Archive for July, 2020


Posted on Friday, July 31st, 2020 at 1:17 pm

I ordered two more rosewood spoons online, these from the US. One I’ll keep as a spare and one is a gift. Getting started on the mad money early. No idea what else to get.

Started on the stew. Thawing a pork tenderloin for eggs ackley. Myka will appreciate that. Eating sufficiently, but my appetite isn’t real big. I put off meals for hours.

Wondering what my next project will be. I have ample options from which to choose. DVD burn, negative scanning, recording music…

Today doesn’t hold a lot of chores, wash a couple of forks and paring knives. Feed Myka. Take a bath. Not a very exciting Friday.

What’s a spoon without a bowl?

Made in Modo

Buh bye, July

Posted on Thursday, July 30th, 2020 at 8:53 am

Made a store run this morning to get another tub of Blue Bell Strawberry Cheesecake before it departs the freezer shelves until next year. I managed to make room in the freezer by thawing a tub of beef stew. It was easier than killing off the partial in the freezer. The shrimp and scallops will have to wait to be replenished until I polish off the partial.

I managed at the same time to spend the mad money that arose from my internet bill being reduced by $3. I shouldn’t try to cut it so close, give myself more margin. Payday is at midnight.

I got the shipment from McNeela’s yesterday. The pencil tipper is a little on the light side, but I like the other four items. I like the rosewood spoons. They are fun, easy to play, and have a good sound. I will get a spare, as they could easily break in the wrong hands. The bow beater is fun, though the hexagon shape is a little unusual. I will enjoy using it.

I’m not planning on anything today. Recycling is on the curb. Store run behind me. Bodhran skin has been treated, marking the end of the third month since its initial treatment. I’m pretty much done for the day.


Posted on Tuesday, July 28th, 2020 at 3:47 pm

I updated the boot clones for the MB and MBP. Tuesday backups (2bak). So I’m done, except culling the discard folders on the 8T.

The drumsticks arrived. Myka immediately set to demolishing the cardboard box. It’s been a while since there was a proper “hop in and chew” delivery. I’ll tape and test them on the bodhran as soon as I can usher Myka from the office.

Which I just did. On the heavy side and slow for a whipper, but they definitely have volume, and the 9/16″ o-rings worked perfectly. More like a long beater with a whipper tip. Or like a nylon pointed bludgeon, or a drumstick.

Penne alfredo is history (plenty of ingredients for more), but still a couple of servings of jambalaya, and a half gallon of stew has been thawed. No cooking for a while, except maybe eggs ackley. I need to cook bell pepper and tomatoes. I also need to finish the Blue Bell so I can get another Strawberry Cheesecake before they vanish.

Not a whole lot else going on. Had a rain, and the temps have been in the 80s. Trash goes out tomorrow morning, so I’ll busy in the kitchen tonight. Paid the internet bill. It’s $3 less that the previous string of months, so I’m left with a little over $1 mad money.

Moan back

Posted on Monday, July 27th, 2020 at 8:08 am

A moan back is the guy who stands behind your vehicle and says, “M’on back.”

Got the backup to the 8T done yesterday. I need to thin out the temporary trash folders for duplicate files that were moved to a different folder, but no hurry. There’s still well over a TB available on the drive.

I still need to backup the bootable clones on the laptops. Again, no big hurry. The 8T backup was for the sake of taming the chaos for a new laptop migration. Today is a lazy day. No Monday backups (Mon backs).

Made an early morning store run this morning for a few items, either running thin or on sale. When I got home, I could feel the effects of the doxazosin, not overpowering, but definitely there. Tonight is skip day, so the five day plan is definitely warranted.

Drumsticks should be in Oklahoma, according to tracking. And the McNeela order is due any day now (no tracking).

