Life rolls on

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September, and Harvey took the heat out of Texas.  When it reaches the 90’s, it’s just barely.  And a norther is on the way to put nights down in the upper 50’s, days in the 80’s, nothing to stand in its way.  Time to dig out the cool weather clothing and say hello to an early season change.  I’m looking at a second alpaca sweater, but the color selection isn’t right.  I hope they restock soon.  Not that the first one is lacking.

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Doctor appointment is moving me forward.  Surgery for the hernias and the mole on the lacrimal has been referred.  Another CT to clarify the lesions that appeared on the left kidney.  Appointments to be made for next week after I get back home.  Couldn’t make them today, being Labor Day.  (AT&T’s free phone use through mid-month is being very helpful.)  Tuesday afternoon, I’m back to the cardiologist for a review of the CT/echo, but since my heart is in good shape, this will close that relation.

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Heading to Bryan tomorrow morning, Tuesday to Thursday.  Packing light for the two day sitting.

Harvy 4 (fin)

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Made a store run at the very tag end of the rain mass, swinging around from the north.  Two stops and a few bucks later, on the way home at 7:30 pm, the setting sun broke through in the west and shone its rays on me for a few brief moments.  The sun is no longer peeking through, but the western sky is a deep golden glow.

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So, fare thee off and gone, Harvey.  I’m going to call it 14 inches total, 71 hours duration.  I’m going to celebrate with a supreme pizza, extra cheese and veggies, with parmesan and pepper flakes.  I may as well use the oven before it warms up again.

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I saw a few people out sweeping the streets of tiny debris, mostly leaves. I saw no tree damage.  It looked pretty much like any rainy day closure.

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Bye, Harvey.

Harvey 3

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3 AM and the rain finally stopped.  I figure about 13 inches in 55 hours.

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This doesn’t mean that more rain won’t happen.  But it’s the end of the rain that is coming in directly off the Gulf.  Any rain in the next few days will come from moisture already on (evaporation) or over land.  If there is more, it will likely come from out of the north instead of the east as the center moves east.  The rain coming in from the Gulf now is around Beaumont or in Louisiana.

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No damage to property.  No flooding.  It’s just wet, everywhere.  Elsewhere, some folks weren’t so lucky.  Lots of road closures and water on the road.  It will take a while to pick up all the pieces from this one, but the pieces will get picked up and life will move forward.

Harvey 2

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Forty two hours into Harvey, 10 inches of rain is the radar accumulation indicator.  No flooding, just off and on showers, no lightning or thunder.  Winds have been moderate, nothing dancing.  Temp has been between 75°F and 77°F since Friday sunset.

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Houston got plastered with rain, large areas in the south of town over 25 inches.  Plenty of flooding.  So my housesitting is likely postponed again.  But it appears that the rain is finally ceasing to come onshore.

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So I’ll cook again, as I’m killing off the jambalaya, and the thawed ribs are already history.  Everything I made to hold me over until this morning is gone (except the ice cream).  Traffic never stopped here, and I assume the stores are open.  But I have plenty to eat here.  I want to hop in the tub for a bit before it gets dark.  I have to get wet sometime.  Then I can make something for dinner.

Harvey

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Hurricane Harvey is approaching the Texas coast, and people are scurrying to grab supplies, before the advanced rain bands just to the south arrive.  Of all the time for HEB to decide to rearrange their shelves.  Talk about DUMB!

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Could be as much as 14 inches of rain here over three days by NOAA/NWS estimates.  There might be winds in excess of 39 mph, but not for long.  Forecast calls for the storm to be a coast hugger, making very little progress inland before turning back around and heading east towards Galveston.

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I’m prepared to make my way to Bryan on Sunday.  It will be wet and I will be checking for road closures and flooding before rolling.

bizniz

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Well, got my income adjusted.  Avoided a lot of ugly paperwork.  Came up with a whopping $14 monthly increase.

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Got the test results back from the hospital.  No blockage of the vascular system, hence no angina.  It was all drug reaction, as I expected.  All told I’m still in good health.  No further expansion of the aneurysm.  CAT scan showed a couple of hypodense lessions (light spots) in the left kidney, I’ll probably be scheduled for an ultrasound to determine what they are.  Could be scarring from the kidney stones.

