Archive for August, 2020

Adieu, August

Posted on Monday, August 31st, 2020 at 1:04 am

September is less than a day away. Payday, mad money cycle starts all over again. Myka’s vaccinations and more very pretty wood for the noisy toy box for starters. But for today, it’s still the end of the month, that quiet time when all is right with the world.

Half way through the shrimp/chicken whole wheat penne rigate alfredo. Haven’t chosen a successor yet. I’d thaw a sirloin steak if it was cooler. I may go get some fried chicken. Maybe not.

It looks like nine more days of full summer, according to the extended forecast. Nights will drop into the 60s, upper 90s will break to upper 80s. Won’t be long before it’s time to air out the alpaca.

Getting close on Staines’ The Logging Song. Kicking it up to bluegrass pace, as it was recorded. It’s been pre-empting the bodhran practice.

Oh, it must be raindrops

Posted on Friday, August 28th, 2020 at 9:13 pm

I was napping at 7:30 pm, avoiding the triple digit weather, when I was wakened by noise, which I soon ascertained to be thunder. Moments later, it was joined by rain, then by heavier rain and closer lightning. 45 minutes later of steady downpour, storm total radar shows in excess of 3″ of rain. Then radar went down. But the storm is starting to let up, we’ve gotten past the red area on radar and into orange. Well, radar came back, and the total is above 4″, a possible 5″ before it’s done. Sure made up for Marco and Laura totally missing us.

I was surprised yesterday when the truck insurance bill was posted, the bill was $85 less than the previous bill. That left me with about $60 mad money to remove from the bank account. I ended up spending it on a grocery run at dawn. But alas, the internet bill that is usually due on the 28th has not shown yet. Maybe tomorrow it will show, and I can rest financially. Nothing on the shopping list.

The risotto is history. A little milk and I can make more, but not now. Tonight I have shrimp and chicken whole wheat penne alfredo planned. And with the rain dropping the temp into the mid 70s, it won’t take long to cool the kitchen. Fajita beef is an alternative from the freezer. I resorted to little impulse buying to finish off the mad money. No room in the freezer.

I got a flat steel bar to fix the foot rest on the LZB this morning, but the board is still working, so no rush. I also got a 100 sheet pack of 24 X 30″ packing paper for Myka. She had shredded the packing paper that came with the drumsticks into 10 pieces, so I figured that it serves a purpose that is worth the cost.

Still waiting on the replacement bones. No word that they’ve shipped. Also waiting for the truck insurance slips. Not in a big hurry for either.

The rain ended after 80 minutes, leaving well in excess of four inches.

The internet bill got paid, last bank transaction of the month. $11 under limit. Deposit is already there, waiting for Tuesday morning.

What good is waiting doing?

Posted on Monday, August 24th, 2020 at 7:11 am

Marco is now supposed to conk out around Houston/Galveston. That is one fickle minded tracking model. Haven’t seen one with a handle this hard to grasp in quite some time.

The cheese risotto has been made. The baked potato soup laid to rest. Last of the spuds in the eggs ackley, which won’t last much longer. I’ll be going to bread, rice, and pasta for a while.

I was bored yesterday. It doesn’t happen often, but some Sundays roll that way.

Still Waiting for September

Posted on Sunday, August 23rd, 2020 at 1:01 am

It appears that Marco will not be affecting the weather here this week, as it was previously forecast to track. Instead, Louisiana will get the brunt of it. And Laura. Back to back hurricanes for New Orleans and Mississippi.

Still waiting to see how things go as August wraps up. Nothing on the shopping list. My store runs have been complete. Still no figure on insurance. No burning projects. I downloaded yesterday, but that was as ambitious as I got. As close to same ol’ same ol’ as it gets.

Getting plenty of sleep.

Well, it seems Marco is coming this way after all, according to NOAA/NWS. It will make landfall south of New Orleans, skirt the Louisiana coast, then enter Texas as a depression. This time, it won’t be as strong or as wet, but it will be considerably closer. Half an inch of rain and 25 mph winds. Maybe.

Today was boring, so I slept. It’s still rather boring, but I am surviving it.

Waiting for September

Posted on Thursday, August 20th, 2020 at 3:50 am

The heat is breaking. Finally. We’ll see 95-96°F a bit longer, but no triple digits in the forecast. Not much rain in the near future.

Had a problem paying storage rent, but it wasn’t on my end or the bank’s. It eventually got resolved and the money was transferred. I also tried to find out what I owe on truck insurance, and there is no bill yet.

Baked potato soup and eggs ackley are in the fridge. Brats and boudin to augment. Cheese risotto in the near future. The stew and cornbread are depleted.

I noticed a flaw in the Irish bones, a splinter at the edge that turns back to the edge, a knot chunk rather than a split. I’m going to attempt a repair with E6000. The crack is mostly hairline and not all the way through. I have gotten a feel for them, but they’re not as functional as the MIS bones. So it would be worth the effort to patch them.

I can make it all the way through The Logging Song without the sheet. Not every time, but I’m winding it up so I can put it to bed.

I emailed McNeela’s about the split in the bones, with photos attached, and they are sending me a new pair. No return necessary.

