Archive for January, 2021

Financial disconnect

Posted on Friday, January 29th, 2021 at 9:45 am

Got the internet bill paid, $6 under limit. Made a store run this morning. Got more kn95s. I am in financial limbo for the weekend, no spending money, looking good and ready for the first of the month to begin a new cycle.

Got four small avocados to make more guacamole. Large ones were no longer on sale, but hey, the small ones are cheap enough. Got fresh spuds for the soup. Old bag was growing eyes. Cabinets are stocked. Fridge is more than adequate. I am sitting pretty.

I don’t think I’m going to get vaccinated this cycle. 40 first doses left in the county as of yesterday morning, and I haven’t been notified. I’ll deal with it. It’s just more hanging loose till it comes around.

I went through a minor rough spell yesterday. Bend over head aches, waking from a nap on the dizzy side, high BP. No fever or other sign of infection. Seems to be a metabolic processing issue. Didn’t slow me down too much. I slept well last night, and that helped a great deal.

72° outside, sunny, windows open. Myka is on sensory patrol. Avocados on the counter, ready for mashing, as soon as I have risotto for lunch. Had a long nap, and I’m feeling better for it.


Posted on Wednesday, January 27th, 2021 at 9:54 pm

Well, start with the storage rent for January. It just hit the bank. Whew! I was worried that I’d have to drop the account that much and double up next month. Also, no sign of the paycheck yet, which probably excludes Friday as an early payday. It looks like Monday. That gives time for the internet bill to show online before payday. Mad money is handled. A trip to the bank tomorrow has been postponed.

Chicken penne alfredo is in the fridge. Cheese risotto is on the stove cooling. The guacamole I made is gone (fajita chicken tacos and chips did it in). Plenty of alternatives in the fridge. Rest of the milk will go toward baked potato soup w/ ham, which is thawing. Maybe tuna Mac. Myka would like the tuna water.

All deliveries are in, nothing out there with my name on it. I cleaned the beeswax from the purpleheart bones, so I’m ready to strip the oxidized layer, polish, and apply the CrabCoat. Not in any hurry.

I got to sleep in the new poncho. It was nice, but not as conforming as the grey one. It will be a nice public poncho. Glad to have it.

Decluttered the kitchen, removing a lot of the reusable product packages to boxes in the staging room. I’ll sift through them over the next couple of months and send what I won’t need to the curb. The lack of parties in the last year really made them pile up.

The windows have now closed for a few days, cooling down. Maybe Saturday will see them open, but not much after that for a while. But it has been nice to have them open this much. It makes winter bearable.

Not sure if I’ll make the vaccination list. They’re down to 70 doses, and I haven’t heard from them yet. If not, oh well, I can wait.

Poncho and Crab

Posted on Monday, January 25th, 2021 at 1:37 pm

The 3rd alpaca poncho arrived today, and it’s hanging to let the packing folds relax. It’s similar to the charcoal poncho, but the woven pattern is not there, shaggier and felted. I have a feeling that it will snag less, which is good. I am favorably impressed without having worn it yet.

The CrabCoat also arrived, and it remains sealed. It’s a little larger than I expected, which means plenty to go around. I look forward to using it on the purpleheart bones.

Still no January storage rent on my bank account. I think that I’ll head to Bryan this week and stop by the bank to cash the check and withdraw enough funds to get under limit, just to be sure.

Finished chores, so I’ll be cooking cheese risotto and chicken penne alfredo, once I prep the chicken. I got milk, bread, brats, and poundcake on a store run last night, and they had large avocados on sale, unadvertised. Must be a glut of avocados this year. I got two bright green ones and plan on making guacamole, which will last longer.

Windows have been open quite a bit the last few days. They stayed open all last night, and then got closed when a line of showers passed through about 10 am without raining here. An hour later, the windows were open again. Nice and sunny, and the humidity is much lower. Myka is enjoying it.

