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The risotto is done and marks the end of the cooking for the next day or two. There is a pork loin section and plenty of freezer heat and eat. So the air is coming out of the kitchen duties as soon as I load the ice bin and wash the risotto pot.

Having a quiet weekend. There were fireworks on the far side of downtown, heard but not seen because of the hills between. It began with the finale, no warm up, it was full scale start to finish. It made Myka curious. Otherwise, it’s been pretty laid back.

Managing the edema better with a balanced dosage on the hydralazine, with an occasional diuretic. Still need to shed some fluid, but the weight is dropping.

Oven time

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Cooked a batch of tempura chicken breast nuggets and sweet onion rings in the oven, and they are being followed by a batch of gold potato slices (like skin on fries). Most of the items will go in or back in the freezer. The nuggets and rings were battered for the party, but the frier didn’t make it, so they stayed home in the freezer until today. So everything is being baked while the morning is still moderately cool.

Went through several days of rain, multiple storm trains rolling through. Over 2.5 inches total. But the radar is clear all across Texas this morning. 60s this morning, low 70s approaching noon. Forecast for lower 80s this afternoon.

Redid the splash page on Vince’s site. First work I did on the site without Sarah. It is now a bare basic splash page with the color pencil conversion of an image from Vince’s Anderson Fair video, disc 2. Nothing quite like Photoshop.

It’s been fairly quiet this last week. A steady stream of little things taking me through the days. No shopping. Just hanging and watching time pass during the rainy week, talking Myka through the thunder.

Myka’s 5th birthday portrait.


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Myka has been enjoying her new double wide, catnip loaded scratch pad to no end. And the avalanche of Temptations and tuna water soaked kibbles were a big hit as well. She has been a happy girl for the first half of her big 5th birthday. Her extra gravy chicken pate’ is next, in about an hour. (I will probably regret all this tomorrow. She is amazingly swift at adapting to pampering, the blatant opportunist that she is.) But today, we celebrate.

Got the battery squared away, topped off with fresh sulfuric acid, cleaned with baking soda, rinsed thoroughly to the ground level, and installed a new terminal. I had to cut the positive cables and strip insulation, as I couldn’t unscrew the bolts holding them in contact with the old terminal. It was a thorough job, professionally executed. Engine cranked up perfectly and the charge was on the money. I’m cleaned up and everything stowed away. Done deal.

I think I will wait on rebuilding the shifter. It works well enough as is. And my back is complaining loudly. I got the essential work done today. That is good enough for me.

The forecast keeps nudging upward on temperature, going from lower 80s to upper 80s for highs, along with the dew point. Summer is creeping in from the Gulf.

Well, Myka got her pate’, which is all gone, and more Temptations, along the small planter of oat grass for her to pick and choose. Nothing quite like a birthday. A very happy kitty.


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Just turned on the air conditioner for the first time this year. Dew point was 74°F. It’s currently 77°F, which is normally optimal for me, but with the humidity, it’s hard to do anything without feeling it.

Battery on the truck has a corroded positive terminal, draining it and forcing me to charge the battery manually. Store run got postponed until tomorrow, as I expect the charge time to be around 10-12 hours. I will clean up everything today and get new terminals tomorrow. Can’t remember when I got the battery, but I’ll check when I clean it up. Three or four years is what my reckoning tells me, but it was one of the first things that got replaced, so it could be five. I think the warranty is 2 years. $180 if I need to replace it, but I don’t think it’s there yet.

The price of strawberries went from 97¢/lb to $1.48/lb on Monday morning. Debating whether or not to get a couple more. Room in the freezer is another factor in the decision. I have three 1 pound tubs now.

I might rebuild the shifter on the truck today, seeing how it’s a truck fixing day already. No rain on radar below the panhandle. Nothing else planned for the day.

Well, the stool arrived today, and the battery charge took less time than I figured, so I connected the terminals and made the store run. Didn’t get strawberries, as they were on the far side of the store from everything else I got, and I’d already done one big box transit. Not in a big hurry, and if they go off sale, then ces la vie.

I also did’t get the shifter rebuilt, but that is no biggie. I have plenty of time for that, and the nap was refreshing. Maybe tomorrow when I replace the battery terminals.

