Tag Archives: Sh*t my dad did

Moving to a new “new normal”, and the Feed

Dad is settled in at the VA, with a bunch of symptoms that mostly come down to “not eating or drinking enough”. He claims he is not having any problems swallowing, but watching from the outside it sure looks like it is a struggle when he swallows, what with all the grimacing and shaking his head from side to side… He is having trouble chewing also because he has lost so much weight his dentures don’t fit any more. And he is still complaining about everything having no flavor and demanding more salt in his food (though to be honest the food at the VA leaves a lot to be desired).

Up first by virtue of more links, a cyclist in Walla Walla WA is hit. Bicyclist from Walla Walla killed near Prosser and Walla Walla Cyclist Killed in Prosser more Walla Walla man killed on bike died from multiple injuries This was the wreck I commented about yesterday that the driver saw the skunk but not the cyclist? and there must be something more to the story. Well the driver had been drinking, and may have been legally impaired. There is also a question of assault because there was no trace of the alleged skunk at the scene when at least some of the LEO involved showed at the wreck.

Update on the MA boy injured in a wreck. Southampton boy injured in bike accident with car remains hospitalized Get well soon, little bike-riding dude!

SF is still batting 1.000 in prosecuting cyclists that hit pedestrians, unlike drivers. Matthew Grillone, Cyclist in Giants Jersey, Acquitted of Hitting Elderly Pedestrian Apparently, any cyclist will do for prosecution, so long as the barest rudiments of identification are met, like the right team jersey. Wrong number, wrong cyclist, and the cyclist that was arrested was wearing a backpack, while the cyclist that hit the pedestrian was wearing a helmet and sunglasses but no backpack… The automotive analogy would be that they arrested a guy driving a car the same color but the wrong make, model, and year.

Infrastructure! from CA. Ramona Turner, Street Smarts: Wrong-way cycling is dangerous, thus illegal Umm, duh? Really?! This was important enough to waste column inches in the paper over?

Infrastructure from MN. River Bottoms Part I By: Chris Chavie mountain bikes need infrastructure just as much as road bikes, but different kinds of infrastructure.

And closing out with a pretty picture. Twin Cities Bike Picture of the Day: 5.29.12

And that’s all the news that gave me fits today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

About to start hospice for Dad, Wreck-Free Sunday

I have been dreading writing this for weeks now, but the time has come now. Dad will start hospice this week, which is simultaneously a relief and a weight. The relief is this will bring in trained care-givers to relieve his pain and make Dad as comfortable as possible. The weight is obvious, I’m going to be losing my Dad and it’s going to be a long, drawn-out process compared to the sudden death of my Mother in 2004. I have been preparing myself for this day ever since I saw how little he was eating last summer. I knew that nobody could live long on what he was eating then, and after the wreck he ate even less.

My father has lived a long life, with a 22 year military career that is still mostly classified “Need to Know” from what he did during the Vietnam conflict. All I know now is that he was working for Naval Intelligence in their communication section Supplementary Radio. This was before they had high-security satellite communications between distant points on the globe so everything had to be done via HF and short wave, with highly encrypted communications that used methods that dated back to the second World War. We won the Big One that way, surely we could beat Charlie the same way. Well I can say that Charlie never got anything useful out of Naval Intelligence radio traffic from the Vietnam conflict, so my Dad did his job, it was what other people did with that information that caused us to lose Vietnam. Some day the world will know what he did, I hope I live long enough to find out.

After he retired from the Navy he went on to teach school for a year as the junior instructor in a NJROTC unit in Salt Lake City UT. When he lost that job because someone whose career he derailed was certifying instructors and pulled his certificate, he went to a job cleaning toilets. He made more money cleaning toilets than he did teaching high school. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions from that.

Dad had the toilet cleaning gig with the local Lien Chemical franchise for 4 years until the owner decided he was getting too old (the owner, not Dad) and closed the shop. Dad had a wild hair up his butt and decided to move everything again out of Utah. So we moved back to TN, where Dad got a job as a floor manager for a company that packed store brand beans, rice, and paper plates (in that shop, they also did a bunch of other things in other shops. He kept that job until he retired in 1995. Since then he has been keeping busy going fishing, traveling the world, building jigsaw puzzles, and aggravating doctors by recovering from illnesses and injuries that should have killed him several times over. He has COPD, and was on O2 at one time back when my daughter graduated from college and got married on the same weekend (so that everybody would only have to make the one trip to Scotland), but recovered from that to have normal blood O2 saturation even today. That is the kind of thing that drives doctors crazy.