The burn from washing the truck is almost gone. I have been using ibuprofen as needed, but only a little stiffness remains now. I played bones and bodhran yesterday for some time to loosen things up.

Purple Rain meets Purple Power

Posted on Friday, January 22nd, 2021 at 3:02 pm

The cherry laurel berries that the robins processed have been removed from the truck. About $4 in quarters and $1.50 worth of Purple Power were put to use on the truck at the car wash around noon. The biggest effort was stripping the layer of environmental grunge that had accumulated over a number of years, on the roof of the camper shell. From ground level, it wasn’t visible, but looking down from a multi-story building, it was rather funky.

Squeezing the spray bottle, scrubbing with the brush, and handling the power wash nozzle, some 40 steady minutes worth, did a number on my hands and arms. (No playing music now.) Even ibuprofen doesn’t fully block it. But the roof went from 0% to 97% visible, and from any distance, it looks clean now. I may go back another day and finish the job, but the primary purpose, removing the purple rain and gunk, was achieved. Clean enough for a Texas truck.

Polished off the eggs ackley this morning. It was about 6 tacos worth, but it had been in the fridge long enough. I cleaned the plate. The sausage gravy and chicken/broccoli rice got finished off yesterday. Chicken penne alfredo and cheese risotto coming up before long. Ample items to apply to bread in the fridge. Smoked turkey/bacon/provolone sandwiches, brats, boudin, chili cheese dogs, plus pork tamales. No hurry to light a fire.

Windows are open. 74°F. Chance of rain tomorrow. It will be mild this week, not quite warm enough for windows after Sunday, but not harsh.

Deliveries are all slow. Called storage today, let them know only one payment went through. A pokey January. Still waiting on word from Brookshire’s on the vaccine.


Posted on Wednesday, January 20th, 2021 at 1:57 pm

The waiting is finally over.

Made a light store run. Forgot to get cheddar on the last one. Also got cookies. Now I am in good shape for the month, as long as the storage rent for January shows up on my account.

Chores are done for the day. Still need to treat the bodhran skin. Otherwise, a slow afternoon. Windows are shut, 60°F outside. Holding off on washing the truck.

Myka loves the indoor pate with greens in it. It vanishes, and she wants more before the end of the day.

The bodhran has been treated with all three applications. It just needs time to soak in and a rub down to remove the excess.

Having a quiet evening, mostly going over the news. That it’s pretty boring is a relief.


Posted on Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 at 6:42 am

Mad money is handled for the month, provided that the storage rental goes through and the internet bill shows on time. Yesterday was MLK, a bank holiday, so everything is hanging as pending. Today should hopefully tell. It’s been an odd month financially. Not difficult, just odd.

Got a step stool, new bins for Myka’s kibbles, 9V batteries for the Egee, LED bulbs, a TP hanger, a third thermometer, etc. I also ordered a USB-C to 4 USB hub for the coming MBP. The fridge is well stocked. I won’t need to shop until next month, except maybe for perishables. Four deliveries outstanding, strings, poncho, CrabCoat, and hub.

It’s a relatively warm evening, low 60s. Chance of rain and mid-70s today. I may not need to wash the truck, if there’s enough rain. Tomorrow will be cooler, then warm again on Thursday. The ping pong game is in progress.

I think the bodhran will be treated today. Seems like a good day for it, warm and humid to relax the skin. My hand is ready for it.

Poncho and Ackley

Posted on Sunday, January 17th, 2021 at 3:17 pm

I plunked down $100 of mad money on another alpaca poncho, same style as the grey one, but in the color blue jean. It will be my public poncho, matching my denim pants and shirt, the grey will be my at home kick around, and the blue/brown stripes will be reserved for parties and performances.

Eggs ackley (6 egg) is sitting on the stovetop, cooling off for packing. Chicken/broccoli rice is in the fridge. That leaves sausage gravy to make.