Hanna Banana

Posted on Sunday, July 26th, 2020 at 8:14 am

Hanna made landfall south of Corpus Christi this morning as a minimal hurricane. We got 15 mph winds and maybe a third of an inch of rain. Temps stayed in the 80s and cooled early. But that has faded. A lingering chance of rain this afternoon.

I ordered a pair of drumsticks (7AN), the very first I ever purchased in my life. I’ll put grip tape on as handles for use with the bodhran. I mean, what is a drumstick bag without drumsticks? It took care of the last of the mad money this month.

The bodhran practices are getting to be rather routine, more a case of putting in the time than breaking ground. I have the feel for playing, and while not a master, I have confidence in my ability with all the implements on both sides of the skin. The consistent triplet still eludes me at any pace above a waltz, but I’m not that worried, as I don’t know anyone who plays Irish jigs. Besides, it’s not good for the wrist tendons.

Got the catch all drive in order for transfers over to permanent drives, then backup.

The sound of wood hand clapping

Posted on Thursday, July 23rd, 2020 at 6:47 pm

The clappers arrived from Bali this afternoon, wrapped in an inordinate amount of paper to cushion their journey across the Pacific.

Painted Gecko
Joyous Melody

They’re not perfectly aligned, and a few of the slats are a little warped, but they play quite well, so it’s not an issue. They have joined the duck clapper in the toy box. I think my favorite is the gecko.

I feel more comfortable with backups on hand, because I enjoy playing them a great deal during jams, and if one wandered off or was damaged, I’d experience anxiety before I could get a replacement. I am fond of the instrument, and the big one is a different experience. So I’m happy.

The packing paper is not typical American paper, more delicate, a light gray. I’m going to hang onto it.

Jambalaya (chicken/pork loin/shrimp/scallop) and chicken whole wheat penne alfredo are in the fridge. (One more pulled pork sandwich to go.) All dishes are washed and put away. Laundry is done. Ice bin is almost full. Myka fed and entertained. I am kicking back and enjoying myself.

About to start on the Thor/Avengers movie series and soak up the FX for a while.


Posted on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2020 at 9:31 am

It was a royal pain to get the trash to the curb this morning. Office, litter box, prep chicken and pork loin for penne alfredo and jambalaya, check the fridge, sweep the floor, etc. The doxazosin was not taking it easy on me this morning. Add wash hands and dishes multiple times, feed Myka, and more. I could have used more sleep, but the schedule denied that. It was a tough, git’er done morning.

I’m ready to make jambalaya (chicken/pork loin/shrimp/scallops) and chicken whole wheat penne alfredo. Everything is prepped for both, so it’s all downhill. I have pulled pork (half gone) and brats to tide me over until I get after them. Cornbread too. I’m in good shape for the rest of week and into the weekend.

Both orders are on their way. The clappers shipped from Kansas City, KS, and the beaters shipped from Dublin, Ireland. I can only assume that 1) the clappers shipped from Bali by air, or 2) they were already in Kansas, and they’ve been dragging their heels. Both should be here before the end of the month.

I am well stocked and probably won’t be shopping for a while. Can’t think of anything to buy. Nine days to spend $5 mad money. I’ll think of something.

I found Stuckey’s website, and they still have pecan log rolls available, albeit in smaller sizes than the pound box they used to sell. But they make up for it selling in display box quantity. Alas, it’s not the time of year to be shipping confections.

Tipped again

Posted on Monday, July 20th, 2020 at 12:30 pm

McNeela’s has a Fleahd Cheoil sale in progress. So I made all but a few dollars of the mad money disappear. I got a set of rosewood spoons, two weighted tippers, a bow beater, and a pencil beater. That should round me out completely. (Unless I order a Robbie Walsh signature.)

That makes two international orders from opposite directions in progress. Bali and Ireland. Both are essentially redundant (well, not the spoons). But regardless, I’m looking forward to receiving them.

