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Nothing New Under the Sun

It is so very tempting to talk about the news of the last seven days starting with Charlottesville but I will not.  The train to Crazytown has left the station and either you got on board or you didn’t.  Those of us that refused to get on board can read the handwriting on the wall, easily,  without the “help” of social media or the main stream news.  Plan accordingly.

“I am not afraid of dying.  I am afraid of not living.” -a blog I read this week.

“But you can’t make people listen. They have to come round in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew up around them. It can’t last.”  – Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

After all the statues and memorials are destroyed or hidden away, are the books next? Is the First Amendment on life support; in terminal condition?  Will we know an American Gulag in my lifetime?

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Bees flocking to the condensation on the window shaker.

The height of a South Texas summer is just the bare basics.  Hole up, get by; one day to the next.  I watch the animals and insects to gauge the severity of my environment.  There is a tank about 3/4 mile from the NO Princess Palace and the main game trail from the south crosses the lease road well within my view.  During the cool(er) hours of the day, I observe every wild beast that inhabits the Puckerbrush headed to the tank. Bobcats, hogs, javies, even wild turkeys make their way to the water source.  The game trail is wide and well traveled.

Honey bees need a near source of water as well and the condensation from my window shaker AC has become a preferred water hole for them.  They swarm it from the first light of day until it comes under the force of the afternoon sun.  It is interesting to observe the reactions of my gate traffic.  Most of them say with some alarm “Dude, did you know bees are swarming on your air conditioner!!??” Their reaction makes me wonder how many of them are city boys down deep or how attuned they are to this environment.  When I reply “They are after the water.” they look at me like I just let a bird go outta my hand.  The drip bucket placed to catch the roof run off from my rooftop AC is a lesser destination. Even so, I placed a small piece of wood in there as an insect island refuge.  They drown otherwise.

*************

Checking chlorine content – 2ppm is my target

Speaking of that water, what would you do if you turned on the tap in the kitchen and all it did was rattle and gurgle – no water?  I am one of the few gate guards who drink the water that is provided by the guard company.  I tried the bottled water routine early on and could not deal with all the empty plastic bottles and, at the time, I was not close to any of those places where you could re-fill your gallon jugs – so I made do.  Compound the equation with me going 2-3 months with no supply runs.  How much water would I need to buy to last 90 days??

After looking at different filter setups I ruled out Reverse Osmosis as being too fragile, finicky and expensive.  I went with a K.I.S.S. system of canister filters and an ultra violet light sanitizer.  That musta been 5 years ago or more and the system has not changed much over the years.  It works as evidenced by my continued good health even though I have run some very questionable liquid through it over the years.

My water source is a 650 gallon tank that is re-filled every two weeks or so even though it is never even close to empty.  The purification process begins when I get a water delivery.  I run the water in the tank that has been all roiled up by the delivery through a 1 micron sediment filter for at least 12 hours after each delivery.  That keeps the sediment down to minimal levels in my tank.   After I am done with that filtering, I add 1″ Chlorinating Tablets to the water tank. Sometimes it is one tab and sometimes it might be 3 or 4. I have learned over time what the appropriate dosage should be and it is largely dependent on the temperature. Free chlorine dissipates quicker during warm weather.   I always check the free chlorine levels 24 hours after adding the tabs with a SenSafe Free Chlorine Water Check strip – takes less than a minute. Normal routine for me since potable water is life.  Once again, plan accordingly.

*****************

 

A curious dog – She wants to make every step I do. I can live with that.

Obviously,  I have internetz down here in the Puckerbrush or you wouldn’t be reading this.  For the longest time I used a Verizon aircard because I got 20 gigs of bandwidth for $50 bucks.  Verizon is not the optimum in rural South Texas because of coverage gaps.  I put up with the generally weaker signals because of the bargain price.  Over the years, as with all things, I began to pay more for less service. When the monthly bill climbed to $120 I kicked them to the curb.

I consolidated internet and phone with AT&T and a 16gb monthly plan.  After 16 gigs they throttle you back to 2g speeds – fair enough.   After years of watching,  my monthly bandwidth never come close to the 20 gig limit I was pretty cool with the 16 gigs.  But I forgot this was AT&T and things are never to be taken at face value.

58% -2.32 gigs used in less than 24 hours!

