter tippers. I ordered a Meinl drumstick bag from Musician’s Friend, as I expect to need the capacity once all is said and done. It will serve the cajon as well, for mallets and brushes.

A front blew through, so the house is closed up tonight. It’s not frigid, but I expect 50s tonight. The poncho stands ready. A good excuse for being lazy after a period of heightened activity. So is having all the chores done. Not much of an appetite.

Myka is enjoying the front room. The rearrangement suits her, she hangs under the chair most of the time, but also in the big box when she sleeps hard. And she listens out the window for cues to hop up on the sill. She can also stand on hind legs and look outside without making the jump. It will be a good place for her this summer when the office is under AC.

Well, I made the purchase of four Irish tippers (hourglass, double ribbed, brush beater, whipper) plus a clave from McNeela. Now a bodhran clave is not like Latin rosewood claves in the percussion toy box, tapped together to make clicks. This is made of camellia wood and held on the backside to vary pitch of the skin instead of muting. I think that will do on the tippers for now. There are a few I’d like, but they’re all out of stock at the moment. Next month.


Posted on Thursday, May 7th, 2020 at 2:03 pm

The last couple of days, there has been a primal scream in the volume of traffic. People are being irrational and careless in their behavior. What I have seen is scary. There is a selfish defiance, a strong reaction of placing personal inconvenience over a slow and painful death of many. Restaurant parking lots crammed full. I saw an elderly woman messing with her nose while punching numbers on a credit card keypad. The roar of traffic has risen dramatically in the last two days.

I got the wrong air pump shipped to me, and had to take it in to the store to get it shipped back to the third party seller. Twice. The online return instructions were not complete. The first time was not a pleasant outing.

Anyway, I managed to get the insanity behind me early this morning when the stir crazed horde was sleeping it off. The shopping list is empty. I have nowhere to go, nothing to buy.

I got the six pack of rosewood tippers for the bodhran today. The lanolin should be here today as well. I found a new favorite traditional tipper. I wish I had the case. But I got into a good round of rhythm, getting aerobic exercise sitting still.

I also got the third and final window guard made and installed today. Myka can now sit and watch me mess with the truck, keep tabs on me. I got the tools put up, so the job is done. Nice to air out the room too.

The chicken dressing turned out well, finally. Things are going well in the kitchen, ahead of the curve. I think a rib eye will be the next thing to be thawed, then spaghetti. But not today or tomorrow. Got plenty to eat now.

Cinco de Mayo

Posted on Tuesday, May 5th, 2020 at 10:36 am

♫ It was Cinco de Mayo, and I was down on the bayou
♫ With my good friend Venus de Milo. We were watching Hawaii 5 0.
♫ She wanted some french fry-os, or maybe apple pie-o.
♫ I said why oh why oh? We got pico de gallo.

Pico de Gallo Trout Fishing in America

May the 5th be with you.

Shipping of the second wave is starting to shape up, wheels are rolling. Deliveries expected to start tomorrow and continue into the weekend. Also have pickups at Home Depot, one now and one next week, when the last of the second wave breaks.

Finally getting around to making the chicken dressing. My tail is still dragging. Got the rest of the kitchen in order. Maybe I can get the third window guard installed today. It’s not supposed to be as warm today as it was yesterday. Tomorrow wouldn’t be a problem either. In the future.

Trash goes out tonight. Better to get it on the street before 8 am, at least until I get the rhythm of their schedule. That means getting the bin on the street during the night, to make sure I don’t miss it. Recycling tomorrow night. A new routine.

Star Wars day

Posted on Monday, May 4th, 2020 at 4:04 am

I finished the SW marathon before May 4th, so I consider myself duly liberated. I celebrated with pizza.

Tippers galore. I got the bodhran treated with shea butter, sufficient for the first treatment. I put on a very thin coat with my fingers, and almost all of it was absorbed. So I began experimenting with the tippers and a mallet, a nylon brush, and a guiro scraper. The guiro scraper that came with the wooden guiro made by XDrum really excited me. It has negligible mass and plays like a conductor’s baton. I was able to 32nd notes, which means I wasn’t able to distinguish individual notes. So I began a prolonged attempt to find a source for replacements that proven futile.

After finding myself frustrated at not even finding any replacement scrapers (the guiro is $45) or even a website for the company, I took a close look at the scraper. I immediately realized that it’s made with dowel, 5/8″ lathed and 3/16″ plain. I instantly realized that I could make a trip to Home Depot and have everything I need for many replacements for under $4 and some elbow grease. I have a rasp, a chisel, a drill and bits, sand paper, emory paper, and contact cement. I may spend an extra $10 for Watco Danish sealing oil for the wood. Or I could spend a couple of extra bucks and get shaker pegs for handles and save myself $20 worth of work.

And I have some 3/8″ dowel left from the La-Z-Boy repair that I could use for pencil tippers. Cut to length, smooth ends, seal. If the guiro scrapers I ordered don’t pan out, I can make my own. I wish I had a lathe. Six rosewood tippers due this week. A few more to order.

I also enjoyed using the nylon brush with the bodhran. It has an interesting effect when played with a glancing blow. There are so many possibilities, and more to come when the tippers arrive.

I will perform the second treatment on the skin, the triple layer of lanolin, mink oil, and shea butter, in the middle of May, then first of June, middle of June, and first of July. Then on the first of August, it becomes shea butter only, again on September first. After that, shea butter every three months.

I’m glad to add it to the percussion collection.

18″ bodhran with guiro scraper, included tipper, Meinl tipper, nylon brush


Posted on Friday, May 1st, 2020 at 12:08 pm

I found this on the front porch, and it followed me home.

Can I keep it?

Myka is enjoying her 6th birthday immensely. (I am going to regret it tomorrow.)