Finished off the stew in the fridge, though a gallon remains in the freezer. Pulled pork and chicken in the sink to thaw. I’m down to three pounds of pulled pork, and I may need to make another batch when it cools off in September. I don’t need to think about food purchases until next month.

Getting plenty of sleep. Meds are treating me fairly well. Stamina is still a little lacking, but no cause for complaint. Handling the isolation well. Yes, I’d enjoy company, but alas, not yet. Email and phone are filling in the gaps. At least the weather is toning it down to the low 90s.

Not much else going on. Just a blending of days as they roll along through summer.


Posted on Saturday, July 18th, 2020 at 10:19 am

Just got my first refills under my new primary, first time her name has graced my prescription labels. Topped off the gas tank. Mad money is under $100 now. I’ll manage to whittle it down in the 13 days left in July. Somehow.

The freezer has a gallon of stew in it. Not sure how I managed, but I did. A quart and change in the fridge. One more piece of cornbread. Need to focus on the pork loin, make eggs ackley. I was just too much in granny gear to get it done this morning. Boudin and brats also in the fridge, still sealed.

The clappers have shipped from Bali, should be in the US by month’s end. Proverbial slow boat, but it’s free shipping. I’m in no hurry, as I still have my duck clapper.

Bodhran is getting a little tight from the AC and summer months. I have found that a wash cloth wetted and then squeezed of all excess water, then wiped once across the backside, will relax the skin properly, no hair dryer required. I’ve cut back practice a bit. I feel comfortable with most of the techniques.

I pretty much have Blue Skies down pat. Not perfect every time, but often enough to quit worrying over it. Considering everything that’s happening, it’s not an easy song to perform. Just a little too happy for the times.

Not much else worth mentioning. Charged the battery on the truck, since it hasn’t seen highway miles in a couple of months. Didn’t need much, pleased with that. Washed a batch of idle clothes to freshen the scent. Movies, news, emails, puzzles, etc. Sleeping enough. The hours of the day still pass by, so I can’t be doing too many things wrong.


Posted on Wednesday, July 15th, 2020 at 7:15 am

Stew is in the fridge, dishes washed, ice bin is full, ice trays refilled, litter box is clean, kitchen floor swept, trash to the curb, Myka’s food mat cleaned, her food freshened. Myka even got ice water. And my drink was refilled. All before an overcast sunrise. Whew!

Only thing that still needs doing is to wash the crock, which is soaking in soapy water.

The stew turned out quite well. I even forgot to butter some cornbread as a side. I was focused on what was in the bowl. Then I experienced a coma. I will have no problem making the stew disappear. Like magic. None.

I still have the chicken/veggie/rice and half a bag of pork loin to finish as well. Only cooking in the near future will probably be another batch of eggs ackley for breakfast tacos, using the pork loin.

So now I am able to be lazy for a while. I won’t mind being on this side of the chores. Bath, laundry, and recycling to the curb tomorrow morning is about it. The rest is staying cool.

Not a whole lot else going on. Mid-July is often like that. It’s just a little more so this year.

You got one?

Posted on Tuesday, July 14th, 2020 at 12:14 pm

I think “You got one?” is perhaps the question I miss most. Being in a jam circle, and being called on to lead the next tune. The alternate is “You look like you’ve got one.”

Playing at home is fine for the mechanics and to let loose, but it’s not shared. There is no one listening, there is no one playing along. I miss that. I hope to record some soon. As soon as I get the backup finished (currently prep is stalled).

But there is a beef stew in the making in the kitchen. 8 qt slow cooker is topped off. 5 lb of cubed chuck, 3 lb of gold potatoes, mixed veggies (carrots, corn, green bean, sweet pea, baby limas), beef stock. Tomato sauce, seasoning, and flour to be added as soon as the spuds start softening a bit. Eight quarts takes a while to get started. Cornbread (buttered) as a side. I’ll freeze as much as room in the freezer accommodates.

Myka bit me yesterday, not enough for blood to flow, but intentionally, with a most hastened exit. She is now off parole. She was felinus non grata long enough.

