Category: personal

Fri. Jun. 17, 2022 – life. the universe. everything

Moderately hot weather, with clear skies, somewhere north of Houston, and north of Texas.

Seeing family (wife’s father’s side) and hanging out.

Meatspace.

At least some of the kids are alright.

Plan for the day is maybe a movie, maybe just pool and people time.

Had some excellent BBQ yesterday, no sauce needed.

Hotel is very nice.  Courtyard is really upping their design game.  Two big tvs in the room, both with fast internet streaming services included.   Watching our favorite youtube channels is nice.  Lots of signs and video about how clean they are keeping everything to keep us safe.   Restaurant next door had “social distancing” signs on the tables and had them set up for half capacity.   Not many masks on anyone other than service people, and a few airline passengers.  Definitely seeing that stratification by class/job duties.  Don’t care for it in the USA.

The airport and flight didn’t suck.  Waiting for the rental car shuttle did.  Small problems.

n

Use the time wisely.  Stack it up.

Thur. Jun. 16, 2022 – travel day

Hot and humid, clear for another day or two.   But I’m not going to be here…

Spent yesterday hiding from the heat and working on the computer.  Had to get a Scope of Work and drawings done for the new electrical service at the BOL.  Took longer than it should have.   Then swim team, dinner, packing…

Packing? Why yes.  Family thing happening needs us to travel today.   I guess I’ll see the airport first hand, and on cattle car Southwest at that.  No perks for me.  As boarding chute C, we probably won’t even get to sit together as a family.   If nothing else, it should convince my wife that paying up to fly on an airline where I have status is worth it.

I’ll stub out posts for the next couple of days, just in case I have connectivity issues.

In any case, I probably won’t be checking in much for the next couple of days.  Talk amongst yourselves, and put any breaking news here.   I will have a thin pipe and not much time to surf my usual sources.

And if y’all are dying for some prime content, Peter at bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com has several things up lately that are worth a read.  He’s of the same mind as me, better stack it up.

nick

Wed. Jun. 15, 2022 – sometimes, nothing interesting happens

Hot, hot, hot.   Damp, moist, humid.   But should be clear for a few more days.

I’d say that evidence is that I’ve finally, finally completely healed from my heat injury.    It has take years, literally to have normal physical responses to environmental heat, but I think that after working in the garden for a few hours on Monday without ill effect, I’m finally there.

I’ll still use the cool vest though, when I have it with me, because that just makes me more comfortable.  It’s nice to be able to go out in the sun for a bit without worry I’ll relapse though.   I’m still going to be careful.   Take heat illness and injury seriously.   They can kill you.

There is an OSHA app that will give you safe exposure times, and break times, as well as symptoms of injury.  There are charts too, that I’ve linked in the past and that are easily searchable.   It’s not enough to just drink water and wear a hat.


 

Yesterday was one of  those days that I sometimes have where I do stuff, that really needs to be done, but still at the end of the day feels like nothing really happened.

Today will be kinda busy.   I’ve got a couple of pickups I might do, but that I can probably delay.  I’ve also got to get ready to head out of town for a long weekend.   We’ve got a family thing to attend.  Today is my chance to get everything done that needs doing before Monday.    Joy.

Yeah, family and meatspace, but- air travel and lots of other stuff to do.


 

So while nothing extraordinary happened yesterday, ordinary stuff did.   And sometimes ‘ordinary day’ is the best we can hope for.

Stack some more food.   Seriously.

n

Mon. Jun. 13, 2022 – huh, Friday the 13th falls on a Monday this month

Hot, more hot, and a side of humid…

Starting at the BOL this morning.  Then home later.

Did a bunch of work yesterday.  Mostly cosmetic, but a couple of logistical things too.  See yesterday’s late comments for details.

And then I saw a beaver.  Still pumped about that.

I need to head over to the electric co-op, then get started home.   Normal crazy Monday too, with an ‘away’ swim meet on top of everything else.

Practice a little extra awareness today.  Things are getting weird.

And stack some food.

n

Sun. Jun. 12, 2022 – I beg your pardon, I never promised you a …..

Texas morning, hot and humid, followed by Texas afternoon, hotter still.  And fwiw, there are a lot more bugs here than at home.   More biomes means more bugs I guess.

Got ceilings scraped.   Some stuff put away.  Got the yard mowed, and in under an hour.  Doesn’t look like a baseball stadium, but doesn’t look like a jungle either.

 

Spent some time floating in the water, and some time eating s’mores and listening to the radio by the fire.  Big bright almost full moon meant few stars, and I didn’t see any more meteors.  WTWW played today’s post title, and I was surprised when I listened to a song I can sing along with…it’s pretty good advice.

The garden has actual vegetables in it, and will take a bunch of weeding to put it right.  The nut grass is relentless and thrives here.   I’ve cut back the watering schedule again, as it is clearly too wet and nut grass loves wet.  Don’t know if I’ll get to the weeding…   but even if I don’t I’ll try spraying it with molasses, as the intarwebs suggest.

