Archive for September, 2020


Posted on Tuesday, September 29th, 2020 at 5:00 am

The party was a hoot. Smiling well-known faces. Food, music (most of it my lead), good times. We all agreed that we were missing the company of the extended family a great deal. And we made the birthday boy smile a lot. It was a special day for us all, even with social distancing. One to remember.

The bones and bodhran demonstrations drew definite interest. I have become an instructor. All the effort paid off. I made an impression.

Though the party didn’t last very long, my body was in true post-party condition. Arrived home with an untouched 12″ pizza and an 8 pack of Popeyes’ spicy. Barely managed to get my stuff in the house before I gave up the aching ghost with chemical assistance. One of these days, I’ll start acting my age. But not yet.

ATM in Navasota was out of cash, so I had to use the one at 6 @ 21. Mad money for the month resolved. I can pay the internet any time I please before the due date. I still need to go fill up the gas tank. The injectors got a good blowing out. The truck was happy to roll.

Got a response from dowels on demand. No charge presented yet, just a confirmation. I’m ready to pay when presented a bill.

So now I’m back home and working on getting back up to speed. It’s not happening quickly. Myka is glad to have me back. The cool front blew through yesterday morning, so I was able to use a throw, and Myka parked herself gladly between my calves on several occasions.


Posted on Friday, September 25th, 2020 at 7:03 pm

Not much happened today. Sunny, upper 70s, house open. Nice day. Lots of lawnmowers and weed eaters hacking back what Beta brought forth. A day of minimal chores for me.

Myka is getting better, but still a little hunkered down in the front room. I let her hammock between my calves while I napped, and she purred for that. I put out wet food, but she was not into it. She calls the shots. She gets up and moves around from time to time, she has the ability, and the right stimuli outside perk her up. She just feels better in a tight unreachable space for now.

Birthday party in Bryan on Sunday afternoon. A chance to show off new toys. ATM and Popeye’s en transit. Blow out the fuel injectors. A fun outing. Overdue.

No response on the dowels yet. Not a problem, ATM solves the mad money. It’s not an off-the-shelf order, and there is no certainty they are still active. I have the patience to wait. It’s a long term thing, no dire rush. No money has been sent. I still have oak dowel if I feel a need.

Pulled out the bodhran and played a while. The moisture from Beta made the skin very loose and deep. Haven’t forgotten anything while it sat idle during the storm. Gave the bones a work too.

Pretty weather for the weekend and next week. Cool down on Monday, but not cold. Lows in the 50s.

How dry I am

Posted on Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020 at 6:38 am

Beta has moved east. The wet stuff has stopped falling from the sky. Total came to right at 5″. We needed the rain, so no complaints for the good soaking. It was on the boring side to sit and watch rain for that long, but that was the only casualty.

I’ve had plenty of sleep, so maybe the eggs ackley won’t knock me out this morning. I need to get trash to the curb as soon as I get the gears spinning.

I’m starting to notice the sunrise getting later. Still dark, when it used to be sunshine at this time. Not noticing the earlier sunset as much.

A bit of a slow start for the day. A slow pace from sitting out the storm is still dominating my metabolism. Myka is not as patient.

Myka got her vaccinations while I sat out on the porch of the vet’s office. It was the solution to my dread of going into that tiny office during the pandemic. Granted, I wasn’t able to supervise. I warned them about rough treatment and her feral streak. They said she was frightened, but that it wasn’t too bad. I brought her home, fed her treats, grass, and wet food. So things settled pretty quickly, and she got to lie between my calves, chase geckos, and be at ease.

I made the order for the dowels. I figure $92 +sh. I will probably hear back tomorrow. Got all my finances nailed down. Still more to shed this month, but not that much. So not a big deal. I’ve got a week and a shopping list I can make grow as needed, depending on the shipping.

It will be a dry weekend, and the AC will likely return for four or five days. The rain was nice, needed to catch up on August and July. But its work is done, bring on the sun.

Thawed the last bag of the first batch of pulled pork to augment the eggs ackley and chicken/veggie soup. I realized the boudin stuffing was uncooked, and I wasn’t in the mood to fire up the oven. It’s in the freezer. A good swap, now that they stocked the boudin on the selves again.

Up to no good

Posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020 at 1:45 pm

Up to no bad either. Up to nothing fits much better.

In excess of 4″ of rain thus far, the bulk of it this morning. No wind to speak of. It’s been wet, minor flooding in Houston. But by and large a very freaky storm of little consequence. It should be out of the area in another 24 hours, which is convenient for Myka’s vet appointment tomorrow afternoon.

The replacement wide flat bones from McNeela arrived today. Also found that MIS will be issuing a refund for the out of stock bones. Great, more mad money to spend. But really, I now have what bones I need to complete the set. Tomorrow, the vet bill will be paid, and I’ll have finances squared, if the storage rent shows up on the bank account. It hasn’t yet.

