Monday, December 5, 2022

...Troubles will be miles away!

 Well... Finally!  Earlier this week, Little Juvat and LJW returned from their usual San Antonio Excursion with a bit of good news.  LJD's Care Staff is starting to use the word "Release" in discussions about her condition.  Again, I'm not a doctor, nor...but apparently most of the issues she incurred with a premature birth are up to acceptable parameters.  The remaining long pole is Oxygen support requirements.  She's down below the 2.5 flow rate goal (she's been at 1.5 lately) that she's been working toward all along, Which is good.  She's probably going to be on supplemental Oxygen for a while, but that does not require hospitalization.

Unfortunately, that will also mean LJW and she will be staying in the Great State of Texas for a few more months while Little J returns to Honk Honk.  Still....Good news for a change.

As Mrs J and I were driving down to visit her last week, I got to doing some "ciphering" in my head to stay alert.  It's 75 miles from Rancho Juvat to the Parking Garage at the Hospital in San Antonio.  150 miles round trip.  Little J and LJW have been doing that trip 6 times a week for 20 weeks and change (as of this posting).  That works out to 18,300 miles or almost 75% of the circumference of the Earth (24,901.461 mi).

Yes, I get bored.  However...

I think they're going to make pretty darn good parents. 

Switching subjects, I had mentioned previously that this past weekend was being referred to as "The Gathering of the Clans".  BLUF*,  it was a great success.  The Rev, with MG and MBD, his parents, two brothers, their wives, 5 kids, and two dogs all came  for a visit.

Waiting for the Parade to kickoff with MG's Paternal Gramma

No, Beans, the Partridge in the Pear Tree had other obligations and couldn't make it.  

Arrival was planned for 4PM on Friday as the 'Burg's annual lighted Christmas Parade started at 6:30.  My Pickup was parked on Main Street at 3 PM on Thursday in one of the TWO remaining spots on either side of the 1 mile long parade route.  And that required a turn across 2 lanes to procure.  The evening of the parade, I dropped the spectators off at the truck and went to find a place to park.  Closest place I could find was about a half mile away.  Yes, a 4PM arrival was overly optimistic as the guests had to transit Austin. But, we were in position prior to parade start.

Chili Kitchen open on the back of the truck

My Counterpart Grandpa and one of MG's cousins

Yes, Beans, Main Street was crowded.  As an aside, Folks, if wearing dark clothes, one should not jay walk in the middle of an unlighted block in the dark.  Fortunately, the brakes on Mrs. J's car were fully functional.  Dumas! (No, I'm not talking about a town in Texas north of Amarillo.)

A good time was had by all, the Parade went on for a little over an hour.  My Chili was well received and the Holiday Season is off to a good start.

Post-parade wind down AKA "Fading Fast"
Both of them.

Had a bit of excitement a couple of weeks ago.  Mrs. J, being the kind hearted soul she is, was cooking my breakfast.  I was sitting at the counter reading one of Sarge's blog posts and getting ready for another fun-filled day.  I happened to hear a bit of a hiss from the direction of the stove followed by a Whoomp! Glanced up and saw a blue and yellow fireball rising up towards the Vent.  

Fortunately, Mrs. J, being the Fighter Pilot's Wife she is, was backpedaling faster than a politician caught in a lie.  Also fortunately,  the fireball went out almost immediately.  I calmly (yeah, right!) went over and turned off the stove (I thought).  I could still hear gas hissing.  Called the Gas Company and was told where the emergency shut off valve should be.  Found it and turned it off.

For those of you, like me, who had no clue that such a thing existed, safety codes require a gas shutoff valve within 6 feet of a gas stove.  Ours is in the back of a cabinet immediately beside the stove.  There is now a pair of pliers hanging from a screw right next to the valve.  Something to consider.

Turns out that the knob for that burner didn't completely turn off the gas.  The plastic nob had cracked on the connection to the stove, so even though it looked like the gas was off, it wasn't.  

Have I mentioned that our less than 2 year old new construction home was outfitted with all FRIGIDAIRE appliances?   We replaced the dishwasher within 6 months of use.  The Oven temperatures do not match the dials and the fans therein don't vent any cooking smoke.  Now this...

Well, Today our replacement Stove will be arriving.  No, it is not a FRIGIDAIRE.  It will be installed tomorrow.  

Suffice it to say, you could hold a gun to my head and order me to buy FRIGIDAIREand I'd still say no.  