Starry Grapes

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The star jasmine are in full bloom, the aroma reaching peak. Enjoying the spring weather while it lasts.

A duck walks into a store and asks the grocer, “Got any grapes?” The grocer says no.  The duck leaves.

The duck comes back an hour later and asks the grocer, “Got any grapes?” The grocer says “No, we’re fresh out.” The duck leaves.

The duck comes back again, an hour later, and asks the grocer, “Got any grapes?” The grocer says “No, like I told you before.” The duck leaves.

The duck comes back once more, an hour later, and asks the grocer, “Got any grapes?” The grocer says,  “I told you before, no grapes.  How many times to I have to answer this question? If you come back again and ask if I have grapes, I’m going to nail your feet to the floor.”.  The duck leaves.

The duck comes back an hour later and asks the grocer, “Got any nails?” The grocer says,  “No nails.”.  The duck then asks, “Got any grapes?”


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Strawberries finally got down to $1/lb. So I bought a couple of packs to puree. I will probably get a couple more before the end of the sale.

Bought a new folding stool in my move to grade up the places to sit around here to overkill. This one will require no assembly. It’s rated at 350 lb. Kitchen duty and for playing music in public. Due in on the first, Myka’s birthday (new box).

Finished the jambalaya. Now for sausage gravy. Then spaghetti.

Seeing more signs that the neighbors are moving out. Sleeping during the day has me missing live details. Deer head still buried there, so they’re not done yet.

The new headphones arrived this afternoon. They are charging now.

Didn’t sleep much this morning, woke at 10 for meds and didn’t go back down. So I’m not getting much done today. Passing time in the usual down time way. Pureeing strawberries and making gravy are still on for later today.

Myka scratched me last night at the end of a brushing. She got kicked out of the office and ignored. I finally let up and gave her her wet food.

Mental Samples from the Vampire Shift

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Back on the vampire shift for the most part, a sign that I am adapting to the coming summer ahead of time. And it is a different attitude than day shift. A bit more fanciful.

Vampire shift and I are no strangers. I got much of my best and voluminous work done in the dead of night. And adding music to it again is a real treat, filling the quiet with voice and strings. It puts me in touch with why I play, why I sing, a purity daytime doesn’t see.

And I do some of my most inspiring surfing at night. Keeping the distractions down is a plus. It’s easier to find and follow resonance at night. However, it is easier to assemble and configure during the day, making modular shifts of the house contents for function. (Didn’t get the audio mixer set up yet.)

But the night flows fanciful. It is a friend, a welcome friend. Texas is entering life after dark once again. A train rolls quietly through town.


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The bluetooth headphones I got from Amazon in August had the vinyl cushion cover come loose. I emailed the company about it, and over the course of three days and four emails, they offered to send me a new pair, no return required. That is something indeed, as I got it on sale, plus a coupon, with free shipping. Not sure when to expect them, but since the original pair is still working, no biggie. I can repair the original set with a soft ribbon and use it for travel, etc.

Working on the potato soup and jambalaya. Not complaining about either. I will also make a sausage gravy in a few days with the remainder of the milk.

Lows in the 60s, highs in the upper 70s/lower 80s. No need for the central heat or AC. Windows open during the day, which Myka enjoys. I need to get the screen door fixed. I have the screen and hardware cloth to bug and Myka proof it. I need to get a hand with it, as I don’t have all the needed tools for it on hand.

Myka’s 5th birthday is a week away. I’ll get her something special.

Well, I made a 3 am store run, pretty much had the store to myself, at least as a customer. Got Myka a super-wide scratch pad and some chicken pate with extra gravy for her birthday. The catnip is built into the cardboard, so none needed, but I have a packet left over, so I’ll supercharge it. It is her 5th birthday, so no holding back.

If you don’t talk to your cat about catnip, who will?

I have a suspicion that the rental neighbors have moved out. The dogs are gone, the vehicles are gone, a dining chair is on the curb for garbage. I did hear a baby crying on several occasions early this month, very quiet due to baffling, but distinctly so. So my suspicion is that the tiny house wasn’t big enough for a child, and they sought out a larger place to rent. So this means that I can play music around the clock until new tenants arrive. Recording at night is the quietest option.

