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Never Forget!

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He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32, ESV)


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November 2015
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I have, for about as long as I’ve been blogging and, even before in other contexts, written Thanksgiving posts/articles/letters about the many reasons most folks in our society have for being thankful and more than a few specific reasons I have for being thankful. . . and to Whom.

This year? Notsomuch. I’ll limit myself to two comments about gratitude/thankfulness: with very few exceptions, folks in our society who cannot find many reasons to be grateful [to others, to society in general, and, more importantly, to God] for their blessings are just itchin’ for a fight. Ingrates.

The next: anyone who wakes up in the morning and is NOT in Hell (the actual afterlife place of eternal torture) should be grateful for God’s grace, because, on our own merit, we all deserve that. Period. If one is not headed to Hell as one’s ultimate destination, it is only because one has elected to accept God’s gracious gift of salvation. If one has NOT elected to accept God’s grace and is not yet in Hell, again, it is by His grace they are not.

Be thankful for that.

Baling Wire and Chewing Gum Quality Service Work

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Our local POTS company (VERY local: two exchanges which were charged “long distance” charges for calls between the two, up until the company figured it’d net more by charging everyone a monthly fee, a couple of years ago) has such excellent service. [sarc /off]

Ten months after the cabling was installed for a fiber connection, the company finally got around to installing the electronics enabling a fiber connection. A month and a half later a crew came by to remove the old copper. What did the crew do? It cut the copper at the pole and left. Period. That’s it. Telco copper cabling draped across our back yard. THAT was “removing surplused Telco equipment.”

Of course, the local Telco’s owners live sumptuously, have recently almost taken over “downtown” in the county seat with a huge, palatial new office building, etc., but improve service to match? Notsomuch. Sure, one can now obtain (very) low-speed DSL via fiber for substantially more $ than (a much hated) cable company’s Internet connection that is an order of magnitude faster.

Even Though I Celebrate It Daily. . .

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November 24 marks a special celebration of my marriage to my Wonder Woman, since it’s the anniversary of the day we formally wed. (I mark our marriage’s start with the day she called me to let me know her answer to my *cough* “suggestion” *cough* that we marry — yeh, lame, but we both saw the humor in it 😉 ).

Whether it mark’s thirty-seven years since we said our vows in front of witnesses or well into our thirty-eighth year since we first pledged ourselves to each other before God alone (a day also celebrated specially), this day is a reminder of how greatly I am blessed. . . and how loving, patient, kind and forbearing my Wonder Woman is. :-)

Sometimes, Reality Actually Helps *heh*

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Periodically, I look back at my life accomplishments and failures and find balance wanting. Of course, during this time of year, when I am under strong influence to “ac-cent-uate the positive,” really black moods fall prey to a couple of realities. The first, a constant that has regularly batted the screwballs of depression out of the park for the past 37 years, is that when Tuesday rolls around, I’ll have opportunity to celebrate (again) what I celebrate anyway, any day during any year that I stop to think: My Wonder Woman loves me enough to stay my wife (it’s not my fault, really! *heh*)

The second booster is that I have–quite by fortuitous chance, I assure you–had opportunity to be instrumental in keeping a couple of the members of my family alive, once with CPR (my Wonder Woman) and once, with Son&Heir, by extracting a penny he was choking on. Crawling babies, shag carpet, loose change: not a good mix. *shrugs*

I find recalling those events and then looking at my Wonder Woman’s face does much to remind me that God has greatly blessed me, far beyond my due. (Then there’s the whole, “Well, I haven’t awakened in hell where I have, by all rights, earned a place,” thingy. Grace: what a strange and wonderful thing, eh?)