Just in case you want my appliance purchasing advice. As far as I'm concerned, FRIGIDAIRE delenda est! end on a lighter note.

Got up early-ish the morning after the parade.  I was the only person stirring so was trying to be quiet as I made my cuppa.  Blood sugar was a tad low so vision was a bit off.  When this happens I see something similar to bright colored lights. Around the edges of the "lights", I noticed a bag on the counter with what looked like my own blend of Trail Mix.

Iced Coffee and Trail Mix will tide me over until the rest of the gang wakes up, right?

Decided a bit of calories would assist my vision, so grabbed a handful and munched it down.

Who knew that dry dog food was tasty? Woof!

Peace out Y'all!

*It's an Army thing, and one of the first things I learned at Army Command and Staff.  Bottom Line Up Front.  AKA Don't waste the General's time, tell him what he needs to know...First!


  1. Juvat, so glad to hear that things are continuing to progress well with LJD. I once had a job with a 120 mile round trip commute, so nothing but appreciation for all they are doing.

    Looks like the weather was great for the parade! The local town did theirs here, but it was down pouring the whole time (perhaps not surprisingly, I elected to remain at home by the fire).

    Fortunately for us, the emergency shut off for gas is in a cabinet near the stove (that sounds like an awful shock. Did not know Frigidaire had fallen so low, but good to know).

    "Snacks" - One time in the not too distant past at my parent's place, I was in a hurry and needed to brush my teeth. I did not have my glasses on but saw a tube and assumed that toothpaste would be the only thing near the sink. Nope - Desitin, and not only that, old Desitin of the early 2000's...

    1. THBB,
      Yep, Progress is always good especially when it involves health. The Big Guy has a plan and there's not much we can do to encourage progress, so...patience. If you look that word up in the dictionary, my picture is not to be found, but I'm learning.
      I like gas stoves, because the heat is virtually instant on, instant off. When I called the Gas Company, turns out it was one of my former students that answered. I was a bit distraught, so didn't put two and two together. He was not a technician (they'd just opened for the morning) but he'd said he'd have somebody give us a call to make sure all was well as soon as they arrived. He did talk me through the gas shut off, for which I am extremely grateful. Later in the day, another of my former students called. He WAS the technician. Talked me through the problem, including the discovery of the busted knob. Told me that there probably wasn't a reliable solution (no, they don't sell cook tops) and what would be needed to connect the new top to our existing gas connection. Said he'd need to connect the cook top to their equipment, but that he'd install the cook top for us.
      You know, much as The 'Burg has grown, it's still got some small town-ness to it. Friends are Good.

    2. Neither is my picture there Juvat - Like you, I am learning.

      Small towns are where it is at. Even if you move away and go back. When we were having my parents' place assessed last month, I got to talking to the assessor as we were looking around the property. She asked if I had graduated from the local high school - Yes, I replied. I gave her the year and she said "No Way! That was the year I graduate!". Turned out she was a high school classmate that I had not seen in 30 years at least.

    3. THBB,
      That would be cool to run into someone like that. Texas is a big state, but it's not that big. It could happen!

  2. Fun at the parade, even more so when there's no precip falling. Good to hear no hair was singed on Mrs. J from that fireball juvat. Makes me glad that electricity powers my stove/oven......:)

    1. Nylon, we did have a good time. It had been cold and damp on the days prior and the past couple of days also. But, I was in my shirtsleeves for the parade. So...Rather be lucky than good....
      I can't disagree about electricity. But...the cook in me likes gas as I mentioned above. Have had a talk with various people smarter than me Gas/appliances wise and all seem to be in agreement that Bosch makes reliable appliances. Our replacement dishwasher agrees also. We shall see.

  3. The fire incident ended well, Merry Christmas!

    1. Rob,
      Yes it did. Thank you, Lord!
      Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to you and yours also, Rob.

  4. Grandmas holding babies, balls of fire shooting into the air, Christmas parades, never let it be said that you don't live an exciting life!

    The good news on LJD continues! I also notice that the callsign review board has spoken ...

    You chose wisely.

    1. Sarge,
      Yes...Well...Some excitement is good. Hooting and hollering at floats with people you know on them =Good to Great.
      Balls of Fire when sung by Jerry Lee Lewis, same same.
      When observed inside your house? Not so much.
      As to The Rev haven't heard from him yet this morning and this is the "Big Reveal". That having been said, I think MBD has explained the Fighter Pilot Call Sign rules to him. So, not expecting much commentary.