Got some red ribbon to repair the headphones. It was a little wider than I had intended. And it’s a sheer mesh, not solid. But it is strong and should handle the job. It was in the front of the store and saved me a trip all the way to the far corner. It will do.


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Easter began with a baked potato soup using ham. I had a bag of potatoes from before the party that needed cooking, and I ended getting a half gallon of milk instead of a quart, as they were out of quarts on Friday evening. It turned out quite well. Myka loved the tiny ham bites from dicing the irregular pieces from the bone.

I’m finally out of party ice. Emptied the ice trays for the first time in over a week.

Jambalaya is next to be cooked. Waiting for the soup to cool first. Only prep for that is dicing a solid chunk of ham. Everything else is ready to roll. Dishes are done. I will be eating well.


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Well, the tail light lens got in, and I installed it. Then I washed up and went on a store run. The primary target was a spiral cut ham on sale. However, they sold out, so I got a cheaper half ham that wasn’t sliced. So, no ham sandwiches. However, I did get the hambone for cooking black eyed peas, and I can get sliced ham in a smaller package as needed.

The main reason for the ham was for an Easter jambalaya, with shrimp and scallops, which I also got. I can slice and cube the ham easily, so not a real tragedy. I got it more for recipe than sandwiches. Still… grrr. After the jambalaya, I am thinking spaghetti.

I am finally coming around from the party. Still not exactly spry, but I can perform chores without a lot of tail dragging. Not that there is anything on the calendar. But I may turn my attention to detailing the truck. May… no promises.

Have a full tank of gas. Not planning on going anywhere soon. Sunny skies, low 80s, cool nights for the weekend. The house will be open a lot.


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A time for nada. Had a rain blow through this morning (1.2″). Today was sunny and a north breeze (tough still in the 70s). Still sleeping more than my share, though I am coming around from recovery. Not venturing anywhere, taking the garbage out, checking the mail, and getting Myka oat grass is the sum of my outdoor adventures for the last three days. Done a little cooking, but not much. Mostly been snacking.

Downloaded the redacted Mueller report this afternoon, but I haven’t tackled it yet. Just a quick once over to see how much was redacted and for what reasons. Haven’t been paying much attention to the response yet. It will take time to absorb it before it’s a response in full.

I want to whack Walter for sticking Jon Byrd’s Just Another Gun in my ear. I like the melody and the chord progression, but the lyrics I don’t need in my head. “At least she knew I loved her before the gun went off.”

At least the laundry is done and no dishes in the sink. Having no ambition for doing things. But I will come around. I want to get the truck detailed in the next few weeks, while the weather is prime for doing such chores.


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Back from Spring Fling. It was another good one, despite the power outage, rain, and cold wind that came with the cold front’s passing. Lots of the usual sanity offering joviality, music, and food. Lots of R&R to follow. Already put in a solid 9 hours of sleep in the first 10 hours back.

Not much energy in reserve, but I need to unload the truck. Taking care of the essentials at first in the 50°F morning, waiting for the 70s of the afternoon to continue. Not that I took that much with me.

Managed to get the truck emptied before noon. Wasn’t something that my body appreciated, but that was to be expected. Far more ice left over than I have room to freeze.

Need to make a quick store run, but not until my legs feel up to it.

Half packed

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Got half the baggage packed and laden on the truck. Sundries, digital, music, and cold stuff to gather in the morning. Eight hours to go by schedule. Not traveling heavy, taking only the essentials, so it shouldn’t be an issue to get rolling before noon.

Looking forward to the party. It should be a good time all around. Most of the food in the fridge is gone. One serving of limas left. Just finished off the baby back ribs. Those should put me to sleep and get me on a party schedule. I won’t have any problem thawing things out when I get back.

Not worried. Things will all work out. Not my first rodeo.

Party mode

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24 hours until scheduled departure. The fridge is looking thin, as it should. Logistics finalized. Nothing left but the packing, a store run, and a pre-party soak. Proper mental state has been established.

It will be a wet Saturday, especially in the morning. Friday night will be the best time for playing outdoors, weather-wise. I hope to get in my share then. Saturday morning will be a rainy indoor session.

Marinated country style ribs, brie and crackers, cheesecake, and Rolos will be my contribution.


