Monday, July 27, 2020

The "Purge" has begun

No, It's not what you're thinking.  If you're here for more ranting and railing against the BS orders of overpaid, under-educated, but impressively degree'd, gummint bureaucrats, you're going to be disappointed.  I'm trying to avoid getting my blood pressure any higher than the bastiges already make it.

Nope, not going there.

However, I'm not a good enough story teller/writer to come up with a ripping tale of WWII in the European (or any other) theater like someone else we know.  So, given the state of my activities (or lack thereof) during this so called "plague", I'm forced to bring you up to speed on "The Project".

Off we go.....

Had a discussion with the Construction Supervisor late this week and asked him what was still on the "to do" list.  Well....the appliances are in, the trim guys are coming back to finish the floor and other trim.

Yes, The Vent trim needs to be installed.

he paint guys are coming back to finish the paint (places where the wall got dinged when something else was being added as well as a couple of places they missed (top of the fireplace) and such).
The blue tape marks touch up spots.  Notice the band around the top of the fireplace.

But other than that, he's going to start scheduling final inspections.

I then asked him if I could schedule the road work.

The road is about 2300' long from the county road to the garage.  It's currently a mix of ground caliche and gravel which, with the rain we had in May, has hardened into a pretty good base.  The problem with it is, since both our vehicles are dark colored, the light caliche dust turns them a sickly bluish grey color.  We knew this would be a factor and so wanted the road to be paved.

We also have a wash on our property that flood occasionally making travel to and fro, well....problematic.  It generally recedes within a few hours or at most a day.  However the bottom erodes away leaving a muddy, bumpy, sometimes impassable mess.
This was taken about 4 hours after the latest incident.  Water was up to the washed out area in the center of the picture.  The "Wash" is passable now at about a foot deep, but very soft and muddy.

Which isn't good if you've got a guest house on property and guests are in it.

So, we're also going to put down concrete in those two water crossings.  It will take about 5 days for the concrete to set, so we'll be going cross country through our pasture for a bit.  This all will take place Mid-August, so we're hoping the weather, especially rain, won't be a factor.

The concrete won't help us to cross when the wash is in full flood, but once it begins to recede, we should be able to pass through without getting stuck in mud.  At the very least, we hope to not have to rebuild that section of the road every couple of years.

Once the crossings are built, the paver will come in and chip seal the road.  Except for the low crossings, our existing road, put in about 15 years ago is still pretty passable, so that method should suffice.

With those two actions complete and assuming the inspections don't find anything, we should be ready to close.  We're expecting that to happen the first part of September.

Hence...The "Purge" has begun. 

Purge rules:
1) If it's broken or obsolete and valueless, throw it out.
2) If it's in OK shape and usable, but you haven't used, seen, our thought of it in quite a while, donate
3) If it's family history, keep it, but move it into the plastic boxes (Mrs J has an ongoing project to go through pictures and stuff, sorting them into appropriate boxes to hand off to friends/children who might be interested).
4) When in doubt, throw it out. Then check with Mrs J.  (She's like the Supreme Court on granting clemency or ordering the execution.
5) Don't compare any of the above rules to the execution policy of Mrs J.  Her rules don't apply to me.

So...Given the ROE, I have commenced a ruthless action on my spaces (or wherever Mrs J points me). While I've thrown away a lot of true Junk (I mean who really needs to keep the dozen CD's that Sql Server 2008 came on?  Who's got a CD player that will read them? Surely, Not I!), I have rediscovered some actual treasures and applied Rule 3.  Last week's discovery of my Aunt and Uncle's WWII ration cards was one.

Had another this week.  In 2012, the Juvat Clan flew to Italy in late October, spent a few days in Cinque Terre. Then trained back down to Rome and got on a cruise ship and cruised the eastern Med.
But in both those posts, I neglected to mention that on our first day after arrival in Rome, we visited the Vatican.

Very interesting place with an awful lot of things to see, and having only one day there, couldn't possibly see and do all of them.  Still...So I'm wandering through the gift shop, I thought of my best friend in the School District, a lovely Lady about my age, she was the first person I met in the district.  Literally.  She was the High School Principal's assistant and I met her when I showed up to be interviewed for a job.  We became great friends and still are. 

