More on not being depressed, this might get a little repetitive

So far this week I have gone to the Lab Rat Keeper, and bought a stamp and mailed a letter at the post office in one day, taken a 2 mile walk to buy cat food, fixed dinner (beans, rice, and vegetables) and had a conversation with Mrs. the Poet on another day, took another two mile walk and had another long conversation with the Mrs. on another day, had a shorter conversation with Mrs. the Poet, went grocery shopping, had another two mile walk and stopped to correct a $0.40 mistake on the grocery bill yesterday, and so far today I had a conversation with Mrs. the Poet plus all the regular maintaining life functions stuff and the day’s barely half over. The conversations are what has Mrs. the Poet excited the most. Seriously this is like meeting an all new person for her as I was already depressed (but didn’t know it) when we first met.

The letter was an order to Ron Coon Resins in NE for 8 Wide 5 hubs, 8 disk brake rotors, 8 wheels, and 2 quick change rear ends. I’m at the point I can’t do the front axles without the actual hubs I’m going to use, so this will let me move on with the build(s). Yes that was a plural on the build, I’m making the “ultimate” build with the LS7 engine at the same time as the “most probable” build with the Small Block Chevy, so I have a 3D blueprint for making either one of them. I’m still trying to find brake calipers for the rear brakes, I found some good ones for the fronts but GM Metric calipers are very hard to find in 1/25 scale. In contrast 1/25 or 1/24 scale 4 piston calipers are common. Most are not cheap (except the Model Car Garage die-casts at $5 a set of 4) but they are available.

On another note I have been thinking of how I could get some pedal time in while I’m on the computer, but I’m at a technical impasse. Anyone know how to make a Chromebook shut down gracefully when the voltage is taken away from the charge port? I think this would be a software thing. I’m trying to get my computer to run on a pedal-powered battery charger and use the battery to keep everything going in sleep mode when I quit turning the pedals. I’m thinking connecting the pedals to a car alternator to make dirty 12VDC then filtering that to the clean 9VDC the computer needs with lots of caps and “stuff” to make an LC filter and a linear regulator for the final output with another filter cap across that output to make it absolutely ripple-free, and then plug that into my computer.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

One week until my Death Day celebration

That’s right, next week will be 15 years since I died. I’m trying to decide how to celebrate it, I’m thinking another zombie theme party complete with Jello “brains”. But I am open to suggestions. This is a celebration that while I died, I didn’t “stay dead”. I think the same thing that enabled me to fight through 40 years of depression without giving up completely also wouldn’t let me stay dead in the street after I got hit.

This year I would like gift cards to Starbucks or Amazon, or a small lathe if anyone has one they want to get rid of. I could do so much with something that would let me turn stuff up to 2″ diameter and down under 1/16“. I could make my own tires as a fer’instance. I could make my own rims from aluminum barstock, or widen and narrow kit wheels to fit other tires. There would be a lot that I could do with a small lathe, things that I could monetize. Building a model race car and need some oddball size race slicks? Easy peasy. Making road tires would require turning the tire to size and somehow carving the correct tread pattern into the blank, I’m not sure I could do that as I’m not a sculptor. Thinking about it I can follow a pattern that I could print off and transfer to the blank, by making the pattern from a picture of the tire in question. That would be time-consuming but doable. And then cast a rubber tire from a mold made from the blank. Thinking about it some more I could also make tires that don’t exist but could, like a 26X16.50R-15 Hoosier Pro Street. Currently the shortest 14″ wide tread Pro Street is 29” tall, that nobody makes a scale replica of anyway.

But enough of lathes and what I could do with one. What kind of party do you suggest?

PSA, Opus

It’s amazing what can happen when you’re not depressed

I went for a walk today to get some cat food from the store and to max out the captures on the phone game I play that pays me money to play, then I sat down with my wife and had a conversation. Pre-medication I might have been able to do the first, but I probably would not have been able to do the second, and doing both in the same day, much less one right after the other, would have been a miracle. That’s the difference between mild depression and none. Mild depression I can go to the doctor, or cook dinner, or sit down and have a conversation, but not all on the same day. Without depression I can walk two miles to the store in the heat, have a long conversation with my wife, and cook all of dinner all on the same day without feeling like I was drowning, or some other overwhelming feeling.

Mrs. the Poet was like “Who are you and where did you put my husband?” over the difference. She has never known me from before I was depressed. I’m not sure but I think she likes the non-depressed person better. I know I do.

