Monday, August 15, 2022

Occupatus apis lithohermaea*

 Well...It's been a busy week at Rancho Juvat.  Lot's of little things that needed doing, but also needed some expertise which I didn't have.  Also, there's that old saw, "Many hands make light work."  Alternatively, "There's no time like the present"

So get started, juvat!

Aye, Aye, Sarge.

As to the truly important event in my life right now, the prayers seem to be working.  While still in the NICU, as of Friday, LJD is off the internal (infernal?) ventilator which was the probable cause of her lung infection.  Re: that, the antibiotics did the trick, she's much better.  She still needs a little help breathing as her diaphragm muscles aren't quite up to speed yet, so they're trying out a CPAP and a nose clip to see which one works best for her.  Taking her off the ventilator also had an added benefit.  Little J and LJW were able to hold their daughter for the first time.  

Evidently, it's called a baby taco roll. What do I know?

Yes, we're excited.  Not out of the woods yet, but headed the right way.  Thanks for all y'all's thoughts and prayers.  Keep up the good work...Please.

On to the "Busy Bee Week" part.

Yes, Mrs. J has taken to feeding Bees now.  They were stealing from the hummingbirds.

In addition to Little J and LJW staying with us, last week saw MBD and MG come to visit.  SIL was taking a week long class in Dallas, so the Ladies decided to visit us.  Haven't laughed that much in quite a while.  Key among the reasons is MG's personality is developing quite nicely.  

Mrs. J had given MG a Joovy as a baby shower gift.  (Joovy is the name of a  particular walker that is the IN thing in the getting ready to walk generation.  Turns better than an F-15 at 9G.)  MG has developed her motor skills enough that she took to it immediately.  She's even learned how to turn while backing up.  We've taken to calling her Speed Racer.  The Fighter Pilot in her is strong.

As you can see, lots of laughter this past week. Which was needed.

So what project did you complete this week, juvat?  Well, Beans, I think I've mentioned that Little J has a Master's Degree in Computer Engineering.  I had mentioned to him that our wireless internet connection had been somewhat iffy recently.  He said he'd take a look at it.

It took a  couple of hours for him to  stop laughing at my lashed together network.  I believe he said two paper cups and a bit of string would work better.  

In any case, networking equipment soon started arriving at a rapid rate. His plan will take care of a lot of "issues" we have living out in the country.  Not the least of which is knowing who's on or was on the property at any given time.  

Masked Thieves!

One of the other issues that will be resolved is whether or not the gate in the fence around our house is open or closed.  We rather like letting our dogs go outside to take care of "Business" rather than inside on the floor, but sometimes someone who shall remain nameless leaves the gate open when he exits the house to go to his workshop.  Mrs. J would rather they not roam the great state of Texas on their own.

She's picky like that.

So,  with a quick peek at a monitor, she'll be able to see whether it's ok to let the dogs out, or holler at me to close the flippin' gate!  


The network is also a stepping stone for when StarLink becomes a reality for us.  We'll be able to ditch the three wireless accounts with 2Gb max download speed each and use a single account to download the data and parse it out to whomever asked for it, to include transmitting it to our Guest Houses.  We can also make access to our network much more secure.  Not that our guests would ever, never ever, try to get into our network.

My role in this project was to climb up and down the ladder to the attic bringing whatever item Little J asked for while he dragged Cat6 wire to the various rooms in the house.  Then, I was to stand on a ladder and pull the wire through the hole he'd just cut and attach it to the access point.  

You ever looked up into a freshly cut hole in a plaster ceiling?  Don't!  Your ears, eyes, nose and throat will thank you.

Don't ask me how I know.

I did get to hone my woodworking skills in the project by building the rack to mount the devices on.  Given that the rack had to very closely match the dimensions of the equipment being mounted, I checked, rechecked and checked again each piece of lumber I cut.  I was pretty proud that I only had to pad 1 cut with 3 playing cards (about 1/32") for the rack to fit.

We loaded the equipment on the rack, connected the wires, adjusted some settings and told HAL to start computing. 

"Sorry, juvat, I'm afraid I can't do that!"

(The video was cooler, but something is keeping it from working.)