The first month I hit the 16 gig limit at 11 days?  WTF???  I thought maybe I had frittered it way with Amazon Prime streaming or youtubes so I went another month.  The second month I went 16 days so I was using (rough math) 1 gig per day.  Funny thing is once the 16 gigs was burnt up, I only used 3 gigs for the remaining 15 days.  I am not a math wiz but something stunk like a bastard to me.  Looks like there was AT&T maths and then all the rest.  So I called them and asked the lady to look at the discrepancy between the activity pre-limit and post limit.  Her English was not so good so I never knew if she really ever understood what I was saying.  She was superb at staying on company message however.  In her world, AT&T records were the same-same as the Tablets from the Mount. AT&T wins that round most likely exactly according to plan.

So I changed my plan.  If the bastards were going to fast track my usage and I was sentenced to 2g speeds for most of the month; Screw  ’em!  I went with a 4gb per month plan for a much lower monthly fee. Starve the beast and all that. Last night at midnight my plan rolled over to the new billing period.  I carefully shut off the phone, laptop and tablet and then checked my hotspot.  It showed ZERO DEVICES CONNECTED – bueno.  I went to bed.

7 hours later I got up and checked my usage.  Somehow, someway my account had racked up 2.17 gigabytes of usage with zero devices connected to the internet. So I guess my theory of AT&T burning through my paid 4g allotment with abandon and malice is correct.   At this rate, I will be back on 2g speeds in a short 48 hours with an average use of 2gb per day.  Those bastards!

End Note: What Becomes of the Brokenhearted? by Joan Osborne and the Funk Brothers from the Standing in the Shadows of Motown cd.

I think I done this one before but here it is again –gives me chicken skin every time but isn’t that what good music is supposed to do?  Joan Osborne may very well be the best female vocalist of my lifetime and she uses her pipes to the max on this one.  If your Motown creds are not up to par and you do not know who The Funk Brothers are quit being a poseur and get up to speed. Google is your friend.

The 2002 documentary this was taken from- Standing in the Shadows of Motown– is a must see for the enthusiast.

You millenials who read me need to jump in on this one because this quality of music is absent these days. These old folks rocked it in the day and they still know how.

 

 

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8 comments to Nothing New Under the Sun

  • Ken

    I turned off the so-called “news”most of last week.I refuse to get on that train.Just hunkering down and praying for us.

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  • Piper

    Thank you for posting all this great information about how you treat your water so that you can drink it. 650 gallon tank? That is a lot of water – you must be way out in the middle of nowhere – we had only a 200 gallon tank, refilled every – supposed to be – week but it was usually 9 or 10 days. How do you handle laundry? The latest gate guard pay rates are ridiculously low. $130/day??

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    • Andy

      I have a countertop washing machine and I hang the clothes out to dry. $130/day is supply and demand. I am happy to be getting that much right now.

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  • Rob

    2 plus GB of use with nothing hooked up in 7hr is either someone tapped into your account or fraud by the company. The first one could be fixed for the second there are professionals you’re already paying for that might be able to help. Might. Just saying…

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  • Mike

    Seems like all the snake oil salesmen are working for the cell companies designing plans. Googled data overages and all size data plans with ATT seem to have a problem of going over the limit.

    Really liked Joan Osborne, had not heard her before,

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  • Check out a Mobley device from AT&T. They don’t like to admit to it, but it is a $20/mo plan with unlimited 4G. The device is meant to plug into the test socket on a car, but you can get a USB power supply on eBay. The device is only available online, and it can take awhile to find someone who knows about it. Email me and I can give you the name of someone at the company store in PHX who set mine up. It is legit, they just don’t advertise it. Car Connect is the official name, I think. Device is free with 2 year contract or you can pay for it and not have a contract.

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    • Andy

      Thanks for the info and I know a little about them. Only bad thing about that is AT&T is probably aware of the circumvention of the device’s intended use and will shut that down quick enough. They are not in the game to lose money.

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  • Paul Dahl

    Yep, you are not the only one who has been scammed by these internet providers. It’s amazing how they rip you off and then leave you to some person in another country to “help” you get things resolved (not). I’ve been ripped off by all the major companies and one is just as bad as another. The ripping off seems to lessen with the higher priced plans, probably on purpose to push people into spending more bucks for service.

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