Got my dowel list ready. Waiting for the smoke to settle. If it all holds to estimate, I’ll need to burn $50 more in the next week.

The eggs ackley breakfast tacos keep putting me to sleep. Still need to make home fries, but I’ll wait until the rain is gone. Plenty to eat now without them, and the spuds are in good shape.

The store has DJs bodin again. None of the smoked yet, but I’m hopeful. I can breathe easily now.


Posted on Monday, September 21st, 2020 at 4:55 am

Light rains from Beta is all that have happened thus far. The second band has arrived. Less than 0.2 inches by radar summary. The storm seemed to lose its rain core, but it is building a new one this morning. Forecast has dropped rain expectation from 4″ to 1.5″. Wind down to 17 mph/G 23 at max. Fizzling expectations.

The soup turned out quite well. Just the right amount of rotini after they swelled. The broth is rich and everything is balanced. I scraped the first bowl for the last drop.

I think I finalized my dowel list, 31 pieces, 21 items. Waiting for finances to settle this week.

The rain totaled about 1″ thus far, as the day ends. No wind, no thunder, just on and off light rain, temps in the 70s. Definitely a fizzle. Closer to Houston, south of I-10, it’s wetter. I’m on the line where the bands fall apart.

Turn, turn, turn

Posted on Sunday, September 20th, 2020 at 6:05 am

Beta looks like it will be spinning its way in this direction, then swerve to the east on landfall. Estimates show 3 to 6 inches of rain. Hourly forecast calls for 4 inches. Winds show less than 20 mph, gusts under 25 mph. Forecast now shows that it will remain a tropical storm and won’t reach hurricane strength. I am prepared for that.

Eggs ackley were made yesterday. I ran out of steam in the warm part of the day. I am aiming for the chicken soup today, possibly home fries too. Haven’t touched the sirloin or boudin yet. Not much of an appetite. Made do with a peanut butter and honey sandwich and a gouda sandwich.

Myka has her vet appointment for Wednesday at 2:25 pm. She will not appreciate that.

In the low 60s at the airport, 69°F here. Windows open. AC off. A quiet Sunday morning before dawn.

Beta made first cloud cover at 1:45 pm, the same time that the soup began to boil. Light rain about 10 miles to the south. So the dance begins. The soup smells good.

New Toys

Posted on Saturday, September 19th, 2020 at 1:05 am

The bones and spoons arrived Friday, minus a pair of rosewood flat bones that was out of stock. I emailed MIS and ask for an equal value swap for tun wood oval bones in its stead. USPS made the delivery a drama, sending it on the wrong delivery route in the sort on Thursday, then not delivering yesterday, requiring me to call and having a call placed to the carrier, who came back.

The rosin also arrived, which works great straight with guitar picks. I plan on making grip was using the rosin mixed with beeswax. I’ll need to use a clave to shape an aluminum foil mold (with a bamboo handle).

I got the sirloin broiled Friday. Eggs ackley tonight. Chicken veggie soup with whole wheat rotini on Sunday. All times are subject to reality. Haven’t opened the DJ’s rice stuffing yet. I will probably freeze half of it when I do.

Got the storage paid. Donna got a new phone after her old one died. It’s a good thing I called back when I didn’t see the post on the bank account. It’s still not been posted, but that can take time.

I ordered a 6 pack of bank bags. The new spoons won’t fit in the bones bag with the new additions. So instead of waiting on the order of dowels (which hasn’t been made yet), I went ahead and ordered them.

The new iPad got upgraded to iPadOS 14. A few new adjustments and scads of updated apps. I had to repeatedly tell it that I did not want two step authentication for a pad that mostly sits at home.

Ruth Ginsberg passed away yesterday. I won’t express my disgust at some of the responses.

The Tour

Posted on Thursday, September 17th, 2020 at 8:50 pm

My package traveled over a large area of Brenham today. It just didn’t pass by here. This is the second time (first was last month) they’ve given my package to the wrong carrier for delivery. “…could not access the delivery location.” The spoons and bones will be here tomorrow. So will the rosin.

Not in any big hurry to do anything. Made my pharmacy/store run mid morning and after that, no ambition. Ice bin got filled, that’s about it. I got whole wheat rotini and frozen veggies for the chicken soup. I got a 2 lb package of DJ’s rice stuffing (boudin without the casing). It was the last thing of DJ’s on the shelf. I hope it’s a distribution issue and not a discontinuance issue. I have the sirloin ready to broil. It needs to get cooked. I also need to use the pork tenderloin. I should make an effort to cook tonight.

There are no more 90s in the forecast. 60s-80s. Some rain ahead next week. Time to get the truck ready for winter. I need to take it out on the road and blow out the pipes. I have a larger cooking window in the kitchen.

