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.


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.

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?”



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.

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).

Of Course They Are. . .

Word “on the street” is that Mediacom is making major “improvements” for our area. I already knew that, since the “service” has sucked dead bunnies for the last few days (yes, even suckier than normal).

Notice where the upload “speed” test says, “Connecting”? Yeh, well it stuck there for five minutes before I gave up.

“Mediacom is making improvements” has invariably meant “Mediacom is screwing things up, again” for years now. But, never fear! Meadiacom really is “making improvements,” where “making improvements” = “we’re getting ready to hike you rates, and a compliant government regulatory agency is already greased to issue its approval for further gouging,” no doubt.

Take Note: It is Always Appropriate to Give Me a Knife. :-)

It’s taken some time, but I’m finally coming to grips with (*heh*) the opening/closing mechanism and finger hole/blade grip on the lil Spyderco Estimable Son-in-Law gifted me. Nice knife. The very nicely-machined jibbing on the finger choils on both the spine and edge sides of the blade have proven to be a nice feature, and it definitely came sharp enough to shave with right outa the box (and has held its edge nicely).

All-in-all, it’s proven to be much more useful than one might expect any knife its size to be. Definitely an “always-carry” lil knife.

Thanks again, Joshua.

It’s Still Just a Phone

So, new phone to replace the one that went through the wash. . . So-called “smart” phone. More phone than I need. Phone calls only. Screen’s still too small for any computing use. Heck, my tablets’ screens are too small for most computing uses, and only marginally usable (for computing stuff, or even web just browsing) with a Bluetooth keyboard. Not even useful for email–and do NOT get m started on texting. “Dislike” button, anyone?