Monday, September 24, 2018


Ordered Friday, arrived Monday. Fender Sonoran electro-accoustic guitar, $289. This one is in a color described as "surf green," which was the same color as a house I grew up in as a boy in Florida. I can't play a lick, but I'd like to at least learn a few early Jimmy Buffett tunes to strum, if nothing else.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Hurricane Day!

Hurricane Florence has washed ashore in North Carolina near Wilmington, and will be crossing the Carolinas throughout the day. I'll make updates throughout the day as long as power stays on. I'm also available on Facebook and on Twitter (@drawncutlass).

Update, 4:40 p.m.: woke from a nap. No rain, wind is gusting but not blowing steadily.

Update, 6:10 p.m.: rain finally arrives. Wind still mild.

Update, 3:00 a.m.: It's now the 15th, I woke up a half hour ago. We still have power, currently no heavy winds or rain. Checked on the cars outside, they are undamaged.

Update, 3:45 a.m. Sunday 16 September. Nothing much to report in the last 24 hours. We had gusting winds but not sustained wind conditions, and rain has been mostly moderate. Florence apparently spent herself slamming into the NC coast, and has been downgraded back to tropical depression status. Crossing my fingers and touching wood and saying a prayer that it stays that way.

Update, 12:01 a.m., Monday 17 September: *at work* So the hurricane weekend is now over, and I'm back at work. I violated the Union County curfew by driving around after 9:00 p.m. tonight, but no one stopped me, so...

We made it through well at the house. Never actually lost power, although it flickered at least once, my sister reports (I was asleep at the time). The storm itself came through our area on Sunday, with heavy rains but little wind. A lot of areas in the county flooded, and I was worried about our rental house, with it being bordered by a creek; but the creek provided enough quick drainage that our house was never in serious danger of flooding. A neighbor's house down the street required sandbagging to avoid damage, however.

This will be the last storm update.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Musical Interlude

Chris McDermott, Even the Devil Gets Right Someday. He's sort of goofy-looking, but it's a great song. Sounds like it would be fairly easy to learn on guitar:

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Vanilla Extract Project, Update 1

The vanilla beans were bottled in rum on July 19th, it is now September 2nd, so just over a month in bottle, with the bottle shaken vigorously several times per week. Color is now that of dark rum or vanilla extract or tobacco juice; when the bottle is opened to smell, a strong vanilla aroma dominates. I'm happy so far.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Begun, the Vanilla Extract Project Has.

I remember reading on Facebook that vanilla extract for cooking is dead easy to make at home, all that is needed are vanilla beans and a source of alcohol to infuse them in. The recipes call for vodka for this task, but say that rum or even bourbon can be substituted. I chose white rum. Here's a pic on Day One:

I'll post an updated pic every 30 days or so.

Denoument To the Bradford Pear Problem

In my last post we saw a Bradford Pear tree branch that shed from the tree and partially blocked the road. Since then, this happened:

This was on 6 July. I was in the house at the time, and in fact had just woken up; the tree branch came to rest on the roof above my bedroom. I wasn't hurt, nor was the roof damaged. We notified the landlord, and rather than get rid of the Hell Trees entirely, he paid for this:

Not the best solution in my opinion, but better than doing nothing, and this will result in far fewer leaves to blow in the front yard this fall, and we can get a better lawn next spring by planting Bermuda grass seed, which loves sun more than the current fescue grass does.