Even now his body is showing incredible powers of recovery. The arm that he broke back in April appears to be fully healed in spite of his barely eating enough to stay alive. That’s the kind of stuff that drives doctors crazy, too. The thing is he is just tired now, tired of just existing and not living, so he wants to quit, on his terms. It is not quite like his previous claim of wanting to get shot by a jealous husband at age 100, but it’s still better than a bunch of other ways he could go.

And the irony of this is I wrote my father’s obituary while interviewing him about his life. It’s good that I could get this last talk with him while he was still mostly coherent. It’s bad that I know what I’m doing on this…

PSA, opus

I have no witty headline, and the Feed

I can’t say what’s going on with my Dad other than it’s sad. Whatever form of distant healing you do, send him comfort now.

Because it’s closest to home physically and emotionally, and has the most links of any story I had in the Feed today, more on the 8YO hit by a car on a quiet residential street. 9-Year-Old on Tricycle Fatally Struck by Car and 8-year-old Arlington girl killed while riding bike The street has been described as a “dead end” with a cul d’sac, with no reason to be going very fast either in or out. I don’t know if the weapon vehicle was going in or out of the area when the driver hit the child. As I said yesterday, this would be shared space in the Dutch model, but with a speed limit for all vehicles in the 12 MPH range rather than the 30 MPH minimum statutory limit in TX. For those who don’t understand what minimum statutory limit means, you can drive slower than 30 MPH on those streets, but municipalities are not allowed to post a speed limit lower than 30 MPH except for streets approved by the legislature and signed off by the governor. School zones are not allowed to be any slower than 20 MPH or 15 MPH slower than the posted limit, whichever is faster. Yes, we have a Culture of Speed in TX…

A cyclist is hit-and-run twice in KS. Wichita police say 2 vehicles struck cyclist Hit-from-behind, use the protocols to avoid getting hit the first time so there won’t be a second vehicle. I would suggest lots of lights, not that that will do anything to prevent the wreck but it will give prosecutors something to hang an assault charge on, “Your honor, the victim had more lumens facing back than 2 normal cars, plus a couple of square feet of reflective material to catch headlight beams. The only possible way to explain this wreck is either a legally blind driver, or a deliberate assault, and the driver passed a vision test.” Not that I ever see a prosecutor actually using that argument, but maybe. And of course if they had the infrastructure right all a bike would need would be a tiny LED tail light and a small headlight that lighted enough of the road to be able to avoid debris and potholes.

A Buffalo area cyclist runs a red in front of a dash-cam equipped vehicle and gets plowed. Bicyclist hurt in collision after crossing against light Don’t run the red lights. If a light won’t change for a bicycle, treat it like a stop sign after a reasonable amount of time. Yield to oncoming traffic and cross when clear to do so. To prevent get the infrastructure right so that red lights change for bicycles and cyclists do not mix with fast motor vehicle traffic.

Infrastructure! news from CA. State Senate passes bill: Space for bikes in traffic This is the same bill that Gov. Moonbeam vetoed last year and was called out on it vehemently, to the point of a buzz job in CA now being called “Getting Jerry Browned”. Sorta like what Dan Savage did to Santorum a few years back. So, Moonbeam, sign this legislation and we will stop using your name to describe an assault on a cyclist using a motor vehicle.

infrastructure news from Jolly Olde reveals cyclists are getting less and less jolly. When it comes to cycling, we’re governed by dimwits More than 60% of wrecks between motor vehicles and cyclists in the UK are totally the fault of the driver of the motor vehicle according to LEO, but a politician with a big stage gets it backwards. And UK cyclists wonder why the seem to get killed so often?

Final link, I keep expounding on the subject of electric-assist bicycles, where the combination of the two power sources is greater than either separate or the sum of the whole because of the way both work. IBM looking to put lithium-air batteries on the road LiAir cells are the current Holy Grail unless someone makes a battery that just uses gases as the reactants inside a pressure container. The power density would be about twice current LI cells, or about 60 times the SLA that cheap e-assist bikes and most EV use. The current record for range with SLA in a TX-legal (100 lbs empty weight ready to run, about 60 pounds of battery in most cases) e-bike is 30 miles, but using the same weight in the LiAir cells would get almost 2K miles. That’s how big a difference these cells will make.

