Praetorium Honoris

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Monday, August 17, 2020

A little of this...a little of that

 Well....we have officially entered the "Present Continuous" phase of the verb "Move".  How I long for the day when we enter the "Preterite" phase.  But, within the current phase of "moving" we are in the subphase of packing and purging.  Amazing how much "Stuff" we are discovering in hidey holes throughout the house. Stuff being the Swahili word for "worthless junk that upon procuring was thought to be wonderful, worthwhile and wanted, but which actually was none of the above".

My current modus operandi for dealing with stuff, is to assess when its container was last seen by a human being.  Based on that assessment, the second step in the "dealing" process is to go through it completely to determine if there is actually anything of value.  Step 3a (no value) is to place said stuff in large garbage bag and when bag is full place said bag in back of truck.  When back of truck is full, ruthlessly drive truck to dumpster and deposit bags therein.  Step 3b (value).  Confirm analysis with Mrs J.  Based on her more accurate and ruthless assessment of value either revert assessment to 3a and execute remainder of that process or place object in a moving box, adding it to the inventory list, and execute remainder of Step 3b.

Needless to say, I've been to the dumpster a lot recently.  The trash man comes every Wednesday.  I give the neighbors Thursday and Friday to offload their stuff.  Then we start in again.  

 But, and just to add "Awwww" factor to this post, I did find a book with a considerable bit of value yesterday.  It was in a box that we'd moved here after my Dad passed away.  Hadn't opened the box since.  Too hard immediately thereafter, forgotten about in the storage area as more time passed.  But, inside the box was my parent's first photo album with pictures of their marriage, first assignment together (Okinawa) and their first child.

I always did have that faraway look in my eyes.

 I think the combined age of the three people in that picture is 46.  I don't see Dad's wings on his Class A's, but it might be the camera angle.  I was born at Hamilton AFB which had F-86's at the time, so I know he was rated.

So, yeah, step 3b was ruled and the album moved along with 2 others in that box to the "Keep for posterity" box.  Christmas should be fun this year.  Assuming, Little J and LJW get to come home.

Purging will continue as the actual time of changing verb tense gets closer.

Which brings us to the Status of El castillo nuevo Juvat.  The final walk through went pretty well.  The vent problem is corrected.  All that remains on the punch list is for the painters to come and touch up the paint.  

However, during the walk through a misunderstanding was brought to light. I had interpreted the term "electrical equipment closet" to be a closet for the tv and network connections to be housed and the switch that managed them.  And that would be where all the network and tv cables would be routed.

Not so fast, there juvat!

Nope.  During the final walk through, we (I) went into the attic for the first time.  And saw this.


These are the ends of all the wires connected to the network boxes in each room.  And the switch that will control them will need to be here.  In the attic.  We all know that electronic equipment LOVES to be in warm spaces don't we?

But...I assumed  and we all know about that word don't we?

So, my network tester and I will soon begin deciphering that tangled web and marking both ends of each cable.  Then adding a cable connector to the ones I actually need and figuring out how to get it back across the house to the vicinity of what will be converted from an electrical equipment closet to an actual (air conditioned) Network closet.  

But, it should keep me off the streets at nights.

On our daily walks (the long way round up to  El castillo nuevo Juvat), Mrs J and I noticed that, lately, the grass in the horse pasture was unusually green.  We had recently added sprinklers and been watering in the area, so had patted ourselves on the back for being foresighted.

By now, you know this is going to end badly don't you?

Then one morning this week, I noticed some bright green stuff on the top of the horse trough, so I decided to go take a closer look.  About 20 yards away, I noticed that the ground was decidedly damp.  A Rhode Islander might even call it Muddy, but...whadda they know?

Pressing on, I arrived at the trough and saw that the Float Valve was no longer floating, hence water was running.  Given the hard water in the area, it's not unusual for the float valve to give up the ghost after a year or two.  So, off to Tractor Supply I go and pick up another valve.  

Step carefully back up to the trough and am attempting to remove the existing valve when I get a lot of help.

"Whacha' doin, Dad?  Can I help?"  Then Merlot proceeds to try to take a nip out of my forearm. 

I withdrew from immediate range as I thought she just wanted a peaceful drink.

No.  Very shortly after the above shot was taken, I was very wet and covered in that wonderful algae thing.  

I was not a happy camper.  Went up to the barn, put a little hay in their stalls, then locked them in.  Went back down to the trough, R&R'd the float valve, scooped out the algae, added  anti-algae stuff and turned the water back on.  

