It’s the day after Monday.

I really should be in bed at this point (it’s just about 11pm), particularly since I’m working on maybe 3-1/2 hours of sleep last night.

Full moon. I don’t sleep well on full moon nights. Been that way for a while now.

Work is. It’s going pretty well.

Discovered today that I have to get an annual inspection sticker for the trailer, before I can transfer title & tag it. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. One more bloody complication.

The wind has been blowing 20+ mph most of the last couple days, and it’s really gusty right now. Severe thunderstorm watch for here, tornado watch north & west of here. Line of storms coming through in a bit. This is related to the storms that dropped a tornado or two up around Oklahoma City and made a mess, unfortunately killing a few folks.

I’m heading off to bed now. Just as I sat down to dinner earlier we had a power flicker, and while the ‘puter is on a UPS, I’m looking to get other stuff shut down and hit the sack myself. This house survived Allison, assorted and sundry other severe weather (12+ inches of rain in a couple hours), and Ike, so I’m not horribly concerned, but, well, I’m tired. 🙂



The weekend in summary

Saturday — I got up sorta early, pulled the driver’s seat out of the Cobra, reinstalled the OEM seat belt buckle, and reinstalled the seat. Maybe 15 minutes start-to-finish. Then went to get it inspected — only to discover that my friendly neighborhood place’s inspection machine wasn’t working because C (the shop owner) moved it to a different phone line (so it shared his fax line instead of having its own dedicated line) to save a few $ and the computer in Austin doesn’t recognize the number it’s calling from… even though he’d called Austin on Friday and made sure that wasn’t a problem. He suggested I run down the street to the Goodyear/Gemini store.

Which I did. The dolt there drove the car to do the brake check, etc. and was put off by the rattles from the solid rear upper shock mounts, and said he couldn’t pass it if it has rattles, which is total bull feces, but there you go. Absolutely refused to consider that it’s perfectly normal when you use Heim joints for rear shock mounts instead of rubber bushings that it will make a little bit of noise even though nothing is in danger of falling off the car.

So I took the keys back, drove back to talk to C, and he’s going to make himself available for me tomorrow after work providing he gets his machine communicating with Austin again.

After this, I took the Cobra back to the house, got the truck, and took it for a LONG overdue tire rotation at Discount Tire, where, lo and behold, they’ve now got their computers networked and were able to find me in the database as a customer even though my last purchase from them was in Michigan (before, not even different stores in MI could tell I was a customer from a different store). Free rotation, and I had them balance the Hoosier Wets on ’95 Cobra R wheels that I acquired from M just before I moved. Reason? The BFGs I’m using for street tires are old, hard, and worn almost to the wear bars, and it’s remarkably easy to break them loose on dry pavement. Tomorrow’s forecast is for rain. So I got the Wets balanced so I could put them on the car today.

Then a trip to Lowes (have a gift card from Christmas) to get various household stuff, a stop at the local bike shop to get a new floor pump (K kept the one in MI), and a quick dinner at Willie’s Grill & Icehouse, followed by a stop at the bank, and home.

This morning, sirens about 7:45 or so. I dozed back off, and awoke some time later to the sound of gas-powered saws. Turns out a house on the next street over (to the east — the previously-mentioned Shatnerwood is north of me) burned — a lot  — and with the winds we were having, thankfully not so bad that early in the day, it caught the next house to the north as well. The good news: nobody hurt. Everyone got out okay. Prelim cause is apparently a transformer on a treadmill, of all things. It’s bad. The neighbor to the north now gets to file another insurance claim (they still have temporary roof patches from Ike), adding fire, smoke, and water damage to the tally.

The word from the neighbors is that the local fire department (which is technically a volunteer department) had a lengthy and un-coordinated response, taking about 20 minutes to get there. I didn’t see the response, so I don’t know, but I do know the Cy-Fair VFD seems to be well-equipped, well-funded, and numerous, so I’m hoping this is just an anomaly.

Today, I got a few things put into the attic — I’m going to need help, I think, as getting me and stuff up the folding ladder is, well, hazardous. I also changed the Cobra over to the Wets, and did my weekly grocery run. I’ve been doing laundry this evening.

Terribly exciting, I realize. 🙂

Kitchen-y things

So tonight I made dinner: chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, cream (well, milk) gravy.

Implements used: my great-grandma’s cast iron skillet (circa 1896), which I received from my grandma in 1989 when I got my first apartment on my own; and my new Calphalon 8-quart pot. Potatoes in the pot, CFS and gravy in the skillet.

My stove works. For suitably broad values of "works". The burners don’t have the oomph I’m used to from the nice (new) GE stove we had/K has in Michigan, so it took a while to get the spuds to a boil (the 15,000 BTU Burner Of Doom in MI makes short work of that task), but I eventually pronounced it Dinner, ate it, and it was Good.

Then I had to clean up.

I officially hate my kitchen faucet. It’s too short, combined with a shallow sink, and that means cleaning the 8-quart stock pot and my extra-long potato masher (purchased at IKEA in Michigan at the time I was moving into a newish townhouse that had a tall faucet and a deep sink) is a bit of a challenge. The good news is that it’s in such poor shape after 20 years of use that I have authorization from the landlord to replace it.

I’ve cooked here before, of course, but it’s still satisfying to make something you like from scratch using the old family recipe (there’s a secret to the breading, and before you ask, if I tell you, it’s not a secret, hmmmm?). And there are potatoes and gravy left over for microwaving later (or, more likely, tomorrow).


Stupor Sunday and assorted and sundry

Well, as in "I could find myself in a stupor if I’m not careful".

I got up early, drove the 60 or so miles to Gulf Greyhound Park, helped C change tires, walked the course, dodged the raindrops, and took our runs first heat on a drying course. Worked Course Control 2nd heat, which meant i was inside the timing truck (which is the old SCCA National Solo timing truck, one I’ve spent a LOT of time in over the years) when the mixture of sunny weather, light rain, and a couple of heavy downpours happened (yay me, and as New Guy in Houston Region, I also proved myself capable in T&S (not really a surprise as I did that job in Detroit on a regular basis) to the HRSCCA crew, so I’ll be back there again.

I pushed C to drive harder in his own car, and he managed to get off a couple of clean runs where I coned every run. But I’m happy with the outcome — I got a feel for the surface at GGP, and C felt he learned some things about both the car and his driving from working with me, so a win even though I didn’t get a trophy.

After we got a late lunch, went home and I started laundry and missed the pre-game, but I have the Super Bowl on anyway. I do things during the game and stop to watch the commercials for the most part. It’s just me and Scooterbird for a one-human/one-cockatiel party tonight.

On to assorted and sundry… Letterman has had a stellar run with musical guests lately. A couple of them were memorable enough that I checked them out on iTunes and wound up buying (I still had a lot of gift card credit) the entire albums from both. The first is The Airborne Toxic Event, which played their single "Sometime Around Midnight" on Letterman on the 15th. Wow. Just Wow. The performance (which you can watch on their website) was musically astounding. Very well-crafted, and the song itself just grabbed me. This week, Andrew Bird impressed me, particularly with the use of the Leslie Speaker (old-school analog tool to get Doppler effects — it’s two speaker horns that rotate via a motor), but not quite enough to buy the album just yet. MENEW was plenty good, but not go-buy-it for me.

But then on Friday, The Gaslight Anthem played "The ’59 Sound" — and though their album of the same name has been out for several months, another bang-on performance and music that grabbed me enough to check further — and I bought the album.

Well, as I type this last line, the Super Bowl is over. The Cardinals gave the Steelers a run, but the Steelers pulled it out on the last drive.

And I have laundry to finish up. 🙂