drying out

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The dew point dropped Monday morning from 80°F to 69°F in less than 10 minutes, thanks to a rain storm. That isn’t a contradictory as it might sound, since dry air moves under moist air, forcing it upward to where the humidity condenses and forms rain. The temperature dropped from 82°F to 70°F, so the humidity stayed up near 100%. But saturation at 70°F and saturation at 82°F are two totally separate critters when it comes to the effect on the human body.


So the low temperatures are in the low 70s now, not the 80s of the last couple of weeks. So it’s much easier to deal with the weather outside the AC in the office. I set up the fan on a barricade in the front door frame, set up to where Myka can’t get out through the tattered screen door. It makes a big difference being able to actually cool down the house overnight.


With all the news of hackers and cyber warfare in the news, I decided to update the backups of all the hard drives and SD cards in the office. Not that I fear intrusion, as my security is tight, but rather hard drive failure being my biggest concern. So I’ve started the cycle, which means that I’ll not be surfing the net as much to avoid RAM issues that could drastically slow things down. Instead, I’ll watch movies or do things outside while the weather is more forgiving.


The good news is that the dew point will stay in the low 70s for this coming week. That will allow me to work on the truck. I juiced up the battery today to prepare for that effort tomorrow. So I am hoping to finally track down the short. I have moved from measuring values to the next stage, disconnecting branches.


And it’s just in time to cook stuff, as I’m running low on the ready to eat things like pre-sliced brisket sandwiches, diced baby back rib tacos, etc. The kitchen will be bearable in action. I just know it won’t be burgers. I had my fill and then some this last week.


I am glad to see the soup gone.


And an interpreted line from Attack of the Giant Leeches, “Just remember, a wounded rubber suit is twice as dangerous.”

Happy Solstice

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The days now get shorter and longer rather than longer and shorter.


This morning, the dew point was 83°F. Happy happy… Stayed in the AC as much as possible today. Dew point got as low as 74°F in the heat of the day. That is pretty soupy.


Not very motivated for much, except passing time. Had quick baby back rib tacos for lunch. They were good for the afternoon snooze.

swamp

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Yesterday morning, the dew point was 80°F. Walking through soup. Today, the heat index is forecast to be 110°F. The Gulf is working its humid charm of summer. AC time.


It has almost dried out from the rains we had Sunday night/Monday morning.


Lost electricity for 30 minutes last night due to a downburst that passed through with a small rain band. Was barely a sprinkle, but the trees were dancing up a storm. Wind gusts were measured at 46 mph. The outage covered several blocks.


Did another thaw, brisket, baby back ribs, and ground chuck. The brisket wasn’t intended, removed with the impression that it was ribs. I sliced up the remaining ham, the brisket, and ribs (diced for tacos). The effort was separated by the blackout. The only reason that I’ll need the cutting board is to dice ham for a stovetop dish. I was thinking of doing the chuck as sloppy joes, but now I’m wavering on that. Not sure that I want 4 big burgers either. Too soon for a spaghetti repeat.


Waiting on things to dry out before continuing on the truck. Changing tactics from measuring voltage and resistance to unplugging stuff when I resume, and I don’t want to accidentally drop something under the truck on wet ground.

JCGI-1K

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Last Night 3:41AM


It was a humid day, and it’s being a thunderous night. Didn’t get much done on Sunday, at least outside. Got a supreme pizza and mozzarella, and the storm cooling made the kitchen well suited for an oven run. 3/4 is sliced and in the fridge.


Got Myka a 24 pack of Friskie’s Extra Gravy styles. The salmon is her favorite, the beef I’m not too sure if she will eat the chunks. But the gravy is always a winner.



I started this blog ten days shy of ten years ago, and this is the 1000th entry. (This, being cardinal, means there are 1000 posts inclusive, but the last of the first k, not the first of the second.) An average of 100/yr. That is roughly twice a week. It’s served two purposes, letting people who care know my general state of being and dating my creative endeavors. I know the dates for requesting recordings of me playing at parties and jam sessions. I have a good idea when I rendered what and what was paralleling the work. It’s been a useful search tool.


