Archive for June, 2020


Posted on Friday, June 26th, 2020 at 10:08 pm

The Calorie (kilocalorie) used in food analysis is the amount of energy it takes to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water (1 liter) by 1°C. The calorie in science is the amount of energy it takes to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water (1 ml) by 1°C.

In food terms, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man would contain 5.85 gigacalories (5.85 teracalories in scientific terms). 1,442 kilocalories in a pound of marshmallows, SPMM weighed 3.87 million pounds (1935 tons). In pure calorie terms, SPMM could fully feed 2,925,000 adults for one day. That’s about the number of adults in the US. But the US adult population on a massive sugar rush is not what we need, considering how badly they’ve been behaving recently.

I made eggs ackley to finish off the second avocado. The first one topped a baked potato w/ pork tenderloin. The first one was a tad waxy, but the second one was prefect. I filled my quota for avocados this week. Pulled pork is the alternative, the bag 75% gone. Working on the strawberry puree.

Taking the day off on bodhran practice, as my arm is telling me to lay off. Beginners are notorious for overdoing it and causing problems. A day or two to let the arm to catch up is a wise thing to do.

I have added Blue Skies (Irving Berlin) to the book. A little tricky in one spot, but otherwise not that difficult. Not a jamming tune, though.

Waiting to pay the phone and internet bills.


Posted on Monday, June 22nd, 2020 at 1:10 am

I am plagued by full capacity in both the freezer and the drumstick bag.

The freezer got rearranged to make room in the door for three quarts of strawberry puree, which is my next chore. I had to eat a chicken pot pie, which is not efficient packaging, to make sufficient room.

I also closed the hobby box, having finished my brush/beater/whipper spree. The last implement was a whipper, identical to the last one shown, except it didn’t have the brass collar. I have enjoyed playing with it, and may well end up being my goto whipper.

The late afternoon was cooled by a rainstorm that parted. No rain, but a 14°F drop. There is an extended chance for rain this week, could be a wet one.

All quiet on the home front. (At least at night it is.)


Posted on Saturday, June 20th, 2020 at 2:49 am

Made a store run yesterday afternoon. I was going to get cash, but my habitual reflexes got the best of me at the register. Got a script refill, groceries, and a couple more oak dowels, 5/16″, with matching o-rings (10).

Thursday, I was cleaning off the hobby shelves, boxing up all the objects, paints and chemicals, sandpaper, etc. I ran across the bolt covers for the dining chairs I bought and assembled, and they looked perfect for a whipper head. I didn’t have any 5/16″ dowel to fit them. (See above.)

I cut 15″ off one of the dowels, sandpapered one end so the 0.5″ brass tube remnant would slide over it. It was about 1mm too thick. I smoothed down the dowel with 1500, added the brass collar, then glued the plastic cap with E6000. The exposed dowel was coated twice with Danish oil, two coats. The Danish oil is dry enough to handle now, but the glue needs to cure.

After sunrise, I will add the tennis racket grip tape and fix with o-rings. The glue will need another day or two, but that isn’t a problem as it’s contained. Once cured, it will join the bag. Another one without a brass collar will join the collection in the near future. It will be easier without the brass, but I wasn’t up to turning out two tonight. Then I can put up the hobby box.

Yesterday was an uphill day for the most part. Skipped a dose of doxazosin, which should help. It’s beginning to look like once a week thing to keep the accumulation down. But I don’t have anything on the schedule except cooking and the whipper. I may grab some sunshine tomorrow, the deck has been cleared. Follow that with a soak.

I slept through most of Thursday’s jam. It just wasn’t in the stars, the cards, the stats, the immune system, or the muses.

Cooking tonight. The penne alfredo at a minimum. Boudin is gone. I did get strawberries today, 3 lb @ $1 each, first sale of the year. What took them so long? Core and puree tomorrow, I hope.

Having a sedentary weekend, it seems. Ride shotgun on the horde Saturday eve and Sunday morning. Got everything I need for the interim.

15″ whipper
15″ whipper finished


Posted on Thursday, June 18th, 2020 at 3:05 am

The pair of 11″ bamboo brush beaters has been bundled, cut, and glued. The contact cement has almost cured, a few more hours to go. Then the heat shrink and tip shaping. Then I can box up the project kit. I may have a couple more projects, but not any time real soon.

The drum skin got wiped clean of the treatment excess and then put away a few hours later, a very pretty sheen on the skin. It is ready to play, but it’s after quiet hour. The new beaters should be ready to test tomorrow.

