Monday, June 1, 2020

Cecil B...I ain't

Been a productive week here in the world of the juvat clan.  On the downside, Little J is still in durance vile and has reached triple digits.  However, Kuwait is dropping its 24 hour quarantine at home requirement, so maybe things will ease up soon to allow travel.

Which would be nice!

On the home front, today MBD officially enters her fourth decade of existence. (Being 30 sounds less "old" now doesn't it, Dear?)

This being Birthday Week around here MBD is not alone in celebration. Little J will turn 36 tomorrow.  Wish the circumstances were different.  Then on Saturday, some really old guy officially goes on Medicare.  Ah well, any day above ground....

On the Technologic front, I discovered what the issue was between my iPhone and my PC being unable to exchange files.  Or at least the photo part.  Seems that one of the recent iPhone upgrades changed the default photograph format from .jpg to .heif (High-Efficiency Image Format).  The good news is this reduces the file size of the photo by about half.  The bad news is....That format is not compatible with Windows devices.

This Site has a good description on how to change the phone back to store it in .jpg format.  It's in the Settings, about 4 layers deep.

Of Course.

Unfortunately, that doesn't appear to work for movies, although they do seem to auto import into the Windows 10 Photos app.  So....

In trying to get the promised video produced and published, I made three trips up to the Nueva Casa de juvat for the express reason of filming a walk through.  The first was last week with my iPhone and the subsequent debacle of trying to download it.  So, last Monday, I borrowed Mrs J's windows phone and refilmed the walk through using it.  Beans and I had discussed this method in comments last week.

Seemed to work like a champ.  Filming was easy, everything looked normal.

However, (you knew there was going to be a "however", didn't ya?), I RTB'd and plugged the phone in to the computer.  It showed up as a device on my PC, and as I navigated through its file system, there was no new video.  Played around with it a bit more, but no joy.

"Never Give Up, Never Surrender" being one of my creeds, I decided to try a different approach.  While rummaging through that kitchen drawer everybody has, you know the one with batteries and cables and all things completely unrelated to cooking, I came across some digital cameras.  You remember those doncha?  Pre-cell phone cameras that hung around your neck, took pretty good pictures and stored them on something that looked like a fat postage stamp?  Remember?

Well, turns out we had a pretty nice Nikon in there.  I knew I had a supply of SD cards (the postage stamp storage thingy's) in my desk...somewhere.  Finding that, I had a Voila' moment and inserted the card and turned the camera on.

Ok, the camera had been sitting in the drawer for a few years, so went back into the kitchen drawer looking for a charging cable.  After charging, I then took a short, but extremely interesting video of the fan rotating in our bedroom (Video is posted under the "for profit" section of my YouTube channel, in case you're really bored self-quarantining) to insure things were working.

Headed back up to the  Nueva Casa de juvat, and refilmed the project.  Came back home, popped out the SD card and reached over to insert it into my PC.  Only to find that it didn't have an SD Card Slot.

Not to worry, I emptied out all the drawers in my desk looking for a reader, finally finding it in my bookshelf, raced back into the kitchen storage drawer to find a compatible USB cable and finally....

Great Success!

I then realized I wanted to edit the video so the viewer could see what was what in the house.  Further research and $40 got me a reasonable editor, so I began the process of "whipping" together a video.

Which I finally completed.  10 days later.

If you're expecting Cecil B. DeMille quality video, well, I hate to disappoint.  But...

Current status of the house is the drywall is in and now taped, I expect the guys will come in today and finish putting up the corner guards and then putting in the texture.

Brick and Mortar guys finished up Friday and man does it look fantastic.

Two weeks ago it looked like this.

Now, this.

Speaking of pictures, roofs and repairs,  I had mentioned that we'd experienced some wild weather this past week.

Pink and purple are NEVER good things
Stock pond is about 50 yards by 40 Yards and about 8' deep.  Just mud before the storm and there are 4 stockponds upstream from this one.  A LOT of rain. Update: If I'd taken this Sunday PM instead of the morning, the pond would be full and I'd be standing knee deep in flowing water.

This was taken Monday PM. I couldn't get to the position I took the previous picture due to standing water.