I found a website, an outlet that sells 15 sizes of dowels in 121 species of wood. Trouble written all over it. I’ve already made a list for 30 pieces. Tigerwood, leopardwood, ironwood, zebrawood, vermillion, ziricote, Madagascar ebony, snakewood, birdseye maple, bubinga, Honduran mahogany. *sigh* The problem is, I can afford it. Poor toy box.

I’m waiting on the storage rent to show in the bank. Got an immediate full voice mail box all day. The voice mail was there the next morning, but no response at the bank yet. I’ll be patient. Sometimes it takes a few days.


Posted on Tuesday, September 15th, 2020 at 7:57 am

Made another bone order from MIS. One oval, boxwood. Three flat, rosewood, tigerwood, and vermillion. Spoons, vermillion. I expect this to be the final percussion order. I haven’t seen anything else that peaks my interest enough. Yes, I have seen lots of goodies that are pretty, but they would be redundant. I have taken the toy box expansion to its logical and not so logical conclusion. Enough noise is enough noise.

zzzzzzzzz… Dozed off. An overcast sunrise.

McNeela’s replacement bones haven’t arrived, so they are shipping another. If I get both pairs, I have offered to pay for the second one.

The MIS order has shipped. No delivery date estimate given yet. (*Saturday)

Myka’s oat grass seed arrived. Still too warm to plant, but there is still grass in the yard. So no hurry. I am stocked for winter.

I ordered a rosin bag (for the guitar case) and rosin powder to mix with beeswax for a grip wax. I have been having pick wander syndrome, and I think this will help, as well as insure that bones, spoons, and tippers don’t go flying off into the ether while playing.

I need to think about what to cook next. Sirloin has been a consistent option. But probably not today. Possibly tonight. Chicken will also get thawed. Seventeen quarters is more than an adequate stock. Penne alfredo is foremost in line.

HEB was out of DJ’s boudin. I hope it’s a temporary thing. It’s still in the online catalog. I would hate to see it dropped. Got bread, tortillas, chips, and cat litter last night.

Feeling better. I finally turned the corner on the digestive thing that plagued me for over a week. Getting some stamina back. No sign of the infection and the meds are not laying any heavy side effects on me at the moment. I look forward to feeling better for a while.

Tigerwood bones.

Clave labor

Posted on Saturday, September 12th, 2020 at 7:51 pm

Made three oak claves today, from the 1.25″ dowel that was used to make the fat kicker. It was 36″, with the 12″ removed. That left 24″ that made three 8″ claves. Saw, sandpaper, danish oil. They are LOUD!

Three oak claves join the toy box.

AC is back on. It was back in the low 90s today. Myka managed to sprawl out in the LZB. She got between my calves the one night I used a throw, and that probably got her re-oriented. She’s still in a don’t-touch-me fuss while in the chair. Brat.

A slow weekend. Improving, but I’m staying as compressed vertically as I can manage, keeping a low BP gradient. Staying on my feet too long takes its toll.


Posted on Thursday, September 10th, 2020 at 10:02 am

The high pressure ridge buckled at the tail end, and the cold front managed to push its way into central and east Texas. 63°F this morning. Back door is shut, but the front windows are open. Not quite sleeves weather.

The MIS shipment arrived this morning. (I think it was this morning, might have been late in the day yesterday, which was the last time I checked the regular mail, which had already arrived.) I had emailed USPS shortly before I found the package, asking where the package was, as the tracker page had said Status Not Available for a week. Oh well, they’re here.

Pairs – Wooden percussion, 2 matching pieces each. 4 ebony, 2 rosewood, 1 tigerwood, 1 vermillion, 1 birch


Cheaters – connected pairs, 3 rosewood, 1 mulberry

The cool air blew in at midnight. The back door was still open, and Myka was sitting there staring outside, smelling away. Then she was like lightning, scootching through the house, bouncing off the walls. Then she was back for another round. The door got shut. Brat.

The AC is off for the first time since early May. The office door is open, though not the window, at least yet. Myka can come and go as she pleases. The AC will return soon enough, but it’s a nice preview. Dew point is at 61°F. I can live with that.

Made chicken/cornbread dressing yesterday. Sage, thyme, marjoram, onion, celery, butter, chicken broth, 2 cups of diced chicken. Yummy.

Store run early yesterday, 2nd person in the door for the day. Produce, including a large avocado, a tad green, which will be perfect later today or tomorrow. I have marinated pork tenderloin thawed to go with spuds and TBD, with cheddar, as a base. I bought a smattering of other things. I still have room in the freezer for the 10 lb bag of chicken quarters I got, once they get roasted and cooled. Needless to say, I’ll be taking advantage of the cool snap in the kitchen.

Feeling a little better, but not back all the way.

Today is the first day since [my memory fails me], that I fired up the oven for two and a half hours at midday. Chicken is done, oven is off, half is bagged and in the fridge. Other half will be soon.