That said, I might stay through to Monday.   The main benefit is going and standing in the electric co-op lobby until I get to see the person I need to see to proceed with the electrical work.  Calling has not worked.  The secondary benefit would be time in the garden Sunday evening  AFTER the sun stops trying to boil my brains in my head.

Playing that decision by ear, and with an eye on the septic system.  We’ll see.

In the mean time, I hope everyone is still stacking…

nick

Fri. Jun. 10, 2022 – ah Friday, the end is in sight.

Gorram hot, and gorram humid.    Well over 100F yesterday in the sun, which was everywhere.   And the breeze was intermittent.  In the shade, with a breeze, very nice.  Anywhere else?  Gorram hot.  And more if it today.

Had a nice night at the pool, although I’d have preferred A/C and a book, but meatspace… and meet space.  Kid didn’t do well swimming, but she works at it.  There were several dads I chatted with from our old pool and it was nice to catch up.

Today I’ve got a bunch of pickups, ones and twos mostly, and almost all for the BOL.   I’ve got shopping to do too, I need more drywall mud.   I’m going to try molasses and water to kill the nutsedge in my garden plot.  It’s supposed to work while leaving the crops alone.  If I don’t spray it on the crops.  And if I can get some.

Then it’s load up the truck and head out.   Work for the weekend includes – scraping popcorn ceilings.  Painting out paneling.  Maybe some plumbing work in the bathroom, or the kitchen.  Cutting of grass, weeding of garden, and various and sundry other small and large tasks.

Gotta get pickups done and trucks loaded first though.

Make your own stacks, and stack them high.

nick

Thur. Jun. 9, 2022 – another busy day, where a bunch of stuff won’t get done…

Hot and humid, temps over 100F in the sun, with plenty of sun.   Despite a lot of hazy overcast we hit over 104F in the sun yesterday.    Since hot sun on my arms feels like dipping them in molten metal, I hid indoors.   Yep, I kindly ran away…

And I’ll be doing something similar today, getting the minimum pickups done, then getting ready for swim meet, and then doing said meet.   Sometimes real world meatspace obligations overwhelm anything else.   And I’ve volunteered to run the grill for 3 hours at the meet.   I think I’ll be wearing long sleeves.  Still gonna suck.

But that’s life.  We are still having grilled burgers and swim meets, and get-togethers.  Our little chunk of the big city still has a small town feel when we are just the kid’s school, or just the school neighborhood.   There has been a lot of overlap in the various Venn diagrams involving the kids over the last 6-8 years, and while we aren’t close to anyone, we at least know names and are nodding acquaintances  (my wife far more so than me).   Someone less anti-people would be quite tied in.  It’s an existing network that it wouldn’t be too hard to expand if need be.   For example, the ladies work it constantly.   The mommy mafia makes recommendations, shares experiences, and is the FIRST choice when one of them has a question involving local affairs/-living/-meatspace.

If you aren’t leaving the house, if you aren’t socially connected to your community, you are at a disadvantage.  Child activities make it easy, but if you don’t have kids, find something to do.  Join a club, a church, a charity, or a service organization.  You need to be involved at least a tiny bit.  You need  access to the information flow, the local zeitgeist.   You might need to be a known entity, a liked and valuable entity, if things get worse – “Oh George is cool, he helped me fix that thing, and I see him Wednesdays at the shooting range/at Little League games/at the food bank…”

A ‘community of the mind’ based on shared interests and modern communications is a very nice thing.  “Intentional family” or “family of choice” or whatever they’re calling it these days is a great thing.   But they don’t replace the cashier at the local store you chat with, or the guys in the men’s group, or the old farts drinking coffee at the Golden Corral, or your ham club, or car club, or poker friends, or fishin’ buddies.

It should go without saying that you shouldn’t be “that guy who rants about politics with all the guns” or “the sour old @ssh0le that’s one step from a mass shooting” or “the guy who acts like a Fed” or “the guy who comes in every Wednesday but never says “hi” and never leaves a tip….”  or any number of negative things….  To benefit you, it needs to benefit others.   Give a little to get a little.   A rising tide lifts all boats.   Be a good neighbor.   People notice.  And they notice the opposite too.

Stack up some relationships.  Stack up some stuff.  Stack up some good karma.   You’ll probably need it all, and still be short.

nick

 

 

Added–  if you are like me you might need to be reminded – consistency and longevity are key.   Johnny Come Lately is just that.   You need to get started so that you’ve always been there when things are worse down the road.

Be approachable.   I’m not sure what it is, but people will talk to me.  They come up to me to talk.  I LOOK at them when I say hi.  I don’t just use a rote greeting.  I’m friendly.  I don’t glower. I don’t intrude, but I open the door for them to respond.   I do it a hundred times a week, and it might not work 58 times, but most people want some connection to others even if it’s just a tiny bit more than a superficial exchange.

