I Like Speedify for Other Reasons, Too

This may either be a side effect of using Speedify VPN or it could be for other, unknown reasons, but as soon as we started using Speedify VPN, FINALLY my ISP has stopped reporting fake usage and threatening to bill us for overages on our “data allowances.” In fact, since we began using Speedify, we’ve yet to approach 30% usage of our ridiculously low data allowance.

Co-inky-dink? Maybe. I seriously doubt the data compression Speeify does is enough to account for the HUGE drop in reported usage, but it could be. . .

The “Great Flood of 2017”

. . . and it’s not over, yet.

Taking a break from The Great Flood of 2017. *heh*

Earlier today, the water in our back yard rose to about 1.5 feet [correction: that was when I got up Saturday morning. Later investigation of our west basement wall and a storage area under the house not directly connected to the basement rvealed the high water mark to be at least 3.5 feet above the level of the basement floor] on our basement walkout. Almost 3” of water in the basement, because weather-proofing on the door was not quite proof against the pressure. Packed sandbags against that door to slow the flow, and then I left to get more supplies.

Water has receeded a GREAT deal, now, but it’s still raining and more rain to come, so. . .

As soon as I finish here, I’ll be at that back door improving the waterproofing and stacking more sandbags, spreading pool shock on the 1.5” of water that did not make its way back out as the waters receeded (partly because I had sandbagged it so heavily, no doubt), and then, later, pumping as much of the rest out as possible, gathering everything that was irreparably damaged for disposal, then. . . stripping out all the carpet, deep cleaning everything that was even dampened, and finishing the floors out. . . in other than carpet.

But some of that will have to wait until the power is restored. *heh*

Oh, and as usual, when power is out for an extended time, we can expect the city to issue a water quality warning. That’s OK, since I have a bunch of 4-gallon containers of “wash water” for hygeine and a LOT more (in gallon and individual serving bottles) of potable water put back.

  • Pantry with plenty of food? Check.
  • Adequate emergency water and means to treat more (filters/purification methods)? Check.
  • Camp stove and fuel? Check.
  • Bugout bags? Check.

Etc.

We’re OK and will remain OK, it looks like, even though the water’s going to rise again tonight.

On the positive side, we’ve been meaning to get to the downstairs remodel, so this just moves that to the top of the list. Plus, while there are only two weeks left in my Wonder Woman’s school contract for this year (not counting Summer School), school will no doubt be called off for the district, at least for a few days, given the countywide flooding (and this is exactly the kind of situation where the governor has waived requirements for total days in the past).

N.B. We are NOT within the “100 Year Flood” flood plain (I have FEMA maps showing where the local flood plains are, and one specifically detailed for our property), so this flood exceeded those boundaries by quite a bit.

All these pictures were taken at least eight hours after peak waters. If you look carefully at the house on the right in the first video below (the house is south of us on an adjoining street), you can see the high water mark. Note also that at the time of these pics/videos, the waters had receded at our house to well back off our property and back well within the “100-year” flood plain as designated by the FEMA maps.

There’s a Term for This

. . .but I can’t find it where I thought I filed it.

Needed a refill on coffee. Turned to pick up my coffee mug from the coaster on the end table (where it belongs *heh*), and. . . nope. Went hunting for where I had put it down.

Oh.

Went back. There it was. Four inches from where it belonged.

Racing Thoughts/Anxiety

A FarceBook acquaintance (longer acquaintance online–mostly blogging) suggested a method for dealing with “looping racing thoughts,” etc. Here’s a (still long for a FarceBook post) snippet:

If you have looping racing thoughts, or an escalating anxiety or depression cycle… or even if you have problems with attention regulation because of ADHD or emotional stress… try this…
Carry a pair of polyhedral dice in your pocket… it’s better if they’re two different types, both large… say a D12 and a d20. It has to be physical dice… You need to get out of your head and connect to the world.

Any time you have a thought loop you need to disrupt, shake the dice and read them… on your hand, on a table, doesn’t matter.

Then multiply them.

Then divide the result by the total number of sides.

Then take that number and add it to the letters of your name, in a simple substitution, where A is 1, B is 2 etc…

Then alternately multiply, divide, add, and subtract the numbers.

Then start squaring them, or raising them to the exponent of each other.

At some point in this process your loop will disrupt. . . and you can insert your control thought that says something like:

“these emotions are not in control of me, they are simply an excess or deficit of emotional energy caused by too much of some neurotransmitters and not enough of some other neurotransmitters, and they are lying to me [about reality]. . . “

Very good technique(s). I have used visualizing musical scores, performing them or directing them, while either listening to a recorded performance or simply listening to them in my head. Taking [semi-quasi] “random” dictionary words or sentences from a book and using them to compose a fugue or another form via letter-number substitutions for both tones and rhythms, etc. Actually singing or playing one of these (or even just one line while “hearing” the rest in my head) has proved useful to me.

It’s more complex than that, but that’s the basic framework. Playing math games with minor (or maybe even not so minor would be more interesting?) linguistic twists seems likely to work as well.


Aside: From the FarceBook post,

“Recite a dice roll number of words or lines of a poem or song from memory. . . ”

*heh* very close to one of my methods for devising pass phrases (though I also choose one of several techniques to encode the phrases, usually from Renaissance at songs, though only in Italian, French or _maybe_ English).

Danger! Danger!