Puppy Love

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Lovely Daughter and Estimable Son-in-Law have us puppy and cat sitting this week. It’s in the low-mid 20s, so both their pup and Son&Heir’s pup are inside much of the time. Watching their ~5 month old Lab/Boxer mix playing with Son&Heir’s ~7 month old Lab/Border Collie mix just makes me tired. *heh* Finally. . . just too much. Sent them to their “rooms” to calm down. (With the olderpup outside, the lil girl calmed down quickly. He’s fine, with his much thicker black coat and the sunlight, for a while. At least he likes it. 😉

After two such separations, the puppies have finally gotten to the point where they can be calmer around each other. This after two whole days of romping. I had to “dog whisper” them a bit, even then, by sitting down with them and physically separating them, then performing “calming massage” (adapted from a equine massage technique–apparently such techniques can be universally adapted😉 ) with them both. Heck, now the cats (all three–our two and the visitor who HATES ALL DOGS. . . and most people) are calm and napping, our two behind me on the back of the loveseat I’m on now and the dog-hater on my Wonder Woman’s lap.

Peace in our time.

When Simplified Techi-Toys. . . Ain’t, Really

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Interfaces on computing devices have been simplified to the point that most folks expect things to just work–almost magically. But it ain’t necessarily so, of course. Case in point: my Kindles (both the original Fire and the Fire HD) seem, most of the time, to just work. But. Not always.

Case in point (of more than a few): today, my Fire HD was handiest when I needed to take a picture of a couple of mugs (ordered trough Amazon, of course) out of a dozen that came broken. Pics were fine–perfect for my need sending documentation to the seller. But the pics just would not upload to my cloud drive, no matter how many times the device said it was uploading them.


So. . . connected the device to a laptop via USB. *sigh* Finally located the pics and offloaded copies to the lappy. THEN the device decided to actually upload ’em to my cloud drive.

OK, not pushbutton simple.

Book I bought listed by Amazon as delivered to the Fire HD. Yeh, could see it, but not open it. Rebooted the device. Nope. Back to Amazon to re-deliver it. Nope. Rebooted. Now it loads.

Simplified isn’t always simple.

King Putz’s White House Pushes for More Tourniquets to Counter Terrorism

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King Putz’s answer to terrorism. True.

Need tourniquets around the necks of traitors. *cough* WH Occupier-in-Chief *cough* (After a full process of impeachment, conviction and trial for treason, of course. )

Live and Learn

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One of the very few drawbacks to living in America’s Third World County™ has been our experiences with appliance repairmen. We’ve decided over the years that going outside the county is wise, when it comes to appliance repair, whether that’s fridges, washers, or HVAC, etc. Just really bad experiences with execrably poor service from “highly-recommended” locals. *shrugs* Others’ experiences might vary, but ours? Universally poor service from local companies.

So, when cold weather hit and we needed our (gas, forced air) furnace, what happened? Well, first I changed the filter, than tried the furnace out. Right. No air. The fan would not come on, and nor would the burners. Well, since the fan and the gas valve are inter-related, via the control interface, if the fan didn’t work, the burners would not.

So, did I call someone? Nope. Tested the fan with separate power. No joy. Motor out. Replace motor (preferred option)? Nope. The thing’s apparently forty years old (!) and I think I’d have to cut it loose from the fan. Nope. Not gonna.

So, bought new fan.

The mounting bracket on the new (larger, more powerful) fan is almost the right width. wrong configuration. So, cut the mounting bracket off the old fan housing and affixed it to the new one. Fits. Mount the fan, wire it and. . . no joy.

So, I confirmed the old fan was defunct, but now the transformer/switch assembly isn’t working either? Another $25. (Note: 15 years ago, a local ripoff “repairman” charged $95 for the part. . . in an off-brand. . . and still didn’t fix the issue until he checked what I told him to check elsewhere. . . on his THIRD TRIP. HIGHLY recommended by multiple sources. MHWA.) Wired the new control relay in and. . . FAN! But no furnace ignition. Pilot light working fine, but gas valve: no joy.