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I got the dining chairs on Monday and got them assembled that evening. Nothing real special, but sturdy and solid. Heavy hardware is the key.

Myka posed for free.

Getting attenuated toward packing for Friday’s departure. Decided on marinating country style pork ribs and a couple of cheesecakes. The alpaca sweater got washed and is drying horizontally on the rack.

Sunny days, highs in the 80s, high spring. House open, short sleeves, my favorite time of the year.


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Made a store run after dark. Not a big list, bread, provolone, cookies, cat treats. The gas station had run out of regular and plus, so they offered premium at regular price. I wish I had had room for more than 4 gallons.

I have been fighting fluid retention due to the meds, and today, I managed to drop eight pounds. I hope to maintain the momentum and drop even more fluid weight tomorrow.

Having a quiet weekend. Been staying in as the rain mostly passed to the west. Taylor got whomped, but we got less than 0.5 inches. Trying to get myself ready for the party next weekend. I plan on packing light.

Got the two iPads squared away, the duplicates eliminated, each with a full set of apps accordingly. I may download a few new ones on the 6th gen, but it won’t be any concerted effort to do so, just here and there.

I’ve decided to cook some baby limas, thawing ham for it. I should be able to kill that off by next weekend. The freezer actually has some space to spare, and the variety is excellent. I am starting to run a little low on pork loin, but not enough to buy another one yet. After all, I have all those baby back ribs that are essentially pork loin on the bone.

Confessions of a Three Day Facebook User

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I just deleted the Facebook account that I created on April 1st. It was purely based on ulterior motives, to achieve an end, but alas in vain. It was as unpleasant as I thought it would be. No photos, no links, no posts, no bio, no decor, no friend requests, no nada, it was an unsuccessful attempt to transfer data from one iPad to another. It was one of the few things that wasn’t achieved in migration via iTunes. Facebook was supposed to be a solution. It wasn’t. In 30 days, it will be official.

So here I am, the owner of two iPads and two Macbooks. I was hoping to whittle that down an iPad, but not any time soon. Two reasons, the data, and the new holder isn’t as firm as it should be with the spring tension on the 9.7. It creeps ever so slowly in the direction of gravity, like a glacier, not seeable except for results over time. It would not do to have it let go during the middle of a performance. I will probably create some form of bottom lip for the holder or find a soft friction pad that would work.

I am starting to get a feel for the chair. If my femurs were any shorter, I wouldn’t be able to sit up in proper form. And the cushion being plump, it makes it hard to pull the calves back very far. And the legs are hence further recessed and kink the back of the knee. It’s hard to rest a foot atop a leg. A heel, toe to the floor, is the closest I can get in comfort. I’m sure I’ll find the best positions. But it’s a good moving chair, swivel and roll are both superior. I made a good move.



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The office chair arrived, and I wrestled all 53 pieces into place. It is a monster. Definitely a big and tall chair, and I barely qualify for either, considering the way the chair is built. Definitely in the heavy armor class, almost an LZB equal. But it is well cushioned and shaped. A few new habits to be learned, but it will last, I am sure. Now I need to get Myka not to be afraid of it. (She better not scratch it.)

I had hoped to go to Music School tonight, but the chair took precedence, and I’m just not up to a turn around. The party is nine days away, and I can handle my few errands there. So I am sitting around waiting for the Fling. All my purchases and bills are done, not spending money other than food and gas and party items, and very little of that, as I’m well stocked.

The house is open this afternoon. A tad humid, but otherwise enjoyable, especially after wrestling with chair assembly. The forecast looks as if the house will be open for quite a while. The cool weather looks to be a thing of the past. YEAH!!!

Not sure if I will be able to migrate the app data from the old iPad to the new one. The further I dig into the matter, the less it looks probable. I haven’t given up yet, but the hopes are dimming. The developer seems to be interested only in raking the money.

Not going to do much for the rest of the day. I have put in my quota for the day. My neck is acting up, and even the arnica isn’t fully curing it. It feels like it’s time to skip one dose of the Hydralazine. I may call in and talk to the doctor.


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Two racks of baby back ribs.


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Warming to 50°F this morning. I wish I could say it’s the last of the 40s this spring, but it’s not. Two more nights of chill and wind to endure. It will soon be time to wash the alpaca.