The kitchen has been slow, the minimal achieved, but little else. I still need to skin, debone, and dice a chicken quarter. *sigh* I finished the bag of pulled pork and the brats. So the fridge is getting thin. Penne (whole wheat) alfredo with broccoli and cauliflower. I expect to thaw half of a pork tenderloin for eggs ackley, and a pack of boudin. Sounds like summer to me.

Feels like summer too. Cue Gershwin.


11″ brush beaters

Man with the Lanolin Hand

Posted on Tuesday, June 16th, 2020 at 8:30 pm

First layer of treatment is on the bodhran, lanolin rubbed into the surface. In a couple of hours, the mink oil will thin it down and help it penetrate further. After part of a day, the shea butter will top it off.

Got in a couple of good sessions today. I am really pleased with the way the hybrid works with the píopa. It really makes it sing, especially when choked. It can wear on the wrist if played too long. (Feel the burn!)

Starting to get my sleep schedule to fall mostly during daylight, and especially during the heat of the day. Best time of day to be asleep during the summer.

Not much going on this Tuesday outside of new 9/16″ o-rings arriving and drum treatment. Looked at new MacBook Pros. I need another stimulus check to get the one I want.

Horde sitting this weekend.


Posted on Monday, June 15th, 2020 at 9:51 pm

The 11″ brass hybrid beater is completed. I need to remove a little excess glue, but that doesn’t interfere with its playing.


I needed to resort to a propane torch to heat up the heat shrink. And the glue, quite similar to hot glue gun clear, is excessive. So it’s stubborn on wood and requires some meticulous removal. I used aluminum foil as a mask to avoid scorching the bamboo and to catch most of the excess glue. That worked well, but a little of the heat shrink at the ends needs to be cut away because it deforms with the torch’s heat.

It is long and heavy and can’t be played for extended periods without wearing on the wrist. But I like it. It works well with the píopa.

The 9″ brush beater that I made to test the heat shrink turned out rather well, though there is a little excess glue and a couple of scorches on the bamboo. But it is remarkably easy to play. I wanted an 11″ beater, but I accidentally got 10″ skewers instead of the 12″. I got them off a special display and didn’t check the length. Doh! Then again, I wasn’t aware that there were two different lengths. I will get more 12″ skewers next store run. I don’t plan on making any more in the next few days. I could use up the 12″ in the kitchen drawer, but I’m not in a hurry The 11″ brush beater will wait.

I finished off the chili and cheddar (opened bag, not the still sealed replacement) on potatoes. It was a full plate as there was a lot of chili left. Cured my desire for french fries. I still need to prep the chicken. The package of pulled pork is half gone. I should probably start on the brats so they don’t get forgotten and expire.

I’m doing well. Skipping the doxazosin for a day helped the side effects considerably.


Posted on Sunday, June 14th, 2020 at 12:59 am

I have the early assembly on the brass core beater. Next step is gluing the tube to the bamboo. Clean and grit the brass in the glue zone, apply glue, arrange the bamboo, add the o-rings, forget it for three days while it sets and cures. Then add the heat shrink and shape the bamboo ends, once their orientation is fixed.

early stage

This beater is larger than most like it, and more massive. With the 11″ X 3/8″ brass core, it’s definitely in the heavy class. But it works very well with the stainless píopa. Not a goto, but a specialty beater.

I still have tests to run, such as what method to use on the heat shrink, hair dryer, stove, propane torch. What shielding, if any, does the bamboo need? I plan on making an 11″ bamboo brush beater while the E6000 is curing. Maybe a pair, if I have the will. Essentially, gang 22 clipped bamboo skewers in o-rings and dip one end in contact cement. When set, add heat shrink to the glued end and shape the ends with blade and sandpaper. That will answer the questions I have before I finish the hybrid.

These brushes don’t get treated with Danish oil or beeswax, they are bare bamboo because they’re brushes, the strands rubbing against each other, and polymers or wax would interfere. And that is fortunate, as the labor of coating each skewer would not only be masochistic, it would require a different glue.

I got everything I needed on the store run. I even got a 120V/12V tire pump at Lowe’s. It has all the features I wanted on the one I ordered and didn’t get with the returned wrong item. And it was cheaper. Set the pressure and it cuts off automatically. That Sears pump has lasted over 4 decades, it’s deserves a rest.

I thawed some chicken and a pack of pulled pork. I decided to make skin-on home fries, having a fresh bag of gold potatoes. The pork will be a good side. The chicken hasn’t yet been determined, rice, pasta, veggies. It will come. Did in the last of the Popeyes to make room in the freezer. Filled all the gaps in the kitchen stock, bread, butter, cheddar, etc.

Dew point has been in the 50s and 60s, so the window in the office is open at night. Myka can pester me as she pleases.