I then let them out of their stalls.  Merlot was dancing around, bucking and farting and just having a great ol' time laughing at me.  Cabernet, just looked at me with that "Face it, Dad, you f'd up, you trusted her" look as she walked over to the trough and took a drink.

So, all in all, a pretty normal week here at Rancho Juvat.  Hope yours was also.

I do have one parting riddle for you though.  If we have to wear masks because we might infect someone even though we don't exhibit any symptoms whatsoever, when will circumstance  ever exist for us non-symptomatic folks to be able to not wear a mask?

Answer:  November 4, 2020 if Trump wins.  Otherwise, Never.  It's your vote, use it wisely!

37 comments:

  1. It might be that the cabling issue proves the truth of both Murphy's Law, and the well known assumption saying.

    I'd weigh in with advice about horses, except that my only experience with horses was a single ride of about an hour's duration. That took place around ten years ago, and I had to use the kiddie steps to get onboard. I enjoyed the ride, but had no desire to further my equine experience. I said, "Neigh" to the next horse ride.

    You found unexpected treasure among your stuff.




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    1. Thanks, John. Yeah, well...as they say It keeps me busy.

      I don't ride them either. My doctor took a look at my neck x-rays and said I get one more fall, make it a good one. Horse riding doesn't make the cut.

      Yeah, I'm looking forward to spending some time looking through them while my Aunt and Uncle are still alive.

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    2. We failed to review photos when we could have simply asked a living relative to ID who was in the photos.
      We did as others said and had to do and scrapped photos and slides because either they meant nothing to us, or particularly slides, they'd deteriorated so much that they weren't reasonably salvageable.

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    3. That would be a shame. I sent one of the pictures to my Aunt. It was a gathering of her side of the family outside their house in San Francisco in 1913. My grandfather was in it dressed in a suit, a young girl was next to him in a white dress. Given that he was about 11 in 1913 and there was a priest in the picture, I'd say it was their first communion picture. Somebody had included a roster of names with the picture, and I recognized some of them vaguely. I'm hoping my Aunt will clarify some relationships.

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    4. My aunt took a trunk full of family photos from grandma's house when she died. She pitched it out, saying it was just full of bad memories... That aunt was an in-law, not blood. I'm surprised she died of old age, the heat was pretty hot for a few years over that.

      And we had the same issues, no living relatives to id the pics.

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    5. I'd have been "peeved" also. Fortunately, the one member of the family who might have done something similar did not arrive at the party until some sanitization had occurred. The root of that word is sanity, not cleanliness.

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  2. So the fellows who wired up your network are probably damned fine cable runners, but not so good in their understanding of electronic equipment.

    As to horses, yes, they will bite you. One horse and I, in Colorado, came to an understanding, if he wouldn't try to bite me, I would not kick him in the head. Gently, of course, but he got the message. After that we got along fine. I've only ridden a few times, a long time ago, I would have been a pretty decent cavalryman, except that horses are a LOT of work.

    Great photo of you and your parents. What a marvelous find!

    Nice post to start my Monday in Maryland.

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    1. One would have thought they'd have the good sense to mark both ends, it's only 18 wires, but that's 18 times up and down the ladder, or an extended time in the attic as Mrs J moves the signal sender to a different socket.

      Mrs J still has a dent in her thigh where Merlot kicked her. I watch them closely when I'm around them, but they can still surprise me. As evidenced.

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  3. OAFS, you are tenderhearted. I was riding Sunshine, a palomino mare that was a beast. She was big, tall, and had all the charm of cape buffalo (Mbogo). She always did what you didn't want done.. Biting my right leg while in the saddle was normal. I booted that glue bottle in the snout so many times we both were tired of it. We were not right for each other. She figured out what made me mad, then I'd make her do it until she was sweating and snorting. Riding along one day, when a quail bolted almost under her, no sweat.... clop, clopity, clop..... Then she saw a tumblebug and boogered almost out from under me.

    My grandpa had a biter, and he put a bunch of cobblers tacks in an old boot sole, and smacked Little Bit in the nose.... once. Some horses are smart, some, not so much...

    juvat, I've seen wiring like that in my job too. Getting it from here to there is about all some folks can do. Marking? What's that mean? And don't let them near a punch tool. I can guarantee the color code isn't followed. Hey, that's on my plate for today, as a matter of fact. New cross connect wiring for a vintage Bix can... in a warehouse in Laredo... yay me.