Next project, avocado. It’s almost perfect. It’s a large avocado, so I’m not going to add bulk to the base. No eggs or sautéing. Pork, spud, cheese, avocado. Try not to harm my stomach with excess bulk. I will make eggs ackley with the rest of the tenderloin in a couple of days. I have chicken dressing to consume.


Posted on Monday, September 7th, 2020 at 11:04 pm

A high pressure ridge is preventing the cold front from crossing Texas. Temps will drop in El Paso, but Dallas will only see minimal effects. A 3 to 4 degree cooling is all we’ll see here. At least it will take the edge off the warmth. This will be a normal September after all.

Started playing two-handed bones. I need to practice with the left hand, especially on alignment, but it definitely adds a dimension to the sound.

Still a little less than ambitious. My body is not firing on all cylinders. Lymph nodes still fussy, and some of it is side effects. Getting plenty of sleep, but the body wants more. So I’m not pressing it.

Last days of summer

Posted on Sunday, September 6th, 2020 at 11:55 am

Yesterday did not reach 90°F. It got to 89°F at the airport (86°F outside the window), then the bottom dropped out by the thunderstorm that formed and skirted the east side of town. Last night was at 73°F for six hours. Forecast says we’ll break 90°F for the next three days, barely. Then 80°F and 75°F for highs on Wednesday and Thursday.

Another quiet weekend. Chores getting done. Same ol. Eating enough to get by, but not more. Low appetite spell in a cooking lull. My timing is superb. Pulled pork, beef and chicken fajita tacos, I could be doing much worse.

Ordered oat grass seed for Myka. I have an idea for distractions, tiny cups with only a couple of seeds each, let her shred it on a sheet of her packing paper. I’ll have the big planter outside with an optional hanging basket for freezes, and as an invasion guard when it’s outside. Also the aluminum bookends.

I have had a couple of side effect spells recently. Not enough to contact the doctor. And my digestion has been affected as well. Signs of a mild infection being rejected. Funky and low stamina, a few minor pains, this and that. Nothing out of the usual. Sleeping helps, but not completely. Part of being old, it takes longer to rebound. Not stopping me from maintaining.

Plans on the furnace cleaning in prep for autumn.

And summer ends with a splash

Posted on Friday, September 4th, 2020 at 3:45 pm

Raining here, as it has in most places around here. Heat doesn’t leave Texas without a fight. Lot of flash and boom and whoosh to prove it. Raindrops splooshing in the runoff. A classic changing of the guard.

Replacement bones from McNeela got shipped on August 20th, today is the 11th business day (13th counting Saturdays), so the USPS is slowing mail.

I made the order with Musical Instrument Shoppe yesterday. They initiated tracking, but status is not active yet. So shipping is in progress, the box is closed. Two oval bones, vermillion and birch. One flat bones, one claves, and one spoons, all ebony. Pretty pretty, pretty noisy.

Surprise visit last night. Erin, Hannah, and Laura, spill over from the jam I missed, gave me the opportunity to show off the new toys. Had a good time and a boost of spirits.

Pulled pork, first batch, in the fridge. The rest comes from the freezer or cabinets. Fajita beef and chicken, shrimp, pot pie, pizzas, et al. I have sirloin and chicken cornbread dressing planned for next week when the temp breaks. Plenty to get me by without igniting gas. Maybe steamed veggies, but that’s a walk away process with an exhaust fan going.

Nothing demanding my time.


Posted on Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020 at 2:08 am

I made a store run at 6 am, opening time, got a script refill. Got fajita meat, beef and chicken (cooked/frozen) for the end of the deep summer. About a week to go. Cheese danish, peanut butter, parmesan, ketchup, etc. Stuff that’s getting low.

I resisted making the order with Musical Instrument Shoppe. Three bones, two spoons, one claves (all are pairs, 12 pieces). Three ebony, two vermillion, one birch. I’ll order when the time feels right.

I skipped the bodhran treatment, what would have been the last of the break in routine. Having cut no corners, I feel that the skin is in very good condition. So the skin is now off the clock and on an as-needed status. However, my left elbow needs a treatment.

Myka will get a vet visit scheduled in about a week, when the weather breaks. She needs her vaccinations, which I’ve put off for a month. She’s an indoor cat, no contact with other animals. It’s been deep summer, afternoon vaccinations only, and COVID-19 has been pretty active. But the viral case rate is slowing considerably, and the weather is cooling down next week.

Killed off the alfredo and boudin today. Fajita will take main stage, and I’ll probably thaw a pulled pork. I need to work on the bread. Plenty of frozen diversions for variety. I’ll be ready to cook in a week, when it cools down. Sirloin comes to mind.

Got the wet chores behind me tonight. Down to litter box and trash to the curb. Easy night, which is good. Dew point at 80°F.