Category: Random Stuff

Tues. Oct. 4, 2022- holes are being dug, site is being prepared…

Another cool morning followed by hot afternoon, and cool evening.  Definitely Fall north of Houston.

Started yesterday about an hour earlier than planned, but on the other hand, they didn’t need me to move most of the stuff I was planning to move.  The holes confirm that the old foundation repair was doomed to fail from the beginning.   No soil to bear on under the down hill side of the house.  Sand, and silt.  Good thing these helical piles don’t care…  They are due back here today at 7am and hope to finish the digging today.

Lake was down even more.   This would be a good time to work on the rotten support pilings for the dock as most of them are out of the water now.   Too bad I’ve got other fish to fry.

Skeeters are out in force.   They don’t usually bite me, and if they do it doesn’t raise a welt, but the buzzing in my ear drives me mad, and I can feel them on my skin.   This is the first visit where they were really noticeable and for some reason the house is full of them.

Asked one of the neighbors that’s been up here a long time what fruit trees he thought would be hardy and would grow well, he suggested peach and plum.  Said that apples didn’t do well.  I already have a persimmon tree.  Can’t remember if I’d mentioned that.  Fruit is delicious and sweet.   Big seed though.  I can’t recall ever eating a persimmon before.

Didn’t see any animals last night, but there were lots of raccoon and deer tracks in the mud along the shoreline.  DID see a big snake in the water as I was packing up my radio…   since he was under the water and still, I’m guessing ‘Plain-bellied Water Snake’ based on color.   Hard to tell at a distance though.  I do not care for snakes, especially ones that lurk.   It’s country out here.

Stacking up good will and ties to the community this week.  Knowledge too.   Stack something good.

nick

Sun. Oct. 2, 2022 – 10022022 – really just more of the same…

Cool and crisp.  Warming later.   Sun.   Beautiful weather.

I didn’t get to the BOL on Saturday.   Too many things to do, some of which went long, and some of which just popped up…   Sold my forklift.   Lost about $400, after having it for 3+ years.   Like boats, unless it is earning you money, rent, don’t buy.  Getting it started after a couple months sitting, after 3 years not moving, took a bit longer than I had budgeted, and the guy was an hour later than I hoped.   Still, not only did he come by, he bought it. A  Craigslist transaction that didn’t suck, yahoo!

But the delays started to pressure my schedule to do a pickup on the way to the lake.   Heading home, I chanced upon a yard sale… and really scored.  Not preps, but stuff for my workshop.  20 large, heavy duty, mostly made in USA C clamps for $50 was like STEALING.  A live animal trap, some extension cords, hitch stuff, stapler and staples, and some long reach welding visegrips, brought the total to $100.   Score.  But, that ate some time too.   When I finally looked at the google map, my drive time was one hour, not 45 minutes!   And all my slack was gone.   The straw the broke the dromedary’s hump was an ebay sale just as I was getting ready to leave.   No way I could pack the sale, get my food and clothes together, and make the hard deadline for the pickup (two roll around AC units and some romex.)    I just jumped in the truck and sped on my way.  I made the pickup with less than a minute to spare.  The guy was pulling through the gate to lock it and leave.   He was not thrilled, but I was there before 6…

So today I’ll pack and head out at a more leisurely pace.  There was stuff I could have done Sunday morning, but it will wait until Sunday afternoon, or during the week while the foundation guys work.

There is always more to be done.  Like stacking, you just have to keep after it.

n

Tues. Sept. 27, 2022 – 4 years ago today…

…friend of the blog and prolific commentor OFD,   Dave Hardy, went to his reward.  Church-y language, because he believed in the power of The Church, as it was, and should be.   I hope he’s watching with a bowl of pretzels and a bottle of Moxie.   And if it turns out to be more than a spectator sport, we could all use a little help buddy… Prayers for those he left behind.    Raise a glass to Absent Friends.


 

Cooler but warming later here in Houston.

Didn’t get a lot done yesterday.  Did get some stuff sorted and put away.   Cut the grass.   Broke down and vac sealed the remaining meat from the shopping run (just the vac sealed pork tenderloin.)    Got three nice roasts out of it, and decided not to do any chops.   Cooked one roast for dinner with collard greens from the garden as a side.   Collards are on their second or possibly third year, and still produce.   Had a loaf of the shelf stable sourdough bread too, since I was already running the oven.

Felt kinda ‘off’ all day.   Too much sun on Sunday maybe.

Today I’ve got stuff to do.  Pickups, drop offs, and moving stuff around.   I need to do some more tax paperwork, and some office work too.  There is always something more to do.

Like stacking all the things, you need to do more of that.

n

 

(have I mentioned that D2 is taking up the trombone? And that beginning trombone sounds like moose in heat?  LOUDLY in heat.)

Mon. Sept. 19, 2022 – yeeha! let’s get to work!