Well, I'm wandering around the shop and happen to see a Rosary.  Since, my friend is Catholic, I thought a Rosary from the Vatican would be a great present for her next Birthday (in July, the 27th to be precise). So I bought it, packed it away in the suitcase and when we returned home in mid-November, put it in a safe place to give to her the following July.

July comes round and my Steel Trap mind had apparently rusted shut. (It happens...more and more frequently nowadays.)  I couldn't remember where I put it and try as I might, the searches came up empty handed.

Well...Fast forward to this past week.  I am working my way through my office area.  (3 black garbage bags of throw away,  two cardboard boxes of donations, if you must know and still more to follow.)

The Eagles STAY as does the guy shooting his watch.  The coffee cup is teetering between rules 1 &2. Could go either way.  The picture frame is a no brainer, it stays, as does the zippered document bag with my Dad's paper's in it.  The unsent Cards will go in the file cabinet for future use.  I'm researching the package of electrical adapters to see if we still have whatever they plug in to.  However, the paper stuck behind the shelf?   Dead Meat!  See how ruthless I am?
I'm emptying off my storage shelf by my desk and behind a stack of books I see a small bag, with a rosary inside.

And...Since this is published on Her Birthday, I'd say this was pre-ordained.  I'm hoping to sneak in to her office this morning before she arrives and leave it and a Card on her desk.  I think she'll like it.

So, maybe a purge every once in a while is a good thing. Now if we could just do the same with politicians.


  1. Whew! Almost a half mile out to the county road, fingers crossed for luck on dry weather next month juvat. The more I see out of Portland the more I believe that a few citizens need to accompany those politicians as well.

    1. I'm gonna suggest a rewording of that last sentence, Nylon. Delete the word "Citizens" and replace it with "residents". Citizen implies responsibility. Responsibility for obeying the law, taking care of the community and its population, executing your duties to the best of your ability. In short, being an adult. A resident is someone who lives there.

      With that having been said, I agree wholeheartedly with your statement.

      A little rain is always good, monsoons and flooding, not so much. TS Hanna dropped about a half inch on us in several 1 or 2 minute bursts, which did the lawn a bit of good, cooled things off but raised the humidity a bit. Such is life, into every life a little rain must fall.

    2. There are two types of citizens in the US of A, in my opinion.

      The first type is because of meeting citizenship requirements enough to get a passport or be considered for snout-counting on a real census (not the farce we just had, where they were more concerned as to what type of hispanic you are than anything else - note: nothing against hispanics but a census should count... # of citizens living at address. Anything else is an intrusion. Grrr.)(So, of course, the census wasn't allowed to ask a question about being a citizen or not. Double Grrrrr.)

      The second definition of citizen is: You legally vote and vote responsibly and you act as a responsible adult person following the reasonable laws of the nation and act like an adult. Whether you vote leftist or rightist, if you are voting from an informed position and voting only once per time and are legally allowed to vote, and you meet the legal requirements of being able to get a passport, then yer a citizen, with all the vast responsibilities of said citizenship.

      It doth erk me to drive past an elementary school and see some kid's name splattered under 'Citizen of the Month.' What? Is the child of age to defend his nation? To vote? To take an active and educated role in moving this great nation along into the future? (The Parkland Cadets, they were Citizens! Even though they could not vote in an election, they voted by their actions and deeds.)

      And I know my definition will catch flack like a B-24 on 2 engines over Dresden, but it's what I believe.

    3. I suppose it would depend on how "Citizen of the Month" is determined. Is it a popularity contest? Or can he recite the preamble to the Constitution and state what it means and why it is important. And maybe be able to explain what the words
      "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." mean, why they're important and how badly they're being violated in this age. Ability to do that, I'd be ok with their name on the sign.

  2. As the CB boys and girls used to say, "That's a big 10-4!" on your last sentence, along with some of the useful idiots, as Nylon12 said. I see where one of those useful idiots had a sudden and acute failure of the victim selection process in Austin the other night when he pointed a rifle at someone in a car trying o drive through the "protesters".
    I'm contemplating a purge of possessions as well - really have accumulated too much "stuff" in the almost 30 years living here!
    Love the view down the road - classic TX Hill Country land... best of luck on the final stages of la casa finishing!