You had to know that was coming dincha'?

A couple of  "Oops, forgot that"'s later and voila'

For the computer geeks out there, yes, it's a tad warm.  Next step is an AC vent in the closet and pulling  some cables back into the attic.  I'm starting to get familiar with the things I can do with the network that I had no idea were possible before.  So.  I'm calling it successful so far, even though Little J and I still have a few things to do.

In the meantime, Mrs. J is working on the NEXT phase of Operation "Keep juvat Busy!"

Yes, the cat was supervising the design.

She and the Builder are designing our third guest house.  Which will require network support.  Ah well, keeps me off the streets at night.

Peace out, y'all.

* Busy Honey Bees


  1. Good to read of the continued progress of LDJ juvat, most excellent! Seeing that clip of Speed Racer calls to mind that old TV theme......"Rollin', rollin' rollin', keep those doggies rollin'..........:) Hmmmmm......increased wireless capacity means more cameras available to watch out for....(ta dum)....Trash Pandas!!

    1. Nylon,
      Thanks, I thought about the Rawhide theme also. As to Trash Pandas, I wonder where Mama was. Fortunately the dogs were inside, going crazy, but inside.

  2. That is very good news about LJD.

    I wonder if you can add a sort of motion activated beeper to the Joovy so you sort of know the device is in motion and you won't back up and trip over the child.

    We just completed the change from wired security cameras to wireless cameras.
    Note. When one is in the basement happily cutting all the camera cables that are to be thrown away, do not cut the cable TV cable.

    The video clip would not play. That could be on my end.

    If you have a talking hockey puck, ask it to open the pod bay doors.

    New construction. You can design in the water softener right from the start!

    1. JiP,
      There IS a motion activated warning device on the Joovy. It's MG! She's laughing and giggling the whole time. Which of course is contagious.
      Important safety tip on the cable TV. Although TV is one of the reasons we upgraded our network. We don't have cable, it's streaming via internet.
      Turns out that even though you can see the video in the search window and preview it, the actual video is "not available anymore" when you click on the link.
      Built in water softener? Whoda Thunk?

  3. So glad to hear of LJD's progress! May it continue apace...
    sounds like you have a 'family compound' - always thought that sort of thing was only for elite folks, so I can now say I correspond regularly (OK, semi regularly) with an elite. Who knew? Have a great week.

    1. Tom,
      I don't know about "elite", but we do have family here.
      Which is nice.

  4. Network stuff is a sink hole. Be careful there. Next thing, you'll need LED lighting and airbagged suspension.

    Excellent news on the Littlest Juvat. Put a door spring or a window weight and pulley on the gate, it'll close itself. That can be helpful. Holding a vacuum where the holes magically appear helps that cascade of dust. So does holding a small trash can under it. My journeyman would have been a little angry if he'd seen dust on my face.

    1. STxAR,
      The gate is electric. It's just a matter of remembering to push the button, which at times seems to be beyond my memory span. Now, I get a beep on my phone which helps.
      As to dust in the face, that occurred on the first hole. There were several more, every time I got close to the rest, my eyes would let me know that was not acceptable.

  5. Preemie prayers in progress. Third guest house? Sounds like you're building South Fork. Be careful- you might attract California missionaries who desire to check out the area!

    1. Tuna,
      Missionaries not wanted. Refugees ok. Seen several of the former lately. Not impressed.
      Thanks. Appreciate all the help he can give.

  6. Glad things are working out for you and yours.

    And pulling cable, of course it has to happen in summer, never in winter.

    Additions to the Compound. So when are you going to put in walls and moats (wet or dry) and other fortifications?

    1. Beans,
      Yeah, we're pretty much sweated out by mid morning, although the insulation in the attic does a pretty fair job of keeping it cool (ish).
      We do have a dry wash that crosses the road just inside our first gate, which also has an open/close sensor. The sensor is pretty cool, sends a signal to both our phones saying it's open. App on the phone will show when it closes. The wash when it's not dry (hasn't happened this year for some reason) is pretty effective at slowing invaders.