The storm was gracious enough to grant us a lot of wind and rain, such that we need a new roof on our existing house as well as repair on our main gate opener. Both processes will commence today. Doing my part to help restore small business solvency in our area. But Mrs J did step outside after the squall blew through and took some awesome pictures.

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Happy to see the new construction is still standing (in the Eye of the Tiger)
Update Sunday Evening: Another Monsoon came through this afternoon.  Water crossing our road is about a foot deep and running fast. The stock ponds are one big long one.  We'll see what Monday brings, but we're not going anywhere tonight. At least 7" on the juvat rain gauge so far (I dumped it out) or 2" on a bear's. :-)

Now, back to our regularly scheduled broadcast.

Speaking of Mrs J, she happened to stumble across a video while I was cooking dinner a few nights ago.  She started chuckling, then howling in laughter.  Since she was listening to it on her hearing aids, I had no way of knowing what was going on, and dinner was at that crucial stage, so I asked her to send it to me.

This is a funnier "Smarter Every Day" type of video, and no Squirrels were harmed in it's production.  This guy needs to get out from quarantine very, very soon though.

Have a great week everyone.


  1. Wow! Chock full of morning goodness!

    Love the interior of the house, especially those rounded doors. What? No narration? Subtitles? As I just finished up binge-watching Fauda I'm okay with the subtitles, except I kept expecting you to start speaking Hebrew (or Arabic). (Good series BTW, Netflix.)

    That last video, the guy is amazing, after watching that I had to watch a couple more, the grenade and the shark episodes. Awesome.

    Texas weather, I only experienced that in my two sojourns in San Antonio. Gets pretty wild down there, doesn't it?

    Nice work on the film John Ford. It begs for narration, I'm thinking English with Spanish subtitles, or perhaps the reverse!

    Great, entertaining post!

    1. Thanks, Sarge. As to Narration...Be careful what you ask for. I'm bored and looking for entertainment. ;-)

    2. Fight's on, Fight's on, Juvat, commit Bandits 055, 1750!

    3. If you decide to chicken out of the engagement, I double dog dare you! Muhahahahahahaha.

    4. Skip - Irish or Scots Gaelic?

  2. Where there's a will, there's a way re the tech issues eh? Couldn't tell in the throne room if there's a bidet, THAT'S a useful item that was put in when my bathroom was redone, well worth it. The outside is shaping up very nicely indeed. Curious, will there be security cameras installed on Casa Juvat? You have rather long sight lines which is a good thing to quote someone. Jeeez.....that's a lot of rain to get hammered by. As far as the gray tree rats there's one around here that's reappeared after winters absence with only half a tail, it likes to run along the lines from pole to pole, surprised it hasn't managed to trip a transformer yet. Excellent visuals today juvat!

    1. Thanks, Nylon. Don't have a lot of squirrels around here, but we do have a large number of trash pandas. Mrs J has commissioned me to build a raccoon proof box to store her bird seed in. I informed her that "proof" was not possible. "Risistent" might be. Bastiges!

    2. Trash Panda proof bird seed container: Go to Lowes/Home Depot/favorite hardware store. Wipe out the plastic card. Purchase a metal garbage can with TIGHT fitting lid. Pull the lid off to be SURE it is TIGHT FITTING. Put birdseed in, put lid on TIGHTLY and place a large rock on top.
      Ask me how I know this works. Is also mouse/chipmunk proof.

    3. Suz,
      That might work, then combine it with the Squirrel Guy's Glitter/Stink Bomb apparatus and we might actually have something! Just sayin' ;-)

    4. Oh, trashpanda-proof boxes do exist. But first you need to lay down a foundation of lead. Lots of lead. Lots and lots of lead. I recommend a high-capacity lead layer-downer, rather than trying to lay down lead one lead reload at a time.

      Then, well, just about any tight fitting box/lid combo will work.

      Just make sure you have sufficient holes somewhere to put the after-effects of lead-laying down in.

    5. Mrs J has not reached that level of frustration yet. Skunks, yes, must Die! Trash Pandas, they're like democratic politicians all cute and friendly, but will rob you blind!

  3. Good video.
    The curves do look great, the outside views are awesome, and I want to enlarge our tiny one car garage to be the size of yours. (I don't know what the medical term is for garage envy)

    Bravo Zulu to Mrs. J's interesting sky photos.