I say “thanks” and in a way  that it’s not just automatic, if they’ve actually done something.   I offer praise instead of criticism – a stocker at the grocery store asked “are you finding everything” in a very rote way, I paused to consider my answer (which broke the rhythm of the rote exchange) said “pretty much”, again not a stock answer, then told him I thought they were doing a great job of keeping the shelves looking good “given all the challenges they’re having”.   That opened the door and he told me about how their warehouse operations were going, how their staffing was having issues, and made several comments about supply chain issues.  I ended with something like “well thanks, I appreciate you guys working so I can buy food for my family.”

That was a one off conversation, but it could have led to more the next time I saw him, and it gave me some first hand info I wouldn’t have had, while helping to reinforce the social bonds between people in my community.    I want him to feel GOOD about what he does because I want him to continue doing it!

Chatting with people and being open and approachable is NOT my nature.   I very much had to learn it, mostly on the job.   Look for some commonality, even if it’s tiny, that you can use as an opener (one reason why people talk about the weather).    It takes time and is a skill that you can improve.   Mostly, for me, it took realizing that I really didn’t have anything to lose if I tried and failed. It can still sometimes be awkward, and I still sometimes decide not to do it.  I’m better at judging when people are receptive now than I was, but really the cost of trying is so low, that I usually try.   If you sometimes get a glower, or a blank stare?  Move on.

 

n

 

Wed. Jun. 8, 2022 – surprise taxi service today

Hot and humid, sunny and clear.  Boy it got hot yesterday.   Sun was beating down too.  It was still 80F at 1am when I went to bed.

Spent the day doing auction and home stuff in the morning and pickups in the afternoon.   Something similar is planned for today.  Except that in the middle of my day I have to take D1 to a birthday party.  Unknown details at this time, but it breaks up my day and makes it hard to get stuff done.   Frowny face.  It would be nice to know when I’ve been tasked, at least a day before…

One of the things I’d like to get done is a visit to the doc in a box to get something for whatever is making me itch.  I got something on my forearms while up at the BOL cleaning out brush and debris.  I thought it was just scrapes on the skin, but it’s turned into big splotchy red itchy stuff.  It’s not looking like poison ivy, and I didn’t see any at the BOL.  I’m super aware of it, and look for it all the time since the last time I got contaminated with it.    Normal OTC creams aren’t helping it much.   Sunlight and sweat on it is excruciating, so no outdoor work for me today either.  Most of the time it feels like wearing a rough wool sweater on bare skin, but there is an edge of burning pain too.   We’re grid up, so might as well take advantage.   It’ll be another all cash visit, thanks Obastard care.

I’ll find plenty to do that doesn’t involve sweating in the sun today.

Always be working to improve your position.   And stack it up.

n

Tues. Jun. 7, 2022 – no snappy title

Hot and humid.  Maybe a breeze, probably sun.   Got over 98F in my yard yesterday.  I know because I was out in it cutting the grass.   Poor planning on my part, but it needed to be done, and that’s when I had time to do it.   Made it in record time and it looks like it…  Today will be the same in all likelihood.  It was 78F when I went to bed, and the same when I woke up.

I’ve got several pickups of BOL and home stuff, and a couple of smalls for resale.   I’m hoping to pay for the rest with those items.  All part of the neverending list of stuff needed to furnish another home, especially when some of the stuff is duplicating preps.

The world continues on its way down.  Gas prices continue to rise.  Stuff continues to not show up in the stores…

WRT Russia and the Ukraine, well, the food they’d export is not being exported this year, and the food for next year didn’t get in the ground.   That shortage is now “baked in”.  It’s gonna happen, is happening.   Riots in Pakistan over food price increases have already started.   Lots of people in lots of places are going to be lots of hungry.   And angry.  And desperate.  Some of those places are even going to be here.   Tyrants have always used food as a weapon.  Take the steps you need to take to keep you and yours in groceries.

Some good discussion in yesterday’s comments.   Some more in today’s comments if I get to it…

Stack it up.  The life you save may be your own.

n

Mon. Jun. 6, 2022 – D Day 1944.

National forecast has Houston in clear weather for the next three days.   Goes without saying it will be hot and humid.   Beautiful just a couple of hours north though.   Ah well, it is what it is.

Started yesterday at the BOL, did a bunch of work, and came home.   Now I get to do a bunch of work here too.  It’s all the normal stuff, plus the stuff that got put aside.   I don’t know what I’d do if I could actually catch up.    Up north I didn’t get back to my garden weeding, it was just too hot in the sun, so the carrots will have to compete with the grass for another week.    Here I’ve got grass to mow, gardens to weed, and maybe some blueberries to harvest, if the birds didn’t get them.   Plus a ton of stuff to move or put away, or organize.

Then there is all the stuff that needs fixing… and that is a growing pile too.   And the hurricane season has officially started, so there is all the normal hurricane prep to do.   This is not the time I’d have picked for rotating stored gas, but again, it is what it is.

It will be a short work day for me on top of everything else,  as D2 has a swim meet tonight.

Monday is not my fun day.

But hey, no rest for the wicked.

Do some stacking.  Don’t get caught lacking.

 

n

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