Trans Day of Rememberance

I’m especially blessed that none of my trans friends have passed on, that I’m aware of. There are some I no longer talk to because I was a part of their lives before transition which makes me an uncomfortable memory to them. That… hurts, a bit, but I understand how that goes. There are parts of my life that I want to be able to forget about, but my nightmares won’t let me. I just hope that I’m not part of their nightmares. There are things I did either out of ignorance or because that was the way things were, and men and women were treated differently back then. If any of you are reading this I did not plan or intend to cause you distress, I was just ignorant and running on common media tropes of how men and women should interact.

Now, for the ones that still talk to me, even though I can’t remember most of your names, know that you are a treasured part of my life. And also that I can’t remember my wife’s and kids’ names either, so forgetting your name doesn’t make you unimportant, it just makes you one of the people I almost know. It also makes it hard for me to look you up because “that one guy who used to live down the street when I was in 8th grade” is not a particularly useful search string in Google. Particularly when I lived at 4 different addresses in 2 countries when I was in 8th grade, and can’t remember street names for any of them. Not to mention that 40 or 50 years ago I wouldn’t have known if you were acting strange the way you acted because you were L, G, B, or T. And I was using a different name back then so finding this blog to read about my writing about you would require serendipity on an improbability scale that makes surviving getting hit by someone trying to murder me with a truck going 60 MPH look downright commonplace.

So to all you people out there, I’m glad you’re alive. Really, really glad. And I’m lighting a candle to those who aren’t there any more to guide you to a safe home.

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Unmedicated ramblings, list of jobs unlikely to be replaced by robots

I was musing about jobs not likely to be replaced by robots while waiting for the brain to shut down and let me sleep.

First off, robots can theoretically do almost any job as good as or better than humans. But I believe that some jobs will still continue to be done by humans because the people paying will want the job done by humans, not because humans will do the job any better physically but because there is an emotional response to the job that many people will seek out. One job that will quickly go by the wayside is boardroom executives, the only people who want humans to do that job are the ones getting paid to do it. Shareholders will want the robots to do it for essentially free. Basically this is a job that doesn’t need to exist that will go away in an AI-enabled society.

It is my hypothesis that eventually the only jobs that will still exist will be ones that require physical touch on another human being. Doctors will get replaced but I’m betting therapists will continue to exist. There was much ado about sex workers being replaced by robots, which will happen to some extent, but I see that job continuing as a human job because for a lot of people that is where they get actual human interaction with another person. I can totally see some people doing the job because they want to be with other people. The fact that sex bots will be a thing takes a lot of the danger out of the job. Another job that will continue will be massage techs. Robots might be able to do a better technical massage, but there will always be the people who are there because there is another person in the room interacting with them. In fact I foresee jobs for people to just sit and talk to people one-on-one, as a remedy to our impersonal “connected” society.

So, with the only jobs being some kind of companionship for short periods of time, where will the money come from to pay them, and to buy all the robot-made merch? If robots are doing all the work, who will have the money to buy things? One suggestion has been Universal Basic Income, based on a tax of roboticized industries so that people can buy the stuff the industries make. Because otherwise when everybody goes AI the economy goes straight in the toilet. And I have no idea what to do about that without UBI, but even the 1% will go broke when everything goes AI.

And Martin Truex Jr. just won the first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup. Good for you Martin.

I might stop updating for a while

Long story short, I’m in the process of changing meds and there will be a period where I’m not taking the old med but haven’t started the new med, and I’m in the process of tapering off the old med. This will make my depression worse, on top of the broken toe not helping my disposition. Mrs. the Poet and the cats are already leaving me lots of room around the house, except when Clint decides I need some lap time.

Clint making sure my lap is protected from monsters.

I’m still working out the packaging for the TGS2. If I don’t try to get the driver forward for better balance, and put the fuel tank in front of the bucket body instead, it’s pretty easy to put the powertrain in the fake pickup bed and still have a fairly normal-looking T-bucket. Well as normal as a mid-engine bucket can look when they are usually front engine. The proportions would be sorta normal, close to that of the original Model T front to back, but much wider because of the minivan donor vehicle axles and driveshafts. And the front axle made so the widths kinda sorta matched. This is on the assumption that I’m going to get the minivan donor vehicle.