Forecasted high is below triple digits today, breaking the streak.

Beef stew in progress.

Plug got pulled at 6 pm. Meat very tender, cuts with a fork or spoon, but still holds shape. Potatoes perfect. It will be a while before I can transfer it to containers (fridge) and bags (freezer). I’ll have no problem making the 8 quarts of stew disappear. No problem whatsoever.

Warmth is just a word.

Posted on Sunday, July 12th, 2020 at 12:33 am

Unless it’s summer in Texas. Yes, it’s warm and humid, hudathunket? Things are slow. Slowness is a survival trait in Texas. Not much to debate there.

Issues with the toilet fill valve. It stopped working, and when I had a replacement in hand, it started working again. At least I got to replace the flush handle, which was past due. I’ll replace the fill valve after it cools off a bit.

Got the chicken cooked in a rice dish. Not cooking much, as the kitchen remains too warm most of the day. (If you can’t take the heat, stay out of Texas.)

Not much going on. Just staying in the AC and taking it easy as much as possible.

Sun rising behind an overcast sky as I pulled in from my shopping trip. Got chuck strips (Texas style ribs) at a very decent price. That will be stew meat. Got produce and frozen mixed veggies, so whenever I want to pull down the slow cooker and do prep, I’ll be making a big pot of beef stew. I also got the produce for more eggs ackley. A large avocado (78¢) too. Got everything on the list, so I won’t need to shop for a week or more.

Today and tomorrow are forecast for triple digits. I’ll be watching movies, sleeping, and other sedentary stuff. Maybe I’ll get back to cleaning up the drives so I can do a backup. Maybe.

I’m happy with the new flush handle. I need to stop the habit of pressing it down and jiggling it free. The smoothness of operation still surprises me. I’ll probably wait on the fill valve. Too many other things to do before it starts warming up significantly. It’s already warming, and the sun isn’t even casting a shadow.

Half loin

Posted on Wednesday, July 8th, 2020 at 7:08 am

Can’t get a full pork loin these days, so they come in halves. Gone are the days of loss leader $1/lb whole loins, but it doesn’t mean that I need to do without.

60°C perfection

Loin gone

Posted on Tuesday, July 7th, 2020 at 8:27 am

I made a 6am store run this morning. I spent around $60 and got $100 cash. Getting an early start on whittling, because I don’t need much this month. Vitamins, lighters, cookies, pizzas, not a long list.

I have one more segment of pork loin in the freezer, so I got a half loin this morning. I’ll marinate today and roast tonight in the wee hours. I’ll probably cook the chicken too, though not sure what it will be.

I also got a number of soft tips for whippers, 1/4, 5/16, and 3/8 inch. The quarter inch will be for bamboo dowels. And I stocked up on 5/16″ o-rings and got a couple more 5/16″ oak dowels at Lowe’s. The dowels took time to find two that were straight. Yes, I packed up the hobby box, but I’ll probably only add tips to bamboo sticks for now (1 peg, 1 plain). If I add anything, it will be skinny, like whippers.

So now I sit home and avoid the contagion. Local numbers aren’t horrific, but they are uncomfortable, averaging over ten a day in the county. Active cases have more than doubled in the last month. I am pleased to see signs that say you must be wearing a mask at all times to enter and occupy a store.

Blue Skies is getting to the polish stage, as it’s become reflexive.

Late night store run

Posted on Sunday, July 5th, 2020 at 11:15 pm

Made a late night store run to pick up a few things, most important being bread for pulled pork sandwiches and smoked turkey/bacon/provolone sandwiches. The eggs ackley that I made this morning has plenty of tortillas. Also got a coconut cream pie. I thawed a chicken quarter, I may do penne alfredo again, or I might do a rice dish. Time will tell.

The one notable thing about this grocery trip, every single person that I saw was wearing a mask. Not one exception. I was pleasantly surprised.