While round numbers have a certain appeal, they are, after all, just numbers in a flowing sequence. The destinations are only markers that serve the journey. ♫ You know you can’t memorize zen… Smile at someone, begin to begin.


♫ The wheel is turnin’, you can’t slow it down.
♫ You can’t let go, and you can’t hold on.
♫ You can’t go back. and you can’t stand still.
♫ If the thunder don’t get you, then the lightnin’ will.

Post #999

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Troubleshooting the truck, running electrical diagnostics. The more I discover, the less I understand. My latest point of focus is the wiring harness (if a harness can be a point). I have more tests to run to try and end the logical contradictions. It’s too complex to read, much less to write.


The chicken, broccoli, cauliflower, rice is half gone. Still plenty else to eat before the next thaw.


The LZB is giving plenty of shut eye. So nice to wake up in the chair to that gradual transition of sitting up and rising again.


Doing pretty well, all told. Not 100%, but considerably closer to it.

LZB’ing

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The La-Z-Boy is back in place, back in service, back in my heart. The curing was sufficient for use, though it will continue to cure for a week. The screws and dowels are sufficient to hold it together while it finishes curing. My, but it’s nice to doze off again, and to wake up without having to get up off the floor.


Got most of the chores done. Airbed deflated and folded, Myka’s bank boxes back in place, kitchen floor mopped, ice bin filled, dishes washed, all items back in their default locations. I’ll be cooking the chicken/rice dish later. And a brisket sandwich to make before that. A load of laundry. But the majority of work is behind me for the day. Back to SOP again…


Been watching the collection of Keystone Kops. Interesting history of scandal and tragedy that surrounded the studio.

Steps

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10 am: Step 1 complete. LZB block cleaned, glued, and clamped. I’ll give it 4 hours to set before drilling for screws. Once, the screws are set, I can remove the clamp and drill for dowel. The chair will need a couple of days for the glue fumes to subside enough for AC. So timing is fairly forgiving.


Ham, chicken, and brisket are the current fridge fare. Chicken will join broccoli, cauliflower, and rice. Ham will join spuds and a ham, egg, and cheddar sandwich. Brisket will be sandwich fodder, as usual. Steamed veggies. Easy to fix, good summer menu.


Watching Curse of the Undead, a western vampire movie from the 50s. More B&W drive-in scream fodder.


More later…

….
….


2pm: Steps 2 and 3 complete. Holes drilled and screws set (8). Holes drilled and dowels in place (2). Tools put up. All that is required is a little curing time.

And feeding Myka.

Wind down

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Well, I started on the LZB, and my right foot started protesting. Might have been the compression socks, might have been the edema. BP is 126/78. I am rather waterlogged, my eyes are puffy, have a fluid deposit behind my left ear that I can hear gurgle. If it’s capable of retaining fluid, it is.

I sat in the office chair, socks off, and kicked my feet up on the long table. That helped. (I could use the LZB about now.) I need a diuretic with the valsartan. Either that or quit drinking fluid for a few days, which isn’t healthy either. I’ve already cut back on intake.


Added six more renderings to the Surreal gallery, making it 18. It’s enough for now. Satisfied the itch. Maybe someday in the future. 72M for 71 renderings, 26 seed images.


Need to figure out what to fix next in the kitchen. Today is covered. I’m thinking ham and chicken, probably rice based. Ham, egg, and cheese sandwich. Need to kill a few small spuds first. The gumbo is a tough act to follow.


Myka is back in the LZB. She saw me working on it and decided it was a good time to occupy it. I’ll have to bribe her if I want to get back to work on it.

Surreal

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Dreamin’

I added a new section to the gallery. It is a compilation of some of the renderings that I did with Deep Dreamer.

http://www.fringewood.com/cpg/thumbnails.php?album=4

The application has some controls, though they aren’t extensive. The biggest factor is the base image, the layer option, the render option, and the rendering sequence. And then there is Photoshop to clean them up a little.


Still no surgery for the LZB, though the dew point is dropping. Soon. Looking at a temperature drop tomorrow, highs in the mid-80s. Tues-Thurs will see dew points in the low 60s. Today is forecast for a 96°F high temp.


Working on the gumbo. Zero complaints, with a ways to go. I’ll need to make more rice.