The new tire pump is impressive. Set the pressure to 36 psi, clamp it onto the tire stem, hit start, wait a few seconds for it to stop pumping. It’s faster than the pumps at gas stations. I am impressed. Less than 5 minutes to get all four tires. Money well spent.


Posted on Friday, June 12th, 2020 at 2:51 pm

The final shipments arrived today, heat shrink and brass tubes. I say final, but I ordered a package of 9/16″ o-rings because the 5/8″ were a little loose in some applications. However, they were perfect for the 5/8″ oak beater.

So now I can get started on the brush beaters. No hurry, but I’m fully stocked for when the incentive strikes. They are a bit labor intensive, but not terribly so. The biggest question is how to make the brass tube stay put.

I have a list for the next grocery run, but I’m in no hurry. Nothing on the list is needed today. A list of anticipation and foresight. Example: if I thaw some pulled pork, I’ll need a new loaf of bread.

Had the office opened up last night and this morning. Low dew point let the temps get down into the 60s. It got closed up just before noon.

State of Texas gave me another stimulus bonus. Totally unexpected, but there it was. I am left wondering how many more…

Drumstick bag expansion

Posted on Thursday, June 11th, 2020 at 8:35 pm

Here is the current contents of the drum bag, including my newest creation, the 5/8″ solid oak beater with the white cushion handle.

Getting full…



Brassy Bees

Posted on Tuesday, June 9th, 2020 at 5:34 pm

I finished off the kicker and whippers with Danish oil (last night) and beeswax (this morning). I also waxed the tipper that came with the bodhran, making it a much nicer tipper. The hair dryer was a very useful tool in making the wax pliable and easy to spread. I could have made a mineral oil mix with the wax to make it easier to spread, but I decided to use it straight.

I like the lightweight whippers I made with the 1/4″ bamboo dowel. It’s not as quick as the ultralight, but the action is better. And they make a good match for the stainless steel pipe. And the bamboo sticks without the peg handles make for a lightweight double ended tipper that I like. All in all, a good addition to the drumstick bag.

Got an email telling me that the heat shrink shipped today. Creaky grease works. I also ordered the brass tubing for the core of the specialized brush beaters I plan on making. I decided that the stainless tube was sufficient, and that a brass píopa would add nothing significant to the lineup and take up more precious space in the bag.

It’s in the upper 90s, not quite as warm as forecast a couple of days ago, but still up there in the 90s. I’m about to hop in the tub for a long soak to make up for the lack of a swimming pool.

I fear that the avocado got too warm. I haven’t cut it open yet, but it feels soft. Oh well, it wouldn’t be the first avocado I lost to over ripening. I can always buy another if I decide to use one.

Dey do ron ron

Posted on Monday, June 8th, 2020 at 8:15 am

Back from my morning store run. Produce, poundcake, cookies, sandpaper, Myka treats. Dew point in the mid-70s. Ugh.

Four deliveries today. Stainless tube, o-rings, bamboo dowels, beeswax. Everything but the heat shrink. No reply yet to the email query, but it’s still early.

Six 1lb packs of pulled pork in the freezer. None in the fridge. That first pound didn’t take long to demolish, but I was celebrating a new small appliance on its virgin voyage. (Yes, I like pulled pork.) Chili cheese dogs coming up. Got an avocado and spuds, so I’ll be having an egg/pork loin plate soon. Maybe eggs ackley, if I’m up for the prep.

Two hot days in a row, 98°F and 100°F for forecast highs. Hole up and don’t come out until Wednesday, unless I’m applying glue or danish oil.

Taking a while to get my wind from the store run. Fortunately nothing is cold except the poundcake, and it’s thawing intentionally. No hurry to get everything in.

Okay, got the 1/4″ holes drilled in the two pegs (two flubs, live and learn) and sanded the parts. Mounted the 1/4″ bamboo dowels with a little adjustment, then glued the light whippers. Sanded down the fat kicker, putting a bevel on the edges. Then I sanded down both tips of a couple of bamboo dowels for plain lightweight sticks.

When the contact cement was sufficiently set in the whippers, I applied two coats of Danish oil to the five items. They’ll be brought inside at midnight and get the beeswax tomorrow morning, along with the ultralight whippers.

So phase one is almost done. I got to play with the pipe, and it works well. It left me wondering if I need a brass pipe. I’ll work with it a little more before I decide. I am pleased with the effects.


Posted on Saturday, June 6th, 2020 at 6:53 am

Pulled pork to be.



Pre-pulled 2


Evidence of a snitchery.