    1. Yeah, I read about that also. Gonna hold off on judgement at this time. There are some conflicting stories. Although after driving away the driver went to the police station and turned himself in. That tends to make me lean towards his side of the story, but...we shall see.

      Thanks, Tom.

    2. The city elders of Austin have much to answer to for holding Austin PD back and not protecting citizens from animals.

      48 hours have passed, and the simple fact is a bunch of hoolums and rioters illegally blocked and attacked a car, and car guy legally responded.

      Now... Where were the police in controlling the hoodlums and rioters? And why were they not busting heads and loading up paddywagons? Who was restraining them from restoring order?

      I'd hate to live in Austin right now.

    3. I don't call it Moscow on the Colorado for no reason. I could be wrong, but I don't see our Governor giving the Mayor and city council as much leeway as other problem areas. And since he owns the actual Texas Rangers (of "One Riot, One Ranger" fame) and lives in Austin... We shall see.

      Austin is a very fast growing city. Were I emperor, I would decree person's moving from a select group of states with a specific distinct political orientation are prohibited from voting for 5 years. "No, I don't care how you did things back in Californewyorkistan. How did that work out for ya?"

      But...That's just me...being kind.

  3. The Missus Herself is a big fan of The Purge. I've never liked the idea. I can almost guarantee that whatever I get rid of this week, I'll find a use for next week. Then have to buy a replacement.

    Of course, there is stuff in the basement that probably was boxed up for a move long ago and never got unboxed. Who knows what treasures are hidden down there? (Yup, probably stuff that if it vanished in the night I'd never miss.)

    That's a seriously long "driveway" - get RED HORSE on it!

    We should purge the political ranks every election, but most voters don't believe that their own politicians suck, just everyone else's.

    1. Well, being a military brat as well as being in it myself, my first 45 years had a purge every 3 years at an absolute max. So, it usually wasn't a problem. Which may be why the first move in 20 years is requiring the word "purge" to be in all caps, bold faced italics. (or something).

      Have I mentioned that my Dad's last assignment was as the Commander of the Nellis RED HORSE squadron? I wonder if I'd have any pull with them?

      Yep, development of my voting rubric came over the course of many years of watching politicians. It coalesced into being when I was stationed in Hell on the Potomac where everybody, myself included, was a politician of one form or another. Couldn't get out of there fast enough. Bah!

      My friend got all teary eyed when I gave her the rosary. It was a good start to the day!

    2. I never realized how much junk I accumulate until I moved from home. Then the move from the ex-house to the new apartment was a study of cut my losses and run. Frightening. Wish I had the ability to go back in time and redo everything, and force a purge on a 3 year cycle.

      Glad your friend enjoyed the rosary. It's little things like that that keep civilization alive in the howling wilderness.

    3. Thanks Beans. Yeah the 3 year move cycle was a two-fer. First you purged before the move to get down to allowed moving weight. Then you threw the stuff that got broken in the move away on unpacking. The only move I didn't have to do the latter was the move from Kadena to Leavenworth. It was a Japanese moving company that packed us up. Mrs J said it took them two days to pack but we didn't lose a single dish. Unfortunately, the move from Leavenworth to Hawaii took care of the missed opportunity. Packed by the Disciplinary Barracks folks (to save the gummint some money), we lost our dining table, most of the chairs with it, our bed, most of the crockery. The unpacking guys opened the first packing crate and stopped everything and told us to call the transportation folks. They didn't want to accept any of the responsibility.

      But...We got new furniture! After a lot of arguing over how much our previous stuff was worth.

      Yeah, she's good people.

  4. Caliche dust is like a dueling wound. Something to impress folks with. The added benefit of a ton of dried mud on the car is when you get hit at an intersection, you mark the spot with a "dye marker". Mom got rear ended once in the left turn lane on Ave Q, near Broadway in LBB. It took a month or more for that pile of dirt to wash away. Every time I saw it I laughed. I laughed again today....

    I figured if you dug down 2 inches, you'd be in limestone anyway...

    But I know I need to get ruthless about the stuff. It grows when it's in a box, or under something else. Just like how wiring twists itself into knots as soon as you turn off the light and shut the door...