Chores are done for the nonce, except washing the skillet and spatula that are currently occupied on the stove.

The windows are open, 69°F, mild breeze from the north. A few of the robins remain, too many for washing the truck yet. Most of remaining intact berries are on the ground, shaken loose during the feast. The birds are not paying attention to them thus far.

First payment for storage went through. YEAH!!! Waiting for the second.

The gravy has been placed in the fridge, giving me a trio of options for primary entrees, with half a dozen alternatives to give variety. No chores outstanding, kitchen time is fulfilled.

I ordered the CrabCoat satin for finishing the purpleheart bones. I look forward to refinishing the bones to bring out the vibrant purple grain and keep it from fading to brown under UV exposure. That gives me three deliveries in progress. Only the strings have tracking yet, and it’s a hybrid and won’t show immediately.

Coup de gras

Posted on Saturday, January 16th, 2021 at 3:24 pm

Coup de gras translates to blow of fat. That brings to mind striking someone with a pork belly. Coup de grâce translates to blow of mercy, or “death blow”. And is properly pronounced [cooed grass].

I mention this because robins are flocking around the house eating the cherry laurel seeds, and consequently bombing the yard in a continuous process. The seeds are very rich in cyanide (CN), as are the leaves, but it is not hydrogenated, which is what makes it poisonous (HCN). A couple have hit the oat grass, so Myka’s salad is “cooed grass”. I have to be careful not to feed her any tainted blades.

I mentioned coup de gras because I have been prepping chicken and pork loin for cooking. (Chicken/broccoli rice and eggs ackley, with sausage gravy to follow.) I had to wash a lot of gras off my hands.

Once the robins depart, I will take the truck to the car wash and get rid of the unsightly purple dots. They are quite fearless when after the berries. I can get within eight feet of them at eye level without a problem. That makes it difficult to shoo them away. They love gorging on those berries.

About 65°F outside the window. It’s not quite warm enough to open the windows. It’s sunny, with hazy blue skies. A nice Saturday afternoon, even though it’s dangerous to go outside and enjoy it. That is, unless one has a pair of wide rosewood minstrel bones in one’s hand.

I made a store run last night, close to $70, but not nearly enough to deal with the mad money. Stocked up on paper plate reserves, and I got cat food. I got deli mesquite smoked turkey and sliced provolone and gouda, brats, bread, flautas, Reese’s, pot pies, etc. Not a big haul, but enough to fill most of the gaps in the kitchen. I will not go hungry for a long time.

Made a call to storage, and said if the problem with the credit card mechanics weren’t solved to call me back this morning. No return call, so I am waiting for the entries to show on the bank account. I don’t need two months rent added to mad money.

To whittle down the mad money a bit, I ordered four sets of Martin strings for the Egee. I discovered that it was a good thing that I downloaded the MF app for the iPad, as the new website shopping cart they have doesn’t work on my laptops. I can check the order on the laptop, but that’s it. A sure sign that I will be upgrading laptops soon. I should get some more 9V batteries soon. The last one is in the tuner. That gives me six or seven months to stock up.

Signed up with Brookshire Bros. for COVID vaccine. Seems to be the only public source in town. Now I wait.


Posted on Thursday, January 14th, 2021 at 1:54 pm

70°F, sunny, and the windows are open. I had to wear Myka down for a nap. It was that or be pestered all day.

10 days and no response from the dowel guy. I give up.

The hand is doing well. It’s background now. I can prep and treat a bodhran skin. Back to SOP.

I’m about to cook something, not sure what. Chicken is thawed, joining sirloin and pork loin. And there is a half gallon of milk to be used. So that much is set. There rest… it will come.

Feeling well. No complaints. No hesitation, no hurry.


Posted on Tuesday, January 12th, 2021 at 1:39 am

The hand is showing marked improvement. Only one bite, one of the deep ones has shown any sign of infection, and it was treated aggressively at first appearance. Draining, medicating, heating pad, sleeping. Doing better. I’m using the hand fairly regularly, just avoiding the high stress stuff. I’ll be prepping in the kitchen before long.