  5. Christmas parade was Saturday here. The fireworks were launched about a few blocks from the casa, and the booms were really loud this year. Rattled my head.

    Anything that was produced in the last 30 months is suspect. We had the same issue after the Christmas tsunami 10 plus years ago. Some much was destroyed and so many died, I think they took the failed pc power supplies, and put them in the pipeline until they could catch up. We had so many die within a week or two after install, I quit sending the old pc's back, just in case we needed it while we waited for the warranty parts.

    I guess, one of the benefits of rolling your own plumbing is knowing where the shutoffs are. I'd figure there should be a handle on the shutoff. Doesn't make much sense to not have one. Or is that for the stove burner?? I bought a natural gas sniffer alarm for the stove. And a propane gas alarm for the new freezer. Natural high, and propane low.

    Your dark clothes on a dark street reminded me of a Halloween costume I remember from the 70's. The Invisible Pedestrian!!!

    1. STxAR,
      We didn't have fireworks, more's the pity, but other than that. sounds familiar.

      Yeah, I suppose that could be the factor with respect to the appliances. I suspect the shutoff valve, given its position relative to the gas related appliances (it's between the line from the tank to all the gas appliances0 means all are shut off) is a good thing. One valve all off.
      As to Frigidaire, I relied on very old experience with that company and didn't do my homework. That having been said, I'm hoping the vast readership of this blog can choose appliances a bit more wisely..

      Dark street. I dam near smoked them. I was doing 25 in a 30 looking for a space. Slammed on the brakes and stopped a couple of feet away. Guess what they did? Yep, their apparent lack of common sense in choosing their apparel was, apparently, my fault completely.

  6. Happy to hear the word "Release" is being spoken in LJD's medical discussions! Never spent time in Hong Kong, but did spend several years at the tip of the Malay peninsula and got the distinct feeling that medical treatment in the Pac Rim still had traces of pharmacies whipping up mixtures of herbs, reptile offal, etc. being included in any treatment one may require. So in my opinion, additional Medical monitoring in Texas would certainly be a benefit in LJD's case prior to a 14 hour trip in an aluminum tube hurtling through the sky at 35000 ft. and 350+ mph.
    This time of the year, here in the 'Burg, there are several events that occur. Although we missed the parade, we attended our 4th Singing Chrimstmas Tree (no tree in '20 due to edicts from a former college basketball player and the CDC). They sang a number of Christmas Carols and other seasonal songs related to the Birth of our Savior that we celebrate this time of the year. Mrs. Valvecore decided to participate this year and was perched in the third row from the top of the tree. After the performance and in an attempt at humor, I asked if she had any difficulty signing the German parts of the carols in her native language, which is German.It's amazing how the look on someone's face can, without a word being spoken, convey something similar to Juvat's "Dumas" comment. Anyway, the rest of the drive home was very congenial.
    Hope everyone enjoys a healthy, enjoyable time with family and friends as this month progresses.
    Cletus Valvecore

    1. Cletus,
      I figured there was something else going on, when I didn't see your truck in the parade. There certainly were a lot of things going on this past weekend weren't there? Gotta drive MBD and MG back to CStat today and return. The Rev had a sermon to give so RTB'd early. The price of extra time with the girls was an out and back road trip. Well worth it.
      I've missed it if you've mentioned it before, but is Mrs. Valvecore a local native as "native language" might suggest? It was my paternal Grandfathers, but his parents immigrated in the late '10's early '20's. Seems something they didn't like was growing in the "old country".

    2. Juvat, Mrs. Cletus is native born German from Essen originally, and later of Neuss which is across the Rhine from Dusseldorf. Her assessment of the local German dialect is that it's still as it was at the time the majority of the original families arrived and has not modernized as the language has in Germany. One day when space and time permits I'll relate some stories of what I've learned from talking to and doing business with the descendants of the original settlers and learned listening to the elders at the local livestock sale barn.
      My paternal Grandmother was among the first generation born in this country, as her parents came from a small, now non existent "dorf" (small town) in northern Germany. There are German, Danish and Norman (French) roots in my heritage.

    3. Cletus,
      When we owned the wine store and I worked for the school district, I got to know the Principal out at Stonewall. His first language was German also. It would surprise some of the customers in the store when he would hear them speaking German (modern) and answer them in German (old version). They said the same thing about the difference. I found it interesting.