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    1. Yeah I'm a bit concerned about the punch down also. I pried off a couple of outlet covers this morning. Didn't look anything like the ones we used in the District. So we shall see what we shall see.

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  4. That is a fantastic picture Juvat!

    When we relocated to the house we purchased from the house we bought 6 years ago, we found boxes that were undisturbed from the previous move 4 years prior. Which makes you ask why we hauled it halfway across the country in the first place..

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    1. Well, the military move weight limit did its job for the first 47 moves in my life. The move into this place occurred soon enough thereafter that we hadn't accumulated much stuff yet. However that was 20 years ago. Our spaces are thinning rapidly (ok maybe not REAL rapidly, but progressing). Haven't even started on the kids bedrooms which are now store rooms. I'm thinking bring nothing from them yet, get moved in and things put away. THEN go and look there and apply the aforementioned rules ruthlessly. Besides, the current house is closer to the dumpster. Just saying!

      Thanks, I got a kick out of it.

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  5. Wrote a comment here some time back about my last horse. Am too lazy to go dig for it just now.

    If you really want to see your horses buck, fart, snort, and then stand staring in bug-eyed wonder, stock the water trough with a few brightly colored gold fish. Ask me how I know.

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  6. Worked for a guy whose grandson came over to exercise his horses. One horse started to develop the habit of falling over on his side after the grandson got on. The old guy told grandson to pull the reins hard to the side after the horse fell over, trapping the horse so it couldn't get back up again. Horse fell, grandson pulled, and grandpa came over with an improvised club and beat the snot out of the horse. Said horse never tried falling over after that.
    Stuff - seen elsewhere, but it applies to me: my superpower consists of keeping something for years, then throwing it away a week before I need it.
    Frank
    Frank

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    1. Let's be Frank, Frank (I just had to do that, sorry!)

      I also am quite blessed with that superpower.

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  7. Make sure all those old photos are labeled. After my mom passed we found an old album of hers, a few photos were labeled but most were not. The "not" were just old pictures with no value to us. Sad.

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    1. Yeah, that's on the to do list, fortunately I've got two uncles and three aunts still with us for reference, but You are right. Tempest Fugit!

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  8. My dad, during his cowpoking days in Vermillion Parish, LA, would carry a hammer in his boot as the horse he was assigned was a tad bit nippy (as in, "Let's see how much flesh we will rend from your bones" nippy.) Horse would go for his leg, dad would go for his hammer, horse would shudder from the blow and then act normal. Tell this story to non-horse people and they get all horrid looking and mean. Tell this story to horse people and they go, "Yeah, had one just like it."

    The first time I was solo on a horse, the kind 'equestrian' lady gave me a nasty one with a hackamore, a very bad, non-working hackamore instead of a bit and bridle. So here I am, pulling in the reins as hard as I can, butt hanging over the rear of the saddle, pulling the head to the left or right as the nag was trying to knock me off on random fence posts and trees and I was doing my best to make the nag's head hit the posts or the trees first. Was finally rescued by a real horse person, who was taking a spare horse (with bit and bridle) back to the barn, swapped me out, was surprised I knew how to saddle a horse when she found out it was my first time evah and even laughed when I caught the new nag doing the chest-swelling thing and I kneed it.

    Apparently, between reading Holling Clancy-Holling's "The Cowboys" (an excellent but now expensive book telling the adventures of two kids from New York who spend the summer on their uncle's cattle spreads) and watching John Wayne movies (where they get the horse furniture stuff very right) I had absorbed horse handling 101 very well.

    It still freaks me out when a 'horse person' doesn't know how to use a hoof knife, or shows disdain over using horse-shoes.


    So my last job the network closet was also the electrical closet which was also the cleaning chemical, garbage can, vacuum storage closet. We had a network hub consisting of a short cabinet mounted on the wall and occasionally the network would go dead because someone would close the closet door (which had no vents in it at all, just a regular interior door.) After a year of the idiots closing the door, I finally found a maintenance man who was going to retire soon and didn't give a snot about what the facilities expense manager (funny, he got new stuff, we had to raid surplus for 'new' stuff, the bastige, though he did get fired and big-housed for very very inappropriate behaviour that was visible under black light all over his furniture, carpet, chair, wall, ceiling...) and said maintenance dude cut a big hole in door and installed a big arsed grate.

    So was there a network closet designated on your blue prints?