    1. I REMEMBER that mark, always wondered what/who that was! I think it was still there when I graduated. ;-)

      Nah! When they put in the septic, the hole was at least 8 feet deep. All Red Sandy, Loamy, Clay. But....Go about 5 miles north, that's where the caliche starts.

      Computer cables also.


    2. Oh... God... Computer Cables... They are an expression of some dark elder power, positively Lovecraftian in their ability to take over and exceed their storage compartment while remaining completely useless and requiring you to purchase a new cable... until you get home and the exact one you are looking for has moved to the top and is now laughing at you in some dark deep voice and...

    3. Ahh, so you've worked IT also then? I've encountered that phenomenon many times myself.

    4. I was my units unofficial IT specialist. Which meant going to Surplus and raiding the things coming from City Hall and the Utility for monitors, memory, cables, power supplies (that our IT people weren't able to 'find') and such.

      Also got 'new' tools, 'new' furniture, 'new' office supplies.

      Being on the far end of the logistics trail sucked rocks.

      But I was a good scrounger.

  5. This morning the neighborhood was treated to my wife and I measuring the length of our driveway. She held the end of the tape measure at the garage door, and I walked the other end of the tape towards the street while I was tastefully attired in a tank top and Star Wars sleep shorts.
    We can fit 43.39 of our drives into your drive but I haven't figured out a units scale yet. (A quarter mile would be roughly a half juvatdrive?)
    Our drive never floods. The thought that our downward sloping drive would flood is a Princess Bride level of inconceivable.
    We sometimes get a tiny pond at the bottom when the city's snowplows create an ice/snow dam and the snow melt can't run off.
    When that happens I grab a trenching shovel, channel Teddy Roosevelt and clear a drainage ditch.
    Beans. Not a Florida problem!

    The stuff purge. It depends on the stuff. The Marie Kondo method might work for those with small living spaces and little stuff, but it won't work for most other folks, and there is a thin line between hoarding and having a reasonable amount of possessions.
    Like Sarge said, I have already experienced needing something I've thrown away.
    I lean towards following what my father said. "If it doesn't need to be fed, it doesn't take up much space, and you aren't going to have to pay for its college, think twice before you throw it away."
    On the other hand we recently went through literally thousands of slides and photos and kept very few.

    Are the paint guys going to leave you some leftovers for the inevitable touching up?

    1. Starting from the bottom John. Yes, I asked that of the supervisor. He said the leftover paint, as well as tile, was in the attic. I've also got the spec sheets they used to order the paint from McCoys, so I should be ok. (Which probably really means I'm screwed.)

      Regarding your father, that's probably good advice, however space is the defining problem.

      I will from now til forever have a mental picture of you, you fashion god you!


    2. The old house, being on a hill, suffered some water issues from higher up on the hill. Subdivision growing and completing the road above the house made for a very effective water barrier.

      So when I went apartment hunting, I looked to see drainage as much as distance from dumpster and amount of filth in parking lot (aofipl is an effective method of screening both the tenants and the management.) Cindy, the Apt. Manager of the complex I now rent in, laughed when I answered her question as to looking around for sill height, slope of land towards or away from building, whether the road was lower, even or higher than the building. Water should stay out of the house, except where it's allowed to play.

    3. I've had a similar experience with rain. Our structures are all on the relatively high parts of the property. The new one is on THE highest.

    4. Beans. The water drains away from our house and down to the street, but for the folks across the street, there's a drain in front of their garage door and bad things will befall them if they let the drain get clogged.
      Our basement lacks a floor drain, and we added two water alarms. I'm thinking that one of those master control valves that shuts off the entire house if a low point leak is detected might be in our future.

      juvat. I checked Amazon, they are backordered on mental image bleach. I'm thinking the attic heat won't impact the tile, but I'm sure you are thinking that using that paint in the the attic is a very temporary thing.

    5. I can't do anything at this point because I don't own the house yet. What I'll probably do when I do, is take the specs to McCoys and buy one of those tiny cans of the paint and test it is some out of the way paint. If it works great, if not, we'll have to come up with another option.

