Archive for May, 2021


Posted on Saturday, May 29th, 2021 at 4:30 am

The new laptop now has the base set of applications on board, topping 400 titles. I haven’t configured them all or set navigation aliases for all that are wanted, but the chore of installing the base load is done. It will be awhile yet before I perform a backup on the 8T, as there is still more to do. I also need to get a 512G USB stick for a bootable clone.

372.8 GB on board, 625.81 GB available.

I have to say, it feels good to have an updated and decked out machine again. It’s been a few years. And I’ve never been so free of hardware limitations. I am a happy camper.

Now not everything is on the drive. Some of the standards don’t work in OS 11 yet. And some of my favorites have been abandoned by their developers. So I will still be networking and file sharing on occasion. But not too often. And it will evolve. Still plenty more to add, support content, plugs, presets, etc. for the current set, and new apps along the way.

In other news…

More rain yesterday evening. One lightning bolt struck the sycamore tree next door (to be confirmed). Myka was totally freaked and required consoling. I’ve been that close before, so I was able to recover my wits quickly. It was an intense two seconds.

The truck has another issue. The power steering pump cap came loose, and some of the fluid got into the air intake and messed with the burning of the gas. I need to run a few tests and pin point if it’s the plugs or injectors or something else. I think it’s cleanable. One more issue on top of the alternator. More time under the hood when it dries out.

I need to eat. Nothing but a few snacks in the last 24 hours. Now that the laptop is assembled, I will turn to cooking. I got a bag of chicken and four pork tenderloins, to be oven roasted (pork will be marinated) for recipe stock, before it gets hot. I also have a half gallon of milk to use this weekend, cheese risotto and sausage gravy. And if I need more freezer space, chicken/pork tenderloin/shrimp/scallop jambalaya.

I am sitting the horde this extended weekend. The RV is getting a shakedown.

Payday is Tuesday. Memorial Day didn’t accelerate it. Then again, it’s not Tuesday yet, so that is not penned in. Nothing being spent until it clears the bank.

Payday. I had a feeling it would be early.

Alternate reality

Posted on Thursday, May 27th, 2021 at 8:13 pm

The rain, which resumed after a short spell of sunshine, has finally found its way elsewhere. Somerville is now 2.7 feet above stage. All drought status is now gone, the rain soaking well down into the ground. We don’t need any more for a while. (There might be a chance of rain Saturday, but it shouldn’t linger.) AC has been running, more for the humidity than the temperature. Dew point in the mid-70s.

The issue on the truck is the alternator, a blown diode on the rectifier bridge. I am waiting for it to dry out before swapping it out for a warranty replacement. The truck can get around town for limited use in the meantime. I haven’t been driving much recently.

I have been making a push to flesh out the new laptop. Comparing application folders of the new and old, finding updates and upgrades and finding out what works and what needs an alternate. Making serious progress. Some problems with a few major applications and the new system, but I still have the older versions on the old laptop. Setting the problems aside to maintain pace and not crying yet.

Not sure if payday is tonight or next Tuesday, considering the Memorial Day holiday. Or some time in between.

Almost done with the chili, enough for a spud or two. Chicken quarters and pork tenderloin to be roasted before it heats up. I need to do some thawing to make room in the freezer. I think jambalaya is coming up this weekend. Fried chicken too, which will both make room in the freezer.

My kingdom for a pillow

Posted on Saturday, May 22nd, 2021 at 9:56 am

The jam was fun, but I didn’t quite make it to the end. My lungs haven’t been hitting full capacity for a few days. It might be the new power pole with its fresh creosote. Or it might have been something else, an unknown volatile chemical I smelled for a short while. Some irritant has kept me from breathing as deeply as I usually do. (That is the most probable cause.)

But I was one of the last two to quit, so it wasn’t a big deal. Part of the reason I quit was the stool on which I sat did a number on my glutes. They are still sore. Next time, I’m bringing a pillow. A sore tush is the pits.

I brought home the usual tub of brisket chili. I went and got a package of hotdogs to go with it. I have a few spuds left too.

I need to do a diagnostic on the truck battery. It’s not charging properly. It might be a terminal connection, the battery failing, or the alternator. If it’s the terminal, a simple cleaning. If it’s the battery, buy a new one. If it’s the alternator, it’s under a lifetime warranty, and I have the tools.

I am considering getting an Akai MPK mini, a little more each day. It would be a good addition to the multi-track digital music system that the new MPB offers.

It resumed raining, though not as heavily. The sun is currently shining, but that might not last. There is a low pressure cell over San Antonio stirring up things.


Posted on Thursday, May 20th, 2021 at 5:29 pm

Jam session tonight, and it quit raining. The sun is out, 80°F, nice day. Nice to see things drying up. Looking forward to the music. I have about three hours to prep and warm up. I need to eat.