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I’ll probably be put on cholesterol drugs, as I have plaque in the arteries, though not nearly bad enough to block or reduce any flow.  But I knew that from the aneurysm, so nothing new.  It was discussed before the tests, but held off until the tests were completed.

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I’ve had two days off from work around the house (I cleaned the kitchen sink drain yesterday, some disassembly required, so not completely off duty).  There has been business dealings, but all of it was done in A/C.  I will probably do some box shifting today to get some elbow room in the office.  And I still need to do some cabinet shifting in the kitchen.

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The weekend was spent in part at Julie’s, playing music, bbq’ing shrimp, etc.  I may cook the rack of baby back ribs today, now that the spaghetti is finally consumed.  But the temperature is dropping toward the weekend, as rain is expected.  Might pay to wait a couple more days.

Flame out

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Well, I’ve finished the first round of chores in getting the place livable in something resembling normalcy.

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The truck parking spot is trimmed.  I can pull in without scraping limbs and I don’t have to dodge vines to get to the house.  I left a sizable pile.

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The kitchen is functioning as a kitchen should, even though there is still more clean up and arranging to do on shelves and counters.  But it’s not a lot and it can wait until I feel inspired.  I am cooking again on home turf.

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The office has the basics, three screens, four external drives, quick access to the rest of the periphery.

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Washer works.  The drying rack is a little slow in the bathroom, would be faster in the fan generated breeze going through the house.  The bathroom is still usable.

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And I am tired, and my body is telling me to slow own.  So I’m staying home tomorrow instead of heading to Bryan.  I’ve been at it since last Tuesday, and I need a day off.  I held up to the rigors better than I expected.  But when the body hits the wall, there is no arguing with it.

Clean up

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Been back almost three days, and I am pooped.  Loading and unloading the truck was definitely a major workout.  And getting things in order here is an bigger chore.  I am making progress in the kitchen, I can now cook on the stove top.  I’ll be able to bake and roast as soon as I get the oven working.  For some reason, it doesn’t want to light.  I have a couple of ideas to try.

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The dew point in the mornings is hanging around 80°F, which is not helping.  That makes for a lot of hit and go effort; work, then sit in the A/C for a while.  Progress is being made, but it’s not quick.  I hope to have everything tucked away in the newly lined cupboards and cabinets by the end of the day.

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Got a drying rack to augment the washer.  The drier isn’t connected yet, so the wash loads will have to be light and often, one or two changes of clothes per load.

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Myka has fallen into her routines pretty quickly, adapting to the chaos fairly well.  A gecko has returned to the window at nights, but it’s still a little skittish.  That will change soon enough.

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A trip to Bryan on Tuesday or Wednesday.  Then I’ll be back there to feed critters in a week while Doug undergoes first surgery on his left eye.  And I need to contact the doctors on Monday to get my appointments rescheduled.

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I’ll get around to socializing and music eventually.  I’m too nose down at the moment for much but getting the house in order.

Homeward bound

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Heading back to Brenham tomorrow morning.  I have almost half of my stuff (the stuff that can take the heat) already in the truck, easing the chore of packing the stuff that is heat sensitive.

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Not sure how long I will be there.  I will be there long enough to get the medical appointments behind me.  I will need to get the echocardiogram (ultrasound) and CAT Scan done first.

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Missed a picking party at Javier’s last night.  Heard it was a lot of fun and a lot of good music.  But I got started on packing and found out that I was heading back east, so staying here was advantageous.  I had already attended a picking party last Friday that allowed me to jam.

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I will miss the swimming pool, the food, the company, the music, and plenty other advantages of being at Grandma’s.  But I look forward to my internet connection, the LZB, a full kitchen, the office desk, and plenty of other things, like a short drive to anywhere.  And there won’t be any shortage of music.  I need to make a trip to Bryan pretty soon.

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Myka got to stay out all morning.  It was her last outdoor cat day for the foreseeable future.  I am not looking forward to her ride tomorrow (car sickness), but she will be fine once we get back home.

Sail away

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Finally got aboard Dolce Vitaville.  The day was overcast, in the 80’s, light intermittent rain, a great day for August to be out on the water.  Stephen, Eric, and Alicia were crew mates.  Good food, fun sailing.  Nice tan…

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Missed the imaging appointments in Brenham.  I don’t want to do another 150 mile turn around when I can wait until I’m a mile away.  There is no emergency.  I tried my best to cancel the appointments, but I don’t know if my messages got through.