  7. Yay LJD!! You go girl!!

    Gas stoves/fire: Yes, I too, love a gas stove. However, I guess they are in the process of being banned in NYS, which is a rant for another day.
    I too learned about gas turn-offs being close to the stove, and, personally am not a fan...I am of the opinion the turn off should be further away. Six feet really isn't all that far when flames are expanding around a stove top.
    I had had major surgery, and was grounded, as in no driving, for about 5 months. And I was tired of take out food which was my then finance's forte, so I decided I would broil me some chicken. Took it out, defrosted it, plopped it into the broiler pan, which in a gas stove was at the bottom of the stove, set the timer and came back when it went ding to turn said chicken over.
    The first lesson I learned that day was never, ever, NEVER hang a dish towel/hand towel from the oven handle. Especially an old one with fuzzy fringe on it. NEVER!!! Most especially when broiling a fat chicken whose grease has drained into the front of the pan, so that when I opened up the broiler pan door, the grease spit up and caught the towels fringe on fire. I had flames from just below the edge of the bottom of the oven window to 2 feet above the top of the stove in 0.002 seconds!! I grabbed the long gloved potholder on the side counter, reached through the flame and spun the gas off. Then I grabbed the fire extinguisher, which lived on the bookcase on the other side of the room, and pulling the pin just like Sister had shown me 20 years before squeezed and sprayed at the bottom of the flames. The gas shut off valve was on the other side of the fire, about 2 feet from the top of the stove. I wasn't getting that close to it if it was at all possible.
    I then had a firm conversation with my then 9 year old that when Mom says Get out of the HOUSE NOW, go get (the firefighter who lived next door) you do EXACTLY AS TOLD. Ya don't stand there and watch Mom put out the fire. I then call my future father-in-law who was retired from the city fire department and just sat talking to him while I shook from the adrenaline dump. My sweetie brought home a pizza that night for supper, and I was very glad to eat every bite. I was also very glad I didn't need to call the landlady and tell her I had burned the place down.
    The second lesson I learned was that although that fire extinguisher was at least 15 years old, it still worked. And it made a terrible mess. But not as bad a mess as burning down the house would have made.
    Currently, I have an electric stove, it came with the house, and the budget isn't expansive enough to replace it yet, it is a GE flat top which I'm not crazy about. But to this day, some 35+ years later, I still do not hang anything on the oven door.

    1. As a child, I was an evil little cuss. Mom was always afraid her gas stove was going to explode. My cousin was over and mom was going to bake a cake for my birthday. While mom was otherwise occupied, I taped a firecracker in the oven with the fuse next to the burner ring. A couple of minutes after she lit the oven - pandemonium!...

    2. Suz,
      Sorry for the late reply. I had an enjoyable, if long, day yesterday, returning MBD and MG to College Station. Transiting Moscow on the Colorado twice in one day is BP enhancing (and not in the good way). In any case, sounds like there were a lot of lessons learned some of which I already employ. (First of which is the Fire Extinguisher which is between the oven and the stove about 6 feet from both. Couple of years old and not used yet.) Fortunately, no children were present, but will need to give them the same briefing in a couple of years. Unfortunately, the Fire Department would probably arrive in time to put out the resulting grass fire. Fortunately, they weren't needed. We'll see how the new stove does. We've had good luck with Bosch appliances and have high hopes for this one.

    3. Don,
      Not sure my sense of humor would arise to that occasion. The kids/grandkids might not be able to sit down for a while. But...

  8. LJD appears to be well on her way home; enjoy watching her grow up. G*d bless.
    I could never understand this penchant for wearing dark clothes on a moonless night (unless you're standing in for Bela Lugosi), but I think the (Darwin) award should go to bicycle riders riding on the dividing line separating car and bicycle lanes, going with the flow of vehicular traffic, and having zero reflective strips or lights.

    1. Boron,
      Yeah, seen (barely and at the last minute) the same moronic behavior around here also. I've always thought The Lord protects Fools and Drunks, but have never wanted to put it to the test. Some folks, however,....

  9. While munching on some bland, unseasoned treats one morning, I was scratching my head and wondering why the ingredients were missing from the package. My wife at the time clued me in with a laugh and explanation. My afterthought was about what seasoning could be added for flavor.

