Monthly Archives: January 2018

It’s really cold here

It has warmed up to 59°F (15°C) in my office via trapped body heat, up from 54 (12) when I sat down at the computer. Outside was even worse at 29°F when I fired up the laptop, 23 now. For readers in lands where the metric system is in use, those are all minus temperatures where you might live. We are looking at possible single-digit temperatures in the early morning (-13°C). Needless to say, I’m not calm, cool and collected about the cat’s fortunes tonight.

Other fun things: the touch pad that acts as a mouse on my almost 5YO Chromebook doesn’t work except for the left click when I push on the pad until it clicks. I could really use a new laptop here at Casa de El Poeta. I done wore this one almost completely out. Dead keys, dead battery, now a dead mouse pad.

In other news I’m in better shape than Our Fearless Leader. Even taking into account the numbers released were fudged in his favor, I’m 30 pounds lighter than him. And I look a hell of a lot better than he does. Which I should, because I have died a lot more than he has. To my knowledge, I have died at least 2 times more than Trump. Not twice as much, two times more, there’s a big difference. And BTW the next time I die I’ll know how to use the viewer because I’ve used a touch screen and understand gestural interfaces now. It would have helped if someone had explained that instead of saying I should become one with the universe. Of course most of their customers have a lot longer to play with the interface than I had. I mean what’s 2 minutes compared to eternity? They look at the new guy getting frustrated and they say “Give him time, it’s not like he has anyplace else to go.”

And in spite of the best I could do with both cats adding their best body heat, the temperature has dropped to a finger-numbing 56°F, so I’m going back to bed where it’s nice and warm under the covers. BTW that means that both cats are inside out of the worst of the cold. Clint and Clyde are both comfortably warm tonight.

I’m detoxing, posts might get weird for a while

I’m eliminating all the brain drugs because the side effects are worse than the disease. I was taking anti-depressants because untreated PTSD from when I was a kid turned into depression, so I took SSRIs which helped the depression for a while until the side effect of destroying my ability to have sex kicked in. I managed to get most of a year in without depression, and I had a positive attitude and everything. I was even cheerful and talked with my wife regularly. That was great while it lasted. but eventually side effects kinda blew that out of the water.

So, then I changed meds in an attempt to find one without sexual side-effects, with the first attempt getting the side effects in full effect before the intended effect of reducing depression even started. Which brings me to the current med, that uses a chemical strategy that does not even affect my depression. Well my soon-to-be-previous-med, that takes as long to wean off of as it required other meds to be clear from my system. It will be about 2 weeks to detox enough to switch to an SSRI. Then at least another 2 weeks to get back up to speed on the SSRI as I mourn the death of my sex life, or not. I might decide to just save the money and live in a dull, grey world, and retain something of my sex life.

In other news I was going to get my toes done Tuesday, but we are experiencing the southern end of an arctic cold front that dropped the temperature about 40°F overnight, from a high of 57° to a forecast low of 20 tomorrow morning, with wind chills expected to be in the single digits. That’s chilly. We had to fight to get the cats to come in and stay in because they want to be out in what is still pretty warm, and now they are pacing the hall yelling to be let out.

Change in circumstance leads to change in mental state

I don’t know if I will ever have the re$ource$ to build out any road-going version of the hot rod, and it has caused a downward trend in emotional futures here at Casa de El Poeta. Those of you betting the new anti-depressant was not going to work after it “settled in” can now collect your winnings. It looks like I can either have a sex life or not be depressed, but not both at the same time. And that knowledge is depressing in and of its own self. Throw not having the financial resources to build the car on top of that… Fortunately I’m staying above the suicide line. I’m sad I won’t have the hot rod, and all that but I won’t let it drive me below the suicide line, I’ve been there and it is a Very Dark Place (using Milne Capitalization for emphasis).