It was a quiet 4th weekend. Did a fair amount of file and folder sorting to prepare for the drive to drive backup. I have a ways to go, but I’m in no hurry. I have lots of time to spare.

The Sahara dust cloud is gone, but there are still around 40µg/m³ of 10 micron particles. But it looks to be dropping soon.

Parting be such sweet

Posted on Friday, July 3rd, 2020 at 12:12 pm

The Sahara dust cloud parted, dropping the <10 micron particulates from over 140µg/m³ to around 10µg/m³. A serious relief for the respiratory system.

High pressure system over the Gulf delivered a stream of clean.

Getting out of the AC won’t be quite such a trauma.

Last 2 week goo

Posted on Thursday, July 2nd, 2020 at 10:06 am

The bodhran just got a lanolin treatment and is awaiting the subsequent mink oil and shea butter treatments. This is the last treatment following a two week period since the last treatment. Next treatment will be around the first of August. The following treatment will be around September first, then it will happen three or four times a year for the life of the bodhran in my care. So the breaking in of the skin is wrapping up.

Actually, the treatment schedule is more than some perform. And while I like the results, I won’t miss treating it this often. It is labor intensive rubbing in the thick lanolin gel and shea butter over an area that large, a little over 250 sq in. Yes, my hands are much smoother from the treatment, but there are much easier ways to achieve that. While I could just go to 3/4 a year after today, I will finish out the schedule.

I am holing up, staying home except for early morning store runs. There have been 38 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county in the last week. Dew point is miserable, heat index brutal, and I am spending 98% of my time in the AC. Dust is a little thicker today, but it is dissipating as it comes ashore. At least another day before it’s gone, maybe more. The hazy sky glows more brightly, and the sunlight is definitely weaker. Definitely a recluse.

Bills are paid, except storage. Time to figure out on what I’ll need to spend the excess. Done with the bodhran stuff. Myka is due her three vaccinations, that’s $75. Not that she’ll appreciate it. Nothing else comes to mind at this point. I have a month to let it unwind.

Going through movies and news at a fair clip.

The bodhran is back in the case after the wipe down. Too late to give it a spin. Seemed rather vibrant and harmonics rich.

Third quarter

Posted on Wednesday, July 1st, 2020 at 4:30 am

Crossed the half year point of 2020. Did the usual archiving of documents (emails, receipts, etc). It was also payday. Having updated the computer and cleaned the hard drives of catch-all clutter off to where the clutter belongs, I’m ready to do a backup update of the drives.

Not much going on, staying close to the vest, other than early morning grocery runs. The confirmed cases of of COVID-19 are spiking in the county, 27 new cases in the last week. So I’m staying put.

The weather is contributing to my reclusiveness, dew points in the upper 70s, creating heat indexes in the upper 100s. Miserable stuff, so staying holed up in AC is a given. Myka is glad to see me when I venture forth into the rest of the house. Cooking done in the early morning, when done at all. The Sahara dust clouds aren’t encouraging being outdoors either, though the second one hasn’t been hurrying onshore, dropping off fairly sharply over land. Odd phenomenon.

I took a 25 mg benadryl for the irritating dust symptoms and clogged sinuses. It helped for about eight to ten hours, which is unusual for a 4 hour dosage. I’m sure there will be more taken before this dust is over.

Working on a rib eye (tacos). I have deli smoked turkey, cheddar brats, and boudin ready to heat, though yet unopened. And I’m planning on a second batch of eggs ackley with a section of pork loin. That’s about it for cooking in the near future. Well stocked all around. Still working on strawberry puree.

I watched Blake Edwards’ S.O.B. It led me to discover that Lightnin’ Hopkins plagiarized Polly Wolly Doodle in his Shaggy Dog (Dawg, Dad, et al). The line about jumping on an alligator, thinking it was a horse. And here I thought he was being clever.