Canceled my Austin house sitting duty for next month, due to a doctor’s appointment. Didn’t realize it at the time they gave me the slot, but there weren’t any others anywhere close to the date my prescription runs out. Stamina is just not up to packing it up and shifting base at this point. Best I stay grounded for the time being.


Been watching some early B&W Roger Corman flicks, pure 50s drive-in fodder. Mixing that in with a little Steven King screen adaptation.

Trayed out

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I got four more ice trays this morning, giving me two full sets of seven (7 active, 7 in reserve). I am hoping that they will hold me over for the rest of my life. They are that good, now if they just last and don’t turn brittle.


Finished the risotto and had baby back rib tacos (sans the rib bones). So now I get to fix the gumbo: skin, debone, and dice chicken, add chicken stock and extra shrimp, let it heat on the stove while I make a pot of rice. The last of the spare ribs and brats will fill out the alternatives.


More rain today, and the dew point is staying in the mid-70s. It will be dropping this weekend and should be in the 60s by Tuesday, thanks to a slight cool front. So I’ll have a good window of lower humidity for repairs on the LZB.


If it’s too humid tomorrow for the chair, I will try to advance the tests on the truck electrical system.

Oven day

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The prevailing rain kept the temperature down today, enough to crank up the oven for curly fries, onion rings, and recipe chicken. Gumbo is next, which will use one of the quarters and some shrimp. It all fits in the freezer, minus the gumbo, chicken quarter, and ribs. So the power eating is not as intense as expected. Good to get the baking and roasting done before we don’t see any more cool days.


I have everything set to go for the LZB surgery, but today was too humid for gluing. It hung in the upper 90% range until the sun was diving downward. Myka is having a condensation licking marathon.


On a new ice cube diet. I finally used up the last of the silicone tray lot and filled the bin to a heaping level from empty with the seven new trays. I am very pleased with the ease, and that it will need filling about half as often. Now if the trays last for any length of time, I will be thrilled.


HEB had the gall to put quality sirloin on special when I am fresh out and have zero room for any in the freezer. Pffft. No tenderized marinated steak for a while. I’ll just have to be happy with rib eye, tenderloin, and brisket. And pork loin, baby back ribs, ham, turkey, chicken, shrimp, and… The gall, I tell you.

Old Tailless

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One of the older geckos here keeps losing his tail. Not sure how, be it bird, rodent, or another lizard. But he keeps losing it and regrowing it, identifiable by the stubbiness, a definite Δ to the diameter. And he runs off all the smaller ones with beautiful tails when he shows, grumpy old tailless thing that he is.


The La-Z-Boy is ready for surgery. Everything there in place. It will happen soon. It was 94°F yesterday, so I soaked in the tub instead.


Cheese risotto is the next dish to cook. I have grown to like it a good deal, and it’s a good way to use up a pint of milk.


New ice trays. Found them in a bargain bin at HEB. They are cheap, thin walled, and I’m not sure how durable at this point. They are extremely flexible, and a simple twist and flip empties the tray into the bin. No more frozen fingers from the silicone trays. Seven in the freezer, three in reserve, and I may grab a few more for insurance. The cubes are bigger than ones that the silicone trays make, a bit over twice the size, so they won’t melt as quickly. And the seven should fill the bin from empty. Just in time for summer.


New ice tray.


Now I need to do something with the freezer. I restocked the frozen nukeables. I had to thaw the gumbo and the last of the spare ribs to make room. And I still have a tray of chicken quarters to cook on Wednesday (rain in the forecast, cooler temps). I will be eating a lot this week.

Roky

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Roky Erickson passed away yesterday. A flood of memories of the Elevators at Love Street Light Circus and Feel Good Machine at Allen’s Landing in Houston. I am honored to have have had them in my life. How different things would have been without them.


I keep finding myself saying “I learned this song while he was still alive.” more often these days.

Payday

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Deposit clears the bank at midnight. I will have it back up to standard, drained since the auto insurance payment in March.


Still in pokey mode. Feeling better with the previous meds finally departing my body, a slow gradual process. It’s not so much the new meds as it is the start of summer, the Texas version of spring fever.


Still haven’t made music school. I will eventually.