On the other hand, not having to restrict myself to any rules or regulations except “will it go fast” and “will it be fun to drive” turned loose a bunch of mutants from the imagination. One in particular was based on the A-Mod car with the 90° Vee Twin sidewinder engine next to the driver, and the exhaust pipes running out the passenger side of the body and a small gas tank hanging from the roll cage to feed the EFI pump. That one would have been funny-looking with the rear axle tucked up behind the body and the front axle just far enough in front of the body not to hit the tires against the fiberglass at full lock. No visible engine, especially if I run the exhaust under the body. And not enough room outside the body to put an engine as small as the 420cc Predator from the local Harbor Freight store.

I then went through all the permutations of putting a liter class I4 motorcycle engine in the car, using both the mid-engine short chain drive to a differential and the front-engine offset to a lightweight rear axle. Both of those would work as long as a separate electric motor could be used as a reverse. I was sticking that engine in every which way trying to find a performance advantage. The only way that had a theoretical advantage was the mid-engine short chain drive. So still thinking even though there’s really nothing I can do with it.

OK I’ve been doing this writing thing for a while, and my nose is froze just from normal breathing. And right now I’m listening to “The Bertha Butt Boogie” on YTM, the album version. In case you thought things were “normal” around the ranch. I think I was in 8th grade when Jimmy Castor did his thing with Ms. Butt. The other hit from that album, “Troglodyte” is also in my rotation. But that still doesn’t do anything to make my office warmer than the current 64°F which is the warmest reading I’ve had with all the TVs and computers running plus my personal heat pumping into the space. It was 62° earlier when I first looked today.

Getting back to the opening paragraph, now I need to go through detoxing from my anti-depressant, which takes about 2 weeks to do and from the instructions sounds like Hell to go through. There are 2 main reasons to go through this, the first being it doesn’t work for me and I don’t need any more chemicals running through me than absolutely necessary. The second thing is this med makes me sleep half the day, and depression does that to me all by itself, I don’t need any help in staying unconscious. So the med has to go. I guess I’ll be unmedicated for a month to see what my baseline feels like, I really need to test that when I’m playing with my brain chemistry. Back to baseline after a failure. Making a note of that. Right here in my blog I’m making a note that I need to spend a month without brain meds to gauge my mental condition after I have a brain med that fails to work as advertised.

And with that, I really need to take this shoe off. I have a toe that needs a trim and the nail base is starting to hurt. If I try to run around the house unshod I’ll be hurting from another source so I need to get my feet back in bed where they will be warmish or so. I think I really need to hit the road and get my nails done in the morning, or after I get up since technically it’s already over 2 hours into the “morning” as I post this.

Stupid cat won’t come in out of the cold

Yep, Clint keeps going back out into the freezing cold weather. The aggravating thing about that is Mrs. the Poet is the one letting the cats out to freeze in the cold. It’s almost as if she wants them to leave or something. I get them to come in and she turns around and lets them go back out a few minutes later and then doesn’t wait for them to come back in a few minutes later as cats do. And then I spend hours at the door trying to call them back in from wherever they have holed up for the night. I end up with popsicle knees because she can’t keep the cats in when the weather gets cold.

And it would be so easy to do, just don’t let the cats out when they get done with dinner, act like you don’t hear them for a couple of minutes and they shut up and settle down for a warm night inside. I can say this here because Mrs. the Poet and our mutual friends don’t read my blog, because they read it a few times before I stopped writing about and linking to bike wrecks and decided it was “too depressing”. That’s one of the main reasons I stopped covering bike wrecks, I was making myself more depressed. Now I can semi trash-talk her and Mrs. the Poet will never even know. Of course I would never deliberately really trash talk Mrs, the Poet, calling her a pushover for the cats is pretty much as far as it will go.

And basically what I’m saying is I’m worried about the cats in the cold when she lets them out.

Operation Time Shift underway

I’m currently at hour 20 of Operation Time Shift, intended to put me to sleep at or shortly after 2200 tonight so I can be functional by 0700 Thursday. I will be back throughout the day to update this post, so yes, I’m liveblogging again.

OK just passed 23 hours and coming up on 24 and as long as I don’t have to pass any field sobriety tests I’m good.

Passed 24 hours since I got up and I keep finding the world tilting and I’m hanging out of my chair. This ain’t good.

Coming up on 26 hours awake and I’m getting my second wind, although the world still tilts alarmingly on occasion.