PSA, Opus

Trip to the Lab Rat Keeper, and something strange and wonderful on my YT Music channel

I’ll start with the strange and wonderful. I did a search on YTM a few months ago for “Personal Jesus” looking for the DePeche Mode song but also saying I wanted all versions, and one cover I found was by The Man In Black. No not Dale Earnhardt Sr. the other man in black, Johnny Cash. And it was 100% serious, Christian music done by someone who doesn’t just mouth the words and then go do something else. It was strange and wonderful, and I was truly moved listening to it. You can find it by using the search string “Johnny cash personal jesus” at YouTube.

Now the visit to the Lab Rat Keeper. My BP came up a tiny bit in the week I was off Bystolic, but not much. I’m all the way up to 120/86. One of the ways I know the Bystolic is not yet out of my system is I still have a pulse that just barely gets to 50 in spite of the fact I haven’t been able to ride anything but a stationary bike in two years now. And I get deadly bored on a stationary bike after just a few minutes so I quit. I lost another 3 pounds to get to 206.6 which still leaves me with a BMI in the “obese” range. I swear that people will be able to see my ribs and I will have a BMI at or near 30, the bottom of the obese range.

I’m still working on the Mini Sprint-T even as the parts are slowly wending their way to Casa de El Poeta. The thing I’m working on now is making a driveshaft that looks like a driveshaft. I have the raw stock but I completely lack any way to make the U-joints that look like the real thing only smaller. I could go with the “lincoln logs” method to make a master to pull a mold from and cast my own simulated U-joint ends and then sell them to other builders, as I understand this is a common problem. Is this a problem for you? Leave a comment.

PSA, Opus

Sorry I haven’t written…

OK catching back up, I’m on antidepressants long enough to have them adjusted twice now, and I’m “officially” not depressed, and the side effects are easing off. This particular med has some side effects that are distinctly unpleasant if you have had a UTI and that’s all I’m going to say about it.

I took several days off right when Mrs. the Poet got back from NY to go to my 40th HS reunion. I found out my face hasn’t changed much since I graduated based on the number of people who recognized me at the pub during the pre-reunion meet and greet. I also found that there were a number of girls wanting to go out with me if I had just asked, but since I didn’t…

I’m finally getting enough parts to start building the Mini Sprint-T. The order for the wheels, hubs, brakes and rear axles goes out tomorrow. I’m building two versions, so I’m getting the running gear for both in the same order. The main difference is one car I will have to narrow the wheels for, the other I will have to widen them. One will have 10″ street tires on 8″ rims, the other will have 14″ race slicks on 14″ rims. One car will have the LS7 and the other will have the SBC backed by a 700r4 automatic transmission. Both will have EFI, it’s just that the one on the SBC looks like a 4bbl carburetor with an extra fuel line and electrical cables.

I have found the steering box I’m going to use Classic Performance Products VEGA-PSB Power Steering Box. This box has almost the same ratio as the $600 Sweet 800 box for a lot less money and is a lot easier to integrate into the front end. The Vega box is much smaller than the 800 box and fits the same mount as the Vega manual box. I went to the manufacturer’s web site and downloaded the dimensions so I will be able to accurately model it.

And that’s pretty much everything I didn’t mention last time I posted. Opus

Play me as a race in D&D 3.5

I was thinking about it after a late night discussion of what real-life me would be like in D&D 3.5. One of the things we talked about was serious levels of natural armor and damage reduction, along with quick healing, and some other things. So, I present Opus as a D&D race.

Race Opuses

Opuses are a peaceful race distantly related to trolls and halflings but with skin tones that suggest human as well. They are less hairy than halflings, but males are known to have monobrows that extend to the tips of their noses. Hair color for an Opus is much like an anime character, almost any color in the spectrum (including infrared and ultraviolet) can be a natural hair color, and beards and eyebrows are not restricted to the same or even similar colors as hair anywhere else on the head or body. It is not common but even beards and moustaches can be colored differently on a male Opus. Male body hair can even have patterns like a cat, but that is unusual. There is a strong sexual dimorphism about body and facial hair for Opuses, with males getting furrier as they age while females have little to no body hair and barely have eyebrows.

Body appearance for an Opus is like a miniature troll, rounded head with a strong eyebrow ridge and long arms and torso with short legs. The legs are usually muscular with large calves because Opuses spend so much time walking or using strider horses, wheeled contraptions that allow them to move as fast as a horse on level ground, and much faster going downhill. We would call them hobby horses or balance bikes. They are common items in Opus villages.