Spuds getting cooked for a large mass of mashed potatoes. Sausage gravy should follow later today. Turkey and baby back ribs are the alternatives.


A little rain this morning, enough to wet things, but not much more than that.

Roman Numerals

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I ran across a question about Roman numerals, and found myself needing a quick refresher. But then the question occurred to me, how does one express 25.4TB (2.54 X 10¹³) in Roman numerals? (That is the amount of functional hard drive space I currently possess, of which 19.2TB is currently in active duty in the office.)


It was a slow holiday. The La-Z-Boy broke a rocker support and needs to be repaired. I bought a cheap airbed and hand pump for the interim. It can double as a pool float when the LZB is back in service. Interesting pump, it has the intake (deflate) and outflow (inflate) in the handle, on opposing sides, and both operate when the handle is moved in either direction, up or down. This makes it twice as efficient as most manual pumps. Interesting valve system.


Anyhoo, I took the day off. No cooking, no cleaning, no truck repair, no LZB repair, I’ve just been lazy today. Then again, the last two days have not been idle. Moved the LZB, cleaned the floor, cleaning in the kitchen, cared for the dogs, store run, and a bunch more. So I don’t feel guilty. It’s different, but I have a place to sleep. There is ample food to eat. I don’t need to go anywhere. I plan to soak in the tub shortly.


One oddity on the truck is the distribution box. I disconnected the power feed, and the short showed both on the box terminal and the cable. I’m scratching my head on that one. It should be on one side or the other, not both. I also got a spark on the negative terminal when I first connected it, but subsequent test contacts made no sparks. Capacitor? Mystery upon mystery.


No rib eye as I had intended for the holiday. Finishing up the section of brisket and coconut cream pie. Tomorrow, I plan on sausage gravy and mashed potatoes after I fix the LZB. Plenty of veggies to go with them.

Summer

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It’s summer, days in the low 90s, nights in the 70s. Nothing unexpected.


Made a store run for the compression socks, and they just came out of the washer. They shouldn’t take long to dry. Also got Myka a new cat food, Friskie’s Indoor, which she definitely prefers. Could be because of the greenery mixed in, since she’s not getting any oat grass. But she definitely prefers it to the Purina, which she hasn’t touched in a side by side.


Still haven’t tested the truck. This morning was an active one. Chores, laundry, cleaning, garbage, and stuff. Still have a couple of things to do before I cash in for a siesta. Fill the ice bin. I need to apply some Combat paste, as the roaches have gotten less scarce in the last couple of days. Closing in on 90°F today.


Doing well with the brisket, spaghetti, coconut cream pie routine. Topped off the sketti dispenser with a 24 oz package. I am growing to like it very much. Enough variation on the other things to keep it from getting boring. Got milk for the potatoes and something else. Mashed potatoes and sausage gravy might be the answer. I don’t expect a store run this extended weekend, stay hidden.


Thinking a ribeye, a loaded baked potato, and steamed carrots for Monday.


I may tackle the truck tomorrow. I say may, because the word “will” is not working. I won’t have nearly the chores tomorrow that I did today.

Rebound

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Myka is eating again. Not a whole bunch, and not the Whiska’s gravy, but eating again nonetheless. And she’s no longer hiding herself away. So she is recovering. And I am relieved.


Four of the five packs of brisket are in the freezer. So I have brisket, baby back ribs, brats, and spaghetti as fridge options. And don’t forget the potatoes and other veggies.


It stayed around 80°F for most of the night, and it’s finally starting to warm up (9 am) for the day. Yesterday was a perfect day to cook the brisket. I’m hoping to diagnose the truck today. The days will be hitting 90°F for the next week, and the lows in mid to lower 70s. Pretty much carbon copy days, warm with no precipitation. So one day is as good as any other, weather-wise.


Having a motivation problem today. But I think it’s more related to worrying about Myka than anything else. I cooked and cleaned up after the brisket yesterday, no small feat. Some edema, but not major. I’m just not very bouncy this morning. I’m more inclined to go sit in the tub and soak awhile.

Brisket

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Brisket just started cooking, rubbed. (I can smell the rub on my right hand.) I figure 6 hours at 250°F. 4-10pm.