Now if I’m not getting the minivan donor vehicle then things get… different. Then everything depends on the donor vehicle or the crate engine and transmission combination. I can say I would love to get a flood-damaged front engine RWD car as a donor vehicle but again that would require resources to buy and then get the car home, in fact I found a Corvette listed for $700 but I would need a flatbed to tow it home. I also found a couple of V6 Chargers and Challengers with $100 or less prices. But again I would need a trailer, something to tow that trailer, and gas money for the tow vehicle. But now we are getting into the real pipe dreams, unless I can find something in a local auction with some kind of cash for seed money to buy the car. I might as well wish for working wings on my back. And yes that is the depression talking, but it is also realism talking. Which is another reason why I’m taking a break until I get my meds under control, you guys don’t need to be dealing with my depression any more than I do. Now that I have ways of not being depressed, I really want to not be depressed.

I’m starting to repeat myself and having to delete things, so this would be a good time to quit.

My foot is looking better

I just checked how my foot was looking where I had access to a digital camera so I snapped a shot of it to share. This is much better than it looked yesterday, an about the same as it did the day I hurt it.

Broken toe looks broken.

The swelling behind the knuckle has gone way down and almost looks normal. The swelling at the end of the toe is slightly down, and the whole thing is much less painful than it was before. It still feels broken, but better. I just have to remember to not curl my toes down or then it really hurts, again.

Foot is better, still trying to figure out what to do with the bucket

The toe looks worse today, but feels better. I mean the toe looks seriously ugly today between the color and the swelling, but as long as I don’t mess with it it feels pretty close to not-broken. As in most of the time I can’t feel it at all unless I do something that causes pressure against the toe. So basically if I don’t do anything stupid I feel pretty good.

On the bucket, I have been “what-if”-ing the car for more than 50 years, there is literally nothing I haven’t thought about doing to the car. About the only thing limiting me now is previously-purchased parts. The big thing is the 58″ front axle and the early Ford spindles and steering arms that I bought to match the hub spacing for the minivan donor vehicle I was expecting to use. Now what I seriously want to do is a V8 front mid-engine semi-traditional bucket with 4 equal-sized tires instead of bigs and littles. If I had the resources that is what I would do. Right now I have absolutely no idea what kind of car I’m going to be building, it all depends on the donor vehicle or getting a crate engine and transmission.

And as you might guess I didn’t win the lottery last night, so the build will still be as cheap as possible. Unless I win on Saturday, of course. First time through the “o” didn’t take and “course” became “curse”, I wonder if that’s an omen. Not that I pay actual attention to omens. I still need to get financial resources and the most likely way of that happening is winning the lottery, or finding a job, but to be totally honest I have a better chance of winning the lottery than I do of finding a job at my age and state of disability. That is a sad statement to make, but even sadder is that it probably is true. Winning the lottery is strictly based on chance, but getting a job requires convincing another human being that I deserve to get the job, or in other words I have to overcome any prejudices against my age and/or disability and the source of my disability (the bicycle wreck). All I need to win the Texas Lotto is beat 25827165 to one odds against. Compared to overcoming ageism, ableism, and automobilism all at once that’s nothing, and even slightly better than the odds of surviving getting hit by a truck doing 60 MPH.

So, question time. Anyone out there need a slightly damaged blogger to do something that pays money, or should I keep buying lottery tickets? Leave a comment.

I better win the lottery tonight

Because my foot is absolutely THROBBING from the little bit of walking I did yesterday, basically to and from the bus stops. So it turns out walking almost a mile with what is essentially a broken toe isn’t a good idea, whodathunkit? So since I’m suffering all this pain just to get the ticket there better be some payoff that is worth the pain.

And since I can’t proceed with the plans I have already made I have been making more plans for the TGS2 that I can’t fulfill. Since I can’t sit still and I can’t move forward I run around in circles to fool myself into thinking I’m getting something done. It’s terrible to try and fool myself that I’m actually doing something when I’m not, really. But the alternative is something like stepping in front of a train or bus. I’m not planning on that, but that is pretty much the choice, either fool myself I’m getting something done or end it all. Or just write stuff in a blog which I guess falls under the “fool myself I’m getting something done” category.