Back when I was a lad, I used to have some seriously dangerous thoughts. For example, driving “into town,” as I thought of it, in my ’53 Chevy, there was a place in the road where the road curved to the left and ascended a wee bit. To the right, just over the curb and a wee bit of verge was an arroyo. Every now and then I wondered what it would be like to just keep going straight and launch myself off the roadway. Oh, these weren’t serious thoughts, and I was in no way (consciously) suicidal, but every now and then. . .

This morning, I had another such “dangerous thought” as I reached into the fridge to get the cream for our coffees. I almost picked up the buttermilk thinking, “I wonder what buttermilk in coffee would taste like?”

DANGER! DANGER!

*heh*

Always Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight

Because one should take a knife (or several) everywhere one goes, anyway. Now, using a knife at a gun fight is a good idea or not, may depend on the circumstances. I have been (I believe) reliably informed that at the right distance, and in the right circumstances, a knife can be more useful than a handgun.

It would take a willingness to be up close, personal, and very, very bloody, though. I imagine it would help to have gutted a few deer and pigs beforehand. I’ve only used rubber knives for simulating the former, but field dressing game is mainly just a bit messy.

Tightwad Tip #12,826

Well, it would be #12,826–or higher–if I simply wrote down a daily log of tightwaddery @twc central. . .

Anywho, since I’ve not gotten around to adding a hose bib for the back yard, yet (yeh, the place has been w/o one for 40 years, since it was built, 22+ of them under our stewardship, so it’s not a big rush item), and one of our two hoses (needs at least 2-50′ hoses to be useful for back yard) bit the dust toward the end of last summer, I decided to keep an eye out for another one.

Found one. It’s one of those expanding/collapsing hoses. 50′. Just a couple of bucks. Seriously. Even at a “fell off the back of a truck” store, that’s unbelievable.

Believe it. But there was a reason: the rubberized fabric hose sheath had a 1” seam split. Oh Noes! Not.

1. Sew up the split.
2. Coat the repaired split with silicone gasket compound.
3. Wrap that with self-sealing silicone tape.
4. Cover the self-sealing silicone tape with pieces of the “dead” hose’
5. Rewrap with more self-sealing silicone tape.

Tried it out. Looks good.

Even if it only lasts one season, a 50′ hose for under $5 isn’t that bad, but I fully expect it to last longer than that. In fact, I do not expect the repair job to fail at all during the hose’s usable service life.

Oh, the tip? I should think it was obvious: don’t pass up a bargain just because it has one flaw, as long as that flaw is repairable. . . inexpensively (read “inexpensively” as “dirt cheap” *heh*)

“Lucy”

Amusing to watch a movie on TV (I’m also reading a book and slipping out to do this during commercial breaks. a close approximation of my typical TV-watching habits for about. . . 6 decades) and watch, during a gunfight scene, one character’s wound move from one side of his body to another. Yeh, continuity shoulda caught that. But then, that was the least of the continuity errors and other flubs and wildly laughable mistakes in the film.

Suspension of disbelief was irrevocably broken in the first five minutes though, so all the errors, laughable mistakes of anatomy, mechanics, procedural “bind-moggling,” etc., were more amusing than distracting, because NOTHING about the film was in any way, shape, fashion, or form believable, even within its own framework, right down to the protagonist’s hair color.

Small Pleasures

Took my Wonder Woman along with me on a jaunt to my favorite “fell off the back of a truck store,” in part to help me keep my expenditures down. Well, that worked well. *heh* Oh, don’t get me wrong, the butcher’s bill was not that bad, even for a tightwad like me, but. . .

She found a Tramontina combo ( one of Tramontina’s triple-ply stainless, small Dutch ovens and an induction plate) for half what I paid for a 12” Tramontina pan seven years ago. . . on close-out @33% off the regular price. Yeh, that was still more than my tightwad heart had set as a likely outing cost, but at less than 30% of the Amazon price for the set, I am able to at least rationalize the purchase, especially since I know I’ll at least be using the pan for years to come.

Used the combo today to make a fritata–potatoes ion bottom, layered with sauteed onion/garlic, corn, broccoli, red pepper, cheese, and egg/heavy cream. Oh, ver’ yummers.


Cooked another one-pan meal with our lil 3-piece Tramontina induction cooking set. Cheesy chicken-broccoli-rice casserole. Yummers. Liking this lil set. (Induction cooker works with the rest of my pots-n-pans, but since it came with such a nice 3-ply mini Dutch oven, no sense in not using it, right? 😉 )

Still even more pleased that my Wonder Woman found it at less than 30% of the Amazon price.

Law Enfarcement in America’s Third World County™

Just another *cough* typical *cough* interaction with putative “law enforcement” in America’s Third World County™. . .

[Phone rings]

Me: Hello.
Caller: This is [some redneck] with the [Third World County™] Sheriff’s Department. What can I do for you?
Me: You called _me_. What do you want?
Caller: Dispatch gave me your name and number and told me you requested a call.
Me: What name?
Caller: Junior [Redacted].
Me: Junior [Redacted] lives two miles from me. What number did dispatch give you?
Caller: [recites my landline number]
Me: That’s not Junior [Redacted]’s number.
Caller: Sorry.
Me: *click*

I should have asked if dispatched was referring to Junior [Redacted] or Junior [Redacted] Junior, his son, although they live (lived? Is Junior [Redacted] still among the “quick”?) in “manufactured homes” catty-cornered from each other. . . (and Junior [Redacted] Junior now runs the family business).