the texas plan is moving forward, still

I don’t really know anything more than that. My immediate boss didn’t move his family from LA to Stockton, and goes back to visit every weekend. Last week he didn’t come back, it turns out, because he went to texas, on company business. I don’t know if he’s repeating trips others have made, or if he’s making new progress on already established plans. But it’s still a thing, and people are still aware that I’m free and not tied down to anything. I might not get a chance to buy a house in Stockton. I don’t know. But I definitely feel uneasy about signing a 12 month lease, even though I don’t think I’d be moving that soon.. I’ve been surprised before. It’d be great to hear this plan is another 10 years to fruition.


The habanero sauce that I dare not put more than a couple drops on a piece of pizza is pretty tasteless after eating a ghost pepper. I got one the smallest peppers in the bag, cut it into six pieces, took the seeds out, and ate the smallest piece of a piece that I could. The heat was searing and over-whelming for a few minutes, but after that, eating the rest of the pepper pieces wasn’t so bad – the smallest little bit is just as hot as the largest bit. I’ve been willing myself to try one, and building it up. It was really hot, the hottest pepper I’ve even eaten, but it wasn’t as bad I as I thought it could be.

another crazy sunday

today I went to Tracy and picked up an upright freezer, for free! Nothing says ready to move like acquiring more stuff! Woo! I moved it directly into storage, which was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, but I worked it out. Then I went to Costco for two things, and it was a freaking mad house, easily spent 20 minutes in a 5 person line. Came home, had lunch, went back out with all my cans and water bottles for recycling, made $37, and then drove to a part of Stockton I didn’t know existed to buy a pound of ghost peppers from the guy that grew them. He also had another variety, not quite as spicy, to try, sounds like they have a lot. They gave me a half pound for free, I tried just taking a pepper or two. Pepper guy says he’s planning on growing Reapers next season, and I told him I’d buy some, so he said “keep my number.” Now I have a pepper guy.

I also emailed and texted a bunch of people about possibly renting rooms, but nothing solid yet. The apt / house rental market is pretty dead, but I’m still looking for that ideal spot. Lots of rooms for rent, but many are shitty, and there’s always some downsides to consider.

another chance to bare my sole

A couple weeks ago I saw these chilis in TJ’s called Hatch Chilis, supposed to good for roasting, so I bought a bag. They sat around for a week, and then last weekend I noticed a couple had started to rot, so using a combination of the electric stove top, and my MAPP torch, I roasted the remaining peppers. Later on I breaded sole and spiced some potatoes, and put them in the oven. This was the result, and it was really good. I actually still have some left overs; I made a couple pounds of sole.

Here I have posted before and after shots of the bones I roasted for stock.

I let the stock simmer over part of the night. After I got up the second time to check on it, I couldn’t get back to sleep, so I turned it off. Good thing, it was cool enough this morning to take the solids out and strain through cloth.

Here is where I am at now – draining any residual liquid off the bones, and reducing the stock as much as I can. I estimate it’s already been reduced 3 to 1 if not 4 to 1. It smells amazing.

huge break in my hermitage today

Last weekend I emailed several new rental candidates, and arranged to possibly see a place on weds or fri. I got the address on Weds, did a drive by, and determined it was a no-go, for several reasons. One, you have to drive towards a dike on a river, and then drive down the top of the dike, dead end road, to get to the place. Two, it’s a duplex, with a 4-plex 20 feet in front of it, neighbors behind, more duplexes to the side. Third, top of my new rental budget. Then I just found out today, from a complainant on craigslist, about that property, that the landlord is constantly there, along with rodents and cockroaches.

Today I saw one place, advertised as a master or a one BR – get there and the master is occupied by a couple and their two YO. No mention of kids in the ad. Other BR is like 8×8. Master was like 8×12. House smelled really strongly, like fabric softener or something. I literally knew I wouldn’t be renting as soon as I walked in, before introductions were finished.

Then I went to OSH, which is going out of business after being bought by Lowe’s. Everything is 15% off, and stock is getting low, so I bought some impact driver bits, a pair of suede work gloves, and a couple clamps. I need a better tire air chuck than what I have, but I didn’t find one at OSH. After that I went to 4Wheelparts.

I’d attempted to go to work on time on Monday only to find one of my tires was flat. I hadn’t driven over the weekend, so I hadn’t noticed it. I have a spare in the back, but it took 40 minutes to change, so I was pretty late. Seems to have been ok. I txted my boss as soon as I discovered the flat.

So when I bought the tires from 4WP, I bought a tire warranty, and I got the tire fixed for free. If it wasn’t fixable, I’d have gotten free replacement.

After 4WP, I started to drive around a little bit, and then I got a txt about the second place I wanted to see, and I went there, met 2 of 3 roommates, and the dog, seems to be okay, dog likes me.

I can’t help but be honest. I went to check out a brew pub in downtown, but when I got there, I found out all the parking within 3 blocks of the place is metered, and I didn’t feel like dealing with that. Pretty much a waste of time, but I drove around, listening to the blues on the radio, thinking things could be worse.