Myka is not feeling good, hiding in the front room, turns her nose up at gravy. It looks to be digestive, as she was in the litter box earlier, to no avail. She purrs when I pet her, but otherwise makes no attempt to move around, except once to hide in the closet. I’m hoping it passes quickly.


Light rain today, bringing cooler temps (60s, low 70s), which is why the brisket is being cooked today. No sense in doing it in the heat.


Heat is being dampened for about 4 hours by the passing rain (light, barely wet things down), plenty of downdraft ahead of it to chill things down. Wind will turn around from the south around dark, and we’ll be back to normal again.


Tender, juicy, and yummy.

Lazy Weekend

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It was a lazy weekend. I got a lot less done than I expected. Didn’t work on the truck, didn’t cook, not much of anything except feed and care for critters. Blame it on the dew point. It is 78°F this morning. The grocery stores no doubt have misted windows, but I can’t verify that, as I haven’t driven anywhere since Thursday.


Been hanging out in the air conditioned office, watching a number of Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns, doing stuff online, getting into summer routine. Highs have been in the low 90s, right about on schedule for this part of Texas.


The valsartan is giving me edema, though not yet as bad as the irbesartan. And the rest of the side effects are gone, so it’s an improvement. Been looking at compression socks. I’ll need more than the two pair I have on hand if this is going to continue. But I will need something to stimulate my kidneys to counter the effects of the med.


Spaghetti sauce on the schedule this morning, once the temperature gets above dew point, but before it gets close to 90°F. Went through the loaf of bread pretty quickly the last few days. Thinking of getting a trimmed brisket tomorrow, last day of the sale.


Made the grocery run, pretty much nominal, though there were a couple of odd moments, like kids racing around with junior grocery carts. And I spent several minutes looking at the briskets and their price tags. And the self checkout had a bad calibration on weight. Night shopping is always a little different. But the big moment was after I paid and walked out to the truck.


The headlights were glowing, however dimly and yellow. Then the glow went out to ambient nighttime parking. I panicked big time, thinking that my battery had died in the parking lot because I left the lights on. I popped the hood jiggled the terminal, no response. I put the groceries in the front seat instead of in the bed. I checked the light switch, and it was off. I put the key in the ignition and it started. BIG RELIEF!


I figured that what I saw was headlights from another vehicle shining into my headlights, and they vanished when the other headlights were extinguished. I didn’t see it because my vision was locked on my headlights. The illusion was completely aligned with my fears. I was thinking about push starting downhill and other such nightmares. (Spread your arms, hold your breath, and always trust your cape.)


Anyway, I got the trimmed brisket and everything else on my list. I’m back home with nothing on the shopping list.

Well…

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Worked on the truck, though it was all maintenance. Topped off the battery, filled the tires, checked all the fluids, tightened the camper shell’s clamps. Filling the tires require charging the battery again for several hours. So I didn’t get around to testing for shorts, nor did I rebuild the shifter. There is tomorrow, if it doesn’t rain. I’m not in a huge hurry.


One good thing, I got to take a close look at the main electrical distribution box under the hood. That is where I’ll start testing, rather than the interior fuse panel, which is mostly key on circuits.


Had no problem dealing with the work. I am doing considerably better under the valsartan, and the old meds are fading away even more. Staying on my feet isn’t a huge deal. My back is doing much better. It is a case of night and day.


Work is ongoing next door, people coming and going, a buzz of activity. I keep wondering if any of the people are tenants. One kissing couple with a young daughter looked like a good candidate, but I am not at all certain. One thing, the trimming of the shrubs left the afternoon sun to hit the desk window without shade for about an hour in the late afternoon. Not particularly thrilled about that.


I’m in for the weekend, taking care of the dogs Saturday and Sunday. New rescue puppy in the house, just spayed. Stacy is the temporary name.

First degree burn on my left hand, removing food from the microwave (baked potato, butter, cheese, pork loin). It all ended up on the floor and ultimately in the trash. Not bad, a quick ice cube took care of any possible blistering. Three main spots, base of the thumb was the worst. I might not be playing guitar for a few days, but it won’t otherwise be hindering me.