    6. juvat. I checked with the painting specialist. My wife says our addition was painted 14 years ago, and shortly afterwards she transferred the leftover paint into containers. The container sizes are a quart and smaller, and she didn't put any barrier over the top of the paint. She is using Rubbermaid food storage containers so and the smaller containers keep the paint level high.
      She states that the paint kept better than she thought it would, and that it's still usable.
      She also states the color match is perfect.
      She also has the original paint codes and color chips.
      I so definitely married up. :)

    7. Thanks, soon as we get access, we’ll follow suit.

  6. On touch-up paint, I think having a list of the paint codes/formulas and what was used where is better than extra cans. By the time you need to use them either you don't recall which color white went where, or what's in the can has gotten too old to use.


    1. As I mentioned to John, I've got both, so we'll see how badly I screw it up.


  7. Regarding Rosaries,

    About a year before I retired i was supervising a unit of Property Crimes Detectives. This included mentoring and training new Detectives as they learned their craft. One day we had recovered a very large amount of probable stolen property from some burglars and were attempting to reunite property with owners. We had laid out the property across several desks and would bring in recent victims to view it with the hope of their recognizing something.
    A young Detective came to fetch me and took me to an elderly woman who was crying quietly. When I talked with her I learned that her deceased husband had visited the Vatican during a military deployment some 15-20 years earlier and brought home a gift for her of a set of rosary beads which had been blessed by the Pope.
    She told me this through her tears, gesturing with a hand which tightly clutched a set of Rosary beads with a police property tag attached. Using the experience gained from some 38 years as a police officer i reduced that these were the same blessed beads. When I asked the young Detective what the problem was, he replied, "Lt, she doesn't have a receipt for the beads." Thus according me a training opportunity regarding common sense.

    the little things that were good seem to slip away into memory folds until brought to light by something. thanks for bringing back that memory.

    Retired Cop

    1. Sometimes common sense is inate, sometimes developed over time, or in this case, taught. Good lesson.

    2. RC,
      I'm glad you had that opportunity, doubly so that you recognized it as such.

  8. Juvat, didn't you say you expect to be in the house by Christmas? Are you looking for a bonus? That house looks nearly complete from the recent posts. That road is a big project though. I agree with the purge, and we are doing that slowly here, but the hard part is not buying more junk.

    1. I DO expect to be in the house by Christmas! The road is a big project and I want it to be done right. Once it is, we'll schedule the movers. (No, I am most definitely NOT doing it my self. It's a choice of my money or my Back. The Back is gonna win.)

      The definition of "BY" I'm using is "No later than, but the sooner the better".

      Not buying more junk is difficult, isn't it? Junk is very chameleon like, it doesn't look like junk...until you get it home.

  9. How big are those F-15 models? Where can someone get one? Don't purge those!

    1. They were hand made in the Philippines, just outside Clark AB. Very accurately scaled and made to order. Took about a year between order and receipt. The one in the rear is mine. Been through a few moves and has some battle damage. Lead is my Dad’s. Sent that to him for his 60th, just after my last sortie.

    2. I noticed the one in the rear was missing some ordnance - figured it had been expended on mission!
      They are quite nice!
      As for purging, I have an attic full of boxes from my parents' house and also an empty box repository. My wife is a borderline hoarder, so every empty box we've ever gotten is still with us (OK, that's an exaggeration, but not by much!). But the collection is reaching fire hazard proportions! I also have a garage/workshop and an office over the garage that needs decimating, if not decimating x 5 (decimating being literally reduction by 10%). I was not able to make nearly as much progress on that during my stay at home vacation due to covid as I thought I would - sigh.

    3. Thank you for the information, those look beautiful.

  10. Purging can be a wonderful thing. My middle daughter has it down to a science and has convinced her sisters and The Ravishing Mrs. TB to do major cleaning organizing. Alas, I remain the sole holdout.

    1. Would your middle daughter consider hiring out? I hear the Texas Hill Country is beautiful this time of year and a demonstration of her vaunted scientific method purging would be wonderful. I even have a large and varied objective for her to demonstrate on. Win/Win! ;-)

  11. Outstanding gift, and yes, getting rid of junk is a good thing!

    1. Thanks, however, I think the past tense of the verb in the second clause of that sentence would be a better thing! Just sayin'


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