I drove out to a well reviewed small grocery store / butcher, bought some beef femur bones, pre-cut, for making stock. I haven’t eaten much beef at all this year, but I thought with the cooling temps I’d try to make some beef stew and see if I can digest it. I already bought the ingredients for the stew, but finding bones for stock is always challenging, and there’s no whole foods in Stockton, or the adjacent cities. Sacramento or Dublin. Bunch of butchers though.

Came back home, starting drinking beers and watching netflix, second place txts me to come over and meet the 3rd roommate. I was expecting this txt about an hour earlier, so I was thinking maybe it wouldn’t happen; I told them an hour, and I got ready. Everything seemed to go well. The dog is a little thing, but she’s sweet, and she already loves me. I’m planning on moving in, and they know. Cuts my rent more than half.

Now I’m sitting here, roasting bones with thyme, evo, s&p, and mirepoix, wondering how I’m going to merge my kitchen stuff with theirs’. Drinking wine, for the first time since moving here, since I’m planning on deglazing the roasting pans with a lil bit.

I really like living by myself but I’ve got to make some sacrifices to position myself to reach further goals.

I’m really f’ing broken inside

Today was another combo regular auction and GSA auction combined. I knew 6 weeks ago that we were going to have a GSA auction followed by another GSA auction only two weeks later, instead of the usual month. Until today, I didn’t know when the next GSA auction would be, turns out I have three weeks this time, to get ready, instead of just two. The past two GSA auctions I’d gotten everything done in a fairly well timed manner, but the one before that was a complete cluster-fuck, and I have been fearing a repeat and trying different work management strategies. Apparently, that worked out fairly well.

I’m attracted to the majority of my coworkers. Sometimes this is inspirational, and other times it’s distracting, but it’s been pretty steady state for 9 years; I just try to get by and not form any lasting relationships. That’s not what I want to write there, but that’s the truth. Obviously (at least to me) I’m more attracted to some than others, and there are a few in particular I’d like to get to know better, if I knew how.

One of our temp workers said hello to me, by name, today, and I was totally blown away. I wouldn’t have guessed she knew my name; I don’t know her’s. She’s really hot, but she’s not even on my radar like regular coworkers are. The idea that I could be attractive to other people, especially women, is mostly alien to me. All my life I’ve been waiting for a strong woman to sweep me off my feet, but that expectation seems increasingly absurd as I age.

Guys are horny, all the time. Being attracted to every gender poses some challenges for me. It’d be great if I was good at reading everyone, but instead I fail to read anyone. I know, beyond any doubt, there are a tons of guys waiting and wanting to do nasty things with me. Finding out a guy finds you attractive is like finding a rock in your shoe or sand in your sandwich. So I think about the women I find attractive, and how I’m just a rock in their shoes; coupled with my insecurities, I don’t feel like I have any prospects.

Listening to a house mix while I write this, and a cover of U2’s “With or Without You” comes on. fml.

I had a project, just for kicks, to try and grow some cannabis mother plants; identify the strain, maybe produce some clones. Things didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. I did manage to get some plants grown from seed, correctly identify and eliminate the males, and produce mother plants for cloning. All the clones I took died. The mothers grew faster than I anticipated, got top heavy with weak stems (despite constant fan), and they all fell over. Disappointed, I stopped putting as much effort into the project as when I started. Once my wages started being garnished, the project lost all interest… but I didn’t have the heart to kill the plants and put them in the dumpster, so I flowered the mothers as they were (fallen over). I had 6 mothers. Two died before flowering. Another died right after flowering started, and had lots of premature buds. Three plants have some buds that might be mature, haven’t found out yet.

The plant with the premature buds I de-stemmed, ground up the buds, made butter. Butter didn’t go as planned, was more difficult to separate the water, but I didn’t use a plastic bag (as a separatory funnel) so I used more heat cycles, including double boiling the butter in a water bath. I thought heating the butter to the boiling temperature of water would drive all the water out, but there was still some remaining. Fortunately it was a small enough quantity to completely separate out on the next cold cycle. For the uninitiated, making pot butter involves boiling butter, pot, and water together for awhile, taking out the solid plant material, and then separating the butter from the water.

I used the pot butter to make banana bread. I already had 4 small bananas that were beyond over ripe. I also put in chopped walnuts, a handful of chocolate chips, and a handful of blueberries. I used brown sugar instead of white, and I neglected to add any vanilla. Because the buds were so young, there is a faint pot taste, but no noticeable effects. Nevertheless, I’mm not going to bring it to work.

GSA auction tomorrow

I’ve been pretty stressed out for the past 3 weeks, tomorrow is a double auction, first bank cars then GSA. We’re running one of bigggest GSA sales with over 250 cars. I got everything I had done according to plan, yesterday, but some stuff that had slipped through the cracks came through today, and I’ll be busy tomorrow morning finishing up, preparing detailed quotes for faulty components found during inspection.

supposed to have another GSA sale in just two weeks instead of the usual month, but I just got the first work orders for that sale today, so we’ll see how that goes.

got into an altercation with a coworker who tried to run me over on my lunch break. He threw a tantrum and walked away, stopping work. I implemented the simple solution I suggested, for free, on my lunch break, so work could continue. This prick is Persian so I might need a new job, but there’s plenty of opportunity in Stockton.