And those are all the links that gave me fits today.

Billed @$0.02, Opus

Finding the new “normal”, and the Feed

Dad has taken a minor set-back as the trip Monday led to an exhausted Tuesday. The good news is that we now have a person bringing solid food by that knows how to cook well and still can make the food light enough for Dad to be able to eat it. The problem for Dad right now is he needs lots of nutrition, but because all he can do is just lay on his back or limp painfully to the bathroom he doesn’t need much in the way of calories, which pretty much prevents him from getting enough nutrition. Also the current thermostat setting of 80°F pretty well kills my appetite too. Well, that and my near total lack of activity beyond running around the house for my Dad.

The big story today is Bo Jackson is riding a bike (5 bikes actually, one at a time) across AL. Bo Jackson begins bike ride for tornado relief and Bo Jackson leads Alabama relief ride also Bo Jackson begins bike ride for tornado victims more Heisman winner Bo Jackson begins Alabama bike ride another one Bo Bikes Bama: Names on bike bear witness to tragedy

First wreck is a 10 YO recovering from getting hit while crossing the road. 10-year-old recovering from Appleton bicycle crash The cyclist did not clear the intersection before the cars started coming, but because of her age and the question of did she enter under a green light she didn’t get a ticket. But one of the drivers that hit her got one for having the view obstructed by something hanging from the mirror.

Another red light running kid cyclist in CA this time. Teen cyclist injured in car accident in Oxnard For this and the previous paragraph, to avoid use intersection protocols, to prevent install SBR.

Not much about the wreck in this report from MA. Fire Log: Injured Cyclist Airlifted for Treatment Geez. Not even a name for the cyclist… pretty serious injury though.

And from NC one of the top states for assaulting cyclists with guns (and conversely one of the lowest for IQ tests) someone shot another cyclist. Rocky Mount bicyclist injured in drive-by shooting To avoid find wicking body armor, to prevent LEO need to do a better job enforcing gun laws as well as driver’s license tests, there are some real idiots out there…

An AZ cyclist hit while following all the rules has died from the injuries in this update. Bicyclist injured in Yuba City crash dies Still no official word on how the wreck happened but my bet is the driver did it. At this point I don’t even know if the wreck was intersection or from behind.

A Portland OR teen is hit from behind in the bike lane and the driver barely slowed. Portland teen injured in hit-and-run Hit from behind protocols to avoid, SBR and better enforcement of not driving on them (the wreck was in a bike lane) to prevent. Did you see how many times people pulled into the bike lane to pass in the video? >shudder<

Another AZ wreck that having an alert responsible driver at the wheel would prevent. Amy Alexander Police Report Sheds No Light on Why SUV Drifted Into Bike Lane, Killing Cyclist; Kids Noticed What Mom Didn’t The kids said the vehicle was in the bike lane when it hit and killed the cyclist, making the driver at fault. So why the hand-wringing about why the driver was driving in the bike lane? And the $420 fine for killing a man is just outrageous.

A wreck in NJ. Bicyclist Martin Rutecki critically injured in Glassboro crash SWCC, the only person at the scene that was conscious was the driver who denied not paying attention to the road. I can’t see the bike, so I can’t say for sure what happened

Canuckistani LEO are trying to figure out how to blame the teen cyclist for getting hit from behind in the bike lane. Teen cyclist struck and killed by taxi Note the mention of the mantra of cycliing in West Canuckistan: “Reflective gear, lights and a helmet are all recommended while biking at night“. Not “Watch where you drive that multi-ton killing machine and don’t hit people riding bicycles!”

Last link is a report on a man that thwarted a bike theft, when LEO fianlly got around to catching up to the chase. Man follows bicycle thief for 30 minutes Total time between calling the cops and somebody slapping on the cuffs, nearly an hour.

And those are all the links that gave me fits today. Go Bo!