Toy box

Posted on Monday, August 17th, 2020 at 3:15 pm

The percussion toy box is full. That is one noisy box. The whipper, spoons, and bones arrived from McNeela’s today.

Top layer
Bottom layer

The mulberry spoons sound pretty much like the rosewood. I was expecting more difference in the two than the appearance. Not that I’m complaining. They are fun to play, and I have spares.

The bones from McNeela are flat bones, which are not as loud as the oval bones I got from MIS. They don’t play as easily, triplets not as smooth. They’ll be good for quiet sets, once I get the feel.

I was looking at the MIS website for reference, and I saw ebony claves. Why did I do that? And there are ebony spoons (not cheaters). Not this month.

It was a very pleasant morning, thanks to cloud cover, and I slept through it. No baked potato soup, but I got the pork loin thawed. I still have stew and cornbread to eradicate. No chores.

Missing link

Posted on Saturday, August 15th, 2020 at 4:23 pm

Got everything I needed to make cheese risotto. Ingredients have been missing from the grocery shelves, until last night. So now I’m grinning. Got bread, cornbread, milk, and butter as well, which was the main reason I went.

The store also had a stock of 95% efficient masks, so I got packs of kn95 and procedural (non-sterile surgical). So I’m reasonably well stocked on masks now, considering how seldom I venture forth into the social world.

Killed off the spaghetti, eggs ackley, working on a pack of boudin. Thawed out the last tub of stew, and I’ll be diving in later today, with cornbread. Appetite has been on the thin side, not unusual for the warmth we’re having in mid-August. About to hit triple digits at the airport. Not much ambition either, but the chores are getting done.

I have discovered that practicing both bodhran and bones has a specific order, bodhran first. It’s difficult to play the bodhran after playing bones. The muscles just don’t want to participate. The bones may look easy, but they are demanding. It’s even hard to type after playing the bones. (Clarifying that I can type, just that the soreness and fatigue make it nicer to just not use the fingers.)

I have been thinking about grabbing a bite out, chicken, burger, etc. But I never go. Idle thoughts. I like what I put in the fridge.

The heat is on…

Posted on Thursday, August 13th, 2020 at 3:06 am

It will be on the warm side for the next five days, the peak of August. Get through this, and summer will start slowly winding down over the next three to nine weeks. But it will be sitting tight for a few days, holed up in the AC grotto.

Progressing a bit with the bones. Some of the bodhran techniques carry over, but there is a difference. I have found myself favoring the Irish style, reversed with a gap between index and middle fingers, the thumb pressing the fixed bone in place. It has better vectors than the traditional, and the base of the thumb doesn’t get in the way.

Trying to make food disappear, but summer has made appetite a bit scarce. Eggs ackley will disappear in a few hours, then it’s spaghetti, boudin, and brats. I’ll need a fresh loaf of bread, sooner than later. The last of the stew will be the next thaw. Freezer space is needed.

Finances looking good. Truck insurance at the end of the month is covered, with some mad money left over. Glad that I don’t have to find a reason to spend it elsewhere.


Posted on Tuesday, August 11th, 2020 at 9:51 pm

The bones arrived mid-day. It was a little awkward at first, learning grip and alignment. There are at least eight variations for playing bones, but two seem to work the best for me. I’ve got three moves down for the Irish thumb fixed configuration. I like the ebony a little better than the tigerwood for tone, but not by a big margin. They are nice bones. Not bad progress for an hour of exploration.

Slept quite a bit today. Didn’t eat much. Got the script and cheddar, popcorn shrimp, fish, cookies, fabric softener, etc. early this morning. Plenty to eat and plenty to cook. Nothing on the shopping list but bread, and that is premature. Sketti for dinner. Lots of hanging and passing time. Seems like I’ve done this before.

Heat isn’t too bad during the afternoon, mid-90s, but the heat index has been brutal. Four more weeks or so and the sleeves will become the order of attire.

Got notice that the third McNeela order has shipped. Two spoons (rosewood and mulberry), rosewood bones, and whipper. I will be running out of room in the toy box.


Posted on Tuesday, August 11th, 2020 at 12:30 am

The spoons arrived, not quite what I hoped, a bit of a knockoff, but definitely usable, an adequate backup. I just ordered two more pairs of spoons (1 rosewood as backup, 1 mulberry) from McNeela. I saw a set of rosewood bones that look interesting, and another Ronin whipper, both ordered with the spoons. I have the money to spare. California bones are due tomorrow.

Store run tomorrow morning, 6 am. Pharmacy, a few groceries, a couple of other items. I was considering cash withdrawal, but I realized that I can pay auto insurance at the end of the month. So that takes most of the pressure off. Things are looking good.

I am not concerned now. Hoping to get the new laptop soon, a stimulus check away. That will keep me busy for a while. And a new La-Z-Boy is in the future. I can handle it with a modest cushion. I’m in good shape.

Mostly cruising away the hours. Not hurting. Not hurtling. Not hurrying. Taking care of what needs care taken, not fretting the rest, except for the Egee.