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Hoping that I’ll be heading home in a week.  I need to call for verification.

Transitions

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Well, my last morning in Austin for a while.  Heading back to Elgin in a few hours.  Not a lot to pack this time.  I can feel Myka’s loneliness.  And I’m looking forward to resuming the dips in the pool.  The 6 hour electrical outage yesterday evening was not the way I wanted to end the rather warm (106°F) summer stay.

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I’m hopeful that I’ll get to head back to Brenham in a couple of weeks.  I’m canceling the appointments on Wednesday because of my knee.  I won’t be able to do the treadmill EKG until it gets a little better.  And I’m tired of the 150 mile turn around for appointments.  A two mile trip is much better in the heat of summer.

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Made the migration for vincebell.com yesterday, but a clientTransferProhibited tag on the domain is holding things up.  But the site is uploaded and mail server configured.  So my work for the moment is done.

Last day of rest

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Tomorrow begins my hectic schedule, starting before noon with two doctors’ appointments, there and back to Brenham, then a run into Austin when I get back, to housesit.

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Temperatures will be up around 100°F this week.  Not particularly looking forward to it, but I do have A/C (except in the truck).

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Still getting in the pool every day, but that streak ends tomorrow.

Well…

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Coming out of the last couple of weeks alive.  On the 10th of July, I had a spell of tachycardia (180 bpm) brought on by a reaction with lisinopril.  Needless to say, it’s been a pretty trying time, both before the event and after.  It worked on my blood pressure well, but the side effects grew and then cascaded.  And I can’t say if there was anything left untoward with the heart as a result.  It’s out of my system, and the side effects are gone, but I am a little on the cautious side until I see the cardiologist next week.  The replacement metoprolol isn’t doing the job.

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But I have managed to be in the pool every day since I arrived.  And the food and company has been fun.  I haven’t done poorly.  The office is up and running.  I am handling business.  I’m feeling pretty good, now that I have cleansed the body.

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But I’m not pressing anything, taking everything in due course.  I am dealing with a coming vincebell.com change of server.  I am looking at recording and burning DVDs, but probably after I housesit for Alicia to close out the month.  That starts the day after my doctors’ appointments in Brenham.  I’m getting through the heat of summer without too much misery.

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Myka has taken to hanging under the house until she gets hungry.  Sometimes I can coax her out, other days are more resistive.

Austin

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Wel, the last week has been a mix and a bit of a blur.  Got Vince’s site cleaned up.  Dealt with a residual bureaucratic detail.  Took care of the animals and kept chaos under the door from erupting into a blur of fur.

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Not much in the way of face to face socialization, though.

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The meds are working fairly well, more pros than cons.  Shedding a lot of fluid weight.  Blood pressure is okay, not great, but considerably better.  Funny circulation awareness, I can often hear the blood flowing in my ears.

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Planning on heading out to Elgin Saturday morning before it warms up too much.  (It has been in the upper 90’s right on schedule.)

pulling the plug

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Heading out from Brenham in a short while, the truck is 90% loaded.  Computers, cold food, cat are the primary items to add to the freight balance.  I am packing on the heavy side.  I’ll get to Austin before rush hour.

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Got everything done that was on my todo list, from jury duty cancellation to insurance interviews to vet visit to doctor’s appointment, and all points in between.  That includes a trip to Bryan.  I’m pleased to say that Doug is doing much better, getting around on his own for the most part.  It was a good three weeks, productive and lots of LZB commiserating.  Got to visit Julie a couple of times, and we played music one night.

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Heading for Austin to housesit monsters and tootoos.

week

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Well, waiting for a return call from UHC, so that I can get that nailed down.  Taken care of HHSC, Aetna, and Medicare, this is the only one left.  Then I have Social Security Friday morning.

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As is, I can make the doctor’s appointment, and Myka needs her vet visit. Those are the last four chores to tackle within the next week.  Hopefully I can get them done by the end of this week.

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Tree limb knocked out the electric feeds across the street (from the same tree as did it before).  I hope I get this posted before they cut power to reattach the cables.  They were out in the dark earlier cutting up the tree.

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Got to play music with Julie for a few hours a few evenings ago.  That was refreshing.