Billed @$0.02, Opus

More news on the Dad front, and the Feed

Well yesterday’s doctor visit went well, and we managed to get Dad up and out of bed for about 4 hours including the time he was in transport and in the doctor’s office. The broken arm is about as benign a break as you can get and still have a broken arm. What it amounts to is a compression fracture between the shaft and the ball of the humerus. The break is already starting to show signs of knitting back together, and Dad was upgraded from the bulky splint they had on him from the ER to a simple sling so that 1) he gets better circulation to his hand, and 2) he doesn’t lose muscle tone in the left arm from inactivity. We are managing to get more food down him as long as someone reminds him to eat. There willl be a lady coming by this afternoon to discuss his diet and set him up on a temporary food plan. The most frustrating thing is even if I had a driver’s license we would still be stuck here without transportation because the car was totalled, so we are totally dependent on other people to run to the store and pick things up that we need. After clearing out all the expired food from the fridge and cabinets there isn’t much left for either of us to eat except Dad’s Ensure drink, and ice cream, so I’m starting to look forward to the lady with the food plan.

The Big Story today is from CO, as a drunk driver hits a cyclist from behind. While I was filtering this last night there was some discrepancy over if the cyclist was hit in a bike lane, on the shoulder, or in the main lane of travel because the first 2 items listed did not exist. I’m hoping the updated links today will have that straightened out. Bicyclist killed near Larkspur and Officials ID bicyclist killed near Larkspur also Bicyclist dies after being hit by Jeep more Man Killed While Riding Bike Near Larkspur, Driver Arrested and last link Bicyclist Dies After Being Hit By Jeep Drunk driver, narrow road that is the only way between two towns, and twilight conditions all combined to create a fatal wreck. The cyclist in this case had decided to get a ride home to avoid just this situation but was only minutes away from meeting his ride when he died. Decent infrastructure might have prevented this wreck, and in this case “decent” does not even rise to the standard of SBR, just roads that are more than paved tracks between towns. More Monument man dies after being hit by Jeep while bicycling near Larkspur and another late link Friend remembers Air Force pilot, father, cyclist killed when hit by SUV

Next boggest story is a woman trying to make a 2 stage crossing of a highway outside NOLA and getting hit just before reaching refuge in the middle. Bicyclist killed after hitting truck on Airline Highway and Woman on bicycle killed after crash on Airline Drive in Metairie another Woman on bicycle killed after crash on Airline Drive in Metairie and last link Bicyclist Dies In Crash On Airline Highway It appears the cyclist mis-judged the speed of the truck when crossing the road. Watching more carefully would have avoided this wreck, getting the infrastructure right would have prevented it.

A left cross wreck in MD. Saturday Morning Crash Injures 2 Cyclists Left cross wrecks are now listed as the second-leading killer of cyclists, between right hooks and hit-from-behind. Intersection protocols to avoid, SBR to prevent. And major penalties for violating right of way that leads to injury. I’m still trying to figure out how the driver’s side of the car was damaged during a left turn unless the driver was passing a line of cyclists on the right, which makes this triple bad for the driver.

A kid runs a stop sign on his bike and hits a bus (?). Boy, 11, injured after striking side of school bus while biking To avoid don’t run stop signs with motor vehicles coming up the street you’re crossing/joining, to prevent SBR that even an American 11 YO can understand and use safely.

Another wreck caused by a vehicle not paying attention to other vehicles on the road. Police: Hit-and-Run Driver Leaves Scene After Injuring Bicyclist I can’t say who exactly was at fault in this wreck, but I know who became automatically at fault when they left the scene. Anyway, to avoid, use intersection protocols listed in the link at the top of the blog page. To prevent, get the roads right in residential areas where SBR don’t make sense.

Another wreck in CO, with less loss of life this time. Bicyclist injured in Main Ave. crash All the cyclist needed to do was push the button on the pole next to where he was riding in the crosswalk and he would have gotten a green light to cross. Intersection protocols and common sense to avoid, SBR and (still) common sense to prevent.

A little Infrastructure! news from the Great White North. Medical officer recommends 30 km/h speed limit For the metric impaired this is about 18 1/2 MPH or less than the lowest statutary limit allowed on public roads in TX (school zones are 20 MPH or higher). The comments with the article are priceless, “don’t make us go any slower or we’ll never get there” not realizing that slower speed limits sometimes result in faster throughput as everybody ends up going the same speed.

And that’s all the news that gave me fits today.

Billed @$0.02. Opus