Myka is back in my graces, back to the usual routine. Most of the time. No carte blanche.

The snow melted, but some of the ice remains in the nooks and crannies. Myka’s oats survived. But one of the cherry laurels toppled from the weight of the ice, the roots giving way. A crew will get after it.

No response on the dowels after a week. I’m about to write off the order. No sign of the storage rent on the account either. No more bones, maxed out. Mad money is going to be tricky this month. I may be looking at a bank trip to cash the check and withdraw some from the account. Other than MBP adaptors, no idea what to buy.

Been working on the freezer. I finally achieved a sparse middle shelf in the fridge, tamales and pork loin. Started thawing a few things for when I’m back to wielding a blade, sirloin, boudin, with chicken quarters to follow. But I have been going through pizza, fajita chicken, popcorn shrimp, pot pie, etc, while healing. Easy fix, easy eat.

I have managed to play the tun flat bones a little with my right hand. They’re light enough not to stress anything. No guitar or bodhran yet, but it will get there.

Still watching and waiting for a chance to get vaccinated.


Posted on Sunday, January 10th, 2021 at 11:47 am

There is still some swelling and deep soreness from the first and deepest bite, in the thumb muscle. I may give it one more heat treatment, just to be on the safe side. But the rest of the wounds are healing relatively well. Still not making any music, though.

I’m not cooking either. Plenty to eat in the freezer that doesn’t require firing up the stove or oven. I’m mostly taking it easy, giving my immune system top priority on the resources. It’s paying off, considering the extent of the damage. Aggressive healing techniques help.

The rain has been been constantly off and on since midnight, roughly 0.75″ total this far. No real heavy rain, but some moderate showers in the mix. Holding around 40°F. Two hours before the forecasted start of the snow. Not sure if it will be cold enough, as the hourly forecast says it should be in the mid-30s now. Time will tell. I’d just as soon see it rain.

I haven’t cut Myka any slack yet, though she has been requesting treats, attention, and forgiveness. I don’t think that she is fully repentant yet. She is still feles non grata.


Cat in jail

Posted on Saturday, January 9th, 2021 at 2:08 pm

Myka saw the neighbors’ cat outside, then turned and viciously attacked my right hand. These are the worst wounds she has ever laid on me. She is spending time in jail. Needless to say, I am not pleased.

I washed thoroughly and deep, treated with antibiotic gel, then placed it in a nitrile glove. I got in the LZB and wrapped the hand in my heating pad to create a localize fever. I think that I saved myself a trip to the emergency room for antibiotics.

I won’t be playing bones for a few days.


Snow in the forecast tomorrow PM into Monday morning. Bleeeeech!

50 bones

Posted on Friday, January 8th, 2021 at 6:31 pm

The four pair of flats arrived today, rosewood, tun, sisham, and boxwood. That gives me 50 bones > 25 pairs > 9 sets and 7 pairs. They fit snuggly in two bank deposit bags.

The whole shebang.


Posted on Tuesday, January 5th, 2021 at 12:32 pm

The canceled order wasn’t canceled. The flat bones should still be shipped soon, if not already on their way. The canceled order was me checking to see the shipping cost on the 27th. The actual order was on the 31st. Never mind!

And I ordered a pair of rosewood flats from Lark in the Morning (cheaper there undiscounted because of shipping), which had previously been unavailable. That will make 25 pair (9 sets + 7 pairs).

I am doing well. A few days of light grazing has allowed things to even out. The digestive pressure is relaxing. Still relatively saturated, but not quite as intently. I need to eat cheese, way too much stock on hand. I need to thin it out.

Mr. Avocado showed up on my front porch. I’ll have to drag him to the next party, with a bunch of avocados.