  7. Productive is good, and those walkers WILL help the littles walk more quickly. :-)

    1. Old NFO,
      Yeah, it was very impressive in how fast she picked up on turning and even turning when backing up. Another advantage is getting her to take a nap is a lot easier. (For me too)

  8. Forward progress whether it is fast, or slow, is still forward progress. Plus, if it is slow progress, there is less chance for mistakes or ooops's.
    Continue with prayers--yes Sir! Happy to do so!!

    Those walkers are a lot of fun--as long as there are no stairs down to the basement--and do help develop leg and laugh muscles. Which is a plus--that way by the time the kiddo is tired out, so are the grandparents. So everyone naps together!

    My hummingbird feeder also feeds the big black carpenter ants. :( Went out and bought a new feeder finally, as I surmised the old one was leaking, which was evidently ringing the dinner bell for the ants.

    An unintended consequence of setting out a pan of water for the birds to drink out of---it has been wicked dry here, no rain at all for over a month, has been the entertainment factor of watching the sparrows and mourning doves splish-splashing around, followed by laying in the sunshine to dry out.

    To keep plaster dust out of importance body orifices, put on your safety glasses, and a dust mask...eyeballs and lungs are important. Just saying...

    1. Thanks, Suz,
      I hadn't read your comment when I answered Old NFO above. Naps have been more common around here lately. We have no basement nor any steps, so we're good as far as that's concerned. Had a few refresher moments on child proofing the house during her visit. Closing doors was the quickest remedy most of the time.
      We haven't had rain on our property since April. Been some T-storms in the vicinity lately, but none dumped on us. Tony the Hay Guy has written off our hay for the year. Our grass looks like it's mid winter here, not a shade of green left.
      Eyeballs and Lungs important...Aye!

    2. Suz,
      Mrs. J asked me to tell you about the ant trap hangars that she uses to keep the wee bastiges out of the feeders. Walmart has them. They've got a reservoir that you fill with water. That is between the two hooks, you hook it to your pole, they your feeder to the bottom hook on the trap. Seems to work quite well.

  9. With you adding another cabin- I'm thinking you're on your septic system.
    Are you adding to the one, or are there multiples?

    1. Kurt,
      There are three on the property currently. One for the original house, now my Sister's home, One for our current home. One that the Guest Houses share and that we will attach the third one to if that capacity allows. Although we are quite happy with our occupancy rate, the capacity should be enough. We will check however. Thanks for the reminder.

  10. Welcome to the Wonderful World of the Network Admin! The stuff has gotten more capable, cheaper, faster, and is far eaier to configure than when I started in mid 1990's.

    Well Done, Juvat!

    And your littlest one is still in my pryaers. Sweet Little Wife, who's turned into a volunteer-a-holic informed me that she's taking the cert course to be a "Certified NICU Cuddler" at the local hospital. It's been found that these special little ones benefit greatly from being cuddled and snuggled, and having a heartbeat to listen to.

    1. I would think the hospitals would have figured out a way to play a copy of mom's heartbeat for them by now. What the heck?
      Maybe include an inflatable bubble of some sort that they could snuggle with that would pulse slightly with the heartbeat?

    2. drjim,
      I worked as a Network Admin for the school district for 20 years after I retired from the AF. That having been said, I was completely stupefied by the capabilities of this network vis a vis, my old one and the ones we had in the district. Tempest Fugit, I guess.

      LJW got to do a little skin to skin cuddle with LJD. Reports were that both enjoyed it a lot. Little J liked his "Baby Taco" also. Mrs. J and I are planning a trip to the big City for the same. Reports to follow.

    3. Will,
      Interesting idea. Think I'll ask about that when we're down there. They certainly have a lot of high tech equipment in the NICU. Why not?

  11. Juvat, running way late this week to catch up on my reading. Wonderful news to read that the little one and parents have started touch to touch bonding. Very pleased that the prognosis is good and not surprised that prayers are working, but still good to hear.
    One suggestion to give you a reason to keep the gate shut...put some goats on the pasture area and you'll only leave the gate open once. We did the goat thing for about 15 years and you consciously check, recheck and check again to be certain gates are securly closed and the fence is in good condition. Additional reminders could be the addition of bottle baby goats to the mix.
    Again, Prayers Up for the grand daughter, her parents and grand parents.


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