Fructification

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Things are definitely improving physically, now that I’m off the irbesartan, hydralizine, and chlorothiadone. It hasn’t completely cleared my system, though mostly gone. Stamina is much better, lower back is hardly painful, lethargy is fading, and I can handle aerobic exercise in stride. This is not to say that I’m 20 again, but the improvement is marked.


The weather is warming up (87°F). A store run had the truck on the “warm” side (some might call it hot) while sitting in the parking lot. Got spare fuses and fluffed out the kitchen paper and plastic stock, and a bundle of microfiber rags. Dropped about $80, all told, over half being for groceries. (I got a coconut cream pie, as they had a coupon for free whip, which will go well with the pound cake. I may even thaw a tub of strawberry puree.)


Ready to start testing the truck tomorrow. I read the manual and checked the fuse box, so I’m ready to roll on it. I’m feeling up to a day of work. If time permits, I may even rebuild the shifter.


Watching I Married a Monster From Outer Space, Paramount ⒞ 1958.


Work crew was next door cleaning up the vegetation. That to me signals that the property has been surrendered. Hopefully the back yard will be cleaned of dog stools and sodded. It’s getting too warm for the odor it creates. They’ll never be able to rent it the way it is.

Transition

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Waiting for the irbesartan to fade while the valsartan takes over. A slow afternoon. Not in a big hurry to do truck diagnostics. A time to relax. Not very hungry, just letting things shift inside.


I’ll be at home for the next few days. I will thaw ground chuck for spaghetti as soon as I make inroads on the turkey and pork loin.


Neighbor finally dug up the deer skull, but he left the neck section in the ground, and none too deeply. So I guess that they have vacated or will be very soon. I won’t miss them, as I never met them. I did manage to calm their pit bulls to my presence, but that is the extent of it. I won’t miss the smell of the dogs.


Enjoying the last of spring while it lasts.

Shave and…

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Snip, snip, snip, whack, whack, snip…


Just cut my hair. It was a week ahead of the 90°F forecast, but I have a doctor appointment tomorrow morning. I don’t have to worry about it for another year.


I determined that the irbesartan was causing the edema. I expect to be on a whole new array of meds except the atorvastatin (generic lipitor). All three of the most recent meds have had side effects that eventually reach a point that I can’t tolerate. I’d like to try valsartan again, as it seemed to be the friendliest, for the short while I took it before the recall.


I’ll pick up a fuse puller tomorrow, when I get my new meds, and get started on truck electrical diagnostics.


Killed off the alfredo. Have a section of pork loin and some turkey thawed. (I may need to get another pork loin when they go on sale again.) I may go for spaghetti tomorrow or Wednesday. But I expect to go light until then, steam some veggies.

Saturday Morning

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Saturday Morning – Guy Clark


The truck started after four days of holding charge. I’ll probably run a followup charge to test the battery. I’m hopeful now that the fresh acid just need a good solid bump. Now that I know it holds a charge, tests will tell. I’m hoping it will last a few more years.


Feeling better now that the side effects and withdrawal from the hydralazine have faded. Still a little limited, but definitely improved.


Making a eggs ackley later this morning, have an avocado to waste.


Still on the cool side. Sweater came off the rack. Closed the house, turned on the furnace (humidity control). I think it ran three times all night. 62°F outside as the sun breaks.



The good news on the battery, 13 V across the posts, a healthy reading.
The bad news: the ohm meter showed 10 ohms across the terminals (disconnected).
I will be hunting a short. Derrr…

Strawberry Cheesecake

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Blue Bell Strawberry Cheesecake is back. YEAH!!! Half gallon in the freezer. Got a couple more pounds of strawberries to puree. Go figure that they’d both come round at the same time.


Truck battery needed another charge. I may need to replace it.


Quit taking the Hydralazine. Called the doctor. Waiting for a reply.


Chicken/broccoli fettuccine alfredo is the next item on the menu. The quick freezer tray turned out well, (most is from scratch) steak fingers, chicken nougats, popcorn shrimp, onion rings, gold potato sticks. Baked, not fried. A good mix for a quick fix.


I have managed to fill 1/3 of the iPad’s storage. Still 80G free. Exploring the burst and live cam features on the camera.