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    1. Last first again, Beans. No, it was marked as electrical equipment closet. I asked what that meant and the supervisor said, TV and network gear. I asked "So...like a network closet then?" "Yeah, sort of".

      Ewww, Beans, just Ewww!

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  9. In my experience the best time to fix stock water problems is in the middle of a snow storm. I know it's more pleasant in August, but...

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    1. I've done that also, breaking through 6" of ice because the heater quit is not fun. And continuing to break it up because it's refreezing about as fast as you break it up gets tiring. So while the cheapskate in me doesn't like to purchase stuff when it isn't broken, trying to warm up the water to the point where it doesn't freeze and the horses can drink it is worth the cost of an annual replacement. Should have done it with the float valve, but other things have been on my mind lately.

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    2. Heater??? Gravy sakes, are those pets or horses?

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    3. A low voltage water heater. Sits on the bottom of the trough and keeps the temp above freezing. Even when it's cold, the livestock needs to drink, and after that latest episode, I'll be darned if Merlot gets any of my good Scotch. Once things settle down a bit, We'll pull electric to the barn so we have lights at night and probably water also. That should prevent the freezing.

      But...in answer to your question, I believe the former is more accurate. Refer to reference about Step 3b.

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    4. Fond memories of a wood burning water heater we got for our stock tank. Keeping it fed was SOOO much nicer than chopping holes.
      Frank (no doubles, because I'm awake this time)

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  10. You wrote: "Confirm analysis with Mrs J.". I believe that is the wisest thing you've ever written, except of course, "Check six! They're really out there now!"

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    1. It's been a long, and sometimes painful, learning process D4, but hey, even Fighter Pilots can learn!

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  11. Great news, juvat!

    The last house we lived in still had the original "twin cable" from when set-top boxes were analog, and the cable company needed two coaxial cables to supply the bandwidth. And the Verizon guys had just directly patched our new FiOS box into the existing 35+ year old coax! I got intimately acquainted with the crawlspace and it's residents during the "Pull new RG-6QS and GigE cables under the house" project, bringing them all up to a closet in the middle bedroom, a.k.a. "The Radio Room".

    So I feel your pain!

    I've never seen algae growth like that! Man, talk about "pond scum"....

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    1. Yeah, I'm not sure why it sprung up either. I do put monthly anti-algae stuff in it. I guess that with the water flowing, that didn't allow the PPMs to get high enough and with as hot as it's been lately conditions might have been right.

      Yeah, Fence guys are building tomorrow, so I think I'll start pinging the wires.

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    2. One thing I can say good about Cox Cable is they have a $2 a month wiring contract so if things go wrong, they do everything from the TV to the cable drop.

      Which has made life much better.

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    3. Isn’t much cable out here. Wireless is our option. Satellite is the other option. I do know most of the folks at one of the local tech companies. If it gets bigger than I can handle, I can work a deal.

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  12. Good news on finding the photo album. Bummer on the cabling. I'd almost say pull all new cables but that would depend on whether or not the installer 'helpfully' stapled them down. Obviously they didn't understand what they were supposed to be doing!!! Sigh

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    1. Thanks, finally checked that email account and answered yours.

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  13. Just label the network cabinet "Tardis" - it does enable time travel after all...

    Wife had a horse that liked to nip at her on occasion. Once she was hauling water and grain to the stable in sub zero weather in New England. She was wearing mittens which had gotten wet enough that her thumb was kinda trapped in the frozen thumb of the mittens, and the horse bite down on that protruding, almost frozen thumb. She said it REALLY hurt, so much so that she yelled and cursed at the horse, whacked it on the nose with a bucket, then grabbed a hunk of its neck (flesh, not mane) with her teeth and bit off a hunk of hide! Funnily enough, that horse never bit her or anyone else again ...

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    1. Tom, I strongly recommend not biting your wife. Just saying,

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  14. Don't be surprised if you skip the value assessment step after a while. When moving my wife's mom off her ranch, she agreed that she had way too much stuff and we went from finding it in a box, to moving it right to the dumpster. Even pictures got some of that treatment. I also had to help with her horses as well, but fortunately they're like puppies compared to Merlot. That cable wad is a mess. I hope they have to take care of it and it's not all on you.

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    1. Yeah, probably. But we can phase the move somewhat. Move the obvious stuff and must haves via a miving company. Pick and sort through the rest as we reno this house for my sister and dump what we don’t want. That’s the plan anyway, but no plan remains intact after first contact with the enemy!

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

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