Mon. May 11, 2020 – again with the nice days

Very nice day in the forecast. Probably gonna be ugly. [wasn’t, was cool and sunny, then warm and sunny, great day]

Yesterday was beautiful. Started cooler, but warmed up. Nice and sunny all day.

Didn’t get much done either. In fact, got almost nothing done. Almost like I took a day off. What I really did was just play hooky from life, except to make dinner, and I initially screwed that up too. Wasted the morning though.

I did get one drawer cleaned in the kitchen fridge. Yea me!

And I spent some time talking with my mom, which is a good thing. She’s doing fine. Getting restless, which is bad, ’cause she’ll be trying to go out. Right now her intellect is winning, but it wouldn’t take much for her to just throw caution to the wind and go to bridge club. Lot’s of folks in that position, I think.

Today I’ll make up for my slacking. Probably.

Keep stacking.


Wed. Mar. 28th, 2018 – state of the site…

70F and 96%RH this morning. Pretty much the same as yesterday. It did finally rain a bit, mostly sprinkles late in the afternoon. The humidity makes it all so unpleasant as soon as you start doing some work. But that’s Houston, it’s a swamp.

Some interesting statistics about this place.

Last 7 Days (Week):------4,177------15,530
Last 30 Days (Month):---17,488------65,376
Last 365 Days (Year):--114,054-----588,394

Most days we see around 700 “unique” visitors, who come back multiple times. This has stayed pretty consistent for some time. Even on “slow” days we rarely see fewer than 500. There are about 300 people registered to comment (which is free and I encourage you to join the conversation!)

Thanks to you all for sticking around.


added- sorry the numbers format-the site strips out whitespace

added- and also changes dash to emdash at random lengths.

Added by RickH

For those of you that like pictures…here’s the last 10 days. The last data point is  today, as of 1030am PDT. Click to embiggen.  (Also put a ‘code’ tag around the numbers to line things up.)

Tues. Mar.27, 2018 – don’t be distracted!

72F with 89%RH this morning. Yuck.

Spring has sprung in Houston. We are DEEP into tree pollen season. It irritates eyes and throats, and I’m finding a lot of people like me who get sleepy and lethargic as symptoms too. Everything is covered in fine yellow dust. Yuck.

Back to the title of the post.

Don’t be distracted. There is a lot going on right now that seems to be designed to distract and engage your spare attention. Don’t let it. Personal relationships. Personal finances. Personal health and fitness. Personal learning and skills. Focus locally on the things you can impact.

If you have spare cycles, go to civic meetings. Meet your neighbors, city council, school board, mayor, local reps. They will help or hinder you more than any of the 574 in DC. Your HOA has more to say about your rainwater barrels, fence, antenna, or security door than DC.

Get a garden in this year. Put some plants in pots. Test a couple of locations in the yard, and a couple of varieties. Fresh really DOES taste great. Doesn’t have to feed your household YET, and doesn’t need a lot of time or effort, (but you might trade money to save those things.)

Walk or bike around the neighborhood. Walking the dog gives an excellent excuse to check out the lay of the land. You will see stuff that you just don’t see by car.

Drive a different route. Don’t be in a rut. If you have a few extra minutes on the grocery run, take a different turn. (Visit a different store!) Even taking a familiar street from the opposite direction will show you things you didn’t notice.

If things get sporty or go downhill, local will be most important. Get a feel for what is ‘normal’ in your surrounding area. TALK TO PEOPLE. How many bums are panhandling? Where do they spend their days? Nights? Are there people just ‘hanging around’? How many day laborers are in the park or by Home Depot? You don’t need to do a census, but it’s easy to not see them entirely. LOOK. Get a feel for normal.

Stop at a garage sale this weekend. Chat. “Hi” “How have sales been? Been busy?” “Just cleaning up or getting ready to move?” People will share surprising amounts of info. You can get a better feel for the local economy talking to people and looking around than by reading national news.