Hmmm. . . sit back. Check Internet to see if my wiring job was right (the wiring diagram from the control relay mfg. did NOT make sense according to the wiring diagram on the furnace’s service panel, so I had transferred wires one at a time from the old relay. Maybe that was the problem. *heh*) Well, yes and no. It seems a wire from the relay to to gas valve HAD BROKEN and dropped down during my rewiring. (Dark, old eyes–hence difficulty focusing–“headlight” focused in wrong place, etc. I just missed it dropping off the gas valve.) Found it later on the floor and wondered where it had come from.

The ONLY clue I got from my hunting on the Internet was a YouTube video where a guy pointed out, on a similar but not the same, SPDT relay where the gas valve wiring FROM the relay should be connected. Fortunately, he also called it by name, so I could locate the correct place to wire it in on my relay.

At last, joy. Warm last night. Almost too warm for me, frankly. 70°F is just too warm for indoor Autumn living. Heck, places near a register and away from the thermostat have gotten up to 73°-75°! Turned down a tad.

Note: what I learned? Oh, I already knew to do it, but I forgot to take pictures of the installation before I replaced the relay. *head-desk* Oh, well. Would have saved a headache, but all’s well, and all that.

P.S. #2: May also need a new thermostat. Cool temps today, furnace apparently came on a few times, though, and most of the house is at 75° even though the thermostat is set at 68°. It might not be a problem. Could just have been solar gain, since we are fairly well insulated and the house–overall–started out around 70°, with the previously noted “hot spots”.

Don’t Trust; Verify

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Every time I hear someone–especially medical professionals who should know better for many reasons–mispronounce words such as “tinnitus” I bemoan the state of “edumacationism”. (Many medical “professionals” mispronounce “tinnitus” to rhyme with “artritis,” an inflammatory condition, hence the “itis” suffix. Medical professionals, of all people, should know better in the case of tinnitus. Just sayin’.)

When one runs across professionals in a field who aren’t even literate in their own field, turn around and walk away.

Quick Meal

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OK, NOT authentic, but Good Enough in a pinch.


  1. Emergency can of enchilada sauce (the real stuff takes a while to make; traditional method takes eight or so hours of soaking the peppers to start)
  2. CORN tortillas
  3. Shredded cheese
  4. Diced or minced onion


  1. Dice or chop the onions, then place them in a covered, microwave-safe bowl and nuke ’em for about a minute. It’s a sort of faux saute technique. I usually add a wee tad of olive oil.
  2. Place a bit of enchilada sauce on a plate; place a tortilla (flat) on top; a few onions; cheese, another tortilla, etc. Last one in the stack gets sauce and cheese, only.
  3. Nuke the plate. Three tortillas will cook in a wee tad over a minute in a 1000W microwave oven. Four? Add another 20-30 seconds.

Yes, the texture is substantially different to regular, traditional rolled and baked enchiladas, but the favor and nutrition is the same.

Serve with rice (LEFTOVERS! *heh* Remember: QUICK meal, mmmK? 😉 ), refried beans (from leftovers or a can) and some shredded lettuce.

A note about canned enchilada sauce: most is based on tomatoes and water and merely favored to approximate real red sauce. IOW, most canned enchilada sauce is crap. Avoid it religiously. Around here, the only canned enchilada sauce that’s worth buying is this:

Las Palmas

Note that it contains NO tomato product and the only ingredient present in a greater amount than dried red chiles is water, which is normal for real enchilada sauce consisting of simply dried red chiles (rehydrated, softened and blended) and water. The other ingredients listed don’t detract greatly from the flavor. *heh*

SUPER fast faux enchiladas: take some of those frozen flautas that are available nowadays (I think I’ve seen ’em called “taquitos” or some such stupid thing). Cover ’em in an appropriate enchilada sauce you have on hand (red for beef, green for chicken), add shredded cheese and then nuke. I’ve done this when I was in a rush (my Wonder Woman likes to have those frozen things to take with her for lunches, so they’re around). Turns out. . . edible, but not as good, IMO as the “flatpacks” above.