Boston butt, 10 lb, yielded 7 pounds of pulled pork. Equivalent of 28 – 4 oz sandwiches. Cost of ingredients, $14. Counting bread and bbq sauce, 50¢ + 15¢ = 65¢/sandwich.* Duration start to finish, 16 hours. Labor, 3 hours.

*Sides extra.


Posted on Friday, June 5th, 2020 at 7:09 am

I attended the jam last night. It was a little more crowded than I anticipated. But I only touched my own stuff. Didn’t touch my face. Outdoors, upwind had distance. Plenty of song leaders were present. I didn’t lead many tunes, half a dozen or so. But it was fun. It was good seeing everyone. It was a good time.

So now things are set here at home. So I’m ready to kick back and be lazy. I’ve had enough socializing for now to get me by. Make pulled pork. Make bodhran beaters. Sleep, eat, a few chores, same ol’.

Weather into the 90s for the foreseeable future. Tuesday shows 100°F. Current dew point is 75°F. No arguing that summer is here. Being in a hurry is past tense.

No More

Posted on Thursday, June 4th, 2020 at 10:59 am

I haven’t purchased anything today, even if it is only 10 am. I did for six days in a row. I can’t think of a reason to spend any now. If it’s on the list, its not available at this time.

I got a 10 lb Boston butt on sale for the new slow cooker, a big bunch of pulled pork sandwiches coming up. Need to make a little more space in the freezer before I prep and crank it up. Plenty of bread.

Got three oak dowels at Lowe’s, 5/8″, 3/4″, 1 1/4″. The thick one will be a 12″ fat kicker for the backside of the bodhran. The remaining 24″ is TBD, but there are ideas. The smaller ones will be beaters, whittled, chiseled, rasped, and sanded, cushion handle added.

The stainless steel pipe just shipped. (I have a source for brass.) That leaves just the heat shrink in limbo. Trackers already on the o-rings, bamboo dowels, Shaker pegs, and beeswax.

I may make a return to the jam session tonight. A chance to show off the new toy. Only one new confirmed COVID-19 case in town in the last six days. I don’t expect it to stay that way, but now is a good time to get in a low risk session. Social distancing is being observed, so tonight will tell if I’m up for it.

Summer is starting to kick in. Rain is over, heat is returning. Hours will shift. Lazy times ahead, dotted with a few projects to bring new dimensions into the mix. Fewer, well timed cooking efforts for a while.

The Home Depot $2 calamity/fiasco has reached a conclusion, though I’m not sure that it’s the final conclusion. Start at the beginning:

May 4: I ordered 4 Shaker pegs after not being able to find them at the store. I add 4 – 1/8″ hardwood dowels.

May 6: I pick up the pegs.

May 12: I pick up the dowels, two were broken, one was warped like a rainbow. $2, no big deal.

May 16: I get notice that they will replace the dowels, pick up on May 22 and May 27.

May 18: I decide to go with 1/8″ bamboo (12″ skewers) instead of skinny dowels for the sake of strength and durability.

May 22: I get the first two replacement dowels.

May 26 – June 1: Second shipment of replacements shows to be at store but not ready for pickup.

May 28: I make the ultralight whippers with the bamboo skewers.

May 31: I discover the Falconwood website with top shelf tippers and beaters. I decided that I want the 1/8″ dowels to create a couple of exotic beaters in the style of a “Scotsrod”.

June 2: I call to clarify, am told they’re in the store. I go over to the store, they’re nowhere to be found. I bought 2 packs of 100 bamboo skewers for the 11″ brush beaters I intend on making,

June 3: I go to Lowes and buy 5 – 1/8″ dowels, hand picked.

June 4: I check the Home Depot website for progress, they tell me that MY cancelation was successful and changed the May 22 pickup details. (HUH?)


Posted on Monday, June 1st, 2020 at 2:05 pm

I ordered o-rings, heat shrink, and more Shaker pegs to go along with the 1/4″ bamboo. I’ve decided to make an 11″ brush beater out of bamboo skewers, having reverse engineered the one I got. A pair would be useful on the cajon too. So two projects plus a píopa in the works.

The bodhran is back in its case after its treatment, ready for practice. It got a good wipe down after the soak and put it away. I have a feel for it. Execution is still random, but some good grooves in the exploration. I still have muscles and reflexes to develop.

Days hovering in the 80s, but the dew point is hanging around 70°F, no longer dry. AC is back on. I’m starting to think about getting the gas tank drained. It is that time frame now, but no hurry. It will be dry soon enough. Ground is already getting a tad dusty. Rain coming up from the Gulf, but not crossing I-10.

About to finish the rib eye. I have pork loin and boudin in the fridge, but it will be chili cheese dogs first. Probably some eggs mixed in.