Hot again.  It was so nice to have the cooler weather.  But we get a little more of summer’s heat before Fall, I guess.   And no shortage of humidity.

It was pretty hot even at the lake.   Thermometer said 102F in the shade.   The sun was intense.

I decided to break up some more concrete, and clean up some more of the already broken chunks.   Spent a few hours moving rubble and filling holes behind my bulkhead.   Cut the grass that I had been leaving long to reveal the holes, since the foundation guy will be coming out later, and I figured he’d have a better idea of what was involved in stabilizing the bulkhead if he could see it.

Cutting the grass was interesting.   My electric string trimmer wasn’t making much progress, so I got out a manual tool.  Not really a sling blade, but made for swinging at long grass and plants to cut them off at the ground.  It worked ok, but there wasn’t any really good way to hold the handle of the thing to swing it.  And it was a lot of work.   I did about 20ft and was done.   I’ll bring up my gas powered trimmer for the rest of the tall grass.  Labor saving devices rock.   I’ll miss them when the fuel runs out and the machines don’t run anymore 😉

Did some other small electrical tasks.  Changed a light fixture in the kitchen (no box of course, no wire nuts, and the lamps were too hot and scorched the electrical tape until it was crunchy… scorched the wood of the soffit above the light too.  The new LED fixture doesn’t get hot, and I’ll install a box when we redo the kitchen.  Wire nuts are going to have to do for now.   Finished the circuit for the outlet in the master bath.   Pulled the romex with inches to spare, but needed to connect the outlets.  I have a quad above the vanity, and a duplex under the vanity.  That way someone can plug in a hairdryer underneath and store it in a drawer or the middle cabinet and the cord won’t get in the way, or need to be constantly plugged and unplugged.  And it still leaves 4 outlets above the vanity for phone chargers or curling irons, or whatever…. seems like there are never enough outlets in the bathroom.

I’m surprised the previous owner never had a house fire.   I’ve found so much overheated and scorched stuff, including circuit breakers, walls, and the chimney cap, that it’s clear he overloaded stuff and ran things way too hot.   I guess it shows how much tolerance is built into stuff.

My neighbor has started moving some of my leftover dirt to low spots in his yard.   He asked what I was going to do with the huge pile, and so I gave him half…   He had previously offered the use of his tractor, and he let me run an extension cord for the freezers when the electrical work was happening.   Besides being just good neighbors, I figure it’s time to start weaving ourselves into the community up there.   Webs of favors done and owed seem like  a good way to get started.   Because we’ve been so busy, we’ve declined some social offers.   I now think that was a bad choice, and now we need to work harder at joining in.    That’s one of the reasons I am willing to stop work and talk for however long someone wants to talk when they stop by.

Meatspace baby! and Local, Local, Local….  when every person I talk to has been in his house for 40 years, or has been coming to the lake and surrounding area that long, and has generations buried in local cemeteries, we’ll always be the ‘new family in George’s house’, but we can at least work at it.

Today I’ll be doing some more pickups, starting bright and early with the lot I forgot on Saturday.   Should have me out and about most of the day, especially if I get a chance to do some organizing in my storage unit.

Spend some time working on your network.  Stack up a few good relationships.

nick

Sun. Sept. 18, 2022 – Sunny Sunday

Hotter than I expected.   And far more humid than I’d like.  That was yesterday, and today is likely to be the same.  Yuck.  Sun was INTENSE.

 

Did my pickups on the way up.   Forgot one big item that I’ll have to go back for on Monday.  Brainfart.  Just forgot to load it.

 

Did some small things when I got up here.  Mostly unloaded the truck.   Pulled romex to the master bath.   Had just exactly enough.  It’s actually tighter than I’d really like, but it reaches.  Not going to make the connection yet, but it’s in.   I can close up the wall in the bath, and my wife can paint.

 

Sky last night was big and black.   You could actually see the milky way.  I haven’t seen the milky way in decades.  Wife decided she wants a decent beginner telescope for her birthday.  Recommendations are welcome.   Size and cost will be considerations.  She will probably not be doing any traditional astronomy, like logging objects.   She just wants to look at cool things.  I’m not even sure that’s possible without a big ‘scope.  I guess I’m about to learn some things.

 

We’ll see what I get done today.  I’ll probably continue breaking concrete and moving it and dirt around.  So much concrete.  So much dirt.

Had dinner from the freezer up here.   I need to stock some bags of frozen veg.   Then we’ll be able to just come up and make normal meals without thinking about it ahead of time.

 

Always more to stack… get busy!

nick

Tues. Aug. 30, 2022 – ‘tell me somethin’ good….’

Very damp and a bit cooler today.   Rained like crazy yesterday, depending on where you were, and when you were there.  Similar forecast for today.

Did 4 pickups, making a big loop.  Not many items at each place, so not super efficient, but even with gas and tolls it still nets out to a savings over retail, and these were mostly for the BOL.