    1. Jess,
      For some reason, I had both those thoughts. My recipe recommendations were Salt and Garlic powder.

  10. Jeese, juvat, chili is supposed to make gas, not a stove...

    Glad the issue was resolved. Don't start me on appliances, bout to go postal and all on the management, only been waiting on a dishwasher since March, a refrigerator since June (it's dying, not dead yet, no, it's not getting better,) a new stove (like the refrig) and new cabinets and fume hood. Oh, a new roof (or patch the leak over the stove that caused the vent hood to not work and also killed the cabinets) and a new heat pump for the a/c. Grrrr.

    Great news on the baby. Can't wait to hear when she is home and off O2.

    As to Christmas Parade? Having one here would cause too many leftists to have heart palpitations. Note to self: If ever I move again, check to see which way the county/city/block of land voted for in the last big election.

    1. Beans,
      Last First, You say that like giving the Left heart palpitations is a bad thing. IMHO, the more palpitations the less BS they're capable of throwing.
      Thanks, We'd like her to be home ASAP also. Getting there, but not quite arrived yet.
      Landlords....Think Landlording means "Never having to spend money." Don't have any good advice, though. They tend to be deaf as a post and physical violence is generally not a good response no matter how much you think about it.
      First Last, You've obviously never been to a Fighter Pilot Chili cookoff. Cigarette Lighters are involved. Certain Body hair is typically lost. Yes....alcohol is involved. No...I haven't done that.

      In many, many years.

  11. As to washers and dryers, if your current setup goes TU, look into Speed Queen. Their 'civilian' versions of laundromat machines are very rugged and actually built to handle loads. Not high efficiency, which means you only need to run the wash cycle once.

  12. Speaking of dog food, back in the mid-70s my daughter's brother in law was visiting them. One day he was hungry and spotted a bowl of leftover "beef stew" in the fridge. He heated it in the microwave and started eating it. He thought it was pretty good until he found out it was beef stew flavor dog food. They gave the dog half a can of dog food in addition to dry dog food each day.

    As bad as most of the canned beef stew is, I can believe the dog version might taste as good or better. I don't intend to find out first hand.

    1. FF,
      One hopes we're not relegated to dog food for sustenance, but one never knows. I'll refer back to "adding salt and Garlic Powder" if need be.

  13. LOL, there are days, and then there are DAYS... Glad y'all are dumping the Frigidaire crap!

    1. OldNFO,
      Mama tole me there'd be days like this! There'd be days like this, Mama Said!

  14. Glad to hear that LJD is nearing release. It has been a long road for y'all. Wonderful pictures of grandchildren and grandparents sprinkled in your post. Those days are behind us with the grandboys being 9 and 11.

    This world is full of Dumases! I don't know what gets into people.

    Your range fire worries me since we have the same builder and they used the same brand of appliances in our kitchen, albeit a couple of years older. We have had no problems with them, yet. I know where the gas cut-off is for the cooktop; the ovens are electric and have been compared to a couple of electronic thermometers. I am, though, interested in getting a different cooktop that has two of the same burners on one side so that we can have a griddle there. We may have to rule out Frigidaire.

    Ah, the 'Burg. My father's family has connections to the town. Back around the turn of the 20th Century, my great grandfather and family lived there. He was an itinerant carpenter and had moved the family there. From research my father did, my forebears were nominal Mennonites as they seemed to have always lived where there are Mennonite Colonies all the way back to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in the mid 1700s. Anyway, they did speak German and I think that is why the 'Burg attracted them. My parents went to the 'Burg in the early 1970s on a research trip and spoke with some folks that actually remembered our family. One thing they found, though it may not be correct, is a Sunday house, that is now called the Crockett House, just across from the City Hall was where they lived. A side note, in 1905, my grandfather would go to the brewery to get a bucket of beer for dinner. He was 7 years old. My, times have changed.

    1. BillB,
      We are newcomer's in the mind of the old timers, so have no stories to tell, but we've made friends with a lot of the multi-generational family members. The sending a kid to pick up a bucket of beer is a relatively common one.
      Was your family's house on the south side of the Courthouse? If so, I think I know which one you're talking about. I may have to reconnoiter a bit. Research doncha' know! That slave-driver Sarge seems to insist on new content weekly.
      Thanks for the Idea.

  15. After the last two weeks, some good news was needed. The little one doing well works.

    1. Anon,
      Happy to oblige! Yes, it was. Yes, it did!

  16. Good post- so happy to hear about LJD's new orders. Hope your wife's eyebrows are still intact. Hint- if there's no M&Ms in it, it's probably not trail mix!


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