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Taking off for Austin in a week.  Myka will get to stay at Alicia’s for ten days.  Won’t that be fun…  But then the stay will move back to Elgin until the house is finished here.

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Still haven’t cut my hair.

A/C change

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The air conditioner died a couple of days ago and I went out and bought a new one.  Tired of hoping that used air conditioners last.  It’s a smaller unit (5k btu compared to 12k that died), but it’s sufficient and very efficient.  It was worth the $120 not to wait days for a replacement, as the days are into the mid-90’s with a dew point around 80°F.  It was impossible to get the body core temp low enough for proper sleep function.

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Been catching up on sleep in the last couple of days.

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It’s time for the annual haircut.  Summer has arrived.

Faux Pas online

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One of my hobbies is studying gaming sites that use Flash in coordination with javascript and databases.  The study is two fold, one is the way the code is developed and deployed, the other the way that they’re managed and promoted.  This entails creating accounts and playing the games to some degree, as well as studying the browser inspector and decompiling the Flash apps.  I’m not a serious player or looking to start my own gaming site, it’s just a hobby.  The only advantage I’m seeking is an awareness of the processes in general.

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Some of the gaming sites are fairly passive in their promotion, while some are very ambitious.  The one I have been looking at recently, a slots site, is pretty ambitious, using email and Facebook to promote the site.  The email has been categorized as spam by Gmail, which shows their level of ambition.  But their Facebook is even more ambitious.

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Slots appeal to a passive gamer, they press a button and hope for luck to grace them with an epinephrine rush.  It requires no skills other than to recognize a losing streak and backing off when they strike.  Naturally, the thrill of winning is overpowered by the losing streaks, and the tendency is to lose steadily when the losing streak is not heeded.  This is the money maker for the site, because credit can be purchased when it runs out.  But to keep people hooked and playing long enough to make them buyers, they offer limited amounts of free credits, in this case, email and Facebook supplying promo codes (making them familiar with the buying process).  There is also a trickle of hourly free credits available by logging in and bonuses for advancing levels.

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The freebie promos are usually worth about $0.05 to $0.50, enough to purchase a few spins, but not enough to sustain play indefinitely.  Sometimes the promos require assembling jigsaw puzzles, voting and being in the majority, multiple choice guessing, etc.  Sometimes the code is just given on the page or in the email.

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Well, yesterday, a code was just given on the Facebook page, offering 50k credits ($0.10).  However, the reward given for entering the promo code was 50M credits ($100.00).  (Value is set at a discounted price, which is very common, base value is twice that.  There isn’t any single value of a credit, it fluctuates quite a bit with the specials offered, as mercurial as the slots’ luck.)  The code was posted late in the day before the staff closed shop for the night.  So it went for 11 hours before the error was noted and damage control began.  My estimate is that several hundred of their members entered the code, a small enough percentage of the total membership.

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Their first step was to change the reward amount to the correct amount, then to delete the comments to the article that mentioned the 50M credit database error in programming the reward, keeping those that simply said thanks.  So far, there has been no attempt to reclaim the 50M credits (at least from my account).  It would be easy enough using a search of the accounts database.  If they are intelligent, they will just accept the error on their part and go on as if nothing happened, letting everyone who benefitted keep the credits.  The credits will depart those who collected them quickly enough, as the slots offer many levels of betting, from 10 to 1M credits per line (X the number of lines selected).

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Now there are some big time winners who have achieved a total in the trillions or quadrillions of credits, but they are rare.  So 50M is not that big of a deal if only a small portion of the members benefitted.  And letting it go as if it never happened, is a better solution than the bad publicity from reclaiming the credits would generate.  Too many to correct, too few to fret.

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Personally, it wouldn’t bother me if it was taken back.  I’m not a gambler.  I’m there to study code and practices.  Part of that is being able to guess when a down streak is in progress from coding patterns.  After all, it is an algorithm in the Flash code that defines the luck, not physical random process.  I will probably move on before the riches dissipate.  I am more involved with making the total grow by pattern recognition (50k starter > 4M +50M thus far, counting the promos and bonuses, they have not seen my credit card) than punching the spin button and waiting for the up or down emotions from experiencing luck.

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The process of feeding escape to the masses via the internet is a tricky business.  It’s not good enough to simply come up with a killer interactive web site.  It has to be managed properly 24/7 with safeguards for human error.