The power was switched from the old pole to the new one. Power was out for about 30 minutes. Rather painless. The truck noise was the worst part.

Made a big installation push last night on the MBP. Got about 70 apps added. Aliases for the dock filled out. It’s getting close to where it should be, but there’s still a lot of configuration to do. It’s not finished, but it’s functional as a work horse. It is getting to be comfortable, I can work on it if I want to spend a little extra time setting up the defaults and exploring new features. But the basic tools are there.

I want more USB 3 ports. Another adaptor hub…

Still keeping expenditures to a minimum. $10 outside bills on the debit. I could drop $150 without thinking, but I am resisting the mad money momentum.

Radar looks clear for 50 miles and it’s not approaching.


Posted on Wednesday, May 19th, 2021 at 3:40 pm

It’s been raining for a few days. Looks to be around 4 inches thus far. Some places nearby have had considerably more. The cloud cover has been thick and has shortened daylight hours considerably.

Still plenty of beef stew in the fridge. I’d freeze some of it if I had room in the freezer. The kitchen is well stocked.

Bills for the month are paid. Been keeping expenditures down to a bare minimum this month, especially on the bank account. About $10, counting gas and prescriptions. A big difference from Mad Money economics. Tempted to get an Akai MPK mini MK3, having seen it in action on YouTube. Maybe later, when mad money returns. I have enough at the moment to keep my attention on the new laptop.

Not much going on, mostly passing time, getting plenty of sleep.


Posted on Sunday, May 16th, 2021 at 1:44 pm

Five quarts of beef stew are in the fridge. The crock is washed. The ice bin is full. Chores are done for the day.

I have milk, so sausage gravy and risotto are coming up. But I have an avocado to finish off today. I left the largest spuds in the bag for other uses when I made the stew. So I am well stocked.

Lots of rain in the area, but most of it is missing us. Temps are comfortable, but it’s a little on the humid side.

Getting the feel of the new laptop arrangement. It’s starting to get settled into new habits. But there are plenty more to make.

I fear that I will be getting an iPhone SE (64G), $400 before taxes. Plus $30/mo. I am considering going without a phone. Or switching to a cheaper provider. Not sure what the future holds. I am not a happy camper.


Posted on Friday, May 14th, 2021 at 10:44 pm

I got tired of sandwiches all the time and decided that it was time to cook. So I got three pounds of cubed stew meat, carrots, mixed veggies, and beef broth (already have onion and a fresh bag of spuds). And I got milk and pan sausage for gravy (and risotto). And I got an avocado too. I have a full freezer, but nothing was punching my button. I was looking for an alternative to the usual.

I need to cook a bag of chicken quarters and some pork tenderloin, as I’m getting low on both, and it’s not getting any cooler for the oven. But they were out of chicken quarters. (People are obviously bbq’ing this weekend.)

Spent the last couple of days doing digital house keeping. Tossed all the installer duplicates. I discovered that I have 150 folders to burn to DVD. I may give up that practice and place them on the idle 4T drive. It’s cheaper, takes up less physical space, and the drive seldom spins, so failure is not likely. I still have 1T on the catch-all drive, so no hurry.

New laptop is taking its place in the workflow, now that it’s got the bulk of its muscle. It is hosting the movies off the catch-all, testing out the graphics card.

Getting into doctor appointment season. Primary for 6 month followup, ophthalmologist for an overdue exam, and dentist for a new liner.

Not hitting the 90s yet, a late starting summer. But tonight may be the last night the windows get shut for the night. The AC will run when it’s humid, dew point in the mid 70s or higher.

Just a jump to the left

Posted on Tuesday, May 11th, 2021 at 11:41 pm

The new laptop took residence on the desk. All the laptops rotated left. The eldest that Sarah gave me is now on the camping table. The tablets remained where they were. This gives a strip down the middle of the desk where there is nothing crossing the gap. (External drives connect to the left now.) New laptop is connected via ethernet, oldest via wifi, for the moment.

And the alarm went off for evening meds, and I went to the wrong laptop. *sigh* New habits to learn, but for the best in the long run.

New power pole on the curb, next to the existing one. The linemen trucks had me homebound most of the day, so I closed off with the AC on and slept through most of it. The RV had disappeared and reappeared to the rear of the house, the gate and parking bed (iron ore) finished for it. I have a feeling these two things were related. But it’s off the street now. The power wasn’t transferred over, so I expect the city to cut power to swap the feed to the new transformer.

Not much happening otherwise. Chili, spuds, dogs, and chicken are gone from the fridge. Working on tamales. Also had fajita chicken tacos. Lazy meals.