I’ve got a couple of pickups today, maybe an auction drop off if I can get my stuff together, and getting ready to head up to the house Wednesday night.   Electricians are still supposed to be working Thursday and Friday, and then we’ll be spending the weekend up there. Well, fingers crossed anyway.

Out in the wider world, gas prices continue to slowly come down.   We dodged a bullet with diesel prices as they follow gas down.   One of the guys I chatted with at my show told me that Texas cattle auctions were running round the clock to sell off herds.   They don’t have the water to keep them.  He sold his just before the drought got going.  The current glut is driving beef prices down.   That won’t last.   Fill the freezer is my advice.   I’m doing it myself.  Of course you might look at the situation and make other choices.   Take  that look though, decide, and ACT.

Stack it up.

nick

Sun. Aug. 28, 2022 – Meatspace baby. Get out and do something with people…

In the heat and humidity if necessary, but get out in the world around you.   In Houston, of course, we got both kinds of weather, hot AND humid…  Some parts of town got downpours yesterday including where I was.  I didn’t notice from the hotel ballroom, but some of the other attendees mentioned it.   Biblical was a word used…  Couldn’t tell a few hours later when I left for home.   At home the only evidence was that the koi pond was full to the brim.    It was 77F in the morning, and barely 80F when I went to bed.  Fall is definitely here.

Time to start thinking about the fall garden.   The summer one hasn’t really done much, although I have a couple of squash plants still alive, they’ve only just set flowers.   The collards are ok, but nothing else really grew.  Oh well, I’ve said it before, I stack cans because my thumbs are not green.

Had another fun, but long day on the show floor.   Chatted with lots of people.   I’m not selling the big pieces I wanted to sell, and the smalls aren’t gonna send the kids to college, but I’m grossing a couple of bucks, and might make a little money.   It’s more about being with fellow enthusiasts though.   The selling is just a framework for the get together.   It’s more than a little bit like the joke about the two antique dealers stranded on a desert island— one is having a “going out of business” sale, and the other is buying inventory…..  but it’s a great way to see people from all over.

And it’s a nice break from normal routine.

So I’m back there today, really hoping to move a couple of items, with a couple of bins of new smalls, because even though it’s the last day, I just got them un-buried from the stack, and I’d like to set an example of continuing to sell to the last minute.

Even in my hobbies I’ve stacked it up!

Better though to stack up some necessities.   And vital to have some links to humans and a community.

nick

 

Fri. Aug. 26, 2022 – loading in, busy all day

Hot and humid, again.   Hopefully no rain though.  I’ve got a bunch of people that will be unloading at the hotel ballroom, and rain will bork that right up.

Speaking of which, I spent most of yesterday getting stuff together and loaded.  I still haven’t found some things I’m looking for.  No idea where they may be.

Today I’ll be heading out shortly after getting the kids out the door.   I’ve got a few things left to load, and a couple of coolers of ice water and gatoraid to get together.  Then it’s off to work.

It’ll be hot until we get the loading door closed.   But many hands should make light work.

Meatspace.   Get you some.

nick

 

(and stack something, like friends)

Thur. Aug. 25, 2025 – looking for stuff, loading it up, getting ready

And using the pickup truck so naturally there is possible rain in the forecast… along with heat and humidity.   Although I have to say, much less heat than last week.   We also got local light and heavy rain.  At my storage unit I got soaked.  At my barber, we didn’t get any rain at all, and they are less than a mile apart.  Weird Houston weather.

Drove around and did pickups, then stopped at my barber for a cut before my show.  It’s been a while, and I got used to cutting my own hair.   I’ve been going to the same guy for about 18 years so we usually have a good chat.  Over that time, his price for  a clipper cut went from $12 to $15 to $20.  As the neighborhood has gentrified, his rent has increased dramatically too.

Everyone I talked with yesterday had high prices and increased violent crime on their mind.   One lady wants Trump to win re-election and do something about it, with the comment “our current president sure isn’t.”  As a side note, almost all of the people I talked to were Hispanic, none were reactionary old white men.

Something else that I’ve been noticing and has been bugging me…   the current world is DRAB, and becoming drabber.   I think it’s a reflection of the zeitgeist.  One whole parking lot, no brightly colored cars.  Only black, silver, white, grey, the occasional older dark red, or champagne color.   Driving on the expressway, ONE colored car, a blue Extera that was an obvious repaint.   The pickup line for elementary school, not one bright color.    The natural colored brick houses in my neighborhood are being painted white, grey, and black when they are flipped.    There is a whole development across from my daughter’s old school that is black and dark green.   Other new housing all over town is almost universally white, grey, black, or a combination.   Once you see it, you see it everywhere.     If the colors people are buying reflect the mood, we’re in a world of hurt.

Don’t get caught short.  Stack it high.

nick

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