Almost hour 28 and still hanging tough, but it’s getting harder and harder to sit up straight in my chair, I seem to be leaning heavily to the left. And I’m also having trouble telling my left from my right. That ain’t helping at all. Also all that coffee is taking its toll on my bladder sphincter as I have totally lost count of how many trips to the bathroom I made since sunup. Somewhere in excess of 14, but less than 20, I think.

Still caught in a circadian slip

And pretty much nothing else to report.

I don’t have anything to use for the powertrain or any raw stock to use for a build. Basically if I was moving on this build I would be driving in circles, except I don’t have an engine or wheels, or a gas tank. I have a really neat steering wheel, most of a front axle (in pieces), and a body. And several square miles of mental plans with options for different engine/transmission combinations.

Now: Circadian slip. This is a real thing. I’m getting up at 5 every day, but instead of 0500 I’m getting up at 1700. So I have to figure out how to make myself sleep and get up at 0500 instead of 1700, something that has never happened in my life. Part of the problem is we are so close to the Winter Solstice that there is very little daylight for resetting my biorhythm. And artificial light at night doesn’t help keep me running on a diurnal as opposed to nocturnal rhythm. And my anti-depressant med makes everything, except my depression and my sex life, worse. Seriously, the soporific effect of Mirtazapine is so bad that I can take it and spend the next 12 hours asleep so I need to do the 36 hour reset one of these days soon, but I already took my pill for this 24 hour period and will probably be asleep soon. I just have to remember not to take my pill tomorrow night and then zombie through until Thursday night before sleeping again. I’ll need 2 pots of Opus grade Coffee (beyond weapons grade) and a clear path to the potty, and I should be good to go (and go and go and go…).

Now to work out the logistics to staying awake for 36 hours at 59 years of age and sign off…

Nothing to report

I basically have just been hanging out and thinking and not really doing much because I lack the resources to do anything with. I have made some detail changes to the center section of the combined Sprint-T/TGS2 build that unless you somehow managed to get copies of the previous designs for comparison you wouldn’t notice the changes. Still trying to get the taking the meds schedule to mesh with the “normal” sleep schedule and having zero luck doing it.

Y’all have a good one.

I’m wandering without a compass here

And a map would be nice, too. That is what depression does, it robs you of your sense of direction and knowledge of what is ahead and behind you. And in this case knowing is not half the battle. Just because I know that I’m depressed, and that depression robs me of my sense of self and self-worth, doesn’t mean my depression goes away. Even with medication I’m still depressed, just not as depressed as I was without. And that only takes care of the chemical part of depression. Anything that’s caused by external factors, like a pair of nit-wits threatening to destroy the world in a dick-measuring contest, is up to you to deal with. So Cheeto Jesus and Rocket Man rattling sabers are creating a whole new group of medication-resistant depressed people.

Anyway, I know what I need to do to get the money to build the car, I know what I’m going to buy with the money once I get it, I know how to use the parts and materials once I buy them. It’s just finding the drive to get up and get the money. Taking that first step, that’s the scary part. Literally getting the courage to take the first step, and the next and the next. In my mind’s eye that first step is a huge cliff towering in front of me. In reality it’s literally getting out of bed and walking out the door. I do that. I get up and get dressed and walk out the front door to go to the Lab Rat Keeper, but it’s a struggle when I’m doing it for my own selfish purposes. I know that people need the plasma I would be selling, but that turns it into a commercial transaction, not expanding the bounds of medical science a minutia. And for some reason, doing things for just me with no altruism, makes silly things like getting up in the morning almost impossible tasks. Going to get my insides poked around on the off chance it will lead to a surgical cure for hypertension, I’m ready to go. Sell something that people need to live, me-h-h-h, that’s too haaarrrd! Same action at the same time of day, one altruistic and the other mendacious, but only by the tiniest margin, and altruism wins. Don’t ask why, I don’t know. That’s why I’m mentioning it here.

Another thing that’s worth mentioning is that writing about this is easier than not doing anything about it, believe it or not.

“Is this real life?”