The Opus’ deity has one commandment: “Make something awesome.” Some interpret this as “every day” while some interpret it as “before you die” with varying degrees of what constitutes “awesome”. But everyone tries to follow this commandment. This makes crafting a religious imperative, with one skill point per level assigned to crafting. Because of their deity Opuses are craftspersons of many things, with some specializing in one kind of thing and making that as well as Opusly possible. Opus tools are highly prized as objects of art as well as things to make other things, with ornate carved handles and etched and engraved blades. Similarly Opus clothing is either highly ornate or highly functional or sometimes both with the decorative touches meant to add another layer of functionality. It is not uncommon for Opus cloaks to be reversible, with one side meant to conceal and the other to attract attention, like a hunter’s vest that had a woodland pattern on one side and was bright orange on the other. There is also the skill “craft everything” that when taken allows an Opus to make nearly any non-magical item from whatever is available and have it be serviceable. It probably won’t be pretty, but it will work and will hold up to repeated use. As an example an Opus with this skill could mine the local dirt for meteorite dust that he could then forge into a knife or sword using a stick as the hilt. This is a valuable skill for an adventuring party. Warlock Opuses level 10 or higher can also use Eldritch Blast to forge metal without a fire or hammer. Opus are also very good cooks, partially because they need to eat 3 times as much as a human because of the natural armor and DR.

Almost all Opuses are magical to some extent, with 3 out of 4 being Warlocks with natural magic, half of those not a Warlock being a Wizard, and the final one in eight having no effective magic. The rare Opuses without magick are not all that crippled as they don’t share the -3 Cha penalty the rest of the race gets. As a race Opuses are the only Warlocks with healing spells, having “reversed engineered” Sickening Blast invocation to Healing Touch, with d8+level HP restored up to 20 times a day. This magical ability is stacked on whatever class the Opus player selects at startup.

In battle Warlock and Wizard Opuses use ranged spells and invocations to cover as much of the battlefield as possible while retaining as many options as possible. Those with Healing Touch will try to stay within a one-step distance of “squishies” for a quick healing if needed during battle.

Character creation. An Opus has +3 bonuses to Int and Wis, and a -3 penalty to Cha, unless the Opus has no magic. An Opus has no AC bonus for Dex (effectively always flat-footed) but gets a d6 bonus to base AC for Natural Armor (not bypassed by Touch attacks) at character creation and gets a d20 DR at character creation that stacks with any DR from class progression. Opuses have a ranged deduction on spot checks of -2 per 5 feet increment, but a natural +1 per level on listen checks. An Opus gets 1 extra skill point per level for crafting that can’t be used for any other skills, including at character creation. Opuses also get bonuses in any skill that can also be used to create things like rope skills and others of that nature at one point per level. To get Healing Touch the character has to have Sickening Blast and used it at least once. This is normally done during formal Opus education at the primary level so that as many Opuses as possible know how to use this invocation, but some Opuses don’t get Sickening Blast until they reach higher levels, and one in 4 is not a Warlock.

An Opus is a Medium size creature with a movement of 20 on foot, 15 swimming and climbing, and 100 on the strider horse on flat terrain, with normal 20 uphill and as much as 300 downhill. In addition a strider horse can carry 5 times the character’s carry on back limits of cargo with a half speed reduction going uphill. These are so common in Opus villages they almost seem like they are grafted to the villagers. All Opuses are ChG alignment and can play as any class that can be ChG. Any Warlock or Wizard Opus would have to multi-class to play as any other class, those are permanent parts of the race.

Opuses speak and read Common and Elvish plus Opus, which is a variation of Troll not understood by any other race. The written language for Opus uses the glyphs used by Elvish but pronounced differently (like Japanese uses Chinese characters), so someone who reads Elvish would read Opus as gibberish in Elvish.

Opus get whatever HP they get as a class or d10+Con per level, whichever is higher.

PSA, Opus (not the D&D race).

I just tweeted this but anyway

The anti-depressant works at keeping me from being depressed. What it doesn’t do is keep me awake, like at all. I have zero energy and can barely keep my eyes open, I’m yawning constantly and also keep doing that “wake up stretch” my body does when I’m fighting off sleep to get something done late at night. Except it is 1630 not 2330. I think my body is reacting to my efforts to put me back on a diurnal schedule rather than a nocturnal one. I keep getting up earlier each day but still end up staying awake until 0300 or 0400, even when I get up at 0800 or 0900 the day before. It’s just not fair, now that I’m not depressed I want to sleep like I am worse depressed than before I started taking the med…

Now I’m gonna force myself to take care of things around the house including myself and the cats. Write to you later.

PSA, Opus