    Our squirrel problems are less after we gave up on our handful of dwarf peach trees, but Mother Nature has upgraded the animal cast to include skunks, possum, fox, and feral cats. We've yet to see coyotes, but there are sightings in the Philly suburbs.

    As for the narration question raised by Sarge, I don't think the blog budget will pay for Morgan Freeman's voice.

    1. Squirrel video,was priceless - when it was done it was suggested by YouTube that I watch about six Nicolas Moran videos, which I don't consider related to squirrels, but may YouTube knows things about the Chieftain I don't...
      Watching your video - nice layout and good progress - and seeing the green grass, I was thinking the Hill Country must have had some rain...then read the rest of the post. Even though it's destructive, I like seeing severe weather. When I moved away from TX, the Midwest had enough storms to satisfy that part of me, although I could have done without the freaking blizzards. But the weather in the NE was kinda boring. And even though we have some good storms here in central NC, there are too many dang trees to see them coming and to get the panoramic views of their approach. Unless we are at the beach where we do have a decent view and have had some good (and bad) weather experiences.
      Back to your video, your editing was nice - impressive title page! Where does the gun safe go? It is Texas, after all! Realize you may not want to say for posed reasons...
      Thanks for the help getting me motivated this morning!

    2. Tom,
      You're right about the curves, and now that the drywall is complete, they really look good. Didn't think much about it as they were going in, but the "regular" doorways look like they're missing something now. Course that may change when interior doors are installed.

      Morgan Freeman? No, he's not available. Mickey Mouse is though!

    3. Tom
      As to rain, yeah we've had a bit, this is the third storm this month that has filled up the rain gauge. Stock pond base finally got saturated enough to hold water, so now it's full, so the grass does look pretty green. Give it a month, this is Texas, it'll be dry and brown by the Fourth of July.
      There are plenty of nooks and crannies in the design available to store important things. ;-)

    4. juvat. I wonder if the curves look more attractive because they contrast with other doors?

      I typed "voice changing software" into the search bar and there are some electronic options.
      Of course there's always the helium thing.

    5. Avoid some (most) of those electronic narration tools, they are simply awful. There are some decent historical videos out there which are ruined by the robo-narration. I keep expecting it to say "This is the IRS..."

  4. I remember seeing the "mighty herd of red eyed cows" once. It was eerie. I was a teenager, and one of those big west Texas anvil heads had just run through.... That picture reminded me of it.

    I have always wanted a custom home. I planned a couple Faubian star like designs, and finally settled on a modified stockade design. My current position almost insures those will never come to pass.... dreams....

    I used to wire houses like that, in the same area.... Good times.... simpler times....

    1. Yeah T-storms on the high plains were things of wonder, we used to climb on the roof of Wells Hall at Tech and watch them roll in. Fortunately the sight lines from there gave us plenty of time to watch them approach while still leaving time to dismount and duck and cover.

      The Hill Country doesn't provide quite the same Weather Vista's, but....the weather isn't usually as severe. I think I'm ok with that tradeoff.

  5. Very nice!!! Thanks for the tour.

  6. Never give up never surrender, but boy was that a pain in the arse to make it happen. Btw,I saw that squirrel video the other day because I subscribe to the guys channel. He's the one who invented the glitter bomb for stolen Amazon packages. Pretty much a comedic engineering genius in my view.

    1. Yeah, his and my sense of humor run along similar veins. Glitter is one thing, adding a stink component is genius. At least to me.

      Thanks Tuna, Nice video you texted also.

    2. Forgot about the sulphuric aspect! Glad you liked it. I need to pay attention to the taps.

  7. Very nice walk through...and, yes, kept looking to see if my sound button was on mute...then I heard the grasshoppers so I realized it was a silent movie. You were just doing a retro movie, you trend setter you!!
    If Morgan Freeman is busy, what about Mike Rowe? He does a LOT of narration for TV shows.

    A roll-through shower (2 thumbs up from the home care nurse), a personal IT closet, PLUS a pantry??!! Wow!! Just WOW!!! Very nice indeed. Where is your woodshop? Or are ya sticking with the current one?