There are big shifts in the world political scene and the world economy. Sure they happen all the time, but usually they happen in one place or another, and one thing at a time. Right now feels a lot like reading a history book about the changes before a major shift or realignment. Everyone is MORE of what they are, old ideas are resurfacing, resentments are building, reactions are more emotional and just generally ‘bigger’ than normal.

Do like the big fish, and position yourself before the start….


Mon. Mar. 26, 2018 – another week gone by

69F with 98%RH this am. Cool and damp. My hands are stiff and previous nerve damage is flaring up. Weather or work, either way it’s a pain.

I look at the news and I think, “Leviathan is moving in the deep.” We see ripples, a glimpse of top fin, the occasional missing seal, the flash of movement, shadow swelling beneath the surface. The drums of war are beating, someone is chumming the water.

Or it’s just our human desire for pattern that projects all that onto the normal cycle of civilization.

Either way, it sure feels like change is in the air, and not in a good way.


Sun. Mar. 25, 2018 – mmmmmm, sleep, mmmmm

Good morning, kinder let me sleep in so she could watch tv this am. Tricksy hobbitses.

77F and 83%RH. It sounds cool, and feels cool, but you sweat in an instant when you start working. And the sweat runs off your nose…

Still, better than 96F with the same RH.

Now I better feed her and spruce the place up before the return of the other two fems from GS camp……


Fri. Mar. 23, 2018 – finally

60F with 90%RH and clear in Houston. NOAA weather map had the whole US basically clear for the next day. Been windy here though, which usually means weather coming in. I guess we’ll see.

One child at Girl Scout camp this weekend, the other with 3 outdoor events scheduled, so I certainly am hoping for clear…

Have to build a first aid/medicine bag for my wife to take to camp. Interesting mix. No trauma, but added “comfort” meds. I can’t quite just grab an existing bag.

I’m hoping to get the eye tracker installed on OFDs lappy today. I went thru another round of updates, 6 reboots, including another firmware/bios update. If win7 doesn’t work, and I have to go thru this all again, I’ll be using the offline update tool for sure. What a PITA.


OH, and What did you do to prep this week??

Thur. Mar. 22, 2018 – I may have issues

Hey all, don’t know if my issues have resolved but here’s today’s open.

Got a bunch of stuff to do out in the real world today too, so don’t know if I can troubleshoot.

Page visits were down yesterday, so I know that at least some of you were still having trouble.

If you still have trouble connecting to the site, please email me at and let me know. I may be a while responding. Please include browser and any addons you have installed.

Many thanks to Rick who has been chasing this.


Wed. Mar. 21, 2018 – site issues, please be patient

Good morning all, mid-50s here and damp. See your breath weather….

There have been some site issues with hosting, in the immortal words of the Hitchhiker’s Guide, DON’T PANIC.

Rick is working to fix what broke, and things should be back to normal soon.

In other news, it appears that Austin has one less bomber today. Hooray. There will be some interesting things to learn from this attack, wrt the surveillance state, insurgents, etc. If you are on the other side of that, there are lessons about vulnerability, and resilience to learn too. Got a trauma kit and fire extinguisher in your mail room?


Tues. Mar. 20, 2018 – more of the same

Good news from RickH regarding the continuation of posted yesterday. Read thru his announcement, and take a look at the site to provide feedback please.

About 60F and a bit drier here in Houston. NOAA says two days of clear weather. We’ll see, but it sure would be nice to have a long comfortable spring this year. I’ve still got plenty to do in the yard and garden.

Another package bomb, this time in a FedEx facility outside San Antonio. Probably headed for Austin. This would be the third different type of bomb. I understand that to be very unusual as most bombers find something that works and stick with it. Maybe it’s a copycat, maybe it’s someone testing out different designs, maybe it’s a personal grudge. If this bomber continues, I’m sure we’ll find out who it is. If not, it will be an interesting look at insurgency, tradecraft, etc. Imagine that the victims are prosecutors, judges, politicians, police, prominent bloggers, activists, etc. There are people that WANT this, can’t hardly wait for it, and will be working their way down a list. I really don’t want to get to that point, so keep talking to the other side please.

That’s it for now,