Of course if I win the lottery I will have the resources to actually do something, roughly $144k/an after taxes and the agreed-upon division of 1/3 each for me, Mrs. the Poet, and the house/cats. Mrs. the Poet has medical issues she needs to deal with, I have medical issues I need to deal with, and the house and the cats have deferred maintenance/medical issues to deal with, and probably after all the deferred issues have been at least started to be dealt with next thing is doing something we want instead of just what we need. Then I can start actually building the TGS2 instead of just writing about maybe building it someday.

Just a short health report

I took the bus to the lottery ticket store for about 0.8 miles (1.3 km) of walking with my broken toe. There was some pain even for me but nothing I couldn’t deal with even with that much walking. I probably didn’t need it but I took an ibuprofen before I left. There are two points of discomfort on the affected toe, one on each side of the knuckle, and bruising reflecting where the pain is along the length of the toe. I find this interesting, because I see myself as an experiment in progress and everything is data.

What makes the pain and bruising interesting is how I got injured in the first place. I was walking down the hall in the dark and the cats had put a big wrinkle in the rug, that I couldn’t see and caught my toe in the rug. Now if I didn’t know what a broken bone feels like my first guess would have been that I did something to the knuckle since I didn’t make contact with anything solid. But the knuckle doesn’t seem to be injured, while there is injury on either side of the knuckle that feels like a break. Now how I managed to do this I have no clue, but I did it. I’m not proud of it, but I do accept responsibility for it. Tl;dr I broke my toe in two places and I don’t know how.

Well the pain kept disturbing my sleep last night, so I’m going to hit the sheets now.

I’m back at the keyboard

And I have been applying the data from scaling the picture to checking the fit against the actual body sitting in the living room. The engine will fit with both ends hanging out by about an inch from the bottom, or about 2″ on the left only if that’s the way it balances out, or whatever way it works out. Or, thinking again, there is enough room to fit the whole mess inside a stretched pickup bed . It will be wide enough but I will need to stretch it to fit the front-to-back. Then I can sit inside the actual bucket instead of a pod out in front of the body. It will still be center-steer, probably with my feet through the “firewall” of the original body.

The trick will be making sure the front tires don’t hit the body at full steering lock, and finding someplace to put the fuel tank or tanks. If I can get enough room I might be able to stuff the gas tank behind the driver like on the pod in front setup. The only difference is instead of 34″ width to the axle for the footbox I’ll use the 26″ firewall width for the footbox. Still a ton of room for my brogans or combat boots, or my usual walking shoes, and the steering shaft. The critical thing on the front is keeping the tires out of the bodywork at full lock, and turning the tires parallel to the axle gives me 34″ between the tires. So if I keep the firewall on the body far enough behind the axle then the tire will not hit the body at full steering lock, and there will be room inside the body behind the driver for the 32 gallon fuel tank.

I might have to cut the back of the bucket off to get the engine and fuel tank in the available wheelbase. A bucket has 100-102″ of wheelbase normally, they run from 87″ to 116″ historically for buckets made from old passenger car frames, my bucket will be 100″ even. As mentioned in an earlier post, with the 32 gallon tank all the pieces and I take up 97″ with no extra space between the bits for bulkheads, which means I can use the same 1.5″ round tubes for the bulkheads and crossmembers that I plan on using for the frame rails.

While I was letting the cat out for the night I tripped on where the cats had wrinkled up the hall runner in the dark, and I think I broke a toe. It hurts constantly, and gets really bad when I touch the side of the toe, like really intense. The toe is swelling up and I guess I will find out in the morning if I broke it if it’s all black and blue. This really sucks because I need to walk to the store to get a lottery ticket later and that will be difficult with a broken toe.

Update, it’s a few hours later and I definitely have injured the toe next to the big toe on my left foot. As in swollen, and black and blue, and very painful and sensitive to touch.

Happy Day to my fellow vets

Today is Veteran’s Day (observed), so I’m wishing a happy Veteran’s Day to all my green-blooded brothers out there (in joke).