    1. Wood shop is going to remain where it is. You'll appreciate this. I've used the new house as an excuse to go walking and while it's only a couple of hundred yards as the crow flies to the house and barn, I take the long way around, such that it's about 2500 steps, twice a day along with normal movements. Been doing that since the whole folderol started. Had my routine checkup this week. Dr walked in and asked what I was doing. I asked what he meant, he rattled off all my numbers, Good ones were all up, bad ones all down. Showed him the app on my phone. I'm averaging more than 10K a day (taken a bit of a hit over the last few days, I'm a bit reluctant to walk in lightning for some reason). So, think I'm going to keep the work shop where it is and do the routine in reverse. We'll see.

    2. I doubly agree on the whole roll-in shower thing. Was working on that when I had to move. Sad times, oh well, now someone else has to mow and fix stuff, yay.

      Though the L-entry into the master bedroom. 4' wide? If you're worrying about needing wheels, it's nice to have turning room. After all, you're an AF pilot and used to having broad and long runways and taxiways. Now if you were a Naval Carrier Pilot, wouldn't be worried at all.

    3. I need to check on that entry way. Feels wide to me now, and it's almost certainly too late for an inexpensive change, but....

    4. I'm trying for 11K (mine goes to 11!), but that hasn't really helped the big number to go down. COVID boozing is probably to blame, and the gyms being closed. After a full day, usually a long walk with the dogs gets all my steps. Good for you.

  8. Like the house a lot.
    The arches really help soften the lines.
    The adventures in video are a nice change from still shots.
    I usually forget that my phone is also a video camera.
    Of course, I also forget I can connect the phone to the pc.

    I’ve experienced some of that weather in Texas... as plane delays also during an excursion to Dallas/Ft. Worth, Moscow on the Colorado, Houston, Galveston, and points in between.

    Birthdays, hmmmm... been on Medicare for one of those decades you mentioned.
    I’m happy I wasn’t required to pass a maturity test.

    Squirrels are cute until they become a pest, then it seems their only motivation is to persistently antagonize.
    Fortunately I know this only second hand.

    1. Thanks Skip. The phone thing has been great with respect to the house construction. As someone suggested, Mrs J and I went around with it and a yardstick and took pictures of wiring and piping etc before insulation and dry wall. I've used it to take pictures of "concerns" and text them to the supervisor. Saves him a trip up here. He's been responsive to them fixing if necessary, explaining what's/why if not. Plus, it's kinda neat to look at the whole thing come together.

      As someone said, you have to get older, but not to grow up. I have a lot in common with that.

  9. Nice!!! Glad 'somebody' is getting rain, it's been bypassing us on both sides. The 'joys' of living on the dry line... sigh

  10. I do so love the way Apple decides to do things 'for your own good' without giving you any options on what 'your own good' is. One of the many reasons I have shied away from Apple products after getting burned 'for my own good' twice bigly by Apple.

    At least Microsoft is a benevolent dictatorship who knows that if they do things like purposely disable previous versions or slow them down by updating them, that their consumer base would come after them with pitchforks and torches (both things Apple is known for, sending updates that slow down and remove functions of previous versions, and with their phones, sending updates that literally slow the phone down 'for the user's good.' And with the phone, they were doing it to previous versions starting about 6 months before release of the newest version phone, which made people actually think that their old phone, previously working right, was slowing down, because, well, it was, but not by any mechanical or electronic fault. Bastiges.)

    So are you going to put in a juvat memorial trap, skeet and gun range? I mean, you have the property. Figuring the stockponds will suffice is nice except when stockponds are full. Put in a range and you might have Murphy or OldNFO or Borepatch dropping by. Or not if that's not a good thing :) (yes, one of the only reasons I want lotsa land and the money to support it is so I can shoot when I am able, and not have to listen to thumpy-thumpy mope hoopty-mobiles. Because if I could hear them on my land it would be because they were on my land and see statement about shooting on my land. I really want land to shoot on, and not have to pay a fee or membership and drive for an hour or more both ways. Wah. My life is soooo rough... wahhhhh.)

    Other than that, glad you finally found a fix for taking videos. Can't wait to see the next finished step after painting and carpets/flooring is done.

    And if you think you're going to end up with wheels, now would be a good time to put permanent ramps on. I find shallow ramps easier to handle than steps, especially when I am carrying things. Suz will agree with me, as she's been yelling at a certain desert hermit for years about his insistence on steep steps because hermit.