Empty folder

Posted on Sunday, May 9th, 2021 at 7:39 pm

The install folder is empty, at least for the moment. The big guns are on board, except for five that didn’t register properly. And one of those has a different version that does. New system security blues. This is not to say that everything is done. I still need to launch everything, configure, add content and plugs, etc. And the learning curve. And there will be more installations. But it is a major hurdle that was cleared today. 715G left on the SSD.

There was also a system update when I finished.

The rest of the day was pretty laid back. AC came on in the afternoon, as much for the dew point as the temperature. Not a big appetite, a couple of chili cheese dogs has been it for the day. Sleep has been the commodity of the day, despite the installation surge.

I had to dabble.


Saturday night R&R

Posted on Saturday, May 8th, 2021 at 11:40 pm

Starting to recover from Thursday night’s jam session. There were five leaders, and the music was consistently upbeat. A good night, a fair amount of applause from a laid back audience. I played some of the familiar, some other stuff too. And I brought home a tub of chili, which is about half gone (4 chili cheese dogs and a chili cheese spud). The Popeye’s bag in the fridge is shy three out of four pieces. The other eight pieces are in the freezer with the remaining four pieces from the last batch. (13 to go.) Gourmet tamales are the next slot. Thinking of some pulled pork.

Expecting a store run in the next day or two, taquitos, shrimp, scallops, etc. Been waiting for the weekend crowd to mellow on this sunny stretch. Only treat I got on the prescription run was macadamia/white chocolate cookies. In no hurry, as I am well stocked.

Starting to recover from activity, bank run, jam, chores, etc. Been sleeping quite a bit. Been staring into space, watching movies, occupying the LZB. Giving my body a chance to mend from the physical stress of good times.

Starting to install the small guns on the new MBP. Freebies, easy registration, nothing that requires a lot of work getting established. Good tools, but mostly specialty items. Three that would’t work, errors I’ve never seen before, requiring some learning curve. Getting the clutter out of the way for the big guns. Moving what apps I can into category folders. Aliases to come later on when it fills out. Feels good to whittle some of it away.

Cinco de Bayou

Posted on Wednesday, May 5th, 2021 at 3:20 pm

Made the bank run today, and a Popeye’s digression (12 piece mixed spicy and two biscuits). A nice sunny day, mid 70s, lots of black eyed susans and gaillardias along the roadside. Texas has turned yellow, time to get those final spring chores done. The truck handled well.

So my finances are set for the month, except for storage. A very early month financially. I ended up well set after the MBP purchase. I’m also well stocked with food. (I finished the turkey dressing.) Without mad money to burn, I should see low expenditure for the month.

It’s still slow on the laptop. It surfs and entertains, and it will become productive in the course of the weeks ahead. I’m still gathering, but not installing more than a few apps a day, the easy stuff.

Jam session tomorrow night.


Posted on Monday, May 3rd, 2021 at 4:00 pm

Just turned on the AC for the first time this year. 88°F and warming. Myka stood in front of it to feel the cool air. Then she promptly wanted out. She was never a big fan of the AC. Or the closed door. One of the two. I think it’s the high pitch whine of the compressor.

A front is on the way, and this is the preceding tropic bulge. The coming highs will be around 80°F, but the lows will be in the 50s. So cooler, but not drastically so. Snowing in Colorado.

Finally getting around to laundry. The relative humidity is low enough to air dry for a change. Expecting a soak in a bit. Good day for it.

Planning on a bank run Wednesday. Popeye’s too.

Not much to discuss. Just more slow times. Ambition will return soon enough.


Posted on Sunday, May 2nd, 2021 at 11:29 am

Myka’s birthday was yesterday, and she discovered silvervine. It’s similar to catnip, but more potent and effective longer. She loves it. I was going to hold it for her, and she went into “MINE!” mode. She was not going to be denied. And the feather boa was also a hit.

It rained for two and a half days. Lake Somerville has risen a couple of feet. It led to a lot of idleness, delayed chores, and general laziness. I have been waiting for a drop in humidity to do laundry, which is starting today.

The upgrade has stalled for the most part. The system is secure, the fluff is suppressed, it surfs the internet, and it makes for good entertainment. The primary obsolescence is under wraps. I’m doing a little here and there, but the focus is elsewhere. If I need something, I’ll install it. Otherwise, I am not going to rush into it. I have time and I’ve waited long enough, a little longer isn’t going to hurt too much. And I’d rather take my time and do it correctly, a piece at a time.

I made the turkey/veggie/cornbread dressing casserole, plenty left. And I had a baked potato with butter, bacon, cheddar, and avocado last night. Carrot cake and turtle creme pie adding to the Piroulines. Plenty of alternatives. Bacon and provolone sandwiches for brunch.

Internet bill not paid yet. Not pushing financial issues, since mad money is history for the nonce. It will take a while to gather funds and get back to it.