Sleepy head

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I took five naps yesterday and slept eight hours last night.  That is usually a sign that I am worn out, pooped, weary, tail dragging, etc.

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I have been cleaning up the bathroom and kitchen to make them usable, not a huge chore, but not light weight either.  The place was pretty trashed out from all the work being done.  It’s far from final, but it’s also usable now, in a limited degree.  The fridge is stocked lightly, not big cooking items, but quick fix stuff and sandwich makings.  I can eat and bathe and sustain myself.  Some of the hard drives are on the desk, but not all of them.  I have a burn session to do one day soon.  It’s slowly coming around between the naps.  I am functional.

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And it hasn’t affected my sense of humor.  Myka is getting back into her routine and letting me out of her line of sight.

Sitting

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The phone recording last night said that jury duty selection was still on, so I went down to the courthouse today and was told that it had been cancelled.  I remind myself that the phone message was on a Sunday and probably not very timely.  But hey, I’ve still never served on a jury, and I only need to get through the next few years to make it ironclad.

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But I have some government appointments that will keep me here this month.  So I won’t be on the road until the last week of June (well, maybe a quickie to Bryan).  I ended up not going to Bryan a week ago and went back to Austin instead, where I got to pay a visit to Leonard’s Garage on S 1st to extract a frozen bolt on the alternator mount.

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Nice to have the truck fixed.  I will be here most of the time for the next three weeks, and I won’t have to inflate tires and charge the battery.  It feels nice to get all these woes behind me (muffler, tire, alternator, headlight switch, etc.)

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I might try to record a few songs while I’m here.  I’ll have a little time to spare.  As long as I don’t get too wrapped up in the renovations.

 

East

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Went through Wahine/Sister Jane rehearsals on Thursday night for Saturday night at the Good Luck Grill, which was a joy.  In between on Friday, I discovered a frozen bolt (now a stripped head frozen bolt) on the alternator (model 7744), so it hasn’t been replaced.  Was a Mac security expert today.

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I’ll be in Brenham tonight and in Bryan tomorrow morning.  I have been rolling…

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Been very warm last couple of days, a tropical bulge ahead of a norther w/ rain.  The front is moving in, not too many miles off.

5 years

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Five years ago today, they cut me loose from the hospital after surgery.  Some anniversary…

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In Austin for a few days, at least until the show on Saturday night at the Good Luck Grill (Sister Jane and Nani Wahine).  My body is tired from the party (which was fun) and bouncing around since.  Got in a lot of much needed rest this afternoon.

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It’s been very bouncy for the last couple of weeks.  Here for a couple of days, then elsewhere.  I need to stabilize.

Post-party

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The party was enjoyable.  Lots of music, plenty of food, all went quite well.  I played until my pads blistered, though my voice persisted.  I got to play and sing with a lot of friends.  Cooked a couple of pork loins (kept half of one), mesquite marinaded, mesquite sauced.

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Running an errand for Franci before I head back, as she needs to be in three places at once today.

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Rain all over the area, but it looks like it will be clearing out today.

Transition

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Sitting in Austin, waiting for the party in Elgin this evening.  Marinated pork loins are my contribution.  Not sure if it will rain tomorrow as the forecast predicts.  But I’m ready to play music.

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Health issues seems to be the main news in the last week, and none of it particularly good.  Fortunately, I’m doing pretty well, all told.  I lost some weight being in Elgin.  I’m just tired and sore from all the baggage toting.

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I look forward to being back home next week.  I need the rest.

departure

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I’m finally departing Elgin.  This PM I’m finishing packing and loading the truck.  Tomorrow morning I’m heading east to drop off Myka and a bunch of stuff, then head to Austin, then back to Elgin for the party, then back to Brenham again next Sunday or Monday.

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I get to sit still for about three weeks while I take care of a list of things that have been waiting for me to get back.  There is also a jury duty appearance in early June.

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After that, I have a housesitting appearance in Elgin and Austin that stretches into July.  After that is unknown and too far in the future to speculate.

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The last month here has been eventful.  Parties, a new mixer board, and a bunch of other things too numerous to mention.  The food has been good, Myka has been happy, I have been comfortable, the stay profitable for my wallet.  But it’s time to move on.  I have things to do elsewhere.

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I am looking forward to spending some down time in my La-Z-Boy.