Got the iPad accessories from Amazon. The mike stand holder was not up to snuff, but the rest of it was. I especially appreciate the 6 foot power cord, allowing the pad to be moved anywhere on the desk without issue. I ordered an iKlip Xpand from Musicians’ Friend. I expect it mid-week. The bracket for the holder will serve as a tripod mount for video.

Made eggs ackley for dinner yesterday. With the cool weather, I will be cooking the next few days. Risotto, fettuccine alfredo, and more.

Well, to my surprise, the deposit cleared the the bank today, on a Sunday. That is unusual. When the first is on a weekend or a Monday holiday, it’s usually clearing on Friday, rarely Thursday. Can’t remember a weekend clearance. It usually gets deposited a few days before and then clears appropriately on a weekday.

Anyway, I bought the office chair. The price kept dropping. I first saw it at $319, then$269, the $189, I bought it at $169. A few minutes later, I saw a listing for $129. (Note: Turns out these are refurbs from returns.) However, shipping was much slower and scheduled for around Spring Fling. So I didn’t do a swap. I expect delivery on Wednesday.

So now I can sit back in style and not spend money for a while. (Except for Spring Fling.)

Two racks of baby back ribs thawing in the sink.


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Took a run out on the backroads west of Brenham this sunny 80°F afternoon for a look at the progress of the wildflowers, and they are just about to peak. It was a very enjoyable drive, with some very intense fields of blue bonnets and paint brushes. I didn’t take a camera or stop, but I saw a couple of places to grab some classic images without an overload of tourists.

Waiting on the iPad accessories, which are scheduled to arrive tomorrow.

Had a fairly slow end to the week. Dealing with medication side effects, mostly the hydralazine. I found periodically skipping a dose keeps the side effects down without raising my blood pressure. Fast pulse and low pressure are the primary symptoms, but being generally fatigued and feeling drugged aren’t helping.

Enjoying the warmth, opened house, which is forecast to take a leave for a few days, hitting bottom on Sunday. It should be back to high spring by the end of next week.

Red Myka

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Red Myka – iPad and Photoshop

Myka Flash

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More iPad/Photoshop action.

Still playing around with the new iPad. I think that I might get to like it as a tool.

Padded cell

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Well, I think I have the new iPad configured and fleshed out. I’m sure that there are plenty of options that need attention, but for the most point, it has what it needs and everything tests out. There are apps that no longer work on iOS 12, and some that didn’t transfer data during migration. But by and large, after 18 hours, it’s pretty much where I want it to be. There are new habits to learn. The Apple Pencil works very well. It’s nice to have iWork on board.

Myka has been happy in the LZB in my absence. I need to make something in the kitchen, as a diet of quick sandwiches is not a sustainable menu.


Selfie (iPad and Photoshop)

Adventures in iPaddery

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Got the Space Grey iPad 9.7 128G Wifi yesterday. I booted it up, did the initial configurations, performed a fresh backup on the old iPad, then performed a restore on the new one to migrate everything over. While it was rebooting, it froze and was non-responsive. I called Apple Support, and they said make an appointment with an Apple Store for a clean installation. (I really dislike the proprietary nature of iOS.) I said, well, okay, but first I’m going to try letting the battery drain to see if it boots cold.

Then I waited 21 hours for the battery to drain completely. (A long wait… Darn the long life batteries.) I got nothing but a battery charging graphic for the first few minutes, so I put it aside to allow it to reach minimal charge. Once it did, it booted properly. I’ve been configuring and updating by the dozen, and arranging, and and and. Contacted Apple Support and told them problem resolved. Haven’t found time to test the keyboard or pencil.

I did have one app that dropped all my data, giving me a new ID unique to the machine. I haven’t figured out how to transfer the old ID over to the new installation. Grrr. Not turning loose of the old one until I get this resolved.

Sort of glanced through the changes, as there are quite a few. One thing I need to figure out is how to easily change illumination. And there are a lot of apps that I dropped for space sake that I will bring back, especially the graphics apps that relate to the pencil.

I always dread whipping a new machine into shape. I need to find a new mike stand holder and get a longer and sturdier charger cord. Details, details, details and the devils in them. I have to take rest breaks so that my head doesn’t get too achey/fuzzy.