    Glad you got some rain. We got some, then we didn't, and now the grass is back to getting crunchy in the afternoon. Don't like crunchy grass.

    1. Yeah, I really liked the Windows phone. When they stopped supporting it, I was in a quandary. Who do I mistrust the least? Apple, with the slow down thing? or Google, with their reputation of doing who knows what with your data? No good answer there and neither is completely innocent on the other's issue. (Frankly, neither was Microsoft, but I understand their OS better than the other two).

      Ramps. Coming in through the garage, there's an inch (or so) high lip at the utility room door. No other elevation changes except a similar lip at both the front and back doors. Going in to the shower, one side has a slope, the other has a lip. So, once in the house, we should be able to get around. Front door will be problematic as it's about 24" above grade, but I don't envision Mrs J and I using it to get in and out. Back Patio is maybe 6" above grade, so a small ramp there wouldn't be hard. So...I think we're probably going to be ok

    2. Sounds like you really thought it out.

      Harry Flashman (another blogger who's gone dark) built his fortress in the northwestern Georgian hills. 2 to 3 stories with lots of up/down. Fine when he was younger and just out of the Corps, but now? He's really (or was, before going dark) at a condo in Florida, because up/down is wearing on him and thrashing his wife's knees and back.

      I really like single story. Just put a couple hah-hahs and other terrain features and life is good.

  11. Here's another option for keeping squirrels at bay, at least the males, but I don't know how you arrange for it to happen on a regular basis... (juvat, I think you read CW's blog, so apologies for the duplication)

    1. Yeah, I saw that. Not even a squirrel deserves that!

  12. Beans, repeat after me. "I do not know what is best for me, I depend Apple for life." And again, "I do not know what is best for me, the people in Cupertino love me." etc.
    Nice video of the house. I, too, love the rounded door openings. You are right when you say it softens things.
    RE: Squirrels. We had a bunch of them in Santa Cruz. They nested in our bottlebrushes and oaks. In 45 years there, I never saw a baby squirrel or a dead one. Go figure. In the last ten years they all changed to the black variety. One of them in the video was black. That means they are taking over the world.

    1. D4,
      Never give up, never surrender!

      Thanks, didn't think I'd like them. Wasn't the first, nor will it be the last, time I was wrong.

      Skunks and Trash Pandas, Seen a lot of dead ones, not nearly enough, mind you, but a lot.

    2. Nope, won't do it. Won't do it. Apple is bad. Apple will take your stuffs and then charge you to get it back. Apple is everything they say Microsoft is, except 5 times as expensive.

      Had apple products before. Their oh-so-smug attitude when their equipment went tango uniform and they blamed me for it, well, that was bad. Promising me a long life of good computing and then dropping my product 3 months after I bought it finished me off.

      Microsoft is the bubba in a wife-beater. Apple is that '50 shades of Grey' guy who is just creepy as fudge.

      Nope, no Apple here.

      And, dangit, really miss my Windows Phone. Dangit. The only phone that wasn't overpriced but was useful and not up Google's butt.

  13. The pictures of the sky are amazing. Texas really does have some of the best sunsets.

    1. We think so, but thanks for noticing. Come on down, if you need a refresher viewing.

  14. juvat, I meant to ask - Who is that skinny balding fellow in the photo feeding the newborn? :-)

    (Probably related in some way to the skinny balding fellow feeding my newborns!)

    1. Yes, well, that was 30 years ago. Mrs J had been in labor for the previous 24, but was no resting peacefully. MBD needed feeding, so...there I was. The delivering Doctor was a very tall black gentleman with a mild case of pseudofoliculitis. He had his operating room goggles on when he walked in to the OR. I was sufficiently sleep deprived that when I glanced up at him, my first thought was "Dang, Kareem Abdul Jabar is delivering my child." Later that day, as I was leaving, I passed him in the passageway (Navy Hospital)and thanked him, then said "You'll never believe what I thought..." He answered, "Kareem?, yeah I get that all the time."

  15. Very nice looking spread. Nice house. Interesting film. Now that I live in the midwest I really miss the far horizons one could get so easily in Cali. Still, I could drive south a good ways into Amish land and see nothing but farms to the horizon. Not going to but I could. Tomorrow I pick up the paint brushes and start again.


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

NOTE: Comments on posts over 5 days old go into moderation, automatically.