It was cold last night but warmed up this morning enough that I wore my normal next-to-nothing today, which annoyed Mrs. the Poet as she was wearing long pants, t-shirt, and a sweatshirt over it with fuzzy socks on her feet and complaining about the cold. We have vastly different temperature tolerances all year long as I go out and walk or ride my bike in both the summer and winter in weather that has Mrs. the Poet staying indoors or kvetching about the heat/cold as appropriate for the season. I think it’s kinda funny, but that’s because I’m not the one complaining about the cold or heat. My nose does get cold when Mrs. the Poet is complaining about the cold while I’m in a pair of shorts and nothing else, and when I get cold enough to put a shirt on my ears are also getting a bit chilly while Mrs. the Poet is busy putting on everything in the closet and dresser. And I’m not as cold-tolerant as I used to be back when I wore shorts and t-shirt in freezing weather, scaring the rubes when I walked home from work. I saw people tossing liquor bottles out of car windows after seeing me walk home in shorts and T-shirt with heavy frost on the ground. This was back when I was in my 30s, long before I got hit with the truck. I can’t quite do that these days, one of the downsides of years of conditioning myself to be able to ride in ridiculously hot and humid weather.

I’m still stymied at trying to get something moving on the TGS2 build, beyond getting the spindles installed on the axle, which also hasn’t happened yet. I mean I don’t even actually have the donor vehicle in my hands yet, just a car cover for it when I get it so it doesn’t get towed for not having registration since it can’t pass inspection. Since the registration sticker is on the inside of the windshield if you park under a car cover they can’t check to see if your vehicle has current tags. I guess I should be doing something with the parts I have to work with just to be doing something that moves the car build forward, but it is very hard to become inspired for building when you will still have next to nothing to show for it when you get finished except a few more parts not in separate piles. I guess this is another symptom of my depression, the inability to inspire myself to do things. Writing I don’t consider “doing something”, it’s more of a way to avoid doing things. It’s much easier to write about doing something than to actually drag myself into a situation where things are getting done. Also I write when I’m depressed, the “the Poet” in my name came from writing free verse during depressive episodes. I even got some song lyrics down from some of my depressive episodes. Some were good, others were scary bad. Bad as song lyrics, but passable as free verse.

It’s dreary and rainy here

And I have been thinking about the Thunderbolt Grease Slapper 2 again. Specifically I have been re-thinking the rear suspension and what would be the cheapest way to do it. I’m still going with the de Dion suspension, so what I have been looking at is would I save any money by directly attaching the steering knuckles from the donor vehicle to the beam and keeping all the stuff like brakes and bearings on the knuckle and mounting the parking brake on the front axle. And I keep looking at it, over and over again and I keep coming up with the same answer: Slightly cheaper to use the uprights in parts costs, but much more fabrication needed to connect the knuckles to the beam and to attach the parking brakes to the front spindles.

Again the cheapest rear suspension option is to transfer the whole front suspension from the donor car and swap softer springs in, keeping the original shocks, but the geometry on that pretty much sucks. Actually what sucks is using the solid axle in front with the MacPherson struts in the rear between the roll centers and camber curves or lack of them on the front. The two suspensions are just not compatible and making them work together is more time and money than just building a rear suspension that works with the front axle in the first place.

I mentioned dreary weather in the headline, we have another cold front moving through with rain and a solid overcast. That makes it really dark outside along with cold and wet. This is not the usual rainy weather we get in TX where we get a squall line and a deluge that is gone in a couple of hours, this is a dark day that starts and ends dark with a steady rain that hangs around all day. I’m used to rain like this from when I lived in the Pacific NW, but it is unusual for TX. I can literally hear the foundation shifting from the black gumbo soil saturating from the slow rains soaking in instead of running off.

I’m slightly concerned about some of my friends in this weather, as their depressions are made worse by lack of light. They get really down in weather like this. They get really down in winter anyway, and days like this make them all a bit screwy. I think they all have some degree of SAD, but this far south it is not a common diagnosis as the conditions are not extreme enough to get many cases.

I really need to go for a bike ride, but I lack a bicycle I can ride at the moment because of old injuries acting up. What I need now is a medium height long wheelbase tadpole recumbent trike so I can step over the frame and sit down on a supportive seat with back support. And while I’m wanting things I need maybe someone could fix the leaky plumbing and the holes in the bathroom walls?