Remember that commercial where the kid wonders if he’s hallucinating? That is the way I’m feeling today, waiting on a book delivery that will tell us how the president conspired with Russia to fix the election so he would win. I mean at this point there is little doubt of the conspiracy since Trump announced it on national TV .

I’m watching Velocity channel again with people making pretty cars or rompin’ cars that aren’t quite so pretty. It inspires me, but also frustrates me as I can see how easy it is to build cars when you have the materials and the equipment to do it. I almost have the equipment, between welders and angle grinders and other cutting equipment and drills, but I still lack the equipment to lift and move heavy assemblies like engines and transmissions. A few more tools and I’ll have it covered. Then all I have to deal with is materials, and depression stealing my ambition to build.

And, to be totally honest, depression is my biggest hurdle on this build. Not money, not spousal disapproval, not lack of work space, depression. That means I just have to stay on my meds, and get myself down to the plasma center to sell my blood twice a week (at an upfront cost of $10 for bus fare), spend that money on raw stock and build the central cage around the body to await the donor vehicle that will define the rest of the frame. I have to get out of bed which means fighting the anti-depressant side effects and fighting to the bus stop and having that $5 in my fist to pay for the day pass, and fighting to get to the donor center and get needles stuck in my arm. After that the metaphor falls apart, partially because I don’t know what comes next and partially because I mostly just have to get home which is not that big a thing as long as I’m on my meds, nothing really to fight there.

Speaking of depression my music app just pulled up a cut from “The Wall“, which is practically a sonic poem to depression. RIP Sid Barrett. And I need to get to bed soon because I took my meds early and now I’m starting to lean to one side and I might fall out of my chair.

Still struggling with getting the meds and my sleep cycle right

OK as I begin this entry it is 0451 and I have been up since 2130 yesterday. My sleep cycle has gone totally bonkers and the cats and I are trying to get it settled out. The problem is I need to take my antidepressant about 2200 or so so I can get to sleep at a reasonable hour. I missed taking it Tuesday and didn’t get sleepy until 1300 or so Wednesday, took the pill and went to bed and woke up 2130 or so. I’m hoping I can stay awake until at least 2200 and get myself back on a normal sleep schedule.

And I have this sense of deja vu like I have posted the previous paragraph before, probably because I did less than a month ago. I wish I knew why I’m having so much trouble keeping aligned with the rotation of the sun and how everybody else fits their lives to that rotation. I think it might be related to my depression, because I started having problems with my sleep about the same time my depression started.

Another problem I’m having is cats sleeping on my lap keep me from getting close enough to my computer to type with it on the desk and keep me from moving my laptop to my lap to type with it from there. I don’t see this as a real problem-problem and more of an annoyance. And the lap cats have suddenly decided the warm carpeted floor that doesn’t move around while they sleep is preferable to my lap. Since I can’t think of an Olympic god in charge of cats I will send gratitude to Freya who uses them to draw her chariot and somehow manages to get where she wants to go instead of where her cats want to go.

Now, on the hot rod front no progress has been made since Monday. The body still sits in a cage with bolt-on ends that are changed depending on the drivetrain. I can’t improve on that so I’ll quit trying. I’m sure there is some genius who could make it better without knowing which drivetrain they were designing for, the Sheldon Cooper of hot rodding, but I’m not at that level of genius. At this point the things I don’t know are more than the things I do know about this car because of not knowing the drivetrain. The drivetrain will change the front suspension, the rear suspension (especially if the RWD donor vehicle has independent rear suspension), the fuel tank size and location, battery location, and everything else, except the front and rear roll hoops. And the only reason those don’t change is because “I said so.” Literally those don’t move because I’m designing the car and I decided that they don’t get changed.

And just now I discovered that my semi-new phone doesn’t work. The entire audio side of the phone has gone dead, nobody can hear me if I talk, and I can’t use any function of the phone that requires audio output, so no alarms, no music, and no ringtones to let me know someone is calling. My phone has been rendered mute. Which makes me wonder what you call a phone that has no telephonic capability but still has other uses that work? I can still send and receive texts, Tweets, Facebook messages, and pictures. I think I’ll just quit now and stew a while so I don’t post anything I might regret later.