Posted on Saturday, August 8th, 2020 at 9:31 am

The eggs ackley got prepped and cooked in a single session, sitting on the stove, cooling for storage. Will power at the cutting boards, and no blood spilled. I may even roll a taco when my back is agreeable. The avocado is for later, as it’s still a touch green, and I’m not that hungry.

Spoons are out for delivery. Bones are still in limbo. Jammed and tore a portion of the base of my right thumbnail, just a few hours after thinking that I should trim the nail to avoid jamming it. Bones lessons will be limited until it heals, so just as well that they’re late.

Still trying to figure out where the mad money goes this month. I’m thinking a trip to Navasota to the bank to withdraw cash and cash the check. I just can’t think of anything to buy. But I’ll wait until there is room in the freezer for Popeye’s chicken.

Made a grocery run last night. I got everything except the popcorn shrimp, so I got frozen fish instead. Plenty of produce, scallops, replaced the spaghetti I’m about to consume over the next few days, pound cake, Goldfish, etc. I’m good for the weekend and then some.

Just more of getting through August. I need to quit sleeping at night until summer breaks. It’s eating into my prime working hours.

Buh bye, ribs…

Posted on Thursday, August 6th, 2020 at 4:02 pm

I just ate the last ribs in the house, bar my own anatomy and Myka’s. Baby back rib tacos (sans bone). *sigh* Oh well, loin, tenderloin, pulled, and ham will have to do for pork in the nonce. Sketti on the horizon.

I realized that I had not included an image of the rosewood spoons. Still waiting for delivery of spoons and bones, next two days are the targets.

Got a small refund check from the insurance company. Virus milage adjustment. More mad money. I could buy a rotisserie chicken with it, or a double burger and onion rings. Not that I need to buy food.

Staying cool. Mid-90s outside. TV series still the mode.


Posted on Wednesday, August 5th, 2020 at 1:01 am

I got the pork in bags, unpulled. I got a little over four pounds, less than anticipated. However, there is a reason that I can see. The unpulled pork doesn’t draw as much fluid as the pulled does, with less surface area and cross trapping of fluid via surface tension. I ended up with more fluid set aside with the 8.5 lb than with the 10.5 lb roast from a couple of months ago. So the 1 lb bags hold more pork and less fluid this time around. Three bags to the freezer, one to the fridge. No photos on this batch. Seen one…

I still need to do clean up; crock, lid, catch pans, spoons and ladle, cutting board, counters, etc. And there is the final sorting of the dregs, not much. And when the pork cools a bit more, the bags go in the fridge. Garbage is tonight, so timing is right. I have plenty of time to pace myself.

So plenty in the fridge. Plenty in the freezer. A good summer menu.

Chorded Bill Staines The Logging Song for the book. E♭, capo on 3, play in C.

No complaints. Could use a bit more stamina. Mood is good.

Got an email on the shipment for the bones. Seems they shipped Monday, and I didn’t get word until this afternoon. They are scheduled to arrive on Friday. Spoons are schedule to arrive Saturday, but I get a feeling that they may both arrive Friday.

The kitchen is in order. All dishes washed and put up, 3 bags of pork are in the freezer, 1 in the fridge. Had a ham, egg, and cheddar sandwich for a late breakfast that put me down for a long nap. I’ll have rib tacos for dinner, and then I will be rib free.

Pood Poke

Posted on Tuesday, August 4th, 2020 at 10:12 am

The Boston butt is about 90 minutes into the slow cooking (high). I expect it to be done somewhere around midnight. I expect 6 lbs, so five bags to the freezer.

Plenty of room in the freezer now. I’m thawing 2 b ground chuck (spaghetti sauce), the last of the baby back ribs, a chunk of ham (fried egg, ham, and cheddar sandwich), and a package of brats. I have a link of boudin and a quarter pork tenderloin in the fridge, a very bare middle shelf now that the two purchases are out of the fridge. That will change soon enough.

I discovered that I’m out of rib eye. I have seven sirloin halves (~12 oz each). I can live with that. I won’t have a whole lot of freezer space to spare, but more will appear soon enough.

Spoons have shipped, end of week delivery. No word on the bones yet, but I’m expecting shipment today.

It’s going to be a warm week, but I’m ready for it. Gulf summer, warm and humid. Time to sit and pass the time.

Dem bones

Posted on Monday, August 3rd, 2020 at 12:21 am

I ordered two pairs of bones, one ebony, one tigerwood. This is the last percussion purchase this year, I swear. (#%*!$@^§¡)

Two pairs of bones that I ordered.

Got a 8.5 lb Boston butt and 2 choice sirloin steaks (3.2 lb – four 12 oz halves) at the store this morning. Prices were too good to pass. A little creative shuffling, and it will all fit in the freezer. I need to kill off the partial tub of Blue Bell Strawberry Cheesecake.

I plan on making eggs ackley tonight. Avocado and tomatoes demand it. I’ll start the pulled pork on slow cook tomorrow night.

Had rain, cooled things down into the 70s. No complaints, though Myka was not happy with the ample thunder. Cooler outside than inside the office, but at least the office is dry.

Moved from movies to TV series. About time I watched some of what I’ve missed.