Canceled order

Posted on Monday, January 4th, 2021 at 5:27 pm

I got the three pairs of bones in the mail today from Bone Dry, mahogany and teak in the Half-Round, and the replacement maple Percy Danforths. All arrived in one box, which solves the mystery of the prolonged label created message on tracking. The mahogany are richer and louder than I expected. The teak are considerably quieter than anticipated, though I had read that they were low key. Good nighttime practice bones. The maple are pretty much what I expect, mellow, warm, but full. Nice and lightweight. A pair of maple flats might be a nice idea for a set.

However, the three pair of Lark in the Morning FlatWorld bones in tun, sisham, and boxwood got canceled by MIS without an explanation. I emailed them, requesting a reason. A refund is scheduled, the charge is still pending on my account. Not sure if I can order from LitM, if they are the reason for the cancelation. Their website says that they are still shipping, but no date given on the message.

I also emailed a query on the dowel order. It’s been 104 days since I placed the order, 75 days since I last had a response.

75°F this afternoon, calm, sunny. It prompted a warm soak in the tub.

Still no rent on the storage. I’m tempted to call. But it’s Monday, don’t be too eager.

Not eating much. Enjoying it. Bread and cornbread are the focus, don’t let them spoil. Peas are gone, tamales too. Brats and boudin waiting to be opened. Probably pastrami tonight.

Dol-drums and bones

Posted on Sunday, January 3rd, 2021 at 6:55 pm

Today is the second day that I was not forced to override my lack of appetite. I must say, it has been a relief to nibble and graze and not worry about food spoilage (except maybe bread and cornbread). I had haddock and popcorn shrimp last night to satisfy the seafood itch after weeks of absence.

I made a store run late last night. The store was fairly empty, not unexpected. I got litter and cat food, strainers, lime juice, cookies, more fish and shrimp (dinner almost did in my supply), and a few other things. I don’t expect to be buying much food this month, mostly perishables.

I have been studying about various finishes for wood that are very UV protective and don’t dull the musical tone of the wood. I want my purpleheart bones to be dazzling purple, not brown, and still sound sweet. I have found a crystalac exterior top coat called CrabCoat, ultra UV protection, seawater proof. Another option, requiring repeated applications, is Howard SunShield, which I can get locally. It is beeswax and carnauba wax as a base, which should help the grip, and can be used with shellac. I haven’t ordered or bought anything yet. I’m still in research mode.

The Half-Round bones are in Texas. No sign of the maple minstrels, so I assume they are in the same shipment, they got overlooked, or USPS is in shock from the holidays and pandemic. The Lark in the Morning flats were processed on my account, so I assume they are shipping. I expect LitM to be shipping them for MIS, so not sure if there will be tracking.

Windows were open for a couple of hours this afternoon. More expected in the days ahead. Still on the cool side at night. Myka has been enjoying the hammock several times a day. She has also been camped out next to the window in the front room, a view, a soft cushion, and elevation off the floor. Not to mention, privacy when she wants it.

Chores have been sparse, the usual. Minimal dishes, ice bin… Nothing heavy or intense. Just letting the air out.

I my treat the bodhran tomorrow. It could use a full treatment.

The world goes back to normal tomorrow. The holidays have been over for me for a couple of days. Tomorrow, the long weekend is over, the holidays history.


Posted on Saturday, January 2nd, 2021 at 3:06 am

January 2nd, the sound of the air escaping is clearly audible. It’s almost as loud as the cowbell I rang for four seconds at midnight NYE/NYD.

I ate the tamales, black-eyed peas, cornbread, a pastrami/gruyere sandwich, and cheesecake, so I should have good luck this year. I also cleared out most of the 2020 food (two slices of Hershey’s chocolate creme pie were granted temporal transcendence) from the fridge.

I found the websites that gives info for vaccine distribution, so that I can make a quick application when they become available.

USPS tracking has been the pits for the last few days.

Time to switch from holiday hanging around to regular hanging around.